Every business, big or small, service or product related, strives towards the same goal: get new customers.
For a service based profession, your success comes down to having people contact you. How do you do that? Some think that in order to make an impact, you need a large budget to run advertising, but there are infinite ways to market, for free.
Start with these initial first steps:
1. Be where your people are
Is your demographic younger or older? Do they congregate online or in physical locations? Set up a profile where they are.
Whether it’s Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or others— join a group or organization related to your customers. If you provide a local service, put in real life face time, and follow up digitally.
Here are 5,314 people who may need financial, legal or marketing advice and support.
2. Understand your value
Create a list of 3 ways that you help your customers. What are you an expert at? What service do you provide? How or what do you help people with?
Get used to articulating your services, methodology, and previous experiences. As a business owner, there’s no room to be timid.
3. Create a place for inquiries
Starting out with a marketplace like Yelp is a good way to test the waters, and social media is great want to interact with new people through comments and direct messaging. But as you grow, it’s the move to set up a piece of digital property that you own — your website.
A website is the only place on the entire Internet that is your own. It’s your domain, literally.
Having a Contact Me page is a sure fire way to get contact requests!
4. Get over your fear of self promotion
Starting a business means promoting yourself and your services. The only way to do that is by feeling confident in your ability. If you’re still not sure, it’s time to fake it til you make it.
If you’re starting your business, own it — literally.
5. Consider ways to utilize your old customers
Once you’ve worked with a person, or created a positive relationship, this network is now your most valuable. Getting new customers is one achievement, but retaining them and driving referrals through them is also important. Don’t underestimate the value of your entire audience.
Re-engage with old customers through periodic newsletters, updates in the industry, any new information that makes sense to share. Create incentives for them to come back. If you can’t afford to give a deal on pricing, ask for a testimonial, review on Yelp or Facebook, or refer a friend instead.
To move beyond your family and friends network is a necessary step for your business to stand on its own two legs.
Start by doing research on your customers, find out where they are (both online and in real life), and get used to writing and articulating your expertise and knowledge. Start getting new, interested customers. Jump into Bounce House.