By definition, every company needs customers. It would be great if they just showed up on your doorstep, but in today's competitive business world you usually need to fight, tooth and nail, for every client you receive.
Finding new leads and locking down new business can be a difficult task, but following these tips can help you attract a wider customer base.
Define Who You Are Targeting
Whether you are in design or any industry, the key is to define. Who exactly are you looking for? What profile traits do your current and previous clients have in common? Are you attracting a certain type of customer, or have you just been getting by through word of mouth and chance project acquisitions?
Many businesses -- especially small businesses -- make the mistake of trying to attract everyone. That's a great strategy if you are McDonald's, but for your business, it may be better to figure out who you appeal to most and why those types of people keep coming back. Only then can you branch out and attempt to capture even more of that segment.
Research, Research, Research
If you don't know your industry inside and out, you don't have much business being there. There was once a time when a small conclave of experts could run a whole sector for decades without concern that outsiders could enter the space and steal their position.
Not anymore. Now, anyone who knows how to use Google can teach themselves most of what there is to know in a few months. That will never replace real-world experience, of course, but it also means that you need to be that much smarter and work that much harder. Read everything you can find. It can be hard to make the time to continue learning when you want to stay busy churning out projects. But if you don't do it, someone else will. And if you can't convince potential customers that you're the best expert in the room, it will be hard to attract the clients you covet.
You cannot simply bury your nose in books, however. You also have to get out in the real world. Pound some pavement and meet with potential customers to find out their wants and needs. Go to industry conferences, events, lectures and casual meetings. Discover where your people are — and go there.
Whether you are actually swapping business cards and gathering leads or just soaking in the concerns and needs of those that may someday desire your services, these face-to-face meetings have so much value. Even just listening in on a conversation can provide more value than combing through the most thorough, overarching industry report.
Leverage Social Media
It is 2015, so you also must be aware of social media options. Networks like Twitter are now legitimate acquisition channels, and companies like LifeLock are showing how you can leverage the platform. Not only is a great place to monitor the services that potential clients are looking for and find new customers, but the identity-protection firm also uses social media to engage with the community, provide customer service, and keep clients informed about industry news. These things matter.
It isn't just Twitter. There are certainly Facebook groups in your industry as well. Search around in different locations to find collectives of people who are already engaging with one another to find new solutions to problems. If you can offer advice or a service that will help them overcome their challenges, then you can make a lot of headway in a short time. Groups like Design Modo and Smashing Magazine have hundreds of thousands of likes. These ready made lists of people are ripe for any design firm to mine.
Owner, Krissy Carstens, providing the latest news regarding KrissArt's completed projects,