How To Get More Clients? 21 Ways To Grow Your Local Business
Small Business Growth – Local SEO – Get More Clients – Growth Expert
“How to get more clients?” is one of those mind consuming questions that at one point or another any business owner needs to answer in the most effective way possible.
As everything that’s worth pursuing in life, getting new clients is the result of a process. You must be willing to invest time into building relationships, networking, and marketing your small business.
The following article covers some of the best online and offline practices, strategies and tools you can implement right away to make this process a successful one. If you use these at the same time that you focus on offering the greatest service and the greatest you, clients will come back again and again, and refer other potential customers they know as well.
Are you ready? Let’s begin!
How to get more clients in the online world?
1. BECOME ACTIVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA
According to a recent survey, 24 percent of small businesses have zero social media presence. Less than half of all small businesses are actually using their social media presence on a consistent basis.
Why you need to be more active in order to attract more clients?
There are three key reasons why small businesses need to be active on social media channels:
- It is cost effective,
- It grows in popularity,
- You can target customers easily.
It is no secret that your clients will have one or more social media networks so this is a great way to become visible and appear as an expert in your field. Social media will build your credibility and expand your business reach so that you can attract more clients.
With social media you want to appear as a normal human being. It is better not to appear as a salesperson, so always remember that balance is key.
In today’s world, people want to do business with real human beings. Share the way your day looks like at work. Also give them some sporadic, more personal life posts. It will grow their trust and will encourage them to work with you.
The best social channels you can use to promote your small business
Using popular and relevant hashtags can also be an easy way to get in front of potential new clients. On social media, your target clients will most probably be doing window-shopping. So, focus on being genuine and showing them why your business is so great and why they want to work with you. As a rule of thumb, resist the urge to do the hard sell!
- Twitter: One of the best platforms for small businesses is Twitter. Once you become familiarized with it, using Twitter search becomes a powerful way to find real-time tweets from people or companies that are looking to hire or needing help from an expert like you. Try different search phrases or hashtags. This way you will always discover some great potential clients and projects.
- Facebook: Another great platform for your local business is Facebook. Create a Facebook business page if you still don’t have one. It is completely free and your small business will be exposed to 2 billion Facebook users who can become your clients. That is, if you make sure your page is responsive and visible enough by staying active on a daily basis and running some Facebook ads. When compared to traditional print, radio, or TV advertising campaigns, Facebook ads are relatively inexpensive (besides, they are 1,000x more targeted.) Later on in this article we will discuss more about running ads campaigns.
- Instagram: According to the latest research, brands do better on Instagram with 4X the engagement they get on Facebook. You might want to consider this platform for your company as well. On Instagram, you will also need to be consistent, reply to comments, include in your posts hashtags that are relevant for your industry. Also you need to stay creative with the way you promote your products or services through images.
Don’t forget that your social media can boost your business search engine rankings. SEO is something that is often ignored when discussing the benefits of social media. Many search engines, such as Google, consider a business’ social media presence as a factor in determining where that business will rank on a search results page. When writing your business’ social media posts, consider ways that you can help your followers to spread your message. On social media, a little love can go a long way.
In a nutshell, social media is a great long term channel to get more clients in the door.
2. RECONNECT WITH PAST OR LOST CLIENTS
Do you ever follow up with your past clients to see if they need any extra assistance?
The most important thing you need to do is create a spreadsheet detailing all of the past clients your business has had. Type in their names, phone numbers, email addresses, anything that will help you stay in touch.
Also, when creating your database, throw in a little ‘intelligence’ about each person. List something about their personal life, for example, client X named Ana is married to Bob, has a French Poodle called Vanilla. Whenever you contact client X in the future, you can ask about her spouse or pet to add a personal touch.
Reconnect with your past or lost clients by writing them an email to see how things are going and ask if they need any extra help. Make it not to salesy. Most probably they could use it, but will need that nudge to move you to the top of their to-do list.
