Acquiring customers is a struggle especially for newly-set ventures. More so with keeping and maintaining them. How will you be able keep them loyal to you. These 9 tips will help you to not only to hurdle, but also to keep in the long run, your next business breakthrough – your first 100 paying customers. Let’s get this started!
- Start with existing networks.
One of the easiest ways of gaining customers is thru referral from existing connections. Typically, people’s loyalty to a product or service is affected by the means they have learnt the product of. Reach out to current customers and inquire on how well they have been served by your products. This may post a chance to utilize these connections for good Word-of-Mouth (WOM) Marketing.
You can also step out of your business premises. Your colleagues, friends, and family may help you in earning your first paying customers. Have a cup of coffee or tea or have lunch with them and share your intentions of gaining new customers. Don’t forget to ask them for introductions or referrals to others who may post interest on your products. They may not be into your product, but there is a chance they have colleagues, acquaintances or family members who are.
Continuous learning and research is vital since business trends are never constant. Research will keep your venture updated to the current trend of marketing strategy, current status of the industry you are in and opportunities for new customers thru social media and online forums.
The following may aid you in making researches:
- Visit online sites for forums and discussions where people typically post inquiries for product, comments to a product previously used and their expectations for their next purchases;
- Note all issues which you may be able to resolve and address; and
- Read negative reviews for the product from your business or from other’s, focus further and future researches to those comments to develop ways to mitigate them.
Advertisement is the most direct connection of a venture to its customers. This promotes brand introduction and loyalty, attracts new customers, builds company positive image, upkeeps business to industry competition, and keeps your consumers posted. An effective advertisement makes money for your company.
These advertising techniques may or may not be suitable for your company as a way of promoting your product or services:
|Newspapers, magazines, leaflets, brochures||– Drives purchase intents
– Lower costs, longer lifespan, ease of production
– Ideal brand platform
|– Declined readership
– Cluttered landscape in the print media
|Multimedia||Radio, television||– Influence in sight and sound||– Costs can be prohibitive|
|Outdoor||Billboards, signage, transit advertising (posters on utility vehicles)||– Constant exposure||– Start up and maintenance costs|
|Interactive||Trade shows and exhibitions||– Networking
– Raised awareness
– Unguaranteed results
|Online||Social Media, websites, blogs||– Cost efficient
– Interactivity and feedback
|– Consumers ignore ads|
A company trying to earn its first 100 paying customers should invest in quality paid advertisements and therefore should be skeptic on choosing the promotional campaign they want to employ. Example, if a company would opt to use signage and billboards by Shield Co Artistic Signs, the company should note the location of the signage, size, design and content of the billboards, costs of printing, etc., ahead of time so as to lower the costs of such advertising efforts.
- Offer Free Trial / Freemium.
Some consumers live in “to see is to believe” cliché, that is they won’t really believe a product suits them until they give it a try. Offer free trial or freemium. A free trial is an unlimited test drive within a limited period of time, i.e., use of Spotify for one month. On the other hand, a freemium is a limited access to a particular part of the product in an unlimited duration of time, i.e., use of PDF software as viewer only. Satisfaction of the consumer thru the free trial and freemium may lead to new customers.
- Grow repeat customers.
There is no point of expanding your networks and connections if you don’t maintain your customers’ engagements to your business. Establishment of goodwill and smooth customer-company relationship will help you through it. It will shock you that simple gestures of gratitude and appreciation are all you need to keep your network growing. Follow-up closed deals and sales with a thank you message and a confirmation of the purchase made. Ensure timeliness of delivery and the quality and status of purchased products, this will will boost your customers’ loyalty to you and may repeat purchasing from you. You may also incorporate newsletters or online notifications of sale, or gifts of discounts or rebates they may claim on their next purchases. Thru such sales promotion techniques, a greater chance of repurchase may be anticipated.
- Take leverage on Social Media.
It is very much inevitable not to involve social media platforms in your business since marketing and the business itself have already evolved into virtual world, and customers have expectations of easier access to information and on the product itself. Online shopping has become a trend due to drastic changes in technology. This has lead into a modern way of shopping. Therefore, if you are to gain your paying customers, you should be on where the clients are. Use these sites to advertise for free and to reach out to potential clients based on your research.
- Educate your customers of your business.
To maintain your customers, you have to ensure that they have found what they were looking for – that it is the product you are offering, and that as long as you have that product to offer, these customers will be loyal to your company. To start with, a 1-on-1 discussion may be introduced to your new customers during recruitment. Inform them of the vital details they have to know about their purchases. If such case is not possible, you may create your own blog for your products offered. Your blog should be brief, educational and beneficial. You don’t want to bore your viewers.
- Guest posting.
This is another way of leveraging on online sites. Through this, you may introduce your product to that site’s audience. Ensure that you post on the right sites that is why it is important to check if the site caters your target audience. These readers may be your future customers so grab every opportunity to post the face of your business in those kinds of sites.
- Social proof.
Social media has become the most powerful tool for people, your image can be built or destroyed in an instant since sharing and posting everything have become a habit of some social media users. In addition to your efforts on the advertisements, you may invest on your existing customers’ reviews and comments on your product which may be posted in the social media where most people are logged in.
Customers are the bloodline of a business. Without them, you are not going to have a sustainable business. So gear the business up and hustle!