Do you need to attract a higher quantity or better quality of customers or clients to your business? Well, we’ve got you covered. No matter what industry you’re in, there are 15 surefire methods you might not have thought of that will help generate more buzz and attract new and higher-quality customers to your business.
1. Capitalize on Your Existing Customers/Clients
How this works: There’s no more effective way to spread word of mouth than through your existing advocates. Make sure your clients/customers know that you’re still eager to expand. Give them your business cards to pass out. Ask them to recommend you to friends. But don’t forget to try and sell in additional services to existing clients – that’s typically an easy entry opportunity.
2. Advertise on LinkedIn
How this works: Social media marketing is the way to go. If you’re not convinced, check out these statistics from just about every social media channel people are using these days. With LinkedIn, you can write your own ad in minutes, and target by job title, function, industry, geography, seniority, age and numerous other demographics. They let you set your budget to as low as $10 per day and pay per click (CPC) or per 1,000 impressions (CPM).
3. Advertise on Facebook
How this works: If someone gave you the opportunity to connect with your ideal clients/customers from a pool of 900 million individuals, would you take advantage of it? If yes, then why aren’t you using Facebook ads? Facebook lets you slice and dice its users by whatever combination of location, demographics and characteristics you want. You choose whatever budget you can afford and work within those limits, and only pay for what people see or what they click on. I truly don’t know why some business don’t advertise on Facebook.
4. Be a Thought Leader
How this works: Thought leadership, online or offline is a stellar way to garner a following. Why? Because if you position yourself as leader, others will see you that way. The trick is to serve up insightful, useful and relevant information. Start a blog for your business and integrate information that helps your customers. Write white papers on best practices, host webinars, organize networking events and be a guest speaker at trade shows. Pioneer the conversation in your industry by offering insightful, unique perspectives and customers will come to you before anyone else.
5. Tweet Smart
How this works: Did you know that 53% of people on Twitter recommend companies or products in their tweets? But how do you get to the point that people are recommending you? First, do extensive Twitter research and over a period of a few weeks, follow every single person in your industry you can find. Then continue to do this on a daily or weekly basis. Also follow every single person you can find that matches your ideal customer/client. Tweet your heart out with thought leadership in mind, retweet others and follow everyone that follows you back. Also, make sure to have your company URL in your profile! By targeting the right profiles on Twitter and forming relationships with these people, they’ll be more likely to remember your name for future services and RT your handle for thousands of other users to see.
6. Blog your Heart Out
How this works: You already know this but for the sake of my sanity, I need to say it again – you need to blog. Your blog should live on your business website, and each time you post you should share with your social media community. Our best advice is write clickable titles that drive people to your site, then maintain their interest with fresh, unique content. Give them enough information to position yourself as the expert so they’ll want to use your services or buy your products. Ask yourself what your customers want to read and create content around these topics. We all know that money can be made because of your blog.
7. Help Out Reporters
How this works: Not everyone is a PR guru but every entrepreneur should understand the basics of working with the media. Media relations isn’t just about pitching your business when you need coverage, it’s about being the source reporters look to every time they’re writing about what you offer. That way, when you need coverage, they’re more likely to mention your business to the outlet’s mass readership, thereby generating more impressions and more interest. Subscribe to HARO and respond each time you have insight to offer, but also establish relationships with targeted media, both regionally and nationally.
8. Advertise with Google Adwords
How this works: What better way to target your clients/customers than on their terms when they’re searching for a relevant product or service on Google. With Google Adwords, you create your ads based on your targeted keywords, set your daily budget and only pay when people click on your ads.
9. Contribute to Online Forums
How this works: We’ve shared before how to create buzz in the online space through comment marketing. Comment marketing, or being active and contributing to online forums and conversation, not only contributes to thought leadership, but drives others in your industry to your website.
10. Create Social Media Releases
How this works: Social media releases are quick and great tools that can gain valuable internet traction and drive more users to your website. Differing from standard news releases, social releases are meant to be “shareable” on social media, and target your customers and bloggers directly rather than through a journalist. Check out these examples for inspiration.
11. Mail out High-Quality Swag
How this works: Everyone appreciates surprise gifts. So what better way to target new clients/customers than surprise them via traditional postal mail with free high-quality swag. One local agency used to send out fabulous gifts on holidays to current and prospective clients. But refrain from overdone swag like key chains and fridge magnets – give them something they’ll use on a daily basis so that the next time they are in need of a product/service you offer, they’ll think of you.
12. Donate Product/Service/Funds to Local Causes
How this works: Does your city or community have an annual day where businesses and individuals can donate funds to certain causes? Days such as this offer great exposure for businesses, because typically the nonprofit will advertise your logo and share your contribution on social media. If not, you can always donate products or offer your services to local nonprofit on a one-off basis. Doing so will expose you to community leaders who more often than not will remember you for additional services.
13. Enter Industry or Regional Awards
How this works: Sure, national awards are great, but it’s also the local awards that can kick a small business forward. Do some research on industry and business awards in your community. Local professional organizations and industry societies always offer annual awards, as do many local newspapers and magazines. Hire a writer to draft a kick-ass nomination for you and if you win, you’ll get your business name plastered throughout media coverage, websites and advertising, free of charge.
14. Send Out Email Blasts
How this works: It’s worth your time to create a bi-weekly or monthly e-blast or e-newsletter to update current and prospective clients/customers on the happenings of your business. But there are key rules to follow so you don’t annoy your recipients. Make sure you have a link on your website where new customers can willingly subscribe to your newsletter if they so desire.
15. Offer Referral Incentives
How this works: Everyone likes to save money. Run specials for existing clients. If they provide you with new business opportunities, offer a percentage discount off their next product/service if the new client purchases from you or commits to a service contract. Also, consider discounting their services if they promote you via other channels such as their website or social media channels. They’re helping you, so pat them on the back too.
Boosting interest in your business won’t always be a quick-fix. Sure, there are ways to get new customers here and there, but actually increasing the number and quality of clients requires a combination of instant gratification such as social media advertising and long-term engagement such as blogging and community management. You’ll need to experiment with various methods until you find what works best for your target audience. Try mixing and matching the above tools until you find out what’s bringing you the most business.