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10 Effective Ways To Get More Customers

10 Effective Ways To Get More Customers

Clients and customers are the lifeblood of business – without these valuable groups, you won’t have any business to speak of. Unfortunately, there’s no magical “formula” you can use that will help get more customers to your business.

Luckily, building advantageous relationships, doing some savvy networking, and good old fashioned marketing make it an easier process to get new customers. Just follow these tips:

1. Brazenly Bare It All

If you have a physical store-front, there is no better way to bring in foot traffic than a window display. Have the guts to show people what you can give them.

Consumers are bombarded with persuasion tricks and savvy marketers who know a thing or two about manipulation. Counter this by showing products and decorating your store in eye-catching ways.

2. Why Going Old School Boosts Leads

Remember flyers and brochures? These “dinosaur tactics” of marketing can generate incredible leads – if you execute your marketing strategy properly.

Real life marketing can be a breath of fresh air in a world where online marketing runs rampant. Since we live in a visual society, take your main benefits and apply them to your flyers, brochures, and pamphlets in ways that people will instantly recognize.

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You even have the opportunity here to include discount coupons (which advertising masters David Ogilvy, Claude Hopkins, and Robert Collier swear by – and if they’re good enough for the legends of marketing, they’re good enough for you).

Offer 25% or 50% off for customers who bring you the coupon or code.

3. It’s Who You Know That Shows The Moolah

Who do you know in business? Think of every name you’ve come across in the past that you think will help you and ask them how you can help them. Maybe propose a joint venture-ship?

Tap hot, marketable names in your network, and help them for no charge. This will A) not only show goodwill of your character, but B) tap into the fact that people tend to feel the need to reciprocate goodwill. So they probably will do something for you in return.

4. Dominate Trade Shows

Attending trade shows is a phenomenal way for spreading exposure for your business, nabbing you some important face-time with important movers and shakers.

Do you have a booth set up? Are you selling something or looking to just build leads? Whatever the case, trade shows (especially specialty ones) are important for one reason: foot traffic. A lot of foot traffic.

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There’s rarely a place or time when so many people expect to be sold to. Most people are genuinely interested in each other’s businesses – so why not go all out? Give each and every person who visits your booth a reason for them to see how much you value them. Unabashedly lay out every single benefit people get from doing business with you – without hype, without fluff, and without gimmicky showmanship.

There’s one big caveat: your trade show displays create a brand image. Having a bad one can sink your business faster than you can say “Jack Robinson”. That’s why having a solid-as-stone brand image, high-tier professional displays, and out-of-this-world courtesy gives you nothing but A grades all across the board.

Plus, these trade shows give you a chance to try out some creative exhibits that will really wow browsers and executives alike.

5. Develop Your USP

USP is short for Unique Selling Position. It’s actually “Proposition,” but I like “Position” better. What you’re essentially doing is positioning your business or campaign a certain way – a way that’s different from the competition.

A popular example is pizza delivery. Do you remember when Dominoes first advertised the “At your house in 30 minutes or your pizza is free” craze? This unique selling position set them up for a radical boost in profits.

Rosser Reeves, in his book “Reality In Advertising,” describes Dodge Chrysler’s USP as thus: “It was sent smashing through creeks.  Elephants were photographed standing on its top to show the strength of the body. Chorus girls, two and three at a time, were shown hanging from one opened door to prove the strength of the hinges. ‘TOUGHNESS … RUGGEDNESS—WITH BEAUTY!’ This was the USP, although it was never summed up in so many pat words.”

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6. Billboards Aren’t Always Annoying

Billboards are a quick and easy way to get your “face” out there, in front of the people immediately. Sadly, billboards don’t come cheap. However, since there are billboards everywhere, I’d say the amount of people you can reach far outweighs the cost.

7. Run A Smart Ad Campaign

If you’ve invested in Google Adwords or Facebook ads, you know that these platforms are great for business (if you’re savvy enough to know what you’re doing). They are a very affordable way to advertise for business owners on a shoestring budget.

Perfect Audience and Adroll are two great re-targeting services for site owners with huge bounce rates.

