How did you successfully build a customer base?

Gif of Sandra's You Tube video with a cameo by Bob Ross! How did you successfully build a customer base?


Click on the gif above to watch this video on YouTube or click play below to listen to the Podcast version



Finding those first few clients seems like an impossible task, but it’s possible for anyone! Here are 4 methods I used to get my first clients and establish a steady stream of new ones going forward.

Let me know which is your favourite!

  • 00:00 – Introduction
  • 00:20 – Today’s Question
  • 00:50 – First way I ever found clients
  • 02:04 – Local networking 101
  • 03:00 – How to leverage paid Facebook groups
  • 03:47 – Strategy for making your clients LOVE you and recommend you to everyone!
  • 05:20 – Recap and summary
  • 05:34 – Important stuff!


The transcript is below if you would prefer to read this yourself instead of watching the video!


Hi, I’m Sandra B, your Sidekick COO. I help overworked, overwhelmed, multi-headed entrepreneurs like you become CEOs of your very own sustainably scalable, and powerfully profitable business, through proven business tips, practical processes, and a touch of tough love. Heavy on the love. 

Don’t forget to like and subscribe. Let’s go! So today’s question is, how did you successfully build a customer base? How did you find your clients? What strategies worked for you? 

So for me, when I was looking for clients, the first place that I actually went to was probably locally. I was going to a few little networking places. Actually, now that I think about it, that is not the first way I started doing that afterwards. So the first way I started, was that??? I can’t remember now. 

Yes. The first way was basically back in the day, my child came home from high school and wanted to go on a school trip and we didn’t have the funds. I think I told that story before so I’m not gonna get into it now. But a friend of mine told me about Fiverr and I thought, “Ah, I can go there and, you know, just get a little bit of money in the bank to kind of help pay for that school trip that they really wanted to go on”.

So I did.  I went on Fiverr and there were a few things that I did strategically to help me get clients on there pretty quickly. There were a couple of happy accidents that helped me get clients on there.

We don’t make mistakes, we have happy accidents. 

Through a combination of those two things, I started building a little bit of a client base. Those people, because even though I was only offering one service, knew me as a virtual assistant. That was the industry I had noted in my profile. So they started asking me what else I could do and I started saying, Oh, pretty much anything. What do you need? And that’s kind of how I started getting my first few clients. 

Now, most of those clients didn’t really amount to anything long-term. None of them really amounted to anything off of Fiverr except for maybe one or two. So, the next best place I found clients was through my local networking. I started going to some ‘Business after Five’ events and there are a few groups around in our area that hold these types of little network kind of get-togethers that I would go to.

And then I also started going to this local conference called the ‘Gwen Conference’, and I started meeting people there. That was actually how I found my very first large client. Through the Gwen Conference and then from there, I ended up joining a local co-working space. That’s where I got probably my second really big client. 

They weren’t very big at the time, but now, six plus years later that we’ve been working together, I’ve helped them grow from, you know, charging $50 an hour as a copywriter to making over a million dollars doing email marketing, teaching and coaching, things like that. 

You’re watching NBD, a show where we talk about things that are no big deal. 

So that was a really good resource for me was those local connections. And then I think the third was probably through paid Facebook groups. I joined a couple of courses early on because they had communities that had large groups of people who were what I considered my ideal client at the time.

So I would go into those Facebook groups and I would just answer questions and make comments and ask questions and just communicate.

And eventually, somebody would be like, “Oh, what do you do”? Or “Hey, it sounds like you could help me with this”. And then that’s how I would find clients through there. So those groups always way more than paid for the cost of being in the program. And that was actually a really great place for me to find clients. 

So those were probably the three very particular places that I found where I grew my client base. And then from there, once I had a few clients, my whole goal was to just make sure that I did everything I could to work myself out of somebody’s business. My goal was to grow them to a point where it was no longer fiscally sound for them to keep paying me the ungodly rate that I was charging. 

Well, it wasn’t ungodly, but you know, it was a much higher rate than they would normally pay for an administrative assistant. But I was doing a lot more than what an administrative assistant would be doing. But you know, it wouldn’t make sense for them to continue on, pay me that rate when they could get a full-time person and probably charge less than what they would end up paying me right now at a certain number of hours. Right? 

So yeah, so that was always my goal was to work people out, like work myself out of their business and help them find, you know, a replacement for me. And that meant that I always looked at their business as, you know, I always considered it my business. I always talked about it as if it was me and them together in this business.

I wasn’t just some other entity, I was always a part of their business and I talked about it as if I was a member of the company and I always kept, whatever was right for the business top of mind, regardless of how it might affect me personally. Dude. I mean that’s like amazing. 

So that was one way that I was able to really stand out. Because of that, I started getting a lot of referrals from the clients that I was working with. They would show me, and shout my name from the rooftops and it just came back to me constantly. So there are a few other places that I found clients, you know, being on podcasts and teaching in groups and things like that, that all kind of came later. But the main few were originally Fiverr, our local networking, paid Facebook groups, and referrals and that’s it. 

So I wanna make sure that you like and subscribe so that you don’t miss the next session. And while you’re at it, why not share this video with a fellow entrepreneur who might need to hear about it? 

If you’ve got a struggle in your business and you want some guidance or help, please comment below and tell me all about it. 

Together we thrive! Take care.

Meet your host

Sandra Booker, Founder of Changemaker Inc. (home to Sidekick COO and The VA Studio) and creator of Scale Society and The Advisory Board, is a mentor, Fractional COO  and growth strategist. She specializes in helping overworked, overwhelmed, multi-hatted entrepreneurs become the CEOs of sustainably scalable, and powerfully profitable businesses. 

After helping local businesses thrive, and receiving accolades in her community (like the 40 Under 40 award) Sandra turned her attention to the world of online service providers, and her clients include familiar names like Chanti Zak, Tarzan Kay, and Laura Belgray.

In her (efficiently used) spare time, she teaches others how to build and grow their own 6-figure virtual assistant practices and is on a mission to create a million jobs by helping her clients and students scale their businesses.

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