Getting clients and customers in business is the holy grail of growing your income. And I hear the cry daily of “I need more customers” from people, and they always want more ideas for how to get more customers in their businesses.
With that idea in mind, I decided to create a list with a ton of different ways to get customers or clients in business. Now, I’m not encouraging you to use every single one of these. The trick is to find the few that really work for you.
1. Direct Mailing. I’ve heard some say that they think direct mailing is dead. Yet, it is one of the most effective ways to get clients and customers in many businesses. Don’t count it out yet.
2. Write a Book. A book can make an excellent calling card for you for your business. It can be used in many different contexts, and doesn’t have to be as long as War and Peace. You can write a shorter book.
3. Create a Podcast. Many people now listen to podcasts. Create a podcast with a vision, and tell your story, share your vision, bring on guests, and upload it to iTunes.
4. Guest Podcasting. Just as you can create your own podcast, most podcasters are looking for guests. If you’re looking for tons of exposure to other people’s audiences, then this is a great way to get yourself out there. Be a great guest and help people promote their podcasts and you’ll get to be a guest on many of them!
5. Guest Writing. Many outlets and blogs accept guest articles. Elephant Journal, Huffington Post, Inc, Forbes, Leadership Girl, and more. If you are working on expanding your reach, one of the easiest ways is to submit articles to other sites.
6. Speaking Engagements. Look around you, and you’ll find speaking engagements. Community groups, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Rotary Club, Lions Club, and More- they’re looking for guest speakers, and help with a variety of topics. It’s amazing what you will get once you reach out, and just ask. Once you have built up and done a few, smaller gigs, you can work up to larger, and more impressive opportunities.
7. Networking Meetings. Find some good networking meetings through BNI, or Meetup.com. Note that business isn’t actually done at the meeting, but rather afterwards at 1:1 meetings. If you have attended meetings in the past that haven’t worked out, I challenge you to go back and find a group that is a good fit for you and has people who will meet with you and actually refer to you!
8. Become an Expert Writer for a Magazine or Newspaper. I’ve found that being a regular contributor to certain magazines and newspapers has helped me grow my career tremendously. I try to choose based on reach and exposure. And I make sure that I’m getting exposed to a different audience. This is a great opportunity for exposure.
9. Alumni Groups. If you have graduated from a particular school, university or other program, there may be an alumni group that you can join. Given that people will do business with those they know, like and trust, this is an excellent opportunity to find other people who have quite a bit in common with you already. That’s a big step in the direction of ‘Know, Like and Trust’, which makes it that much easier to convert them into a customer.
10. Volunteering. You can’t volunteer and hope to find clients instantly, but volunteering in the right places, and being consistent about it can be a huge source of clients. As a Girl Scout Leader for the last several years, many of my best referrals have come from the parents in the troop.
11. Facebook Ads. You can target nearly anyone using Facebook Ads. Since Facebook collects vast amounts of information about its users, this is a great opportunity to be able to target people very precisely, and to get in front of the people you’re trying to reach.
12. Google Adwords. Google advertising works wonders to help you get in front of people when they are searching for businesses like yours. That means if you have a relatively new website, or perhaps there are a gazillion other people like you out there (you know, like the fact that there are hundreds of divorce attorneys in Wake County, and hundreds of home care agencies). You can make yourself come out at the top of searches for a price.
13. Facebook Live. Facebook Live is free, and is arguably one of the most powerful ways to connect with people on social media. By getting in front of people on a regular basis, on video, and delivering high quality content, you are likely to get more clients, faster. This works well for many different types of businesses and can be quite powerful.
14. Kids’ Activities. If you have kids, and they have activities like sports, music, dance, and the like, you are likely sitting in the lobby while your children are taking lessons. This provides you an opportunity to talk with other parents. You might be surprised at who you can meet during those activities. I’ve gotten a number of referrals that way, and have also made some really good friends. What’s not to like about that?
15. Church, Synagogue, Temple, or any Religious Group You Belong to. These are people you join together with to worship, and they already have culture and religion in common with you. Many churches have networking groups and make a point of supporting the small businesses that are owned by their parishioners. Look closely to see what you find. You may be surprised.
