25 Backpocket Strategies to Find More Private Clients

Surprise! Today is bonus day with an all new addition to the Get More Clients series!

As I was prepping this series and thinking about all the questions that come in around filling your calendar ASAP with dream clients, I realized that I’m not the only person with thoughts on this topic. Just a quick search shows lots and lots of advice about getting new clients – but it’s often strategies that take much time to implement before they see real results.

Literally checklists full of vague advice like ‘build your email list’ or ‘participate in free Facebook groups’… the kind of tips and tactics that only make sense and get results when part of a big picture strategy.

But that’s absolutely ZERO HELP when you get stuck needing to generate cashflow quickly {like – rent is due in 2 weeks and you need real results, not wasted time on social media}.

That’s why I’ve been sharing this series with my go-to back-pocket strategy that has generated well over $100K per year in private coaching and consulting in my business:

1: Why Working 1-1 Is The Fastest Path To Cash
2: 3 Reasons You’re Not Getting Clients In Your Business
3: How to Get Private Clients & Fill Your Calendar Stat!
4: 25 Backpocket Strategies to Find More Clients {Hey that’s this post!}
5: Are Your Free Calls Converting Into Clients?

If you’ve been following along, you know that the foundation of any solid 1×1 business model is HIGH-TOUCH, making the time to reach out and talk with potential clients.

But who do you reach out to?

Where do you find these mythical dream clients?


In the early days of my business, whenever I needed to generate revenue I would challenge myself to come up with at least 10 ways I could get in front of the right potential clients. And that practice helped me find my go-to strategy I could pull out of my back-pocket whenever I needed to fill my client docket {and it worked so well I turned my system into the Get More Clients program}.

But I’m not the only one with back-pocket strategy! I’ve found that most experienced entrepreneurs have a similar strategy they turn to anytime cashflow is tight or they need a revenue boost. My favorite part, These strategies don’t require a big list, big launch, or complicated marketing!

Let’s dive into 25 favorite strategies to find more potential private clients for your business!

Upgrade Your Current Clients

We often overlook the opportunity to deepen our relationship with clients who are currently working with you, but chances are, there are plenty of ways that you could offer more support or services.

Offer 1×1 Sessions For Group Participants.

The first time I ever launched Sweet Spot Strategy over 5 years ago, I offered a VIP upgrade option of 3 1×1 private coaching sessions with me for an additional $1000. In my first group of 25 students, 10 took me up on the VIP offer. That was an extra $10K in revenue!

And even more important… because I was working so closely with those students, I was able to refine and fine-tune a program that has now generated well over a million dollars in revenue.

How Can You Make This Work For You?

: Create a VIP Option! There will always be a subset of your students who will happily pay for additional time and support. Make it available to them with a VIP Option that includes private coaching and access to you.

: Offer a 1-Time Session! If you don’t want to commit to a full VIP Option, a 1-Time Session can be the perfect back-pocket strategy. I love to offer these a little more than half-way through the program as students usually have a lot of questions and are ready to implement.

Offer a Done For You Component to Group Participants.

Are you teaching something that is a little more technical? Are your students realizing that they might need to hire out what they are learning? It might seem counter-intuitive for participants of a DIY program to then decide they want you to do it for them, but they can also be amazing clients because you’ve now educated them on what it really takes!

How Can You Make This Work For You?

: Create a Hybrid Offer! In our Sweet Site program {sorry guys, it’s retired now!}, we created a hybrid done-with-you upgrade. Students were responsible for doing all the prep work for their first website – from selecting fonts to photography to copywriting – and then our team simply put it together using templates we’d created. Because we had very clear systems and templates, it allowed us to help our students launch a smart site affordably and quickly.

: Create a Done For You Offer! Often, people sign up for a group program because they didn’t think they were quite ready to hire something out or work with someone 1×1… only to realize that they need to just hire the expert. Make sure your students are aware of your services! And you can always customize the offers to align with your specific programs.

Offer Additional Services.

Scope creep can be a very real problem for service providers if you’re not careful… but if you’re a savvy entrepreneur, you can turn those requests into opportunities to offer something new to the same clients.

How Can You Make This Work For You?

: Create a Complimentary Offer! Ask yourself – what would make it even easier for them to achieve their goals? If you are a nutritionist, a custom meal plan and shopping list would be a hit! Professional organizer. Shop for all the containers that declutter my closet!