By lost clients we are describing persons you already spoke with or sent a proposal to in the past and for some reason you didn’t end up working together. Aside from those who have worked already with you, these leads are still potential customers.
Get more clients by showing that you care
Circumstances change in people’s lives. Perhaps the leads you contacted previously now more than ever see the need for your product or service and all you’re doing is reminding them you are still there for them. Find these contacts and send them a brief follow up email showing that you care and that they can still count on you. Never lose the opportunity to let every one know your business still exists.
Here are a few great ideas to stay in touch with your past or lost customers or leads:
- Deliver some news they can use: Share with them a piece of information they will find useful.
- Offer an unusual gift: Get creative and original by offering a giveaway using one of your services or products.
- Follow up with a survey: Show them you care about finding ways to better serve them in the future.
- Show sincere appreciation: Don’t forget to thank them. Your loyalty is important and acknowledging their business is the best way to keep a client relationship strong.
3. GET MORE CLIENTS THROUGH OLD CLIENTS
Many small business owners don’t think referrals are important or maybe they find it uncomfortable to ask for them. It’s common to assume their clients will pass along good word-of mouth about them. Truth be told, referrals are amongst the top ways to get more clients for your business. If you want to get more clients, you must set aside any squeamishness and get in the habit of asking for a referral from every happy client.
Get referral clients in a few steps
Writing an email to your previous happy clients is an effective way of getting new leads. Usually, people are too busy and as much as they would like to send you new clients, you are the one who has to ask for it. Open your contacts list and find some past clients, who haven’t sent you referrals yet. If they enjoyed working with you, they’ll be quick to share your expertise with everyone they know. Begin the email by checking up on the client and then asking for a direct referral. Always keep it short and simple.
Here are two reminders that will help you get over your fear of asking for referrals:
- Most individuals like to help other people, especially when there is no additional cost to them.
- The worst that can happen is that your client says ‘no’. That’s not the end of the world, is it?
Attract clients with a referral program
Another great way of getting new leads is by creating a referral rewards program. If you provide your clients with an incentive to refer you, they’ll be more likely to and will jump at the opportunity. A referral rewards program will help your past happy clients remember their experience with your product or service. They will want to refer their friends to you. A great program you could adopt for your small business in order to attract more clients is a two-sided referral program that rewards both your client, as well as the friend he or she wants to refer.
Also, after you wrap up work with one of your future clients, always ask them if they’d be willing to write a testimonial. Ask them to share their positive feelings about the work you’ve done. This way, you can simply reach out to those who’ve left you a positive review in the past. Then you can request from them to keep you in mind if they know anyone who’s looking for the work you provide.
4. WRITE A BLOG OR HIRE SOMEONE TO WRITE ONE FOR YOUR BUSINESS
A very effective way to attract clients is writing blog posts with your ideal clients in mind. Find topics you can write about which connect your ideal client with what you do. A blog is a great way of selling without selling. In other words, a blog is a great way of giving to get more clients.
You don’t need to be an expert writer
Does it take some time? It does. But you don’t have to be an expert writer to have a popular blog. In short, blogging isn’t hard but you have to be willing to invest some quality time to it, or set aside a small budget to hire someone who regularly writes blogs for your company. Have in mind that a successful blog is not about randomly posting simply because you know you need content. If this is the case, you’re doing it wrong. If you’re writing a generic article with some recommended search engine optimization (SEO) tactics, you’re also doing it wrong. Your posts must have meaning and purpose. Your website visitor will read your blog if and only if it has useful content. Sharing quality content is how your traffic increases and as a result you get more leads.
Tips to write the perfect blog
Some questions to consider when writing a blog for your website:
- Who is your audience? If you are looking for traction customize your posts to your audience. Think about new clients, old clients, local residents, etc. Break up your potential audience into personas that you can target with interesting and different types of articles that appeal to all of them.
