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How To Get Your First Customers: Beginner Guide in 2024

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Hey there, aspiring entrepreneurs! Are you ready to kickstart your business in 2024? Well, you’ve come to the right place because today we’re diving into the exciting topic of how to get your first customers! Starting a new venture can be both exhilarating and nerve-wracking, but fear not, we’ve got your back.

With our friendly guidance, you’ll be well on your way to building a solid customer base and achieving your dreams! So, let’s roll up our sleeves and discover the foolproof strategies that will make 2024 your year of success.

Top 10 Tips for Acquiring Your First Customers

1. Emphasize the positive

When speaking to potential customers, they may have various questions for which there are no perfect answers: “How many other customers do you have? How long have you been in business?”

Try to answer these questions by emphasizing the positive aspects: “The number of other customers I have isn’t as important as the fact that 95 percent of those who have tried my product or service would recommend it to their friends.”

Or “As for how long I have been in business, I have years of experience in this market segment but recently decided to offer the same quality service I provided through a well-known company at a much lower price.”

2. Research your audience

Learn more about your target customers through strategic research. Join Facebook groups where your ideal customers gather to gain insights into their problems and start building relationships by participating in conversations. Following influencers who are popular among your ideal clients can also give you an idea of what they want.

Another option is to ask directly. Create a survey or talk to people within your target demographic to gather their opinions. You can also share details about your products and services to receive feedback.

3. Launch your first marketing and advertising campaigns

As a startup founder or small business owner, you are likely in charge of your company’s marketing strategy. Marketing can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re new to the field, so I suggest starting with the following steps:

  • Create a comprehensive marketing plan.
  • Start a blog.
  • Optimize your website’s SEO.
  • Incorporate a lead generation form on your website.
  • Implement a social media marketing strategy.
  • Launch a paid social media campaign.
  • Initiate a Google PPC campaign.

Once you have these initial steps in place, you can delve deeper into platforms that work well for you or experiment with other methods such as programmatic advertising.

When creating any paid or organic campaign, target the demographics outlined in your ideal client profile (including factors like age, location, job title, and interests) and see how many early sign-ups you can generate.

For most initial ad experiments, I would not recommend spending more than $100. This should be enough to gauge interest. If there is no response, adjust your ad copy or retarget your campaigns.

Also Read: Digital Marketing: Ultimate Guide in 2024

4. Demonstrate your efforts

The key to achieving good results with cold emails is to come across as a human, not a spammer. Therefore, it is important to sound like a human. Since you are currently in the phase of doing things that may not scale for your company and likely not sending a large number of emails per day, you can take a few minutes to research your prospects and establish a genuine connection.

The best cold email I ever received was from someone selling recruiting services. In the software industry, there are millions of recruiters, and everyone with hiring authority has been approached by them before. The recruiter who had the best pitch identified a problem that was clearly evident in a recent blog post of mine, proposed a sensible solution, and offered a call to discuss the matter further. He also made it clear that he would be pitching me during the call.

You can usually accomplish this in a sentence after your greeting. (It should go without saying, but 50% of the pitches I receive need to hear this: get the person’s name right. Do your research and use their preferred form of address.)

This passes the test of proving that you are a human because it shows that you were intelligent enough to find a presentation I had done and understand at least one point from it. (Even being able to paraphrase back to a customer what they consider unique about their company makes you better than the majority of pitches they receive.)

5. Establish an online presence

Another part of your customer acquisition process should involve building an online following. Creating a business website lets potential clients know that you have a legitimate business. With 85% of Americans owning a smartphone, having a responsive website is essential to ensure potential clients can access your content regardless of the device they use. Produce valuable content using SEO best practices to attract organic traffic to your website.

Social media platforms also allow you to quickly reach clients through interactive formats. Share valuable content on social media that educates or entertains your followers. If you only use social media to sell your product, you may scare people away. Post regularly to keep your followers engaged.

6. Get personal

Finding clients is all about relationship management and establishing personal connections with people. Once you find someone who has shown interest in your business, develop a relationship with them and understand their needs.

Truly invest yourself in solving their problem. Identify any weaknesses you can address and demonstrate your expertise in the subject while maintaining a personable and helpful attitude.

This builds trust and desire for your product, increasing the likelihood that the first client will make a purchase.

7. Network more

The power of networking should not be underestimated. That’s why I aim to make it one of my goals every year in order to continue growing my business.

Don’t tell me you’re introverted or scared. I am too. However, you have to get out there in some way and meet people. Networking is not limited to attending local meetups; you can also network online, but you need to be more intentional about it. Reach out to people in your industry and stay in contact with them.

While this may be challenging during a widespread pandemic, there are many virtual events and meetups you can participate in.

One effective approach is to use platforms like Google Meet and Zoom to search for events happening in your area. You can also search Google for “business events this weekend” and find a variety of options. Pretty cool, huh?

8. Write a detailed business plan

I know it may seem counterproductive when your new business is already consuming resources and accruing expenses. Getting that first customer is crucial for offsetting costs and finally generating cash flow. Taking the time to write a business plan may not feel like the fastest way to attract that first customer.

