Thursday, December 31, 2015

Attracting more people

     Attracting new clients and customers is an on-going concern in business. It expands your reach in the community and keeps your business healthy and growing. 

     At the same time, you need to bring back your present customers and clients. Keep them talking about you. Keep them happy and returning.

     Here are a dozen ways to do this. 

     + Keep your Facebook page active. Snap and post pictures.
     + Attend networking meetings. Introduce your business to others.
     + Ask existing customers/clients for referrals. Remind them often.
     + Join local organizations. Volunteer to help.
     + Form a group. It's free.
     + If appropriate, get your business on Angie's List.
     + Hold an open house. Explain and demonstrate what you do.
     + Offer free "how-to" workshops. People love to learn.
     + Build your email list and send out brief announcements.
     + Send news releases to local papers--some will get printed.
     + Offer your expertise as a guest speaker. Groups are looking for you.
     + Offer freebies and gift certificates. Give out coupons.

     Some marketing experts say that new customers are more valuable than existing customers. They represent future value. And, let's face it, for one reason or another, you will lose your existing customers--they move, they find another supplier, they just disappear. 

     Most of these methods don't cost you anything, except your time. All are meant to get you and your business better known in the community. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Lessons from 2016

     No, that's not a mistake. You've learned many lessons. Now is the time to get busy and apply what you've learned to the 2016 year.

     Technology is coming at us like a tidal wave. And leading the tsunami is social media--Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and all the rest.

     Get ready. The coming months of 2016 can spell the difference between success and failure. It's up to you and the market you serve.

     Beauty -- Amy operates a popular hair salon. She's noticed that her customers are getting older. She wants to continue serving them, but she sees the need to appeal to the younger set. She began posting fresh hair designs on social media. These got "likes" and passed around among friends. Amy's business is growing by appealing to a wider market segment. She is planning to put up a series of pictures on Pinterest showing hands working to create the new designs. 

     Health -- Joe is a chiropractor. He needs to expand his client base, so he brought in a nutritionist for free sessions. Joe promoted these on social media and this drew people hungry for information on food, weight problems, and healthy eating. It has turned into a powerful promotional tool for Joe's chiropractic practice. At the nutritional sessions, Joe provides short demonstrations on chiropractic. And he regularly promotes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

     Restaurants -- Marie runs an upscale restaurant. To appeal to a wider customer base, she posts pictures of specials and mouth-watering entrees on social media every day. Some are for lunches, others are for dinners. To punch up the operation again, Marie arranged for an app for her restaurant. Today, people can access and order their meals while driving to the restaurant. When they arrive, the meals are ready for diners to sit down and enjoy.

     Social media offers a quick and easy way to expand your customer base. If you already use Facebook, what about the others? All of social media is quick and for the most part, it's free!