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Getting New Clients

  • Thread starter Scottish Business Owner
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Scottish Business Owner

Scottish Business Owner

New Member
OK, this post is probably aimed more at service based business rather than any other. I'm interested in finding out what methods you use to bring in new clients. Are you having success with social media or is direct marketing working for you? How do you actually target customers and how do you work out who best suits what you offer?

I'm sure lots of people would actually find this information really useful. I'm actually hoping that we can get lots of great feedback that will allow us to try and develop a system for small businesses out of it.

So over to you all. I'll actually post under my own business name with what we do currently :)
 

kmbookkeeping

New Member
Hi ,

Nice idea. I have a few different things I do right now. A lot of my business comes through my website, and most of that from google. I target particular sectors one at a time and run an email campaign, then send out letters, then phone calls. Right now I'm concentrating a lot on driving instructors.

I also have been spending time creating some articles for my website to encourage visitors to keep coming back.

I've done a bit of offline stuff to with cards in shops and visiting local businesses. I'd like to get to some networking meetings, but unfortunately I have 2 young boys and a partner who works mornings when most are running.

I'm interested to know what others are doing different.

Kris
 
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johnmessingham

johnmessingham

New Member
My business consists of two parts really.

One is developing and distributing a couple of software applications and I have found posting in relevant forums and search engine traffic accounts for most sales. Because one of the applications is used by sports leagues and tournament organisers word of mouth has proved good over the years.

The other side of my business is providing web development services to website designers and website owners. Again I have found posting in relevant forums such as support forums for the systems my work is based on has proved valuable over the years.

Although I spend quite a lot of time on SEO myself I find getting stuck into the support forums tends to be the most fruitful.

I have also had some contract work through linkedin.
 
aviemorebusiness

aviemorebusiness

New Member
I think we are quite similar to John Messingham in that we now target B2B companies rather than the end user. We provide our SEO services and base level social media to web development companies, graphic designers, software developers etc. We have got work through Facebook, Twitter but I have to say the most referral source for us is word of mouth which is gold dust really.

We carried out a targetted email campaign last year that was hugely successful and feedback suggested that it was the fact that the opening sentance was 'We are a Scottish company and definitely not based in India' or words to that effect. I have never had a problem being blunt about things and this seemed to do the trick.

Cold calling and hard selling tend to put people off - however, that could be because of the service we are providing, it can be seen as extremely boring! We are under no illusions that SEO is a 'sexy' business!

Will definitely be watching this thread closely as very interested to read other's tips/tricks/suggestions. (K)
 
BioOutsource

BioOutsource

New Member
Some good ideas, but i must say that you need to know who your customers are. Article marketing and social media marketing might be excellent tools but do they target your customers? For example if you are dealing with a very generic product like a toothpaste or a pair lases article marketing is not a good idea at all. Same is the case with if you're dealing with very hi-tech products in that case media marketing wont effect, so when it comes to marketing, IT ALL DEPENDS. Know your customer's do a little research where you can get them, and then just hit them directly.
More or less i've gained from my experience that search engine optimisation or even better digital marketing is by far means most comprehensive approach of growing business. We've gone through similar projects and have received results above expectations. If someone of you wants to know more from what we learned from our experiences, do let me know :)
 
ScotComp

ScotComp

New Member
We've been trading since January but I took unwell with glandular fever for a number of months and couldn't work! I'm now fit to work and have been working away trying to get clients over the last month. We've got two sides to the business, business customers and consumer customers.

Our consumer customers we've been advertising in shop windows for 50p a week (which has so far been unsuccessful but for 50p it's not really a huge problem) and we've been doing leaflet drops in the local area. We've dropped off about a thousand so far, got another 1,250 going out this week and more the rest of the weeks where we've been getting a few hits. We're going to be advertising in a magazine soon that covers 30,000 household in our area because our PC Repair only covers the town we're from.

Our business customers has been slow so far however I've found that one of my relatives is just superb at selling... He was in getting his tyres changed a number of months ago and got speaking to the young lad that owned the place and from that we ended up getting a few projects from it!

We're hoping to try and increase the workload over the next few months but I'll be watching this thread with interest also.
 
craig_mckenna

craig_mckenna

New Member
Always happy to offer ideas to people looking for new customers :)
 
poppydesign

poppydesign

New Member
I have been trading since 2006 so have built up a good amount of clients and get a fair bit of repeat business from them. I also get a lot of referrals which as Kate says are "gold dust"!
I also get a fair bit of work via online networking. I have in the past done banner advertising on a national website for mums (I get a lot of work from business mums and have done a lot of work for child related products) - I got a lot of work via this method and at the time the advertising in the small ads was very reasonable (£90 for 3 months) - however they scrapped that section and now their monthly advertising rates start from £400 which is way too much for me!

Also when I set up in business my local Business Gateway advisor and some colleagues were a great help and passed my details (along with other local companies) onto new startups looking for web design - this was a big help and I feel Business Gateway should provide some sort of directory for suppliers and clients to match up in their local area.

