How to find customers for free?
I've been blogging since 2008, but it wasn't until 2012 that I started having a decent amount of readers coming over. Now I have between 500-700 unique visitors every month (and growing). Where did all these people come from? How can someone like me generate so much traffic without spending any money? And how do some bloggers make thousands in profit each year with no advertising budget whatsoever? Well there's more than one trick to finding clients...
Here are 3 ways you can start generating leads for free using social media platforms.
1) Join communities where YOU fit right in
The best place to begin your search for targeted prospects online is by joining relevant forums or groups within niche markets. The key here is to join as many groups as possible related to what you want to accomplish online. This will ensure that you become part of the community - which makes you visible. When others see you participating, they'll be intrigued enough to check out what you're offering.
For example if you run an ecommerce site selling baby clothes, you'd probably want to focus on Facebook Groups such as "Baby Clothing" or "Parenting Communities." If you sell information products about marketing strategies then look at things such as Google+ Community Groupssuch as "Marketing Strategy," "Social Media Marketing," etc.
Look for local groups too -- this will help you connect with local business owners looking for affordable services. You may also consider creating your own group or forum based around whatever topic you wish. Just remember to treat other members respectfully. Also, don't spam them! People hate being spammed just like we would.
2) Use Twitter Search Engine Tools
Twitter has several tools available to use to locate prospective customers. One tool called Tweetreach allows users to target their tweets toward specific geographic areas. It lets you choose cities and states to tweet to. For instance, you could set up a list of 20 Tweets that relate specifically to Los Angeles, CA. Then send those Tweets to your followers.
This works well because once you create your lists, you can simply go through your timeline and retweet others' content. Retweeting sends another person's post directly into your timeline for ALL your followers to read. In addition, when you retweet, you give credit to the original poster and link back to his/her profile. So not only does this build trust, but it shows people you care about what others say. That's powerful stuff.
3) Post Your Content Everywhere
As mentioned before, posting on your timeline builds credibility. But it doesn't stop there. There are plenty of places you should share your content. Here are three quick ideas:
Start commenting on industry blogs. Comment often and provide value. Don't pitch yourself and your offer. Be helpful, informative and friendly. Let blog owners know why you think your expertise is important. Bloggers love comments and interaction and will respond accordingly.
Comment on your favorite industry news articles. Again, comment frequently. Do not pitch. Leave insightful feedback and answers to questions. Make sure you leave links back to your website. Readers appreciate knowing exactly where you came from. A little self promotion never hurt anyone.
Post videos everywhere! YouTube is great for video sharing. Take advantage of this medium to showcase your talents and skills. Create short tutorials and explain concepts clearly. Vlogging is huge now and gaining popularity fast. As long as it relates to your field of interest, feel free to share your vids anywhere.
Another good idea is to take your knowledge base and turn it into a complete guidebook. Write an eBook describing everything you've learned and put it on Kindle. Amazon sells tons of books everyday. What better way to let everyone know about your new book than by putting it on sale for 99 cents? Not only will people buy it, but word spreads fast.
Also, don't forget to include your contact info somewhere in your ebook. Put it in the front cover, inside the body of the text, and even add a section at the end of the book explaining how to reach you. Most importantly, always keep your email signature line open for easy access.
4) Get creative with your branding & promotional materials
Don't rely solely on traditional methods of promoting yourself. Think outside the box. Try doing something different. Stand apart from the crowd. Remember, people need to recognize YOUR brand first. They must truly understand who YOU are BEFORE they decide whether or not THEY want to work with you.
So instead of handing out cards, try sending letters via snail mail. Or maybe host a contest on Facebook asking fans to submit photos of themselves wearing your product. Offer incentives for participation and ask people to tag you in the photo. Afterward, display the winning pictures on your page.
5) Send Newsletters Weekly OR Monthly
Newsletters are essential pieces of Internet marketing. They allow your audience to stay connected to you while keeping tabs on what's going on in your world. Plus, newsletters are extremely effective at building relationships.
If you aren't already running a newsletter, start today! Many experts suggest writing two types of emails per week: a weekly digest and monthly summary. These updates are usually sent straight to subscribers after subscribing, rather than cluttering up inboxes.
