As I’ve mentioned before, there are no magic bullets in marketing. It takes a well-thought-out marketing strategy implemented over time.
However, as a business owner, sometimes you just really some quick wins. You can’t wait for six to 12 months to get where you want to be – you need to get new customers in the door NOW.
If that sounds like you, the good news is that there is hope!
Although you shouldn’t sacrifice short-term needs for long-term gain, there are some things you can do to boost your business in a hurry.
How to Find New Customers – FAST
If you’re looking for ways to quickly bring new business, here are some tactical ideas to help you attract new customers.
1. Ask for referrals.
Contact your existing colleagues and client base and let them know what kind of work you are looking for and ask if they know of anyone who fits the bill. The more specific you are about the type of clients you’re looking for, the better.
The way you ask for referrals is also important. Make sure you frame it as a benefit – you want your client to be the hero, so make it be about them. How can referring you make them look good?
You could also create a referral program that rewards your clients and colleagues for sending customers your way. Depending on your business, you could reward referrals with discounts on your services, a popular item such as an iPads or Kindle, or gift cards to a great restaurant in town.
2. Get recommendations.
In addition to referrals, it helps to get recommendations and testimonials from your clients – both for your website and through social networks. People rely heavily on social proof from others to see if a company is worth doing business with.
Although this might not turn into quick business, this will certainly bolster your other marketing efforts and improve the likelihood people will do business with you. And, this isn’t just something you should do when you need business, you should bake it into your process so you always have a constant stream of recommendations coming in.
3. Have a sale.
People love a good sale. And no, this doesn’t just apply to product-based businesses. Service-based and B2B companies can do this too.
For instance, you can offer a discount to anyone that signs up for a full year of your services. Or, you can have a sale price for anyone that hires you between now and the end of the year. This can work especially well for people or businesses that were considering your services as it gives them an extra incentive to act now.
4. Offer a free or discounted consult.
If you’re in a service-based business, offering a free or discounted consultation can be a great way to generate new leads – especially if this isn’t something you do all of the time.
I have a good friend and colleague who offered a steep discount on his hourly consulting rate. This prompted a number of people to test out his services. Many people saw the value in the session and ended up buying additional services from him. But it took the discounted consult to get people in the door.
If you go this route, it works especially well if you promote this through your blog, social channels or email list.
5. Revisit former clients.
This is a great time of year to check in with previous clients to see how they are doing. Thank them for their support and business. Let them know you’re around if they need any help – especially if you’ve added new services or offerings since you last worked together.
6. Thank and reward loyal customers.
When is the last time you showed appreciation for your customers? As we’re entering the holiday season, now is a good time to let them know that you appreciate their business. This could include everything from handwritten thank you notes and gifts to special discounts or rewards for your most loyal customers.
7. Give away premium content.
Create a piece of premium content that you can give away. This could be an eBook, video series, webinar – you name it! People that sign up for the content would be a great, qualified lead for your business that you can follow-up with.
8. Speak to a targeted group.
Think about a particular niche that you serve and identify conferences, organizations or companies that you could speak to about a topic that’s relevant to that group. If you present valuable information to the audience, chances are good that you’ll get some good leads from it.
For instance, if you’re a financial planner that works with a lot of solo practice attorneys, you could line up a presentation with the local bar association about how to build a budget and financial plan for the year.
9. Implement an ad campaign.
If you have the budget to do so, a targeted advertising campaign can be really effective for you. Depending on your budget and audience, there are a number of avenues for digital advertising – such as Google Adwords, digital display ads, and social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
This approach would work best to tie it to an offer. For instance, the advertising could promote your sale, free (or discounted) consult or your premium content. If you’re looking for quick wins, an awareness campaign isn’t going to be the right approach.
10. Cross-promote services with strategic partners.
Sometimes, the best way to attract new business is to team up with your strategic partners or a complimentary business that is marketing to a similar audience and cross-promote your services. This is a great way to introduce your services to a new audience.
For instance, a chiropractor, physical therapist and massage therapist and could co-host a seminar and each invite their clients. Or, each business could offer a discount to the others and email their clients about it.
What has worked for you?
Certainly, this isn’t an exhaustive list, but it should get your creative juices flowing and give you some solid ideas you can start implementing today.
When you need business in a hurry, what has worked for you? Share your ideas in the comment section and let’s help folks find ways to score some business now!
Image credit: Jacques Arsenault