Building a successful business network is much the same as building a solid group of friends at a new school. You start out by swimming in a sea of unfamiliar faces, but then you start to get a feel of which people are on the same wavelength as you. It’s a gradual build, but, once you’re in your stride, you realize that you know who your friends are, and you’re comfortable in the ocean once more.
In a similar sense to this, building a network of loyal clients who constantly and consistently choose the goods and services of your business is all down to gradually feeling out the market and finding your target audience. You might feel overwhelmed by the competition at first, but once you’ve found the customers you need, it only takes some social skills, much the same as making new friends, to reel them in to your network. If you’ve no idea how to market your business to potential customers successfully, then here’s some advice for doing so.
Focus on branding.
Your brand is your business. Many smaller companies fail to remember this, and they strive simply to offer an excellent service, expecting that customers will just magically stroll the door. Unfortunately, competition is brutal, and your potential market is likely already getting a very similar good or service from a very similar business to yours. There’s no way to differentiate between two businesses which offer a near-identical good, so it is your company’s brand which helps you stand out from the mix.
This is about understanding web design as well as creating a pretty logo; if you want customers to find you, you need to implement SEO techniques to push yourself up the rankings on Google. Your website is essentially your brand in the modern, digital age.
The old ways of marketing your business still work well in certain environments. In an age of disposable information, sometimes online marketing doesn’t make an impact on everybody, because it merges with a sea of similar faces and, essentially, it doesn’t come across as “real”. Networking in the old-fashioned sense, however, just might make a mark on somebody.
For example, shaking a person’s hand, discussing their line of work or your own business and then giving them a business card or a quirky item, such as a branded notepad, might make more of an impression than an advert on the side of a website they’re browsing; it’s something real and tangible. It’ll be harder for them to forget your name. Looking at conference rooms to hire might also give you a chance to meet likeminded potential business partners or discover new opportunities.
Obviously, online marketing is still important, as this is where most consumers browse for goods and services, but a physical, real marketing campaign might still give you that extra boost you need to attract people who are otherwise unswayed by digital marketing.
If you’ve got a small group of regular customers, there’s no reason this can’t become a larger group. You already know some people love your service, so they’re clearly not going to be the only potential clients out there. You need to entice them to reel in their likeminded friends, of course, by rewarding their loyalty with better deals and offers. If they refer colleagues or friends to your business, you could give them money off or a loyalty card. Building that trust is a win-win situation; impress your existing customers and draw in new ones.