If you've always had an entrepreneurial spirit, starting a small business could provide an independent lifestyle with lots of creative freedom. When you have an outstanding idea for a new company, you'll need solid marketing to get it off the ground.
In this guide, I’ll give you 8 ways to start attracting attention and driving revenue. They’re all easy to implement, and the best part is that most of them are free!
8 Ways to Attract Clients to Your New Business
You don't need to spend a lot of money on marketing efforts when you start a new business. Instead, try these 8 smart low-cost ways to connect with your target customers.
1. Make a Big First Impression
You don't have to host a big-budget event to give your new business an impressive introduction. Instead, look to the milestones in our lives for inspiration about how to announce your endeavor to family and friends.
Digital and physical postcards provide a quick primer about what your company does and how to get in touch with you, while laying the foundation for a recognizable brand. Don't forget to encourage your personal network to share with others who could use your services!
2. Attend Networking Events
Speaking of sharing, you'll need to connect with new people to create an effective professional network. It's hard to overestimate the value of face-to-face conversations to spread the word about your small business. When you meet people in person and tell them about your enterprise, they'll be more likely to remember you and reach out in the future.
Look for local networking events your customers will attend, and plan a brief "elevator pitch" that gives the basics about your business in a minute or two. While you're there, take the opportunity to ask questions so you can learn more about what your ideal client needs and your product can solve those problems. Arrive in the mindset of expressing how your business model can benefit others.
3. Connect With Your Community
Seek opportunities to speak to others about your business in both formal and informal settings. You can collaborate with other small business owners to host community events that encourage engagement and awareness. Some inspiring ideas include:
- A speaker series featuring short seminars about topics of interest, followed by a Q&A or social session
- Workshops that show potential customers how to make the most of your products and services
- Lectures at local Chamber of Commerce events, organizational meetings, and institutions like county colleges and community centers
- Booths and sponsorships at community events and fairs
- Attendance at industry trade shows and conferences
- Q&A sessions and frequent regular engagement on online forums where your customers hang out
- Knowledge sharing with a free ebook or online course
4. Reach Out on Social Media
Spending time on social media apps, particularly business-focused sites such as LinkedIn, can lead to a following among potential customers.
Set up a profile for your business and begin interacting with community connections to drive engagement and build buzz. Share interesting articles about your industry niche to establish yourself as a thought leader and encourage your audience to trust your expertise.
Casually chat with acquaintances and former colleagues to see how you can help one another expand the reach of your business ventures. Don't hesitate to send cold messages even if it's been a while since you've spoken. Instead of making an immediate request, highlight how you can potentially help enhance their enterprise.
5. Create a Referral Program
When you have a few dedicated customers, ask them to spread the word about your business to their friends, colleagues, and family members. Offering a monetary reward or incentive for referrals that turn into purchases can be a cost-effective way to build a loyal client base. It's also a great reason to reach out to repeat customers who you haven't heard from lately.
You can also consider a so-called "social proof" program by encouraging satisfied customers to post about you on review apps like Google and Yelp. It's as easy as posting a few signs in your location and adding links to review forms on your online receipts. Encourage a higher response level with coupons for fans and followers who post positive feedback about your business.
Happy clients aren't the only strong source of referrals. You can also partner with small business owners in related but non-competing industries to create a loose referral network. For example, if you work as a web designer, your clients probably need hosting services. You can share these leads with your connections in that business and in turn, they'll recommend your services to their clients.
While you might get some organic referrals and reviews, taking a proactive approach will quickly boost your numbers. Good ratings on social media platforms can also have a positive impact on your company's search engine performance, further improving your online visibility.
6. Offer Deals to New Customers
Once your audience starts hearing about your business, give them a reason to stop by with a special coupon for first-time clients. For example, if you run a yoga studio or teach fitness classes, provide a trial session so you can show off your stuff and hopefully gain a loyal customer. Have a special two-for-one day where you invite customers to bring a friend for free.
If you primarily run an online business, you can take advantage of this tip with a pop-up offer on your website. You might promise an e-book download or a coupon for 10% off the person's initial purchase in exchange for their email address. Whether you provide a physical or online incentive, keep track of new clients who redeem the offer so you can encourage them to become repeat customers with targeted marketing messages.
You can also expand this program to include prospects who haven't purchased from you lately. Invite previous customers to see your new collections and sweeten the offer with a coupon code. You can even take a candid approach and ask for feedback about why they've decided to go elsewhere for similar services, if you suspect a switch to a competing company.
7. Promote With Paid Ads
You don't need a huge marketing budget to make an impact with paid ads online. Spending a few hundred dollars on a social media campaign can raise brand awareness and bring in those first flickers of interest.
Most platforms, including Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook, make it easy to promote your products and services while targeting a selected set of users personalized based on your preferences.
You can conduct market research to find out where your ideal customer spends time online, then make sure your brand becomes visible in those locations. If someone hears about your small business from friends, they should also see you on their social feeds.
8. Prioritize Convenient Payment
If it's not easy for your customers to order your products online, they may seek similar items from your competitors instead. Partnering with Pay.com makes it easy to accept credit and debit cards, with state-of-the-art security features that achieve the highest level of industry compliance.
You can expand your customer base by taking multiple forms of payment, including credit and debit cards as well as digital wallets, electronic transfers, and other innovative options.
What's the Best Way for a New Business to Accept Payments?
Running your small business can remain your main focus when you choose Pay.com as your payment service provider. We manage the process of accepting online payments from start to finish, with flexible features such as:
- A customized checkout page on your own website
- Pay Links, which connect customers to personalized checkout pages
- Pay Virtual Terminal, an easy way to manually collect and enter credit card details
Pay.com also provides the security your clients deserve in their online transactions. We shield sensitive financial data with state-of-the-art tech tools like tokenization, achieving the highest available level of compliance with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). You'll be able to focus on your marketing efforts without concerns about data breaches that affect your finances and your industry reputation.
With our Pay Dashboard, you can see every transaction from any connected device, and view in-depth reports and analytics regarding your incoming payments.
Don’t wait till the last minutes - click here to create your Pay.com account now!
The Bottom Line: How Should You Market Your New Business?
You don't have to be a marketing master to begin building your customer base with these ideas. Start with the methods that seem most appealing and invest in the strategies that drive results. When you work with Pay.com, you can track all your sales on your Pay Dashboard, run reports, and find out how to capitalize on your advertising efforts.
Pay.com offers a convenient experience for you and your customers, with an array of secure payment methods.