Clients are the lifeblood of any business. And creating a constant stream (or flood) of those clients is every business owners dream.
But often reality is a bit more… quiet.
Sometimes it feels almost like you’re the best-kept secret around.
Here's the thing: If people don’t know about you, they can’t buy from you.
So if you’re wondering, ‘how do I create a good marketing strategy to grow my business’ this article is definitely for you.
I have compiled a HUGE list of 103 super tactics you can use to attract more clients and catapult your business growth. Some of these marketing tactics are well-known, while others might be less well known, or overlooked.
Today I am sharing a selection of them with you. But first, a word of caution, though: don’t try to do them all.
Instead, find the handful of tactics that feel right for you and your business and then execute well. Before long, you’ll figure out the fastest way to marketing success for your business and have clients chasing you.
I will admit that I avoided events like the plague for a long time. As someone who can be a bit introverted, events can be really overwhelming at times.
But I got over that when I realized how many potential clients, partners and opportunities I was missing by staying home. Here are a few great ways to get out there and make those connections to move your business forward:
A great way to make connections with potential clients is to track down events they attend. Think about what your clients would be attracted to and go there.
Let’s say you are a CPA and offer bookkeeping + tax services to business owners. Start by making a list of every kind of event those business owners could be attending – training events, book tours, tradeshows, professional organizations – anywhere that could draw a big chunk of your ideal clients. Google those topic areas and attend some events.
I’m sure there are events going on in your own backyard that could have some great potential clients for you to meet. Check out MeetUp.com and EventBright.com to get started. You can also see if there is a local LinkedIn or Facebook group that organizes events. Or just ask your current clients if they’re attending any events locally.
Tradeshows can be a great place to connect with clients, even if you don’t have a booth. You can meet and mingle with attendees and people at the booths – and the freedom of no booth means you’re free to find the people and conversations that support your business.
Or you can take it one step further and actually get a booth at the tradeshow. The bonus is that you can create an experience and engagement with attendees that can be much deeper than simply walking around and meeting people.
Get your name up on the main stage, in the program handouts or even get a chance to speak on the main stage. Sponsorship can be incredibly powerful in growing your business.
I recently went to a local event where a winery was the sponsor. I’d never heard of the winery before, but within the next week my husband and I tried it out (and bought some great wine). I would NEVER have tried them out if they hadn’t sponsored the event.
If you’re not up to be a full event sponsor, see if there is a smaller piece you can sponsor. Perhaps you can sponsor a lunch, a breakout session or even the registration table. Anything that gives you an opportunity to get in front of at least a few people.
Workshops are great for anyone selling a hands-on product, service or program. It’s a ‘test drive’ of your services and can be a great way to get new clients.
Emotions, experiences and memories last much longer than any logo, speech or handouts.
(Of course, you should always check with the event host first before bringing in talent.)
There are THOUSANDS of speaking opportunities every month on stages big and small. I recently did a Google search for Associations and Organizations in Washington State just to get an idea of how many speaking opportunities there are in my own backyard from just this one source. I didn’t count them up, but there are at least a couple hundred.
Here are some other idea starters for you to find speaking opportunities around you.
Speaking from stage (big or small) is a GREAT way for potential clients to hear what you have to offer in an engaging and value-added manner. If your clients are professionals, what types of topics could you speak about that would be engaging to them AND set you up as a go-to expert they should hire?
If your clients could be a part of religious organizations and/or you’re affiliated with one this may be a great place to get in front of like-minded people who want to know what your business can offer them.
People like to do business with others who have similar values and beliefs, so make sure you’re actually a good fit with any organization you contact.
You can also take the initiative to organize your own speaking event. Your local library, Chamber of Commerce, community center or local businesses are happy to rent out space and allow you to host a speaking event.
Don’t overlook the educational sector. There are many opportunities at higher education campuses to speak – to students AND to the community at large. As a bonus, it’s always great to put on your LinkedIn profile that you’re a guest speaker at XYZ college/university.
