While there are tons of ways to get new customers, from putting up giant billboards to late night infomercials, using the net is one of the best in today's business world. If you are in a service industry, especially a hi-tech one such as IT Service, your customers are already looking for you on the web. These days when someone needs a specific service, the first place they will look is the internet. That is why for today's modern businesses it is the best place to get new customers. Here are a few ideas of how to increase your reach.
Update Your Website
Does your website look like a refugee from the 90s? Too many small businesses get a simple website done and then ignore it. But the web constantly goes through changes, and more importantly Google is always updating the rules on how a search will find a website. Investing in keeping your website up to date, especially when it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
When a potential client comes to your site, they need to see up-to-date relevant information. Over time the software to make certain parts of your website work will not function, so visitors will click on a tab or button and nothing will happen except that potential client will go away. Your website is your most important tool for finding new customers; don't fritter that opportunity away with a badly designed out of date website. Don't forget to make your web site personal you don't have to be a model just a real person.
Share Your Knowledge with Newsletters
This is one of the best ways to stay in touch with old clients and get new customers by showing off your expertise. You start with the customers you have now, add a button to your website so they can sign up and then keep adding new names. The beauty of today's electronic newsletters is that it doesn't matter how many you send out, the cost remains simply the time spent on the newsletter itself.
Show off a new product, impart your insight into the industry and ask local experts to share their knowledge too. Salespeople are great resources, vendors are often happy to contribute and there are even websites that specialize in providing articles such as articlebiz.com or dmoz.org. Newsletters keep your brand in front of current customers and potential new clients. Not sure how to start one up? Check out our previous post on MailChimp for some easy instructions and links to the site.
Get New Clients with Blogging
For many small businesses blogging is a mystery. What began as a simple online diary has become one of the hottest ways to stay connected and bring in new potential clients. In fact, e-Strategy Trends latest survey showed that 95% of small businesses view blogging as an effective marketing tool. But if you want to get new customers with a blog, you have to first consider what they need to know.
Most blogs reflect the personality of the business. Lawyer blogs generally talk in serious tones about legal issues. Retail blogs can be funny or sassy, depending on the owner. If you are blogging as a service industry, you probably want to talk about the service you are providing. Adding a blog to your website is easy; you probably already have the capability since the vast majority of small business sites use WordPress, a website platform designed for blogging. Google loves blogs that reflect a real person's views, so write about what you know and love, and let new readers find you and your blog.
Connect in New Ways with Social Media
Unless you have been living under a rock the last few years, you probably know that social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ have become the way more and more people make buying decisions. These days, social media recommendations are the new networking. A recent Techi.com survey showed that over 50% of social media users below the age of 35 go to their online friends for product and service recommendations.
In addition, almost three quarters of those surveyed say they go online to chat boards to find out the reputation of a company before buying from them. If you aren't talking up your service and products with social media, your competitor certainly is. Find new customers and stay visible with current ones through Facebook pages, Twitter tweets and updates on your Google+ account. It takes only minutes each day and keeps you on those smartphones everyone is watching by the minute.
Making Complex Simple
In the same way that your EzPSA dashboard helps you to keep those complex client issues simple, a dashboard for social media can help you to organize your online marketing. One of the more successful companies providing this service is HootSuite, a Canadian start-up that helps you organize your social media. It also tells you what people on those sites are saying about your company so you can resolve issues quickly.
The internet, particularly social media, has grown quickly into a whole new way for businesses big and small to get new customers and keep the current ones happy. While it can be intimidating for anyone who has never used it before, the internet can open up new doors and opportunities that could grow your business in ways you may have never conceived. It's a brave new world, and the internet is one of the best ways to explore it.