Is investing time into finding new customers a priority for your business? If you’re like most small businesses, you likely aren’t working on finding new customers as much as you could be. After all, you’re likely busy taking care of the clients you already have.
No matter how busy you are with current clients, finding new customers should always be a focus to manage the long-term growth of your business. And if you know you could be busier, that’s even more reason to make finding new customers a priority for your business right now. Here are five simple ways to find your next great customers today.
People tend to know people similar to them. So, if you’re looking for people who are similar to your current customers, asking already established customers for a referral is a great place to start. Assuming you have great relationships with your clients, chances are they’d be happy to refer you to someone in their circle with the same issue you helped solve for them. If you have a service-based company, it’s as simple as reaching out directly to your customers and asking if they know anyone who they think would benefit from what it is you offer.
If you sell a product, you can just as easily reach out to your customers and ask them for a referral. You can do this from your email subscription list, on social media channels, at check out or even when packages are delivered to customer’s homes. See if you can sweeten the deal by offering a special discount or free product giveaway for every referral given.
The more people who know you will inevitably lead to more people knowing your business. When you’re the owner of a small or mid-size business, you are your business. So, if you want to get your business in front of more people, you need to get yourself in front of more people. People buy who you are as much as they buy what you sell, so your priority as a business owner is to have people buy you. This doesn’t mean you should be constantly pitching yourself and your business, but rather, you should always be building relationships with the people around you. Make it a priority to meet new people every week if not every day to expand who you know and more importantly, who knows you.
Networking happens everywhere and anywhere. The more traditional forms of networking include attending meetups, joining associations or attending industry events, but these aren’t the only places to network. Networking takes place in the non-business related parts of your life too. If your business is in software, but you love running, why not join a running club to meet new people. If you’re on a flight, spend some time getting to know the person next to you. You never know where your next new client is so your goal should be to treat everyone you encounter throughout your day as a possible lead.
When you meet new people, make sure to grab their contact information and follow up with them. CRM tools like Salesforce make it easy to instantly add someone to your contact list and make sure you keep in contact with them.
Social media is a powerful tool to not only engage with your current customers but also find new customers. You can find new customers on social media for free or you can invest some money into finding the people you want to connect with.
There are plenty of ways to find new customers on social media without paying a dime. If you’re a business-to-business company, LinkedIn is going to be your social media platform of choice. Here, you can search for businesses and people you’d like to connect with and reach out directly to them to begin forming relationships. You can also share content about your business and the benefits it provides on LinkedIn to keep your contacts up to date with what you’re doing. Most likely, many of the people you’re connected to on LinkedIn are not yet customers, so staying top of mind with them through content dissemination is a great way to move a contact to a lead and into a customer. Finally, join and contribute to LinkedIn and Facebook groups your target audience might be part of. For this payoff, the goal should is to be of service to the people in these groups. Don’t just make it about selling yourself make it about providing value to other members of the group.
Investing in ads on Facebook is a great way to find customers on social media for as little as $5. Facebook allows you to create ads that only your target audience will see. For example, if you know that your customers are small business owners between 30 – 45, who live in Brisbane and are interested in hiking and environmental issues, you can create an ad directly for these people and only these people. Have these ads lead to your product page, a contact us page or even a special promotion page to provide added value potential customers.
Give something away for free
Giving potential clients something for free lets them test you out, without the commitment. If you have a SaaS product, giving away a free trial is a great way to get people to see for themselves exactly how you can help them. It’s one thing for you to tell them you’ll help them, it’s a much more powerful thing for them to discover this themselves. If a free trial doesn’t make sense for what you offer, can you give people a free overview, industry report or something else of value for free to build your relationship with them and get them to see how you help them? Free consultations are a great way to start a relationship with someone. Don’t forget to collect the email addresses of all these people and put them into your CRM so you can build your email list and stay connected to them over time.
If you sell physical products, can you give away free samples? Or are there related services you can offer people as it relates to what it is you sell? Nike, for instance, offers its Nike Run Club, which is a free running class for anyone interested. People meet at a Nike store to start their run week after week and Nike hopes that people may just be inclined to take a look at some of the running-related materials Nike offers before or after their run since they’re already at the store.
Become known as an expert
Expanding your exposure as an expert in your industry will lead to more people knowing and trusting you. If you like public speaking, find events where your target audience will be and speak there. Whether you’re doing a full keynote speech, are putting on a workshop or are a part of a panel, this is a great way for you to build your credibility you potential customers.
If speaking isn’t your thing, find a way to get published. Reach out to local trade publications, online blogs or even local newspapers to be a guest contributor writing about a topic your business addresses. Getting a feature article written about you or your business will also help have the spotlight shine on your business so future customers can learn about you. The goal is to position yourself as a leader in the field so people trust that you are the best person to take care of their business needs.
Finding customers is a constant role in any business. Finding ways to get in front of as many people as possible will inevitably lead to more people knowing you and knowing your business. Remember, not everyone will become a new customer right away. These things can take time so just because someone doesn’t convert to a new customer right away doesn’t mean they never will. Keep track of every potential lead and constantly stay in contact with them. Using a CRM such as Salesforce makes this a simple task, allowing you to build and maintain relationships with your next best customers and grow your business.
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