Lightbulb Business Formula:
Get More Customers and Demand Even More Attention for Your Business.
We’ve got a fair bit to get through in this Blog article, and I’m sure you already know why we’re here because the headline says it all.
So let’s cut to the chase.
Here are 7 of the most effective ways to get more customers every year, including:
Why Referrals are MASSIVE news.
How to give your business a Makeover.
Grow a bigger audience on Social Media.
How to get Blogging and become an expert in your field.
Why you need to target your audience right from the beginning.
Getting right back to basics.
How to advertise smarter.
(By the way, that bit about cutting to the chase with minimum waffle is a pretty good tip in itself, so we could really say that this article contains 7 and a half brilliant ways to get more customers, but that would probably be…aaargh! Waffle Alert! Roll VT!)
The Very Best Way To Get New Customers.
You don’t need to blow thousands and thousands of dollars on massive online advertising campaigns.
I mean, if you have that kind of budget, then go ahead.
But there’s an even better way to get more customers. And the good news is that it costs practically nothing.
I’m talking about Referrals.
Instead, the marketing source is a satisfied customer who is simply making a very honest recommendation to a friend or colleague.
That’s got to be more powerful than some online Ad screaming in your face that you only have ten seconds left to claim your crazy 90% discount.
Here’s the slightly tricky part.
You need to be amazing.
Already cracked that part?
Not quite there yet?
We’ll come back to that in more detail later on in this series. It’s a pretty important point.
You see, most people are very quick to make a vocal complaint when something goes horribly wrong, and will happily share a terrible consumer experience with anyone who will listen.
But they’re far less likely to share an experience that went ok. That’s not interesting enough at all, is it?
The only way you can realistically inspire your customers to recommend your business is to be amazing.
Regular Word-of-Mouth referrals are the ultimate form of free marketing and are more profitable than any mega-bucks online Ad campaign.
If you can encourage every customer to recommend your business to five friends, and each of those five new customers recommends your business to another five friends, and each of those…
Wait, you can see where I’m going with you, can’t you?
It’s very good news.
Of course, it’s a tough old world out there, particularly for new and small businesses. You can’t just sit back and hope that people might say nice things about you.
Here are a few extra tips and pointers on getting more Referrals.
Ask for them!
You can of course politely ask your customers after every successful sale.
But it’s far more effective to set up a simple Referral Program in which both your referrers and your referrals are mutually rewarded.
For example, you could offer a small discount to every customer who makes a successful referral leading to a sale, and this discount could increase with every additional referral.
The new referral also receives a small discount on their first order with you, so everybody wins!
Make It Easy.
How exactly you implement your Referral Program will largely depend on the size and nature of your business.
You could implement automated solutions, use a discount code system, or ask for help from your chums at Martin Print.
But the most important point is to make the process as simple as possible. Don’t ask anyone to jump through too many hoops. Only dogs like jumping through hoops and even they can be a bit funny about it.
Shout About It.
Spread the word about your Referral Program far and wide, online and offline.
Consider producing Leaflets or Flyers which can be bundled in with every sale and will clearly convey the incentives of getting involved.
One clever idea is to distribute flyers containing several perforated ‘referral coupons’ which are designed to be torn off and shared with a whole bunch of friends and colleagues at once.
Say Thank You.
Finally, remember to thank your referrers when they do make a successful referral.
It’ll make them twice as likely to make another one.
Let’s briefly rewind just a tiny bit. Just for a few seconds, I promise.
Here’s where too many business owners slip up big time.
They don’t spend nearly enough time on figuring out their target audience.
When you’re taking steps to get more customers, it’s crucial to narrow your sights on the right people otherwise you risk casting your net too wide and not attracting the specific interest of anyone.
I don’t mean that you should narrow down the field so much that you only end up marketing your business to 34-year old men called Nigel who have a slight lisp.
But do consider the age, gender, budget, interests, behaviours and habits of the people most likely to need your services.
When you’ve built up an accurate profile of your target audience, you’ll be in a far stronger starting position.
