Starting a business can be stressful, no matter how prepared you are. There’s the website to build, the advertising to set up, deciding how to market your business, and the list goes on and on. You can reap the rewards of your hard work sooner than you think, though, and we’ll help you get there with these 10 easy steps to guide you.
Give Business Cards Freely
They may have been an expense, but they’re only worth the money if they drum up business. Keep your cards with you at all times and hand them out to everyone you meet. Find a way to bring your business into the conversation, give them a card to take home, and let your website do the rest. Not every person will give you a call, but the more people who have your cards, the better your chances of getting new customers.
Market With Others
Chances are you, as one person, can’t offer every single feature your clients need. Maybe you can eventually hire a staff to fulfill all the needs you can think of, but until then try marketing with others. This way, when you meet with new clients you have the upper hand so they don’t have to search all over to find everyone they need—you can set them up with people you trust. And this goes both ways; your marketing partners can bring you new business as well.
Find Business Groups
These groups typically meet on a monthly basis, are open to everyone, and give you the floor to meet with other professionals and offer your services. This also gives you a chance to meet someone you can market alongside. You give out business cards and take some home, refer your clients to others who will do you the same favor. Either way, these meetings are sure to bring you business.
Have an Open House
If you have an office you work out of, plan an open house. Make one whole business day a chance for prospective clients or other businesses to come and check you out, a rolling invitation instead of a specific time. It’s a great way to find out about business groups, give out your card, and especially to let others meet you. Once they’ve had a conversation with you in person they’ll feel more confident calling you for work in the future.
Let Others Market at Your Business
You don’t need to have a huge sign broadcasting other businesses inside of your own. Just simply have a table set up where other businesses can leave their cards for clients to grab. This helps with cross marketing, giving your clients everything they need in one place, and also builds relationships with others.
Send Monthly Newsletters
It’s been said before but it deserves repeating: newsletters are good for business. Not only do they remind your clients of your business, they can give them the first glance at a new product, allow you to promote discounts or special deals, and gain your client’s trust by offering tips to them. Build your credibility and show off what you know once a month by emailing your client list.
Advertise Your Business
In the beginning, funds may be low and advertising might be far from your mind, but eventually it should be done. Word of mouth is fine to begin with but to truly grow you need to get your name out there. Start with free services then branch out to print media or online ads. Target your audience and watch your business grow.
What better way to prove your worth to new clients than with praise from clients who have worked with you before? Don’t ask every client to do this, but if they email and mention what a great job you did, ask if you can use their testimonial. Or if you know a client was really happy with your work, ask them to write one. Post them on your website to back up your word.
There’s nothing quite like getting a good deal and your clients know this. By offering a discount on the very first job for a client you’ll show them you’re so confident they’ll love your work, you’re willing to take a lower pay to prove it. Or, if you have a group of clients who haven’t been in for a while, offer a discount for their next purchase. It doesn’t have to be a lot—just 10% off or a free consultation—but it’ll stand out in their minds.
Ask for Feedback
Sometimes, the easiest way to show your customers you care is to ask for their opinion. If you have a new product, ask your clients for an honest review. Did you re-do your website? Ask how user-friendly they feel it is. You’ll learn what makes your clients happy and let them know they matter, ensuring they’ll trust in your business over the competition.
Need help with marketing, creating your website, or creating newsletters? Contact DesignLoud, LLC at [email protected]