SaaS or Software as a Service is hot trend in India but when it comes to acquiring new clients and customers, many falter because they are not aware of the right path or process to follow. There are many different ways to acquiring new clients and customers for SaaS individuals or companies and I will share those that we have deployed at Weborbit solutions or have plans to deploy in the near future.
Blog is a big source of clients for me despite the fact that I am not very aggressively promoting my availability for being hired. The reason I don’t promote it very aggressively is because I only have limited amount of time in a day for my clients because I have couple of blogs and a forum to manage.
Still I get quite a few clients who want to hire me and if I have too much on my plate, I tell them that I cannot handle their jobs and refer them to my company which is then handled by my partner.
So if you are an individual or a company, you can always add a blog to your corporate site and provide real value with your blog to readers and soon you will have people inquiring about services you offer.
2. Freelancing sites
I know many can argue that bidding sites are price competitive but that is not at all true. I charge almost $30 per hour and I still can beat people who are around $5 to $20 per hour by showing how I can do the job on time each time every time and there are clients who are even ready to wait for me to take up their jobs.
So yes freelancing site is a global marketplace but the war is not on price but value. I agree there will be few clients who really wants to get the job done for real cheap and that is part of being in SaaS industry.
On top of that I also have an employer profile in Elance where I have hired people and have paid more than $5000. I don’t hire the one who offers the cheapest service but the one who can show me they can get the job done on time at a reasonable price.
3. Friends and Contacts
You can ask your friends and contacts to refer you clients who are looking for what you do. Just ask them to introduce you to people looking to get the job done and from there on you can follow up with the client and once the job is complete, you can help your friend or contact with some gift and this way you can keep your contacts motivated to refer you more clients and customers.
We offer recurring commission to those who refer us a client which means for as long as clients keep paying us we keep paying the referral.
Once you have a satisfied client, you will get lot of people around them to be your clients as well. I have so many of my clients that have referred me their friends and family members to get the job done by me.
5. Local Partners
Our company work for other companies including MNCs in the background to get the job done as their work. At times our developers work in their premises as well but most of the time the job is done on our end and then transferred to them.
There is an NDA between us to get the job done without any credit links to our site. This does not help much in the long run because you cannot showcase them as yours but then it helps in new jobs coming your way.
6. Outsourcing partners
I am not talking about setting up offices in different countries but once you work for overseas clients, try to develop a good rapport with them. If you have good rapport with them you can discuss about what they do and see if you can ask them to make some extra cash by grabbing jobs for you.
Apart from that we have clients and partners in different countries where we did the first job for them and they liked it so much that they offload their own clients work to us.
In newspaper you will see lot of tenders that you can bid on. Before bidding, make sure you read the eligibility criteria for bidding. As a startup you may not be eligible to bid for all the tenders being floated.
8. Local Marketing
Though local marketing is still very small portion we have plans to expand into it soon with the help of cold calling as well as distributing pamphlets and brochures.
9. Online Marketing
We use Facebook marketing as well as Adwords to grab few clients but then this is very minor part of our focus as yet. We have some internal targets to achieve which when reached will shift our focus to online marketing majorly.
Client acquisition is very small part of the problem and the bigger one is to retain them and as a SaaS startup. We are working more towards retaining our clients and customers and creating a viral factor into acquiring more clients using the existing ones.
If you can identify problems and provide solution, soon you will have too much work in your plate and will have to stop worrying about acquiring clients and have to worry about getting the job done.