Many of our customers come to us with the same question: “How can I attract more customers to my business?” Unfortunately, there is no tried and true formula for attracting more customers, and getting more customers is not an overnight process. To obtain more clients for your business, you must first get into the right mindset. This is a process that takes time, but as long as you set up a solid foundation for your growth and stay consistent with your marketing tactics, you will see a steady growth in your customer base. This post will cover how to attract more customers to your business online, and provide some vertical-specific strategies for obtaining more customers.
A strong online presence is at the core of a successful marketing strategy to attract new customers to your small båusiness. The fundamentals of an online presence include of a business website, business blog, directory & review site listings, and social media profiles. There may or may not be other online channels to utilize that are relevant to your business, location, and/or industry. Below is a more in-depth look at the online methods of attracting customers.
First, you need to have a business website. Not just a placeholder or brochureware, but a functional website where customers can find the content they’re looking for. This means having relevant and useful information that makes visitors’ time on your site worth it. Perhaps most important is optimizing your homepage content so as to guide your visitors in engaging with your business.
In order for clients to find your website through organic searches on Google, Yahoo, and Bing, you need to cater your site to meet the needs of what people are searching online. Search engines will only rank your page if they find relevant content for the people visiting it, so an SEO strategy around your content is a must. In order to get clients online, find keywords relevant to your business and use them in your website, blog, and social media content. SEO is about being a trustworthy source of information for online searchers—in particular, your target audience.
Related: Local SEO Guide
Getting people to come to your site is not enough to get new clients. Use effective call to action (CTA) buttons, lead capture forms and tracked phone lines to convert visitors into customers. Responding to these requests (answering inquiries, following up on form submissions, and returning calls) is what will initiate the sales process. This is your opportunity to show potential customers why your product or service is top notch and why they should work with you.
Keep in mind that people will only have you top-of-mind for only a few hours after they reach out, so be sure to respond quickly! Treating the needs of others with the same urgency you would treat your own will help you to attract new customers and grow your business.
To attract more customers, you can’t just put information out there and wait for them to come to you. You need to also cultivate an audience of people who are interested in your information, products and services. One of the best ways to do this is to build an audience on social media. Social media provides a great way to interact with and have conversations with potential customers. Use platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, and Instagram to engage with your audience. Compare the different social media networks and find the one or ones best for attracting new customers.
Related: Your Free Hashtag Handbook
Many people underestimate the power of email to reach their potential and existing customers. Email can be extremely effective if you use it properly and utilize effective subject lines. If your business has been around for a while, you probably already have a contact list made up of prospects, clients, vendors, etc. Emailing your list with valuable content, news and offers to stay top of mind is a great way to grow your business. Follow these 10 golden rules for email campaigns to make sure you’re getting the most from your email marketing.
Once you have the basic marketing footprint in place, you can start thinking of more strategic ways to reach your prospective customers within these areas. You may want to expand upon your existing online activities, start integrating your online and offline marketing, or try out a new strategy such as Facebook advertising. There are many ways to mix and match efforts to drive qualified traffic to your website.
Another area you might want to explore is customer loyalty and referral programs. Word of mouth can be an incredibly effective tool for attracting more customers.
Now that we’ve covered the essential elements of a strong marketing base, we’re going to dive deeper with some examples and creative ideas to attract clients within specific businesses. If you don’t already have loyal customers, keep reading and find the advice for your industry or profession below. Don’t see your industry? Leave a comment for us and we’ll get back to you with some great advice.
Most prospective clients will search on Google when they’re looking for a law firm—not just for law firms specifically, but also for answers to questions related to their case, and for advice on choosing a law firm. It would be ideal to have a blog where you regularly add engaging content around news, updates, and changes relevant to your geographical location or your area of practice.
If you have a physical location for your law firm, you should also get on Google Maps since many people might actually look for you based on your location.
Finally, get on Linkedin to find clients for your law firm.
Idea: Write a whitepaper that you can offer as a free download after a visitor submits a contact-us lead capture form. This document can be something like: “20 Things to Check Before…” or “Requirements to Apply for …”.
In order to find customers for your cleaning business, we recommend making sure you have your directory listings up to date. You must use a real physical address to make sure people looking for you by location will find you. Google My Business/Google Maps are critical for customers to find your cleaning business online because they improve your search rankings (you show up higher in the search results).
Another driver of clients for your cleaning business can be Yelp. Make sure you claim your free listing so people can leave reviews and rate your service. Learn more about how review sites can get you more customers here.
Finally, printing some flyers or sending postcards to the areas you serve are great offline marketing methods to attract more customers. Remember to use a tracked phone line to know where your business is coming from. Leave them in the building lobby or slide them under doors to get new customers in that same location.
Idea: Create offers that will encourage website visitors to become customers, such as “50% off your first cleaning service”, “Sign-up for 10 cleaning sessions and get one free!” and “Refer a friend and get 50% off.”
Healthcare tends to be a very competitive space, so you should find a way to differentiate your business by being extremely specific in your service. If you can give it a local angle, this will also allow you to capture more traffic from local and regional search results. Like the above services, make sure to get your business listed in directories and review sites to improve your rankings and your word of mouth marketing.
If you can add case studies and testimonials to your website, it will help you convey the quality of your services. High-quality photos and visuals can also show exactly what you are offering your prospective clients, and sharing these through social networks can help you expand your reach.
