5-PROVEN WAYS TO ACQUIRE CUSTOMERS EVEN IF YOU DON’T HAVE A WEBSITE
Are you having problems with client/customer acquisition?
Are you short of funds to invest in a website?
Have you hosted a website before and it was a liability, costing you rather than being a conversion funnel?
Are you unsure on how to get your first 10 to 100 clients?
Are you skeptical about spending so much on a website without being sure of the ROI?
You have probably heard you need a website or you must have a website if you are going to make sales online, and you don’t have the resources to put into it yet.
Well, here is the good news, Internet marketing is changing, well of course having a website is crucial in today’s business and marketing.
But is there a way to still make sales online or acquire customers/clients online even if you don’t own a website?
I know what it feels like to be in the early stages of your business, with nothing more than just your product or professional skills. But I want to let you in on a little secret: You can acquire your first customers. And you can do it: Without a fancy website
You can acquire your first customers. And you can do it: Without a fancy website
Here are 5 easy ways for you to acquire customers online, even if you don’t have a website.
- Social media groups
- Social posts
- Referrals/Word of Mouth
- Personal network
- Networking events
Before we get started though, this strategy aren’t a good fit for every type of business. For example, ecommerce and coaching-based businesses can use these tips once they’re a bit more established… but it’ll be hard to gain traction if you’re just starting out.
Businesses that are like freelancing or service based business can benefit a lot from this.
So, how do you go about this?
I’m gonna be real with you for a sec: it’s scary, embarrassing and “white-knuckle” terrifying to start talking to prospects and getting in front of people who could potentially hire you when your website sucks. But the one thing so many new business owners won’t admit is this: you’re not going to land a high-profile, internet-famous, dream client right off the bat. And that’s 100% okay. In fact, it’s a good thing. If I had landed my dream client right away, I’d have been so freaking nervous that I would have ended up screwing it all up. Your dream clients will come soon enough…but how do you get your very first client? Well, the easiest way is to find a sea of hungry people who already want what you’re selling. The easiest way to do that? Find a bunch of people who:
- Match your ideal client (aka your avatar)
- Have already assembled themselves into a neatly formed group (because why make it harder on yourself when you don’t have to?)
There are hoards of groups online that already exist, each centered around any given topic, industry, or niche. And a handful of them (at the very least) are within your niche, no matter how eclectic, weird, or “unique” it might be.
The first step is finding the right group that houses people who fit your ideal customer avatar. I would recommend, Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups and meetup.com groups.
After you’ve found a group that your potential customers are present, start sharing helpful, educational, and high-value content with that community.
But just before you start sharing, pull up a Doc, go to the chosen group take note of
- The types of posts that do “really well”.
- The types of questions that you see repeatedly.
- Note any other ideas that come to mind about things you like (or things to stay away from) when creating your own posts.
Once you get a feel for the vibe of your new community, dive right in and start commenting and engaging with the other members. Ask your own questions about their pain points. Start responding to other people’s questions and comments. But for the life of you, don’t just drop a link and run – you’ll come off as a spammer. Especially at this early stage, that’s going to get you nowhere (except kicked right out of the group).
Note of warning – Don’t do any self-promotion at first! That means no links, no “contact me at”, no “send me an email if you want to learn more”… none of that. Just ask, engage, observe, and provide value.
Keep sharing and posting relevant information, answer bugging questions of other members of the community.
Once you’ve build up rapport and authority within the group, people will even start recommending you out to their own friends and business partners, too!
Do some analyses on your posts to know which ones performed best, use the 80/20 rule and double down on those type of posts and post more of it. So if you have a Facebook account and 3 minutes, here’s my challenge to you: Get started now. Join a couple of groups, find out where your target audience hangs out. And from there, you’re just a couple of posts away from getting your first customers online.
With over 2.7 billion social media users across the globe, social media marketing can be said to be the largest and most powerful marketing channel. Social media marketing involves creating and sharing content on social media to achieve your business’ marketing goals.
Social media marketing involves posting text and image updates, videos and other content to encourage audience engagement. With the high number of social media platforms, it is also important to carefully choose which ones to use based on your target market.
A social media presence makes your business more accessible and customers in the loop about your business. It also enables you to respond in real time to issues and conversations. Social media can be used for customer service, suggestions and complaints.
Some social media platforms like YouTube have dedicated business channels that your business can use to reach customers.
So even if you don’t have a website you can sell your products and services on social platforms.
