Feel like you’ve hit a plateau with your customer acquisition efforts? While it’s frustrating, don’t sweat too much—it happens to even the most seasoned business owners.
Sometimes a new customer lull is the perfect time to break out of the box and try an all new tactic for getting new faces in the door. Here are 8 ideas to bring some business your way.
Host an Industry Summit
Chances are you’ve been to a professional conference or two and seen how helpful they can be; why not step into the starring role and host one of your own?
Enlist two or three other professionals in your field to speak/contribute material on topics that are relevant to your target audience. Then work with a group like your local Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau to get the word out.
To keep costs under control, start small. Try a half-day event at a space you can get for free or at a low cost, like your local library or community center. Be sure to have plenty of opportunities for attendees to interact with you and see your expertise firsthand, like a Q&A panel or meet-and-greet reception after the lectures.
Hit The Airwaves
In our screen-saturated world, it’s easy to forget the classic but pervasive medium of radio. Don’t underestimate its benefits for reaching new customers. Instead of paying for ads, though, first get creative and see if you can land yourself on the airwaves for free.
Is there a timely topic or event coming up that you can weigh in on? If you’re a builder, you might put together a list of ten tips to prepare for hurricane season. If you sell pet supplies, you might partner with the ASPCA to hold an adoption drive.
Whatever angle you decide on, put together a short pitch and send it by email to all the local radio programs. They’re always looking for snappy, conversation-worthy topics to discuss on air and might bite on your idea!
In your pitch, describe your story idea, your expertise, and a few talking points you can hit on (bullet points work great for this). End with your contact info and your availability to speak on air.
As a business owner, chances are you’ve been hit up by your local little league team a time or two for sponsorships or freebies. For the next one, make it profitable on your side by including an incentive to support your business.
For example, if you’re donating a free dinner at your restaurant to a fundraising raffle, you might also give a stack of 20% off coupons to be handed out to everyone at the raffle. For a few bucks out of your pocket, you’ll attract a group of new customers you can then win over for life.
Pick Up Others’ Slack
In the marketing world, large agencies will often pass up smaller jobs, referring them out to solopreneurs who are better suited for the work. Find a similar arrangement in your field with indirect competitors or businesses that complement yours.
If you’re a business attorney, you might establish a relationship with a family law attorney where you each agree to refer applicable work to one another when it comes your way. As long as the relationship is a two-way street, it should be a good source of new business for the both of you.
Get your name out there (and build valuable backlinks to your website) by offering to contribute as a guest blogger on high-authority sites.
Put together a short message outlining your credentials and a few post topics you’d like to write about, then submit it to some appropriate sites in your niche. Websites like Forbes, Entrepreneur, Huffington Post and others accept submissions from contributors; just look for the Submissions section of their website.
Create A Subscription Product
Any savvy business owner knows the best kind of revenue is recurring revenue, like client retainers or subscriptions, that you can depend on from month to month. The good news is, almost any type of business can take advantage of a recurring revenue model.
If you sell a product that’s replaceable, like cosmetics or dry goods, offer an auto-refill option to have your product automatically shipped to customers on a monthly or bi-monthly basis.
If you’re service based, offer a monthly subscription program that entitles subscribers to perks, like X hours of one-on-one consulting with you each month or mastermind sessions with small groups of other subscribers.
Hold Office Hours
We’re big advocates for charging what you’re worth, but there’s something to be said for working for free, especially when it involves other entrepreneurs.
If you’re in a professional service, try holding free weekly ‘office hours’ where other business owners can meet with you pro bono and get good advice. Not only will you build goodwill in the community, you’ll form the kind of professional connections that can bring business your way months or even years down the road.
Start a Podcast
In 2014 blogging was the word of the day for entrepreneurs. Today, the word is podcasting.
According to the 2016 Infinite Dial Report, podcast listenership has been on a steady climb upwards over the last decade, growing from 9% of Americans in 2008 to 21% in 2016—that’s the same percentage of Americans that use Twitter.
Hosting a podcast allows you to literally be in the ear of your potential customers anywhere—in the car, at the gym or while they clean the house.
One word to the wise: the focus of a podcast should be on providing value or entertainment for your listeners, not on selling your product. You can start or end each episode with a call to action plugging your services, otherwise keep self-promotion to a minimum.
If you had to pick two of these tactics to try this month, which two would you pick? Leave a comment and let us know!
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