The idea of starting your own business can be both exciting and a little scary. Knowing where and how to start your own business can be a challenge. There are many factors to take into consideration such as scope, the product, how you want to sell it, best ways to make money on the side, and others.
Starting a side business allows you to take your time improving your business concepts and ideas. After careful thought and research, you likely have an idea of the product or service you want to sell. The next question is how do you find and reach customers?
The Customer Profile
Not all customers are the same and not every customer is interested in what you’re selling. Simply not everyone wants or needs what you’re offering however, many do. The challenge is separating the customers you can reach from the customers who will never buy from you. This is where a customer profile can prove useful. A customer profile prevents you from casting too wide a net and ensures that your marketing and outreach efforts are focused on people more likely to respond or have an interest.
A customer profile is a set of specific traits that the ‘ideal’ customer of your business will have. Now not every customer will have every trait, but there will be notable overlap. Your customer profile will include basic traits such as age range, education level, and gender. However, a customer profile can go far more in detail and list traits such as where a person lives, their profession, hobbies, and TV shows they like. A good customer profile can tell you who is likely to be a potential customer in terms of who they are, what they do, and what they like.
Proper Use Of Social Media
Many smaller and side businesses make use of social media as an affordable and easy way to reach customers. To get the most out of social media you shouldn’t just post there are various methods to reach more viewers and increase customer engagement.
- Respond to Questions: one of the easiest ways to engage with customers on social media is to answer their questions. This helps build consumer relationships, puts your business in a good light, and informs those following your accounts.
- Deal With Customer Issues Honestly: many businesses make use of social media to address customer problems and issues. While customer issues are far from desirable they present an opportunity to increase trust and build your reputation. When using social media to address potential issues, respond with empathy and honesty.
- Giveaways: fun games and contests are a good way to create excitement around your side business. Social media is an excellent platform to hold drawings, trivia contests, and other fun games. Prizes don’t have to be expensive or extravagant and the generated consumer interest is far more valuable.
- Share Customer Stories and Reviews: word of mouth is a powerful thing and many people look to customer reviews when researching a good or service. Use your social media to highlight positive feedback and reviews you have received. Because this information comes from other customers it can resonate more with your visitors than other types of information.
- Make Use of Visual and Audio Media: not all social media postings have to be words. You can make use of images, videos, and sound to leave an impression on visitors. Some of the most memorable postings on social media are memorable images.
Growing a customer base is a time-consuming experience and not something you can rush. Even for side businesses, you need to slowly find customers, build up your reputation, and provide quality work and products that your customers will tell other people about. By learning who your customers are and engaging with them in time you will have the customer base you’re looking for.