- Who is the writer? Ideally, you should write your own articles but this is sometimes difficult, especially when you are a solopreneur. If some one else is writing your blog posts, make sure it’s a reputable copywriter that provides you with original, well-written content.
- What you will be writing about? After defining who is your audience and who will be creating your blog, choose the type of content that better connects your audience with your local business. Besides standard written posts, you can also do videos, infographics, and so on.
- How can you make sure you are consistent? If you want a blog that is acting as a source of leads, you’ve got to post on a regular basis. The majority of individuals find consistency the most difficult of all steps. Create a plan for your posts. Finding topics and titles, and scheduling them ahead of time will make your life easier and increase your chances of having a successful blog.
In other words, by sharing your knowledge with your audience in a consistent manner, you will gradually attract more and more leads. This is possibly the best long term way to get more clients.
5. OFFER SOMETHING FREE
Let’s be clear on this point. There are free offers and there are opt-in offers. Neither one requires you to spend money, but one requires you to give your email in exchange for the item, so it really isn’t ‘free’. Ideally, you should be using both types of offers on your website. Provide instant access, no opt-in required resources to build trust and credibility to strangers, at the same time that you provide opt-in offers for those who are ready to give you their email address. In both cases, make sure you’re giving something of value, something persons really want, something that is so good you could charge for it.
Your gift to others: a free ebook
A great product to have as a free or opt-in offer is an e-book. Write a short e-book that can help solve a business challenge or create value for your prospective clients. Once you have your eBook ready, give it away for free or sell it for a modest price on your website. If you give it away for free, be sure to capture emails in exchange for the book, that way you can build a list of prospective clients to market to.
Tips to create a great ebook
Here are a few tips if you’re ready to offer that great e-book that will make your potential clients want to know more:
- Have a clearly defined subject: Once you know what you’re going to write about, you’re going to want to create an outline. This will give your content the structure it needs so that is easy to read.
- Come up with a descriptive title: Your title is the first thing your potential client will see. It has a huge impact on whether or not they decide to read your e-book. Great titles for an e-book are always interesting and descriptive. They easily show your reader the value it offers.
- Find relevant and engaging content: Your #1 goal is to share interesting and relevant information for your target audience. Look for ways to include pictures, ask questions, and engage with your readers.
- Look for a clean and professional format: You can either try to design the layout yourself or hire a designer to help you out. There are a lot of great free resources out there. You want to make sure the overall look and feel of the e-book reflects your company and services and your brand in the best light possible.
- Choose an appealing cover design: As with layout and formatting, there are lots of free or low-cost e-book cover design options out there to help you get started. If your e-book cover looks shabby, the leads you are targeting simply won’t be interested in reading it. Appearances always matter.
6. OFFER DIGITAL COUPONS
A coupon is a promotional tool used to offer specific savings to help persuade your future clients to buy your product or service.
How can a digital coupon help your growth?
A digital coupon allows your business to reach new audiences, both online and offline. Marketing studies report that 60% of all shoppers actively look for coupons.
Coupons are a great way to attract potential clients and also thank your existing ones. They should have limited timed offers and expiration dates. If you offer coupons too frequently, customers can become accustomed to knowing there is always a coupon available. On the other hand, be careful not to wait too long between coupons as this could drive your clients to your competition.
Tips for creating coupons
- Think of a specific purpose when creating your coupons. Try to always align your coupons to special occasions and holidays (for example, a discount coupon on the client’s birthday.)
- Track the success of your coupon campaign: Identify coupons with a specific reference or number that can give you information about how the coupon was distributed (for example, via the Internet, a newspaper, etc.) If you are low-tech, simply make the borders of your coupons different colors and manually process them.
- Consider the cost of the coupons and try to at least break even: Coupons can be inexpensive to produce and distribute especially when compared to other forms of advertising, but make sure that your business can afford the discounts it offers.
