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5 Great Tips to Attract New Customers If You Are a Small Business

5 Great Tips to Attract New Customers If You Are a Small Business

Building a steady stream of new customers can seem like a complex task, especially if you are a small business. You have a great vision for your company, but you can’t prosper only on word of mouth. Try these 5 tips to get your company noticed and attract new customers.

Register on Lead Generation Platforms

To build a solid client portfolio, you need to attract visitors to your website, convert them into leads and only then can you close them as customers. But how can you accelerate this process?

There are websites and platforms that help small and midsized businesses generate leads right away. Thumbtack, BuyerZone, Opporty, Kinnek, ZocDoc, BuildingPros, HomeContractors.biz, Upcounsel.com, Service.ariba.com – just to name a few.

There are niche-focused lead generation platforms, as well as general purpose ones. Just google a platform for your industry and start attracting solid leads in no time. Leads from such platforms are more interested in a product or service your business offers, and, therefore, they are a much safer pick if you are a beginner and push hard to cut marketing costs.

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Nurture Relationships with Businesses & Professionals

Referrals and recommendations play a huge role in attracting high-quality customers. According to the recent report provided by Ambassador, over 80% of Americans seek recommendations from family, friends, professionals and other businesses when considering a purchase. It’s crucial to mix in with people who can refer prospects to your website and popularize your brand.

How do you get noticed and make the right connections?

  • Attend industry-related events and make sure that you stand out from the crowd. For instance, you can make a presentation to showcase your company.
  • Ask questions and start conversations with influential professionals and local gurus. Don’t be afraid of approaching a pro – they seek attention themselves and will be happy to help you (if it’s in their interest, of course).
  • Mention those professionals in your blog posts. Most likely, they will mention you back. Some of them will refer clients to you as well.

As soon as you have nurtured fruitful relationships with influential businesses and industry leaders, you will see a positive difference in traffic, clients and conversions.

Differentiate Your Business from Competitors

What kind of business are you? Have you ever given it a thought? If your answer is ’no’, right now is time to think about that.

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Most likely, your business fills some sort of a void in the market. If it doesn’t, it didn’t make any sense to start it in the first place, right? In any case, you should focus on breaking down your core values because they help differentiate your business from competitors.

Differentiation is by far the most powerful marketing strategy. Your job is to figure out how you stand out from the others and then communicate it to your potential customers. Even if you own a run-of-the-mill business, you can differentiate yourself. Make a unique offer, solve a problem, or just provide top-notch customer service.

You can also build your brand around how different you are (even if you are not). Position your business against competition or let your customers uncover why you are the best in the niche. Just stick to it and be patient. The payoff will be huge.

Understand Why a Customer Should Choose You

To drive traffic and customers to your website, it’s crucial to play to your strengths. Why should customers choose your company over the others? What’s your competitive advantage? Is it high quality? Reasonable pricing? Or unrivaled customer service?

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You must be able to answer the questions above. If you cannot, it simply means that you don’t know your business as you should. And if that’s true, you will never be able to showcase its strengths, not weaknesses, to prospective clients. Identify these strengths and focus your marketing efforts to highlight these reasons.

If you have to operate in a versatile industry, don’t be afraid to collect feedback from your returning customers. Create a brief or survey and ask them to help. No luck? Sugar the deal by offering discounts or special offers to anyone who sends feedback.

Hire a Digital Marketing Agency that Provides Services for Your Niche

If you lack the expertise or time to do this on your own, ask for professional help. Research and hire an agency that provides digital marketing services in your niche. Certified pros will utilize the power of search engine optimization, pay-per-click marketing, and social media marketing to keep the juices flowing to your website.

How to choose a digital marketing agency? Ask your friends and relatives for referrals; check reviews on Google, Yelp and LinkedIn; search for companies that cater specifically for your industry.

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Basically, you need to find an agency that is experienced in your industry niche and ready to go the extra mile for you. Let the professionals audit your website and devise a detailed digital marketing strategy for your business.

To Sum It Up

Finding new customers is often a fundamental problem for small business owners. Their companies are flexible, but lack marketing dollars to fortify their position in the industry. Don’t worry, you can still attract paying customers without huge budgets.

Use four of the aforesaid tips first and only then consider hiring a digital marketing agency. Most likely, you know your business better than anybody else, so take advantage of it. Create a buzz about your strengths (e.g. expertise, product quality, huge price discounts) and eventually customers will flock to your website.

If nothing helps, don’t be afraid to contact a professional. The chances are your website isn’t optimized properly, or suffers from poor usability, etc. Invest in digital marketing and, in most cases, you will see the results within a month.

Featured photo credit: startupstockphotos.com via pexels.com

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Jane Hurst

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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