It’s all very well having an amazing product or service to sing and shout about but what’s the point in doing so if there’s nobody within earshot to hear it. Establishing a client base and then continuing to add to it takes a certain grit and determination that every small business owner should really possess. Here are our top five tips for attracting new customers…

1. Be likeable!

Whoever said “nice guys finish last” clearly wasn’t a small business owner. Remember, even if you are having a lousy day, try and treat every single client or enquiry like they are the only one. If you deliver excellent customer service now you will reap the rewards later when your current clients come back to you or recommend you to other people. Ask past customers to write you testimonials which you can then proudly display on printed material, your social media or your website.

2. Get your name out there

Establish exactly what it is that makes your company stand out above the rest. Got it? Congratulations, you are now in possession of the elusive USP (Unique Selling Point). It’s now your job to make sure that everybody knows about it, whether this means attending trade shows, going to networking events or showing up at business gatherings in your local area. Business Gateway (www.bgateway.com) is a great source of information where you can meet up with your peers and find out what your competitors are up to as well as speaking directly to business experts. Keep your eye on social media for any specific events related to your field and make sure you get yourself along, bringing business cards or leaflets with you.

3. Create a strong online presence

Word of mouth nowadays is mainly done online and it’s vital that your company is active across a range of channels. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are the most widely used medias and keeping these up to date can be a full time job in itself. Make sure you engage in group discussions and use hashtags to your advantage so that people can begin interacting with you. This could potentially lead to a new client. There could be opportunities for you to do competitions in return for likes and shares of your page. Try and drive all your social media traffic back to your website. Speaking of your website, this should be uncluttered and easy to navigate with your brand message shining through from that first initial click. Make sure your contact details are laid out clearly and perhaps consider adding a mailing list, where clients can sign up to keep up to date with your latest news.

4. Show your products in the best light

Companies often overlook professional photography and this is such a shame as it is truly a crucial part of many marketing campaigns. Enticing photographs can really lure in new customers. A picture is worth a thousand words and if you have opened a new restaurant or food company for example, then you should endeavour to fill your marketing material with mouth-watering images that will capture people’s attention.

 

Photograph of a juicy beef burger oozing with relish, coleslaw, lettuce and tomato.

5. Look at your image

Does your brand image need a complete overhaul? Put yourself inside the mind of a client and take a good look at all your marketing material, it’s vital that it looks professional and consistent across all platforms. Having a clipart logo that you did yourself in a word document doesn’t quite cut it I’m afraid. If you are selling a product, make sure your packaging is of the highest standard and your brand identity is strong throughout.

So there you have it. This is by no means an exhaustive list and don’t expect to make your first millions by the end of the year. It should, however, get you off the starter blocks and with the right resolve you can watch your customer base continue to grow from strength to strength.