16. Craigslist. Don’t forget this resource. By getting in front of people in your community for free, you can frequently pick up more customers.
17. Buy, Sell, Trade Groups on Facebook. Just about every area has lots of buy, sell, trade groups on Facebook, and you can list your services for sale there. People come looking in those groups to buy stuff, so you have the opportunity to sell to people who are looking to buy. It’s a beautiful thing, indeed.
18. Social Groups. If you have ladies who get together to play Bunco, or who do other things, this could be an excellent opportunity to pick up customers. Not that you’re going to lead into the discussion with the intent to sell, but if the relationship develops, it can naturally lead to referrals.
19. Your Work Place. If you’re working a side hustle as so many of us are, then your workplace could be the perfect place to find clients or customers. Many times they will happily refer to your business, and that can make the perfect customer base as you’re just beginning to build your business.
20. Press Releases. You can go onto Fiverr and have press releases put out for a nominal cost. This will help you get seen, and to get seen as an expert. It used to yield a lot of link juice for backlinks to your website, but now it’s more just a way to get seen and found as an expert in your field.
21. HARO, otherwise known as Help A Reporter Out. Reporters put out requests for information and you can pitch them as an expert with your response. It can take some time to get quoted, but often you will get quoted and get links to your website, helping yourself get found.
22. Build an Email List. If you aren’t tracking your clients’ email addresses, following up with them after the sale, and putting out periodic information and reminders, you are leaving a ton of money on the table. In the online world, we do this as a natural part of having a business. But many businesses, whether they are auto mechanics, acupuncturists, massage therapists, hair stylists, or others, should also be putting out a newsletter on a regular basis with regular offers to help grow their businesses. This is frequently the biggest single hole I find in people’s businesses — no keeping track of emails, and no plans for a communication strategy.
23. Facebook Groups. The idea with most Facebook Groups isn’t that you go in and immediately start promoting. Rather, you go in and act as a resource. You introduce yourself and become a member of the community. This works well in conjunction with networking.
24. Paid Ads in Magazines, Radio, TV, etc. I’m lumping these together because they are fairly obvious. You need to have a budget to allow you to cover these types of advertising, but they can work depending on the nature of your business.
25. Nextdoor. There is a social networking service called Nextdoor where neighbors share information and recommend businesses. I have recommended other small business owners, usually services or restaurants; it can be a great way to spread word of mouth advertising for a small business.
26. YouTube. Videos are crazy powerful, and you can reuse your Facebook Live videos on YouTube – or not. You can also do YouTube live videos and reach a very powerful audience with your message.
27. Banner Ads. You can advertise with banner ads on a lot of different websites, like your local TV station’s ads. So many places to put your face and business, so little time. Choose wisely.
28. Create a Facebook Business Page. This allows you to claim your stake for your real estate on Facebook, but also to collect reviews and become more “credible” to the online community. I do get referrals and leads through my page. It’s a process of getting in front of people regularly, even if you have to get creative about it.
29. LinkedIn Messaging. Once you connect to people on LinkedIn, you can message them. This is a great opportunity to connect, grow your business and find clients.
30. Private Messaging on Facebook. This gives you a great opportunity to connect with people, answer their questions, build a relationship, and give value. The trickiest thing I encounter is that people just want to ask me a few questions about their business, and it can be a slippery slope if I’m answering questions.
31. Pinterest. Pinterest is a powerhouse for sending traffic to your website. I’ve known some people who assume that they can’t build their business using Pinterest. But if you do it correctly and build over time, you WILL increase traffic to your website.
32. Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and Most Other Social Media Platforms. Find your favorite and stick to it.
33. Webinars. If you can get people onto a free training, they are much more likely to buy.
There are hundreds of ways to get more customers, but I thought that sticking with 33 was a great way to start.
What are your favorite ways to get clients in your business?
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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray
Haley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.
Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.
Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.
Connect with Haley:
- Work with Haley: http://leadershipgirl.com/work-with-haley/
- Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Leadershipgirl
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/haleygray