As a small business owner, it’s very normal to be on the hunt for new customers — that’s the name of the game, after all!
Even if you’ve built up a loyal core customer base, new customers are key to scaling your business for the long term. The fact is, repeat customers can either move away or fall on hard times and do less discretionary spending. Hence, more reasons to hunt for new customers
The first thing is to make sure your business is always relevant and inviting to new customers and clients. The influx of different customers helps you keep customer service solid and your business and products innovative. No doubt, new people will keep you on your toes and they bring in new sources of revenue for the business eventually.
Please note that if revenue is starting to slow down or get stagnant, it’s not time for you to give up but for you to come up with some new and creative ways to market your business to new customers. But before we get too tactical with how exactly you can do that, it’s worth pressing pause and doing these things first:
- Identify what kind of people you’re looking to attract
- Understand your ideal customer’s buying process
- Set quarterly and annual goals for the number of new customers you need
- Figure out how much resourcing (budget, time, etc.) you can allocate to bringing in new customers
- Actively engage with people in your target market on their preferred social/communication channels (search, social media, text message, email, etc.)
Of course, while doing due diligence on the above is critical to the success of your customer acquisition strategy, it won’t tell you how to hook those new clients. But if you follow this article, you will know how to.
Whether you’re a new business or have been in operation for several years, getting more customers is probably your top priority. If you’re having trouble coming up with new ways to get more customers and increase revenue, here are some pointers:
1. Partner up with other businesses
You already know you need to identify your target audience, but then what? The answer is pretty simple:
- Find places that serve the same clientele (caliber of people that patronize you). Make a list of retail establishments, For example eateries and hotels. Approach them about creating a partnership.
- Come up with what you would offer their existing clientele. Take advantage of the deal, and don’t stop there. When you do attract customers from your partnership, you’ll need a way to convert that customer on their visit. For this, you could try punch cards, membership discount cards, or coupons for a second repeat visit.
2. Offer discounts (or better yet, give something away for free!)
If you ask me, not enough companies offer discounts or does giveaways, they’re a hugely powerful way to drive new customers.
And while giving away freebies might not seem like the best plan for a business looking to grow, I promise, this will pay dividends down the line. If you’re a gym owner, for example, why not offer a free trial for new customers so you can convert them into a loyal customer down the line?
Offering your services for free in exchange for a customer’s testimonial is also an effective way to drive more customers. Just remember, don’t give away more money or time than you can afford to part with.
3. Motivate current customers to advocate on behalf of your business
We all know an adage that acquiring new clients costs much more than retaining the existing ones. Obviously before the existing clients can be advocating for you, you must be giving them what they want. And while that still holds true, your current customers hold value in more than one way: they can also help you bring in new business by spreading the word about your company to friends and family and their wider social network.
Word of mouth marketing is far and away the best way to generate some buzz around your business. While many customers will do this organically, it’s just a fact that most of them will be looking for something in return. So, think about setting up a customer referral programme, offering free or discounted products or services in exchange for people sending new customers your way.
4. Incentivize current customers in other ways
Keep happy customers coming back by giving them special deals or “members only” pricing. Hold customer appreciation moments and post pics of them with shout outs or profiles on social media.
It’s important to get to know your customers and celebrate milestones with them, too. Send birthday cards or holidays cards with a discount for them and one for a friend. Attracting new customers is all about putting yourself and your business out there in new ways. You’re likely to bring in a new customer base when you branch out into uncharted territories. Just because it seems like people are all about the online experience, nothing beats great, in-person customer service and personal connection.
5. Try to create a ‘Google My Business’ account
Google My Business (GMB) is one of the best (and free!) search engine marketing tools for businesses looking to target local customers. Why? Because most people are searching for products and services near them. Whether it’s a place to eat or a new dentist, Google tends to give local listings prime placement in search results. Also, consider the fact that 76 percent of people who make a search on their mobile go on to visit a related business within a day, with 28 percent of those visits resulting in a purchase. If you operate a local business of any kind, getting properly set up on Google my Business is a no brainer.
6. Be charitable
Offer coupons and services when asked by fundraising campaigns, especially those who focus on local businesses. Then, ask to attend the event in exchange for your contribution. Another option is to have a booth or table available as a sponsor at charitable events to entice even more people to try out your product. If potential new customers see that you support a certain cause, they may be more likely to choose your brand in the future.
7. Meet new people
It’s no surprise that networking would make a list of ways to attract new customers. The more people who know about your product and services, the more people who can be potential customers. But, here’s a twist: it’s not just owners and managers who need to be out there talking up your business, it’s the people who work for you sometimes (if you have any), that’s why you must learn to treat your workers well.
In conclusion, whether you’re trying to grow your customer base through social media or offline activities, it’s important to be able to measure whether or not those marketing efforts are delivering the best results, and which aren’t very effective at all for your business. Along with tracking new customers and treating the old customers well.