If you’re about to push the “Start” button and launch your brand new business, then you probably have most of your strategy sorted out. Your product or service is ready, you have a nice looking website, and your assistants are prepared and know how to handle future clients. But, where and how do you get those first few clients?
Here’s a list of some basic, or not so basic measures you could undertake to get your brand name out there to gain some initial exposure which would ensure your first happy clients.
#1. Friends and family
Who would care more about your success and happiness than your family and friends? So, the first logical step would be to talk to your friends and family, send them a nice personal message and get them informed about the business you are about to start, or about the service you’ve just started offering. They are probably your best ambassadors to the world, so share your game plan with them and, if available, give them some promotional material which they can spread even further.
Perhaps that old uncle of yours who annoys everyone isn’t the best representative, but surely there are many others who may get you some first paying customers.
If you’ve invested your life savings or borrowed large sums of money in order to take your new business idea out into the world, the last thing you’d want to hear is that you need to give away something for free. Well, in order to get the word out and the ball rolling, you may want to give away some free stuff in order to attract some initial clients.
No matter if it’s just free advice about various things in the area of your expertise or a bonus item one gets after purchasing your product, people generally love free stuff! By attending local community events and offering free advice or sharing your knowledge with others, you may give your new business a nudge to start gaining some clients.
#3. Use the power of Social Media
In today’s world of technology, the chances are pretty high that you already have a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or any similar social/professional network account. If so, use your social media account to broadcast the news about your latest activity and job. Sometimes, sharing a nice post with your “friends” on those networks may do the trick, but if you don’t feel so comfortable to “bother” your social media friends about such activities, a simple status update with your new company info may be enough.
In addition, make sure to create company pages for your new business on all these networks and update those pages frequently with some professional looking photos or posts with the idea of grabbing some attention from your potential audience. While you probably shouldn’t rely too much on social media, since many people consider it as a source of fun, it can still serve as a method of spreading some initial word about your new company or product.
#4. Attend fairs and events that your prospects may attend
Going to fairs or other similar events that would be visited by some prospects who might be interested in your service or product is always a good idea. You may choose to make it official and pay for a booth for your company, or you may decide to attend an event just to mingle with the crowd and talk to some folks who may be prospective clients of your company in the future.
If you possess all the other skills except the interpersonal ones, consider hiring a nice and chatty promoter who may represent your business on such events. Giving away an eye-catching brochure or offering handy advice on topics that interest the audience at that event may give you some decent public exposure as well.
#5. Join your niche online forums and communities
If there are some forums or online communities where your targeted audience hangs out, make sure to join such online resources and mingle with the crowd. No one likes too promotional or spammy looking messages, so avoid doing that by all means. Join various discussions on your industry topics, and show off with your knowledge and friendliness.
When the right moment comes, you’ll be able to swoop in with the link of your business website, Facebook page or anything similar that could send some leads your way. Sometimes putting a signature on your profile may generate some leads to your website where your product or service will shine.
#6. Use crowdfunding sites to reach an audience
Crowdfunding sites are used to find small investors for various business ideas. Well, at least that’s the primary purpose of such sites. Even if you do not need any additional funding for your company, the sheer exposure of your brand name, idea, website, or any other info on websites like these may ensure some decent buzz. If you get some interested investors along the way as well, that’s just topping on your cake.
#7. “Good” old online ads
If you’ve already tried all of the above methods but you still wish to gain more clients, then paying for online advertisements may do the trick. You can either pay for ads on sites like Google or Yahoo, which sometimes may be quite pricey, or you can look for niche blogs and websites that would be interested in placing advertisements on their website. When doing so, make sure to track your website analytics and follow which blogs send you some quality visitors, and which ones are just money pits that do not bring you any business.
Now that you’ve been presented with some of the best practices for landing your first clients, go get ’em!
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