Practical Guide on building your customer base
New customers are like meeting your girlfriend or boyfriend for the first time. You want the experience to be good and lasting for them to come back. True to that, top priorities of any start-up company are finance-generation for capital to set- up and run the company, technical knowledge on accounting or tax or legal matters, but also how to get people to avail of your products and services.That’s why acquiring new customers and building on existing ones are one of the top priority especially for startups. Here, we will tackle the various means you would be able to achieve that.
First and foremost, you need to define your target market. You must create a picture of your consumers- how they look like, how old are they, what’s their routine, profession culture and background, who they look up to, and likes and dislikes. Startups need to know their customers better in order to connect with them. By knowing your customers, you can decide on the best way to get them to try out your products and services.
When you know what makes them tick, you need to make a game plan how you would be able to accomplish your goal on getting new customers.
Here, we will give you a list of options you can put into action to get new customers. This ranges from word-of-mouth, social networking sites, online media websites, email marketing, traditional advertising, to direct email.
According to the results of Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Survey, 92% of consumers trusts word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends and family.
Most importantly, promote your products and services with friends and acquaintances. These are people who are part of your life who knows you in person. They should be the ones you can easily reach out to whether in person or through social media. Since they know you personally, it would be highly likely that they would try out and patronize your products.
It might be difficult to reconnect with old friends, but it’s easier than you think. Some of your friends are willing to help you and could also be potential loyal customers.
You should anticipate the customer’s needs and wants, give good customer service, build rapport, communicate and show them that you care.
Also, ask for referrals from your friends and new customers. Let them tweet, post status and pictures about your products and services.
Another way is to get involved in community organizations, business clubs, gym, recreation clubs and events where you can meet new people. Smile, go out and spread the word about your services and merchandises.
2. Social Networking Sites
What’s great about social networking sites is that it is free and accessible by everyone, anytime and anywhere. But, how crucial are social media platforms to your business? Let’s read between the numbers.
According to a research conducted by Pew Research Center, 73% of internet users uses social networking sites. Furthermore, findings show that Facebook is the top social networking site among others.
After Facebook, social media platforms Twitter and LinkedIn are also top choices for online users. To attest to that, 65% of Fortune 100 Global companies utilize Twitter to engage with consumers worldwide.
Among those who only use one major social networking platform, 84% say that Facebook is the single site that they frequent.
Findings of Pew Research Center show that Facebook also has high levels of engagement among its users: 63% of Facebook users visit the site at least once a day, with 40% doing so multiple times throughout the day. 47% of Americans say Facebook is their #1 influencer of purchases.
With that, businesses especially startups, need to get their businesses on board social media platforms. Not just to get new customers but building the brand image that makes a mark. Since it comes with no-costs at all, startups can join the social media bandwagon.
3. Online Media Sites or relevant blogsites and websites
Go to online media or blogsites that cater to your target market. By being featured in their online posts and blogs, you can maximize your reach and expand your customer base.
According to a survey, 61% of global Internet users research products online (Interconnected World: Shopping and Personal Finance, 2012). That’s how powerful the internet is in attracting and building new customers.
According to Comscore, Americans conduct an estimated 12 billion searches per month on the web in the United States.
Moreover, social Media today published that YouTube has become the 2nd Largest Search Engine – bigger than Bing, Yahoo, Ask & AOL combined.
4. Traditional Advertising
This might imply costs but this also builds trust and credibility for your company. This means being advertised and featured in big newspaper companies, television commercials or segments, and radio programs.
5. Email Marketing
According to Jupiter Research, emails drive 18 times more revenue than broadcast emails. 59% of B2B marketers say email is the most effective channel for generating revenue (BtoB Magazine). Over 50% of respondents say they read most of their emails.
Last thing that should be on your mind is to “Do Nothing at all”. Without any action, you will not be able to achieve anything whether that is to get new customers, and build your company. As the great Dale Carnegie said, “Inaction breeds doubt and fear; Action breeds confidence and courage”. When you want something to happen, you need to go out and “Do Something”.