Home – New Forums Starting your journey How can I get my first clients?

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  • #973975
    Layla
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    • Total posts: 28
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    Hi,

    I recently started my own Personal Concierge company, and my website has been up and running for about 2 months, although I am still tweaking it.

    I also have a full time job, which means I do not have as much time to spend on my company as I woudl like, but it is taking me much longer to get clients than I thought it would, so the stable income is a good thing.

    I am desperate to leave my day job and work on my company full time, and have 2 main questions which will help:

    1) How did everyone else get their first clients? I have tried Google Adwords and people clicked on me apparently, but did not call me.

    I also have a Facebook page for my company, but only my friends have said they like me so far.

    I have also appeared one 1 of the many daily deal sites, but only 3 people bought vouchers and 2 of those were friends of the owner of the site. The site is a new one though, which a database of 7000, which I thought sounded like quite a lot, but apparently is very small compared to Scoopon etc. So, I am unsure if it is worth trying another similar site, which has a larger database and has been around longer, or whether my ‘target client’ simply does not use these sites?

    2) I would like my future clients to be able to pay me by credit card. I have a looked briefly into merchant facilities with banks, but find it very overwhelming. I realise another option is Paypal & I have heard about eway. What are people’s experiences of these things? Which do you prefer? Has lower fees?

    If anyone has has any other general tips for starting out and getting going, that would be great!

    Many thanks,

    Layla.

    Concierge Connections
    http://www.conciergeconnections.com.au

    #1065300
    Culgoa
    Member
    • Total posts: 2
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    Hi Layla,

    Re your query with payment; I have operated two small businesses and until about 18 months ago I accepted credit cards. However the fees charged by the banks are exhorbitant unless you have a high level of revenue. I changed to Paypal and have found the system excellent in every respect with much lower fees. If buyers do not have a Paypal account, you can set it up so that Paypal will process credit card payments. I strongly recommend you investigate this.

    Good luck
    Culgoa

    #1065301
    King
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    • Total posts: 2,212
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    2 months is nothing – give it a chance.
    I will give this link to a person I ‘know’ doing your business. She may reply here with some help.

    #1065302
    The Infotainer
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    King, post: 81049 wrote:
    2 months is nothing – give it a chance.
    I will give this link to a person I ‘know’ doing your business. She may reply here with some help.

    bloody oath

    It took 5 years to get my success, gees 2 months you gotta a while to go.

    Now having worked in the hospitality industry for 8 years of my life I tend to have a picture of what a concierge is for a hotel

    When I go to your website it’s got something about time at homes

    you need an opening line at the top of the page so that people looking for what you offer (whatever that is) will know instantly what you do)

    The header- what has the beach got to do with your business- forget metaphors- get to what it is you do

    I look at he word concierge and think of high quality- when I visit your site you are using kiddy text font- I think this needs to be changed

    from reading most of your first page I get the feeling you are a nanny, but I am unsure as to what the travel has todo with it.

    You need to redo your entire website, it was a nice attempt, but you need to be crystal clear on what you do, because I have not the faitest idea from your site what you do, so any money spent on advertising is going to get hits but they are not going to understand what you are about KISS

    now when I say KISS I do not mean keep it simple stupid- I don’t believe you are stupid, a better way is keep it slogan simple – keep the message fast and let it be easy to understand.

    How did I get my first client- I worked for free

    from those free performances I:

    Video taped everything
    Got a great testimonials
    got great promotional photos
    got to try out new routines and services
    got more confident when other customers called me, so I could sell better
    found out what people liked so it helped me sell to the need

    when you mentioned 2 months I laughed out loud sorry, it’s not a very long time

    #1065303
    BrettM33
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    Ok.. as for your website, well, to be blunt, it doesn’t look very professional.

    As another poster said, what does the header have to do with what you do?

    When I go to your website there is just too much text on the front page and nothing to direct the user on what to do. You have to kind of “guide” the user through your website to what you want them to do; you need some ‘call to action’ buttons on your home page for example.

    Now, before anyone blasts me for telling you to get a new website (with me being a web developer) I will say it’s ok to have a website like yours (with a few improvements as mentioned above) if you are a solo operator.

    Thing is you have to REALLY promote the fact that you are a solo operator, put a separate about me page up and MAKE SURE to put your picture up on it; apart from burying it on the contact us page. Talk about why they should hire YOU for the job, how you personalise it, what you bring to the table etc etc

    With that in mind I think your customers would forgive you for having a less than professional looking website, but if you want to compete against the bigger companies and promote yourself as “us/we” etc then you will need to get a better, more professional looking website.

    This is just my 2 cents. :) Wish you all the best with it!

    Brett

    #1065304
    Anonymous
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    • Total posts: 11,464
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    Hi Layla,

    Welcome to Flying Solo! I hope you were anticipating receiving such forthright feedback, and that you’ve received it in the helpful spirit with which it was intended.

    It does sound like you have some more research and investigation to do before things really start to take off for you, so I hope that hanging out here will help you find lots of great tips to get things moving.

    Good luck for the new venture,
    Jayne

    #1065305
    King
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    • Total posts: 2,212
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    I should add here that for your service the website will initially gain you maybe 10% of your enquiry.

