With so much competition, small business owners need to be able to reach people who are the right potential customers. So, how do you find the right customers for your business? To do so, you must cater your marketing efforts towards your target market. In this post, we’ll provide examples of marketing activities to connect with potential customers in different industries and break down how and why each marketing channel is effective.
If your industry is listed below, try out some of these suggestions for your own marketing. If you don’t see your type of business in this post, read through it anyway to get a better understanding of how to reach your business’s target audience through marketing.
Finding customers for a landscaping business will depend on where your business is located. Depending on your location, you could be mowing lawns year-round, plowing snow off your customers’ driveways, or both. Your target customers will most likely be homeowners, but you may get lucky with some corporate or business customers as well. If your business is more equipped to handle smaller residential jobs, you should target customers who are looking for landscaping companies they can trust by getting reviews on online directories, customer referrals, and showcasing your work on social media.
Online Directory Reviews: Many homeowners look online on Yelp or Angie’s List, so generating positive customer reviews on these sites will attract more customers. If you don’t have good reviews on these sites, ask some of your loyal customers to write reviews.
Customer referrals: Referrals are big in the landscaping industry—anyone who attends a party at a house with a well-manicured lawn is going to ask who cares for it. Provide business cards to satisfied customers to make referrals easy.
Social Media: Landscaping is visual—show off your beautiful work on social media. Facebook is good for sharing photos because you can create albums based on your work and encourage happy customers to tag themselves in the photos. Instagram is a visual platform and can be effective in getting new customers by posting photos and using local hashtags to attract customers in your area.
Related: Getting Started on Instagram
Daycares and preschools rely on families with young children to fill classes. Based on your cost of enrollment, age restrictions, specialties, and business hours, your target audience may vary. They might be working parents who need childcare for just one child, busy moms who need a few child-free days per week, or parents looking for bilingual immersion programs after school.
Parents look for placements in advance so plan your marketing 6 months ahead of time so you’re not scrambling to fill classes. Ways to reach the right parents include getting positive reviews, word-of-mouth referrals, and Google Maps.
Reviews: Parents aren’t going to send their kids to daycares or preschools without being absolutely sure that they are safe and reliable. Getting positive reviews for your business can get parents to start trusting you with their kids.
Word-of-mouth: Parents are going to ask their friends whose children already went to daycare where they should send their kids. Providing a great experience for parents and children, interacting with parents, and asking for feedback can help get parents boasting about your business to their friends.
Google Maps: Parents need convenience and will search for schools based on proximity to their home, office, or public transit. This means that your business must be on Google Maps. Add your business on Google Maps so that your business will appear online when people are searching for “daycares near me.”
Financial planning isn’t an industry that’s very well suited to review sites or Instagram, but there are ways to be creative with your marketing to reach new customers. Effective ways of getting new clients include email newsletters, seminars and events, LinkedIn, and Facebook Ads.
Email Newsletters: Send out email newsletters with actionable financial advice, checklists for financial planning, and information regarding upcoming seminars you are having. Giving your subscribers advice they can actually use with their own finances will help you gain legitimacy in your field and get more people interested in working with you.
Seminars: Holding seminars in the local area or online can help you become a thought leader in your field. Send out information about your seminar to your email list and your social media followers, and stick around after your seminar to answer questions your prospective clients have. This will demonstrate your knowledge and help make people more comfortable with you advising them with their finances.
LinkedIn: It might be a good idea to advertise your services on LinkedIn rather than Instagram because working professionals often used LinkedIn. Do you work with people in one industry more than another? If you’re popular with dentists or lawyers, consider attending networking events in these industries and joining LinkedIn groups in your field of expertise.
Facebook Ads: Facebook ads can target very specific groups of people to attract different demographics. Facebook ads, you can target audiences based on interests, demographics, behavior, and more. Depending on your specialty, this may be young professionals looking to start investing, couples purchasing their first homes, families planning for retirement, or baby boomers considering reverse mortgages.