: Create a Next Step Offer! Once you wrap up your current service, what’s next? I know many designers who offer followup packages post-website launch for social media and blog graphics, or personal trainers who offer maintenance check-in sessions.

Re-Engage Past Clients

Do you have a go-to service provider you return to again and again?

I know that I’m loyal to my favorite hair-stylist. There is one place I love getting my mani-pedi. When I find a store or boutique or service I love, I return again and again.

But somehow in the current entrepreneurial space, we find ourselves constantly looking for the next client instead of finding ways to encourage repeat business and build that solid client base of regulars.

Followup With Past Clients.

Have you ever worked with a service provider on a big project… then once it wraps you never hear from them again {unless they want to sell you something}. Just like you nurture new potential clients, you must continue nurturing past clients for repeat business and referrals.

How Can You Make This Work For You?

: Create a Followup Schedule. When will you touch base with clients after wrapping up? Sending a quick check-in email after 3 months is a great way to ask how they are doing, send them an article or resource you think they might like, and re-open the conversation for working together again.

: Book a Checkup Session. So often, I’ll see clients make HUGE progress during our time together… but once they are flying solo again without the support and accountability, they start to lose. An offer for a quick 20 minute checkup can be a great way to provide value and invite them to re-engage with a new program.

Give Past Clients VIP Status.

A happy client is much more likely to work with you again… so treat them like gold and encourage them to continue working with you!

How Can You Make This Work For You?

: Give Them First Dibs. If you’re getting ready for campaign to get more clients into your business, start with private invitations just for VIP past clients before you start making public announcements.

: Offer a VIP Bonus. Something I love about continuing to work with an former client. It’s actually LESS work. You already know them. You’ve already laid the foundation. So it could make sense to sweeten the offer with a special bonus if they signup to work with you!

Create Alumni Only Offers.

Generally I avoid making new offers when I’m looking to generate more revenue quickly {after all – that’s our goal in this series!}, but if you’ve built a solid client base in your business, a well designed new offer to existing clients who already know – like – and trust you can be a great option.

How Can You Make This Work For You?

: Create a New Alumni Only Program or Service. Is there something you know your clients need after working with you? Maybe they need additional services or support. Maybe they need accountability. A quick email invitation can help them take the next step and help you generate quick revenue.

Check in with past clients. Not in a “I want to sell you this amazing thing!” way, but in a “Hey, what’s changed since we worked together” way. Listen to what they’re saying — you never know what needs you’ll uncover that you can then help them solve.

Bonus: someone who’s had results from you in the past is going to be way more likely to buy from you in the future.

Breanne Dyck | Founder 

Request Referrals

Nearly every single day in our neighborhood Facebook group, someone is asking for a service provider recommendation.

“We need a new roof… who do you recommend?”

“Does anyone know a professional organizer?”

“Has anyone worked with XYZ? What was your experience?”

It doesn’t matter if you’re a local business owner or online entrepreneur… word of mouth is still the gold standard.

So how do you start getting referrals for amazing new clients? YOU ASK.

Ask Your Clients.

If you aren’t getting referrals from your clients, then chances are you haven’t asked! While there are some people who are natural connectors and always introduce people, most aren’t likely to pass your name along unless you’ve described who you are looking to meet and asked for an introduction.

How Can You Make This Work For You?

: Ask New Clients. It might be strange to consider asking for referrals at the very beginning of a relationship, but a new client is super engaged and excited to start their journey. A pal might be the secret to seeing even better results! And you can always offer a bonus incentive if their friend hires you.

: Ask Current Clients. Do you have an existing client who is seeing amazing results or experienced a big win? That’s the perfect time to let them know how much you love working with them and would love to offer their friends an opportunity to see the same results!

: Ask Past Clients. Another reason to stay connected with past clients – they can become a huge source for referrals! If you’re preparing for a new campaign to get more clients, make sure they are the first to know who you are looking for and how they can refer them your way. You might decide to develop a referral program for your top referral sources!

Referrals. Every time I’ve found myself with an opening I would start off by contacting my existing clients and my favorite past client to let them know I have an opening and that if they’d refer me I’d be appreciative. It’s the fastest, simplest way to get that spot filled!

Maggie Patterson | CMO | Scoop Industries

Ask Your Network.

