How to Get More Customers for Your Business
First things First
There’s no such thing as free. You either pay for promotion or you pay with your time. Which is more valuable to you?
Medium and expense vs. speed of acquisition
DIY – do it yourself.
Free but SLOWEST
If you have more time than money you may be able to do some promotions, primarily networking, free classifieds and social media yourself. Be honest with yourself, which are you capable of doing successfully? Pick one that you’re confident you can do and be consistent. Most importantly, be patient, as this will most likely be your slowest path to more business.
Google Adwords (aka ppc or pay per click)
Expensive but FAST
If you have a substantial marketing budget and need the fastest results, consider Google Adwords. Just be prepared to pay, possibly a lot. One of my clients is in the HVAC sector and their highest volume keyword costs approximately $70 per click (that’s per click, not per conversion). This will vary by location and the amount of competition. While this may seem high, personal injury attorneys may and do pay 3 to 4 times that amount per click. It’s all relative. For an established 7-8 figure business it’s not cost that matters, it’s ROI.
Less expensive but potentially SLOWER
A more affordable option for small business is Facebook ads. The purchase intent is not as high as Google Adwords but the cost is more manageable, possibly as low as $10/per day. But it’s not only for small business, as successful brands may spend thousands per day. If you’ve got a killer offer, you could see quick results but most small business offers are simply OK, not killer and not irresistible. So a better approach is to think mid to long term. Testing takes time but is critical for success.
Local SEO (search engine optimization)
Less expensive but SLOWER
Local SEO aka local search marketing is a long term solution. Reputable SEO is not cheap but once established, can bring consistent leads. If you have no current search presence, allow at least a year to build a foundation for your business/brand. Results may begin happening much sooner but don’t expect a miracle in a month. Avoid fixating on only ranking for the most competitive keyword and take a more holistic approach by incorporating lower traffic volume keywords to produce a cumulative result.
Less expensive but SLOWER
Social media is less about immediate results and more about brand building and exposure over time, developing relationships and staying top of mind so that if and when your prospects need your solution, they’ll think of you first. Once you deliver a superior customer experience, your social “tribe” will be inclined to promote your service/product to their family, friends and acquaintances. Take a look at your social profiles. Are they fully optimized? What about your Facebook page feed? Was the last post weeks or even months ago? That won’t cut it. At a minimum you need to at least appear active and engaged. If you don’t have time, hire professional help. You don’t have to master multiple social networks. Pick the one most likely to include your ideal prospect and stay consistent with your posting/engaging.
Offline and/or face to face marketing
Expense and time varies
Depending on the nature of your business, offline marketing can still be very successful. This includes but is not limited to direct mail, flyers, live events, trade shows, meet-ups, promotional item distribution and good old face to face marketing. Direct mail can be automated and expense will generally follow volume. One to one and group gatherings tend to be more time intensive but can result in a higher conversion rate of prospect to customer.
The Hybrid approach
Expense and time varies
Consider a hybrid marketing approach combining one or more of the above. This spreads your risk and allows you more flexibility. If one approach is outperforming another, you can shift more of your budget to the better performer. Markets and networks are constantly changing and evolving. This approach limits your exposure to a single point of failure when, not if, one of your marketing channels implements changes that negatively affect your business.
Marketing and promotion is never a one and done or set and forget. There is ALWAYS a cost involved, either time or money or both. Test and adapt to find what works best for your business and NEVER stop marketing because competition NEVER goes away.
Free options for uploading files securely
You can send File Requests to your contacts and allow them to upload a file to your designated folder in your Dropbox account.
Log in to Dropbox, create a folder or use an existing one for your uploads, click File Requests > Create a file request
Specify the type of file you’re requesting. For this example, I chose document. Select a folder to receive your document. Copy the folder link. You can now send the link via email or provide the link via your website. For example, you could place the link on a page in your membership site or on a password protected page. You could even turn your clickable link into a clickable button.