My zero-dollar strategies to find first customers

It’s easy to find customers when you have a ton of money to spend on marketing.

But judging from my personal experience, you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on ads.

To succeed, all you need to understand is who to target, when to do it, and how to get meetings booked.

There are three types of potential customers that you can reach out to and that I’m going to cover.

  1. Hot leads (people who are already highly interested in your product or service)
  2. Community leads (people who are most likely to become interested in your product or service)
  3. Cold leads (people who aren’t aware that your product or service exists)

The first category: hot leads

These are the people you interviewed when validating the problem you wanted to solve.

Remember: before creating a service or building a product, you need to talk to your potential customers to validate the problem they have.

Otherwise, you will create something nobody wants and won’t be able to make any money.

If you haven’t interviewed anyone yet, it means that you’ve skipped the most important step in building your business.

I have a whole video about it.

So after you interview your potential customers, IF and only IF they told you that they have a problem you can solve with your product or service - it is your duty to reach out to them and help.

What message should you send?

Use this template 👇

The second category: community leads

These are the people who could be a good fit for your product/service because they’re part of your target audience’s community.

To find these people, you need to find relevant online communities and join them.

Let’s imagine that you’re offering copywriting services for SaaS founders.

For your first customers, you should try to narrow down your target audience as much as possible.

So go on Facebook and type in “Founder” in a search bar

And join the active groups.

You can also go on Google and type in “saas founder reddit”

And join the subreddit “SaaS”. As you can see it’s a big and active community with hundreds of potential customers.

When you’re just starting, it’s hard to make people trust you right away.

When I started my agency in 2017 - no one knew who I was.

So at first, I offered people in communities to work for free so I could do 2 things:

  1. Test my offer and see what kind of results I could get
  2. Learn new skills

You don’t need to be an expert to build an agency or start selling a service.

All you need to get started and learn along the way.

And then later on - once you brought so much value to people and they see how much money you’ve generated for them - it becomes super easy to close the deal.

Of course, the goal is not to work for free forever - but you could do that for a month and then once you get results - start charging for your service.

If you’re already someone with tons of experience and a strong network - then you can obviously charge directly, but most often it’s not the case.

Once you start seeing results, you ask them to hop on a Zoom call and record it so you can get a testimonial and build a success story.

Here are a few questions to ask during the recorded call:

  1. Can you describe the problem you were facing before you started working with me?
  2. Can you please detail the frustrations you were experiencing when trying to solve this problem?
  3. Can you please describe the moment you understood that my service was the solution to the problem you were facing?
  4. What does your day-to-day look like now that this problem has been solved?

With testimonials and success stories, you’re one step away from having a real business in less than a month.

The next step? Get paid!

So I went back to the community and posted this message 👇

By doing so, you’re doing 2 things:

  1. Making your journey a common effort as you show gratitude to the community.
  2. Attracting potential new customers because you’ve shown that you did a great job with one of your clients, so some people might reach out to you directly.

As a result, you focus on building relationships which increases people’s trust in the services you offer.

Another way is to go on LinkedIn and target people who engage with the content of the top creators in your niche.

For example, under this post about growing your personal brand by Lara Acosta you can see that there are almost 2,000 engaged users. It means they are interested in this topic and want to learn how to do it.

What you can do next is to check if they are taking any action to achieve this goal. I guarantee you that you will spot those who aren’t consistent with their posting or whose content needs improvement that you can help with.

The third category: cold leads

These are the potential customers who don’t know about your existence.

You need to find their contact information yourself.

Although they may be a bit harder to approach, it doesn’t undermine the fact that we need to build trust and create emotional connection first.

What we are gonna do here is to use a multichannel approach.

A strong personal brand, when you do multichannel, will help you build trust.

To give you an example, here’s the post I wrote about Taplio a few weeks ago

This post had roughly 1,200 people liking or commenting on the story of our company and why I believed that the future lies in a mix between personal brand and cold outreach.

So what I’m gonna do is to extract all the people who commented and liked this post using Taplio and lemlist.

Then I’m gonna send them this email.

Here are some of the replies I received:

Another way to find potential customers is to use Twitter.

Often, founders who are active on Twitter neglect LinkedIn, which can be a great platform to start posting on to expand their reach and find new customers.

Choose a big content creator in your niche and look at their followers.

They are your potential customers.

Then find their LinkedIn profiles and see if they are as active there as they are on Twitter.

As you can notice, here’s a nice opportunity for copywriting on LinkedIn.

I could potentially send this message as a voice note on LinkedIn

🔊 Hey {{firstName}},

I've noticed you only focus on Twitter, meanwhile, LinkedIn can help you double your reach and bring more revenue for your business.

I have grown from 0 to 40k followers in 6 months which brought me an additional $350,000 and would love to help you do the same.

Would you be up for a 15-minute chat?


You can automate this step too as lemlist allows you to send LinkedIn voice notes at scale.

Make sure to check out this free Notion document so you can copy-paste all the necessary templates to reach your potential customers 👇

Chapter 11: How to find your first customers for $0

And if you want more explanations and examples, you can watch this video I've made on how you can find your first customers without spending a single dollar 👇

Every week I’ll publish new articles on how to build and grow a B2B business that generates millions of dollars.

Without any BS and giving you practical templates that you can steal.

Peace, love, and profit 💰

G. ✌️