When dealing with social media, i believe you should take a bet on the big 3: Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
For product based businesses, facebook has a marketplace where you can list your products and people can make an order or purchase right on facebook.
Instagram now has the functionality to sell products on it, customers can even check out and pay on the Instagram platform[although this is not available in every country]
In this present day the faster way to build authority in your niche is to start posting consistently online on various social platforms.
Referrals/Word of Mouth
Word of mouth marketing (WOMM) is when a consumer’s interest in a business is reflected in their everyday dialog with other people.
92% of consumers believe suggestions from family and friends more than they do advertising. This is a huge reason to rely on your customers to recommend your business to others.
People tend to have more trust in customers compared to marketers. They believe marketers have an agenda, which is to say anything to promote their business to generate more sales.
To be able to generate word of mouth marketing, you will have to provide the best product or service possible accompanied by excellent customer service. Only after satisfying the needs of your customer and turning them into loyal and passionate followers will they recommend your business to family and friends.
Another way of using this is asking your existing clients for referrals, or asking friends and family if they know anyone you could reach out to that would be interested in the services you offer, or the product you sell.
If you’ve registered your business, chances are you used a lawyer in the registration process. He or she probably has dealt with one or two businesses that are in your niche and who might actually be looking for your service. “You never know unless you ask”. You can reach out to to your legal person and ask that he connects you to his network of businesses, stating to him the kind of business you would be interested in. A person would likely be interested in giving your business a shot if their lawyer recommends you.
Reach out to old clients, follow-up not just with the intention of them referring you, follow up asking about how your service or product has been of help to them, if they respond positively, ask them if they know anyone in their network who would benefit as well from your product or service.
Working your personal network is another sometimes-overlooked option that is fairly easy to get started with because you have built-in trust. There are certain people you’ll meet in a personal context that you wouldn’t think of as a lead generation machine but can be incredibly valuable.
In today’s busy world, you have sport training/workout friends, work friends, neighbors, and more — but they exist in these separate buckets that don’t necessarily intersect. The key is remarkably simple — if you’re at the point in your relationship where you can talk business, let potentially useful acquaintances know. Identify the type of company you’re looking for (size, employee number, revenue amount, location, etc.) and send an email they can forward to make the connection.
Of course, mixing the personal and professional like this needs to be effective and respectful — but it is a great way of broadening your reach.
You might not want to mix fun and work, or think that the other person might feel awkward you talking about business in a relaxing and fun place. But you’ll never know unless you try. Your first or next big client could just be one connection away from your neighbor you greet daily.
Whoa — face-to-face interaction? (this can be really hard for people to wrap their heads around.)
Attending these events should be part of your routine because they’re a great way to grow your reach and potentially drum up business.
Below are four basics I remind people of before they dive into networking:
- It’s about mingling and being human and having fun. Don’t take things too seriously!
- Explaining your “always be helping” philosophy face-to-face is usually a pretty big differentiator.
- Bring business cards to hand to your new acquaintances.
- Offer to connect on LinkedIn from your phone while you’re standing next to someone. You can respectfully ask — would you like to connect on LinkedIn? If they say yes, just hand them my phone and say, “Can you find yourself and connect?”, which makes things a lot easier.
Bonus idea to get leads
Have you heard of twitter search, if you haven’t then this is a bonus idea for you.
Go to search.twitter.com, type in “looking for [your niche product or service]” or “I need a [your service or product]”, if you are a designer search for “looking for a graphics designer”, if an interior designer type in “looking for an interior designer”, you get the point.
This might not necessarily work for every type of service or product, but it’s work giving a shot, your next customer might already be on twitter looking for you.
Run a Social Media Advertisement
Yes, with the ever changing algorithms of social media and killing engagements on organic reach, your sure bet for winning on social is to run a targeted ad to your target audience. Since you may not have a website or you’re still working to set it up, you can direct people to message you privately or visit your page to know more about your services, you can equally provide a free resource on your Facebook or LinkedIn page for people to access, this helps you build authority and become perceived as an expert on the subject matter, people wouldn’t even care less if you have a functional website or not.
Not all businesses are the same, and something that works for A might not work for you. If you’ve tried all of the above and you are still unable to get clients, then you should consider setting up your website and sending traffic there, this would help you also track activities and conversion rates of your visitors to know what is working and what isn’t.
Not having a website might seem like a disadvantage but let it not hinder you from getting customers for your business.
Using the above strategies and platforms you can begin to get your first few customers and therefore have available funds to invest with a professional website design company, and get a personalized business website set up for you, to generate lead on auto pilot