How to Get More Business Clients and Customers
Posted in Business, Marketing & PR
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By Holly Reisem Hanna
Yesterday, I tackled the question, “How do I find a legitimate work at home job”?
Today, I am going to answer the second most asked question that I get, “How do I get the word out about my new home-based business”?
Getting new business customers and clients takes time, patience and dedication, but by working on it a little bit each day you will soon reap the benefits and rewards and even start getting word of mouth referrals.
Here are some tips to get your started finding new customers.
1. Start with Family, Friends and Past Employers. Whether you’re starting a blog, selling products for a direct sales company or launching a new virtual assistant business start by telling all of your family, friends and past employers what you’re doing and to spread the word around. These people know your work ethic and will want to help you out.
2. Get Yourself a Website. As Steve of SnapPages puts it, “no business—regardless of its size—should be without a website. This is especially true for home-based businesses, where your website may be the only impression you ever get to make with your customers”. A website gives your potential clients a place to view your references, services, testimonials, products and policies before deciding if they want to work with you. If you don’t have a website for client’s to preview, they will pass you up and find the person who does has a website to review. For more information on how to create a website, check out our Building a Website Page.
3. Networking Online. Join a few social networks, both industry specific and the large main stream social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Build and cultivate new relationships, join like-minded groups and follow and friend potential clients and others in the same industry.
4. Email Marketing. On your website or blog, have an area where clients can sign up for a weekly or monthly newsletter. By offering your potential clients valuable information on a regular basis, they will constantly be reminded of the services and/or products that you offer. Remember to ask people for their permission before signing them up for your newsletter – when you sign people up without their permission, it’s called SPAM. There are tons of affordable email marketing companies that can help you set this up, here are just a few to get you started: Constant Contact, Vertical Response, iContact, Mail Chimp and Get Response.
5. Video Marketing. Have you heard of a little old site called, You Tube? You Tube is an online video sharing site and it is the 4th most popular site on the web according to Alexa. Video marketing is huge and you can easily tap into this goldmine of customers for free. Crate a video clip, maybe you demonstrate how your product works, perhaps you showcase a before and after profile or offer tips for staying organized – the possibilities are endless. Upload your video to You Tube for free and then you can also embed the video on your blog or website. Here is some additional information on how to create a video blog.
6. Giveaways & Reviews. People love free stuff and what better way to get the word out about your product or service than by sponsoring a giveaway or providing a publisher with a free product for review! This is great publicity for you; simply contact blog publishers, magazine publishers or TV producers about reviewing your product or featuring a giveaway and see new leads roll in.
7. Start a Blog. According to Rand Fishkin, “Blogs build familiarity and positive branding and if I remember my business school training, the cardinal rule was - people do business with you because they know you, like you and they trust you – blogging accomplishes all three (and they show off your expertise in a subject)”. Just like a television series, blogs give customers and clients a reason to come back – they will be curious as to what you’re going to say next.
8. Advertising. Many blogs, websites and newsletter publications have very affordable advertising rates. Just seek out online communities and industry specific blogs and inquire about their advertising rates. Don’t forget to place ads on the free sites too, such as Craigslist.
9. Direct Mail. This form of advertising is sent out directly to prospective customers through the mail. For direct mail to work for you, first you will need to compile a targeted mailing list of prospective customers. You can do this by purchasing a list from one of the many marketing agencies, like Direct Mail or Cactus Mailing or you can build your own list, which will take more time, but is much more affordable. Next you will need to create a persuasive letter that calls potential clients to action – you may want to hire a copywriter to write you some good, persuasive copy. After you have these two items completed you send out the mailing, it is also a good practice to follow up with the people you have contacted.
10. Dream Client List. In Michelle Goodman’s book, “The Anti 9 to 5 Guide” she suggests creating a list of dream clients. Create a list of the 10 top people you wish you could work with and start approaching them about your business. Michelle says, “It may take a few months to land one of your dream clients, or it may take a few years. But the better connected you are to other fempreneurs and industry players, the greater your odds are of being in the right place at the right time”.
How do you get new customers, clients or blog visitors?