As small business owners, we’re known to look under every rock and in every nook and cranny for new business. Heck, we pass out our business cards at the grocery store! And yet, we might be looking in the wrong places. Here are a few spots you might have better luck in finding your next client.
#1. Through Guest Blogging
For me as a writer, guest blogging on sites like Tweak Your Biz and Forbes is one of the best referrals of new business for me. But you don’t have to be a writer to benefit. Simply by providing valuable content on topics you know well, you’re reaching a wider audience with your knowledge, and finding potential customers in the process.
#2. Local Networking Groups
Especially if you have a local business, like a print shop, restaurant, or store, local networking is key. Find business groups that target to your audience, or general small business meetup groups. But don’t expect to find new business your first time. These networking opportunities are about building business relationships, and will take time to nurture. Focus on delivering value to other members. Refer people to others that can help them. Ask questions, and don’t just talk about yourself.
#3. Social Media
Social media is just networking online, so the same rules apply. Instead of broadcasting to a giant audience, invest time in those one-on-one conversations with your followers, and see where it leads. I’ve scored guest blogging opportunities and new business on social. In fact, I follow keywords that relate to my audience (software and small business being examples), and as a result, found a company that was launching a new product. When I congratulated them, they direct messaged me, saying they needed my services. And so I got a new client!
If you haven’t checked out Quora, I encourage you to. It’s a type of social networking site, but one that centers around answering questions. So there are questions about the best marketing tools, how to do things, and requests for advice. If you consistently answer questions with intelligent responses, people will click your bio to learn more, and then end up on your site. You’re in essence establishing your thought leadership skills.
#5. Your Customers
Referrals are the best types of business! Ask your customers if they know others who would benefit from your products or services. They’ll be able to give a glowing recommendation for your company, and provide you with targeted leads in the process. Consider offering a referral program where you reward your customers with discounts or free products when they refer new business to you.
As you can see, new business comes in unusual places. Be open to finding new clients in new places, and see where it takes you!
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