Most small businesses open up with a client list full of the family and friends of the owners and staff ready to support and launch the business in the opening months. It’s a great place to start but when it’s time to grow your client list beyond your personal contacts and you don’t have a big marketing budget, here are five free and easy ways you can build your reach.
1. Facebook Page
This is the most impactful, free option to start building your reach online. Building a page with your business information, some pictures and some updates is the perfect way to start. Once you’re live, invite all your contacts to like your page, just the act of them liking your page in Facebook will post a notification to all of their contacts, this can get you some instant 2nd degree contacts right away.
2. Instagram Account
Depending on your target market, building a client list through Instagram pictures can work really well when you can share your brand and your services through great images. Hairstylists, personal trainers, wellness, health and beauty practitioners have great content and a large audience on Instagram already. When you use the right hashtags and engage with your audience
3. Webinars & Facebook Live Trainings
Creating video content can seem complicated and difficult but all you really need is your smart phone and some interesting content and you can start using one of the fastest, most engaging ways to get views, questions and new customers. Facebook Live is the new video medium taking over social media trends right now. Share your content live once, and then the video is saved in your feed for anyone to watch it after as well. Interactions and views while your live are now the highest available as Facebook algorithms seem to be giving priority to live videos when it comes to showing up in your fans news feed. Try offering quick tutorials about home care for your clients, or offering Q & A times.
4. Guest Speaking
Another free PR method that works great in communities is offering to speak at local events, meetings and organizations. Sharing your expertise in front of a live, local audience is a great way to make personal connections with your ideal clients. People want to buy from people, and in-person handshakes are still the most powerful way to acquire new business.
5. Refer a Friend Bonus
This may cost you your time, but the “Refer a Friend” bonus it is a very effective marketing strategy. Give cards or referral codes to your clients to share your services with their friends. Reward both the giver and the receiver with a reduced rate service, build rapport with your existing clients and with new clients.
6. Online Reviews and Reputation Building
Online reviews are marketing gold that can’t be bought, but can be ASKED for! Asking for online reviews from your existing clients and getting them to post on Google, Facebook, Yelp, Yocale and any other source will help your search engine ranking and also give you a lot of great content to share on social media and build your reputation.
When you’re starting out in business, you need to find the most effective marketing methods to get your business off the ground. With the internet, social media and your own voice, you can reach a lot of new clients without spending a cent on advertising.