Getting your first clients or customers is rarely easy, but it’s always exhilarating. We asked some of the brightest folks we know to take a stroll down memory lane to talk to us about how they got their first customers back when just starting out.
Antonio Paden | Upick Mobile Oil owner
When I initially started my business I primarily used social media as my way of getting new clients. I would run ads on Facebook and Instagram every week. I also used Google as a tool to reach local clients. We used digital billboards as well. Running ads through these channels can be extremely expensive. If I had to do it over again today, I would still use social media outlets. I wouldn’t use them as much as I did this time. Social media is good, but word of mouth is better. Getting out in the community and letting people see you and your business really helps. The biggest perk of word of mouth advertising is it that it’s FREE! You get to build rapport a lot quicker. I would have used a lot of more direct mail mailers. I would even attend community events to show that my business supports the community. The golden rule is “Give and it shall be given back to you”
About me: I own a mobile oil changing company in Dallas – The oil change that comes to you
- Website: www.upickoil.com
- Linkedin: Antonio Paden
- Yelp: Upick Mobile Oil
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/upickoil
- Instagram: @upickoil
Breathe Meditation and Wellness | Meditation and Holistic Wellness Studio
Word of mouth and social media has been key for us to building up our clientele. We are so thankful to have an amazing clientele that helps us spread the word. We have so many clients that end up bringing their friends and family with them once they experience a meditation, sound bath, or a wellness offering. Since we opened four weeks prior to covid-19 we are continuing to build our community and have so many exciting things to come with our growth.
About me: We own and Meditation and Holistic Wellness Studio in the heart of Dallas offering many wellness treatments alongside Meditation like Breathwork, Sound Baths, Yoga Therapy, Reiki, and more.
- Website: https://breathemeditationandwellness.com/
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/breathe-partners-llc/mycompany/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/breathemeditationandwellness
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/breathemeditationandwellness/
Lumbie Mlambo | Founder/CEO
When I first started my business I built my clientele through word-of-mouth, referrals, e-blasts, media publicity, and social media promotions. If I were to start over today, I would add speaking engagements at events as one of the ways to build clientele because it is the best way to amplify my voice. There is so much value in sharing your story at events where people truly feel you, see your passion and why you’re doing this. You connect more with people who share your vision, people who have empathy, and people who share your story with others way after the event. This amplifies your voice and helps to build stronger, long-lasting connections who are committed to your cause.
About me: I’m the founder and CEO of JB Dondolo, a nonprofit organization that provides access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene in underserved and impoverished communities.
- Website: https://jbdondolo.org
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lumbie-mlambo-7ab65019/
- Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/jbdondolo
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/jbdondolo
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jbdondolo
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jbdondolo
Lane Rizzardini | Digital Marketing Firm Owner
Our business is entirely referral based. It has been an amazing blessing that has allowed us to invest in our clients and expand our capabilities. Now that we’re working to ramp up our cold sales efforts and discovering how involved it is, I think I would have started sooner developing proof of success materials. Specifically: 1. Creating case studies 2. Developing guides to how to be successful in certain areas of marketing 3. Spent more time landing article mentions, interviews, podcasts, etc. It’s much easier to launch paid media and build audiences when you have materials in place already to use.
About me: Marion partners with service based businesses to drive leads, provide business consulting, and give business owners time back to focus on serving their customer and growing the business.
- Website: https://marionrelationshipmarketing.com/
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/marion-relationship-marketing/
JD Williams | Social Media Guru
When I first started, the way I built my clientele was going to all of the hottest music spots, restaurants etc. I’m a word of mouth type of person and although I’m great with social media it just feels better when you have live interaction with people. Knowing what I know I would use some of marketing resources I’ve picked up throughout the years like, more merchandise and email blasts.
About me: The Sunday TakeOut is one of DFW’s livest social media gurus and media outlets that also hosts, provides media coverage, and vocals to the DFW and beyond.
- Facebook: The Sunday Takeout
- Instagram: https://instagram.com/thesundaytakeout?r=nametag
Rogers Healy | Owner, CEO, Realtor, Music Enthusiast
I build my clientele today essentially the same way I did when I started, by creating meaningful relationships. Being there for your clients in all facets of their lives is so important. Whether it is a birthday message, or a simple check-in call, it is important to connect with people outside of being able to make a sale. I like to say people will always remember how you make them feel, and I want to make sure that people feel that I genuinely care about them as an individual first, client second. If I could do something differently it would be to always be myself, and never try to be anyone different, even if it means getting another client, or making another sale. Staying true to my brand, and myself, is what has escalated by business over the years.
About me: I am the Owner + CEO of one of the top independent real estate brokerages in America, Rogers Healy and Associates Real Estate. Real Estate is my career, but music is my real passion.
- Website: RogersHealyMedia.com + RogersHealy.com
- Linkedin: Rogers Healy
- Twitter: RogersHealy + MyRealtorRogers
- Youtube: RogersHealy + RogersMusicTour
- Facebook: MyRealtorRogers
- Instagram: RogersHealy + RogersHealyRealtor + RogersMusicTour
Candice Duvall | Artist
When I started my business I thought I had to go to every art show to get clients. It helped a little but I learned quickly that all I need to make clients is to be present all the time for my art not just at shows. If I could help others I’d say, don’t waste time looking for an opportunity to show your work, make the opportunities. Whether it’s waiting in line and making conversation with the person next to you or helping someone who needs help. It’s an opportunity whether you see it or not. Most of my clients who support me endlessly, support me because I showed my heart and they could see it in my art. Not the other way around.
