If you are in business you are probably always looking for ways to attract new customers. If not, shame on you. Don’t be so busy doing business that you are not busy looking for business. If you do not have an updated marketing plan, here are a few ideas that you can use to start developing a new overall marketing strategy. Here are seven ways to attract new customers and keep your pipeline filled.
Start using one new social media site. If you have been spending all of your time on Facebook, it might be time to branch out to Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or LinkedIn. It all depends on whom you are targeting for business. Figure out where your best target customers spend time online, and go become part of the conversation, too. Share generously and remember content is your currency. Go for the relationship, not the sale right away.
Do more face-to-face networking. It might be surprising, but old fashioned in person networking still works well. Why? Because people do business with people they know. Your goal at any networking event should be to develop 5 quality contacts. Don’t be one of those drive-by networkers trying to give your business card to everyone. Arrive at the event on time for the reception, and have a plan for who you want to meet. Keep in mind, everyone is worth your time. If you build a relationship with someone, you can quite possible turn them into a customer or a referral. You never know who they know or who their brother is in business.
Consider using one of the daily deals sites. Using www.Groupon.com or www.Livingsocial.com is a great way to cultivate qualified leads for a small business. Think of a valuable, but low cost upsell to make the deal work a little better for you financially. Customers don’t usually balk at a $15-$25 foot scrub upgrade with their massage coupon. The cut you will pay to the website service should be considered part of your monthly marketing budget.
Activate Your Unpaid Sales Force. Send out an email blast to your existing customer base asking for referral and offer a 10% or higher commission on any business that is closed. You also want to make sure that your most recent clients hear from with within two weeks of making a purchase. Use the opportunity to check in and make sure they were happy with the service and use the opportunity to ask them for a recommendation on LinkedIn or Yelp depending on what kind of business you have. Be sure to include the link, if you make them search for it they will not do it. People do not have time.
Create a free download offer on your website. Create a special report, white paper, product sample, or a free evaluation so that you can build up your email marketing list. Social media is great, but email converts better than any other form of customer communication. It is also a great way to educate a new customer or demonstrate your expertise.
Give a Free Speech. Organizations are always looking for speakers who do not charge, especially because experts like me charge thousands. I have done my fair share of free speeches and you would be amazed how often I get paid business from them after the fact. You will want to make sure that you only speak in front of audiences of target customers otherwise it could be a waste of time. Always prepare a great leave behind that tells people how to hire you and have special offer at a free speech to upsell attendee your products and services.
Create a web only offer. Do a special promotion for your company that is only available to people who use a special code from the website. Use your email list and social media accounts to promote the sale and drive traffic to the website. If you can, set aside budget to take out Facebook or Linkedin ads to support your campaign.
Do you have any more good ideas to attract new customers?
For more tips on how start or grow your small business subscribe to Melinda Emerson’s blog http://www.succeedasyourownboss.com.
Melinda F. Emerson, known to many as SmallBizLady is America’s #1 small business experts. As a seasoned entrepreneur, professional speaker, and small business coach, she develops audio, video and written content to fulfill her mission to end small business failure. As CEO of Quintessence Multimedia, Melinda educates entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies on subjects including small business start-up, business development and social media marketing. Forbes Magazine named her #1 woman for entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter. She hosts #SmallBizChat Wednesdays on Twitter 8-9pm ET for emerging entrepreneurs. She also publishes a resource blog http://www.succeedasyourownboss.com Melinda is also bestselling author of Become Your Own Boss in 12 months; A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works.