Place your offers on free web listings
Also, placing an offer on a high-profile coupon site such as RetailMeNot, Groupon or LivingSocial, has its advantages. Even if people don’t buy from you right away, they are getting to know your business and that it might have something they would like to purchase in the future. If your company has a low profile up until now or it hasn’t done much advertising before, the impact will be more pronounced.
The main purpose of digital coupons is to attract new clients who use the coupons and purchase other services or products. Most probably, this way you’ll attract more clients who will return to you even when they do not have coupons in hand.
7. RUN AN AD CAMPAIGN
How do you market your small business when you don’t have a big budget to spend? Better yet, how do you do it effectively?
Here is a list with some guidelines to help you create a successful ad campaign:
- Don’t compete: Many business owners worry too much about what their competitors do, or don’t do. If you want to be successful, you have to be unique and create your own distinctive brand. Do your research so that you can identify your strengths and offer products and services that are relevant and meaningful.
- Take care of your website: Make sure it is aligned with what you are promoting in your campaign at that you are using the same designs, colors, brand personality, and type of message shown in your ad. Ideally, it must clearly describe your products and services and make it easy to find them. It must also be easy to navigate.
- Find the benefit: Always remember that your clients are not buying your services or products, but rather the benefits derived from them. Think about what benefits you provide to your clients. Do you make their life easier? Are you saving them time? Your ad campaign will succeed if it contains a consumer benefit.
- Be consistent: Being consistent simply means that your old and new clients should be able to recognize your brand from one ad to the next ad. That doesn’t mean you have to keep repeating the same layout over and over. Don’t be dull and repetitive; the point of consistency isn’t to limit creativity but to keep your brand identity as clear as possible.
Where to run an ad campaign?
Facebook ads and Google Adwords are both good ways to advertise your services and help you find more clients. These platforms allow you to set small daily budgets. They are affordable ways to generate leads if you set aside a monthly budget and promote your business regularly. Facebook ads is considered to be more user friendly than Google Adwords, which has an evident learning curve especially when you’re just beginning.
There are also many services that run campaigns for you and even manage them in the long run. For visitors who come to your website and leave, you can also use remarketing or retargeting services. These services allow you to track individuals who visited your site so that later on you can direct ads to them via Facebook, Twitter, and other social platforms.
8. DO SOME ONLINE NETWORKING
Find and develop business relationships
Online networking is very important in this day and age. Although increased sales are the end goal, don’t participate in online networking simply to sell. Find and develop relationships with persons you can help and who can help you. When you detach from the emphasis on selling, you will improve your ability to build relationships and your sales will naturally come from there.
As a general rule, make sure you have a LinkedIn account and that it’s up-to-date. Have work samples of your services and products on your company’s page. Import your contacts and connect with as many people in your network as possible. Also, share your blog posts from your website or other articles related to your business directly to your LinkedIn news feed.
Tips for the right online networking attitude
Let’s list a few commandments to consider when using any social platform such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.:
- Limit self-promotion: You can let people know what you are up to as long as that’s not your only topic of conversation.
- Stay active: You’ll get out of it what you put into it. That means you must participate in brief discussions, do some comments, share the posts you like, etc.
- Think of your online contacts as real individuals: Your online connections are just as real and valuable as your offline connections. Always remember that.
- Let them know you’re real: Remember that people do business with businesses they trust. You have to be authentic in order for others to want to know you. Use your picture as a profile photo. No one does business with an avatar.
- Be approachable: No one wants to build a relationship with someone distant. Be friendly and stay open to possibilities.
- Don’t spam: No one likes spam and that includes pitch messages on social networks. Use the platforms as a way to continue to build relationships and expand your network.
9. GROW YOUR EMAIL LIST AND STAY CONNECTED WITH YOUR SUBSCRIBERS
Sometimes it is not only about ‘how to get more clients’ but also about nurturing the relationship we have with the existing ones. Growing your email list is one of the best decisions you can make on behalf of your business. Aside from your website, it’s the only thing you have control over in the online world.