You can easily customize your newsletter templates by adding images, graphics, videos, and testimonials. You can even design multiple versions for various segments of your subscriber base. Start off slow---you don't have to publish daily. Publish twice a month or less. Once you gain momentum, experiment with publishing weekly. Another option is to write a few extra posts during the week and schedule them to upload later.
6) Ask Questions
People enjoy talking about themselves and their businesses. If you pose interesting questions to your subscribers, they'll likely participate. Keep in mind that most people won't answer your question(s), but the ones who do will hopefully lead you to future prospects.
7) Give away FREEbies
Giveaways and contests attract attention and boost conversions. Free items given away tend to increase sales. Offering giveaways helps establish rapport, making you stand apart from competitors.
8) Tell people what you're NOT Doing
Sometimes our biggest problem with attracting customers isn't lack of skill, talent or experience. Sometimes it's simply lack of communication. We fail to effectively communicate what we DO for our existing clients. Instead, we talk about what WE WANT others to do for us. This creates confusion and ultimately prevents us from getting hired.
When pitching your company, tell people what you DON'T want them to do. Tell them how you solve problems for your current clients. Explain how your solutions benefit them. In fact, highlight how your solution fits THEIR needs, not yours.
9) Leverage Social Networks To Their Maximum Potential
Most entrepreneurs struggle with this issue. However, by utilizing social networks properly, you can achieve success faster than ever before.
First, get familiar with your network. Browse profiles, look at timelines, and pay very close attention to hashtags. See what interests you and follow people whose activity aligns with your goals. Next, spend time interacting with people. Engage conversationally. Show genuine concern for other people's opinions and experiences.
Then, leverage your connections. Find others interested in similar topics as you. Share resources, recommendations and tips. Encourage others to engage in discussions and conversations. Invite friends to view your latest project and encourage them to share it amongst their circle of influence.
10) Network At Events
Attending networking events is a fantastic way to meet new contacts. Even though you may live far away from certain locations, attending conferences and trade shows near you might still prove useful. Check out upcoming events in your area. If none exist, sign up to attend next year's event. By attending seminars and meetings, you'll learn more about your market and expand your sphere of influence.
11) Look For Opportunities With Other Business Owners
Business partnerships are one of the quickest ways to grow your client base. Allowing others to promote you increases visibility. Plus, partnering with successful companies gives you instant credibility.
Consider forming alliances and joint ventures with other small business owners. Reach out to fellow bloggers, authors, consultants and professionals. Set up complimentary offerings. For example, you could partner with a chiropractor to advertise discounts on health consultations. Or perhaps share space with real estate agents to sponsor special offers and promotions.
12) Contests Are Awesome!
Contests are fun and engaging. Everyone loves entering sweepstakes, raffles and drawing lots. Why not tap into this excitement by holding contests for your clients? Host competitions focused on solving common problems in your particular industry. Have prizes donated from vendors and partners. Hold contests designed to bring publicity to your business.
Building a profitable home-based business takes hard work and dedication. You deserve to reap rewards and recognition for your efforts. You CAN succeed if you believe in yourself and commit to following proven systems.
"I don't have any new clients, what should I do?" This is the question that every business owner asks themselves at some point in their career — especially if they are not working online. And it's also one of the most common questions we get here at TutorPro Answers. The truth is there are plenty of ways to find potential customers without spending money or time on marketing campaigns. So, how exactly does this magic happen? How do small businesses with no budget turn into millionaires overnight? By finding customers for free!
In this article, I'm going to share three simple strategies that will help you start attracting more customers right away. These are proven methods so they won't take much time or effort to implement. The good news though is that once these techniques become second nature, you'll be able to apply them again when your next product comes out. Let me show you how...
How do you attract first customers?
There are two types of people who need entrepreneurs' products or services: those who want something immediately (a solution) and those who haven't found anything yet but still feel like they're missing out (an opportunity). To make sales, both groups need different things, which means you'll probably use slightly different approaches to reach each group. However, before we discuss all possible solutions let's talk about why it's important to focus on either type of person firstly.
If you already know everything about your target audience, it might seem easier to spend months developing a perfect product/service only to realize later that nobody needs it. If you've done your homework and understand the problem better than anyone else, then you may think that starting a campaign aimed exclusively at certain market segments would be a waste of resources. But if you look closely, you'll see that by focusing on just one category of people, you could bring many other categories closer as well.
