You’re excited to finally show up like you mean business. You want to announce your new business to your network—And you’re nervous.
What will your friends think? Will your family laugh at you? Will your old colleagues think you've lost your mind?
You’re worried they’re going to think you, your business or your message is silly.
First, this is totally normal. Second, get over it.
Would you rather get the word out about your business or would you rather keep it to yourself? If you keep it to yourself, no one will know about it, you won’t get your first few clients, and it’ll be difficult to get that traction you’ve been after.
I get it. When I was working in my corporate job and put a stake in the ground declaring I was ready to start my business, I reached out to family and friends. You may be wondering why you’d do this. Here are some excellent reasons:
You’ll get used to talking about your business. Starting with people you already know makes it easier. Before long, you’ll be talking about your business like nobody’s business.
Your family or friends may hire you. If you feel weird taking money from friends or family, know that money is just an exchange of energy. You can also make trades, or work with a handful of folks for free to get some practice and get some juicy testimonials.
Even if your friends and family don’t need you now—they might in the future.
Your friends and family may know just the right person who needs you.
You’ll be planting seeds for the future. If the people you know don’t need you now, months down the road, they might, or they’ll hear someone talking about needing help with that specific thing you provide—be it health coaching, meal plans, energy work, or finding a new job.
Practice! You get to practice refining your message and fielding the questions you get from folks.
These are all excellent ways to get used to feeling confident and completely natural around your business.
Convinced yet? I hope so. When you’re ready to reach out to friends and family, here’s how to do it. This is the exact strategy I used, and it landed me my first two paying clients immediately, a handful of clients a year later, and at least a dozen conversations and new connections with people who didn’t know I existed previously.
How to announce your new business to your network:
Make a list of everyone you could reach out to. I looked through my email contacts, LinkedIn connections, and Facebook contacts. These were all people who I’d met in real life, so they weren’t cold messages. I compiled this list in Excel, so I could track when I reached out to them.
Plan your emails. There’s a script below to make this easy for you. Plan to reach out to 5-10 (or more) contacts each day, just go through your list, one at a time.
Send your emails and track responses. Expect most of your emails to go ignored—but don’t take it personally. We’re all busy, and while someone may not respond, they may have still read your message and filed it away for when they’re ready to respond. To track your responses, keep a note of the date you reach out to them, note their response (if you get one) and track any potential business it could bring your way, and note an appropriate follow-up date based on their response.
"But I don’t want to sell to my family and friends!"
You’re not selling; you’re telling them what you’re up to, planting seeds, and most importantly—sharing your excitement! I reached out to almost everyone I had worked with in the past or had a connection with starting with my LinkedIn and Facebook contacts.
The seeds started sprouting and people would come back saying they knew someone who needed my, or they needed help themselves. More than half of my clients came from a referral, and then another referral. Another significant portion of clients came from interactions on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and people randomly finding me.
I’m living proof that the model works.
What to say when you announce your business
In each email, you’re going to do a few specific things:
Tell them what you’re up to
Make a specific ask (or two)
Ask them to spread the word AND give them an email template to make it easy
Sample friends and family emails
Here’s the exact email you can send. I used a very similar version in my emails to friends and family. Tailor this to fit your personality and business, and fire away!
Also, be sure to send these individually. While it might be tempting to send a mass email to everyone at once—DON’T! A personal response is so much more, well—personal! Take the time and email people individually to make your message and your recipient feel special.
Email to family member/friend/contact (customize for your business):
I hope you’re doing well. I love reading all about [thing they’ve been sharing on social media lately/know about their life/business].
I’m excited to tell you that I’m officially starting my own business. Scary and exciting, and I’m working on getting my first few clients. I’m excited to step out on my own because [reason 1 and reason 2]. I’m planning to leave my day job by [date].
Can I ask you for a favor? If you know of anyone who could use my expertise, I’d be forever grateful if you could share a version of the email message below. Of course, customize it as you see fit. You can learn more about what I do here [link to your website].
Here are some things I can help with:
Thanks [name]! If you have any questions at all, reply and let me know.
I appreciate your support!
Email template to include with your friends and family emails (customize this fit your business!):
Meet a friend / family member [note about where you know each other - customize this first] – [your name].
She/He’s been super successful in her career. These days she’s a [role name at current job and company]. While she loves her work there and thrives on the great experiences, she’s decided to go full force into building her [type of work] business. She’s getting great momentum and already has a bunch of paying clients! (like example 1, example 2).
Combining her love of [thing] and [thing] with a life of [your big WHY - freedom and location independence perhaps] have become a MUST for her. She needs the [freedom to enjoy more time with her kids, in an unhurried way, be around for her son's hockey practices, and to help more small businesses get their message into the world - customize with your message.]
She hasn’t left her day job just yet—this is where you come in.
My invitation to you: If you know anyone who needs writing or editing expertise - please send them her way.
Email her at [your email].
Here’s what she's good at:
Thing 1 you can help with
Thing 2 you can help with
Thing 3 you can help with
Ready to work with her right now? Click here. [link to your work with me/services page]
I believe in this method so much that I’d be happy to help you prepare your emails. Book a totally free 30-minute conversation with me here and I’ll give you specific edits to make to your emails to perfectly fit your personality and your profession.
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