Big businesses known by their famous names have huge-sized customer lists. New clients arrive at their doors all the time because of their industry status. However, that wasn’t the case when these firms began. Most started just as you are now, as small, home-based operations with no ideas about finding people to buy what they sell.
One example is J.D. Power & Associates, the global marketing information services company. It was started by Dave Power and his wife at their kitchen table. This is optimistic news for you. Staying positive is a key ingredient as you begin searching for people who will buy what you offer.
There are numerous ways for you to find clients. Your choice depends on the type of business you own. Let’s uncover the options so you recognize the right steps to take.
Word of Mouth
One way to find clients is to encourage people who like and trust you to tell other people about your business. That good news creates a firestorm of interest. When speaking with friends, family members, and others in your circle, ask them to mention what you sell to their extended network of friends.
Provide the best word-of-mouth followers with small tokens of appreciation such as a purchasing discount or something else to thank them.
Word of mouth is what bookkeepers, dog groomers, and hair salon owners count on, and it will keep your “cheerleaders” sending more people to your door.
The medical industry is a great “finding clients” example. Just think: when you go for a routine checkup with your primary doctor, she will recommend more doctors for you to visit who specialize in other types of medicine.
Those specialists are part of your primary doctor’s referral network, and that’s one way specialists increase their patient roster.
If you’re in a business that depends on referrals, such as interior decorating or image consulting, maintain a list of companies that work within or support your industry to refer business to you once you establish a relationship with them.
If food or certain types of services are your business, then going straight to the people who need to taste or watch before buying is the way to go.
There are events that people and business representatives attend to sample goods as well as supermarkets, mall carts, and other places where you provide tastings or show how an item solves a problem. This is where you want to be to get their attention, answer questions, hand out business cards, and encourage orders.
Beer makers, perfumers, and furniture refinishers recognize the need to show before they sell. If demonstrations will help you uncover clients, think about and write down where to set up shop to show everyone what you offer. As an entrepreneur, you have ultimate flexibility to go where the people are.
The lowest-cost method to get the word out to clients is through any manner under the social media umbrella, be it Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, and blogging.
Many entrepreneurs (jewelry designers and beauty products’ sellers, for example) find clients through social media. However, don’t let these popular programs fool you into thinking that “if you build it, they will come.” The low cost trade-off means you’ll spend lots of time adding information to your pages and sending tweets to convince potential customers to follow you, read your messages, and take action.
Also, consider the age, gender, and lifestyle of your clients. If social media is not part of their life, then your messages will not deliver results.
You want to spend as little as possible to advertise your business. However, if clients watch television, read newspapers or billboards, or listen to traditional or satellite radio, it’s essential for you to try this option.
The cost may not be as huge as you think especially when calculating how many people will hear or read the message.
Medical billers, insurance agents, Etsy crafters, and eBay sellers advertise on billboards to get local business. If your customers are in a specific region, advertising may generate a lot of telephone calls or emails that deliver revenue in the long run.
While writing Marketing Strategies for the Home-Based Business, I learned about numerous fascinating and brilliant ways that entrepreneurs do to find clients. Their methods, documented in chapter 10 of the book, are worth reading because the strategies extend beyond what’s explained here.
The bottom line in finding clients is that you must get their attention where they live, work, shop, and have fun. Identify those places, and you’ll reach an audience that’s ready and willing to buy.