However I did relocate back to Moray last year so it feels a wee bit like starting again! I do some local advertising but very little back from it but hopefully it serves to get your name known. I also sometimes do some targeted sales letters to companies I think may be in need of my services - usually get a reasonable response to this but it all takes time! Also have a specialist working on my SEO and social media as I like to focus on my core service which is design.
 
ScotComp

ScotComp

New Member
What are people's opinions on the best way to advertise directly to businesses, especially new businesses? I was thinking about emailing some companies but I seen on another thread by Mike Lewis that it's looked down upon?

I don't want to be one of these business that just pester other businesses (that's what I get every week and I hate it).
 
Wee Print

Wee Print

New Member
Hi everyone,

Social media is a great free way to promote your business, I used Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+

Leaflet drops can be really good depending on the business and if you have targeted the right area, if you are doing paid advertising whether it's in magazines, newspapers or printing, its a lot to do with design and quality, offering a great deals, standing out from your competitors and A LOT of trail and error. As some may work better than others.

I have the same problem as you , I have two young children and my husband works shifts so it is difficult for me to get out and network.
 
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Wills

Wills

Member
Verified Member
Finding new clients isn't easy, seldom do I find a new client it's more usual they find me. Networking and becoming known in your area is the most successful the more people you talk to the better the chance people switched off to advertisements, leaflets and trolling emails a long time ago. Social media is filling a gap but only addresses a very narrow market from my experience, facebook and linkedin are two good places to start.
 
SugarWayRooms

SugarWayRooms

Banned
Great idea. I used social media and SEO in promoting my business. And luckily by hiring an SEO, my business getting to know over the internet.
 
EmployEasily Legal Services

EmployEasily Legal Services

EmployEasily Legal Services
Great post !

I guess with most things the 'devil is in the detail' in so far as the precise way in which our various marketing efforts are targeted and deployed. For us, effective market research at the outset was certainly critical and an ongoing awareness of the marketplace is equally important, but in general terms our marketing strategy comprises three key strands:

1). Online - this combines our website as well as broader reach of various social media channels

2). Networking - mainly BNI but also via a variety of other, carefully chosen networking platforms

3). Referrals - through both our networking efforts but also from our growing client base

4). Email - effective use of email newsletters has helped raise our profile and generate business too

The overriding principal that both defines and facilitates our wider business growth strategy is our unique value proposition which has been developed based on a strong understanding of what our clients need and want.
 
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stugster

stugster

Active Member
Verified Member
As knows, I'm pretty bad at maintaining an active sales pipeline and almost all our clients actually find and come to us rather than us reaching out to them.

So I suppose the biggest selling tool we have is our website and the rankings we have on the various search engines.

recently recommended a book ( Get Clients Now!(TM): A 28-Day Marketing Program for Professionals, Consultants, and Coaches ) I've only read a small fraction of it, but already its given me the drive and determination to make my sales pipeline more methodical and professional. I'm actively chasing leads and hunting out new prospects and feeling really good about it!
 
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ScotComp

ScotComp

New Member
I need a bit of advice...

We've been doing really well over the last year but all of our projects are starting to dry up and there doesn't seem to be a great outlook in front at the moment.

I appreciate the importance of SEO and online marketing, but at the moment it's not getting the results we require because of the sheer amount of work that's going to be needed from a SEO company to get us up past the other web design firms out there. I've tried my best to Network, with such a small budget I tried the local Chamber of Commerce which was utter useless and BNI is just too expensive right now. Referrals have been great for me but again, starting to dry up.

My problem is I'm not sure how to directly market to local companies, I've tried getting databases and sending out letters to them (which came back with no results at all) and I'm not a huge fan of cold calling.

Anyone got any ideas how to get the attention of small/medium companies without spending a fortune?
 
Wills

Wills

Member
Verified Member
First look at what has worked for you in the past, why did it work, why is it no longer working? Once you know the answers to these it's a lot easier to concentrate expanding in the area you were successfully marketing. Random picking of routes is wasteful of your resources and wont guarantee you can fill your order book..
 
A

Annie

New Member
I have been into online marketing for almost 2 years now and what I have realized is that the best ways of getting more clients is by making good use of PPC, SMM and Adsense.....
 
S

sarah1

New Member
My biggest supplier of new clients has been twitter of all places. My tweets often get retweeted by my previous clients building an immense audience for my web content writing. I also provide ad copy, which is usually a more guarded industry both here and in the states.
 

MrsDev

New Member
Mine seems to be Facebook. I'm not suprised, I have over 3k of friends (branded user account) and 2.5k likes on the business page. Facebook seems to be where my main audience gather and it is really easy to promote to them.

Another large portion of my aduience are based in NHS hospitals. I find it hard to target them directly though.
 
Gemma Rowlands

Gemma Rowlands

New Member
One thing that always shocks me is just how random it can be when contacts are made. Once, for example, I went to a business event which just flopped (for everyone, not just for me) and then met someone in the pub the next night when I was with my friends who was an author, and I now edit all of their books! I would say that yes, you should try all of the usual tactics, but you should also make sure that you're always keeping your eyes open.
 

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