The more the merrier is a good way to approach your client base. Relying on frequent appointments with the same clients can create large drops in your income when one or more of those clients takes a break or moves on. Having a large enough client base makes it possible for you to enjoy a stable income while your clients cycle in and out of working with you based on their own desires and needs.
The number of clients you need depends on the amount of income you want and the type of work you do. A bodyworker may keep a full schedule with 20 or 30 clients; a reader with 200 – 300 clients; and a teacher, speaker, or store with several thousand. Regardless of how many clients you want, it’s up to you to build up that base and keep it strong.
Be available. Let everyone know your business hours and how to reach you. Be sure you can be reached during those hours. If you don’t have administrative staff; hire an answering service, use voice mail, or have an answering machine on a line that you don’t use for appointments. If a new or current client tries to reach you repeatedly and can’t get through, you’ll probably lose them.
Be responsive. When someone contacts you, respond within one business day. Be especially attentive to this with new clients, they’re often seeking your services due to some immediate concern. Make it as easy as possible for their needs to be met by you.
Be proactive. Meet new people and tell them what you do. Keep a mailing list and periodically remind your current clients that you’re there and you appreciate them. Let everyone know that you enjoy referrals. Be a public presence in your community – whether that community is geographically defined or defined by like-mindedness. Whenever you’re interacting with others be aware of opportunities to share your wisdom freely, follow through on the opportunities that interest you, and allow space for people to learn about your work.
Most new clients will come through personal contact with you or personal referral from one of your current clients. Most current clients will return because of personal contact from you or another one of your clients. Make those contacts enjoyable for everyone involved.
A few new clients will come through paid advertising. This can be a good way to start making your name known, to reach people you have no other access to, and to keep your name in front of people.
Be relaxed. Some clients will develop exclusive loyalty to your services, most will not. Instead of competing with others for business, remember that you want clients who will benefit fully from what you offer. When a current or potential client chooses someone else, appreciate their wisdom and know that they’ll see you again when the time is right.