You need them, your competitors need them, and any business in existence needs them. Everyone is looking for the same thing – new customers. They’re the lifeblood of your business, and in order to grow, you need a steady supply month after month, year after year.
As the consumer market continues to change and evolve, so too are the ways that businesses acquire new customers. If you’re not constantly tweaking your strategies and staying on top of things, your sales funnel can start to feel a little light. Worry not, in this article, we’re going to cover 10 actionable ways to keep your client list growing.
Taking it back to basics here, if you’re not getting the number (or kinds) of customers you want, you need to ask yourself who your target audience is. It’s important that you define them in every way you can, down to the finest details. How old are they and what do they do for a living? What do they like and what don’t they like? What problems are they facing and how can your product or service help solve them? Buyer habits are constantly changing, which means you should be reviewing your consumer profiles every few months to make sure you’re not missing any new trends.
Chances are, in your niche there are a number of complementary businesses that don’t compete directly with your product or service. These businesses have customer bases as well, many of whom may also be perfect customers for your brand. By connecting and building mutually beneficial relationships with these kinds of businesses (such as through customer referrals), you greatly increase your chances of gaining new customers and creating another reliable source for your sales funnel.
Features are okay to utilize in marketing depending on your product, service, and target audience, but they’re not going to perform as well as highlighted benefits. Benefits are a direct way to relate to your customers and paint a picture of the what they’ll gain if they go with your company over another. Take the features of your product or service and dig deeper by asking yourself how they’re going to benefit the customer. It helps you stand out from the sea of competitors and shows customers what makes your brand unique.
Everyone likes a sale or special promotion because it makes them feel like they’re getting in on something exclusive and limited in availability. The most successful promotional campaigns don’t just capture the attention of the target audience, but they inspire sharing as well. Social media channels are perfect for spreading the word and getting free advertising. When people share your sale or promotion, their friends and family are much more likely to be interested since it’s coming from someone they know and trust to have their best interest in mind, rather than an ad from a company they know nothing about.
More and more consumers like to experience brands and companies, not just read about them online or get chased around by their ads. Hosting an event is a great way to do this, as it gives customers the unique opportunity to “look behind the curtain” and get to know your brand on a deeper, more personal level. Depending on your product or service, you can host a physical event where customers can meet your company face to face, or you can host a webinar where you still have a captive audience that’s interested in what you have to offer.
You might think they’re overused by every company out there, but that’s only because they work. People like to be rewarded for their actions, and referral programs make it that much easier and tempting to tell friends and family. As we touched on above, when a customer learns about your brand from someone they trust, they no longer view you as that bothersome brand that’s trying to pry their wallets open, instead, they now view you as a potential solution to their problem.
If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you’ve probably heard about the rule of 7. It states that the average customer takes about 7 engagements with your company before they decide to make a purchase. What that really means is it takes time to build trust, and it doesn’t happen overnight or with one interaction (usually). Your touch points need to be consistent in their delivery, tone, and message so consumers feel like they’re learning about your company through each successive contact. Customers and people in general like stability and consistency.
Have you ever heard the phrase “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer”? In the cutthroat world of business, if you’re not keeping an eye on what your competition is doing, it gives them the edge to employ new, better marketing tactics that you’re not even aware of. Actively tracking and monitoring what they’re doing for marketing, web design, and products or services is the best way to stay ahead of the game. You may even find an opportunity they’re not taking advantage of and exploit it for your brand.
You like your website and it’s got a ton of free, useful information for happy visitors to consume, but does it generate new leads for you? It’s important that you have dedicated lead generation pages that specialize in capturing contact information and filling the front end of your sales funnel. These can be pages that customers get to via email, your website, or marketing campaigns. Be sure that they have CTA buttons, consultation forms, free giveaways, or whatever you can come up with to get their information.
It doesn’t matter how great your company is or how many problems your product can solve, if customers can’t find you, how are they going to buy? Unlike with bars where having a hard to find speakeasy can be considered cool, your business needs to be as visible as possible online. Make sure your website is listed everywhere so that you’re showing up in search engines, social media, and whatever other platforms your target audience is using. Check out the popular online directories in your niche and make sure you’re in them.