About me: I own Candice Duvall art which I started in 2017 to make art that is more then just paint and canvas. From alcohol ink to resin I do it all and love to take on mew projects
- Website: Www.candiceduvallart.com
- Other: Tiktoc candiceduvallart
- Facebook: Candice Duvall art
- Instagram: Candiceduvallart
Jacob Niemeier | Founder & Executive Director
With Vera Aqua Vera Vita (VAVV) being a nonprofit NGO, our business model is obviously quite a bit different then a for-profit business. Thus, for us as an organization we actually have to consider two different so to speak clientele when running our organization. First and foremost, we have those that our mission serves who we refer to as the recipients of our work. Secondly, we have our supporters who we refer to generally as our constituents (donors & volunteers). These two different groups of people both require stewardship and focus to foster and grow. When I first developed the idea for Vera Aqua Vera Vita, I quickly realized that in order for us to truly grow as an organization, we needed to specifically identify a group of people (a community) which would be the recipients of our work, bringing clean water, around which I could then inspire people to become part of the VAVV family as constituents and support us in our mission. Once we had identified the recipients I then approached close family and friends to seek their support and inspire them to give the gift of their treasure and/or time to help us grow our organization. I launched a startup capital campaign that through the generosity of family and friends served as the seed from which we were then able to grow and establish the foundations of the organization. If I were to start over again today, I honestly don’t think I would do anything different because it worked very well to like I said establish help the foundations of the organization and honestly, it was relatively simple!
About me: I am a licensed professional engineer turned entrepreneurial founder and executive director of a nonprofit NGO by the name of Vera Aqua Vera Vita based in Murphy, TX with a mission to give the gift of sustainable clean water and sanitation services to people in need in developing countries around the world.
- Website: https://veraaquaveravita.org/
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/vera-aqua-vera-vita/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/VerAquaVeraVita
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWxgGXMoVAc3GnAfWqIPWRw?sub_confirmation=1
- Other: Vera Aqua Vera Vita TrueWaterVision Newsite: https://www.truewatervision.org/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/veraaquaveravita/
- Instagram: http://instagram.com/veraaquaveravita
Zachary Slack | Real Estate Photographer/Videographer
We once co-owned one of the highest rated immersive escape rooms in Dallas. Having already understood how to utilize social media to market a business and target our audience, we simply did the same thing with Sky Guys. The first thing we did was decide who that audience would be, and then get their attention using the outlet they use most, which we learned was Instagram. We did our research on how to grab the attention we needed through that platform. Hashtags are a huge tool. Engagement is key. That all said, we don’t just use Instagram to target and bring in more clientele. We use it to celebrate the accomplishments of the realtors that we follow, our clients of course, and local businesses that we enjoy supporting.
About me: We are a professional Real Estate Photography business in Cedar Creek Lake. We specialize in interior, exterior, twilight and aerial drone photography, and are Part 107 compliant.
- Website: SkyGuysCCL.com
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1PXzSh_5DV8-l90e5nY3Og
- Other: http://voyagedallas.com/interview/meet-zachary-slack-patrina-slack-sky-guys-cedar-creek-lake-east-texas/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SkyGuysCedarCreekLake/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/skyguysccl/
DeVonte’ “Deeor” Harris | Fashion Designer/Creative Director/Stylist
When I started my business, my clientele was really my college friends at my job i was working at the time. I use their support to learn and make corrections about each garment i would do. The brand really appealed to college kids having fun and enjoy things like it was a childhood summer. From there my clientele grew as i a merged from t shirts to cut and sew. As I had fashion shows and pop ups, my clientele grew to any and everybody. With what i know now i would’ve pushed myself harder. I also would have tried to connect more in the right areas. Believed in my ideas more and prevailed more obstacles, but nonetheless i can’t say i would change too much about it. The support from my close friends and family really made the experience in everything worth it.
About me: I am the creator of the fashion/film brand B.o.R By DeVonte’ Harris. At this brand, we supply 1/1 garments designed by myself. We also have a music brand lead by Hello Desperado. We offer creative direction and styling. We also are working on a film portion where we will have photography and films coming soon.
- Website: beginningofrevolution.us
- Instagram: deeor_a
DeMario “DJ DMoney Global” Hollie | Owner, Artist & DJ at Crack For The Ears
When I first started my business, I gained clientele by dee jaying for a little and sometimes nothing just to build awareness to my name. I would open up for the hottest DJS in the City just for an opportunity to get my name out. At each gig there were at least one to two people that got my booking information for their own events coming up. So it was a lot of hard work and ground work that was put into building my business. If I were to start over today the only thing I would do differently was get my LLC paperwork done right from day one, and I would also do better on my organization and make a couple of equipment investments earlier than I did.
About me: I own an Music Entertainment company. Where I provide DJ & Music Production services
- Website: Www.CrackForTheEars.com
- Twitter: Twitter.com/DjDmoneyglobal
- Youtube: YouTube.com/Dmoney1214
- Facebook: Facebook.com/CrackForTheEars
- Instagram: Instagram.com/djdmoneyglobal
Sara Drehobl | Realtor
When I first started in real estate I built my database from being boots on the ground and providing unparalleled customer service to each individual client I got the opportunity to work with. Pouring into people that believed in me has paid off beyond my wildest dreams. Being consistent and kind.
About me: I am your Unicorn of Real Estate and I offer the funnest home buying and selling experience in North Texas!
- Website: https://leaguere.com/team/sara-drehobl/
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/mwlite/in/sdrehobl
- Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/saradrehobl
- Instagram: @sarasellsdfw