10 Unique Strategies for Finding New Customers

Growing your business requires a combination of keeping current customers and finding new ones. Retain existing clients by meeting their needs, providing excellent service, and connecting with them on an emotional level. Seeking new prospects requires a bit more creativity and finesse. You have to meet them where they hang out and gain their trust.

Salesforce did a bit of research on the top characteristics of successful business owners. It found about 33% had good communication skills, giving them an edge when reaching out to new customers. If you’re not up to par, make improvements by taking courses, reading articles and trying new tactics until you become an excellent communicator. Once you’ve done your research about who your target audience is, it’s time to try some new strategies to gain their interest.

1. Create Brand Awareness

Making them aware of your brand is the first step in the new acquisitions game. Start by choosing a strong message for your company. What do you stand for and care most about? Your mission should tie into the reason you started your business in the first place. How does your organization help your clients? Why are you passionate about making a change in the world?
Once you’ve perfected your message, share it on social media, at local events and in advertising. Be consistent with your mission, and you’ll begin developing a name in the industry.

2. Add Signage

If you own a brick-and-mortar store, signage helps create awareness in the community. Passersby see a sign about your grand opening or other events and stop in. They’re also useful inside your store to guide users to a specific area or showcase new arrivals. Your signage should match the rest of your style, using brand colors and sticking to a basic style customers see anywhere they interact with your brand.

3. Get Social

Going on social media isn’t anything new, but you can seek new customers on some of the more recent platforms, such as Tik Tok. Look at who your audience is and if you can reach any new people through emerging apps and platforms. If you’re one of the first businesses on a medium, it’s much more likely you’ll develop a strong following. You’re competing with less noise in the early days.

4. Attend Local Events

The best place to find new customers is often close to home. Set up a small booth at a local art festival or street fair. Join in on local chamber of commerce events to network with other business owners. Interact in the local community and get your name out there. Even sponsoring a team at the local Little League park has the potential to bring in new customers you otherwise wouldn’t have connected with.

5. Send Unique Mailers

Come up with a fun campaign and send mailers to people within your target audience. You might do a series including corny jokes related to your industry, leading up to an invitation to a fun event. You could offer something free, such as consultation for homeowners. Think about the typical mailers coming to your home and make yours different. You can send a postcard that is a little larger than average, use eye-popping colors or create a story in booklet form.

6. Attend Trade Shows

Finding a trade show with attendees who fall into your customer profile is an excellent way to expand your reach. If you an afford booth space, set up an exhibit and sign up new customers on the spot. However, if a booth isn’t yet in your budget, don’t let it deter you from attending the conference. You can still make connections just by going to workshops at the event and reaching out to people on the floor.

7. Schedule Radio Interviews

Get in touch with local radio personalities and offer to share your expertise in your industry. For example, if you run a secondhand store, you might talk on a show about saving money or fashion sense. Look at local shows first and reach out to those hosts. Next, expand to national and online broadcasts.

8. Write a Book

Most business owners get into a new endeavor because they have a lot of experience in the industry. Think about the unique knowledge you have and how you could put it into a book. You can either offer it for free in exchange for the person’s email or sell it. You can even give speeches to various groups and sell the book on the side. Once you’re published, you also become more recognizable as an authority.

9. Create a Podcast

Podcasts are quite popular with a broad audience. In the United States, around 75% of people are familiar with them. The number of people familiar with the medium grows each year. A podcast gives you a chance to have a platform and fully promote your company above any others. Decide on a topic and the way you’ll serve up the presentation. For example, you might choose to release it on iTunes.

10. Start a Referral Program

Your current customers are your best word-of-mouth marketing tool. Sometimes they’re just waiting for a chance to tell other people how much they love you. Start a referral program where you reward them for sharing information with others and bringing you new business. If you gain a new customer from a referral, you could offer them a discount off their next purchase, for example.
Another idea is giving them 25% off coupons to hand out to those they know. If the recipient uses the discount, they get the same benefit. Referrals help your business grow exponentially with very minimal additional effort from you.

Pay Attention

Spend time online looking at promotions other companies both inside and outside your industry offer. What creative endeavors make the most sense for your business? Look for ways to introduce your company to new people, and don’t be afraid to try something no one else has before. The key to continual growth is creativity and determination.

