So you have an online business. And no or few clients. Where and how to find them?
You won’t walk down the streets offering people to visit your website, though you can 😉
Jokes away, reaching out to people in the street is too effort and time-consuming. You need something easy and fast to implement. This short guide will show you where and how to find clients for your online business.
Here, I’m supposed to write something like “First, you need to know your offer”. But what should I write this for? You already know your product as well as your target audience, don’t you? This is why go deeper and create a buyer persona image.
Create buyer persona images
A buyer persona is a generalized image of your ideal client. It doesn’t appear out of anywhere, it requires deep research of your customers and market in general. This image makes it easier for professionals to understand their audience, choose the right strategies, attract leads, and convert them.
To create a buyer persona, you need:
Personal and professional demographics: age, gender, education, etc.; industry, company name and size, position, income, etc.
Professional profile: skills, career path, daily routine, etc.
Values and pain points: both personal and professional (needs for their professional life, the decision-making process, etc.)
Preferences and goals: the preferred means of communication, their hobbies, activity on social media, etc.; priorities, aims, etc.
Negatives: their negative traits of character, aspects that prevent them from buying from you, etc.
Crafting a buyer persona may be daunting and challenging, but the results won’t be long in coming. When you collect info about your clients, the buyer persona image will step by step emerge. Moreover, it’s important to have a few images as your audience may vary. The more detailed buyer persona images you have, the more targeted leads you will attract.
Generate leads online
Once buyer persona images are done, it’s high time to search for your potential clients! In general, there are two ways you can generate leads, with inbound and outbound techniques. Here’s the key difference between these two:
Source: Waypost Marketing
Implement outbound techniques
Outbound tactic means communication initiated by a sales rep.
Where do professionals get contact details of their leads? These may be open databases, and contact detail extraction with the help of special tools. Such tools like email finders get the details that are in open access but are time-consuming to find.
Let’s take a closer look at how you can find clients for your online business with outbound techniques.
Send cold emails
Email is one of the main types of communication between professionals. 35% claim it to be the most effective outbound marketing tactic in 2019 and only 8% think this method is the least effective. A cold email is an email sent to a lead (potential customer) without previous contact.
Sometimes, people think of cold emails as spam. That’s not the same. Cold emails are sent to a target audience, to people who are interested in your marketing offer. Such emails are personalized, include relevant and high-quality content, are sent from professional email accounts, and have a visible opt-out form or link.
A good cold email contains:
The sender’s contact details
One CTA and one link to your service
Links to social media platforms
Social proof (testimonials and case studies)
Today, cold emails are of great importance. You can conduct research, generate leads, and build trustful relationships.
Hire a person for cold calls
Cold calls are similar to cold emails with the only difference: you reach out to a person via phone. They seem to be the thing of the past already. Yet, this method is still alive and professionals love it. You need to have a person’s phone number. Then, call them, communicate, prove your credibility, and reap the fruits. So simple, yeh?
Still, you need to be careful with cold calls: they are forbidden and limited in many EU countries and the USA. Today, cold calls are not as popular as they used to be before. This is because the younger generation is rather skeptical and negative towards this type of ads.
Use paid ads
Paid ads are rather an effective outbound tactic. There are three main types of ads: pay-per-click, pay-per-impression, and display ads. You, as a client, pay to the ad space owner for the advertising that is shown to people. In their turn, they show a specific ad to people who are most interested in your offer.
Targeted ads attract the best leads, the ones who are the easiest to convert. At the same time, paid ads are the most expensive outbound technique. Moreover, paid ads are less effective compared to organic SEO.
Send direct mail
Today, direct mail may seem outdated but it is still working. Professionals prefer this method if their business is partially online or when they have no more than 100 leads per month. Use direct mail as a bonus to your online tactics to attract more leads and the results won’t be long in coming.
Various events are great for searching for leads. There, you can get acquainted with your potential clients. Prepare demos and handouts, be active and communicate with people, show your product and provide solutions, share your name cards and don’t be shy to ask people for their contact details. After the event, get in touch with people and refer to the event you’ve met people at. They will appreciate it. Moreover, at events, you can find a solution for yourself 😉
Reach out via social media
Social media statistics show that people visit Facebook 8 (!) times a day and 63% of Instagram users visit it daily. How awesome is that data?
You can use any platform for your needs. If you take a closer look, you will see that there’s a difference between the niches of social media platforms. Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube fit both B2B and B2C niches. Yet, if you are in a B2B niche, it is preferable to concentrate on LinkedIn. Facebook, Pinterest, and Snapchat are best for B2C businesses.
Social media is a great place for you to find clients for your online business. There are millions of people eager for your marketing offer, what are you waiting for?
Use inbound tactics
Inbound sales technique is a conversation in which a potential client reaches out to a sales rep. The professional identifies and explores their audience, personalizes their approach and improves the leads’ experience, and finally helps leads move to the top of the sales funnel.
The inbound technique means the creation of different types of content. These are blog and guest posts, podcasts, lead magnets and eBooks, courses, and webinars.
Start a blog
The easiest way to attract leads is to have a blog. Blog posts should cover your niche issues and provide value to the readers. Also, you can compose step-by-step guides to your product, conduct research and publish their results, share infographics, educate people on a specific question, etc.
The more posts you have and the more they are optimized for search engines, the more people will notice and read them. The better the content is, the higher conversions and profit you will get.
Write guest posts
Guest posts are like blog posts. Just with a slight difference: you publish your post not in your blog but on someone else’s. You need to find relevant blogs, get in touch with their owners, and ask for a collab. That’s easy!
The advantage is simple: with the help of guest posts, you will enlarge your audience. The more people know about your brand, the more they visit your website. Thus, the more people you can nurture and convert.
Create lead magnets
A lead magnet is one of the best options when you are searching for leads. This is valuable content the leads can receive in exchange for their email addresses. So simple but profitable. Create valuable samples, videos, infographics, templates, quizzes, case studies, checklists, etc. and offer them to your leads. With their email addresses (or not only them), you can also nurture them and step by step lead them to a conversion.
A lead magnet works if it:
Is new, relevant, valuable, practical, fast and easy to do
Solves the leads’ problem
Draws attention to your product
Helps you build relationships with your potential clients
Demonstrates your unique proposition
Lead magnets are a proven way of attracting leads and turning them into loyal clients. Why not try it?
Are you a copywriter? Share your ideas on how to write a converting email copy. A designer? Create a book that will help young specialists cope with the difficulties of landing pages design. Know the techniques that help you sell? Share your checklist with others.
Conduct courses and webinars
If you are a great specialist in your niche and love sharing your ideas with others, why not hold a webinar? During it, share valuable information with the participants and get acquainted with new people.
Make them free of charge to attract more leads. Don’t take money, take the people’s contact details instead. This will let you follow them up later and check in. When people already know you, they are more favorable to a conversation.
Affiliate marketing is another opportunity for you to find clients for your online business. Ask your most loyal and active clients to share a good word about your business on their social networks. Instead, offer them a discount or something valuable (a free plan, a free good, etc.). Hardly anyone will miss the opportunity to save their money. At the same time, you will gain new clients. How awesome is that?
Just do it!
Where and how to find clients for your online business? Everywhere and with ease!
To get the best leads, use every opportunity. Share valuable content and use specific tools to get the details of your potential clients, use paid ads and create lead magnets, visit events and conduct webinars, send direct mails and collab with bloggers.
All those tactics and techniques have proven their effectiveness long ago. Make outbound and inbound techniques work together, do not limit yourself to one tactic only. The more channels you are using, the more leads per month you will have.