Does the reality of running a full ad campaign frighten you? Don’t worry: Kudu does just that.

8. Excellent Customer Service

Without a doubt, customers must be at the heart of your business. People are liable to find something wrong with your business and are bound to complain about it. It’s ugly, but it’s just the way we are. This is why having someone trained in handling people – a real people person – is a wise investment.

When you’re reaching out using mail, consider sending a handwritten letter. The days of personalized communication methods like this are gone, why not bring it back? Plus, people will be less likely to think you’re just another scam artist looking for money.

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9. Create Controversy

In order to bring people into his museum, legendary showman P.T. Barnum paid a nobody to set up blocks outside his museum. The nobody would lay down several bricks on top of each other, move down a bit, remove the bricks and pile them on top of each other, move down a bit again, and so on. What’s so controversial about this?

This man was arrested because crowds of people blocked traffic. Since it was right outside Barnum’s museum, people stepped inside to ask him what the heck was going on. This meant dollars for him and the entertainer.

Create ethical controversy that doesn’t hurt anyone (or is illegal).

10. Genuinely Help People

Above all, the most important part of business is helping people, actually helping them to make their lives easier. At the heart of your business is income and profits, right? If word gets out that your business is less than honest and is just another run-of-the-mill bad experience, word of mouth will spread, and you will be avoided like the plague.

Likewise, if you provide genuine value to people, they’ll praise you up and down the street to friends. Bottom line: be an ethical marketer and person, and you’ll be rewarded ten-fold in the form of increased profits that are out of this world.

Final Thoughts

Keep in mind that everybody’s experiences with marketing is different. However, the age-old adage remains true: you’ll never know until you try. Trying is what separates winners from losers. Regardless, utilizing these marketing and content strategies creatively will probably boost your business and make people see how you can truly help them.

Featured photo credit: via pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on May 28, 2020

How to Succeed in Business: 10 Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs

How to Succeed in Business: 10 Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs

Learning how to succeed in business used to be a case of being really good at one skill or area and milking it for all its value. Today, we are fast becoming a “skills economy”[1], driving trends in employment and even the way we approach entrepreneurship.

To succeed in today’s business landscape, business owners and executives need to possess a mix of skills that enable them to stay ahead and adapt to change.

1. Digital Savviness

As the adage goes: “If you’re not online, you don’t exist.” Today’s entrepreneurs need to take to the internet to increase their presence and to remain relevant in an evolving business landscape.

Companies like Amazon, Netflix, Airbnb and more are a testament to the disruptive impact of technology and the new image of what it means to be a skilled, successful professional. Think about today’s Mark Zuckerberg versus a banker from the 90s.

Being able to quickly adapt to new technology, like cloud applications and collaborating remotely across the internet, is fast becoming the expected norm for executives.

For businesses, discoverability on the web is becoming a quick litmus test for credibility. Potential customers and investors bank on the first page of Google to make up half their minds about making further transactions with a business. GE Capital Retail Bank found that 81% of retail shoppers conduct online research before buying[2].

How to Develop This Skill

For a start, begin by hosting your website and reserving all of your brand’s handles across social media platforms. While hiring a web developer might sound like the next step, consider first hosting your company’s site on more user and budget-friendly options like Squarespace, Wix, or WordPress.

From here, you can start on some simple search engine optimization techniques that will increase your discoverability over time. Through keyword research, organic content creation, and external back-links, your site will, eventually, slowly but surely garner more traffic.

Note, however, that an increase in search traffic does not immediately imply an increase in revenue. But it’s a start for delving into customer conversion rates in the future.

2. Financial Forecasting

Let’s face it, many business owners feel that time could be better spent on developing and running the business instead of planning for it financially. However, a financial forecast serves as a roadmap for shaping any kind of business and is not just reserved for the likes of listed companies providing financial guidance to shareholders.

Largely, forecasting and planning your financial goals will give you a clearer idea of resources required and ways to measure success. It can also provide assurance to investors as a testament to the thorough research and planning you have done when included in business plans.

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However, inaccurate forecasts can lead to livid investors and mismanagement of expenses, which could potentially result in financial teething problems. When creating a detailed financial forecast, a rule of thumb is to always start with your expenses.