You’ll know where to find them and how best to communicate with them.
A new hairstyle and a brighter shade of lipstick can often…
No, wait, I think I’ve got the wrong notes in front of me here. Give me a sec.
Your personal appearance in public is nobody else’s business (although I don’t mind getting kind comments about my furry Ear-Flap Hat. Well, I think they’re kind comments anyway, I can’t really hear anything when I’m wearing it.)
Do you even have an identity?
As a basic starting essential, your business logo is destined to appear on all your marketing content in the near future. That makes it pretty important.
Don’t go for the cheap DIY option and deliver a lame impression from the start.
Invest in a professional Logo Design that’s going to get noticed, get remembered, and will grow reassuringly familiar to new customers.
Branding Your Business.
Of course, good business branding goes way beyond the logo.
You may need to seriously consider completely re-vamping your business from top to bottom before hitting the big red marketing button.
Don’t be afraid to change the name of your business if your current name doesn’t really work.
Does your website need a fresh overhaul? A great business should have a professionally-designed website that looks amazing whilst being as simple as possible for visitors to use.
Stand out from your competitors. Your marketing materials need to truly reflect the high-quality of your business otherwise you’re just going to get unfavourably compared to weaker rivals.
You need a catchy Tagline or Slogan which quickly captures your key message in a tasty soundbite.
This is not just about being clever or witty. It’s about instantly letting your leads know why they should carry on reading and exploring your business.
Write brilliant emails.
We’ll discuss the finer points of Email Marketing in an upcoming article, but here’s the problem in a nutshell;
Most marketing emails are boring and most marketing emails get ignored.
When you’re contacting all the clients and leads on your mailing list, you need to create something pretty special to make sure your emails are opened, absorbed, and acted upon.
Find out how by staying tuned to the Lightbulb Business Formula series of articles!
Get help when needed.
It’s entirely up to you how exactly you tackle a fresh presentation and a re-branding of your business that’s going to get more attention.
But if you need any help with logo design, marketing artwork, premium printing, website design or copywriting, just give me a shout by leaving me a comment below or visiting the Martin Print website.
We’ve got every angle of marketing completely covered, we’d love to help you brainstorm you smarter ideas, and we very rarely bite as long as we’ve had a good breakfast.
Some people can’t really be arsed with Social Media.
Old Bert, our faithful resident caretaker, reckons that “Twitter is just millions of people shouting at each other and nobody really listening.”
He’s got no interest in Facebook, either. “Why would I want to ‘reconnect’ with annoying scumbags that I haven’t seen for over 40 years with very good reason?”
Some business owners share this feeling of apathy. It’s quite alarming how so many budding entrepreneurs either just don’t bother at all with Social Media, or maybe just set up a half-hearted Facebook page which hasn’t been updated for over a year.
Still can’t be arsed?
If you’re missing out on Social Media, you’re missing out on massive digital potential to get more customers.
People are looking for you out there.
Some of your potential leads will naturally assume that you have a Facebook page and will actively seek it out to get more info on your business.
In the world of 21st century marketing, it’s expected.
If they can’t find you or come across a dormant page, they’re likely to give up and move on.
A stronger connection with your leads and customers.
Maybe you have a fabulous website.
All well and good, but realistically, how many people are likely to keep coming back and checking for updates several times a week?
Social Media pages give your leads and customers another way to follow your business on a far more frequent basis.
These followers are not going to forget all about you for weeks or months or forever. Regular posts and updates beamed into their personal news feeds are going to keep your business top of mind and will inspire your leads to consider their next purchase from you.
Share content faster and easier.
Got something new to shout about?
The launch of a new product? A special offer or promotion? Some vital new info relating to your services?
Social Media gives you the freedom to quickly share your news and updates with your dedicated followers in real time.
Interact with your audience.
Your business website and marketing promotions are largely just broadcasting your benefits.
But here’s an opportunity to actually engage with your target audience on a regular basis and get to know them.
Discover more about what your leads want from your business, take the time to personally answer queries and deal with potential issues, get your customers involved in useful discussions, and build ongoing relationships which are more likely to lead to long-term custom.
