I've had a few people ask me how to start a business from scratch when you have no existing credibility on a subject matter. You know you've acquired significant knowledge, but no other consumers or businesses know it. How do you get those first customers?
In the past, you would have to introduce yourself to decision makers at companies, in a meeting. The same went for introducing yourself to individuals. It would be guerrilla marketing at it's finest, with a call to all your friends and family to spread the word about your new business. A more cash intensive method of reaching new people would be through traditional marketing channels of billboards, periodicals, online ads, and radio. But these methods don't typically provide high response rates.
Now there is at least one other method that people are using to launch their businesses. Fiverr is a website that matches people (or more often small businesses) with individuals willing to perform small gigs. Typically prices on these gigs, are $5, $10, or $15, although higher prices are also listed.
Many small businesses and consultants are performing these small tasks on Fiverr for minimal fees, in order to build a reputation one small gig at a time. It is much easier to get a client to pay you for one small task, where the risk is minimal, than it is to convince them to hire you on a long term basis for hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Fiverr allows you to build trust. Fiverr allows you to advertise through tiny jobs. If you are starting a business, think of it this way: Would you rather pay $1000 for a billboard, and get five new clients that month, or would you rather make $25 (five gigs at $5) and gain five new clients? The answer is obvious.
And Fiverr is a platform that reaches thousands of clients specifically looking for help in your niche. When you have performed for them, and delivered great service, you can talk to them about larger jobs. This may not work with all clients, but if you help 150 people with small tasks during the year, and over the next twelve months ten of them become clients for more lucrative services, you have a great start to your business. You can continue performing the small tasks on Fiverr to gain new clients, and/or you can ask for introductions from the more lucrative clients.
That is essentially how some people are starting businesses on Fiverr. It is a fantastic website, and any entrepreneur should consider how it can be used to reach customers at the beginning of the business's life. I even started writing articles on Fiverr for select businesses as a way to get backlinks to this blog!
I am a Chicago-area financial adviser to young doctors & business owners.