This is one of the most concerning topics for almost every startup business founder. How do I go about finding my first few customers to start using my product or services?
Any product or service is useless without a user. If you have something to sell, but do not know how to find the people who are interested in it, then we'll figure that out together, here right now!
- Build an online presence
- Social media handles
- Cold emails
- Rank as high as you can
- Word of mouth
Let's take a deeper look at these, one by one, and see how you can implement them in your business.
1. Build an online presence
Whatever your business is, make sure you have a website up and running which is ready to share with prospects and can be used for Ads, and marketing, etc. Having a website shows how serious you are with your business, it's one of the most important factors.
If you don't have one, there are a few options based on your preference and skills. If you are non-technical, there's a CNET article on best website builders 2021.
2. Social media handles
Once you have your site up, the next priority should be going ahead and claiming your social media handles, so that you have a username that you can tell someone if they ask "Hey what's your Twitter?". When people visit your website and if they're interested in knowing more about you, social media comes in clutch. So make sure to link all your handles that you have created into your website's header, footer, or anywhere else that seems fit on your page.
Social media is also an incredible place to showcase your products and services in a friendly way directly to your potential prospects' feeds.
Another important tip is to always keep an eye on your DMs because you never know if someone finds your profile on Facebook for example, and wants to buy that product and gets in touch via direct message.
Having trouble finding if your desired username is already taken? Try this free tool.
3. Cold emails
Cold emailing is an art form, if you happen to have a list of potential customers with their emails, then sending them an email with the solution to their problem is definitely worth a shot. We recommend creating an email list of all your potential customers, and even just using some free cold emailing tools like sendmane.com to get started with reaching out is an amazing idea. Remember these are your potential first customers, you don't want to spam them with emails.
But instead, we want them to open up our email and go "Hey, I might want to try that", or simply "that's interesting" is enough for you at this point.
A lot of people worry about Sales! Sales! But when you're starting out, I'd recommend capturing people's interest more than capturing people's money. Money follows automatically, we know you want to make a sale, but just getting a user to land on your site is enough.
It's a start! Take the time to personalize the emails, here's a great article by Liana Tech.
4. Rank as high as you can
Now you have your website running, but how will people find it? Your first step should be to ensure that the site has a decent enough SEO setup for google to understand this site is worth indexing at least. Once you're indexed in google search engine - you can check this in your google search console.
This is a myth that advertising is expensive, and you should do it only if you're already generating revenue. Now, it is understandable that you shouldn't blow your entire budget in just advertising, expecting great returns, because it doesn't work that way.
Try putting out one highly targeted Ad. And your goal isn't to sell them your product, but to get them interested in your platform in any possible way, whether it be your newsletters, your blog, follow you on social media, literally, anything will do. Because these are the ones who have the highest chance of becoming your near-future prospects.
Send out one Ad, see how it does - if you think it could be improved, modify it, and maybe change the target to test another audience batch, see if this one converts better. Do it once in a while. Here, ROI will not be them buying your product, but them just getting interested in you in some way and showing interest by either buying a product, following you, signing up, etc.
Although there are a lot of channels where you can put up ads, a good start would be google ads.
6. Word of mouth
Last but not least, if you're not a fan of Ads, let's go back to the original old school methods to find your early customers, that is through word of mouth.
In my experience, I have realized that word-of-mouth works better than advertising if you allow it to happen.
Even Forbes has an article on why it is so important.
We have covered some really interesting topics above, although it's a very generalized list of things you can do to find your first few customers, you can always apply the same techniques in your niche, and experience incredible results.
And most importantly, once you gain some customers, make sure they feel special, never let them go. They are now part of your backbone to a stronger and healthier relation with future prospects.
Follow me on Twitter @shubham_active