Without clients, there can be no business, no matter which niche you’re working toward conquering. But when you start, growing your client base isn’t as straightforward as it may seem to an outsider.
The reality is, sometimes, you may be trying your best to attract more customers to your venture – and still not see the numbers go up substantially. But whether you’ve just started your venture and have no customers at all or have been in business for some time, there are ways to find more clients.
Be mindful: testing these ways will take time. Don’t think you’ll have enough of it because you have tons of homework? That’s what professional essay writing services are for! Offload your assignment to one – and try these seven time-tested ways to attract more clients to your student-owned business.
1. Understand Your Client
You can’t appeal to everyone in the market – you’ll be stretching yourself too thin, pouring a lot of money into marketing with little payoff. So, if you already have some clients, use what you know about them to identify your target groups. If not, ask yourself: who would find your product or service the most helpful?
Apart from the target audience research, there’s another key to understanding what can drive your potential clients to choose your venture over another one. It’s understanding the value you can offer your prospective customers. Highlight this value in your marketing!
2. Be Where Your Clients Are
Think about the average day of your typical client. Where do they hang out, both online and offline? Once you answer this question, you’ll have identified potential marketing channels. All you’ll have to do now is establish and build your presence there.
Don’t know where to start? Here are five marketing channels that you should reflect on using:
- Facebook groups and forums;
- Social media platforms (e.g., Twitter, Instagram);
- Local community events;
- Local businesses;
- Other websites (e.g., you can guest blog there to promote your products or services).
If you target fellow students, make the most out of your on-campus presence. Put up posters, run on-campus stunts, reach out to clubs, and enroll local influencers.
3. Harness the Power of Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Nothing will ever be a more effective marketing tool than a happy customer. So, make your existing clients happy – and encourage them to talk about you to their friends and family. You can offer referral bonuses to give them an extra source of motivation.
Depending on your business, you can either tell them about those bonuses face-to-face or send a follow-up email after an encounter. As for the bonuses themselves, they can range from a discount or a promo code to a two-for-one offer or free delivery.
4. Showcase Your Portfolio & Social Proof
If you’re in the service industry, you’ll get nowhere without a portfolio. This is where you show what your business is capable of, be it marketing, design, or web development. So, if you still don’t have a portfolio, add it to your website now – and showcase it online.
The same goes for social proof – i.e., your clients’ reviews. Make sure you collect reviews through independent platforms and show them on your website and social media.
But what if you just started the venture and you have no material for the portfolio and reviews? You can work pro bono and use that experience to generate reviews and create a portfolio. Or, in some cases, you can create a portfolio without clients at all (e.g., design or web development).
Just keep in mind that starting from scratch here will take time. So, if you find yourself stretched too thin between homework and running a business, you may need to turn to top paper writing services to have enough time for your venture. And no, it won’t cost you a fortune!
5. Offer a Bargain for Newcomers
Everyone loves a bargain. So, offering one is among the most effective ways to get your prospective customers to turn into your actual clients. This bargain should be exclusive to new customers, of course – and it can be anything that represents value:
- Special offers (e.g., two for one);
- Contest or giveaway;
- Free samples;
- Free downloadable content (e.g., exclusive tutorials);
- Free shipping.
6. Strive to Educate, Not Sell
While a great sales pitch is crucial, your marketing can’t consist only of pushing the target group to buy from you. It’ll look like you’re trying too hard to sell and that it’s all you think about.
Your potential customers won’t like that. They’ll feel too much pressure coming from you – and not enough value.
To position your business as an expert in the field and avoid being too pushy, aim to offer educational value to your target group. There are plenty of ways you can do it:
- Start a business blog;
- Host events, workshops, or webinars;
- Publish free ebooks, tutorials, and PDFs;
- Guest blog for other websites;
- Go to podcasts as a guest (or start your own podcast);
- Participate in events, conferences, and summits (online and offline).
7. Partner Up with Complementary Businesses
Not every business out there is your competitor. Some of them sell complementary products or services – and you can help each other out. For example, if you sell yoga equipment, a fitness center that offers yoga classes is a complementary business you can partner up with.
In such a partnership, both sides have to gain something. So, don’t just ask to promote your business elsewhere – offer to promote theirs using your channels, in return. For this to work, however, you’ll need to have amassed a certain following on social media or your website – and a certain customer base, too.
While effective in general, each of these techniques isn’t 100% guaranteed to work in your particular case. You’ll need to adopt a trial-and-error approach to choosing the customer acquisition methods that are best for your business.
This means you have to select one or several techniques above and take them for a test drive. Track metrics to understand how effective (and cost-efficient) they are. These metrics should include:
- Conversion rate;
- Click-through rate;
- Customer acquisition cost per channel;
- Churn rate;
- Customer loyalty rate;
- Customer lifetime value.
But while you’re out there trying to entice new clients to buy from you, remember: it’s essential to continue building a relationship with your existing customers. Retaining a client typically costs less than acquiring a new one.