Finding customers is a vital skill for all startup and small business owners.
Without big advertising budgets or marketing campaigns to bring new customers to your door, you need to know the smart ways to attract clients.
To help you succeed, we asked growth coach and author, Robin Waite to reveal how to cut through the noise to reach customers.
Finding new clients is hard, right?
And I shall explain why.
We live in a day and age where we have to make 30,000 decisions a day. As a small business owner what this means is;
- We are flooded with noise from social media
- Our email inboxes fill up faster than we can empty them
- Everyone wants to sit down and ‘have a coffee’ with us
- Family life is hectic
- We have too many Facebook notifications to deal with, and
- We are filled with overwhelm.
With all of that noise going on in our lives is it any wonder that we find running a business to be stressful, taking up all of our time and not delivering all of the money promised to us when we first started out. If you can survive the first three years, you’ve just about made it, right?
Why is there so much noise, and what does it mean?
25 years ago there were 468,000 businesses registered in the UK. Now, there are 3.9 million. There’s no surprise that the Internet officially turned 25 in 2017.
In practical terms, this means that EVERY market place is saturated by a factor of ten, which means ten times the amount of competition.
Is it any wonder that we find business hard when we are competing with ten times the number of other businesses and not just locally.
If you are producing products, it’s more than likely someone in the Far East is producing them cheaper than you. And if you deliver a service it’s likely someone in India can deliver that service for less money than you as well.
How can we overcome all the noise?
Since reading Think and Grow Rich (by Napoleon Hill) some years ago, I realised that most business owners, nowadays, are taking on too much responsibility.
Hill introduced three ideas around;
- Desire and
In my eyes, the goal and desire either exist, or they don’t. However, the activities to achieve a goal are harder to come by.
Not only that but you need an incredible desire nowadays to drive the volume of activity to cut through all the noise and remain competitive.
Focus on 3 Core pillars
I encourage my clients to focus on three core pillars in their businesses;
- Marketing and
This means focussing on the activities which are going to grow and drive your business.
For me these three pillars show up as;
- Speaking at events,
- Delivering consultations and
- 1-to-1 coaching.
Each pillar drives your prospects to the next step. Each time you are about to start a new activity, no matter how small or insignificant, ask yourself this question:
“Is this activity going to get me closer to my goal?”
Don’t send tweets three times a day just because someone tells you to. If an activity’s not helping you to grow your business, simple, don’t do it.
Give away value, all of the time. Implement an assessment process because IT WILL segment serious prospects from the tyre-kickers.
Sit down with prospects face-to-face because let’s face it, people still want to buy from people despite all the pressure nowadays to create Facebook ads to drive sales. Remember your three pillars and stick to them, like glue.
4 Steps to Winning customers
OK, is all this talk of goals, desire and activity too profound?
If you just want more clients, and you want to get started right away, here is a simple Marketing 101, to help you collect customers in 4 easy steps:
1. Identify your Target Market
If you don’t identify a niche, you are shooting in the dark. There are 3.9m small businesses out there and you only need a few of them to create a successful business. Be laser targeted in your approach.
When you niche, other businesses will see what you’re doing and ask, “Can you do that for us?”
2. Ask this question, “Where do they hang out?”
If your perfect client isn’t on FB then why do you always hang out on Facebook? Want to marry a billionaire then don’t go and hang out in Wetherspoons as it’s unlikely they will be there.
Find out about your target market and be specific about ensuring your market wherever they are most likely to see it.
3. Go to them
They are caught up in the noise and confusion with all of the other businesses marketing at them.
You need to make things as easy as possible for your prospects to get to know you. Make every effort to go and see them.
4. Show up Regularly and Often with the same Consistent message
Let me guess, you did a Facebook ad campaign, spent £20 and, “It didn’t work!”
An email marketing campaign? Yes, I know, you did it once and it didn’t work.
I used to go to a networking event every month for a year. This lovely, but slightly ageing, chap looked at my name badge every month to remember my name. He mentioned running every time I saw him despite me reminding him I was a cyclist and not a runner.
In month twelve, he greeted me with a firm handshake, looked me straight in the eye and said, “Robin, great to see you, how’s the cycling going?”
Consistency is key. Not everyone wants to buy from you now. But when they want your products, you need to be at the forefront of their mind, so keep on showing up.
The millennial mindset is a virus which is catching.
Millennial Mindset craves instant gratification, quick wins and wealth without the work.
Let me take you back to the start; there is ten times the amount of competition in every sector from before Millennials were even born. In being 10X more consistent than your peers you will get the clients. Not prepared to put the time and effort in? Get a job!
About the author
This guide has been written exclusively for ByteStart by Robin Waite, a Business Coach specialising in creating growth and scalability within established SMEs. His second book, Take Your Shot: How To Grow Your Business, Attract More Clients, And Make More Money is available from online retailers including amazon.co.uk and to order from all good bookstores (£11.99 paperback, £3.99 ebook).
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