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I’m often asked by coaching & consulting clients, “will people buy this?”

My answer: In this day and age, there’s a market for everything. Literally. Everything.

But that doesn’t mean the Mom with the stroller is going to want to buy your porn aggregation app. Or that the blogger you’ve connected with can afford your 5-figure coaching services. Or that the travel publication you’ve pitched is the right fit for your article on the rise of Poké restaurants.

3 Ways to get your small business to stand out and find new clients - PeppercornCreative.com | website design agency and branding consultant in Vancouver BC

But you can greatly increase the odds of your shit getting noticed and increase your visibility while maintaining your sanity, saving your soul and not sounding tacky or salesy.

I promise.

Here’s 3 ways to get your small business to stand out and find new clients.

1. Know WHO you want to get noticed by.

It sounds like common sense but 90% of website design, copy writing or coaching clients I’ve had, can’t name who it is they serve. Instead, they’re focused on what they want to do, rather than figuring out who will BUY what they do. Which is great – definitely chase your happy!

But if you don’t know who’s going to pay you for that happy, you’re dead business walking. Or in our unique situation, dead business broke.

Know WHO you serve - don't be dead business broke! #BrandChat #Entrepreneurs Click To Tweet

If you want clients, you need to get really clear about who you want to get noticed by. We’ve all heard about the Avatar exercise, but you also need to think about whether that target client can or will pay you for what you’re offering while keeping a roof over your head (or whatever lifestyle is important to you.)

So figure it out – who do you serve? Get super, duper, over the rainbow specific! Is that market going to invest in you? And if not, do you need to adjust your strategy and either offer something else, find a new target client, and/or increase your rates?

Once you have this figured out, you can then real value for your target clients and create a plan of community building / action  / marketing that will reach them.

2. Show up to the party.

When I first started Peppercorn Creative I did what every brand new freelancer does – worked for anyone who’d throw me 5 bucks. Some of them were amazing and have grown with me over the years. Thank you fantastic clients – you know who you are!

But overall, looking back, I see the error of my ways. Yes, I needed the experience/portfolio, but I didn’t need the stress or lack of sleep because I had to work 27 hours a day (yeah, I found an extra 3 hours through the magic of coffee.)

Because they were only paying me $5 (okay, it was a bit more than that), they didn’t expect much. And they didn’t expect much, because they weren’t investing much. In any way, shape or size.

What I now know: If you want to get your small business to stand out and find new clients, you actually have to invest in your business. I’m talkin’ money, time, and energy.

  • Money: I hear so often from folks in Facebook communities that they don’t want to pay for the proper equipment, the education needed, or a proper website because they aren’t making much money yet. At the risk of sounding like a salesy douche bag – have you considered the idea that you aren’t making much money yet BECAUSE your website doesn’t instill trust from your target clients? If they don’t trust you, they won’t hire you and pay you what you’re worth. And it isn’t just the website – the same goes for increasing your knowledge and skill set, buying professional gear, and generally choosing to be a professional.
  • Time: The other side of this are folks who think they can build the website and it’ll puke sparkly magic all over the place and money in their bank accounts, all on its own. Bad news bears – ya gotta make time. This means realigning priorities so you can spend more time on your business. If the side hustle is working for ya, great! But if it’s not – you’re too tired to do anything when you get home from work, or you’re too into the new season of Game of Thrones, or you’re too hung over to turn on the laptop – you’re too preoccupied with priorities that aren’t your business.
  • Energy: Energy attracts like energy. It also creates movement and action. So, act! Write blog posts and newsletters. Update live on social media and engage with others in your community. Tell everyone you know about how grateful you are to serve your customers and how successful they are because of it. Invest mental, spacial and physical energy to get your small business to stand out and you WILL find new clients. I guarantee it.

3. Recognize the difference between trends and best practices. And then do you.

A coaching client asked me the other day if she really had to get into making YouTube videos. Video is kind of the new be-all-and-end-all-of-everything; it’s the new Ryan Reynolds.

My advice to her was to recognize the difference between trends and best practices.

A trend is something that comes and goes – everyone gets super excited about it and jumps on board, but then it gets way too saturated or fizzles out. Think about Periscope, webinars, that hot Summer fling with that hot Summer thing… After a while, they just don’t have any juice.

Best practices, however, hold the course. They’re effective, they’re useful, and they get results. Think of email marketing, providing (and receiving!) crazy awesome customer and community support, and delegating tasks you aren’t equipped for or don’t want to do. These make your business stronger. More viable. More kick ass.

Pro tip: Take those best practices, and turn them on their head – do something unique. Be a leader! If a trend speaks to you, try it on. But don’t stay married to it. If a best practice feels true – great! But don’t follow what everyone else does. Innovate and do something unique and true to you – your clients will thank you for it!

This can be in terms of your work your schedule. For example, as an entrepreneur I don’t work Monday through Saturday, 5am – 7pm like so many others. Lately I work Mon, Tues, Thurs, and Fri from 10am – 6pm, and I take Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays off. GASP! … Or it might be in terms of your strategy –  video, ebooks, challenges, courses, insanely useful cheat-sheets for your target clientele, attending local events, etc… Rebrand if you need to.

You do you. Do whatever it is that makes your business work for you. Whatever is authentic to you and resonates with your clients. Go after it and own that shit!

And THAT is how you get your small business to stand out and find new clients.


How do you get your small business noticed? Which of these points resonates for you? Where do you struggle to stand out? Leave a comment below or please shoot me an email and tell me directly! It makes me happy to hear from you.

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1 Comment on 3 Ways to Get Your Small Business to Stand Out & Find New Clients

  1. Karen
    September 13, 2017 at 11:08 am (2 months ago)

    The last point really resonates with me. I’m guilty of shiny object syndrome from time to time. I want to do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING if it will help my business. I’m all for testing things out, but I’ve become cognizant of the fact that there is no one size fits all for businesses. Each business is unique and different. One trend that may have worked for one business might not necessarily work for the other. But you won’t know until you try.
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