Finding new customers is expensive and time consuming, but necessary if you want your business to grow. Use these nine strategies to make sure you’re going after the right ones.
Even if you have a solid business plan and a proven system to attract customers, there are always opportunities to grow and improve. When you first started your own business, you were probably just happy to make a sale. Eventually though, it behooves you to work with the right customers; the ones who keep you motivated and excited to keep putting out your best work. The longevity of your success in your business actually depends on this. The “right” client is someone who fits into your overall goals, sees the value of your work, and doesn’t wear you down until the work is no longer worth your time or effort.
You can attract more of the right clients with these essential tips:
1. Who is your ideal customer? Attracting the right clients first begins by determining who they are and identifying their profile. Get as specific as possible including age, gender, job, income, and their needs and preferences. Think about what their lifestyle might be like and what types of services or products they would use. This will help you keep your marketing consistent, your correspondences enticing, and your advertisements laser-focused.
2. Know who you’re talking to. Be clear on who you’re addressing and how you can help them. Set up Google Alerts to receive information on your clients’ businesses and your industry in real time to keep a competitive edge and ensure you’re always up-to-date on their needs. Tailor your communications with them accordingly.
3. Ask for referrals. Referrals and endorsements from high-quality clientele are the best way to attract new, like-minded clients/customers. You can also encourage them to write positive reviews and post recommendations on social media sites. A happy customer’s recommendation is like a gift that keeps on giving. It’s likely that their friends are also top-tier folks that fall into the same demographic you’re looking for. Build a good rapport with your clients and prepare for an avalanche of ideal customers to follow.
4. Network with your ideal clients. Determine where your perfect customers hang out; think about what type of neighborhood shops they frequent or the kind of businesses they work for. Market your business as something that would fit in that same lifestyle aesthetic or category. Join in events relevant to your industry and your clients for an opportunity to network such as charity events, conferences, or trade shows just to name a few. See and be seen where they are.
5. Share your expertise. Write for industry trade journals, host a workshop, or speak at industry events, panel discussions, or in online forums to help promote your business and generate new interest in your services. Your results speak volumes and your ideal client will probably be focused on the bottom-line. People are always willing to pay more for an expert or specialist so make sure that the content or information you’re contributing surpasses your clients’ experience and expectations.
6. Target marketing. Reach out to your ideal customers and develop relationships with them through targeted networking. The more connected you are, the easier it is to offer solutions that meet their needs. Connect with them in strategic ways over social media, in forums, and at live events. Share relevant articles, case studies, and other info on your social media pages. Connect with as many networks and colleagues as possible through LinkedIn; your connections will bring up more acquaintances in related fields and similar demographics.
7. Ad campaigns. You don’t have to be a marketing expert to use Facebook ads or Google Adwords. These are great ways to advertise your company directly to your target market without breaking the bank on advertising costs. Online ads allow you to address your ideal audience and schedule ads based on the times they’re engaging on social media sites. You can also track the attention your ads are receiving so you can make adjustments to them as necessary.
8. Team up with relevant companies. Working with companies that offer related services or products, but that aren’t in direct competition, is a great way to generate and share new business if they share the same market. This powerful partnership can provide you both with incoming streams of your ideal clients because they’re already connected with people who need your services and vice versa.
9. Follow-up. While new clients are necessary to keep your business growth-focused, be sure to schedule in time to maintain your existing clientele. People are more comfortable giving their business to those they feel like they know on a more personal level. Continually nurture those relationships and you’ll engage a positive cycle where you’ll have more high-quality referrals and reviews. They’ll also appreciate being remembered.
Where you find your customers will depend on the nature of your business. Think like your ideal client and you’ll be able to expand your demographic around the globe, taking your business to the next level with ease. Superior clients not only benefit your profits, but will keep you interested and driven to improve and expand your business in an effortless and organic way.
Lauren Gall, Co-Founder of VaVa Virtual Assistants, offers administrative and marketing services for busy entrepreneurs. VaVa provides an expert team for your back office support and handle tasks such as calendar management, customer service, social media, drip campaigns, and advertising.