“How do I find new clients?” or “How do I find more customers?” Is a conversation I have with many of my clients and is often quite a big driver for them to seek marketing support. With so many choices and options out there these days – how do you know where to focus your marketing energies? Where do you start? Now, as I am sure you an imagine to answer this question is REALLY big and takes time, but I wanted to share with you some strategic things to think about and some tactical actions that you can take now to help get you started.
So firstly the more top line things to think about, building your marketing strategy is a really important first step and without clarity of understanding around these things it is difficult for the tactical actions to be effective:
- What am I trying to do? Knowing and understanding what you want to try to achieve is really important, do you want to gain new clients? Greater client engagement? Referrals or recommendations from your existing audience. Defining SMART, quantifiable objectives with clear time frames will help you understand if you have been successful or not.
- Who am I trying to speak to? This is really important to understand with any marketing project – website, ad or flyer. If you don’t know who you wish to speak to or provide them with a proposition that they want or need it will be difficult to proceed forward.
- What am I offering my target audience? Once you know what you want to do and who you wish to speak to, providing them with a proposition that they need or want is key. Perhaps it is a case of letting them know how you can help them or what product you sell, if possible identifying their need with this will make your communication more successful.
- What do I want my audience to do? Once you have started to think more about the above, you also need to think about what action you want your target audience to take? Do you want them to read a blog? Interact on social media or book something with you? Making it easy for them to do so will remove any potential barriers to them not engaging with your business or service.
There are many simple marketing tips that we could share with you to help answer the question “How do I find more clients?”, we share some more strategic ideas in our earlier blog but I wanted to share some really short, sharp tactical things you can do now which will start to make a difference:
Little and often. Marketing is most impactful if you do little and often, it will achieve less for you if you do a lot for two weeks and nothing for a month. If you are launching your business or you have a particular message you wish to communicate then absolutely, it does make sense to talk a lot about it, have a focused approach and perhaps do more than usual but then find a rhythm. Define what you will commit it and the frequency and then deliver consistently. One thing that I have committed to for example, is to send out a monthly newsletter, which I have done religiously since August 2014.
Mini campaigns. Marketing is most impactful if you think about your content as mini campaigns, ensure that you have a consistent message running across all of your marketing activity. It is no good for example if you are a photographer to talk about head shot photographs in Linked In, Wedding photographs in Facebook and pet photography via your email all at the same time. Whilst you may well offer these services, your audiences will be confused and not know where to turn, plus the cut through to engage with your audience will be limited.
Less is more. Being single minded in any marketing communication will ensure that your audience are clear on what you are trying to explain to them. Too often I see a leaflet where someone has tried to include everything they do – this is what the website is for, to give you more space to expand and provide more information about what you do. Be mindful that each media has a different role to play in the marketing mix.
Be visual. In today’s digital world the more visual you can be, the greater impact will be achieved, when you are trying to connect with your target audience. Video is another important tool to help you connect with your target audience.
Engage with your audience. Potential clients want to get to know you a little first, before they buy – it is human nature. If I am looking for a product or service I want to know a bit about the individual behind the scenes, the company and then the products that they sell. By engaging with your audience you will achieve this. Tools like social media are not intended to be broadcast media, but a conversation. Someone once gave me a fantastic analogy, social media is like a garden party. You would not walk in and start shouting “Buy my goods or services”, you would ask of the people around, how are they? and what do they do? This translates into the digital world as well.
Follow up with enquiries and past clients. People are often apprehensive to pick up the phone and talk to people. Take a deep breath, take a chance and you never know what might happen? Reconnecting with past clients or those who have enquired with you might reap great rewards.
Sparkle. The final tactical tip is to sparkle. If you have a passion for your small business, people will be drawn to this. Share this passion via all different types of media so that people can see this in action.
The final thing to note is to test and learn everything. Ensure you have metrics and measures in place to help you understand if something has worked or not?
Enjoy and good luck!