A common question that is asked is how do I get more clients. I just wanted to put together a quick post with some common tactics that can help you generate more interest in your business and potentially lead to more clients. These tactics are all generally cheap so suitable for businesses of all size. Not all tactics will suit all businesses but chances are that at least some of these will be suitable for you.
- Cold Calling – Cold calling gets a bad reputation but it works. That’s why I have put it on the list. If you are desparate, pick up the phone! Call businesses that are in your target audience and see if they have an interest in your product. If you aren’t talking to people and presenting your product you aren’t making money. Of all the lead generation techniques available to you this is one of the quickest to get started.
- Flyers – Like cold calling, using flyers and delivering them to households or businesses is a marketing tactic that works but can have a relatively low return on investment. A lot of the time, for flyers to work there is a reliance on repetition (e.g. each business or house would need to see more than one brochure) and a reliance on a call to action. You need a compelling message on your brochure to encourage your target audience to do something.
- Online Squeeze Pages – What is a squeeze page you may ask? A squeeze page is a landing page on your website that you drive traffic to. A squeeze page only has one purpose. It may be designed to collect email addresses from prospects in exchange for a free gift or it may be designed to encourage a small sale. A squeeze page that gathers information from potential clients allows you to market to them again in the future. A squeeze page on it’s own won’t work, you need to drive traffic.
- Search Engine Optimisation– Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) means doing what you need to do to position your website squeeze pages at the top of search engine results. There are a number of search engine optimisation tactics available to you – generally referred to as onsite and offsite tactics.
- Pay Per Click Advertising – Pay per click advertising (PPC) is whereby search engines, Facebook or other high volume sites may advertise your site and you pay a charge each time someone clicks on your ad. With Google you can bid on particular keywords related to your business. With Facebook you can target people based on age, location and other demographic data
- Networking Events – Attending networking events, and getting face to face with people, is another great way to try and drum up new business. There are various different types of networking events – from strong contact groups like BNI to more socially focussed groups like your local Chamber of Commerce. You may also consider Speed Networking events and the like. A word of warning though. A networking event is not a chance to give your sales pitch 150 times. To be most successful at networking events you need to look at trying to help others first. Only through helping others will you build a reputation of someone who is helpful. In return people will want to help you grow your own business.
- Referrals – Have you asked your existing customers and clients for referrals? You should. The best time to ask for a referral is just after you have made a sale but you should integrate regularly touching base with existing clients for referral requests. A great way to encourage referrals is to give referrals in return.
- Affiliate Program – Ideally people will want to give you referrals just because they love you and love what you do. However it’s not always this easy and you may want to consider offering incentives to people for referring customers through a formal affiliate program. There is software that can manage this for you but essentially it involves paying an affiliate an agreed amount every time you refer paying customers to their site.
- Trade Shows – Trade Shows can be expensive but depending on your business they can work. A trade show is a great opportunity to find a relatively large captive audience who are usually looking to spend money confined in the one space. You need to be more proactive than just having a stand though.
- Newsletter Advertising – Lot’s of people have newsletters – schools, community groups even other businesses. Many of these groups will happily promote your advert quite cheaply. All you have to do is ask.
Whilst this article certainly isn’t a definitive list of all marketing tactics available it is generally a good starting point, especially if you are struggling for new ideas. You should take a look at this list and see if there are any ideas that you would like to implement for your own business. If you would like clarification of anything on this list, don’t hesitate to get in touch.