Building a successful online business is no easy task. It takes hard work, time and commitment. As we all know, the success of a business is dependent on its customers who keep the business alive. Finding these customers is not always easy. You might have the best product or service available but unless you can target and find the customers you need, your business will go nowhere.
Online shopping has continually become more popular. Over 80% of the nation has shopped online and no doubt, that number will continue to rise. Over the last ten years the annual dollar amount spent online has risen by over two billion!
In a perfect business world, customers would be readily available to purchase our products and/or services but in the real world, we must seek them out and show them that our company is the one they should patronize. Below are ten places, online and offline, you can effectively utilize to find and bring in those potential customers.
1. Message Boards – Message boards are forums where you can engage in discussions with other board members. This is a great place to offer advice, knowledge in your area of expertise. Most boards will allow you to use a signature with your link so be sure not to blatantly advertise in your posts. Get involved in the discussions and help whenever you can. Building your reputation and relationships in this manner is a powerful way to find and capture those potential customers. To find such boards to join you can check out Big Boards.
2. Article Directories – The internet is full of article directories of all kinds. Be choosy when submitting your articles. Unfortunately many of the article directories are loaded with spam articles. One of the most popular is Ezine Articles. By submitting your articles to quality directories you are showing people who you are and what your business is about. If you provide quality information in your articles people will go to your site and once they get there you need to keep them there long enough for them to become a patron.
3. Discussion Groups – Discussion groups are similar to message boards. Follow the same practices as you do on the boards. Participate, help, share and grab those potential customers. You can find many quality discussion groups at LinkedIn or Yahoo Groups.
4. Search Engines – Search engines are actually places that can help you get potential customers to come to you! Use keywords wisely. Regularly update your site. Work on getting quality backlinks to your site. Have a site map on your site. Add quality content to your site. Use those strategies and many more to get higher rankings in the search engines so you can get more customers.
5. Blogs – Visiting other blogs and interacting with people is another effective way to let people know about you and your business. Don’t just post comments like “I agree” or “Me too”, you need to get involved in the conversation and provide some substance.
6. Web Directories – Get your site listed in as many appropriate directories as possible. People use these directories to find the sites they need so make sure your site is among them.
7. Online Events – Many business owners throw different types of online events and by participating in these events you increase your exposure, thus increasing your chances of finding more customers.
8. Social Sites – According to a study by Nielsen.com, almost 50% of global online shoppers rely on social media sites to help them make their purchasing decision. It is stats like this that should convince you to get active on the social sites, if you are not already. Social sites produce more results than many other marketing methods. The biggest social media site is Facebook, followed by Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. So, those are the ones with which to start.
9. Community Events – Even though you own an online business you can look offline to find customers as well. Get involved in your community’s events. Network, interact and let people know about your business.
10. Right at Home – Home parties and networking get-togethers are a great way to meet and greet new potential customers. Plan your parties and get togethers very carefully as to make them interesting and memorable. Offer prices, gifts, discounts and let your potential customers know how important they are to you.
Customers, even the difficult ones, are to be treated with respect at all times. Honestly show them why they should come to you for the solutions they need. Do not treat them like children or coddle them with false promises. They will see through your façade and leave you with your foot stuck in your mouth!
About the Author:
Don’t be one of the 95% of people who fail at their online business. Terri Seymour can help you make money online. Find out how to increase your traffic and sales with her popular “How to Build Your Online Business” ebook for FREE at: ==> http://www.SeymourProducts.com