Tried and Tested Strategies to Acquire your First 100 Customers
No matter what kind of startup you have, be it a company where you experiment with the mobile app development technology or the one which is aimed to serve its customers with mouth-watering delicacies, you must be looking for customer acquisition strategy for your startup. And, acquiring customers is more art than science.
Moreover, when a market is saturated with competition everywhere around, finding prospects that would choose your services rather than a long-existing competitor is not a picnic.
How to grab the attention of prospects?
How to convince people to make a purchase?
Will they turn to return clients if they will be satisfied?
There are thousands of questions that come across the mind of early-stage entrepreneurs. And, in initial days, you have to experiment with different methods to see what sticks and what you should double down on. I understand your hustle, and to make the process a bit easy for you, I am bringing into your light some of the best customer acquisition strategies.
I have also gone through long nights where I kept turning and tossing in my head thinking of the ways through which I can reach the prospects. Below-mentioned were the few ways which helped me reach a point where I started getting inquiries for my business. And, guess what, the ideas I have applied for acquiring customers are not the only cliché, but are also penny-wise.
1. Contact the ones in your network:
A quick way to do customer development is to reach out to the people who are already in your network and raise the question to them about your product and market. You can also use LinkedIn to reach people who are in your industry, send them a connection request or reach out to them through e-mail.
One of the biggest reasons behind the failure of start-ups is that the founders do not try to communicate with the prospects. You might have done a thorough research and could possess profound knowledge about your target market. However, to make sure that you do not fail, it is the best idea to talk to people in your market. The mistakes of Unicorn Start-ups and their solution might help you in understanding the importance of interacting with your prospects.
I did many hours of customer reviews for the projects I was working on. This not only helps you know your target audience but also adds prospects to the email list, who can be sent an update about your products venture.
Down the road, one of my connections turned to my customer.
Quora is one of the effective customer development tools that are at everyone’s disposal. Quora is a platform where you can post questions on virtually any topic. Thus, by posting questions about your niche you can gather a large number of people from your target demographic that can turn to your prospects.
Since Quora got its first users through TechCrunch and more such tech-based sites, the most prominent audience in Quora is the one that follows technology. Some of the most followed topics in Quora include mobile, computer programming, investing and software engineering.
Image Credit: Google
What I do is, I keep posting questions on Quora on some of the pain points that you aim to solve, to which I get some invaluable answers. You can also post your answers on such questions and measure how much your answer resonates with the audience by the number of comments and upvotes.
You can also set up a phone call to uncover the details of the answers which you find insightful.
3. Guest Posting
Guest Posting is an excellent way of leveraging other people’s audiences to build your own. This is a tried and tested approach that has brought visitors to many businesses.
Guest blogging strategy helped social media automation tools like Buffer to get over 100,000 customers in just a short period of 1 month.
Here are a few things to consider while going for guest posting:
- Be Patient: You have to keep a bit of patience when it comes to posting. It takes months of effort and consistent posting before your blogs actually start getting traction.
- Find the right resources: When you are utilizing guest posting, make sure you are picking the right websites that cater to your targeted audience. Medium and Quora are some sites, which allow you to directly post your content instead of pitching someone.
- Don’t over-commit: It is good to start initially with one post per week, then you can up it two per work, three per week and so on. Deciding to write 1 blog per day, in the beginning, can hamper the quality of the content.
Apart from lead or traffic generation, guest posting also helps you build relations with top-rated websites in your niche, which might turn open door to other opportunities down the line.
4. Use the Podcast:
No doubt, SEO, paid marketing and social media marketing dominates the landscape of the digital business world, a strong argument can be made for the notion of podcasting as well. Marketing benefits that podcasting can bring to your startup business are endless.
Undoubtedly, making an episode of podcast requires a lot of effort; however, once you get the ball rolling, it becomes easy to keep your audience engaged. Podcasts are a great vessel for multitasking, which means one can listen to podcasts while running up on a treadmill while driving and even while cleaning their place.
According to a recent study, 51% of the US population listens to the podcast, out of which 22% of listeners generally listen to the episodes while driving.
When it comes to average conversion rates that podcasts have, the stats are quite staggering. It has been found that 63% of podcasts listeners actually availed the services or brought the product, which is mentioned, advised or advertised on a podcast.
Last, but not least, podcasting is an incredibly efficient way of peer to peer marketing. Although, speaking to a person is different from speaking into a microphone, but once you have overcome your podcast fright, you will realize it is much scripted than any other form of marketing.
5. LinkedIn Messages:
LinkedIn Messages are an excellent alternative to cold email that can yield a higher conversion rate for your business.
Cold-emails don’t bring you the desired results, and the major reason behind this is the medium being impersonal. It’s harder to communicate what your company does, your credibility and your offer via an email and still sound human.
If you are reaching someone on LinkedIn, your message would possess a more personal touch, because of the fact that the user will be able to see your full profile.
You can reach out to people on LinkedIn through LinkedIn Inmails and also through Sponsored Inmails. Inmails are private messages that can be sent to anyone on LinkedIn, however, you can only send only a few LinkedIn Inmails every month.
On the other hand, Sponsored Inmails let you send out your message to thousands of professionals at a time. This feature is mainly used for lead generation and for promoting e-books and webinars.
Another approach to LinkedIn messaging is connecting with your targeted prospects and then directly messaging the one who accepts your connection request. Adding prospects as connection lets you warm them up before you reach out for the pitch and thus increases the chances of conversion.
These were the five strategies that I have applied so far to achieve the first 100 clients for your business. There is no limit to the number of ways through which you can market your business, but I found the ones above effective in attracting customers and get the cash flowing. Here are also some effective client conversion marketing strategies that help you convert the acquired leads to sales.
I wish you Good Luck for your journey, keep sharing the strategies that have worked for you in bringing customers for your start-up. You can also let us know what are the most effective or least effective strategies for your domain.