Idea: Write a checklist of “Top 10 Things to Keep in Mind when Caring for…” or a whitepaper on “How to Select the Best Home Health Care Service for your …”. Then put this download behind a web-form that captures contact information.
In addition to the above strategies (having a website, getting listed on directories and review sites), you should also take advantage of social media and visual marketing. For example, take before and after pictures of your clients and post them to social media, tagging your clients (be sure to get your customers’ consent). Boost your video marketing strategy by live streaming workouts or sharing clips from exciting classes.
Idea: Offer a free class or free evaluation on your website, and be sure to engage with those who sign up, such as with reminder and follow-up emails. This is one reason why you should keep your contacts and leads organized.
If you’re looking for new clients for your graphic design firm, you’re very likely to find most of your customers online. Having a strong online presence with the right SEO can attract visitors from Google. Display your design portfolio in a very user-friendly and organized way so that prospects can get a sense of the quality of your work.
You should also focus on getting your work to rank on Google Images, since this is a channel that potential customers may use. Other lucrative channels may be Instagram and Facebook, where you can showcase your work.
Idea: Put together a package deal where a customer gets a few design items at a discount. For example, “Contact us now to get x, y and z for $450 (a $850 value).”
As with graphic designers, be sure to also have a strong online presence, including a digital portfolio made visible through keywords, hashtags, and links from other pieces of content. This is in addition to the other strategies mentioned above such as a visual-heavy website as well as directory listings and review sites.
We recommend starting a blog where you can talk about the lifestyle associated with your design, and share tips, pointers, and opinions. If you already have a contact list for your business, use email newsletters to connect with your previous and prospective customers.
Instagram and Facebook are ideal for interior designers, as potential customers will turn to these platforms to find services and ideas. Set up a Facebook business page and Instagram business account so that you can attract more customers through social media. Houzz is another channel to try out for attracting more customers.
Finally, using partners to get your word out can be an effective way to grow your business. Talk with real estate agents and others in your network to host events and offer your services.
Idea: Offer a free interior design consult to attract new clients, or host an event on the basics of interior design.
Software development is a broad industry, so finding your niche, whether in the areas that you work on or on the technologies that you specialize in is important to get new clients. Use keywords specific to your specialty so that people in need of your service can find you easily. You may also want to connect with bloggers and influencers within that niche who can help you build your online presence.
Adding testimonials to your website is also important for this type of work, and will help you gain credibility among your target audience. In terms of social networks for marketing, Linkedin and Twitter are potentially strong channels, as you can make use of professional networks and specific hashtags. Make sure to have complete profiles on these channels and to engage consistently. Join Linkedin groups and Twitter conversations to comment and take part in the conversation, answering questions and helping others. This way people will see that you’re an expert, and will seek your help and your services.
Idea: Write an article like: “20 Must-Dos for Development Project Success” and offer it as a download behind a lead capture form. Or offer free assessments of potential customers’ existing software.
As with the above industries, real estate businesses need to build a strong local presence in order to get found online. You may also want to start a blog centered around the lifestyles and pain points of the communities you serve. This will help your prospective customers find you and learn about what these places—and you—have to offer. Remember, people are not just buying or renting a house; they are joining a community, and they want to know as much as they can about it. The more quality information you can supply—cultural events, restaurant suggestions, local services–more they will trust you as a resource, and the more likely they will be to use your services.
You may also want to use Facebook to post about what’s happening in your neighborhood and share interesting news. Building a community on social media will help you to get new fans and customers. Finally, use email to stay in touch with your contact list, such as with a monthly or quarterly newsletter
Idea: Send out postcards (with a tracked phone line) to your local communities inviting them to events or open houses. Partner with another local business to even further boost the event.
Photographers need to showcase their work. The most obvious way to get more clients in this business is to have a portfolio. A visual website with an amazing and breathtaking gallery will have a huge impact on your conversion rates. Displaying your work on social media networks like Facebook or Instagram can also help you build a bigger audience and get your word out.
Flickr is is another favorite for photographers since it allows them to host their images and share them with friends and prospective customers in an easy and organized way.
Review sites can be big drivers of traffic and business for photographers, so claiming your listings and asking all of your customers to review you on sites like Yelp can have a huge impact on your bottom line.
Select who you want to target, as this will help you tailor your website content to attract the right people, not only in terms of keywords but also in terms of design. If you want to focus on weddings, then your message should be around brides and grooms, if you want to take portraits, then showcase your best portraits in your homepage. If you’re trying to find your niche in child photography, you need to attract moms (Instagram and Pinterest are great places to find them). In any case, knowing who you’re targeting and focusing on a specific niche will help you attract visitors and clients faster.
Ideas: As with almost, if not all of the ideas above, give your potential customers something free in exchange for their contact information. For example, offer a free one-hour photo shoot session in an outdoor location with the purchase of a wedding package. Or package your services and offer the bundle at a discount.
As you can see from the examples above, most small and local businesses can benefit from similar strategies. It’s all about catering to your target audience and leveraging your online presence. By creating a strong digital foundation and regularly adding value, you can attract website visitors who are likely to become new customers. Rather than waiting for customers to come to you, get new clients by creating opportunities for people to interact with, learn about, and reach out to you.