We have all asked this question: “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there, does it still make a sound?” If you’re launching a new business, your ultimate priority is to serve customers. But how do you serve customers if they never heard about you?
Before opening any new business, whether it’s a bakery or a tech startup, awareness among the right customers who will support you is key to achieving success. There are several things you can do to effectively communicate with them and ultimately draw them in as patrons.
- Build and optimize a website.
A website is the digital home base where you can explain to customers what your organization is. This is where you answer who, what, where, how and why your business exists. You should include basic information like location, hours of operation and contact info, but a website brings far more benefits.
It builds legitimacy for your business and serves as a resource where you can truly sell yourself and establish unique messaging that resonates with your target customers. You can tell the story about your mission, what you wish to provide for people and what you can offer differently from your competitors. Including branded content like a blog can also help optimize your website for people to find your business first if they’re searching for a business of your nature.
- Leverage social media.
Social media has proven to be essential in reaching potential customers. While a website is a home to tell your story, social media can let your business’s personality shine. You can humanize your brand by adding videos, photos of team members and snapshot content. It’s a place where you can showcase authenticity and connect with people on a more personal level, which can potentially drive more people to support your business.
Reach potential customers by posting content regularly and following other accounts, and your network will grow organically. If you have the budget, put some ad dollars behind your content to further penetrate the customers you want to attract.
- Offer incentives and promotions.
Sometimes, people need a little nudge to do something. Incentives and promotions will help nudge people to convert into customers. Consider giving a special discount for the first 100 customers, or give 10% off your consultation fee if a client refers your business to someone. You can ask customers to share their experience on their personal social media accounts, and in return, send them a unique discount code or fun swag to redeem on their next visit.
- Request testimonials.
If your first customers had a positive experience, request them to write a testimonial. That can be in the form of a Google or Yelp review, a social media post or a write-up that you can host on your website. Positive testimonials can sway others to support your business, especially if they’ve been on the fence to check it out. A third-party endorsement has the power to reinforce what you’ve been telling target customers since your first day. Don’t underestimate the value of this simple “ask.”
- Hire a PR firm.
This may seem like a shameless plug, but a public relations firm can be key to take your business to the next level. Not only can a firm execute the tasks listed above, but it can allow you the time to focus on launching and operating your business. PR professionals can develop the most optimal, cohesive strategy to reach the audiences you want to be your customers, establish your unique business identity and leverage your initial success to carry you into the long term.
Starting a new business is a major endeavor that comes with much risk and uncertainty. Educating the right audiences about your business is essential to driving customers to support you. The communication strategy to put your name out there and connect with your target customers should be put in place and executed in tandem with your business launch. If you need help attracting customers to your business, contact us today.