After you have set up your business, built a website, and obtained the necessary licenses, then comes the hard part: attracting customers.
The business sector is competitive now more than ever, mostly thanks to a slew of startups that pop up out of nowhere. Your business might well be one of these startups. As modern customers have more choice than ever, finding an audience can be a particularly gruelling task for a new business.
Remember what we mean here by customers. This is an individual willing to pay for the products or services you are selling. A customer doesn’t necessarily include your aunt purchasing something to make you feel good.
Locating your company’s very first customer may take more work than you initially realised. Hard work really pays off when it comes to sales. With that in mind, here are some tried and tested ways to find customers for your brand new business:
Give Something Away For Free On Facebook
No one would buy from you if they haven’t yet heard about your brand. One of the best platforms for creating brand awareness is Facebook. And one of the best ways to grab the attention of would-be customers on Facebook is to launch a free giveaway.
Though you won’t make any profits immediately, the event would undoubtedly attract attention. Once the target audience is aware that your brand exists, one or two people would actually show an interest in buying your products. Even established brands make use of tactic to generate traffic, and then find customers this way.
Perform Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) On Your Website
New businesses often spend a fortune performing search engine optimization, or SEO. However, keep in mind that SEO only brings in traffic. If you want to convert the incoming traffic into paying customers, you need to invest in CRO as well.
Like SEO, CRO employs a series of optimization techniques to compel online visitors to make a purchase on your site. These tactics are often really simple, like placing a call-to-action button in the right place. You need to spend money on the right techniques that work for you, and ultimately this will help you draw in your first customer.
Hire A Great Sales Person
Some entrepreneurs are great at building products or brands. However, sales is a whole different kind of monster. You might be great at convincing investors, but you need a different pitch to convince distracted online customers.
You can’t expect the hiring process to go easy, either. Be ready to interview dozens of people and search people for their professional and criminal records. Nab a salesperson who really understands your target audience and can connect with them to move your marketing push forward.
Write A Guest Blog Post
When was the last time you bought something off the internet without reading about it first? Modern customers have all-powerful search engines at their fingertips to dig up all sorts of information about products. If your product lacks online reviews, customers would easily overlook it.
The best person to pitch your own product is you. So go out there and write guest posts for famous bloggers who share a target audience with you. Blogging is a great way to jumpstart word-of-mouth marketing, especially when it comes from a respected blog.
Convince A Journalist To Write About Your Business
Consumers crave products with credibility. Everyone has wizened up to the fact that not everything on the internet is genuine. The best way to build up a credible reputation for your brand is to get news coverage.
Then again, don’t end up on the news for the wrong reasons. However, a review or an article about your product from a professional journalist on a legitimate news outlet would certainly attract attention. You can share such a post on social media as well. Above all, news coverage is a great link-building strategy.
Invest In Digital Advertisements
Only highly niche markets can afford not to advertise online anymore. You want to attract attention to your brand, and customers who are interested will turn that attention into revenue. Draft a strategy to generate online traffic through digital advertisements.
These days, digital advertisements mostly mean pay-per-click ads on Google. Such ads are cheap but they can be highly effective when it comes to attracting traffic to your brand. Eventually, some of that attention is bound to turn into conversions.
Opine In A Relevant Publication
Can’t get an article published in a newspaper? You can still get one published as an opinion writer. Avoid shamelessly pitching your product in an article hoping someone will buy it. Rather, make it an opportunity to solve a problem for the potential customer.
Why do we buy laundry pods, coffee makers, and new laptops? These things make our lives convenient and are thus worthwhile spending money on. Likewise, present your product as a problem solver for the target audience so that they know it’s worth the price tag.
Promote Your Brand With Potentially Viral Videos
Don’t underestimate the power of brand awareness when it comes to sales. These days, when pretty much everyone is glued to their smartphones, one of the best ways to showcase your product to potential customers is through video.
We stream videos at home, on the way to work, and sometimes at work. Short videos have excellent viral potential and highly shareable traits. You can create a video for cheap thanks to freeware.
Platforms like YouTube make it practical to distribute video content. So take advantage of these modern tools to make your product popular and likely to attract paying customers.
Give A Speech (To The Right Audience)
Literally pitching your product to the target audience is a classic tactic that still works to pique interest in potential customers. The speech format is not suited for some products. But it can work miracles for products aimed at professional circles, other businesses or highly niche markets.
Don’t think speeches in terms of Ted Talk style monologues. You can talk about your product on YouTube videos, live streams, and on podcasts. Take advantage of the many digital video and audio platforms to reach your client base. Make your case and new customers will come strolling into your web store.
Team Up With A Better Known Brand
If your product is still unknown, it might be the time to try a classic, high school-esque tactic: be seen with the popular kid. Tie-ups with more popular products or brands may ease your product out of obscurity and into shopping carts.
It should be noted that such brand pair ups are complex to negotiate. But in the age of YouTube and Instagram, a single social media post or mention may work as well. In place of other products, you can consider getting your product splashed on a famous branded platform. It would increase the likelihood of sales by creating desire where none existed.
Find A Social Media Influencer To Work With Your Brand
The rise of social media influencers shows that people do purchase what their favourite social media stars tell them to buy. Therefore, working with a social media influencer is not optional—it’s mandatory for new brands.
The trick here is to hire the right social media influencer and draft the right influencer marketing strategy. Research people who have a large following on social media, who happen to be your target audience. Pay a small fee to have your product featured by them, and see the money flow in.
Establish Product Trust
Distrust is one of the biggest hurdles to getting a customer interested in your product. People are more likely to buy your product if a legitimate authority sanctions it. Consider this scenario: You see an energy-efficient light bulb with and without an eco-friendly star label. Which one are you most likely to buy?
Most likely the one with the star rating, which gives the product legitimacy, increasingly your trust in it. Depending on the type of product, you can try to get regulatory approval stamps. These would indicate that your product has undergone official review and is now free to sell as desired.
Don’t merely try out one or two suggestions above to land new customers. Try them all. Aggressive marketing (with a plan) is essential for establishing a strong customer base. You may not meet sales targets overnight, but the business would attract customers, one by one, over time.
Go On, Tell Us What You Think!
Did we miss something? Come on! Tell us what you think about our article on landing your first customer in the comments section.
Eric Lawton is a digital marketer and a recruitment consultant for small to medium-sized businesses. He helps companies find talent and conduct background research on potential employees through his company. He is also highly active in the marketing field.