When I go through the statistics from Statcounter showing what people has searched for when they came to our sites, I usually notice when there is a broad search term that is at the same time very precise in it’s wording. I just saw one like that today when I noticed a search on Baidu for “how can we get more business”. As you might know, Baidu is the biggest and the dominating search engine in China.
Enough introduction. Back to the main issue. How can we get more business?
First of all, I will list up from the top of my head the free and most obvious things you can do. Just to check if you have exhausted the possibilities that only require time, but no money.
Before social media became Facebook and Twitter, it existed as discussion groups and online forums. They still do, and many people hang out in these places and lists still.
The same rule applies today as it did before: Don’t spam people with links. Be helpful and active without ever trying to push anything. You will be surprised how many client leads you can get by simply showing over time that you are both insightful and knowledgeable in your field. This is mainly how we have built up our own business. Through word of mouth and being helpful without pushing our services on anyone. This is also why we have clients that has been with us since we started the company in early 2007.
Building and maintaining trust takes time, taring it down is done in seconds.
My wife Eman has shown me that careful marketing through Facebook, Google+ and Twitter can give many leads – and it can be done without pushing your services on people a single time. Give her a follow, and ask her politely for a piece of advice about how she has managed to get a steady follower count of more than 15.000 people genuinely interested in what she has to say. Keep in mind that she has blocked more people that she actually allows to follow her, so the number is pretty impressive.
For me, I have no clue how she does it. I personally have less than a thousand followers in all social media channels combined, so there is obviously something she does right that I am not doing (oh, could it be the fact that I hardy ever say anything in social media?)
Sending out obscure press releases about your “amazing” new product or service that nobody cares about is not gonna get you anywhere. Coming up with something completely unrelated to your business that is interesting on the other side might gain some traction and get a journalist interested enough to actually spend time on investigating what this news of yours might be though.
My point is this: Spend time and be creative about your press related activities, and you might find that the efforts is worth it. Mass-produce a “press release” that is actually just your brochure wrapped differently is waste of your, and the newspapers desks time.
Word of mouth
This is by far the most effective marketing there is – also in 2014. Why not have a calling round to your existing customers and straight out ask them if they know someone else that might want to buy your product or service?
As of today, there is only one option I am positively sure is worth spending money on: Google Adwords. We, and our clients has tried using Facebook ads, Linkedin ads, Bing ads with pretty terrible results. Google ads on the other hand has performed very well for several clients. We manage their ad spending budgets, so we know pretty well what works well for them.
Oh. I almost forgot. Have you checked your own website lately? When you look at it, does it make you proud of it? If your answer is no, I suggest you have a good look at what you can do to improve the site before you even try to get people to it. Remember – your website is “you” as far as any possible client knows. If it’s not well done in all aspects, you are giving very poor signals to a possible client about what they can expect of you if they chose to become your client.
Have your say
Anything important I have forgotten to mention in this short article? Use the comment form below and tell me about it.
Bjorn is CEO of Devenia Ltd.