Opening a business of any kind is not as difficult as the process of attracting customers. Anyone can open a new business with great strategies, goals and future plans but it takes a great deal of art to attract at least first 100 customers for a business. Yes, luring customers is more an art than a science.
If you have a business but you are not sure of who will buy your product or avail service, then that’s the issue which needs immediate attention. But, I tell you, the process or tactics to attract the first 100 customers is not rocket science. It is just a mix of customer development and marketing strategies.
Customer development is a framework, used to identify and discover the need that customers have, manufacture the right product that satisfies customers’ need, thereby aiming to meet the demands for the product. It involves understanding customers and their need, having a product that satisfies the needs of a customer.
Whereas marketing strategies involve a long-term and forward-looking approach to achieve sustainable competitive advantage. So, with the blend of both the tactics, an entrepreneur will not only aim at getting new customers but also delve deeper into customers’ need and what are they interested in.
Knowing the inside-out of the customers is what you need to research for a broader perspective.
Many new entrepreneurs rely onto paid advertising on social media platforms to attract customers. But I am here to apprise you of the fact that paid advertising is not only the last resort to get maiden traction.
Here is the list of tactics you can use in order to attract potential customers:
1. Start with your existing network
Begin with your existing set of friends and family. Make your new business a hero by the word-of-mouth. Talk about it to your relatives, neighbours and friends. The people you know will certainly not be enough to complete the initial benchmark.
But I believe there should be few trustworthy and interesting customers at the beginning to make you feel more confident about yourself and your new business. Also, look for other business owners. Establish the network by meeting like-minded people who already have a customer base. In case your start-up is funded by investors, ask your investors to spread the word.
2. Begin blogging early
Content plays an important role in spreading the word for a new start-up or a business. Content marketing is a buzzword in today’s time, for all the good reasons. Providing readable and informative content to the users helps in providing relevant traffic and also forms a concrete customer base.
If you do not have a business blog, then I urge you to create one with a creative and engaging name as soon as possible. Over a period of time blogging has been overrated. But I am here to burst the bubble and tell you that blogging has turned out to be one of the most valuable tools that you can use to acquire a customer base.
Blogging is a long-term investment and if you begin to post good quality content, it pays off eventually. Kissmetrics can be best exemplified here. It is a customer engagement platform designed to help you understand the behavior of your customer base, thereby drive higher level engagements.
So, if you have to make a way for start-up marketing, read the good stuff over the kissmetrics’ blog. You will surely get influenced and motivated to begin blogging.
Benefits of blogging:
- Generates traffic.
- Creates awareness of your brand and increases demand.
- Boosts people engagement on your website as people especially from the similar sphere gets to read the content they might be looking forward to.
- Strengthens the online presence of your business.
3. Create connections through cold e-mail
This is one of the direct methods to earn customers. Cold e-mails are unsolicited emails sent to the receiver without their prior contact. While sending cold-emails you are required to follow some steps else these emails can be reported spam by the receiver.
Cold e-mails can turn out to be one of the most effective ways of expanding the network. All that you need to do is create a contact list and send well-written and highly informative content. You can find the email address of random people on platforms like personal websites on about page and contact page, company website, Linked In account page. While you step ahead to contact people, keep the following points in mind:
- Personalize every message
- Be precise and crisp
- Make the content valuable
- Make your e-mails interactive
4. Involve yourself actively in online communities
Joining online communities is another best way by which you can reach the target audience. Once you are a member of professional online communities like product hunt, facebook groups/pages, Tropical MBA etc, you tend to interact with the like-minded people, offer something of value, present new ideas. This is how you help your business to grow, thereby attract customers.
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Facebook groups: This social media platform offers pages and groups of all niche. So, no matter which business you deal in, just join the group and start interacting. The groups which are owned and started by influencers tend to have valuable and highly informative discussions.
Tropical MBA: This targeted group is of independent entrepreneurs. In order to be a part of this group, you will have to pay a subscription fee. By being a member of such a group, you can help others find a solution to problems, provide ideas to face challenges.
So, the above online communities form a great place to interact, share and put forth the ideas so as to help the business grow.
5. Make use of Quora, Linked In
Nowadays it is comparatively easy to develop a strong customer base. This is because everything is just a click away. Some of the platforms or customer development tools like Quora are at everyone’s disposal. This is the site where you can read answers to some of the frequently asked queries.
You can even post questions in case of any doubt. The platform is of educated college professionals and all the recent topics are discussed which include computer programming, investing, mobile, software engineering, etc.
- Apart from Quora, you should also opt for Linked In messages. These are an alternative way to cold e-mails which also help in receiving a higher conversion rate for the business.
- Cold e-mails at times can yield zero or negative response but messages on Linked In will provide you more human touch. The receiver will be able to see your profile which will further increase your credibility.
So, above are some of the best strategies that will assist in building your customer base from zero to hundred. You can also look forward to increasing your customer base from 100 to 1000, but that process will require a lot more research and additional work.