For example, let's say that you own a tutoring company specializing in history courses. You may believe that students interested in ancient civilizations aren't likely to learn anything useful from your service. After all, isn't history supposed to teach us lessons? Not necessarily. It turns out that despite being less familiar with current affairs, older generations are actually very curious about our world and eager to learn more about it. In addition, they tend to stick around longer after graduation because they lack proper job skills and experience. All of this applies even more strongly to women. Therefore, if you expand your offer beyond high schoolers, you'd also gain access to seniors who seek extra tutorials during retirement. Once you connect with such diverse audiences, they will spread word-of-mouth recommendations to their friends and family members. What's more, they often buy more expensive goods like books or electronics rather than using coupons.
Now that you've got a better idea where to begin, let's move onto actual tips. Here are four easy steps guaranteed to increase your conversion rates:
1. Focus on solving problems instead of selling benefits. People always want immediate results, whether positive or negative. For instance, "My printer keeps malfunctioning," sounds worse than "Printing photos has never been easier!" When users come across a problem, they usually try several quick fixes until something finally works. They're willing to pay top dollar for a reliable device that solves their issue. Meanwhile, most buyers will simply ignore ads offering unnecessary upgrades or fancy features. Instead, highlight the fact that your product/service fixed whatever issues your prospect had. Then ask yourself whether your product really solved his problems. Or was it merely an upgrade? A good way to test this is to check reviews left by previous clients. Are they happy with the result?
2. Offer multiple discounts. We live in a discount culture nowadays. Everyone wants to save money wherever they can. According to research conducted by MIT Sloan School of Management, consumers will gladly give up quality for price when given a choice. As long as you present your offer in a clear manner, prospects shouldn't hesitate to sign up for your newsletter or opt-in page. Just remember to keep your prices low enough to appeal to everyone. While $40 per month seems too steep for someone earning minimum wage, $20 per week is affordable for retirees. Also, don't forget to add perks that go above and beyond cost savings. Think about adding insurance plans, specialized training programs or special deals for repeat orders.
3. Create a sense of urgency. Most people prefer instant gratification over patience. Give shoppers a reason to act now while supplies last. Make sure your deal doesn't expire unless absolutely necessary. Otherwise, they might end up waiting forever.
4. Use social media. Social networks allow you to directly interact with prospective customers. On Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, post regular updates about upcoming events or promotions. Don't leave your followers hanging wondering what happened since they were last notified. Be transparent, honest and consistent.
As you can see, marketing efforts focused solely on potential customers are far cheaper than traditional advertising campaigns. Of course, you still need to craft great offers and promote your brand effectively. But having said that, it pays off to work on improving existing relationships first. Why? Because building trust takes time and requires constant communication. That kind of relationship is priceless.
So, how does one find targeted customers for free? Keep reading to discover the secrets behind finding hungry leads straight out of college brochures.
How to find specific customers?
Websites like LinkedIn, Indeed and ZipRecruiter are popular tools used mainly by companies looking for employees. There are tons of smaller sites dedicated specifically to helping freelancers sell their talents. Some of them are: Upwork, Freelancer, Guru, Fiverr and PeoplePerHour.
Of course, there are also general job boards like Career Builder, Monster and Dice, but experts suggest avoiding them for various reasons. First, big corporations dominate almost every niche. Second, hiring managers rarely look through unsolicited resumes submitted on such websites due to strict screening procedures. Third, applicants typically receive very little feedback following interviews. Finally, recruiters seldom provide personalized assistance.
Freelancing platforms are another great place to find potential customers. Even though they cater mostly to independent workers, they serve a similar purpose. Users benefit from direct contact between employers and contractors. Plus, a lot of digital marketers rely on freelance talent to fill positions that require expertise in programming, graphic design and web development.
Another effective method for finding customers involves creating a database containing email addresses of individuals who express interest in your product. Such databases exist everywhere. Online stores collect emails from visitors' registration forms, blog owners keep subscribers' e-mail address book safe, and major dating sites regularly send promotional newsletters to users. Email lists belong to the easiest type of information to acquire. All you need to do is create an account on a site that allows sending messages to contacts, enter recipient data, and copy & paste the list of names. Next step - write a compelling message with a call to action asking readers to visit your website or download an app.
