You are a business owner. You finally get up the guts to open your own business. You hang up your shingle, ready for the flocks of customers who will be more than ecstatic to do business with you.

Except...

Silence. 

Crickets.

Nothing.
 
You understand that successful businesses have clients and customers ready and willing to give them money in exchange for their products and services.

It seems that it's a simple concept, really. But the reality is that it can be drastically harder than it first appears.  

So... how do you attract more customers?
Is there a way to get people to remember and think of you and what you offer, at the exact time they're ready  to buy?

1. Have a Welcoming, User-Friendly Website

There really is no way around this one. If you’re looking for more customers, you need a website.

Now I don't think you need one to launch. I don't believe you need one that costs over five-ridiculous figures. But you need one.
Wanna know in dollars and cents why having a website matter to your business?

On average, small businesses with websites average 39% more revenue per year than those without websites (according to the Small Business Administration, USA).
Your customers are online. That means you should be too. 

Additionally, you need a website because it goes a long way in establishing your business' credibility. When we can’t find a company website it raises lots of questions. Does this company really exist? How legit are they? Can I trust them? People don’t think you really exist unless you have a website.

Not having a website is often a deal breaker for your potential customers.
A recent survey reported that 58% of online consumers said they’re more likely to trust a company with “owned media,” like a website, versus one who doesn’t (Nielsen Advertising Survey, 2014).

In other words, if you don’t have a website, you’re probably being overlooked by 58% of your potential clients.

2. Provide Real Value

I know that the bottom line of all business owners is to make money. But we live in a culture today that is constantly being sold to. From the guys collecting money for the local fire station on the corner to the commercials interrupting my music on Pandora, we are being sold to nearly non-stop. In fact, in 2012, a study said that the average American sees over 15,000 advertisements a day. 
And that was AVERAGE, that means that some people see MORE! 

So, provide some value. Showcase your knowledge. Give people a taste of what it is like to work with an expert, with someone of your caliber and experience. 

You can do this on a blog, in videos, in audio, through a portfolio, etc, but in some way show your ability and give your customers a sampling of what you can do, if they do business with you.

3. Have a Good Meta Description

I know, I know, what the flying heck is a meta description?
It’s the little descriptive snippet that appears under your URL (website) in a Google search.

The goal is for it to be an enticing description so that your potential customers will want to click on to find out more.

This is one important way that you can bring the every-day Google-browser into a website visitor.
Many times it can represent the first touchpoint between your business & the public (or customers) that you serve. 

Meta descriptions can be any length, but search engines generally truncate (cut off) snippets longer than 160 characters.
So, the best practice is to keep meta descriptions between 150 and 160 characters.

4. Have an Email List

You need an email list. Email is the only way to digitally build your business in a way that you, alone own.
What do I mean by that?

I mean that while social media sites are amazing, and should be part of your marketing plan, you also need to have a plan to get in front of your customer should one of the social media platforms you are using become the next MySpace. 

An email list is vitally important to the sustainability and strength of your business. 

We use Aweber to capture, send out and follow-up with all our customers and potential customers. If you are searching for the right tool for email marketing, they're a great place to start. 

5. Create Your Client Intake Process, to Receive More Referrals

 What does your client process look like?
Do you have a smooth system in place? Do you know exactly what you need to start working with a client?
I have asked various clients this, and the answer always seems to be... "um.... not really". 

Fix that.
 
Take a moment and literally map out (on paper), step by step, what your process is or what you would like it to be. 
Try to be very specific. The idea is to streamline your process so that everything flows smoothly so that both you and your client know the next steps.  The smoother the process the more you build credibility.

The bottom line is, if you make it EASY to work with you, the more people will LOVE working with you.
And, of course, if they loved working with you, they’ll be quick to share your expertise with everyone they know.

Here’s an example of my process:
Strategy call >>> Proposal>>> Phone consultation >> Contract >> Deposit Invoice >> Questionnaire >> Thank you email and instructions to schedule their first call to start services.

I have often found that it helps to share this process with your clients to keep them in the loop. The less confused, distracted and frazzled your clients feel, the more likely they are to recommend you and ultimately bring you more customers.

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Kristi Brown

Creativity Consultant, Sales & Marketing Strategist
/krēāˈtivədē/ /kuh n-suhl-tnt/
Noun: An energetic native Floridian with a passion for smart, authentic, imaginative, effective marketing strategies and original ideas.
Synonyms: Netflix Junkie, Cockapoo mom, crazy aunt, world traveler, foodie.
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