If you want potential customers to find you, it’s important you’re easily discoverable—not hidden like an Easter egg. You need to get in front of relevant audiences that are interested in what you have to offer… but the question is: How?
Here are some highly actionable tips that will help potential customers find you in a noisy marketing environment.
Participate in Spaces Where Your Customers Spend Time
Start by asking: Where do my customers spend time?
When you identify a few specific places where your customers are actively participating, you should make an effort to be there, too. This relates to social networks, online groups, popular websites — really, anywhere conversations are happening.
But it’s not enough for you to lurk there in the shadows. You need to be an active part of the conversation, contributing to the thoughts and ideas being shared without taking a pushy sales angle.
Help others when you can by providing your unique insights and constantly work toward building real relationships rather than trying to rope in new buyers. Don’t be that guy that’s always making the spammy hard sell. Be a real human, having real conversations with others.
Work with Influencers Your Customers Admire
Your audience likely has a group of key influencers they look up to and respect, so partnering with those individuals can add legitimacy to your brand. Plus, influencers know how to position your brand in a way you sometimes can’t on your own (especially if you’re just getting started). From photography to positioning, influencers often know how to how to make your brand look good.
Think about it like this: When I ran an online jewelry store, I sent free products to the fashion bloggers that my niche looked to for fashion advice. When my products were featured in their outfit posts with a link to my store, it sent relevant customers my way — and I got great product photos I could cross-promote out of the partnership, too. Win-win!
Partnering with other businesses is a great way to get in touch with a new audience of potential customers. You can partner for special events, teaching opportunities, co-marketing — you name it. Think of businesses or individuals that have a relevant tie-in to your business and collaborate on projects that can bring value to both parties.
That might mean bringing a local celebrity in for a special shopping event, or partnering with a thought leader for a webinar your company is hosting. Either way, two is always better than one. By partnering, both parties get to reach new audiences and increase exposure.
Produce & Distribute Valuable Content
Customers appreciate content (like blogs, webinars, eBooks) that teaches them something. It’s not enough to push out run-of-the-mill content that’s been written a million times before — you need to share research, interesting stats, and helpful how-to’s that bring true value to those who read it.
Over time, those readers will come to appreciate everything you’ve helped teach them. And because you’ve earned their trust and respect, they’ll be more likely to buy from you when the need arises. Gary Vaynerchuk calls this the jab-jab-jab-right hook approach. When you finally make the right hook (a call to action) all of those jabs you’ve been providing make the follow-through extremely powerful.
Ask for Referrals
Finally, you can’t forget the power of old-fashioned referrals. One of the best ways to get high-quality leads on new customers is to ask your current customers to recommend you.
When customers follow through on making those referrals, you should reward them. Affiliate programs are one way, but you can also send a handwritten thank you, offer them a discount on future product, or surprise them with a special treat that lets him/her know how much you appreciate the kind words.
Don’t Be an Easter Egg
The bottom line: Our world is jam-packed with marketing noise, so you need to be deliberate about getting in front of a group of relevant customers on an on-going basis.
When done well, you’ll stand out like that bright yellow egg all the kids rush for when the hunt begins. Don’t hide — make it easy for customers to find you.
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