Business Owners Tell: What are Your Top Sources of New Customers?
By Kelly Spors
What’s the secret to finding and attracting new customers? The answer will depend on your industry, location and business model. Yet some companies are better at reeling in new customers than others.
We asked business owners about their top sources of customers over the past 12 months. Here’s how they responded:
Use an inbound marketing platform
I own a consulting firm that specializes in helping companies enact change in order to grow. We use the inbound marketing platform HubSpot and use content and inbound marketing to attract new clients. As a result, we generate about one qualified lead each week. When people search, we come up on the first or second page of Google. We also have a weekly podcast and do speaking engagements.
—Andi Simon, founder and principal, Simon Associates Management Consultants, Yorktown Heights, New York
Take advantage of online review sites
A great referral source for us is Yelp. We get countless hits on our Yelp page that sends people to our website and ultimately to us. It is amazing how powerful a stranger’s testimonial about their experience can be in influencing purchasing choice.
—Alison Roessler, founder and CEO, Truve, Oakland, California
Speak publicly on topics of expertise
As an HR, diversity and career development consultant, I volunteer to speak at conferences and meetings of HR professionals on my topic of expertise, most often at no charge. So far, I’ve gotten over half of my clients from them hearing me speak. They know that I am passionate about my areas and have the necessary expertise.
—Stan Kimer, president, Total Engagement Consulting, Raleigh, North Carolina
Use content to drive search traffic
Our top source of customers over the past 12 months has been search engines. On our site, we publish helpful information teaching consumers about life insurance. Potential customers find our site when searching Google for help on the topic of life insurance. We find once they read our articles, they develop a trust with our brand and often request to speak with an agent to get life insurance quotes.
—John Holloway, co-founder, NoExam.com, Marietta, Georgia
Provide incentives for referrals
Over the course of the last 12 months, my largest source of new customers has come from referrals. That may sound simple, but there needs to be strategy involved behind it. I always incentivize my team and my clients to bring me more business. I do this by either telling them I would give them a discount on my services, or I would offer them monetary incentive.
—Chris Perruso, founder and CEO, Tru Power SEO, Rockaway, New Jersey
Write a blog
Content marketing via our blog has been the biggest driver of new customers over the past year. What makes this strategy so successful is that it’s mutually beneficial for both the customer and the company. Customers benefit from helpful information that improves their home purchase or sale process. The company benefits from connecting with new potential customers while also keeping marketing costs low. Our team of agents contribute to the blog content with minimal cost.
—Thomas Kutzman, co-founder, Prevu, New York City
Tell stories on social media
As a millennial business owner targeting millennial women, social media has been my biggest business blessing. This year, however, Instagram has overtaken all other platforms for driving successful prospects to my business, and more specifically Instagram Stories, which provide an organic connection to my business through short raw video clips.
—Gayneté Jones, founder and CEO, G.A.M.E. Changing Industries, Devonshire, Bermuda
List your services on a freelance marketplace
My best source for new business has been Fiverr. The site takes a commission, but it’s a great way to meet new clients and begin new business relationships in a low-risk environment.
—JT Street, owner, SoFly Marketing, Austin, Texas
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