    It does show you need to think more about what you do and refine it in your mind, but your first clients are going to come from good old fashioned out on the streets marketing.

    You are going to find it REALLY hard if you are working full time…how will you have the chance to do client’s work if for instance they want the drycleaning picked up at 2pm and dropped off to them??

    I’d be getting some fliers done, then get the yellow pages out and target high income professionals – the sort of people who need and can afford your services..

    The concierge network in in AU should be able to provide some advice as well.

    #1065306
    BCT
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    • Total posts: 1
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    Hey Layla,

    Just a couple of ideas to help you along in gaining clients;

    Go to open Seminars/Social Meetups.

    Find similar sites of your category.

    Twitter Social Marketing

    Facebook Social Marketing

    You could do courtesy cold calling ( but not recommended ).

    Posting on here is a great start, there is a lot of great people, and very useful information that floats along this site. Use it to your advantage.

    #1065307
    rach
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    • Total posts: 17
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    Hi Layla,

    Congrats on getting started in business.

    I work in the same market as you- I started a boutique nanny agency in London nearly ten years ago now. Not many agencies had websites back then and ours was very basic. We got our first clients from print advertising that we splashed out on from savings, and very slowly grew from there.

    Now we have four offices, in London, Brighton, Auckland and Sydney, and we rely heavily on recommendations and referrals, as well online advertising.

    I agree with some of the other comments that the website may not be sending out the right messages to ‘catch’ your clientele. Remember, your potential client has landed on your page because they have googled or somehow found your service, which means they have a genuine interest in what you are offering. They are also already considering paying someone else for this service which means you’re half way there.

    If your site can follow up by establishing trust and credibility then you might convert more browsers to callers.

    I’d work some more on your site before spending too much time on promotion, keep getting feedback on it, and once you feel confident it responds well to your clients needs and represents your businesses values then get out there and meet people!

    Good luck!

    Rachel

    ps- we worked part time during the week and a lot of weekends for at least 2 years when we were starting out- a juggling act and a tough road but worth it in the end!

    #1065308
    Shaukat Adam Khalid
    Participant
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    Congratulations and all the best. IF you don’t have a strategy for a successful business, please review the document from the link below.

    https://www.box.net/shared/rxq56cfhrvh7d81h4vi1

    Then read the following book on getting your business “unstuck”.

    Buy it from amazon if you like it:

    https://www.box.net/shared/hrdid73meqznr85k3s1s

    Hope it helps.

    Khalid

    #1065309
    Alex Honey: Int Design
    Member
    • Total posts: 151
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    Hi Layla

    Congrats on your site and thumbs up for putting yourself out here for some support and input.

    It sounds like you are just itching to get underway with your business or perhaps just itching to chuck your job in – either way is motivating.

    I can see that a few others here have give you some feed back and for me I would tend to agree with the earlier comments on confusion about what exactly your business is about.

    Perhaps, if using the name concierge is confusing or if people don’t know what that means or how one would use one (aside from in a hotel) then consider just describing what you do dropping the concierge bit.

    I understand how much tunnel vision can occur when we are working solo on something that is really important to us, we’re all in that same boat.

    A trick I have and still find useful is to use a big note pad and write down the essence of what I’m wanting to say to others about my business or what I do or what my product is.

    Its a challenge but I have to capture it in one sentence – I figure if I cant get it to be that sharp how will anyone else get it?

    The other thing that will crystalise your business and your thinking is working with a really good, experienced business coach and writing a business and marketing plan. May sound boring but its the best way to turn your idea into a grown up.

    I’m sure that you have all the fire and passion for your venture to get things happening and yes it will always take more time, effort and money than you anticipate but its all about the journey.

    So go for it and enjoy the ride

    #1065310
    Cesar
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    Layla, may I suggest you learn from experts within the industry to give you a good head-start especially when you are starting-out. I’m certain you will learn some great ideas and strategies by reading the “Start a Personal Concierge Service Business”.

    Good Luck…

    Cesar

    #1065311
    TimeMade
    Member
    • Total posts: 6
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    Hi there :-)

    I would love to chat with you about the concierge business – I’ve been operating for 2 years now – and it really takes a lot of time, effort and persistence – but is well worth it!

    Speak soon
    Carolyn

    #1065312
    painterdeb
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    • Total posts: 14
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    Hi Layla,

    Congrat’s for starting your business. I’m sure you will be a success as it seems from your site that you are passionate about travel and most importantly Australia.

    The previous comments might seem harsh because I’m sure you worked hard on your current site look.

    As someone who is also only a couple of months old business wise, I have found all the info and feedback I have been given here of immense help and am already changing my website bit by bit.

    I had big doubts at the very beginning, it starts off slow, but it will get better.

    Look at your network and maybe there is someone within that needs your services. Maybe a busy working mum? School holidays are coming up and if you know what’s on around town or can get tickets to sold out shows even just organise a themed day out .

    Go for the working mummy’s with working mummy guilt. Have the money but no time to organise what to do with it.

    Best of Luck,
    Deb

    Sorry just a thought

    #1065313
    Layla
    Member
    • Total posts: 28
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    Hi Wahe, I already have this book. I found most of it is about how to do concierge, rather than how to set up a company, but I will have another look as it has been awhile. Thanks, Layla.

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