You can also choose to advertise via Craigslist, classifieds, forums, etc. Although it costs nothing upfront, posting an ad on Craiglist can be quite costly considering the amount of clicks needed to generate an order. At least it forces advertisers to carefully consider placement and wording to avoid annoying viewers.
Finally, if none of the aforementioned options appeals to you, you can always run Google AdWords search engine optimization campaigns. Simply set daily budgets based on competitors' bids and wait for relevant traffic to arrive.
According to statistics provided by Forbes magazine, 95% of U.S.-based startups fail within five years. But if you follow the advice laid down in this article, chances are you'll succeed sooner than expected.
How can I find a customer?
First impressions count. Your website must reflect professionalism and accuracy. Never underestimate the importance of domain name and hosting provider. Clients decide instantly whether to continue exploring your landing pages further or hit back button. Avoid typos, broken links and irrelevant content.
Your homepage should clearly state what services you provide and emphasize areas where you excel. Remember to include testimonials and case studies demonstrating success stories. Since searchers often browse headlines first, make your title catchy and eye-catching. Ask questions related to your product line and put answers below the fold. This makes searching faster and reduces scrolling required. Moreover, visitors should not encounter popups, auto play videos or audio alerts.
Create a strong presence on social networking channels. Post fresh content regularly and respond to comments made by followers. Respond promptly and honestly. Show genuine enthusiasm toward your industry and fans. Encourage discussions and interactions on your profile.
Showcase your personality and unique qualities. List interesting facts about yourself and explain why your team deserves attention. Connect real life experiences with your profession. Share personal projects, hobbies and achievements. Answer frequently asked questions and concerns. Write articles highlighting best practices in your field.
Don't compete with established players. Always strive to stand apart from others. Set higher standards for your performance, attitude and overall appearance. Look professional. Dress appropriately and speak clearly. Treat others the same way you wish to be treated.
Pay close attention to mobile user interface. Most searches today occur on smartphones. Mobile devices differ greatly from desktop computers, thus your layout should evolve accordingly. Test functionality thoroughly to ensure smooth navigation and fast loading times.
How do I identify my key customers?
I have been working as a freelancer since 2008, but it was not easy at all. It took me years of hard work to establish my business and become successful. And one thing that helped me a lot is when people ask how they can start their own businesses or where they could find customers in order to make money online. So here are some tips to help you find customers for free.
When starting your freelance career, there are many things that will come into mind like what kind of skills should be required by clients? What products/services would interest them most? How much time does it take before getting paid? There are so many questions running through your head while trying to figure out everything about being a professional. But once you understand these crucial factors, finding customers becomes easier. Here's how...
So let’s assume we want to create our website with WordPress. We need 5 different themes (or templates) such as Contact Form 7 Pro, WP Bakery, Divi etc… Now, if someone asks us which theme should we use then we must answer this question based upon our knowledge. This is because there might be thousands of other websites using exactly same template. Therefore, if you don't know anything about design, you just go for any template that comes handy. However, if you're familiar with designing yourself, you'll realize that not everyone has similar skill sets. For example, it takes more than 10 hours to complete a simple 2-page web page only with HTML code. If you hire a designer who doesn't possess enough expertise, he/she won't finish your project within deadline and hence you lose money. On contrary, if you choose a good developer who knows his craft, he will surely give you high quality output within short turnaround times. That means hiring a right person is very important! The next step is to look for developers with relevant experience. You can search for portfolios on various websites, read testimonials, check reviews, talk to previous employers, browse job boards etc. Once you identify candidates, send mails asking for quotes. Then compare prices, deadlines, deliverables, and terms & conditions. Ask about payment methods, contracts, warranties, guarantees etc. Don't forget to mention why you chose him/her over others. After comparing quotes, select the service provider whose price is affordable and offer meets expectations.
Here are few quick ways to generate leads for your new startup.