Unfortunately, sustained profitability is not possible without a comprehensive business plan. Your business plan plays a vital role in attracting the right people to your company and convincing your first customer to stay with you for the long term.

If you already have a business plan, review it at this stage. It will help you clearly articulate the value you offer when reaching out to your network and asking for referrals.

The best part? You don’t have to start writing it from scratch. Use the template provided below to get started.

9. Ask for referrals from your network

Once you have introduced your business to your immediate network, you may already have a few interested parties. While these potential buyers are not yet customers, they may know others who are more likely to make a purchase quickly.

You should also ask for referrals from your family and friends, but only if they are in an industry related to your ideal customer. Let’s go back to the bookkeeping software example. If I have a friend who works in operations, they may have a colleague who could benefit from using my bookkeeping solution. For a dessert shop owner, asking friends to spread the word about the business would work as well.

The great thing is that you don’t necessarily have to ask for referrals only from people who responded to your initial message or outreach. Ask those who didn’t respond as well. In fact, asking for a referral is an important step before you “break up” with a potential buyer. If a lead is not responding to your emails or showing interest in your pitch, it would be easier for them to forward you to someone else who might be interested.

10. Take a consultative approach

Approach potential clients as a consultant rather than a salesperson. Your goal should be to help the client solve a problem, not just to sell a product. Be open and listen first. Tailor solutions based on the client’s needs and show flexibility based on their feedback. Seek creative solutions instead of sticking rigidly to confined to a script.

FAQ’s

How do I identify my target audience?

Identifying your target audience is crucial for any business. Begin by conducting market research to understand who your potential customers are. Analyze demographics, interests, and buying behavior to create buyer personas. This will help you tailor your marketing efforts and campaigns effectively.

What strategies can I use for customer acquisition?

Customer acquisition strategies vary depending on your business type, but there are a few fundamental tactics to consider. Utilize social media platforms to build brand awareness, engage with your audience, and run targeted ads. Create compelling content on your website and optimize it for search engines to attract organic traffic. Offer exclusive promotions or referral programs to incentivize new customers to choose your brand.

How can I leverage influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing has become increasingly popular, and it can be a powerful tool to reach new customers. Identify influencers in your niche who align with your brand values and have an engaged following. Collaborate with them on sponsored posts or product reviews to reach their audience and generate brand exposure.

Should I focus on customer retention as well?

Absolutely! While acquiring new customers is important, retaining existing ones is equally crucial. Building strong relationships with your customers through exceptional customer service, personalized experiences, and loyalty programs can lead to repeat purchases and long-term brand advocates.

How can I measure the effectiveness of my customer acquisition efforts?

Track key metrics such as conversion rates, cost per acquisition, and customer lifetime value. Analyze data from your marketing campaigns, website analytics, and social media insights to understand what strategies are working and adjust accordingly.

Are there any offline marketing tactics I shouldn’t overlook?

Offline marketing may seem less prevalent, but it can still be effective in certain industries. Consider attending trade shows or local events where your target audience might be present. Create eye-catching flyers, brochures, or business cards to leave a lasting impression.

Also Read: Brand Bible: Complete Guide For Business Start-ups in 2024

Is word-of-mouth still relevant for customer acquisition?

Word-of-mouth remains a powerful force in attracting new customers. Encourage satisfied customers to share their positive experiences with friends and family. Additionally, leverage online review platforms and testimonials on your website to build trust and credibility.

Conclusion

Remember, building a customer base takes time and patience. Stay consistent with your marketing efforts, adapt to new trends, and always listen to customer feedback. With these strategies and a friendly approach, you’ll be well on your way to gaining your first customers and growing your business in 2024.

Once you’ve got that first customer, treat them like gold. Make sure they’re satisfied and work to keep their business. As you build a history with your first customers, turn them into brand advocates to help attract more customers and gather customer testimonials you can use to promote your business.

Also Read: 6 Secrets for Starting and Scaling a Successful Business In 2024

About the author

Afenuvon Gbenga

Meet Afenuvon Gbenga, a full-time blogger, YouTuber, ICT specialist, tech researcher, publisher, and an experienced professional in e-commerce and affiliate marketing. Are you eager to kickstart your online business, then you're in the right place. Join us at techwithgbenga.com, where you'll uncover the insider secrets to starting and scaling a successful online business from the best!

Before blogging which started as a side project in 2019, Gbenga successfully led a digital marketing team for a prominent e-commerce startup. His expertise also extends to evaluating and recommending top-notch software solutions to boost your online business.

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Afenuvon Gbenga

Meet Afenuvon Gbenga, a full-time blogger, YouTuber, ICT specialist, tech researcher, publisher, and an experienced professional in e-commerce and affiliate marketing. Are you eager to kickstart your online business, then you're in the right place. Join us at techwithgbenga.com, where you'll uncover the insider secrets to starting and scaling a successful online business from the best...

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