Having customers is the life and blood of every business. Without them, your business won’t definitely earn a single dime.
But if you are stuck lately with only a couple of customers, your business might be in trouble. For your business to stay alive and kicking, you need to have a continuous stream of customers to keep the cash flow coming in.
One of my former business coaches said, never ever be satisfied on having only a handful of clients. Keep marketing. Keep finding new customers. Because you’ll never know when your current clients are going to ditch you.
So, if you are really serious on increasing your client base, don’t just read tips. Don’t just get advice. Do what you have been taught.
But sometimes, the methods on finding new customers are so simple that you even forget doing them. Let me again remind you of those.
Download our cheatsheet on finding new customers.
1. Forgetting to define your target market.
A lot of businesses fail to define their target market. To be able to get more customers, you need to know first who they exactly are, because this will serve as your starting point on how and where you will be able to find them.
According to Tom Hopkins’ article on Entrepreneur, to find your ideal client, you should be able to list at least five criteria.
For example, you are a business coach, and you are offering a business coaching service online. Your target market is of course, business owners.
However, there are far too many types of business owners who are into different types of industries such as transportation and communications, agriculture, construction, finance, retail trade, ecommerce, etc.
To define your target market, consider observing the following guidelines:
- What industries do you want to serve?
- Who are the people you want to serve?
Ex: solopreneurs, small business owners, medium enterprises, or large corporations?
- What is your ideal client’s age demographics?
Ex: baby boomers, millennials, generation z
- What is the location of your target market?
Ex: local, neighbouring states or regions, specific countries, or international?
- What are the interests of your target market?
Ex: sales, online marketing, social media
You get the idea. If a target market is too broad and not clearly defined, you will just waste your marketing efforts and end up not getting any customers at all.
2. Forgetting to ask the help of people who really want to see you succeed.
Aside from yourself, who do you think are the persons who are so eager to see you succeed? They are your mom, your dad, your siblings… Or even your grandma and grandpa. Your aunts, uncles and cousins. And there are your supportive friends.
This is among the first things that you always forget doing in finding new customers. Before you market your business to total strangers, market it first to your family and friends.
Because of the special bond that you have with them, they will be one of your finest and greatest customers. But if somehow, your business is not relevant to them, they will be more than happy to refer your business among their other connections.
3. Forgetting to ask referrals to your existing customers.
Just like asking the help of your family and friends, one way to boost your client base is to ask referrals to your current customers. Don’t be a stranger asking them for help, since they are your customers.
Since you helped them find what they need, they won’t hesitate to help you too, especially if you provided them with a highly satisfactory customer service. They won’t hesitate to refer your business to their friends.
Based on statistics, referral marketing generates 3-5x higher conversion rates than other forms of marketing, so don’t let this opportunity pass.
If you don’t know how to properly ask referrals to your existing customers, you may download this free guide with referral templates.
4. Forgetting to hand out flyers or brochures to locals.
Even though we’re already on the digital age where almost every business goes online, doing a bit of traditional marketing still works for finding new customers.
If big companies such as Walmart, Samsung, Apple, Toyota, and many others are still handing out flyers and brochures, then, why don’t you too?
Despite the growing surge of ecommerce stores, 85% of consumers still prefer to shop at physical stores than online.
So, if you inform the locals in your area about your business through handing out flyers or brochures, chances are, they’ll be your customers too.
If I were one of your customers, I won’t go anywhere far to buy a product or utilise a service if there is one in my local area. It saves time, fare expenses, and energy.
5. Forgetting to advertise your business on Facebook’s local buy and sell groups.
Despite the emergence of new social media platforms such as Snapchat, Facebook is still the number one social media network for young people, as well as for millennials. So, don’t abandon Facebook just yet.
If you have products or services to sell, Facebook’s local buy and sell groups are one of the best places to find new customers.
RELATED: Download our list of active and friendly Facebook groups for entrepreneurs.
So, here’s a story. One of my friends is a graphic designer, and he makes t-shirt designs. Since I’m an entrepreneur and a business coach, he asked me where he could find new customers.
He told me that he has difficulties finding clients online despite joining too many crowdsourced websites for freelance designers, but found no luck due to the very fierce competition.
I suggested him to try advertising his services on Facebook’s local buy and sell groups. Within a few days of advertising, he got two clients looking for graphic design services in their area.
6. Forgetting that participating in conferences or seminars is important.
Attending business conferences or seminars is really sometimes a drag. But if you are a B2B business, you might just find new customers here big time.
Those business owners who understand the value of business conferences or seminars are among the very few people who are serious on doing business with others.
Through participating in this kind of events, you might just be able to find your next big client, or you might just find someone who could introduce you to your prospective client.
In fact, some of our clients in our other companies came from business networking events. All thanks to our friends whom we met in seminars; they referred our businesses to their connections.
So, imagine the opportunities you might be missing if you don’t participate in business networking.
To learn how to properly approach people in networking events, you may download our business networking framework . Also comes with sample scripts.
7. Forgetting to team up with other businesses.
If you want to get more customers for your business, then teaming up with businesses with products or services complementary to yours will greatly help.
For example, you own a web design firm. You could team up with a content writing firm, since for every website designed, one also needs content.
Just like here in More Time More Profit, despite our main service is providing business coaching, we also teamed up with a VA outsourcing company whom we trust, since one of our goals is to help business owners make time for work that really matters.
Experience working with our recommended VA team within a week for FREE! Send your query here.
8. Forgetting to advertise where your customers hang out.
For example, you are a business offering house cleaning services, and your target customers are busy working moms. Where do you think they hang out?
It could be on business centres, grocery stores, restaurants, department stores, etc. So, what do you need to do? You may ask the owners of stores to hand out flyers for you, or purchase a small advertising space.
When it comes to finding moms online, you could join mommy groups or forums. Just be aware of the rules of the groups or forums, or else you’ll be kicked out and marked as a spammy member.
9. Forgetting to submit your business in online directories.
Though social media advertising is all the rave today, don’t forget online directories. In Yelp alone, there are about 145 million unique monthly visitors. So, if you have your business listed on Yelp, your business could possibly be seen by a great number of people. Visit this ultimate online local business directory list written by Eric Vreeland on HubSpot.
10. Forgetting to be human.
And last but not the least, you might be unable to get more customers because you forget to be human. While almost all things could now be automated these days, don’t ever forget about interacting with your customers whether offline or online.
Say on your physical store, a potential buyer visits your place, and asks you about something, but then you answered impolitely. Instead of the potential buyer sharing wonderful things about your business, you’ve just ruined their impression on you, and they could potentially leave a negative online review.
RELATED: Download guide on handling negative online reviews.
Sometimes, people buy not because of your outstanding products but because of the friendly personality you show to them. Have you ever experienced this? Since you are too kind… too friendly… or too helpful, people will feel a strong need to support you and buy your product.
So, what other methods do you think are business owners or marketing managers forgetting to observe when finding new customers? Let me know what you think through commenting below.
Don’t forget to download our cheatsheet on finding new customers!