Email lists allow you to stay connected with your subscribers as much as you want or need. Not everyone checks their social media or visits your website to see what’s new on a daily basis, but the majority checks their email at least once or twice a day. If you appear in their inbox every now and then with helpful information, they’ll most likely remember you the next time they want to hire someone who does what your business does.
Who shouldn’t create an email list?
Most owners should be trying to grow their email list, but there is one exception. If you don’t ever intend to sell products or services of any kind, then you probably don’t need an email list.
A contact form on your website will most probably be used by individuals who are ready to hire you. Often times, a potential client visits your website and leaves without ever contacting you. In order to establish trust and begin building up a relationship with your visitors, think of capturing their email by giving something away. Something of value, that is. As previously described, offering an e-book to your new visitors is a great alternative. A free 30-minute call works equally well if your service allows you to have time for that.
Two great ways of increasing your email subscriptions
- Add a sidebar: Adding a sidebar in your website provides additional navigating value to your visitors and it’s a great place to include a subscribe form. Make sure you have the subscribe form at the top of the sidebar where it can lead to a 20% increase in subscribers. By having a discrete yet attractive subscribe box on your sidebar, you can gently persuade potential clients to subscribe. You don’t want to be too aggressive as it is often the case of certain pop-ups. The majority of people don’t like to see a pop-up, especially when it looks like an obstacle. So, choose well.
- Launch a dedicated landing page: A dedicated landing page for email subscriptions can increase your conversion rate up to 50%. Of course, you must offer something of value that will attract visitors. Include some interesting insights to draw attention to the content and testimonials or social proofs to gain trust. Also, create a subscribe button that is colorful and noticeable.
10. CREATE YOUR “GOOGLE MY BUSINESS” LISTING
“Google My Business” listing: an essential tool for any small business
As we all know, 80% of the searches happen on Google. In its effort to respond with relevant content to billions of users, Google launched Google My Business which provides a short list of local businesses that could be the right answer to the user’s search. Therefore, being listed on this directory is indispensable for small businesses to get found in a local search and get reviews or testimonials from clients. You connect directly with potential clients, whether they’re looking for you on search, maps, or Google+. Google My Business (previously known as Google Places) makes it easier for potential clients to find information about your business such as: directions. hours of operation, contact information, etc.
Your business profile in Google My Business is essential for local SEO. Besides, it’s a free tool that enables you to appear in local search results for queries specific to your products or services. There is no reason why you shouldn’t be using it.
Tip: Did you know that having a consistent address across all business directories is fundamental if you want to rank your business listing?
Verify now if your business listing is correctly referenced across 30+ business directories with this free scan.
Some recommendations to improve your listing
- Keep your information up to date: It is very important to keep in mind that your business listing on Google acts exactly as a business card. All the information there must be up to date. Every couple of months, visit your listing to ensure that basic information such as: category, company description, opening hours, and pictures are all precise and accurate.
- Encourage reviews: You need reviews in order to increase the relevance of your listing so encourage your happy customers to add a review. Just ask them in person, by email, or by adding a note to your business cards or website. Make sure to respond to reviews on your profile within a week.
- Add appealing pictures: Include appealing pictures for your small business. Pictures are usually the first thing that catches the user’s eye. Your pictures must be diverse and show different aspects of your company such as its physical location, your team, some of your products or services, etc.
- Monitor your ranking: in order to get more clients, you need to have your listing be present in the top ranks on Google, Yelp and all the other business listings on the internet. By monitoring your rank and take the necessary actions to make sure that you are listed in position one or two in your area of service is paramount for you to get more clients.
11. USE LOCAL BUSINESS DIRECTORIES
Local business listings are not for online-only small businesses. Google and the other directories want to know that your business has a physical location, whether it’s a retail store, an office, or a warehouse.
