SME’s: Get More Clients, Spend Less Money

We want to show you some fantastic ways to bring in more clients, without spending a ton of money. These ten key tips are essential to your success.

The more customers you attract, the higher your sales will become. I am always amazed by the number of small businesses that struggle or go bankrupt for one simple reason: Nobody knows they exist. If people knew about their products, they would be making sales - it’s often that simple.

Clients might not know about them for a number of reasons, but usually it’s because they’re struggling to advertise their product. Advertising in traditional ways is expensive, hard to track, and tricky to get right. Knowing how to get great results with the lowest overall spend is every company’s ideal scenario.

I’ve got ten “cheap or free” methods to help you get your name out there and begin making sales. Read through them and be objective - your business’ future success depends on it!

1. Discount Domination

Discounts are always extremely popular. We’re all familiar with flash, clearance, and seasonal sales - some businesses just don’t know how to make it work for them. There are a number of ways you can get clients to come to you using discounts:

  • Existing Platforms: There are “Daily Deal” type apps out there that will advertise your deal for one day to their entire user base for what is usually a small fee.

  • Online Sales: Online selling comes with less expensive overheads, allowing for lower prices and great deals. Offering “Online Only” deals also attracts people to your website.

  • In-store Sales: In contrast to the above, store stock can sometimes be shifted fast by offering in-store sales of certain items, or seasonally as part of your range change.

2. Use Your Tools

You know who your clients are, now go find them! There are some great tools that help you do exactly that. GoPinLeads is a great one. It’s a neat little Chrome Extension that scrapes data from Google Maps, LinkedIn, and other credible online sources, and delivers a comprehensive database to your email inbox within minutes.

It’ll show you the businesses you’re looking for, who works there, what their details are, and their address. Everything you need to know to get in touch with the right people and get your foot in the door!

I created it, but that’s not the only reason I love it. Since it’s launch, I’ve received incredible feedback from thankful salespeople the world over. The tool delivers highly detailed databases with the most current information. It saves so much time.

3. Let Them Win

The world is obsessed with winning. Offering the public the opportunity to win your product is an amazing way to generate hype. People love taking chances and are tantalized by the thought of winning. Doing it cleverly will make sure you get the most exposure:

  • Photo Contests: Ask people to post a photo of themselves with your product on social media and tag you. This way, they buy your product and get you into the public eye at the same time. The bigger the prize value, the better your chances.
     

  • Social Media: Offer additional contest entries for customers who follow each of your social channels and share your competition media. The buzz you can generate this way is unbelievable. “Going Viral” is the key, here!
     

  • Tiered Winning: Have a first, second, and runner-up prizes. It creates more potential for people to win, more product exposure, and a greater effort made by entrants.

Be sure that the prizes on offer are within your advertising budget. If you forget to plan for this, the competition could have a negative effect on your business.

4. Give It Away

Do you like it when you get things for free? Everyone does. It’s actually a pretty powerful way of drumming up clients! It makes people aware of your product, shows that it works, and highlights the value you offer. You have some options:

  • Free For Now: Limited-time offers are big winners in attracting clients. Offering your product free to the first 20 clients, offering a large discount for a week, or “Free Plus Shipping” deals are all proven to generate a buzz of interest.

  • Influencers: There are YouTube channels, Instagram accounts, and various other online channels all based around unboxing, experiencing, and rating products. If you’re going to give something away for free, choose one of the many popular influencers!

5. Get Online Already

You definitely need a website - even if it’s a simple one-pager. You need to make sure that it works, and looks good. Attracting people to your site is important to creating a brand identity that transcends the barrier between the real world and the internet. This is what you need to know about getting a website:

  • Free: You don’t have to pay for a basic website. There are a number of ways to build one - just Google “free website.”

  • Basics: You should add your business information to your website including a description, links to your social media accounts, contact details, and location.

  • Image: Your site is your own personal ad space. Use it to give people the impression you want them to get of your business and make them remember you.

6. Social Media Matters

You have to represent your brand on social media. The channels you choose will depend on the audience you’re trying to reach. Facebook is still the leading social network, and as such is a great place to start.

People kill a massive amount of time on social platforms, which means you need to make sure they’re seeing your company as much as possible.

Sharing and tagging on social media is a modern form of word-of-mouth marketing that you can save and read again later. It’s incredibly important to have your business represented with quality engaging content on social media.

7. Use The Lists

The internet is full of directory sites that have completely replaced The Yellow Pages. We all use them weekly to find information of stores, suppliers, and local businesses. The interesting fact is that many business owners don’t think about getting listed. It just doesn’t occur to them, despite using the service to find other companies.

Cast your net as wide as possible and get your business onto as many of these directories as possible. It doesn’t have to be a huge task. You could join one a day, or one a week. Either way, your business will be spread across the internet for all to see.

8. The Traditional Flyer

Flyers are still a thing for a reason: They work. Sure, they annoy some people, but others value a tangible reminder of your product. You can start simple with a black and white paper flyer, or go all out with gloss, fancy folds, and tons of colour.

It all depends on your budget and what you really want to achieve. It’s a marvellous way to reach whole apartment buildings, office blocks, schools, or colleges in one move. There are free tools that will almost design your flyers for you - you just have to print them and hand them out.

9. Advertise Online

Online advertising works well and can be tracked accurately. You’ll be able to figure out what works and why, and track trends in real time. Adwords by Google is still the online advertising industry leader, and enables great results for low investment.

Facebook also offers advertisement schemes that are trackable and scalable. As the largest social network in the world, it’s intelligent to run adverts on Facebook and monitor their performance.

Following the results and focusing your financial and time investment on channels that return results gives you the power to perfect your own marketing mix.

10. Get Them Talking

People trust their friends and family members more than anyone else. That’s the simple reason that Word of Mouth marketing is such a powerful force. It takes longer to show results - but is extremely reliable once it does. People are repelled by expensive adverts more and more. By contrast, when they’re happy about their experience with a product or service, they’re very likely to tell their family, work colleagues, and social groups.

Now you need to know how to get people talking about you! It’s pretty easy:

  • Sell Quality: Make sure your product is worth talking about. Great value and high quality are the key factors. People appreciate it when a product does what the manufacturer claims it can do. Make them happy, and they’ll tell other people.

  • Solve It: If you can make your client’s problems go away, they will love you forever. Making their lives simpler in a truly useful way is worth more than gold to most people. Figure out how you can improve lives, or simplify them at the very least.

  • Be Nice: Do you hate rude customer service? Do you get angry when you feel cheated or mistreated? If so, you’re totally normal - so does everyone else. The upshot of this is you have to be helpful, understanding, and flexible for your customers. They’ll appreciate it! Remember to thank them for supporting you.

  • Give Back: Having loyalty rewards is a good way to get people to keep coming back to you. Incentives show that you care about your clients and want them to be happy. It’s also a great conversation-starter both in store and when they’re out with their friends.

  • Get Involved: Volunteering for a good cause, sponsoring a local charity, or supporting the teams in your area are all great ways to get people talking about your company. Corporate Social Responsibility has become a buzzword, but is a concept that offers a huge potential for exposure and community upliftment.