Author Bio:
Lexie is a digital nomad and web designer. When she’s not traveling to various parts of the country, you can find her at the local flea markets or hiking with her goldendoodle. Check out her design blog, Design Roast, and connect with her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.
 

Can My Business Survive a Cyberattack Today?

Could your company survive a cyberattack? Small businesses may be particularly at risk because the cost of battling a hacking incident may exceed their budgets. Executives may be brilliant at building new companies and reaching out to leads, but lack a bit of IT knowledge. Without the full-time technical staff a larger operation has, they are also quite vulnerable to an attack.

Around 43% of cyberattacks are against small businesses. Hackers have different intentions. One is to knock you offline by overwhelming your system, and the other is to gain access to sensitive data, such as credit card numbers or customer contact info. Either way, you need to take steps now to protect your business and your patrons.

Six basic steps will ensure you can withstand a cyberattack. Some of these protect data and your website, while others prepare you for a breach even when you’ve done everything you can to avoid one.

1. Invest in Cloud-Based Computing

Going with a cloud service gives you the same security measures more prominent companies use. Smaller brands can’t afford expensive software or security teams on their own. However, you can use a company that has these systems in place and store your essential files on their servers. Switching to the cloud improved safety for about 94% of business owners.

A cloud-based system also allows your staff to access files from anywhere, so you’ll need to decide if you want to enable remote access or not. There are some additional security measures you’ll need to take and training your employees will need to complete if you choose to access files off-site.

2. Avoid Ransomware

In some attacks, hackers take over your computer and demand money to release it. Attacks such as WannaCry target outdated software on your system — particularly Microsoft. To avoid someone taking over your computers and either stealing the files on them or locking them up, complete all updates immediately. You may want to set your system to update each night automatically.

If you are the victim of ransomware, never give the hackers money. It only encourages more attacks in the future. Instead, work with a digital security expert to restore your files and secure your computers. There is almost always something you can do to get the malware off your computer without rewarding criminals for bad behavior.

3. Choose a VPN

There are two aspects to virtual private networks (VPN you can utilize to protect your business. First, shared hosting is a cheap way to get your business website online, but it comes with problems you may not want. Not only can a hacker take out an account and attack you on the backend, but you may also find there is a drag at times, and your site doesn’t perform as well as you’d like. A VPN gives you several advantages without costing as much as a dedicated server.

Another aspect of VPNs is that you can use one for online browsing. Since most companies keep a database of dangerous sites, you’ll get a notification to avoid potential hazards. Emails will be encrypted, and the network will prevent you from stumbling onto a website you shouldn’t and inadvertently downloading malware.

4. Backup Daily

If you aren’t already backing up your data daily, you need to implement a plan. Companies such as iDrive and DropBox allow you to automate backups from your systems. If you wind up with a ransomware attack, you would merely return to the nearest point before the attack, for example. If your system crashes and you lose everything, the information is stored. Pay attention to the security on the site you hire to back up your files.

Some companies also use an external hard drive, but it’s important to have files stored in a separate location in case of a natural disaster. A cloud-based system is your best choice for backing up off-site, but that shouldn’t be the only place you keep files. The remote server could also crash, so never make one source your only file backup.

5. Train Employees

One of the ways hackers gain access to information is by tricking people into sharing logins or sensitive information. Thieves are quite savvy and will send an email that looks like it is from a reputable company or even the person’s manager. Conduct regular internet safety awareness training so your employees know what information they can and can’t share, as well as how to recognize a phishing email.

6. Plan for the Worst

Create a plan for what you’ll do if you are the victim of a cyberattack. Let’s say the worst happens, and sensitive information leaks out. You are required by regulations in some areas to inform your customers and let them know what you’ve done to fix the issue. Yes, people are going to be angry, so the faster you can rectify the problem and reassure them, the better you’ll mitigate the damage.

Never try to cover up a hacking situation where sensitive information was compromised. Immediately inform those affected so people can take measures to protect their credit card numbers or credit.

Protect Your Business

Keeping your business safe from the nefarious intentions of others should be one of your top priorities. When you make digital security a vital part of your routine, you’ll reduce the chances of losing money due to an attack. Take the steps needed to guard your assets, and you’ll have one less worry in running your business.


Author’s Bio:


Lexie is a digital nomad and web designer. When she’s not traveling to various parts of the country, you can find her at the local flea markets or hiking with her goldendoodle. Check out her design blog, Design Roast, and connect with her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.