Every successful business needs customers. But acquiring those customers can be tricky. What to do, where to start and finding the time are all common problems for the busy business owner. Luckily there's a method to the madness no matter what industry you're in!
Here are some game winning strategies for locating your next wave of customers!
1. Make a List
Along the path to building your business, you've undoubtedly run into people or business that would make perfect customers, or maybe you already have a handful of customers. Make a list and see what similarities jump out at you.
Are they all from a certain area? Do most of them interact on social media? Whatever takeaways you can gather from this list will be a great jump off-point for where to start focusing your lead generation efforts!
2. Look for Referrals
You know people. Ask them for referrals! Post to your social network, ask your neighbors, family members, and former co-workers! You never know where a great referral might come from.
3. Work Your Network
Check out local networking groups, chambers of commerce and any other local gatherings or events where your customers might be hiding. When you're at these events and meetups, make sure you focus on the problems you can solve instead of bragging about what you do. It's about how you can help, not what you do.
4. Show It Off
Trade shows can be an incredible lead generator! If there's a trade show for your industry, in your area, you should be there!
5. Attend Industry Events
Don't feel like you always need to be an exhibitor at trade shows or events. Going and meeting people can be just as fruitful! Make sure you bring lots of marketing materials—business cards, flyers and anything else that will be helpful to spread your message. This isn't the time for a hard sell either. Focus on making connections and building relationships.
6. Team up with Other Business Owners
There are tons of business out there that compliment yours! Find those entrepreneurs out there that have a complimentary service or product and see what you can do for each other. If you're starting a roofing company for instance, talk to any landscapers who might
7. Build an Online Presence
If you don't have a website, you definitely need one! Don't forget about search engine optimization (SEO) either. There are lots of little things you can do to your website to make sure you'll rank higher in search than your competitors.
People are out there searching for your business—make sure they can find you!
8. Spread the Word on Social
The best time to start your social media accounts was yesterday. Your customers are hanging out on at least one of the social media networks, make sure you're one of the things they're seeing when they scroll through their feed.
Don't think the work stops when the customers start to roll in. Now you need to work on keeping them happy, turning them into repeat customers and then hopefully getting a few referrals from them!
This blog originally appeared on SBA.gov. Check out the full article here!
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