No matter what your business (online or offline) customers play a key role in your success. No customers equals no business – they are actually what you’re in business for, right? So whatever it is that you’re offering, be it a product or service, your first step will always be to attract people. Next, you must encourage them to take action. This is an absolute priority for any business. The secret that many business owners miss is that it must be done consistently.
Today, there are literally dozens of ways you can choose to help build your list of customers or, if you’re online, get them to opt-in list to your database or customer list. To start, choose one or two methods that you’re comfortable with and test and measure your success. As you receive positive feedback and great results, you can add to your repertoire and combine even more of the various methods available. Here is just a sample to get you thinking:
Providing a newsletter to clients is very effective in building your list with one caveat – it must contain information of value that people can use in their business or daily lives. Today, many people consider email “noise”. How many emails to you receive each day and how many do you get around to reading? Now, put yourself in the shoes of your target market and ask the same question. Why would they read your newsletter? It’s about adding value. Including engaging graphics and images is also a must. Through your newsletter you can share tips, strategies and interesting topics that will position you as an expert and therefore naturally attract to people to your business.
Sounds simple, but if your customers can’t get on your list how can you connect with them? Make it easy for your clients to subscribe to your newsletter. All you need is to set up a subscription form on your website or blog where visitors can register their name and email address in exchange for a regular newsletter. Make sure to include a short description of your newsletter so as to engage your visitor and encourage them to sign up.
We are all busy. Like you, web users are particular about the quality of the sites they visit and the information (articles, blog posts, etc.) that they read. Make your website or blog one that visitors will want to return to. Quality content refers information that is not only interesting but useful as well. Something that can influence people’s lives, solve a problem or resolve an issue for them.
A surefire way of attracting people is to provide well written and interesting articles using simple English. You can post them not only on your website or blog but in other free article directories where you have the opportunity to be exposed to a bigger audience. If what you share is interesting, your visitors will choose to share it too with their networks. This is a great way to leverage your market reach.
An ebook does not need to be written by a professional. Anyone can put one together. You can include a compilation of your best articles or tips and techniques you have discovered in your business. Offer this as a bonus to your visitors to encourage them to sign up or as a giveaway for any special event or launch you may be holding.
Run an event. This does not need be on a massive scale – bigger is not always better. Aim your event at your target market. Depending on what you do, even just a small event to gather like-minded people will have the desired effect for your business. It’s also a great avenue for people who work mostly online at home to get out and meet others, network and share valuable information.
Discussion boards or forums are another way which can help you establish relationships with people in your industry. Use this avenue to share ideas and get valuable tips. Provide great content, add value and you never know: those you engage with may prove to be a great referral source for you or eventually become your client.
Are you providing the products / services that your target market actually need or are your products / services what YOU think that they want? There is a difference. Research what your customers want and give to them. The products or services you are offering to people must meet what they are looking for or they will look elsewhere.
Are you on board or are you in danger or being left behind? The time to put your head in the sand, ignore Social Media and say you’ll get to it “one day” has passed. You cannot afford NOT to be engaging with your target market on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or many of the other social media platforms out there. If you need help – ask! Stay focused on your key strengths and outsource what you can’t do, don’t understand or don’t have time to do. We can help you get this sorted so you can get back to running your business.
Attend events and speak to people. Pick up the phone and have a conversation. Even on Social Media, you need to engage with those that are following you or have added you as a friend. Sitting at your computer does not remove the need for etiquette or manners. Remember the “social” part of social media? If you’re struggling to getting traction with your social media, look at how you are interacting with people. Online or offline is exactly the same when it comes to networking – connect first, have a conversation and share how you can help one another. It’s key to your business success.
To your success!
By Wendy Moore
Copyright 2009 Savvy Web Women Pty Ltd
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Wendy Moore is a sought-after speaker, author and educator who is passionate about showing business owners and entrepreneurs how to better understand the internet to build a highly responsive, targeted list of clients specific to their business niche.
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