For much of my career I avoided ‘networking events’ at all costs. The few I went to were so uncomfortable. I felt like the new kid in school with nowhere to sit a lunchtime.
But I’ve since gotten over that fear. Now I know how to introduce myself, how to engage with other people and generally feel much more confident in attending these events.
Following are some great ways to get the most out of your networking efforts:
Before you head off to a networking event know how to introduce yourself. Practice what you’re going to say and make sure you have a clear, easy-to-understand introduction.
Schools, places of worship, clubs, restaurants, sporting events, hobbies – the possibilities are ENDLESS for networking opportunities near you.
If you looked on Meetup.com but didn’t see anything interesting or that sparked your interest, you can always start your own group. Be clear on what kind of group you’re starting, when you meet and what people will get out of it. Before you know it, you may be the local networking king or queen.
Depending on where you live, your local Chamber of Commerce may be an absolute networking goldmine.
Does your profession offer a group with a local or national chapter? For example, eWomenNetwork has a vast network of thousands of women (and some men) entrepreneurs and employees. These members have a whole host of needs, ranging from buying and selling homes, getting a mortgage, personal and business insurance – to makeup and vacation getaways and even business services.
Your business card is a great way to network and spark conversation. Your card can continue to work for you long after you’ve given it away.
On the back of my card, I always have some sort of free gift or offer —> a PDF download, a free call with me, a free video series, something that would be valuable to my ideal clients.
Free and valuable gifts are a fantastic way to attract new clients. The key is to know what free gifts will actually be perceived as valuable to your ideal audience.
Following are some idea starters to get your free gift creative juices flowing:
My 7-year-old daughter sold Girl Scout cookies for the first time this year. We opened a box of each kind of cookie to offer prospective customers a taste of those (evilly delicious) cookies.
Who can resist a 7-year-old waving delicious-smelling Girl Scout cookies under their nose? No one!
You and I may not have the 7-year-old cuteness nor the delicious cookie aroma to lean on, but what do you have that your clients would love?
Come up with a freebie that gives your clients a little taste of what you offer so you become irresistible as well.
Gift certificates are a terrific way to get in front of new potential clients. When I attend a networking event that has a drawing, I often ask the host if I can offer a gift certificate as a drawing item. This gives me a great marketing opportunity while providing value to the event, winner and host.
Another way to use gift certificates is to partner up with complimentary businesses. For example, if you’re a painter, roofer, gutter cleaner, window washer, home organizer, mover, landscaper, storage facility or interior decorator you could find local Real Estate Agents and offer a gift certificate they could present to their clients for your services.
If you’re a service professional, offering a free call/consultation with you is a great way to let potential clients test drive you and your services. Here's an example I use with my own business.
LinkedIn is an absolute treasure trove of business opportunities. The people on there, the networking opportunities and the depth of personal information people provide about their work history is valuable.
Here are a few ways you can use LinkedIn to connect with potential clients:
Many people think LinkedIn is just for job seekers – not so! LinkedIn is POWERFUL to build your network and connect with potential clients.
Your personal LinkedIn profile is like a business card on steroids. When done right, this is a powerful credibility builder.
Another great way to use LinkedIn is to participate in groups that other people have created. There are thousands of groups that probably have your ideal clients in them. You just have to find them!
Just think about all the things, companies, affiliations, topics and organizations your ideal clients are interested in finding out about. Then search for them within the search function on LinkedIn.
Want to be a group leader instead? Create a LinkedIn group and actively invite/attract new members. Create an engaging group experience on topics your group wants to talk about and watch your connections – and the perception of you as a leader – grow.
Another powerful way to spread awareness about your business is to create a LinkedIn business page. This will give you another opportunity to:
People interested in what your company offers can easily follow your business page and receive updates directly to their LinkedIn newsfeed and inbox.
This is one of my favorite ways to use LinkedIn – building my connections. When you belong to groups with your ideal clients, it’s easy to invite them to connect directly with you. That way, you can both get to know each other a little more and offer your services (or free giveaway) when the time is right.
Simply invite them to connect with you, open an email dialog and see where it takes you.
