The internet is amazing. If you really take the time to step back and think about it, you will find that this is unequivocally true.
And the cool thing is that everyone loves the internet for different reasons. Some people love it for online shopping while others love it because it allows them to have access to their friends at virtually any point in time.
Aside from the enormous role the internet plays in the lives of people, it also has completely changed the way we do business. According to a recent study done by Manta (the largest online community dedicated to small business), 90% of small businesses dedicate their time to networking online and 74 percent find networking online just as, if not more, valuable than networking in person.
The simple fact is that [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”@DesignliCo” suffix=””]for the past 20-25 years the internet has changed the game[/inlinetweet]. In business this is especially true as the internet provides us access to a multitude of new customers that we otherwise would not have access to. How do you sell your product to a family living in Seattle, Washington when you live in Columbus, Ohio without the internet? Easy. You don’t.
While this all seems fun and exciting it also presents an array of new issues because your company is not the only one trying to gain new customers and clients online. There are thousands of other companies operating online competing for those very same customers. So how do you distinguish yourself? How do you attract visitors to your site and how do you convert them into lifelong clients? The answer is not so easy. In fact there are companies whose primary mission is to assist other companies on how to solve this problem.
If you are an online business owner like me whose main source of income relies on converting leads generated from your website then this post is for you. Below is my shortlist for 7 tactics you can implement into your business to start gaining new customers (because we all need to put bread on the table right?):
1. Social Media
In this day and age this shouldn’t come as a surprise. But what IS surprising is that upwards of 93% of shoppers’ buying decisions are influences in some way by social media. 93% sounds high but if you consider how much time we all spend using online social platforms it makes sense. Bottom line: if you are ever going to increase the online presence and customer base of your business you NEED to be active on Facebook.
2. Incentivize the Newbies
If you are trying to get new customers what better way than to lower your prices? Right? Your incentives however do not always have to be price cuts; you can get creative and offer free shipping, a free gift, a future discount coupon and the list goes on. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”@DesignliCo” suffix=””]Incentivizing the first purchase of your next customer is always a good way to gain the customer’s trust[/inlinetweet] and get them to try out your service.
3. Formalize a Referral Program
Referrals have always been and will always be the best method of expanding your online business. The good news is that referrals are great, the bad news is that it isn’t always that easy. I mean…how can you force an existing customer to tell his friends and family about your business? I guess you could require a customer to enter in the emails of 5 people they know before they checkout, but then you risk losing the trust and business of that customer. A referral program is the best way to incentivize existing customers to tell their friends about your business. They already love your business…why not give them a free iPad mini when they tell others about how much they love you? That’s what we do!
4. Host a Competition
Competitions are great. But let’s take this one step further. Consider using a voting mechanism where participants in the competition win by getting their friends to vote! That way you are getting 10-fold the amount of exposure you would have gotten doing a normal, boring, plain competition. Take Applits.com for example…Designli.co was born from Applits where the entire business model was centered around people submitting their app ideas and getting their friends and family to vote so they could win and have their idea actually developed! Pretty cool if you ask me.
5. Blogs on Blogs on Blogs
I absolutely love blogs. A blog gives you the perfect opportunity to take a break from all that business-sales stuff and write about items that interest you that may not be related to your product or service whatsoever! It is a great way to indirectly build your business. As more people continue reading your blogs, more people like your blogs, which means more people sign up for your newsletter which means you have more people to directly market to. How beautiful! Not to mention blogs are a GREAT way to boost your SEO.
6. Partner Up Cowboy
Partnering up with other companies and organizations is also a phenomenal tactic to utilize. This way you earn your customers’ loyalty by introducing to other high quality brands that they may like. Partnerships also increase your exposure in the marketplace as you become active and visible among other online players.
7. New Products and Services
This may be the most intuitive item on my shortlist but it needs to be reiterated. If you are going to retain clients and build lifelong relationships with them you NEED to make a commitment to launching new products, programs or services. This doesn’t mean you need to make a completing different product every month. It could be something as small as an Instagram competition every month or a new discount program, etc. Doesn’t matter what it is as long as you are always switching it up.
So there ya go! Dedicate yourself to implementing these 7 tactics into your online business over the next couple of months and you will be off to the races!
As always, if you have any questions or want to get in touch with a Designli team member, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.