Each online directory has a different process for claiming your business listing and verifying that you are actually the owner. It could be a phone call, text message, email, etc. Make sure you go through the verification process. Your company will not appear online until it has been verified.
Nowadays there are simple services that allows you, in a few clicks, to synchronize your business listing across the top business listings available on the net.
What happens after you’ve listed your small business in several of the most trusted online directories?
To use in its search results, Google pulls publicly available data from certain local directories that it considers reputable and trustworthy. These directories are common ones as Yelp, Yellow Pages, Citysearch, and also many other smaller, high quality sites.
Your business presence on these other directories sends a positive message to Google. It shows that it is an active member of its local community. If you want to rank highly in the local search results, you need to have a listing directly on Google, at the same time that you count with several listings on all the other directories.
For this strategy to work effectively, it is important to show Google that your business is stable and consistent throughout all different platforms. Always list the exact same business information everywhere.
Here is a list of 10 directories where you should list your local business
You can make your life easier using an automated platform that will synchronize your business listing on all the major platforms so that you can get more clients.
12. HAVE A LOCAL SEO STRATEGY
After you have invested in a website to promote your business, comes the important challenge of optimizing your site so that Google indexes your pages and ranks them first. It is called Search Engine Optimization.
Search Engine Optimization is not just about throwing keywords into an article and hoping for good results. There are actually different types of SEO. Two of these are local and global SEO. The type of SEO that you will be using really depends on your needs and the reach you desire with your audience.
Local SEO attracts more local clients
If your client base is defined by a geographic region or metro area, then local SEO will be key to increasing phone calls, driving more foot traffic, and converting local leads into paying clients.
Local SEO is one of the best strategies to drive targeted traffic to your office or store. More than 75% of local searches convert into leads for a local business. And of those searches, over 90% will click or call the business that’s found in the top 3 local search results.
Even if you don’t have a website, local SEO allows you to attract leads by positioning your business on the first places of the search engines. As with any other client attraction strategy, using local SEO services, you won’t see overnight results but with a sound strategy in place, after a few months you can effectively drive traffic and regularly convert leads into paying clients.
Tips to having a healthy business listing
Besides creating your Google listing and using local directories to list your small business as previously described in points No. 10 and No.11 of these strategies, here are a few additional tips to ensure that your listing is ranking on Google My Business and other directories and easy to find online:
- Always choose the right keywords (search terms): Choosing the right keywords is very important and unless you are very familiar with SEO it may pay to outsource this research to an SEO specialist. Your keywords must be relevant to your business. There must be a reasonable number of people searching for these terms and there must not be a ridiculous amount of competition for your keywords. Last, your keyword should have a good price value. Individuals that search this term should be paying clients and not just browsers.
- Consider using videos: As technology improves, the Internet becomes increasingly video-centric. To dominate your local search rankings is to offer high quality videos that are optimized for the keywords you select to best describe the services you offer. It may be a good idea to create a video about a selected keyword phrase that has the most traffic. Remember to include your keyword in the title, description and meta-tags for the video.
- Always include your location on your social media profiles: As previously stated in point No.1 of this list, social media plays a role in the search engine rankings. You need to have a presence on high-ranking social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Make sure that your profile on these networks includes its location, name, address and phone number. This information should be exactly the same as the one you have on your website.
How to get more clients in the offline world?
Depending on your type of business, the following are some offline strategies you can implement at the same time you are using many, if not all of the online client attraction tools already described. In the majority of cases, if you’re looking to grow and expand your small business, you will need to stay visible at both the online and offline levels.
13. MAKE CREATIVE BUSINESS CARDS
A good business card definitely can make all the difference in the first impression that you have on someone, or whether or not you leave an impression at all.
Many of us are probably guilty of accepting business cards out of politeness and then just forgetting about them. Think of a card that makes your business stay with your potential client, psychologically or physically. With the emphasis placed on networking these days, it’s more important than ever to stand out of the crowd.
