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Headline: Build Your Clientele List from the Inside Out

Marketing your small business is work you do with one goal in mind: finding more clients. Last month we talked about being a “builder” when marketing your business in Cary and Raleigh so that you target the right group of people.

As you market to this group, you are working to build your clientele list. But building a business isn’t just the work you do directly to market yourself. You can also build your list from the inside out. Here’s how:

Examine your clients. What do you like about your clients? If you said, “nothing,” you might want to find a new location! Make a list of the attributes you like and dislike. Categorize them by industry or some other type. Maybe you tend to attract a particular age group or realize 65 percent of your clients are women. Perhaps you discover you often work with one industry or another, or that all your clients are in Cary. Your goal is to spot trends. What do these people have in common besides hiring you?

What makes them a good client? “Pays on time” is a fine answer, of course! But what else? Is he/she easy to work with? Friendly? Willing to meet or speak with you when needed? Or, is he/she hands off, letting you take charge, which you appreciate? Whatever it is that appeals to you, write it down. You want to get a firm idea of what you seek. This process is not very different from creating a persona, which we explain here. However, in this case, you’re adding a section about them that will help you focus even more.

Go find more of them. While you’re out networking and marketing, think about the current client type. Find those people. By that, we mean:
● Write your blog posts as if you’re speaking to that person. What problems does he/she have that you can address? What questions? By writing to this person, your posts will more likely resonate with similar people.
● The same goes for social media. Write posts that appeal to your group.
● When you network, seek out those people and introduce yourself. If someone asks you, “Whom do you want to meet,” be ready with a specific answer. VERY specific. For example, “I’m looking for 35-45-year-old women who work part-time but want to make a little extra money.” That helps your network remember you when they meet people.
● When advertising or doing other marketing campaigns, be sure you’re thinking about your target audience. What would they find appealing?
● Advertise or spend time networking in the location you have figured out. Location isn’t just the city, either. You might find one networking group offers no one in your target audience. Seek other groups.

Building your marketing approach this way is not a guarantee that every person you meet will become a client. As you meet people or hear from potential customers, you’ll have to walk them through the sales funnel and determine which leads you to want to spend time pursuing. But taking the time to learn what works for you will prevent you from wasting time later on people (cold leads) who probably aren’t going to buy.

Marketing a small business takes a lot of time; our goal is to help you spend more time working on your business. Use these approaches to focus your efforts, and contact us if you want help.

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