A few ideas on how to find your clients and approach them.
1. Only work with clients who NEED your help
Seek out clients who would definitely benefit from working with you, you're cultivating a longterm relationship, you're not aggressively seeking sales. Clients won't respond to an aggressive, pushy approach.
i). Introduce yourself
ii). Explain how you can help them
iii). Describe why you want to work with them
An example would be,
Hi xxx, I'm Caroline and I run my own business based in Norwich where I specialise in branding and graphic design. I've been aware of your business for a while now and I'd love the opportunity to chat about working together. I love working with local small businesses and helping them to succeed through branding and visual communication. Could we set up a no-obligation appointment to chat about your business, how I can help you and my prices. In the meantime, feel free to look at some of my work on my website: mysterhare.com
2. Remember you're contacting this person out of the blue and it's potentially jarring to them, combat this by giving away some of your expertise for free
If I've seen their advert in a local publication, I then search for all of their online platforms and look out for the easy wins – it's normally consistency – and I recommend immediate changes they can make that will positively impact their brand and any other tips I find along the way. Depending on how much I want to work with that client, it sometimes helps to follow up with a phone call about a week or two later. By giving away advice, I'm making myself vulnerable and showing the potential client that I'm generous and really want them to succeed, with, or without my eventual help.
3. Do your research
Find out all you can about them - if they're registered on Companies House you can get the name of the director and liaise directly with the decision maker of the business. Find out their tone-of-voice from their social media sites to know how to 'speak' to them so that they respond to you in a way that is comfortable for them.
4. Keep it local
One thing that Covid-19 has talk us is the importance of supporting your local community and building around that so look to local publications to find businesses in your area. In Norwich there's The Golden Guide magazine that's freely distributed and has small businesses advertised within. You can view the latest issue here > www.thegoldenguide.net You can also find them here on twitter.
Another great resource is the Buy Local Norfolk website > here and you can even join to have your company details found by other local visitors. You can search for businesses in specific categories. This is also a good resource to find your competitors and compare your unique offerings.
For some more advice about approaching people you want to work with:
Creative Pep Talk Podcast
Do you have any other resources that you can share with us? Feel free to let us know here firstname.lastname@example.org