To many, owning a small business is wonderful because you have a small clientele and less stress compared to the larger enterprises. However, still know you have a lot of work ahead of you and need to find the right customers for your small business if you’re going to be successful.
You shouldn’t try to reach out to everyone or the broad public and expect any sort of response. It’ll require you to do your homework and go to market with a strong and unique message. You need to work on grabbing the attention of the right people at the right time and getting them interested in learning more about you.
Get on the Same Page Internally
Everyone on your team needs to be on the same page and communicating the correct message to consumers. Sit down and come up with a value proposition and mission statement that’s clear and concise and won’t confuse anyone. Also, identify your business model and what it is you’re trying to achieve. What you don’t want is mixed messages being relayed to the community and consumers feeling turned off because they can’t quite figure out what it is you’re offering. It’s important to let them know why working with you would be of value to them and in what way you’d be enhancing their lives.
Know your Target Audience
Your next order of business is to identify your ideal customer and include specifics about interests and demographics. Map out exactly what this person looks, acts and thinks like so you can find them more easily. Trying to get everyone interested in your products or services isn’t a good long-term strategy. You need to know the particular type of person who would be willing to spend their hard-earned money with you. Go back to your records if you have to and see who has been handing you their money previously and review what they’re consistently buying from you. You can’t do much of a marketing outreach operation until you know who this person is.
Have A Solid Marketing Plan
After you have a business plan and your ideal customer outlined then you should consider coming up with a strategic marketing plan and figure out what campaigns you want to run. A few proven strategies include email marketing, word of mouth marketing and affiliate marketing. Ask yourself, is affiliate marketing worth it, and read more about this tactic online before proceeding. You may find these partnerships super beneficial and want to do more of them. Either way, go to market with a few different approaches and track your progress and results to see what’s working and where you should be spending more of your time and money.
Attend Conferences & Events
No one will know about you and your business unless you’re willing to put yourselves out there and be heard and seen. You can do this by attending events and speaking at conferences on hot and relevant topics. This is not only a great way to advertise and showcase your business, but you’ll also get to meet a lot of other business owners and consumers. Another idea is to become a sponsor and have a booth at some of these events so you can collect email addresses and speak to potential customers individually. Be picky about which conferences you attend and make sure there are people present who you want to see and talk to, so you’re getting the most value for your money.
Use Social Media
Everyone is on social media these days, including the right customers for you. However, you have to do the work to find them and start a conversation. Reach out and communicate with your target audience through social media channels. Get to know them, share engaging information and answer any questions they have regarding your products, services or business in general. Use a mix of organic and paid tactics to help you find and connect with your ideal client. In addition to actively participating on social media, you’ll also want to do some listening and insert yourself into the conversation when it makes sense.
Put on Seminars
Get people interested and talking about your small business by sponsoring various seminars throughout the year on subject matters that are informative and appealing to your target audience. For example, if you’re a financial services firm then put on regular free meetings where people can come and hear your tips and tricks for how to save and invest their money. These mini teaching opportunities are a great way for you to get your foot in the door with potential customers and network with people who are seriously considering working with a business like yours. Offer free food or put on a reception after the event to make them even more likely to attend and hear you out.
Start A Blog
People love anything that’s free, and this includes information and tips they can use in their daily life. One way to accomplish this goal is to launch a blog that offers potential and current customers advice on a wide variety of topics relating back to your business. Remember to put someone in charge of the content so you’re consistently posting and answering any comments that come in. The right customers will eventually flock to this information and naturally want to learn more about you and will likely be willing to give your business a try. Make your blog an extension of your website, so you’re certain to be answering all of their questions and sparking their interest all in one swoop.
Half the battle of becoming a successful small business is getting the attention of the right customers. Not only find them, but keep them coming back for more by offering excellent customer service and communicating your appreciation for their business regularly. Remain patient and keep in mind a lot of these strategies won’t bring you results overnight, but understand that going about it the right way is worth the wait.