A business without clients or customers is just an expensive hobby. With that being said, the idea of going out and getting your own clients can be daunting.

Where do you start?

Do you need a website?

Should you start cold calling?

While creating a website and cold-calling are proven ways to generate leads, the #1 way to get clients the fastest is networking. This sounds pretty straight forward right? However, so many people waste precious time trying to perfect everything in the beginning that they fail to actually go out and meet people in their community.

Stop waiting and start acting!

The moment that you decide that you are ready to become a business owner, take about a half an hour to write a 2-3 sentence introduction about yourself. Make sure that you highlight a benefit that your clients receive when they work with you.

For example: Hi, my name is Tanya and I am the owner of Tdfolio Creative. I help companies get directly in front of the people who are searching for their services.

Memorize this statement so that it flows true and start looking for your first networking event.

Here are a few ways to look for networking opportunities:

1. Reach out to your family and friends and tell them about your business.

This technique works like a charm. Do not be afraid to tell your family and friends about your new business. Post an update to Facebook with your business details. Look through your LinkedIn and Facebook friends and make a list. Reach out to everyone on the list via phone or email and tell them about your new venture. Ask them if they know anyone who may be interested in your services. The more people who know about what you are doing the better. You will be surprised by how many leads you can get with this one technique.

2. Search for referral groups in your area.

Do a simple Google search for “referral groups {your location}” and you will see a list of referral groups in your area. These are groups that focus on providing quality referrals to local businesses. Some have a fee associated with them while others are free. Find out if any of them offer a complimentary visit so that you can decide if it is a good fit for you and your company.

3. Attend a local Meetup group.

meet-up-logoGo to Meetup.com and search for “networking” in your area. You will find a lot of groups that cater to professionals who are working to build their businesses. This is a great way to get your feet wet without having to invest any money. Reach out to the administrator to double check that the event is a go, bring some business cards and network!

4. Find networking events, tradeshows and conferences on Eventbrite.

eventbrite-logoEventbrite is a great website to find out what is going on in your city. From networking events to tradeshows, you will be able to find some great opportunities to help your business grow. Simply go to Eventbrite.com and search for “networking”, “tradeshow”, or “small business conference” and find some events that you are interested in attending. Some events are free while others have a fee. If you are just starting out, take advantage of all of the free opportunities before you decide to invest. Remember, these are all business owners who are looking to build their business so you might be able to help them with your product or service.

Now the challenge is: Are you seriously ready to grow your business? If so, pick at least one option above, join a group and start building. Remember, the longer you wait, the longer it will take to find success.

img_4362Tanya Dlabaj is a military spouse and mom of 3 beautiful girls. She is also the owner of Tdfolio Creative, a Maine SEO company that provides their clients with world-class search marketing and web development services.

You can find more about Tanya on about.me, Tdfolio Creative Moz her SEO Youtube Channel.