Before you embark on designing and ordering your business cards, consider the following questions:
- Who is the person you need to attract?
- What do you want that person to feel or think when they hold your card in their hand?
- What is the call to action you want your business card to encourage? Do you want the recipient to go to your website, call you to make an appointment, or visit your office?
14. PLACING FLYERS WHERE YOUR TARGET CLIENTS MEET
Why is flyer marketing still so effective?
Some people still prefer to have something in their hands that they can touch, feel, save on their desks or shelves and come back to when they are ready. They like to save the flyer in case they don’t necessarily need it right away.
The strategic placement of flyers to reach a broad, but targeted audience is key, though you must always remember to check local laws to make sure your sharing your flyers in the right place.
A common technique you can use is placing flyers on various community boards. Many grocery stores and local organizations have community bulletin boards in their lobbies where you can post flyers.
To enhance exposure some businesses may attach multiple strips with contact information or the business address at the bottom of community flyers. This allows readers to pull off the information to use or share so that they can contact your office and convert into more clients.
15. PLACE ADS ON CLASSIFIEDS SITES
Small classified ads are a significant source of customers for many local businesses. A good headline and a couple of lines of text can get customers to do business with you.
No matter what media classified ads are viewed through, these small text ads are a significant source of paying clients for many independent professionals and local businesses. An inexpensive three-line ad placed in print can deliver leads that need your product or service right now. More importantly, if the ad is run regularly, it builds future business by making your name familiar and establishing your credibility.
Make sure to create a budget you can afford, in a medium that hits your target and run the ad for at least 4 to 6 weeks. Although there are many free sites online where you can place your classified, you can also use offline newspapers. If using newspapers as your medium find out which days are considered prime and run your ad in those days only. You may pay a little more, but the results will be better because more people will see your ad.
16. SEND A HANDWRITTEN LETTER
It’s likely that direct mail will work for your local business if you implement it the correct way. Often times, people feel a deeper connection to marketing that is physical, such as direct mail. According to recent marketing studies, individuals are almost 4x more likely to open direct mail versus email. When done strategically, direct mail is a great way to increase revenue for your small business.
If you’re looking to land a new client and really want to get their attention, try sending a handwritten letter. Find the person at the company that is most likely to hire you. Send a letter that focuses on solving a problem you think they might have, and don’t forget to include an easy way to reach you.
This strategy also works really well when following up with potential clients and keeping current clients happy. A letter in the mail adds a personal touch and shows people you truly care.
17. JOIN YOUR LOCAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The Chamber of Commerce is a straightforward strategy to achieve a highly valuable link and get more clients. In addition, involvement in your nearby business community does not get more targeted.
Your Chamber will often provide an authorized link to your website in their membership directory, which grants greater impact. Although membership involves a fee, the price is worth it.
Your Chamber of Commerce accreditation will give you access to a large network of business men and women in your same industry. Above all, it will promote your future clients’ trust. A logo from the local Chamber resonates with your clients. Knowing that you are Chamber of Commerce certified, they will feel more comfortable making a purchase and increasing conversions in the long run.
Become involved in your local Chamber, join discussions and participate in activities offered by local chapter. It is crucial to establish a relationship with other business owners. Relating to one another and sharing ideas will help you in the long-term.
18. SPONSOR A LOCAL EVENT OR CHARITY
One of the biggest advantages given to a small business sponsoring a charitable organization or local event is the amplified visibility that it will gain throughout the community.
Supporting a good cause provides your local business with positive advertising that is always welcome. It also generates additional publicity that can encourage new clients to choose your business over other competitors not as generous as you. If you are wondering, the best part is that you don’t need a big budget to become a sponsor. The act of giving easily adapts to all budgets.
When a business sponsors non-profit organizations working to improve community problems such as poverty or disease only to name a few, its image is often upgraded in the public’s perception. A business’ investment in the community shows its concern for the people of the area. Many consumers make purchasing decisions based on this quality. It’s common seeing residents of a community preferring local businesses that care for their neighborhood.
