You're ready to start your own thing. But where do you start to get your own customers? In today's world, where popular online influencers boast millions of followers, it can seem like you have to go big or go home. But even the biggest businesses had to start somewhere. We say get comfortable with small victories. Here's how to get your first 10 leads.

A lead is simply a possible customer. They are meaningful individuals in your audience that you hope will become engaged users. That’s it. Don’t let the sales-y jargon scare you. Now, let’s start small and gather those elusive first leads...

Who to target

Your nearest and dearest
Start with your closest friends and family. They love you, and they'll give you both the critical feedback you need to improve, and the unconditional support to keep going. See if you can convert them into your first customers. Add them to the email list you just started, offer them some freebies, anything to get them in the door and also show them some love. Your first customers can also quickly become your biggest advocates, and it certainly helps when they're friends.

Your network
Don’t be shy. All business owners deserve to feel confident. Widen your net just slightly beyond your nearest and dearest. If you have a major life event or a big party coming up, who would you invite? Target those people. Shoot them a little note about your business, something short and sweet and ask if you can add them to your e-mail list.

Social media
Don’t worry if you don’t have a huge online following yet, we’ll help you get there.

Regardless of numbers, using your personal social media platform to grab some leads is a great idea. Most people think they have to be on every social media platform to be on social media at all, but that's a myth. Pick your favourite, the one that feels most natural to you, and stick with that one to start. People respond to authenticity. If you’re in a place that’s comfortable to you, you’re more likely to be your authentic self.

Whether you post about your business on instagram, twitter, facebook or linked truly doesn’t matter. It doesn’t have to be a big announcement, a little teaser can go a long way to stir up some excitement. Something as simple and casual as this will do: “I’m super excited to finally be launching my virtual cooking classes. Please dm me your email to learn more. Xo”.

Pro tip: A fun, grabbing image really works to make people stop and read your caption. The more people who read it, the more leads. Have fun with it!

Ask your friends to share
Again, your friends adore you. Don’t be afraid to ask them for a little help once in a while. More posts in more places means more possible leads! Do you have a pal who has a decent following on social and is plugged into spaces you hope to be? We bet they’re happy to share their space with you. Target them as a lead and ask them to share your Subkit or biz post. We believe communities are always stronger together.

How to engage

Intro email
Once you’ve added your leads’ emails to your Subkit page, it’s time to send your first big email. This will be likely be your first big content piece for many of these leads, but don’t fret. You already know how to write great content. Nobody can explain your business and its offerings better than you! Keep it direct, and capture those customers.

Personal engagement
Have you sent your first big email and not gotten many bites? This is totally normal, do not let it stress you out. People are leading busy lives—just think about how crowded your own inbox can be! Sometimes, it takes some gentle and persistent reminders to help you break through the noise and rise to the top.

Personal touches go a long way, and sometimes even the hungriest audience member needs to be directed towards things a few times before they bite.