Time are tough out there so what can you do attract more customers without busting your marketing budget (if you’re lucky enough to have one)?
It doesn’t matter if you’re just targeting customers in Ashburn or across the entire country, we can get you started with 7 sure-fire ways of getting more customers on the cheap.
Here are our tried-and-trusted methods to help promote your business with barely any investment.
Tip One – Get Social: Set up a Facebook page for you business
It’s totally free to set up both a Facebook account and page about your business. If you’re lucky enough to already have tons of friends on Facebook, it’s just a few clicks to ask them to ‘Like’ your new page and in turn, your new page can be viewed by their friends too. Imagine how many people you could reach in just a few hours.
Of course if you’re going to set up a Facebook page about your business you want to make it interesting and worthwhile for people to visit. Why not add some video, images or general advice about what you are offering? Even better, put an discount voucher on the page for new customers so you can measure how effective your page is.
Tip Two – Blogging Advice: Give advice, get new customers
A blog is basically a series of user-generated articles that supplement the main pages of your website. Search engines like Google love blogs and if properly constructed, you can easily achieve some great levels of relevant traffic for free. In fact, the page you’re now reading is actually a blog post and most people find it via Google so it helps to introduce a steady flow of new Clients for our business – for free.
If your website doesn’t have the ability to generate blog posts, it might be time to think about getting a new one – you can check-out our deal for small business websites with integrated blogging HERE.
The key to a successful blog is great content. Writing a blog telling the world how wonderful your company is will bore the pants of people and you won’t get very far. Instead, why not offer free advice in your area of expertise? A number of well written, informative posts on a blog can increase your credibility and attract people who have a problem that needs solving.
Let’s image you own a catering company. You could post some ideas for low-cost buffets or menus for a wedding. If your business is local, be sure to include lots of keywords relating to your local area so that search engines will give relevance to your blog when people search for ‘caterers in London’ or wherever you’re situated. At the end of every post you make on your blog, be sure to include a strong ‘call to action’, your contact number and an invitation for people to contact you for more advice.
Tip Three – Email your friends: Get busy with some free viral marketing
People love to spread interesting and useful content by email, commonly known as email or viral marketing. If you’ve ever received an amusing or interesting video, you probably forward it on to everyone in your contact folder. This method of marketing can be extremely powerful if you get the right message.
The first thing to do is find some good content on the web that’s relevant to what you business offers. For example, let’s image you own a Plumbing company. Go to You Tube and search for ‘plumbing disasters’. You’ll find loads of amusing (possibly not for the home-owner) videos which provide great content for your viral email. All you need to do is get the ‘embed’ code, copy it and past it into your email.
Now, before you send it to everyone in your contact folder, be sure to add a message along the lines of ‘Avoid Cowboy Plumbers – Use ABC Plumbers’. You can then add your contact details and hit send. You don’t have to use videos, you can search the web for images, stories, jokes….pretty much any content that is likely to forwarded by your contacts.
Tip Four – Find A Forum: Laser-target potential customers
If you’re not familiar, a forum is a community of people on the web who share a common interest. There are literally thousands upon thousands of different subjects covered by theses forums and a lot of them attract a large and loyal band of followers. Now you will need to so some research here but find 4-5 forums to join that are loosely connected to your service or product. Also make sure you can service people that visit the forum…it’s no point joining a forum for gardening tips if they’re based on the other side of the world and you’re ultimately hoping to mow their lawn!.
Once you’ve joined some relevant forums, start posting messages that give the other readers some good advice – DO NOT try and start selling your products or services from the start, you’ll be kicked straight off the forum. Start slowly by offering people good advice for free and build up your credibility. Once you’ve been posting message for a few weeks, you can start sneaking in a few comments about ‘free quotes’, or mentioning your website. By this point you’ll be a trusted member of the forum and people will respect your opinions. You can quickly build up a following of loyal followers who will also become loyal customers.
Tip Five – Anti-Social Networking: Make new contacts from your sofa
Networking is a recognised method of making useful business contacts in your local area. However, not only is it time-consuming but most effective networking meetings will make a charge for membership. You’re also limited to maybe a few dozen other members and it is very localised which isn’t great if you’re selling products nationally.
Instead of having to endure these meetings, why not join an online networking group? Probably the Worlds most used online networking site is Linked-in. You can join for free and add contacts by searching their name or business. It works a bit like Facebook in as much as people become connected by association so if you have 20 contacts, their network of contacts will also be accessible to you. You can quickly build up a network of potential customers and clients without having to leave home.
Tip Six – Bumper Broadcasting: Get new customers whilst stuck in traffic
If you use a car or van in your business and have a website then here’s a great way to ensure your company gets tons of free exposure every day. Take your vehicle to a local Sign Writer and ask them to put a small sign in the back window of your vehicle, along the lines of ‘Free advice on (your service/product) – Visit www.yoursite.com’. This should cost very little.
Now image how many people will sit behind you in their car every time you’re out and about. Going to the shops? Free advertising. Picking the kids up from school? Free advertising. One thing to consider though is this only works if you use a website address that’s easy to remember. People generally don’t try to write and drive at the same time so it’s very unlikely they’d write down a phone number or even attempt to memorise it but a simple domain name like www.AnytownPlumbing.com is easy to remember.
At some point, somebody driving behind you will either by interested in your products or service or know somebody who is. Remember your road manners if you do try this.
Tip Seven – Lateral Ebaying: Ebay isn’t just for selling unwanted stuff
Unless you’ve been living on the moon for the last 10 years, you’ve probably bought or sold something on Ebay. You might think that your business doesn’t offer products or services that are relevant to Ebay but you’re probably wrong whatever you sell. Even if you don’t offer a tangible product, you can still advertise localised services on Ebay.
If you don’t retail products, why not have a brain-storming session with your family and colleagues to see if you can think of some relevant products which you could offer on Ebay? Still not convinced it will work for you, let’s imagine you run that catering company again. Rather than just providing catering, could you also offer catering supplies or equipment hire? How many weddings are likely to take place in your area where they require a chocolate fountain, or champagne flutes, or cake stands? Spend some time really researching the different sections in Ebay and you’ll soon find some inspiration.
Still need help or advice?
The above tips are just a few ideas that could help you unearth some new customers for your business. If you are interested in getting some more advice that’s relative to your business, we offer a free telephone consultation in which we can disucss your specific requirements and how you can gain new customers today.
Call us on 01252 416 222 or use complete the form on our contact page – there’s no obligation to use any of our services, just honest, helpful advice.