It can be difficult when you start your first business to find clients. Often business owners can provide a high quality product or service but struggle to find customers. Even worse, when they try to figure out how to find a client through trial and error they often end up wasting a lot of time and money.
Are you one of these people? In this article we’re going to share some low cost tips to help you go from an idea to generating revenue by finding your first clients.
Video content is one of the best marketing tools to help you find your first clients. If you’re providing a service you can provide free advice which clearly shows you are an expert in your area. For products you can create videos clearly showing to potential clients the benefits your products offer.
For example, if you are a builder you could create videos giving DIY tips or if you are an accountant you could give advice on how to reduce your tax liability. This approach will also have the added benefit of creating trust and credibility.
Build Trust & Credibility
In order for people to buy your product or service you need to establish trust and credibility with potential clients. In the book Influence by Robert Caldini he discusses a number of influences we are all predisposed to. One of the influencers is social proof. When we are faced with uncertainty our default behavior is to look at what everyone else is doing and copy them.
You will probably notice this in your own behaviour the next time you’re shopping on amazon. When you find a product you’re interested in you go straight to the feedback section to see what other people are saying about the product you’re considering buying.
One way you can build trust and credibility is by inviting people to try your product or service and get them to share their opinions.This could be a video review or by leaving a review on facebook or google’s local results. There are many other ways. As mentioned already you can content by giving free advice through articles and videos. Once you’ve created your content it’s time to start sharing it on social media.
Social media is a great way to engage with your customers. Once you’ve created some great content you can share it on social media websites like facebook or Linkedin.
With facebook you can boost the post to a very specific audience. Just be careful about running ads on social media. Run test ads first and see what response you get. Only spend $10 – $20 max on each experiment and see what feedback you get. This is really important because it’s very easy to spend money running ads on social media and get nothing in return.
One of the nice features of facebook is the facebook pixel. You can install it on your website and it can help you build an audience based on the people who visit your website. When someone visits your website they will be part of a target audience. When you run ads on facebook it will only be shown to someone who has already visited your website and shown an interest in your products or services.
If you are selling beauty products you could first create a video showing the benefits of the product and share it on your facebook page. You can start off by running test ads, tweaking the text and image. When you are happy with the results you can then begin spending more money on advertising.
There is a cheaper way to reach your target audience but it is a slower process. Influencers can help raise awareness of your business and make potential clients aware of your products and services.
No matter what industry you are in there will be a select few who can reach your target audience. Often these influencers are content creators and are crying out for new content for their audience.
If you are selling low cost products you could send them some free samples which they can review and also give as prizes to their audience. You could also write an article or create a video for a popular blog. The owner of the blog gets free content and you get free exposure for your business.
Working with influencers can help you in the short term. If you would like a much longer term low cost solution strategic partnerships with other businesses can also help you get new clients.
Similar to influencers, strategic partners can contact your target audience but you tend to have a much longer and closer working relationship. Often strategic partners are businesses who have the same target market as you but operate in a different industry. As such you are not in competition with them.
One type of strategic partnership is a referral group. This is a group of businesses who are not in competition with each other who refer potential clients to members of the group. For example, if you are an accountant you could partner with a web developer and refer clients to each other.
Another type of partnership would involve you providing complementary products or services to an already established business. The established business will be able to provide a better experience to its customers and will mostly likely charge you a fee or commission in return.
For example, one business who provides outdoor activities partnered with an accommodation provider who is based in the countryside. The accommodation can now provide outdoor activities for its guests and the activity company now has access to potential customers and the land to provide activities.
Stephen Lawless is a marketing manager at AccountantPages.ie, where he works on creating digital content to raise brand awareness and increase sales.
Client stock photo by fizkes/Shutterstock