Finding Clients: How To Get Customers Online
Finding clients is a frequent topic that I see posted in business web forums and social media groups. Regardless of what type of company you operate, how large it is or how much you make in profits; finding clients and acquiring new customers is a constant priority for most entrepreneurs.
I know how hard finding clients can be from firsthand experience. Centropy Designs is just one small web design agency, in a vast digital ocean full of others. The web design industry is over saturated with small businesses that all claim to be the best. And many potential clients have had bad experiences with other web design agencies, pushing them to look towards lifeless drag and drop site builders.
In addition, it is extremely hard to compete with big businesses that have the money to out advertise you, the staff to outwork you and the resources to back it all up.
Luckily, the internet exists. I like to think of the internet as the grand equalizer as it allows small businesses to amplify their range and attract new customers from anywhere around the world. Finding clients can be hard, but using the web and things like social media makes the process a little bit easier.
So in this blog, I have put together ten great ideas on how to get customers online. These are techniques that I have personally used to get my own clients for Centropy Designs. They work!
Have A Website:
Believe it or not, I have come across many small businesses that solely rely on their Facebook like page or Yelp page as a substitute for having a website. Here are three reason why that is a bad idea for many reasons.
- You have no control over your traffic.
- At any time, Yelp or Facebook can delete your page.
- You have no way to grow your brand, web presence.
- Contact us if you need a professional website created for your business.
Facebook offers a plethora of opportunities for finding clients. According to Zephoria Digital Marketing, Facebook has 2 billion monthly active users. And on average, 1.32 billion people log into Facebook daily.
One of the most underutilized and neglected potential marketing areas of Facebook is Facebook groups. Facebook groups are like virtual goldmines for finding clusters of people who are interested in a specific topic or niche. You can find Facebook groups for anything you can imagine, like people who are looking to buy/sell scrap car parts for cash. Weight loss support groups, which could be a great marketing place for personal trainers and gym owners. They have groups for people who are looking for financial advice and paying off their debt. There is literally a group for any niche you are into, even people who simply collect bottle caps.
Mark Zuckerberg, the famous Facebook CEO said that there are around one billion people that use the Facebook Group feature to find others who share their interests. With so many people using Facebook groups, it should be easy to find one that matches your desired client demographics. Before you advertise inside groups, ask permission from the owners. And please do not spam a group with multiple advertisements or offers; people hate that and it makes your business look illegitimate.
you run a company that does a lot of B2B (business to business) commercial transactions, Manta is a great place for finding clients. To put it in a nut shell, Manta is a directory that helps small businesses get found by more customers.
So let’s say you run an accounting company that specifically helps construction companies. You could use the Manta “Find a Business” feature to locate all the construction businesses in your local area and contact them. Perhaps you own a company that sells janitorial supplies. You could find all the maid companies in your area using Manta and reach out to them, maybe offering them a discount or unique opportunity. Manta also allows almost any company to list their business on their website and advertise as well.
Very similar to Manta, Yelp is designed to help people find local businesses. According to Yelp, their site has a monthly average of 28 million unique visitors. Every business owner (or manager) can setup a free account to post photos and message their customers. Yelp allows small businesses to advertise on their site as well.
One of the best things about Yelp is that it allows customers to post public reviews of businesses. If you run a great company that cares about its customers and provides high quality products and services, you are bound to get great reviews. And having great reviews for your company on Yelp can potentially inspire others to choose your business over your competitors.
Search Engine Optimization:
There have been books written entirely about search engine optimization and how it is beneficial for businesses of any size. To put it simply, S.E.O is a continuous process, utilizing key methods like longtail keyword research, link structure, metadata, site speed, image tags and size, SSL certificates and much more to get your website listed on the first page of Google. Search engine optimization is not about finding clients, but getting them to find you.
Getting on the first page of Google for a specific keyword can mean hundreds, thousands, sometimes millions of people will visit your site organically. More people visiting your website can equate to more downloads, views on videos, clicks on your ads, products sales, service inquires, members on your email lists, and money in your pocket.
There are a lot of things that affect S.E.O like domain authority, page authority, the age of your website, the quality of your content, the speed of your website, the amount of content you have, your website security, and so much more. If you are interested in learning more about S.E.O, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have experts that can help to get your content ranked so you don’t have to worry about it. Alternatively, here is a great book on the ins and outs of S.E.O.
Discounts & Freebies:
Everyone likes saving money. Let your customers do the dirty work of finding clients for you. Offer your current clients a nice discount if they refer one of their friends or family members to your business. Give out free consultations or samples. The idea is to offer some great incentive so that potential clients and current ones feel they are gaining something by working with you or for you.
This one is obvious but we had to mention it. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and thousands of other big network based companies offer online advertisement services. I personally use Facebook Advertising because they give you the feature to boost a post, allowing one to:
- Choose the age range you want to target a post towards
- Choose the demographics, interest and behaviors, etc.
- Choose a specific geographical location
- Choose how long you want the ad to run
- Choose any budget range and know the estimated people reached
Facebook also gives you a preview of how your ad will look on different platforms like desktops, mobile devices and video. I highly recommend Facebook Advertising if you have the money to spend and want fast results. Facebook’s adverting system is super straight forward.
Using Facebook Adverting in combination with webinars is a very powerful technique. Post an article, video or web graphic to your Facebook like page then boost the post. The advertisement should contain details about an upcoming webinar you are holding discussing an issue, offer, product or service that your potential customer would care about.
You can create a Mail Chimp account to collect emails; webinars are great for collecting emails. Include the time, date and URL that your potential customer will need to attend your web event. There are many platforms that you can use to host the actual webinar like Zoom, Skype and GoToMeetings.
The point of this webinar is to show your potential client why they need your products or services. Perhaps your business will help them reach a goal, solve a problem, make money, etc. Have a call to action at the end of your webinar:
- Buy this to solve your problem
- Check out my eBook to learn how
- Set up a consultation with me
- Sign up to my email list for XYZ
As I mentioned above, webinars are a great way to build an email list. Facebook is also a great way to build an email list; you should have a sign up button on all of your like pages. Having a call to action (sign up form) at the end of your blogs and other content should be mandatory.
Think of an email list as a pool of potential clients just waiting to be converted into paying customers. The great thing about building an email list is that you know all of the people on it are interested in what you do. Use your email list to speak to your potential clients, let them learn more about what your business is about.
Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of strictly trying to sell to their subscribers, but there should be a balance. You should offer your subscribers knowledge, advice, deals and tangible things to build trust. If your subscribers trust you, they will be more likely to buy when you try to sell them something. Mail Chimp is our preferred platform for building email lists.
If you are very knowledgeable in something, start a YouTube channel and teach people. For example, if I was very knowledgeable about the stock market, I could make videos about how to be successful at day trading or picking companies to invest in. At the end of all my videos, I could tell people to contact my business for one on one advice from a professional licensed broker.
Success Takes Time And So Does Finding Clients
Finding clients can be difficult, but utilizing key internet marketing resources like social media truly makes the battle winnable. Once you gain your new clients, it is important to keep them happy. Send thank you emails after they buy your products or services. Depending on what type of business you have, schedule weekly, monthly or quarterly meetings to see how your customer is doing, if their goals have changed, if your business is fulfilling their needs. I hope this list on how to get customers online helps.
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