Think of all the people in your network of family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, former college classmates, Facebook friends… chances are you know more people than you think you do! And those people might not be up to date on what’s going on in your business. If you’re wanting to get warm introductions to potential clients, start brainstorming people who might know them!

How Can You Make This Work For You?

: Send a Business Announcement Email. When all my college friends were sending out engagement announcements, wedding announcements, and baby announcements… I was sending out business announcements! A simple email to re-connect, update people on what you’re doing, and ask for referrals is a simple way to let your people support you! {This email is so effective that we have a complete template for it inside Get More Clients!}

: Showcase Your Client Success Stories. Celebrate when your clients have big wins and share their stories! Often our network doesn’t really know what we do. The easiest way to help them finally get it is sharing those success stories and letting people know how you get results.

In the beginning of my business it was hard to know “where” to get clients. So I started using social media and talking to people in person to implement what I call the “1 a day rule”. I would tell at least one person every day what I do, even if it was to the checkout person at the grocery store.?

I used social media to post every day my previous clients’ results as my way of letting people know what I do. By the end of the week I always had a few people interested in talking to me about working together. We tend to think “that person won’t know anyone to refer to me” or “they can’t afford me” but you never know who knows who.

I had a client implement this rule once and the IT guy at her part time job referred his sister as one of her first clients. 1 a day keeps the momentum going and the word about you spreading, it also keeps you top of mind for people who see you every day in person or on social media.

Lisa Fabrega | CEO and Founder | Lisa Fabrega

: Ask Your Business BFFs. Who in your entrepreneurial circle works with a similar audience or potentially knows your dream clients? Often a quick email to your Biz BFFs with the details of who you are looking to help can lead to quick referrals.

: Reconnect with Your Top Referral Sources. Do you know who your top referral sources are? You should! These could be colleagues, peers, or clients… but they should be at the top of your list to contact when you have an open spot to fill.

I love to send audio or video love notes via email or text to past clients and close friends who know my work, and tell them I have openings.

I ask if they could make a personal email intro to people they think would be a good fit. When I describe my coaching offer, sometimes my friends will ask if they can apply too!

Jadah Sellner | Jadah Sellner

 The Fortune In The Followup

Hearing NO is a par for the course in entrepreneurship. Someone might reach out to you one day to learn about potentially working together, only to decline moving forward.

Over the years I’ve learned that NO doesn’t mean no forever… it usually just means NOT RIGHT NOW.

Maybe the timing is off. Maybe the investment is higher than expected. Maybe they just aren’t ready.

With thoughtful followup, those NOT RIGHT NOW scan turn into YES! LET’S DO THIS!

How Can You Make This Work For You?

: Give Them First Dibs. If you’ve already said YES to these potential clients {especially if you had a phone conversation}, before you publicly announce spots in your calendar, reach back out to let them know you are opening X spots and wanted to give them first dibs! Bonus points if you personalize your email {something like -?when we spoke a few months ago, you were feeling overwhelmed and on the road to burnout with your business and ready to reclaim your schedule so you could experience more freedom and time with your family. Is that still your #1 goal?}.

When client flow seems slow, I take time to follow up with folks who have indicated interest in my work by sending them a thoughtful, personal, and above all, useful email connecting with them. I’ll find an article or tool that relates to the conversation we had and send it over to them with a short note telling them this made me think of them and I hope they’re doing well. This generally restarts the conversation and shows them that I’m here to be supportive and of service to them, not just about the sale. Sometimes it just starts a warm email interaction, but often it deepens the relationship and they end up hiring me.

Ellen Ercolini | Business Strategist?| Ellen Ercolini

: Create an Irresistible Incentive. Sometimes, you just need to sweeten the offer a little bit to get people off the fence. I’m not a huge fan of discounts, but I love adding a valuable bonus for a limited time.

I review my most popular products or packages, think of a way of making them even more desirable (so I might add an extra element to it). Select one stand-out product from that list (which tends to be based on intuition), then create a hit-list of people that would be perfect for it.

This list tends to be made up of (a) people already on my radar that I know this will work for, (b) people I may have already worked with and (c) people I’d love to recommend this new package to.

Then it’s all about reaching out to the people on this list, making the offer, creating quick sign-up initiatives (book by tomorrow and get x). Even in these days of superb digital marketing tactics, you can’t beat the personal touch. With a list of 20, you could have 5-10 people signed up within a week.