Depending on your strengths as a personal trainer, your clientele could range from teenage athletes to adults trying to get into shape. Personal trainers can attract clients through Instagram, word-of-mouth marketing, and reviews and testimonials.
Instagram: Posting pictures of clients working out and posting videos of how to perform certain workouts can help bring attention to your business. Ask your clients to show their progress with #transformationTuesday or ask them to use your local hashtag in their Instagram posts to generate a buzz about your business. Check out 39 hashtags for small business marketing for hashtag ideas to use for every day of the week!
Local Business referrals: If you have a brick and mortar location like a studio or gym, introduce yourself to other local business owners to generate referrals. Establish a reciprocal relationship where you refer each other clients and customers when you can. Or, partner with local businesses and give a discount to their employees.
Online Reviews and Testimonials: Potential clients want to make sure you’re reputable before making an investment, and online reviews can help make that decision easier. Ask your current clients to write reviews for you on Yelp and Facebook or set up a customer testimonials page on your website.
Every photographer has a niche of services that they provide and corresponding target customers. For example, a wedding photographer will want to focus more on places where they can find women online like on Instagram and Pinterest, but a family photographer might have better luck reaching parents through Facebook or review sites like Yelp. Get the right clients for your photography business through Facebook, local events, and review sites.
Facebook: Many of your current clients will upload your pictures on Facebook, so ask them to tag your business in the pictures you took. You can also upload your recent pictures on your Facebook business page and tell your customers to tag themselves in your images.
Related: Facebook for Small Business Owners
Local Events: Partnering with local events near you and offering to take pictures of those who attend can get event-goers to check out your business. Bring business cards with your social media handles to events, and you can share photos from the events on your social media pages. Encourage people to tag themselves in your pictures and share them on their social media accounts to bring more interest to your business.
Review Sites: While your portfolio may look great on your website, people are going to want assurance that you’re a good choice. Getting positive reviews from past customers can help make your business more enticing to people looking for a photographer.
Your target customers as a local restaurant are rather obvious: hungry people. However, you should think about who actually comes in (couples, friends, families, or groups) to your store, and how you can reach them online. Generally, you’ll be able to find more of the right customers through social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, Google Maps, and review sites like Yelp.
Facebook: Provide customers with discounts such as free appetizers or half priced drinks if they like your Facebook business page. People look to their friends for advice on where to eat, so encourage people to post photos of their meal and tag your location by rewarding them with a coupon for their next visit.
Instagram: Post drool-worthy pictures on Instagram and tag your business’s location in your posts to attract food lovers to your restaurant. You can also offer specials on Instagram, such as offering free desserts to customers who post pictures of them in your restaurant using your custom business hashtag.
Google Maps: Many people search for restaurants in the area on Google Maps, so add the location of your store to Google Maps. This can generate traffic to your website and also bring foot traffic in.
Yelp: Restaurant reviews on Yelp are one of the ways that people decide where to eat. Create a Yelp account, ask happy customers to leave reviews, and start getting more business than you can handle from Yelp.
For shops and retail stores, location is everything. Is your store located in a big city next to other stores, in a tourist area, in a small town, or somewhere else? Depending on your area, you might have more business on the weekends or during a certain time of the day. Your target customers might be tourists trying to commemorate their vacations, people stumbling on your business due to its proximity to other shops, or someone else. Small shops can use visual displays, Google Maps, and events to find the right customers.
Visual Displays: Set up an appealing storefront and create signs for your current sales to entice pedestrians to come into your store. Posting something about a sale or even something funny on a sandwich board outside your store can draw people in.
Google Maps: Many people search for local stores on Google, so add the location of your store to Google Maps. This can generate traffic for your website, which can also help bring foot traffic into your store.
Events: If you have a physical space, use it! Consider hosting events at your store to get more people in the door. Holding events for your community can get more eyes on your products, which can result in an increase in sales. Create even more buzz about your event by making a Facebook event and promoting it on social media.
Finding the right customers is different for every business, but these examples can get you started on the right activities to reach your best potential leads. Have any other industry-specific marketing ideas you want to share? Let us know in the comments below!