Create a buzz and generate more attention.
This final point takes us back to square one with the stuff I was talking about right at the beginning of this module.
When you create a strong Social Media presence and publish popular posts and updates, you’ll be encouraging your current followers to share your content with their own friends and connections.
I’m not suggesting that you’ll go viral overnight (unless you can film a funny video with a cat on a skateboard or something. Worth a shot.)
But you will be handing over the referral power to your followers, and making it super-simple and quick for them to share your stuff and raise awareness of your business.
You can also seize the opportunity to attract favourable reviews and comments from happy customers which again can be shared to a wider audience of new leads.
Social Media Quick Tips
If you’re just getting started in Social Media, it’s generally a good idea to focus on one or two networks instead of trying to spread yourself too thinly across every conceivable channel.
I would definitely recommend a Facebook Business Page as an essential choice, simply because of the sheer popularity and flexibility of the platform.
At Martin Print, we’ve managed to pull in over 7,000 followers to our Facebook page, largely by making regular posts and interacting with our audience.
As for Twitter, I tend to largely agree with Old Bert on this one. Unless you splash out on paid advertising, your tweets are likely to get lost in the massive noise.
Google+ never really took off in the way that many expected, but can still help to improve your rankings in the search engines.
However, by all means, take a look at all the major platforms and see which ones are most likely to suit your business and attract your target audience.
For example, LinkedIn is a professional network which can be useful for B2B models but possibly doesn’t hold much value for a regular business.
Pinterest and Instagram are both driven by visual posts, but the former is particularly well-suited to showcasing arts and crafts, whilst the latter is more likely to attract a young and trendy Smartphone audience.
Adjust Your Frequency.
Every post and update you make could potentially capture attention and new leads.
So it’s important to post frequently….but not so frequently that you end up driving your followers away.
You should ideally be posting updates at least a few times every week, and usually no more than once or twice a day.
Give plenty of consideration to the times and days you publish new posts, too.
Are the members of your target audience most likely to respond to early-morning weekday posts, evening posts, or weekend posts?
Nurture Don’t Annoy.
Think of Social Media as a way of nurturing future leads and customers instead of constantly hitting them over the head with your sales pitch.
It’s easy to attract new followers, but it’s also very easy to lose them.
If your followers feel that their personal news feeds are getting clogged up with your hard-sell Ads, they’re likely to get irritated and break the connection.
The best way of generating a buzz is to be inherently shareable.
Publish posts which are useful, informative, interesting, surprising, funny, or just of genuine value.
Short and snappy visual posts are usually more likely to be shared than long-winded epic posts about what a terrible morning you’re having.
Before you hit the button and post your next update, ask yourself first if you would have considered sharing it to your friends and associates.
One of the best ways of attracting respect and interest from new customers is to become recognised as an expert on the services you provide.
And one of the best ways to achieve this is to write and maintain a Blog.
Capture the interest of new leads and convert them into regular followers.
Deliver useful and helpful information.
Grow your reputation as an authoritative voice in your field.
Create more cracking content which can be shared by your readers.
The Martin Print Blog has been running for over five years now with over 600 articles under our belt. My aim is generally to turn a potentially dry marketing subject into an engaging, fun, and ultimately useful read.
Over the years, we’ve attracted a huge number of subscribers and regular readers with a high customer conversion rate.
A word of warning, though.
Cyberspace is crammed full of Business Blogs that started off well with a dramatic drumroll and the very best of intentions….but were then quietly abandoned after one or two posts.
Don’t join this sad pile of neglected Blogs!
Here are a few quick pointers to bear in mind;
It’s not as hard as you think.
You don’t have to be a great literary genius or a talented graphic designer. Nobody is expecting Shakespeare here.
It’s quick and easy to build your own Blog using a platform like WordPress or Hubspot. Just write from your heart and use a good selection of royalty-free or licensed images.
(If you prefer, get in touch with me for help. We can set up a professionally-designed Blog for your business and can even write your content.)