1. Use social media platforms to promote your services. Posting updates regularly helps you stay connected with your audience. Take advantage of tools provided by Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc. These channels allow users to share content, connect with friends, followers and strangers alike. Make sure to include links to your website in every post. Be active in conversations related to your industry. Respond to comments promptly, thank subscribers for sharing information, and communicate effectively. Build relationships with targeted audiences via email marketing campaigns. Send regular newsletters to inform readers of latest developments and provide valuable content. In addition, build trust among your target market by offering exclusive deals. They also increase brand awareness and boost sales.
2. Social Media Marketing - another way to attract new visitors to your site without spending too much money. To begin with, you can try Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC). PPC ads appear below organic listings whenever searchers click on "Ad" button on search engines. When visitors click on those ads, they land directly onto your website. As soon as they arrive there, you can show them offers or promotions according to their interests. Another option is Content Network advertising (CNA), which works similarly to PPC. CNA ads pop up beside posts shared on social networks including LinkedIn Pulse, Pinterest, Tumblr etc. Both techniques bring qualified traffic to your site, however, the cost per lead may vary depending on type of ad campaign.
3. Brand Awareness Campaign - this strategy involves creating a buzz around your product or service. Using social media, write blogs and articles highlighting benefits of your offerings. Write press releases regarding upcoming events. Create videos, infographics, presentations, podcasts etc. Presentation creates curiosity and encourages consumers to learn more about your company. If done correctly, it generates excitement, builds awareness and increases customer loyalty. Just remember to keep it real and authentic. Don't exaggerate facts or mislead viewers. Keep it simple yet catchy.
Now you've got a list of prospects ready to buy from you. All you have left now is converting them into customers. Here are several ways to convert leads into paying customers.
4. Email marketing - sending emails to current and prospective customers is a great way to nurture relationship with them. Also known as permission marketing, it allows companies to contact existing customers at least twice a year with special discounts and offers. According to research, emails open rate is 30 percent higher compared to spamming. Moreover, a recent study revealed that 75% of people prefer personalized messages rather than generic ones. Emails are powerful tool to convey message across. Your goal should be to convince reader to visit your site. Tell them something interesting or useful. Provide helpful resources along with promotional materials. Offer call backs to avoid missing orders. Remember to keep it simple and clear. Avoid vague language. Try adding images, charts and graphs wherever possible. Include calls-to-action (CTA) buttons in emails. CTAs are necessary for making conversions happen. Finally, test each email on small segments until satisfied with results.
5. Online Surveys / Quizzes - survey forms collect data anonymously. A well designed questionnaire helps draw insights from respondents' opinions and feelings. Conduct surveys either online or offline. People love taking quizzes. Besides, it saves their precious time. Do not expect immediate responses though. Some surveys require lengthy participation periods. Collecting feedback from large number of individuals gives you better picture of overall situation. Answer multiple choice questions to determine consumer preferences. Short answers serve as effective interviewers. Invite responders to download free eBook, white paper or guidebook. Free gifts encourage users to sign up for newsletter subscription. Think creatively to develop interactive quiz formats.
6. Blog Posts - blogging is still alive and kicking. Many big brands started their journey by posting informative blog posts to educate their target audience. Regularly updating your blog with fresh ideas keeps people engaged. Highlight problems, challenges, solutions, trends, successes etc. Writing blog posts requires creativity and originality. Start writing immediately after completing projects to prevent procrastination. Spend minimum amount of effort and focus on key points. Proofread thoroughly before publishing. Choose appropriate title and image. Add tags etc. Engaging titles grab attention. Images add life to texts. Tags categorize items in categories so that user can find desired content faster. One mistake committed during proofreading can spoil entire piece. Hence, copywriters recommend avoiding passive voice and complex words. Edit unnecessary parts and remove redundancies. Check grammar, punctuation and spelling errors. Revise contents accordingly.
7. Video Streaming - video streaming sites like YouTube, Vimeo, Metacafe etc. enable users to watch movies, television shows, documentaries etc. Upload clips and upload your personal videos. Creating engaging content attracts eyeballs and captures attention. Share creative ideas, thoughts and experiences. Establish credibility. Give testimonial to prove authenticity. Showcase process steps, milestones, failures, mistakes, achievements etc. Videos often rank first on SERPs. Since viewers can see clearly, they tend to spend long time watching. Adding captivating background score adds appeal. Optimizing uploaded videos enhances visibility. Users can embed your clip anywhere they wish.