For many small business owners, attracting new clients can seem like a daunting (and expensive) challenge. Traditional advertising methods like television and newspapers are costly and in today’s tech-based world the bang for the buck simply doesn’t justify the investment.
But there are countless other ways to attract new clients to your business and many of them don’t require shelling out big bucks. Starting with easy ideas that will take just an hour or so, to ones that will require a bit more effort, here are 6 new ways to drum up business.
1. Take A Shortcut
Finding new clients takes lots of phone, computer and leg work but if you’re willing to spend a few bucks, there are some fantastic online tools that can help you get new leads in very little time. One of those tools is GetTraffic, a web app that makes it dead easy to drive quality traffic to your website. The app asks you to select your business category and geography and automatically generates an ad campaign that targets your most relevant demographic. Reviews for GetTraffic are raving and for $39.95 / month it may very well be your most worthwhile marketing expense this year.
2. Leverage The Power of Past Clients
New business doesn’t necessarily mean new clients. Past clients are one of the best, cost-effective ways to generate sales. That’s just one of the reasons why it’s so important to always have the contact information for all of your customers.
One of the easiest ways to get new business from old clients is by periodically sending them beautiful and effective newsletters. A newsletter is a great tool to tell your clients about new products, upcoming sales or simply to wish them a Happy New Year. If you’ve never created a newsletter before, check out these 30 Newsletters topics to get you started. If you’re contacting more than a few clients, make sure to use a dedicated email newsletter solution to help you manage your contacts and track your campaign’s performance. One such tool is Wix ShoutOut that lets you create professional newsletters, in three easy steps, directly from your Wix account. Creating a newsletters with Wix ShoutOut literally takes minutes: there are dozens of beautiful ready-made templates to choose from and once you add your message, one click will instantly send your newsletter to all of your contacts.
3. Get Listed
People search for everything online, from what to wear for a night on the town and which doctor to choose, to where to get their dog a custom shampoo and trim. In the world of the Internet, your secret to success is not just about finding clients, but about helping them find you.
When your business is listed in popular directories like Foursquare, TripAdvisor, Yelp and Bing Places, potential clients will be more likely to find you when they search online. There are dozens of listings sites designed to help consumers find reputable businesses in their area. Make sure your business is listed on as many of these sites as possible.
4. Freebies work!
One foolproof way to get people’s attention is to give out something for free. As the biggest free website builder on the web, we’ve learned this from experience! Think about something you can offer for free that will get potential clients to knock on your door or dial your number. If you own a hair salon, throw in a free bottle of shampoo with each wash, cut and blowdry. Throw in a free desert with every order to your food delivery business or give away free logo to the first 10 customers who contact your web design agency.
To get the word out about your free promotion, create fliers and post them in popular spots around town. Coffee shops, diners, the local library and even public bathroom stalls make great places to hang your fliers. Use Wix to generate a free, custom QR code so people can easily check out your website straight from the flier. Add a little hand-written note with your freebie for a personal touch. It’s a small gesture but one that shows your customers you care about them.
5. Run a Contest
A good contest can grab people’s attention just like free giveaways! Bring out the competitive spirit in folks by creating a fun, interactive contest that will generate hype in town and across social media. Invite fans to create a new name for your latest product or ask customers to take (and post!) pictures of themselves using your merchandise. If you want to get the most of your contest, make sure you interview the happy winners. You can later turn these interviews into testimonials and add them to your website – a great way for your business to earn more credibility.
6. Try Good Ol’ Radio
As the Internet becomes the go-to platform for advertising, other mediums like radio have become less expensive. You might be surprised at how affordable it is to snag a 10-second spot on the local airwaves.
But the truth is, you can often find your way onto the radio without spending any money at all. Research popular talk shows on your local radio stations and then think about fun ways that you can highlight your business by appearing on one of them.
Are you a wedding planner? Offer to do a piece about the top ten mistakes that couples make when planning a wedding. Own a toy store? Create a pre-Christmas list of the 10 hottest toys of the season. Regardless of what you are selling, you can find an angle that will enable you to show off your expertise while letting people know about your business.
Once you have your idea, pick up the phone and pitch it to the most popular FM show in town. You may also want to check out online or satellite radio stations where your gig can reach a wider audience.
7. Hit the Pavement
To attract new clients, you want to make sure that your name is out there. This will ensure that potential clients in your area will think of you when they need the service or product you provide. The best way to do this is to hit the pavement, get involved and start making connections in your area. Meet as many people as you can.
Becoming a household name in your comunity isn’t as hard as it sounds. If you live in a big city, focus on a particular neighborhood. Live in the country? Focus on the nearest town or a local university.
Start by joining the local chamber of commerce. Then, volunteer at the starting line of the next 10K race or sign up to sort donations at the second hand clothing store. You get the picture.
Read the local paper so you know about any events in your area. Whether it’s a street festival, a local high school play or a community meeting, make sure you show up. Remember that every person you speak to is a potential client – or a link to one. While you shouldn’t push your business too hard, let people know who you are and what you do. Results may not be immediate but sooner or later clients will start turning to you as they hear the buzz around town about your awesome business.
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