19. FIND WAYS FOR YOUR LOCAL PAPER TO TALK ABOUT YOU
Local press is a great way to spread the word about your business to greater audiences. The first step in getting local press is to do the research and find the local newspapers that you prefer to get press coverage from. Although you may know about the big media players in your area, you could miss out on more localized sources if you don’t do your research.
Once you have a list of newspapers, it’s time to find the person that you are going to make your pitch to.
Choose a targeted approach instead of mass emailing a bunch of journalists. Personalize each pitch. You don’t want to waste your time crafting an email to someone who will have no interest in your story. By creating a personalized pitch to the person who will have the greatest interest in your story, you are increasing the chance that your story will end up in the press.
Most importantly, find media sources that will generate ‘good press’. Before you reach out to reporters, look at the stories that they write. If they tend to do ‘feel good’ human interest stories, chances are the publicity will be good for your local business.
A good starting point for finding newspapers in your area is the US Newspaper List which lists newspapers by state and city.
20. SET UP A BOOTH AT AN INDUSTRY TRADESHOW
Trade shows are another great way to get direct access to a large amount of qualified leads in one go.
Before deciding to exhibit at a trade show, you’re going to want to confirm that the event is catered for your target audience. There are many niche trade shows focused on specific industries that are often cheaper to attend, if you’re working within a strict budget.
During the tradeshow make sure to collect the email addresses of the attendees who come by your booth, so you can follow up after the event is over. Swapping business cards is another way to do this as well.
The only downside of exhibiting at a tradeshow is the cost. As with any marketing tactic, be sure to measure the ROI of attending the tradeshow to make sure it’s worth your time and investment.
21. ATTEND NETWORKING EVENTS
Whether you are in ‘doing business’ mode or not, you are always making connections with others. It’s human nature! As a small business owner, you cannot escape from it. It doesn’t matter what type of business you own, being ready and open to making new connections is essential.
Whenever you participate in any type of event, do your homework in advance. If possible, get a copy of the attendee list to get to know each person in advance. Attend events with a plan. Always try to learn something new. This will keep you from talking too much about yourself and your business.
Prepare yourself physically and mentally for the event. Dress appropriately. Bring business cards. Turn your phone off or set it to vibrate (this is really important!) and practice in advance some open-ended questions you can use to ignite a conversation. Dare to be different, don’t ask the same old “what do you do” question, at least not right from the start.
Last but not least, don’t pitch too early or simply, don’t “pitch” at all. At some point of the conversation, it will become apparent to you and the other person if or when it makes sense to do business with each other. Something that is crucial to remember is that business networking is about building and maintaining relationships, not about selling.
Some last recommendations on how to get more clients before I go:
Pick the methods and strategies with which you resonate best. Some of these methods will be easier for you to execute while others might yet feel like a stretch. It is always good to test a strategy first and then expand upon it once you are sure of its potential success.
Also, it’s always a great idea to be personal to stand out against your competition. People have their inboxes and phones flooded with ads, cold calls, and spam on a daily basis. If you are working with a potential client do your research, every single one of them deserves to be treated in a special way. Of course, being personal takes time, but it’s likely to help you close more clients. Know your old and new clients. This promotes long-term relationships, which is what your business needs. Make sure all your potential and paying clients see your business as something more than just another brand.
A lot of you will read this article, but will never take action. Why not choose some of these strategies and start implementing them right away?
Now I would like to hear from you! Have you used some of these strategies before? Is there anything that should be added to this list on ‘How To Get More Clients‘? Let me know in the comments down below.
Arnaud Saint-Paul runs SimplyFly which helps your Local Small Business to position itself in front of hundreds of local buyers actively looking for your services with their mobile. For a flat fee and guaranteed results, you can receive hundreds of calls or visits that convert into sales and revenue growth up to 90% of the time.