“First learn what potential Customers really want, then make it easy for them to get it and you may have a Customer for life”. Wiz4.biz
1st Customers Topics: define Customer, Contact your Contacts, do B2B, Give-aways, Offers, Contests, using Bloggers, Networking, Promotions, Referrals, Blogging, Cold Email & others.
Even if you have the great product & team, your business is not going to really startup without customers. It’s not easy to land your first customers. Especially since new startups lack the brand awareness, social proof, and referrals that provide many established businesses with valuable leads. We’re going to cover “actionable” Strategies to help you acquire the first 100 customers for your startup
A. First Steps
#1. Define the Customer . . . to describe your “ideal” customer. Identify the characteristics of your Target Audience/Market. Many Startups create personas that go as far as identifying the client’s gender, age, industry, position, size of company, etc. After you’ve created a profile of your potential customer, communicate that to your partner & team. It ensures everyone is starting from the same place. Next, do these to quickly start bringing in new customers.
#2. Contact your Contacts. [Family, friends, colleagues, network, etc.] People buy from people they like & trust. Who better than your these? To make it easier to start the conversation, approach them with the idea (ie.) “I’ve recently launched a startup that provides a Product to help make it easier to do XYZ”. [Problem >> Solution] “Do you know anyone who could benefit from this?” This takes off the pressure of selling by asking for help. People want to help. Once they know about your Startup, they will probably start spreading the word to help you.
#3. Ally with a Complementary, Established business. B2B When you partner with another company, you tap into their resources. Perhaps, you can bundle both company’s products that compels people to buy both. It’s not required that the business be complementary, but its customers should represent your ideal client. What does the other business get out this? Eventually, the startup will bring in other customers, which could mean new business for the established business.
#4. Give away a “free” Product or Service. This is where it’s critical to know your target audience. You want the freebies to be in the hands of people who are your ideal customers. You have many options for going about this, such as using posting updates in Social Media to spread the word. You might also give them to appropriate contacts.
#5. Offer to first X customers. People love a deal and when you put a limit on it, [First 10, 25, 50, etc.] they’re more likely to jump in faster to avoid missing out. This should be a significant discount or a free Prize. Make sure the Prize is something your Target Audience will want & use, because it will make them think of your startup each time they see it – and bring them back for more.
#6. Have a Contest. The key is to create one that would be appropriate to and attracts your Target Audience. Contests are fun, stir people’s interest, competitive spirit and get them excited about getting & using your product or service.
#7. Using Bloggers. Search for Blogs that target your audience, then offer them your product to try for a Review or to use in a Contest. Don’t pressure the Bloggers to provide a positive review. If they say something (-) about your product, respond to it with an attitude of appreciation. After all, they took the time to point out a weakness that you can fix.
C. Connecting with Customers
#8. Attend Networking events. Meetup is a great resource for your networking efforts. This website simplifies the process of searching for groups based on topic & location. The cool part is, that it lets you see if you know people in the group or have contacts in common with group members. Wiz4.biz has 2 Meetups – Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs – East & West.
#9. other Networking Groups: Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Young Entrepreneur Council, Founders Card, Social Enterprise Alliance, Startup Grind, Vistage, Ashoka, The Entrepreneur’s Club & others.
#10. Promotion Codes. Of course, you’ll have your Business cards with you. But here’s a trick to make it work better for you. When you connect with someone, write a Code word on the back of the Business card. Tell them if they contact you with the Code word within a week, they’ll get a freebie or discount. Since they’re busy meeting many people, they may not want to hear your details. This gives them an incentive to contact you later.
#11. Offer Referral Incentives. Tell your Contacts that you’ll pay them $50 or more for each new Customer they refer (or another arbitrary number that compels them to act sooner). The income your startup gets from the new Customer will more than pay for the Referral Fee.
D. Reaching Customers via Blogs
#12. Start Blogging – to Increase your Visibility, to build “demand” for your Product. It can be easy to under-estimate the power of Blogging (especially when you have a million other things on your plate starting up), but creating content is a valuable tool that your startup can use to acquire its first customers. Since Blogging is a long-term investment, the sooner you get started, the better. Publishing a steady stream of high-quality content will pay off richly in the long run.
#13. drive Traffic to your Website. Startups with active Blogs have 97% more inbound links than those that don’t publish content. By optimizing your content with a few relevant keywords, you can improve your Website’s SEO and rank higher in search results – which means more visibility, more website visits, and more potential customers discovering your product.
#14. generate interest & want = demand. Blogging creates awareness for your brand & product or service. Awareness feeds interest, which can fuel want & demand. Created content allows you to tell the story of your product – which better sell it.
#15. build Relationships with potential Customers. Unlike traditional Ads – which can scare off potential customers who aren’t ready to buy – Blog content provides customers with info about your industry & product before they make a purchase. Blogging creates an opportunity to provide info to potential Customers at different stages of the decision-making process.
#16. strengthens your Name & online presence. Build a stronger name/ brand reputation by publishing informative content that demonstrates your credibility in your industry. Boosting credibility is not only important for improving search results, it fosters “trust” among potential customers – which can lead to more conversions & finally – sales.
E. Reaching Customers via other means
#17. Leverage your Existing Network. Even if you don’t have any customers yet, you do have a network of trusted contacts. Don’t be shy about them for feedback on your product. In most cases, people are happy to help. You’ve got nothing to lose and so much to gain – by turning to your network for assistance. Reach out to your network for referrals & introductions. You might just meet Beta testers or potential customers.
#18. Talk to Potential Customers. Ask them about problem/pain-points they are facing, and also ask specific questions about their industry, products they use & their market. When you have a small group of testers & customers using your product, reach out to them individually to get detailed feedback about their experience. At the earliest stages of customer development, it’s more important to listen to customer feedback than try to push a product no one wants to buy. Learn what your initial customers like/don’t like about your product before focusing on sales.
#19. Make New Connections with Cold Email – to warm up your Prospects. It can also help you initiate relationships with advisors, mentors, & other influencers – who can help startup your business. Once you’ve built a killer list of contacts, don’t throw away your hard work on a poorly-written cold email: Research the Contact, Personalize the Message, Short & Concise, What’s in it for them? a strong Call-to-Action.
Comments: Do you know any other ways a Startup get its 1st Customers more quickly?
from Pro Resource & Prop CRM 5/19 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4.biz