Building a client base is crucial to the growth of every company, not to mention its further stability in the market. The most important thing is to expand the reach you have and gain the trust of your clients, and here we want to show you precisely how to do that.
Having in mind that making a new client is much harder than making a new friend, you need to tailor a refined approach that will ensure the trust of your clients, and we will show you a few tricks that go a long way in terms of creating a consistent client base.
So, if you were wondering how to build your client base, here is what you can do.
Partner up with other businesses
Since you want to know how to build a client base, one of the first and most important steps is to try and build partnerships with other, complementary businesses. By earning their trust you can make a business networking group and start referring businesses to each other.
You can partner up with businesses that are similar to yours or you can even go for the more unlikely partnerships. For example, if you do graphic or web design, we suggest you partner up with other design companies with whom you can collaborate with and build a client base. In return, you can get referrals.
Find clients through your workplace or business organizations
If you happen to be a working professional, you can start by exploring one of two options:
- you can move being an employee of the company to being a contractor, or
- you can find a worthy client and make a run with them to form a new business
Either way, you start by looking for potential clients through your workplace.
On the other hand, if you want to start a service-oriented business, you can start by joining and participating in business and social organizations. Note - you should not care about augmenting the number of organizations you’re a member of, rather care about the perception of the members of the organizations you belong to.
Additionally, don’t rush - people need to get to know you before they start doing business with you.
Share your knowledge and be rewarded
We know this isn’t something you would really want to do after spending so much time and effort in order to create your product or form your service.
However, even though you know how much your service is really worth, offering a free trial allows your future potential clients to have a test run. This is ultimately one of the best ways to get your clients through the door and a scenario where you end up with major payoffs in the long run.
Whichever way you decide to share your knowledge or expertise, either by offering free trials or free access to specific resources, it gives potential clients a taste of your company’s expertise. By showing them a sample you will entice them to pay to get access to more high-quality content.
Also, by offering a service such as social wi-fi, you might not get a client in return, but you will gather more information about certain habits and interests of the potential ones.
This kind of advice is applicable to any field. Not only will you be sharing your knowledge and encouraging clients to take a look at your services, you will also be establishing your business as an expert within your industry, thus building a better client database.
Put your personal activities to good use
Group activities that you do with your family can be a great way to find your new clients. Always take the time to chat with other people, whether those other people are parents you know through your kids’ school, or people you go the gym with. It doesn’t matter - the point is to get to know other people and learn more about their interests.
Endorsements and referrals are crucial for growing your client base
For starting a client base, it might be good for you to ask for endorsements and referrals from your past employer/s with whom you have a positive relationship. This way you have somebody who is happy to speak to your capabilities and offer a unique view of your work ethic, but at the same time, they just might become your first client - you never know.
Always ask for feedback
Besides asking for referrals from your previous employers or already established clients, when building a client base you might want to consider asking them for feedback. This is the best way to establish your strengths and weaknesses, while your clients will appreciate you following-up.
Aside from asking for feedback, you can ask clients if they’re comfortable with giving you a testimonial, which you can publish on your website and refine your brand, making it more personal and more real.
Offering referral incentives increases chances of client base growth
When on the mission of growing your client base, you also want to consider offering referral incentives, meaning that you offer incentives to your client so that, in return, they can refer business to you. This can include a discount on services, products or gift certificates.
Never forget to reward loyalty
Even though you might think that your focus should only be on finding new leads, in order to increase the size of your client list, this should definitely not distract you from rewarding the clients you already have.
You should always encourage their cooperation by offering special deals, discounts, early notice of new products, or other perks in order to remind your clients that you want them to stay with your business. The relationship you have with your existing clients should always be honest and personable and you should strive to keep it nourished.
Target specific client groups or areas
When building a client base, you also want to consider targeting specific groups of people or geographic areas by using direct mail services. You can always mail a solicitation that announces your new business and states why the recipient of the flyer should consider using your services.
As a call to action, you can offer a client discount or a coupon for mentioning your flyer, which, at the same time, gives you a chance to monitor the impact of this method and >keep track of its effectiveness.
Keep your website informative and up-to-date
This is one of the key elements that will initially generate new visits and pull in new visitors and potential clients. You can keep your website content constantly fresh by publishing a blog about the latest business news or hot topic of the industry. This is what also helps search engines to rank your website better and make it more exposed.
Social media can be crucial for obtaining a client base online
For instance, LinkedIn is a social network that was designed precisely for professionals to connect with each other, and it’s perfect because you can easily find groups that are related to your industry or your professional interests.
On the other hand, if you are the kind of business that relies a lot on visual impact, you might want to consider other social networks, such as >Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest. If you are an artist, photographer or a pilates teacher, you might want to consider Instagram as the best for growing your business.
However, if you are generally active on Facebook, make sure to share every time you create new content, launch a product or a new campaign, since this might be the easiest way to grow your customer base. This way, while providing value, you also get new customers promoting your brand for you.
...or let a piece of software do all the hard, client-base-growing work
In case you were wondering how to grow your client base if you decide to neglect everything said above, then a client database software for small businesses might just be what you are looking for.
The client database system is an invaluable tool for any business since they can follow up on any new leads, find information about your previous and current clients, and also generate repeat business.
The client database system stores all of the information you wish to relate to your clients and is ideal for multiple purposes. The reason why a client database for small businesses is a tool you have to take into serious consideration is because it makes certain steps easy, such as - contacting your clients by phone or e-mail, issuing bills and special offers, creating email marketing campaigns, tracking complaints and feedback, tracking and reporting trends and so on. Bottom line is that having a client base makes your life a whole lot easier and a lot more up-to-date.
Client base maintenance is essential
Why is that?
Well, mainly because if you neglect it, it can reflect negatively on your business. Low usage of the database information is often caused by poor data quality and management results, which is why you should always keep your client database maintained on a regular basis.
The crucial factor, whatever method of attracting clients you choose - is your mindset. You should always be open to new possibilities and aware that none of the mentioned methods generate instant results, rather you have to be patient and content with the fact that the worst-case scenario is you made the whole process a lot easier for yourself.