Businesses have never had more touch-points to find new customers. But that can be a bad thing – because customers are harder to find than ever, and it can be difficult to get your message heard.
When you aren’t sure where to find your would-be customers, you aren’t sure where you should spend your marketing time and budget. So let’s take a closer look at where to find your customers in all that clutter.
Step One: Look Before You Speak
The truth is too many businesses don’t actually spend any time looking for specific connections with new customers. They launch a general advertising campaign, without any real focus. They throw out a big net, and hope it catches some fish.
That’s not the way to get your message heard. Yes, you may catch some fish. But you will catch a lot of garbage too. You’ll waste your time trying to convert a lot of unqualified leads, and speaking to people who have no real need or interest for your offering.
So do your homework before you invest any time or money.
Step Two: Leverage What You Have
Your existing customers are invaluable assets in finding new ones. So few small businesses actually take advantage of this. The more popular approach is to try what other people in your industry have done before.
Don’t copy other businesses to get your message heard. Instead, talk to ideal clients or prospects directly, and ask them how often they check email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other platforms. Ask what blogs they read, what print material they read, and who they listen to on TV and radio. Use that to formulate your plan to find your marketing strategy.
You can also get your existing customers to link you directly to like-minded people, via referrals.
“Offer discounts on future purchases or even commission, if your existing customers introduce new customers to you,” advised The Marketing Donut.
“Word-of-mouth recommendation is the most potent form of advertising, so surpass customers’ expectations where possible.”
Step Three: Create Buyer Personas
Based on your research and experience in your industry, create a picture of who you believe your target customer is. And be as specific as possible.
“Start by knowing your current customers and everything about them. I suggest that you develop a precise profile of shoppers; age, education, gender, marital status, employment, hobbies, and the places they visit, on-line and off,” wrote Allan Hall, a contributor at Forbes.com.
“Once this is complete, it will be very clear to you who your true clients are.”
This persona will change as you learn more. But you need to start with a baseline in order to know the best way to get your message heard.
Step Four: Avoid Bandwagons
Too many business owners follow trends or fads in online business instead of actually spending time where their ideal, paying customers spend time.
Yes, there is an amazing selection of social and digital tools out there to attract new customers. BUT, these tools should compliment your research, not replace it.
Keep the trends in the back of your mind. Bookmark the ads for new tools. You can give them a serious look once you have a better idea of how your new customers behave and where they are.
Step Five: Stay Focused
Don’t overcommit. Choose one or two platforms and be consistent. Stay focused in building and audience and turning that audience into leads. Once you are consistent and still have the staff and time to add another platform, you can expand your reach.
Trying too many things at once makes it more difficult to measure your results. So does abandoning your tactics for something new and flashy. Stay focused and you’ll have a great chance to get your message heard.
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