The business world of today is unforgiving. There is very stiff competition. Everyone’s fighting for visibility and ultimately conversions. Small businesses have it tougher than big ones. Large corporations can use their resources to tough it out with relatively few competitors. The real competition is between small and medium businesses. A small business entrepreneur faces the very real challenge of expanding an existing customer base. Its simply not enough to run a Facebook page through your home’s Frontier packages. You need to be more proactive if you want to survive and succeed.
8 Ways to Drive More Customers to Your Business
So you have already built a modest following for your business. Do you think it’s sustainable? Would you prefer to add and retain more customers? Growing your customer base is crucial for your business to continue to grow. But that’s often easier said than done. There is no surefire way to attract customers to your local business in a jiffy. But these 8 tips might help you get there:
- Work on Building Trust
- Leverage Your Existing Customers
- Tap into Wider Markets
- Build a Reputation of Authority
- Add CTA’s to Your Marketing
- Offer Free Trials
- Reach Out to Influencers
Let’s discuss each point one by one.
Work on Building Trust
Are still using the same marketing tactics you used to get your initial customers? Are they still as effective? Have you noticed you’re adding new customers less and less? This may be because you’ve narrowed your focus too much. If you’re still using the same old pitch, you may be missing out on many potential customers. Why? Because your potential customers don’t know your business. A sale is essentially a transfer of trust between you and your customer. Why not work on building a trust-based relationship with your customers? Once you have their trust, you can begin to educate them about your product or service. This will lead to you adding and converting more customers as they begin to trust your business, not just your sales pitch.
Leverage Your Existing Customers
There are very few things as powerful as positive word of mouth for business. Luckily, you already have some customers that can help you do that. One way to do this is to identify a core group of customers that can refer you to others. Nobody can make a more solid referral than someone who has already used your product or service. You have established trust within your existing network of customers. It’s time to use that to your advantage. Incentivize referrals by offering exclusive discounts or goodies and let your core customers work their magic.
Tap into Wider Markets
Using your current network and connections, you can certainly grow your customer base. But at some point, you will find you are out of new leads. This means you may have exhausted your existing network and its time to expand it. From an entrepreneur’s point of view, it’s time to mix and mingle at networking events and relevant organizations. You need to actively search for contacts that can open up new markets for you. You may even find a partner to take your business to markets abroad!
Build a Reputation of Authority
As you go about growing your network and existing customers, you need to grow your business’ reputation as well. If you have expertise in your field, it’s time to use it. Speak at events, or host one for your industry peers. Share your experience in the field and network at these gatherings with similar individuals. The more you get involved, the more you can use the opportunity to establish yourself as an authority in the field. Start of local and work your way up. You will find many places to grow your network and expand your customer base along the way. Being an industry leader or authority is a very enviable position to be in. It supplements the trust-based relationship and attracts more customers to you than otherwise.
Add CTA’s to Your Marketing
On a micro level, adding calls to action on your marketing materials encourages more sales. Add CTA’s to all your marketing materials. You need them on your website, email broadcasts, email newsletters, e-catalogs, blogs and anything else you use to engage with them. Call to actions should be simple and not too elaborate.
Offer Free Trials
Free trials are a great marketing ploy. They attract plenty of new customers in a short time and usually get you good reviews really fast. You also get more feedback on your product or service and know what to work on improving. But how do you turn them into bona fide return customers? The purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate the value of your product or service. This makes the initial free trial customers come back for more, once they understand the value you offer. If your offering is solid, and you make sure your customers know it, you’ll get loyal customers in no time.
Collaborations are something that can really help you find more potential customers. Look for other businesses relevant to your niche to collaborate with. For example, if you make handmade bicycles, you could partner with a helmet and safety gear manufacturer. Collaboration opens up each party’s customer bases to the other’s. Share your collaborative content on your website, social media pages and other channels you use. Hopefully, you’ll start seeing new customers lining up
Reach Out to Influencers
Social media influencers are a relatively new way for small businesses to reach out to a wider audience. Social influencers are people with a large following on social media. These people can help you generate a lot of buzz because their audience values what they have to say. Many people will turn into customers simply if a social influencer endorses your product. Most influencers only endorse things they’ve used themselves, so you need to make sure your product/service is on point. Look into social influencers relevant to your field and reach out to them. You’ll be tapping into the potential customers in their following. In this age of FiOS internet plans, everyone’s already on social media. Why not reach out to them through people they follow?