So, you wake up one morning with an idea to start your business and having high profile clients call you up all the time. Days become weeks, they turn to months and you haven’t had access to that dream client.
What now? You’ve tried everything you know how and exhausted your network calling everyone who knows someone. And still. Nothing!
Being the enterprising mind that makes things happen, of course, you are nowhere near giving in. That first morning with that ‘great idea’ starts to fade.
One of many things can happen, and 2 of them are:
a. Offer some pro bono work to the dream client
What I relearned again this morning was – Free work means you put your branding next to it. This is instant access to the client for more work at a later stage. It also associates you with them, in which case your credibility is built and they add to your references.
b. Compete for the client as everyone else with references
Well……this is actually a no brainer, especially if your business is highly conceptual and aims to compete against established market equivalents. Without a “credible” background, seeing that you are still a startup, it is difficult convince clients that you are worth working with. Make that damn near impossible.
Most companies that we target have a template according which they measure service providers. And if there is one thing that frustrates me more than people working from templates, it’s people who discredit your work without thorough understanding. Then rejecting you, because you don’t their template requirements.
Proving you are confident about your concept and breaking through the red tape of template workers, may mean doing free work. At least where I am now.
What are your ideas around breaking into the market and getting that dream client? Better yet, how did you get through to that client?
Image by: annais on Flickr