Top 10 Cost-Effective Ways Small Businesses Can Acquire New Clients

Acquire New Customers

Are you banging your head against the wall trying to find affordable ways to acquire new clients?

The truth is, to have a successful small business, it’s not enough to deliver great products and services to the market. You must continually deal with fierce competition, changes in the economy, and shortages of revenue, all while trying to build up your customer base.

However, there’s no need to stress about trying to attract new customers. In this article, we will discuss 10 proven ways that small businesses owners, just like you, overcame this very problem.

How to acquire new clients

1. Get to know your customers

Every business, regardless of size, should identify their ideal customer so they can properly market their goods to the right people, at the right time, in the right way. This approach will help you reduce wasted resources by narrowing your focus to where it counts.

According to Hubspot.com, you should be tailoring your content, messaging, product development, and services to the specific needs, behaviors, and concerns of different groups. These groups are referred to as your “buyer personas”.

To create your own buyer personas, identify key characteristic about your customers such as their gender, age, education, marital status, hobbies, employment, and where they search for new information about products and services.

Once you have gathered this data, start to identify key characteristics or behaviors among your customers and define who they truly are.

2. Expand your network

Most startups tap into their personal networks to generate their first sales, but many owners find that they quickly run out of new leads.

To prevent this from happening, focus on building your personal network, both online and off.

Offline networking

Instead of attending conferences or meet-ups where all your competitors are lurking, trying going to the same watering holes as your customers and make some real face-to-face connections.

Online networking

Utilizing social media is a great way to expand your online network. There are hundreds, if not thousands of Facebook groups filled with people in your target market.

Join a group that addresses the same issues your customers are facing; and provide them with free, professional advice.

But remember, do not over promote your brand. Instead, focus on helping them solve their problems and follow up with them on a later date with exclusive offers from your business.

3. Deliver Exceptional Value

Instead of just trying to pitch new clients, make sure that you first add value and build a relationship between you before trying to close a deal.

John Turner, CEO of UsersThink, saysAfter I find a company or organization that might be a good fit, I do a very quick analysis of their site, find one major issue with real consequences that I know could be fixed quickly, and contact someone at that organization telling them not only the problem, but how to fix it. It takes much longer than a regular cold email, but it results in more serious attention being paid to an otherwise unknown person (me), and has led to many new clients.

4. Have a SEO-Friendly Website

The best kind of website traffic is organic – visitors that come from an unpaid search result. Not only are they free, but they are generally higher quality leads and they have better conversion rates than paid visitors.

How do you drive more organic traffic to your site? The short answer is through search engine optimization (SEO).

Adding keywords to your webpages that potential customers are searching for using “Google-friendly” tactics will increase the number visitors to your website, and in turn, will result in more customers.

There are numerous SEO analysis tools on the market like Moz Pro that will help you analyze your current site, and make suggestion on how to improve your overall rankings.

5. Have an Impressive Business Card

Make a great first impression by presenting an impressive business card at your next meeting. If you don’t have the skills to make one yourself, there are several websites where you can hire a freelancer to design one for you.

Always bring your business cards whenever you leave the house because you never know when you’ll meet a prospective client.    

6. Invest in Advertising

Having a SEO friendly website drives organic traffic, but SEO takes a lot of time and patience. That is why many business owners prefer to add advertising into their marketing mix.

Pay Per Click advertising, or “PPC” for short, allows you to deliver laser-targeted advertising campaigns directly to your target market. You can build audiences based on information like age, gender, location, interests, hobbies, and more.

Both Facebook and Google AdWords have made it easy to create and promote an ad, even with no prior experience, by providing default campaign settings; however, you won’t get the same results as hiring an experienced agency to set it up for you.

Regardless of what you choose, when executed properly, PPC advertising can make a huge impact on attracting new customers.

7. Use Email Marketing

Email marketing has been around since the 90’s, and it still proves to be a highly successful way of reaching out to potential customers and driving sales.

When it comes to email – keep it simple. Send a monthly newsletter that features company news, shares your latest blog posts, or reveals a big promotion.

Don’t have an email list? Start building one by offering exclusive content, like an eBook, as a downloadable resource on your website.

8. Don’t Forget to Follow Up

Filling your sales pipeline takes work and you will lose leads as they work down the funnel. This makes it vital to always chase them down and try to close the deal.

Josh Sprague, the CEO of Orange Mud suggests – “Remember to set follow up tasks (follow up to sample sent, etc.), and execute your plan. So many leads and great conversations are wasted because you forget to follow up.”

9. Prioritize Your Referrals

Your referrals are prime opportunities, not just leads. When a lead is referred by a customer that had a positive interaction with your brand, the chances of them also becoming a customer is much higher.

Take time to build a relationship with your referrals, whether it be adding a few extra lines of text to an email reply, or spending a few extra minutes on the phone with them.

Always put in extra effort to make a referral feel special. They will not only be positioned to become a new client, but also a promoter of your brand, driving more referrals in the process.

10. Stop Needing New Customers

Yes, I said it – stop being so needy. Customer can sense desperation, and if they feel you are saying whatever it takes to make a sale, they won’t buy from you.

Don’t use cheap sales talk like “hurry up, before it’s too late” or “don’t miss this chance of a lifetime”. These cheesy one-liners will make you look more like an amateur salesperson, not a business professional.

Focus on helping your customers solve their pain points, and not always closing a deal. You might lose out on a few opportunities, but make up for brand.

Final Thoughts

Focus on delivering value, keep it simple, and make a lasting impression.

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