How to Develop This Skill

Generally, it is easier to calculate and predict your expenses compared to your revenue, so noting down your expenses is a starting point to benchmark how much you might need to generate in sales to turn a profit. It is a good habit to regularly update and evaluate how adjacent your operations are to what you have forecasted.

Building a precise set of growth forecasting will take time, but, remember, you are an investor in your own business. You must have confidence in the validity of your business concept.

3. Video Production Skills

The rise of visual mediums and the dopamine boosts it gives to users has long been researched and proven as providing an unfair advantage to businesses that leverage it[3].

If you’re a heavy user of social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and even YouTube, you’ll know that it’s pretty hard to stop once you get started on a binge-watching session.

In fact, video marketing is seeing a non-stop rise in popularity and effectiveness when used in conjunction with social media to drive traffic and boost conversions[4]. According to research, by 2019, 80% of global Internet consumption will be video content[5]. With video marketing becoming more ubiquitous, businesses that fail to leverage the power of video are almost certain to lose out.

How to Develop This Skill

Some ways to get started with using videos for your business would be:

  • Creating a series of educational videos that cover useful information for your audiences
  • Live videos interacting with your community at large (these can be shot on your smart phone)
  • Using videos on landing pages to boost your customer conversions

4. Benchmarking Personal Goals to Business Performance

As far as you get into achieving endeavours on your business bucket list, it’s important to remember that being an entrepreneur is just one facet of your identity. Don’t forget why you started in the first place.

Ambition usually stems from some lifestyle goals you’ve always wanted for yourself and the people you might be providing for today or in the future. Working 24/7 is a surefire route to burnout and may manifest in an unhealthy interaction between partners and employees as well.

How to Develop This Skill

Money can’t be your only motivation, but look into the positives of how having more financial freedom and time can impact your life. In the short term, involving your interests in your businesses can make everyday tasks feel less like mundane errands. In the long run, your business may also bring you fruitful rewards, including personal fulfilment.

Set realistic income goals to manage expectations for your performance and your company’s revenue, especially during its earlier stages. See how projected growth can align with your personal goals and make adjustments accordingly to maintain a balance between growth and your personal values.

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5. Leveraging Healthy Competition

Some of the best athletes who have spent their careers neck-and-neck with each other have changed the standards in their respective sports. The notion of healthy competition applies to the business world more than it may seem on the surface.

Innovation has always been a key driver in free markets, which were intended to boost economies and provide customers with more choices. Just like the biggest sporting rivals that build on each others’ game, you can use your biggest competitors to hone your strategies.

How to Develop This Skill

Turn a competitive market landscape into an advantageous one by leveraging on long-established systems your business proposes an alternative to. Learn from the mistakes of predecessors once you discover their product or service loopholes.

For example, the Dollar Shave Club’s viral video[6] became a big hit because it hit the right buttons of consumers being tired of purchasing expensive but low quality shavers from incumbent retail giants. Going in second meant they could fill a gap competitors might not even have been aware of.

Apart from lifting off from what could have been your second-mover advantage, solidify your place with your business’ own first-mover advantage — whether you’re tapping into a new geographical region, unexplored market sector, or introducing a business model that proves more viable than others. There’s always room for improvement in business from mature markets to newly emerging ones.

6. Honing Pitches to Investors

Stand out in a broad mix of budding entrepreneurs by mastering the art and science behind a solid investor pitch that can determine the acceleration of growth for your business. Get comfortable talking about your ideas and receiving feedback or questions from peers, partners, and advisors before setting out to make a good impression on potential customers and eventually investors.

The phrase “If you can’t convince them, confuse them,” will certainly never get your business funded, especially in front of seasoned venture capitalists who have seen thousands of startup pitches. You should be able to deliver a quick elevator pitch that summarizes your unique proposition and its market viability for casual meet-ups[7] because you sometimes only have a few minutes to make a good impression and move on to another meeting.

How to Develop This Skill

Develop your investor pitch deck by highlighting your business’ strongest points, which will vary for every funding round. Create your deck with the investors’ interests in mind, balancing technical jargon and buzzwords.

