Acquiring new leads, followers and prospective customers can be difficult, especially in the early stages of your business. A recent report by Hubspot on Search Engine Optimization Statistics states that one of the biggest challenges a newly established brand or business can face is the ability to generate traffic and leads. So how do you grow your influence that can in turn generate more customers? Here are five simple tips and strategies that you can put into place, right now!
#1 Tap Into Your Current Network For Referrals
It's no surprise that the people in your existing customer base or social circle will have friends or associates who may be interested in your brand / business. If your business or brand provides a good service or product, there's no reason why they wouldn't be your advocates or ambassadors. A great way to incentivise others to promote your brand is to implement a referral program. Giving a referral fee or paying out a commission to those that bring you business is a great way to incentivise others to help you spread the word. This strategy works great for businesses that have a lot of recurring work, such as a graphic designer, fitness or life coach, or public speaker.
#2 Contribute Great Content to Major Publications and Websites
If you position yourself as an expert in your niche, then you should have no problem writing about the topics that you specialize in. Position yourself as a thought leader. This will build your credibility to you and your brand / business and will also serve as social proof. When submitting your research or writing to major publications or blogs, don't forget to ask them to include a backlink to your website, blog or online store. If you produce high quality content, people and brands will naturally want to share it with their audience.
#3 Become a Keynote Speaker at Conferences
Speaking on stage instantly elevates you as an expert in your field. This is a great way to deliver your message and mission statement directly to a captive audience. There are tons of public speaking opportunities in your local markets. Check out different business networking groups, meetings and gatherings in your area. Become a member of your local Chamber of Commerce. Another great way to land speaking engagements when just starting out is to reach out to your local Community College or University. Educational institutions are always looking for outside experts to come in and talk to students.
#4 Send A Gift to Your Prospects
This strategy is probably the most risky one on this list. Although it is considered a high risk strategy it could also yield the highest reward. If you have your eyes set on a big potential client, send them an Ipad along with your sales pitch. Your sales pitch could be a new app that your company developed, a concept or prototype of a new product, or even a detailed video explaining how your company can serve them better. Inform them that they are free to keep whatever it is you sent them.
Yes, giving business gifts can be flashy and expensive but, for top paying clients it can be just the thing needed to seal the deal.
#5 Genuinely Engage On Social Media
Get involved in real conversations that are happening around your niche.
This is your chance to shine and truly help others. Answering questions and offering advice gives you the opportunity to position yourself as an expert in your field. Platforms like Twitter and Quora are a great place to spend sometime. Search hashtags related to your business and start up conversations.
Engage with others, don't try to sell anything or ask people to follow you back. This is not a sub 4 sub or follow 4 follow strategy. Those strategies are garbage and not genuine. Roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty!
Offer meaningful and insightful advice. This builds your reputation quickly and attracts others to your brand / business. If the advice you are giving is quality, those you help will naturally want to follow you.
Growing your influence and brand is a challenge however, if you take these five strategies to heart and make them part of your daily or weekly routine, You'll keep your current customers happy and attract the type of prospects you're looking for.
Charles Watson - MBA Technology Management