Customers are like friends; you can never have too many! Still, it's important to find and keep quality clientele so that business is consistent. What are the best ways to find new customers? Let's start with these 10 trusted methods for gaining new business!
HERE ARE 10 WAYS TO GAIN A CUSTOMER
1. Get referrals from your existing customers. Are you struggling to get word-of-mouth referrals? The key to boosting your referrals is simply asking for them! Tell your customers how important they are to your business and ask if they know anyone who could benefit from your service. Remind them later in your postcard and email marketing efforts. Keep reminding them, but avoid being too pushy, as that can backfire.
Offering rewards to your customers is enticing if asking alone is not working for you. Set up a referral program to reward customers who refer new business to you. If you don’t want to offer them a monetary reward, such as a discount or credit toward service, make sure to express your appreciation when customers send new business your way.
2. Boost your online reviews. When potential customers are searching for a service provider, reviews truly matter. 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. How do you increase your reviews? Just like with referrals, you have to ask! Don't expect customers to write reviews on their own, as most people won't go out of their way to help you without a little nudge in that direction.
After every job, send customers an email thanking them for their business, ensuring their satisfaction, and inviting them to write a review by including the links to do so. Make it as easy as possible and you'll see your reviews go through the roof!
3. Develop a strong social media presence. If you aren't already leveraging social media to gain new customers, start now! Start sharing content that will draw in new customers, such as before and after photos of your work, as well as videos of you in action. Start writing helpful blog posts, such as energy-saving tips if you are an electrician, on your website and sharing them on social media to build your digital presence.
Paying to advertise on social media will help you reach a larger audience (more on that next), but if you are just starting out, you can effectively generate new business at no cost. How? Begin by leveraging your current customer base. Invite them to like your page and engage with them so that their connections are exposed to your business.
4. Advertise on Facebook, Google, Yelp, Angie’s List, etc. Digital advertising is a key tool in the arsenal of many modern service businesses. How do you select where to advertise your business online? We'll go over a few of the available options!
Facebook is a relatively low-cost and powerful tool to reach a wide audience. Once you start sharing engaging content, it is worthwhile to pay to boost these posts so that they have the greatest impact. You can also create ads just for Facebook to direct people to your website. Learn more about Facebook for business here.
Google Adwords campaigns are a great way to reach people who are already looking for the service you provide. Paid search results display at the top of Google's rankings, so they can easily capture leads that become new customers!
Since there are so many opportunities for promoting your business online, you'll want to test them out for yourself to see which ones deliver the highest return on investment. It will vary greatly based on your region and clientele, so it's up to you to discover what works best for you.
5. Increase your search engine ranking through organic SEO. Rank high on search engine results and your phone is guaranteed to ring. Think about the terms your potential customers will be searching for, such as “carpet cleaning in Atlanta.” Optimize your website with these keywords, and hire a specialist if it’s in your budget.
Organic SEO is not to be confused with Google Adwords, which are paid advertisements. Organic SEO means your website will be boosted higher in the unpaid search results. Allocating a budget to both Google Adwords and SEO is recommended to maximize your exposure!
6. Do some old-fashioned advertising: send out mailers and brochures, place an ad in the newspaper, put up flyers in local stores, etc. These advertising methods are tried and true. Old-fashioned advertising will also help you target an older demographic of customers who may not be very tech-savvy. For direct mail campaigns, Marketing Donut recommends first checking with data protection laws to avoid any illegal activity.
The success of your old-fashioned advertising campaigns will vary based on your area and the habits of your target customers. Test one method at a time to see which delivers the best return on your investment!
7. Sponsor charity events or school functions. Get your business involved in the community. Research local events or charitable organizations that you could contribute to and find those that fit within your budget. Not only will you be able to get your name out there in your area, but you will also boost your business’ reputation by donating to charitable causes.
8. Turn your truck into a moving billboard by boldly displaying your logo, phone number, and website URL. Get your business’ name out there in as many places as possible! Having a well-designed branded truck is essentially free advertising, that is after you buy the truck wrap. Since you are already traveling around your city for work, you might as well turn that into an opportunity for branding and advertising! Make sure your business’ name, phone number, and website URL stand out and are easy to read!
9. Leave behind promotional items at every customer’s house. Never forget to leave a branded item behind after every job! Whether it’s your business card or a useful household item, such as a bottle opener, chip clip, etc., this is an effective method for gaining and retaining customers. Not only does it help increase your repeat business, but it also serves as an effective way to increase referrals. Your customers will have this item to pass along to friends and family, allowing you to gain new business at a low cost.
10. Participate in networking events. Networking events are an excellent way to get your business’ name out there and meet potential new clients! Professional societies in your area will also be a great way to meet business partners and form mutually beneficial relationships. Research what kind of events and groups meet in your area. Be sure to bring business cards and dress in business attire!
After employing these strategies for finding new customers, your phone might just be ringing off the hook. Maybe you'll even find yourself needing to get rid of some business. If that's the case, check out 10 Ways to Lose a Customer.
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