You can also introduce your diverse team of experts, some proven traction, or the current state of the market to demonstrate profitability and the attractiveness of the opportunity to investors.

Ensure each slide flows into the other to develop a persuasive narrative, utilizing consistent and intelligent design principles to support your content.

7. Developing a Strong Brand Identity

In a world of saturated content and numerous emerging businesses that offer similar service lines, developing a unique brand identity will help you cut through the noise and stand out from your competition. From aesthetics to the body of clients you’re associated with, these contribute to how you’re perceived by prospects looking to buy.

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Evaluating your brand identity is linked to identifying your target customers, your business goals, a proposed promised land your solution achieves, and identifying values that are aligned to these components. Brand identity serves as a guide to maintaining consistency and creating an image you want your business to be associated with.

How to Develop This Skill

Efforts to strengthen your brand identity are closely tied to giving marketing strategies a direction. By knowing what makes your target customers tick, their values, ideals, and behavior, you will be able to elevate your business from simply being a service or product to be utilized into a projected brand customers and partners would be happy to identify with.

8. Automating to Your Advantage

The need for efficiency is often the general problem new businesses aim to resolve across all markets and industries. Assure that your proposed solution is more efficient than what’s readily available in the market to instill the need for it.

Efficiency is often achieved nowadays through digitalization and new technologies. While your product or service may not necessarily be the most innovative out there, you can apply the same automation concept across your business’ daily operations.

How to Develop This Skill

Shorten turnaround times and conversion rates by investing in small tools for automation where you deem fit. While it may come out of your pocket in the early stages, evaluate the holistic advantages and benefits of automating certain processes. At our office, we’ve tried using collaborative apps like Workplace by Facebook, Slack, Asana and a few other popular apps to reduce human error and friction.

9. Managing Millennials

Your team plays an integral part in whether your business will accelerate at breakneck speeds or be dragged down by dead weight. Hence, it is imperative to be selective and strategic when choosing your team.

In leaner small business teams, the addition of every new teammate can impact how your organization culture evolves.

Today, learning to manage millennials has become an increasingly sought after skill as well due to the increasing proportion of them in the workforce[8]. Some brand them as strawberries that are easily bruised and others loath their need for “meaning” and wearing t-shirts to work.

How to Develop This Skill

Naturally, there are many misconceptions surrounding millennials, and various businesses would do well to leverage their unique skills.

A couple of ways to manage a millennial team include:

Encourage a Flat Team Structure With Open Communication

Maintain clear professional lines between supervisors and subordinates but keep communication channels open to ensure no negativity festers.

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Offer Constructive Feedback

Baby boomers are well known for their straightforward approach to delivering feedback. Millennials, on the other hand, don’t always take feedback in a form that could be construed as deep criticism.

Being constructive with feedback ensures that we don’t coddle millennial workers but also tell them the things they need to hear.

10. Maintaining a Network of Connectivity

Instead of proposing a business that’s ambitiously and entirely disruptive to the supply or process chain in a respective industry, foster connections with other companies that cater to the same target customers as long as they provide a different service.

By creating partnerships, both you and other businesses thrive simultaneously through creative avenues for customers to utilize your products and services for a holistically improved user experience.

Sole market disruption isn’t always the best strategy to take. Not everybody has the opportunity, bandwidth, or financial capacity to dominate and monopolize a marketplace. See your potential for integration into other businesses and services as a good opportunity for co-collaborative marketing efforts with shared campaigns, split costs, and a strengthened customer database for everyone to tap into.

How to Develop This Skill

Regardless of the stage your business is in, never stop looking for ways to expand your network. Keep in contact with mentors you can look to for valuable industry advice that can help you avoid pitfalls and costly mistakes. Strengthen brand awareness by attending cross-industry events and casual meet-ups to open your business to reinvention and innovation.

As the African proverb goes:

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Collaborating will get you where you want to go quicker and gear you up for further growth.

More Tips on How to Succeed in Business

Featured photo credit: Tyler Franta via unsplash.com

Reference

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