One thing a business needs to survive is a flow of clients and customers. It can be a challenge to attract new clients, create awareness, and build your branding. In fact, this can become a full time job itself. And it’s an on-going issue, because businesses cannot rely on keeping the same customers and clients forever. So what are some of the best ways for businesses to find new customers, without excessive spending involved?
Social media is one absolutely free way to build awareness and attract a wider audience for your business. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all offer a myriad of opportunities. On Facebook, offer an incentive such as reduced pricing or free items or services in return for shares. On Twitter, build followers and ask for re-tweets. Get involved with other local businesses. Start a dialog and post on each other’s Facebook walls, or re-tweet each other’s Twitter posts to spread the word on both businesses. Instagram lends itself to the use of images that attract users to your business. Just as with Facebook and Twitter, it’s all about building followers and getting “likes.”
Advertising your business through online directories and local community websites is another good plan to increase awareness on the Internet.
Beyond the Internet, a relatively inexpensive way to attract new customers is to ask existing customers or clients to recommend a new client to you, and offer an incentive such as a gift or discount to both the new and already-loyal client.
Another option: offer specific promotions targeted to local groups that would be likely to frequent your business. A special promotion or discount will make group members feel special and encourage them to try your product or service.
While it does require some funds out of pocket, advertising in local magazines and newspapers can also be hugely beneficial. Do ask your current clients what publications they are reading before you buy, however. That way you can be sure you’re getting the best return on your investment, and reaching out to readers similar to your own existing customer base. You can also sponsor a local event or offer prizes for fundraisers or raffles, which is another way to build business awareness.
Ultimately, reaching out in several different ways will best help to encourage new business, as potential customers need to see and recognize your name in several different places before they walk in the door.