Repeat business is vital in some industries, but no matter what service or product your business sells, attracting new clients is essential for business growth. In the modern age, there are many effective ways to expand your client base. From tried and true strategies like networking to newer types of online and mobile advertising, here are nine effective strategies for business owners who want to know how to find potential clients.
How to Acquire New Clients
Referrals from existing customers
If you’ve ever bought a home with a real estate agent, you’ve probably been the recipient of letters, postcards, and emails encouraging you to remember them if you’re moving and that they would love to take your referrals.
Any business may use the same strategy, though the best outreach methods vary by business type. Your happy customers are a great source of new customers, so work to always deliver an excellent customer experience.
Leverage your network
Small business owners likely know a wide range of people throughout their community. Fellow business owners, members of your religious community, and other parents on your kid’s hockey team are all a part of your network. You may easily grow your network through small business organizations like your local chamber of commerce or online apps where you meet and connect with other business owners.
Don’t be bashful in letting your friends and acquaintances know you are trying to grow your business. They are likely among your biggest supporters! Networking doesn’t always lead to finding clients with instant results, but it may be a consistent source of new leads over time.
Run ad campaigns
Advertising is a well-known method of building brand awareness. You may advertise through traditional media outlets, including local radio, TV, or newspapers. You may also run highly targeted advertising campaigns online through search engines and social media websites.
Partnering with other businesses that serve the same customer base as you may offer a win-win opportunity to grow your businesses. For example, a small business owner who builds websites may partner with graphic designers and video editors who offer complementary services.
Getting to know others in your industry and similar industries may lead to relationships that lead to partnerships. If you serve a local community, other local business owners may be enthusiastic about working together.
You don’t have to hire an expensive public relations firm to get media coverage. Make yourself accessible to local media producers and online content creators who may cover stories related to your industry or where you may be able to act as a subject matter expert. There are free websites where you may connect with journalists looking for expert interviews for stories. You may also pitch story ideas to members of the media that include interesting angles that showcase you or your business.
Social media marketing
Social media marketing may be a fun way to connect with your current client base and prospective customers. Effective social media marketing is more than just running ads. You may also engage with customers and proactively join the conversation on relevant topics.
Social media may build brand awareness and lead customers right to your business website. Customers may also complain about bad business experiences on social media, so it’s a good idea to create accounts and monitor all major platforms for mentions of your business.
Digital content marketing
Online marketing takes place on social media platforms and far beyond. One of the best places to get new clients now is your own website. Creating articles, videos, photos, white papers, and other resources that showcase your expertise may entertain and educate prospective clients and lead to new sales.
Search engine optimization
A wonderfully designed website won’t get you any new customers if they can’t find it. Search engine optimization (SEO) is an online marketing strategy where you work to optimize your website to show up for search terms your customers might be using.
Many companies offer SEO services, but not all follow ethical “white hat” strategies. If you hire anyone to help you with SEO, make sure to thoroughly vet them and ask for examples of past successes before signing up.
Make it personal
In a time where consumers are often turned off by large, faceless corporations, small businesses have an opportunity to make it personal and show off the person behind the brand. This may make your business appear more relatable, which may draw in new customers.
It may also be valuable to take the time to reach out to past and prospective customers personally. Personal attention lets them know you appreciate them, offers an opportunity to answer questions, and keeps your business at the front of their mind the next time they’re shopping around.
Getting new clients is a continuous, ongoing process. How long this process takes depends on your product or service and how well you employ marketing and advertising strategies to grow your client base and bottom line.
Following these strategies may help accelerate your work on getting new clients. For small businesses looking to get new clients now, a well thought out marketing plan may help you achieve new client success.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or an opinion on any issue. It should not be regarded as comprehensive or a substitute for professional advice.