Starting a small business is an enormous endeavor. It takes discipline and heart to find success. For any business venture to succeed, you need to continue to grow your customer base month after month and year after year.
Finding new and exciting ways to build awareness for your brand can take time and effort. You want to combine newer methods like social media advertising with more traditional strategies like print ads and billboards.
For example, if you own a small restaurant off the highway in Colorado, a Colorado Springs billboard can direct people to exit and dine at your establishment. However, you’ll also want to improve your SEO and leverage customer reviews to ensure anyone can find you when they search “burger restaurants” in your area.
Want to increase sales for your business? Try out these ten creative ways to gain new customers!
Billboards are visually appealing and attention-grabbing. Giant city billboards may be expensive, but adding a billboard along a highway in a more rural area could draw people off the interstate and into your establishment.
A Colorado Springs billboard, for example, only costs about $300/month and makes an average of 96,668 impressions – and that’s for the second-largest city in CO. If you live in a rural area, a billboard could be a great way to introduce yourself to new customers.
Curate a solid social media presence for your brand. It may not be real life, but social media lets you put your business in front of millions of potential clients daily. Even an Etsy shop could build a following on social media and make a giant splash.
Be authentic. Look to similar brands to create a social strategy. Once you build a business profile on Facebook or Instagram, you’ll have access to in-depth analytics, which can help you see the demographics you reach and create targeted ad campaigns to build your audience.
Everyone loves free stuff. A simple method to help grow your social media presence and build a customer base is to host a giveaway on your platform. Have people follow your page and tag three friends who would also appreciate your product. Then choose a winner to give a prize – preferably something you offer as a product or service.
If you don’t want to give away freebies, you could also encourage a purchase by giving new customers a discount code. Send coupons in the mail to reach local customers or have new users subscribe to your newsletter for online boutiques.
Be involved in your community. The people around you want to support small businesses. Donate to your local Boys and Girls Club or get involved in a beach cleanup project with your employees. It’s how every community thrives.
Consider sponsoring a local youth sports team. You’ll pay to make their jerseys, and the players will become a walking advertisement for your establishment at every game.
Word of mouth is a powerful tool to bring in new business. Encourage customers to invite a friend by offering a discount code. Give any new customers 10% off and also provide a 15% code for the friend who referred them.
Reviews are also essential, as they let new customers know what to expect when they visit your establishment. Use incentives like a discount, free dessert, or raffle to increase reviews. Have a QR code on your receipts to prompt customers to leave a review on Google, Yelp, or your website.
SEO, which stands for search engine optimization, helps new customers find you through Google searches. You can pay to come up first on Google; however, most people skip over the ads for organic content.
Use keyword research tools like Semrush to find the keywords customers use to search for products like yours. Add these keywords into blog posts and product descriptions to ensure your website ranks above your competitors.
Develop relationships with other local businesses and support each other with cross-promotion. Sell locally made earrings in your local coffee shop and have a first-time customer coupon available at the jewelry shop. You can share a customer base and increase your clients by working together.
Another great way to meet more members of your local community is to host an in-person event. Throw a corn hole tournament at your brewery, host a trivia night, or have an opening soiree in your art gallery.
Trade shows provide the opportunity to introduce your brand to other professionals within your industry. They provide an important networking opportunity, especially for those ready to branch out beyond their local community.