First of all, it is important to understand the difference between a customer and a client. A customer maybe someone who has purchased from you once or on multiple occasions, but it does not necessarily mean they will come back again. For example, your local fruit and vegetable store might have regular customers who buy apples every week until one day these customers decide to start buying oranges instead for whatever reason. Customers will more than likely return some time down the line and purchase from you again; however, it is up to you as an entrepreneur/social enterprise to keep them coming back through effective marketing strategies.
On the other hand, clients tend to be people who are loyal to your business and frequently purchase from you. They may have gone through a referral system to find you or have been there from the beginning of your enterprise/start-up brand, but either way, they are loyal to you and your programs, products, or services. They have an ongoing relationship with your business and become a repeat customer in most cases.
In order to survive as a social enterprise/entrepreneur finding new customers is essential. This list is not exhaustive, however, it provides some tips on how you can market more effectively so that existing clients will seek more opportunities to buy from you and new clients will know about your product or services! Feel free to add any additional ideas in the comments section below.
1) One way in which social enterprises/entrepreneurs benefit from using the internet is through Content Marketing. When sharing interesting informational online materials such as blog posts, social media updates, photos/videos of products/services, etc., you are marketing your business without directly selling. Content marketing is arguably more effective than direct sales in getting the word out about what your business does. However, just simply producing content will not achieve results for you - there are guidelines to follow when using content marketing. The Social Media Examiner offered this advice on how to use content marketing effectively: "First identify your buyer personas and create epic pieces of content that provide irresistible value to your prospects... Create valuable assets that solve problems..."
2) Before selling anything to a prospect, they must first be evaluated thoroughly to avoid wasting anyone's time. Savvy enterprise/entrepreneur knows that the best way to attract new customers is by having already-satisfied ones. As Ray Higdon said, good social entrepreneurs are always looking for ways to improve their products/services before they have ever marketed them. Then, when it comes time to market those products or services, any future customers that you attract will be more likely to become satisfied with your business and continue buying from you (rather than moving on).
3) One powerful way of attracting new customers is through partnerships. The process starts with identifying businesses whose customer demographics match your own; if the demographic matches well enough, the next step is talking with each other about possible ways in which both businesses can benefit by partnering up. To learn how these types of partnerships generally work (and what's most important), read this article on the topic.
Adding a little variety to your content marketing strategy by partnering with other business owners can be very fruitful because you'll have access to an entirely new set of customers - customers that you might not otherwise have reached. Furthermore, getting in touch with people who are already successful in the same field(s) as yourself will give your ideas for ways that your company can further improve its products/services. As social enterprises/entrepreneurs continue to grow their businesses by all available means, they are wise to look for possibilities like these to find better ways to serve their ideal market. By following this type of business approach, social entrepreneurs will be able to succeed in reaching more people and earning even more profits.
4) Conducting secondary research is an excellent way to look for the perfect customers. Here's one example of how this process can work.
5) Another way to find new customers and potentially make more sales is by engaging in good old-fashioned door-to-door selling. For those unfamiliar with what this entails, door-to-door selling simply means going from person to person and talking about your product/company - it's as simple as that. The technique will obviously not be useful for everyone, but social entrepreneurs who try it should report back on their own ideas about whether or not the practice was worth the time spent doing it.
6) Some social enterprises/entrepreneurs meet their future customers by attending community events. Attending these types of events can be a great way to get in touch with people who might not otherwise ever hear about your business.
7) Public speaking is another old-school marketing tactic that still turns heads and gets noticed at the right moments (and may potentially net your future business). Social entrepreneurs who are interested in gaining more exposure for their businesses will find speaking engagements like these to be extremely useful; they allow one's company's name and products/services to become known by engaging with different groups of people, thus widening reach even further than before - and sometimes much faster than through other types of marketing and advertising.
8) Using referral programs as a customer acquisition tool is effective because it builds trust between you and potential buyers. It works much like this: let's say that you're a social enterprise/entrepreneur, and one of your company specialists (who has been working closely with the business for at least several months) is out meeting potential customers. Suppose she happens to meet someone who expresses interest in what you do but doesn't necessarily want to sign up right away. In that case,
the specialist can tell the customer about your referral program and tell them how to get started: they can simply book a free consultation by giving your representative their contact information and saying they're interested in joining your company.
9) Many businesses go beyond using traditional advertising mediums such as television commercials or radio ads; instead, many companies start blogging. Social entrepreneurs don't have to be experts at this just yet - though it will definitely help if/when the time comes - they should at least give blogging a shot to get ideas for ways in which their companies could expand outreach.
10) Sometimes, it's best to think outside the box to find new customers and make more sales. For instance, one social entrepreneur might start by creating an account on Tumblr. Once she has set up her blog, she'll be able to get started by showcasing what her company does through photos - similar to how many other business owners are using this platform, only with different marketing approaches.
11) Social enterprises/entrepreneurs who fall into certain niches (i.e., artists or musicians) can use Kickstarter as another way of finding new customers; the platform will allow them to share their talents with others who might be interested in them. And because this type of social media will often give customers the chance to become backers, it may end up being a significant part of how businesses find new customers and make more sales.
12) Social enterprises/entrepreneurs are also likely to benefit from joining local business organizations where they can learn about effective marketing techniques - many of which could lead to finding new customers or making more sales.
13) One social enterprise/entrepreneur may consider hosting events where he invites potential customers to come out for a night of fun. This way, his company's name will get publicized by word-of-mouth as well as within the community. He can merely pay for everything himself (which is very much doable thanks to modern-day crowdfunding), or go further by getting investors involved.
14) As another example, a social enterprise/entrepreneur might hold an art exhibition so that people who attend can learn more about his brand and what it does. He may even be able to sell some of his products and services by offering them at special events like these, which will only help him reach new customers and make more sales.
15) One last way social enterprises/entrepreneurs can find new customers is by attending trade shows. This could include anything from small-scale fairs to major expos - whatever works best for the company's business needs. And this method doesn't necessarily need to be expensive, either: many businesses afford themselves discounts (or free passes) if they display their own branding on their clothing.
16) It's also important for social enterprises/entrepreneurs to get involved with things like city council meetings. Even if this means simply attending them, it will be an excellent way for companies to let people know what they're doing while making new customers and finding ways to reach more people than ever before.
17) Another idea is for social entrepreneurs to take advantage of other opportunities in the community. They should look into anything related to their niche - whether these are local events or even online happenings - so long as there are likely buyers out there who could become interested in their company someday soon.
18) Social enterprises/entrepreneurs can also use LinkedIn (which many companies do already) because it offers many unique features that aren't found on similar platforms. For example, this particular social media site offers a new customer feature that allows small businesses to get in touch with past clients who have had positive experiences at their companies.
19) In addition, it's also crucial for social enterprises/entrepreneurs to post on Facebook regularly because the social media platform provides them with great tools that can help them find new customers or make more sales. They can even create memorable events and free giveaways to increase their exposure online - which will only help their companies grow further down the line.
20) Lastly, it's important for social enterprises/entrepreneurs to think about Pinterest as another way of finding new customers and making more sales. There are plenty of ways to do so here: by updating everyone on what they're up to (whether it's running a contest or holding a new event, for instance), curating pins to help others with similar interests, and even using the site as a place for gathering feedback from customers.
With all of these different ideas in mind, it is apparent that social enterprises/entrepreneurs need to keep up with communication-based social media sites if they ever want to find new customers or make more sales.
So, what do you think? What do you think? Are these strategies that you and your team can easily implement to get new customers and increase your sales?
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