I just started a new business, the product is relatively new in my industry and requires a shift in thinking/behaviour. I find that I spend a lot time educating potential clients about the benefits. Can you recommend some effective strategies to help me attract prospecting clients without spending a ton of money? If you had to pick, which do you think is the most effective at building leads: 1) Face-to-face networking at conference/trade shows, or 2) Print marketing in trade magazine? PS. I do a fair amount of social/online marketing already.
I have a different approach that will give you a more sustainable growth trajectory. You should go with an inbound marketing strategy instead.
1) Get creative with your content marketing to educate your target market on the problems. By creating the awareness, your target market will then look for solutions. Since you were the one who first educated them, you'll have the first impression with them with this new line of thinking.
2) Create a mini product offering that solves one aspect of the problem. Having a narrow focus gives you a pointed problem and solution that is begging for press and traction. Freckle and Boomerang created mini products that solved a related customer problem in a fun and creative way.
I would be happy to share more examples and insights of innovative ways to approach this problem. I've been in this boat before and heavily researched the issue.
I cannot give a good answer without further understanding of your business, audiences, brand, competitor landscape, etc.
It of course depends on your business and business model, however, in my opinion, the best method is, what in Russian we call sarafanaya radio (velvet radio), in other words, person to person, word of mouth.
Customer opinion can either make or break you and if you are in a tight related industry: for example an oil-gas services company, you can count on the fact that many of your customers know each other and meet at the same conferences and or events or may be personal friends and yes, they talk and gossip.
Get people to experience your product, your service and they will spread the word as effectively or more so than commercials. Commercials are good to get your name out and get the initial customer in, but its personal testimony that does the main work and solidifies or ruins your reputation.
Start with a squeeze page and a email campaign.
Don't stop taking massive action.
Best of Luck,
Michael T. Irvin
My books are available exclusively through Amazon Books. Check out my book "Copywriting Blackbook of Secrets"
Copywriting, Startups, Internet Entrepreneur, Online Marketing, Making Money
Face to face may be great but it isn't as scalable as the online landscape.
A solid inbound marketing strategy will bring leverage and do most of the initial education that you are spending a LOT of time doing yourself.
If you are doing a fair amount of online marketing, I'd assume you are building an email list. If you're just talking to inividual people online, you're still just doing "face to face" activities .
You can be educating multiple people in multiple places using multiple platforms with a ton of automation to do the heavy lifting.
From there, inexpensive advertising will be a great tool to attract more people to your funnel.