Where and How to Find Potential Clients for Your New Startup


Getting the first round of clients can be difficult if you’re first starting up. There is quite a bit of research involved, and you need time to set up.

However, it’s only hard in the beginning; once a startup has built some momentum, acquiring new prospects starts getting easier.

In this guide, we take a look at how new startups can find their first batch of potential clients and start processes that will continue bringing in prospects.

Start With Who – Define Your Ideal Customer

Before going any further, it’s critical that any startup defines who their ideal customer is. This helps you narrow down your strategies to a select group of people making customizing the message and delivery easier.

Start building an ideal customer profile by asking questions like:

  • Where can this solution be used?
  • Who will this product appeal to?
  • Can it also find special uses in other industries?
  • What business size does this product apply to?
  • Where can these solutions be deployed geographically?
  • What are their pain points?
  • What are their objectives?
  • How much is their budget for these “particular” solutions?

Once you identify what your ideal customer is, it’s time to check out what characteristics they also have in common. This allows you to narrow down campaigns to target these specific characteristics.

Work With Your Current Contacts

Your current network can provide you with a rich supply of referrals, ideas, and even connections with other people that might be interested in your product or service.

However, don’t just work with your own contacts, invite your team to help out and incentivize them as well. In this way, the firm gets to duplicate its methods, creating a multiplier effect.

Start Building an Outreach List

An outreach list is basically a list of potential leads that you build up over time. Since the firm has access to their ideal customer profile, it’s now easy to start looking for prospects that could be interested in what your firm has to offer.

There are plenty of places to start looking for contacts:

  • Highly-specific Google Searches – these target searches of existing lists of people in the industry.
  • Business Directories
  • Area Specific Lists
  • LinkedIn

Another option is to buy data from a third-party and work on creating email campaigns that target them.

Start an Email Campaign

Once you have a ready-list of individuals that fit the bill, it’s time to start crafting email campaigns to market to them.

  • Use an email application to make the process easier.
  • Create separate emails for different subgroups within your initial lists.
  • Craft more than one version of the email so that you can A/B test what works best.
  • Make sure that it’s personalized so that it resonates more with the recipient.
  • Check the results of your campaign.
  • Alter your course of action whenever necessary.

Launch a Webinar

Webinars are a great way to get people interested in startups and indirectly advertise services to prospects.

There are different things that you can cover in a webinar: it could be a tutorial session, a question and answer event, or even a virtual product or service launch.


LinkedIn remains to be the largest professional social network, and there are plenty of ways to harness its power to bring in a steady stream of passive and active leads for your business.

According to a recent study by HubSpot, LinkedIn was 277 percent more effective than Facebook or Twitter. And, that’s not all, last year, it was voted as the most trusted network. Firms have to start investing marketing resources in LinkedIn.

Here are is a quick checklist to get you started:

  • Optimize your profile – you’re essentially turning your LinkedIn profile in a sales funnel, so make sure you have your website readily available in the description, there’s CTA for people to contact you, and the information listed is concise and powerful enough to elicit a response from people visiting. Think of it as a lead magnet.
  • Start connecting with people – start firing away with requests to network with people.
  • Post often – make sure you post (or repost) articles, thoughts, etc. often help project an image of confidence and activity. You want to come off as an industry leader so that people can trust you.
  • Cold message people in your network – there are even tools available for you to automate this part of the process.
  • Get everyone to contribute – the entire marketing team should have optimized profiles that are streamlined to reflect the values of the company. This also increases the area of reach as opposed to just one profile doing all the work.

Outsource to a Professional Lead Generation Agency

The quickest and most cost-effective way of getting new leads for your startup is to outsource the work to a lead generation specialist.

There is no more need to build complicated lists, spend resources on hiring marketing staff, and you benefit from the specialization and experience of the agency.

They can provide companies with email marketing, telemarketing, and even LinkedIn outreach options and packages that can bring in a consistent stream of leads.

Join Communities on Facebook

There is a lot of potential business on Facebook, and it’s the platform that almost everyone is subscribed to. Therefore, there’s a fine chance that your potential prospects are there.

The quickest way to jumpstart your Facebook marketing is to start by joining groups that are relevant to your industry. Once you’ve joined a couple of groups, the trick is to start engaging and slowly network with like minded individuals.

Bringing in new clients doesn’t have to be a daunting experience; there are a number of ways to jumpstart your startup’s growth today.