The growing business-minded use of the internet has spawned innumerable start ups and small businesses around the globe. While many of these businesses are run by highly experienced, talented professionals, they often fail to find a following or attract the customers needed to sustain business.
In this article, you’ll learn how to go beyond the idea and skill behind your business to actually attract customers and create a professional, intriguing presence your industry.
- Be active in securing customers, not passive
- Home in on your demographic of choice and sell directly to them
- Paid ads, cold outreach, and content marketing are all effective today
Customers Won’t Come to You, You Have to Go to Them
There are many talented artisans who have started small businesses and use their websites to promote their portfolios. Many of these people are left in obscurity despite their impressive talent and experience. Why? Because they expect clients to come to them.
Any new business, no matter how large or in what industry, needs to actively seek out and entice new customers to use their products or services. This is a tough, sometimes grueling process, but the work must be put in in order to both pay for the initial months of business and spread the word about your business’ quality and dedication to perfection. Actively seeking customers means doing many things, but the first and most important is creating a website.
Creating a website makes finding your company easy and allows more people to learn about your product or service more quickly. Your website can be fine-tuned for SEO purposes and will climb higher and higher in Google’s search results the more popular your company becomes.
Potential leads are also far more likely to transition into paying customers if they can quickly and easily learn about your product and buy from an online checkout.
Know the Audience You Want
Many startups dive headfirst into the selling process, reaching out to anybody and everybody who will listen to their pitch – this is a mistake. Experienced, well-oiled companies know their clients inside and out; they know exactly who they want to sell to and why their clients are looking to them instead of a competitor. There’s some basic information gathering you should conduct before reaching out to any potential clients.
What does your customer need in life? What are their concerns on a day-to-day basis? Where do they work and why are they looking to buy whatever product or service you’re selling to them? Are they married? Single? How much do they make in a year and, more importantly, is your product or service worth spending an additional portion of their income?
You should create a sort of profile, a hypothetical customer which you can bounce potential ideas off of and who can generate tough questions for your team to answer. In marketing, every idea and concept starts with the customer.
Specific Techniques to Reach Potential Customers
- Paid ads
- Cold outreach
- Content marketing
As soon as you know who your customers are and why they want to buy your product, you need to know how to reach those customers. There are a plethora of sales techniques companies have developed over the past decades which are still going strong. The first and most obvious are paid ads, though this is a tricky tightrope to walk as a small business.
If you want to buy ads, you need to know exactly where those ads are going and who they’re targeting. You need to think small in this realm so as to not burn through your resources at an unsustainable pace. The key with paid advertisements is pairing them with social media such as Facebook and Pinterest. Send your demographic information to the platforms and let them target your audience for you.
Another dated but undervalued form of marketing is cold outreach. Far from just “cold calling” random numbers and hoping to hear a response, cold outreach is a systematic method of covering multiple bases at once cheaply and efficiently. Reaching out through phone is the most well-known method, one which requires some charisma and a focus on your product, as well as the ability to steer the conversation into the direction you want it to take.
E-mailing is a more successful form of cold outreach; research and create an e-mail list which you can use multiple times. This list can easily be specified to your desired demographic and occupation, so take your time and make sure to focus on your prime customers. Unbeknownst to many, LinkedIn is a great form of outreach too. Used mostly for hiring purposes, LinkedIn contains many tools for effective cold outreach.
Finally, try your hand at content marketing. Content marketing is a cheap but persuasive form of marketing which involves writing many types of content, including blogs and social media posts. This type of marketing is effective because it allows you relate to your audience, creating a connection which will build trust between you and your customers. Writing content is not as simple as it first appears however; make sure you hire a competent, persuasive writer to handle your blogs and media accounts, as people who will purchase your product on the basis of your content will be doing so mostly due to the connection they feel between themselves and the author. Content marketing requires proper skill and time allotment to be effective, but the results for well-written content can be staggering.
It’s never easy to attract clients to a company which doesn’t have the experience or reputation as other larger, more recognizable brands. However, the internet provides a number of great ways to sell yourself to the public and generate clicks and views, which will lead to purchases and trust between your company and your client base.
Try these methods to improve your outreach and start growing your business today.