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  • Writer's pictureLauren Leopold

9 reasons you haven't got paying clients yet (and what to do about it)

So tell me if this sounds familiar. You’ve finally decided to get that side business going after talking about it for donkeys years, but those paying clients are nowhere to be found.

It’s such a common problem that I see among my clients when we first start working together and its normally down to one or more of these 9 reasons:

1. You think you don’t have enough time

So firstly, I get it. The thought of running a business on top of your job and well, life, can be daunting. But if you keep telling yourself there aren't enough hours in the day - guess what? There won't be. You have to DECIDE that this business is enough of a priority for you that you WANT to create the time for it.

Sit down and actually work out how much time you need to get this business going vs how much have available to you. If you need more, ask yourself how you can create more. Can you get up earlier? Can you find some time during your work day such as lunch breaks? What about weekends? Even if you can find 30 mins on a Tuesday evening or an hour on a Sunday morning, the time is there. You just have to want to find it.

And once you find it, time block it in your diary, so it becomes a non-negotiable, e.g. on Tuesdays I work 'on' my biz & on Wednesdays & Thursdays I see clients.

2. You’re racked with self doubt

If you’re anything like I was at the start, you keep telling yourself you’ll reach out to people in your close circle to tell them about your new business. But when it comes to it, all of a sudden thoughts pop up into your head like ‘What if they don’t get back to me?’ or ‘What if they laugh or judge me?’

You can’t help it but these thoughts are so overpowering that you end up not reaching out to anyone because you’re worried they’ll ignore you or even give you the dreaded ‘No thanks’. And then you’re back where you started. Playing small, with no paying clients and no exit plan.

This is imposter syndrome plain & simple and it usually rears it’s ugly head when we put ourselves in new or challenging situations - like starting a business!

But let me reassure you, whilst you’ll never completely squash it, there are ways tackle it.

3. You’re focusing on the wrong things

Do you feel like every time you sit down to work on your business, you look at the list of things you think you need to do to & your brain goes into meltdown? You get really mad at yourself for procrastinating YET AGAIN and then convince yourself that running your own business is never gonna happen.

But here’s the thing. This cycle of overwhelm and procrastination is completely normal. And the overwhelm is actually coming from you focusing on the wrong things. Which I totally get, because this happened to me too when I first started out.

I was all: 'Where do I start? Should I focus on Instagram first? What about my website? Do I need a funnel? And I need to read all those freebies I’ve downloaded on how to make 6-figure business in 6 weeks!' Gah.

I'd been listening to all the 'experts' telling me I needed all these things, but then I realised I was over-complicating it & making it WAY harder than it needed to be.

So I developed my simple strategy to get clients without social media, which took me from zero to 4 figures in less than 3 months.

4. You're scared of charging people money

So at the moment you might be telling yourself that you’re helping people for free to get those testimonials. But let’s face it, deep down you know you’re doing it for free because you don't think your services are worth paying for. And you’re looking to the future and wondering when you’re ever gonna feel confident to charge people actual money for your services.

I know this because I felt exactly the same. I didn’t have the confidence to charge people, so I worked with too many people for free & sooner or later these ‘clients’ stopped attaching value to the sessions, which made me feel shit & they weren’t getting much out of them either.

But I knew that in order to get confident, I’d just have to take the plunge and start charging a minimal amount to someone. And believe me, once you’ve had one or two paying clients, the more confidence you’ll have about the results you’re creating & the more powerfully you’ll show up. And THAT is when you’ll start feeling confident to raise your prices. And once people are paying your higher prices, THAT'S when you feel confident to start planning your escape.

You just have to start believing in yourself and the value you’re bringing, even with these people who arent paying you any money right now. It’s all all about mindset. Which brings me on to the next reason…

5. Your mindset is in the toilet

You can have the world's best business and marketing strategy, but it’s completely useless if your mindset is weak AF. Because without a strong mindset, you wont have the belief or resilience to make it work. So its imperative that you work on your mindset every damn day. You wouldn’t go to the gym once & expect to lose weight & your brain is no different.

6. You’re trying to sell by the hour / session

The problem with selling by the hour or session is that you’re trading time for money and time is a LIMITED resource. You will only ever be able to earn as much as there are hours available to you and ultimately, you undersell yourself.

Ultimately, people buy results, not hours. So by packaging up your services you make it easier for them to understand the transformation you’re selling and it also puts an additional perceived value on your expertise.

7. You haven’t got an offer (or you might have one but you’re not confident to deliver the results you’re promising)

Do you find it hard to articulate your value, so you just confuse potential clients & keep hearing 'No'? Do you feel cringe talking about your services? If ‘yes', then YOU'RE NOT ALONE. It’s a really common challenge in the early days of starting a business, but there IS a simple answer: Creating an irresistible offer that your ideal client just can’t say no to.

8. You're not doing market research

The single biggest mistake the I made when I started my side business - and I still see others make - was blindly creating an offer that I thought my audience wanted and was prepared to pay for, without actually validating it with them. So when I launched it, it got crickets.

But once I went and got feedback from my ideal client through market research, I was able to tweak it and it sold like hotcakes.

9. You're obsessing over Insta & ignoring your network

The truth is, while Instagram CAN eventually be a lucrative way of getting paying clients, when you’re first starting out, it takes a LOT of time and effort.

In fact, accounts with less than 1k followers only grow on average about 9% over a six-month period! And whilst gaining followers is great, you need to nurture them to buy from you, because a prospect needs to “hear” an advertiser's message at least 7 times before they'll take action to buy.

To use myself as an example - a former ‘Head of Social Media, so pretty expert in this field - it still took me 3 years to get to the point of having an engaged following of people who want to buy from me.

But there is a much easier way to get paying clients when you’re first starting out: using your own network. If you think about it - how much harder is it to get people you don’t know to buy from you than the people you do? So, why ignore the people right under your nose?

Granted, you may be thinking ‘But the people in my inner circle aren’t my ideal client’, which is a fair point. But they know people, who know people, who know people, who just might be.

And that’s what I teach you in my FREE workbook '5 steps to get your first paying clients without social media'.

It breaks down the EXACT process that

helped me go from zero to 4 figures in just 3 months without having to post anything on Insta-Link-Tok.


And if you're looking for someone to help you get your first paying clients without having to be all over social media, then I'm your girl. Book in a free discovery call to see how I can help you get going.

Meet Lauren

Business Coach and Side Hustle Queen

Hi, I'm Lauren. I burnt out from the corporate world, hit rock bottom and used the experience to create my dream life.

Now, three years later I've quit corporate life to help start and grow over 40 female-founded businesses that are changing peoples’ lives, from coaching to marketing to interior design. Lets see if we vibe.



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