Gemma Went | Digital Strategist & Business Mentor | Gemma Went

Show Them The Value?

Now I’m breaking all the rules here! I highly recommend creating high-value offerings {after all – it’s step #1 in my Get More Clients system}. But asking someone with no experience with your work to invest potentially thousands of dollars, It’s a big ask.

That’s one reason I teach my students to showcase their best work – for free – via their content marketing. It builds up that relationship before they ever take the next step towards working together.

But when you need new clients and revenue quickly… the best way to show them the value of working together is to go HIGH TOUCH with a real conversation!

How Can You Make This Work For You?

: Free Coaching Session Marathon. A few years ago, my friend Lauren had stalled in her business. I challenged her to do 100 free coaching sessions… she didn’t even make it to 30 before her mojo was back and her calendar was filled. Even if offering free coaching sessions isn’t a regular part of your marketing strategy, adding them in for a short term marathon can be a great way to get highly interested potential clients on a call.

: Single Time Session. Making five-figure investments can be scary! That’s why I loved that my brand strategist Sarah Ancalmo started with a brand strategy session, followed by her signature Prive process, followed by implementation. By breaking up the entire process into more bite sized pieces, I felt more confident with each step!

One-off, one-time 1:1 consulting sessions are a great way to generate new clients. In other words- give ’em a bite sized taste of what you offer.

Sarah Ancalmo Ashman | CEO | Public Persona

Host a Workshop

I learned early on that teaching was my best sales strategy. My first clients came from teaching seminars at the local business organization, hosting lunch and learns for local entrepreneurs, and teaching workshop after workshop.

Teaching workshops is one of my favorite Get More Clients strategies because it allows you to dramatically leverage your time and accelerate the relationship building process {that’s why we have an entire bonus dedicated to hosting workshops!}.

The most important part of any workshop is having a clear followup process. I highly recommend following up with each participant to schedule a 1×1 conversation and invite the right people into your programs or services.

How Can You Make This Work For You?

: Host an In-Person Workshop. Free or paid… in-person workshops are a fantastic way to meet new potential clients, deliver incredible value, and offer the logical next step of working with you! I always follow up with each workshop participant with an invitation to a complimentary consult.

: Host a Lunch + Learn. You don’t have to offer a 2 hour workshop to be successful. I often hosted lunch and learn seminars {you could make these paid to include the cost of meals}. What could you teach in a 20-30 minute workshop over a lunch?

: Co-Host a Workshop. What businesses or organizations also serve your dream clients? Collaborating with new workshops is a great way to introduce yourself to a new audience and fill your calendar with potential client consults.

: Host an Online Workshop. Thanks to incredibly user friendly technology {we love Zoom or Crowdcast}, it’s easier than ever to host an online workshop that introduces new potential clients to your business.

: Co-Host a Webinar. Nearly every strategy can be amplified when you partner with others to extend your reach. If you already have a successful webinar, who could you partner with to share with a new audience?

: Put Your Workshop on AutoPilot. Once you have a successful workshop or webinar {meaning you are consistently seeing new client inquiries or applications or free consult bookings}, making it available on-demand can continue to generate new potential clients for you.

My favorite strategy is to send an email to my list and offer a webinar. On the webinar, I’ll make an offer for a strategy session. Then, on the phone call, I would ask them what they are struggling with and what their goals are and tell them about my one-on-one coaching package or my freelance service package. This strategy works for anything that you can start offering quickly and easily!

Sue Dunlevie | Blogging Coach | Successful Blogging

Talk to me! Do you have a favorite back-pocket strategy to find new clients quickly? Share in the comments below!

And if you’re loving this post, don’t miss out on the entire Get More Clients series!

1: Why Working 1-1 Is The Fastest Path To Cash
2: 3 Reasons You’re Not Getting Clients In Your Business
3: How to Get Private Clients & Fill Your Calendar Stat!
4: 25 Backpocket Strategies to Find More Clients
5: Are Your Free Calls Converting Into Clients?

And if you’re ready to CONSISTENTLY Get More Clients, you’ll love The CEO Collective! The CEO Collective is an online mastermind and mentorship experience designed to help you create more sustainable success. Get on the waitlist now!

Keep learning! >>> Check out the next post in this series: Are Your Free Calls Converting Into Clients?