The biggest challenge facing small businesses is how they can get more customers and maximize their return on investments.
Fortunately, we can easily find ways to improve customer acquisition without having to spend a lot of money on traditional outbound marketing strategies. It only takes a little bit of creativity and trying out new ideas.
There are two main ways – offline and online. We will talk about both ways here.
Promote Your Business Offline
Everybody is online so why not try the personal touch. A lot of customers still like and require the personal touch.
Some offline customer engagements are as effective as a marketing strategy today as it was 100 years ago when the majority of businesses didn’t have a website. These include:
- going to networking events
- taking your business outdoors
- sponsorship & giveaways
Meeting up with people in a friendly, non-selling environment like networking events increases your exposure without spending too much on paid ads. However, to be successful, you have to present your business in light of the customer’s needs, pain points and how your products and services can provide a solution to these problems.
The idea is to go and help people, and to show how your company can create value for them. It may not always lead to an immediate sale, but it can help grow your network and develop good relationships with potential buyers and customers.
Whenever possible, bring along something that reminds them about your business. It could be your business card, key holder, bunker ring, or any small gizmos you can carry along. I always carry bunker rings with me to networking events. Why? Because my potential customers will stick my bunker rings on their phones and every time they glance at their device, it will remind them of me.
Another way to help you with customer acquisition is to take your business outdoors by having your own space during special occasions or community events where people can find your company, products, or services. Talk with the organizers and make some arrangements to have your own booth set up.
Event organizers might also look for sponsors to reduce the overall cost of running the event. You can take this opportunity to have your company name or logo displayed in conspicuous areas for a few hundred dollars’ worth of donation.
Once you have talked to them and exchanged business cards, then it’s a good idea to put them into an online follow-up series so they don’t forget about you.
If you want them to get to your sales funnel, you can use Small Business Dream’s Customer Acquisition tools and have your landing page address or QR code printed on your Sales Funnel Card.
Most importantly, always make an effort to follow up with them as soon as you can.
Take Your Business Online
Promoting your business online is a sure way to improve customer acquisition using cost-effective marketing tools over the Internet. However, it’s tough to get noticed. Some of the best ways to increase customer awareness about your business include having a blog or website, a social media account, and a sales funnel.
Your blog or website can serve many uses for your business. It helps educate people about the benefits of using your product or service, provide useful information about the subject they’re looking on, and can be used for earning residual income through affiliate links, Google AdSense, etc. But most importantly, it helps maintain people’s interest and lead them closer to your goal – to get more customers.
Social media can also be used in customer acquisition, but because marketers have been using social media the wrong way, business owners have started to lose interest in it. They don’t have a system to follow up with fans and followers in a realistic way. Most of them aren’t even real, so business owners end up using auto-responders (‘robot secretaries’) the whole time. Most businesses don’t think strategically when it comes to social media but use a shotgun blast approach, hoping to catch somebody or something.
Small Business Dream is an inexpensive tool that helps business owners manage their social media contacts more efficiently with their Social Connect, and the Social Series in the Action List. Social Connect gives them the option to curate and import fans and followers to their contact list.
Since we don’t want our customer database to be stuffed with unwanted (fake, pseudonymous, or artificial) contacts, we need to screen them out of the social contact list, and leave the ones who show genuine interest to learn more about the company. This would allow sales people to work on the Action List’s Social Series more efficiently and get real results from using social media to get more customers online.
Build a Customer Base to Promote Your Business
Your first customers constitute the core of your business from which you can grow more customers. Coming up with a loyalty program, customer specials, customer referrals, offering discounts, and commissions, can help accelerate your business.
Although it might cost you a little bit of profit, you’ll have greater gains in the long run as your business gains momentum. Looking at it from an angle, think of it as being a part of your marketing expenses. But instead of them going to paid advertisements, they go directly to your customers who will benefit from them. The result is a happy customer base who will talk about their experience with your company to other people, and your business becoming an instant success.
Take your business to the next level through sales and marketing automation. Visit SmallBizDream.com and start using our suite of tools to increase your sales and profitability like never before.