Keep up with Regular Posts.
You’re never going to gather much momentum by writing a new post every few months or so. Your audience will just forget about you during the long gaps.
Update your Blog with fresh material as often as you can, ideally at least once a week.
Get your readers into a regular rhythm, so that they begin to expect and look forward to your next article.
Don’t forget that every new slice of content you create here can be shared and promoted across all your Social Media channels, so every single new post is a big event for your business.
Engage your audience.
The types of post you create will largely depend on the nature of your business.
But it’s usually a good idea not to get bogged down in too much detail or write 10,000 word epics.
Remember that most of your readers have an attention span shorter than…
Sorry, where was I?
Ah yes, remember that most of your readers will have an attention span shorter than a goldfish.
This may sound harsh, but there’s some truth in it.
When people are skimming through the internet every day, they probably have a lot of things to explore, check, and do.
They don’t really want to get held up for too long on a single website or Blog.
Try to create direct and to-the-point articles with an enticing design.
Your readers should never end up looking at a massive blob of text on their screens. Liven up the presentation with plenty of fresh visuals which help to illustrate the points you’re making.
It would seem ridiculously silly to ignore the huge digital marketing advantages of the 21st Century.
But it would be equally silly to get so carried away that you forget about the traditional marketing techniques that still work today.
Distribute promotional Flyers far and wide.
Attend networking events and hand out Business Cards.
Give away cool Promo Gifts at business fairs.
Hook up with other businesses and form mutually-beneficial partnerships.
Dress up as a Human Billboard and….
Ok, maybe forget the last one for now.
But my main point is that some of the older marketing strategies get forgotten by trend-setting entrepreneurs, despite the fact that they still work.
Sometimes, you still need to put your shoes on, get out there in the real world, knock on doors, and create real-time opportunities.
My main idea throughout this whole series of articles is to present a range of tips and methods to increase your business revenue without blowing a fortune on paid advertising.
But as a final point, let’s touch very briefly on Paid Advertising. It’s obviously something you’re going to need to do at some point. Let’s just not spend thousands of dollars on it just yet.
Some business owners are fortunate enough to have a pretty big advertising budget. So the easiest thing to do here is just quickly throw it all at Google Ads and see what happens. They might even get a few nice results from this.
But there are several points to first consider and plenty of smarter ways to approach paid advertising which don’t require a massive budget.
Make sure you’re ready.
I’ve heard so many horror stories of businesses owners who blow their budget on Ads, only to find that there was a major problem with their website which drove all the visitors away at the first step.
Check everything. Only begin to consider running Ads when you’re sure that everything else is perfectly in place.
Google Adwords is something that takes time to master. It also takes time to fully assess what’s working and what isn’t working.
You’ll need to regularly review your keyword selections, bid strategies, and Ad collections before fine-tuning a winning formula.
With this in mind, start with a very small budget and assess the initial results before committing any major funds in this area.
Back in the olden days when everything was black and white, a business would target their audience by placing Ads in specialist publications.
The good news today is that targeted marketing is now ten times easier and probably about 10,278 times more effective. (Figures courtesy of Old Bert’s Compendium of Stats That Sound About Right To Me).
You can of course still seek out specialist publications and websites that relate to your product and services.
But it’s also worth taking a good look at the enormous range of targeting options on platforms such as Facebook Ads which pretty much do a lot of the hard work for you.
It’s now easier than ever before to narrow down your Ad visibility by location, age, gender, occupation, hobbies, behaviours etc etc.
Again, it’s a good idea to start small with a very modest daily budget, test and review your initial results, and only build up your spend when you’re confident you’ve hit on a winning formula.
Wow! That was quick!
But as I said right at the beginning of this email course, this is probably the least important part of the 4-Step Lightbulb Business Formula.
Or to put it another way, it’s only the very first step. Now it’s time to really get to work.
Don’t let these customers slip through your fingers after the first sale.
I’ve got a great idea to keep them coming back again and again and again…
Find out how in the next chapter of The Lightbulb Business Formula.
See you then!