This used to be a function saved for the LinkedIn elite. But now everyone can blog directly on LinkedIn – and LinkedIn will share that post with your network.
To publish a blog post, click ‘Write a new post’, write it and publish. You can even reuse content from your own blog/website. It's blogging made simple.
Use your LinkedIn profile status updates to engage your connections.
As an example, I have many financial planner connections. One person in particular is excellent at engaging his connections through LinkedIn.
I probably would never really know him without all of his value-added insights but he is in my newsfeed at least once a day with such great information that I can’t help but pay attention.
I now consider this financial planner a trusted advisor and whenever financial headlines cross my desk, I look for his insights almost immediately and I trust that he’s looking out for me.
That’s the power of a status update. What can you offer your audience?
Never underestimate the power of amplifying someone else’s message.
How often have you shared something on LinkedIn only to find a complete lack of interest. From anyone. At all.
But then someone comments. Or shares. Or simply likes what you’ve posted. You take notice, right? Well, others do as well. It’s a great relationship-building tool.
Blogging is a great way to drive traffic, leads and interest into your business. Developing your blogging voice does take time, effort and practice but once you’ve gotten your writing muscles all warmed up it’s a great way to keep up the conversation.
There are a few places you can start to get the word out about your ideas, offers and business:
One of the easiest ways to get started is to simply create your own blog. You can do this on:
And many other places. Don’t let lack of a website keep you from blogging. There are a lot of great resources and place ready for you to step up, create a post and hit publish.
Of course, you’ll want to ensure you have a plan for why you’re blogging and what you’ll do with your traffic.
Once you’ve gotten your blog muscles built up, start reaching out to other sites to pitch yourself for guest blog opportunities. Find blogs that already have a great reach and readership among your ideal clients, create a value-added post and let them publish for you.
Podcasting really took off in the last few years and it can be a terrific way to deeply connect with your audience, attract a new audience and connect with partners.
When I first thought about starting a podcast, I was overwhelmed by how to actually get it all done.
But what I’ve found is there is a hugely supportive podcasting community out there.
Some of my favorites include:
Not up to getting your own podcast going? Or have one but want to increase your audience size? Pitch yourself as a guest on someone else’s podcast.
This is another great way to tell a story, give value to an audience and get clients.
If you’re not opening dialog with your potential clients, you’re probably losing out on the vast majority of sales you could be making.
Sirius Decisions did a study a couple years ago that demonstrated 67 percent of the buying cycle is now happening online. Giving your potential clients a chance to connect with you, get to know what you offer and see ‘wins’ that you’ve helped your clients achieve will help potential clients decide if they’d like to become actual clients.
There are tons of tools to help you get started building an email list.
Email providers are the companies that actually collect the email addresses from prospective clients. You can send emails, newsletters and more with all of these services.
To get someone on your actual list, you’ll need to have a form they fill out. Here are many opt-in services you can use to make it easy for potential clients to give you their email address:
And many more.
Here are a few ways to build an email list to fill your business pipeline:
Do you fiercely guard your email address? Well, so do most people. That’s why many companies offer a ‘lead magnet’ or valuable free giveaway in exchange for an email address.
What could you offer that your ideal clients would gladly hand over their email address to receive?
Once you’ve got a few people on your email list, you can start a newsletter.
Decide if you’d like to send it out weekly, monthly, or as needed. There are many schools of thought on how to run an effective email newsletter – the right frequency, time of day, etc….
What I’ve found is that no one strategy works well for everyone. Instead, find what works best for you, your business and your ideal clients.
An autoresponder is a series of pre-planned emails that you send to new people who join your email list. This is a great way to introduce yourself, offer value and invite them to get to know more about who you work with and what you offer.
This is the start of a very long list. Want more? See 103 Ways To Attract More Clients – Part 2 and 103 Ways To Attract More Clients – Part 3 for the rest of the ways to attract more clients.
The really amazing thing is that there are WAY more than only 103 ways! What have I left off that you do?
Which of these are your favorite methods for attracting clients? Leave a comment below!
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