Building your customer base is vital if you want your business to grow. To build your customer base, you must stay in constant contact with potential and existing customers and the more value your business has for them, the more likely they will remain loyal to you and recommend you to others.
There is no sure way to building your customer base, but there are some universal guidelines you can use to expand it. Below are 7 ways to build your client base:
1. Identify Your Ideal Customer:
Before you go ahead and start looking for customers, you should really ask yourself a question. Who is my ideal customer? Your ideal customer is someone who gets what they needs by what you can offer them. Makes sense, right? You should niche down and really focus on your target. Maybe it sounds a bit counterintuitive to narrow your focus, but niching down is key to expanding your business.
There are some steps you can take here to make it a bit easier:
- Know your product or service: You need a SOLID understanding of your business. What is it actually about, what can you offer, what problems can you solve? If you can answer this questions, you are ready to start identifying your ideal target.
- Get your goals straight: Once you know the answer to the questions above, you should determine your goals. Ask yourself, are your current customers the customers you really want and are they happy with your product/service? Your goals should align perfectly with your audience. Let’s say you are selling luxury homes. Targeting broke college kids wouldn’t be a great idea, right?
- Analyse your relationship with past/current customers: Your past interactions with customers can really reveal a lot, both good and bad. These interactions can show you what you did wrong and what you did right. Try to analyse your mistakes and your successes so you’ll know how to move on with current or new customers.
- Don’t waste the information: This happens a lot. Many businesses do the hard work of finding the right customers, setting goals, analyzing relationships and then just let all of that information just sit there. PUT IT TO USE! Use this information in every move and decision you make when looking for your customers.
2. Ask For Feedback:
Don’t be ashamed or scared to follow-up with your past customers and ask them for feedback about your product or service. Most of them will even appreciate this follow-up as a sign that they weren’t just an insignificant customer and this is how you will figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are. As a part of the feedback follow-up, you can also ask for a testimonial which you can then display on your website and that helps to “humanize” your brand, which will help to build your customer base. You too probably like seeing review about a product or service you are looking for, right? So will others.
Share what you do, and do it for FREE! Wait, what?! Yes, you should share something for free with your customers. I know how this sounds, and you’re probably thinking “no way I’m doing it for free” and you won’t. But just try and think about it. How many times did you sign up for a service to try it out for free? Did you like it? If you did you are probably paying for this service right now and was this service an alternative to one that didn’t have a free trial? I know from my experience that I would rather try one thing first than buying it and then finding out I don’t like it.
Free trials, free consultations, free advice, free insights,.. There are all ways to give your potential customers a taste of your expertise and make them more likely to convert to a paying customer. Don’t be afraid to put it a little bit of work, it can really pay off.
Give customers a taste of what you do, and if its good, they’ll come back for more.
4. Build partnerships:
Let’s face it, we can’t do it all, especially if you are at the beginning of the journey. Consider teaming up with businesses that can complement your services. This gives you the opportunity to take advantage of the services they can provide and vice versa. Let’s say that you are a used cars dealer and you know a really good mechanic, why not team up? You know someone that can fix a car, recommend them the mechanic. He’s got a client whose car cant be fixed, he’ll recommend YOU. This can really help you to build your customer base. The more relationships you have with business owners or customers, the more you’ll be known and the greater the chance of someone recommending or noticing you.
5. Reward loyalty:
New customers are not the only important thing to build your customer base, past customers are as important if not even more. What happens if you neglect your past customers? They will stop doing business with you! Will they recommend you to others? No way in hell! Don’t be one of those businesses that looks for one time customers, instead be a business that builds lasting relationships with them, after all if they are happy with your services they will probably ask you for more in the future and are way more likely to recommend you to others.
Don’t forget about your customers when you receive your paycheck. Follow-up with them, make sure everything is as it should be, ask them if they need anything, offer them perks such as discounts, special deals or whatever, remind them you are there for them and that you want them to stay with your business and they will.
The best customers are recurring customers.
One last thing to think of: Is it easier to get a new client, get to know them, get to know what they want/like,.. or work with someone you already know??
6. Offer a free newsletter:
Email is and always will be a great marketing tool. Email has on of the highest ROI of digital channels out there and it’s a great way to build you customer base. A free newsletter is something everybody can afford, from small business to global corporations and if you provide them with relevant information, they will stay signed-up for your newsletter. In there you can then remind them of your company and what you can offer them and what problems can you solve for them.
One of the things to keep in mind is that customers must be able to unsubscribe from your newsletter, also be sure that your emails are mobile friendly.
To make things easier, you could use a service like MailChimp or MailerLite.
7. Promote your business on social media networks:
In recent years, social media has become a must for marketing businesses. There is no shortage of social media sites where you can expand your customer base and the number of sites is growing every day. I’m not saying you should target all of them at once (really, don’t do it) but you could pick a few for beginning and stick to them.
One of the most obvious is Facebook. It’s not hard to create a Facebook page to market your business and it’s not even that hard to get a customer base. You could invite people you know, than they can recommend you, invite others to like it, they can share your valuable content,… There are a lot of different tactics you can use to expand your customer base. But make sure you don’t over-advertise. You don’t want to blatantly promote yourself in every post. What you should do is provide content that people want/need, that will make them engage with your content and if it’s any good, they will follow you an likely contact you when they will need something.
Build a community, take care of it and it will take care of you.
Ok, let’s recap what you should do to build your client base. You should identify your ideal customer, you should learn from your previous interactions what you did wrong and what you did right, you should share your knowledge/services/goods to make customers engage with you, join other businesses that can complement your services so that you can maybe get some of their clients and vice-versa, you should ALWAYS reward loyal customers in some way, build an email list to which you can send your newsletter where you send them valuable content and promote your business where people hang out these days, on social media.
That is it for this one. See you soon.
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