How to get your first 100 customers as a startup company? It’s a good question, but let’s make things clear. There is no magical recipe that would bring you a bunch of customers overnight.
In this guide, you’ll learn about different ways to get your first 100 customers that can apply to any industry. By the end, you’ll have a customer acquisition strategy that is evergreen and will start your business off on the right foot.
Now, let’s begin.
To Get Your First 100 Customers You Must: Increase Brand Visibility Using Social Media
This is the stage of the business where you find your ideal customers online. It’ll help you later engage and capture them to sell your products at launch.
Social media marketing consists of two methods: organic and paid. Organic social media is most useful for boosting brand awareness, developing a company personality, and sharing content you’ve published elsewhere (like from your blog or videos).
Marketing on social media may seem like shouting into a void, but the key is to access the right networks. Having a well-defined audience helps with this, as you’ll have an understanding of the sites they frequent.
The first step is to determine where your ideal audience spends the most time.
Social media platforms are typically used to direct traffic to your website, where users will complete conversions.
Here’s how each social media site helps drive traffic to your website:
Facebook is one of the preferred networks for social media ads as well. It is a good choice to easily share content from third-party sites.
Twitter gives you an accurate view of what your audience is engaged with at any moment. You can also enter threads of people looking for solutions or who are interested in your industry.
Pinterest can add a “Pin It” button to images on your website to encourage engagement on the platform. Lots of engagement and great potential for driving traffic to your site.
Instagram has great engagement and includes a “View on website” feature for products. Some features, such as a swipe up a direct link to a website, are reserved for accounts with large followings.
LinkedIn sends a notification when a user views your profile, helping you find interested candidates. You can then send them a personalized message through the chat system.
To Get Your First 100 Customers You Must: Create Content That Gets People Talking
Content marketing is one of the most effective and evergreen customer acquisition strategies there are. This strategy allows you to get your first 100 customers pulling them in with resources that provide value.
Every newspaper, blog, magazine, TV, Radio, and book publisher is essentially content marketers. The only difference between the marketing strategies they used and what is required to close a sale now is the effort it needs and the mode of communication it uses.
Along with blog writing, even whitepapers and sharing content on social media are all great ways to establish your company as a thought-leader in your niche. Having valuable and engaging content will gain consumer trust.
Bonus tip: You will want to take a look at your website analytics to see which content is ranking the highest. Then you can see the keywords people searched for to get to those pages. This will give you an idea of what your audience wants from you.
To Get Your First 100 Customers You Must: Collaborate with Influencers
Going a step further than publicity and establishing an online presence, you’ll want to understand who influences your audience into making a purchasing decision. Customers will often turn to someone in your industry that they have made a connection with online. If you can earn the trust of those influencers and facilitate collaboration, you can convert their audience.
The steps to setting up a successful collaboration with influencers include:
- Having the influencer get to know your brand or product. They can’t recommend your product if they don’t know about it. Have them use your product to get first-hand experience and understanding.
- Making sure the influencer sees the real value your product will provide for others. It’s likely that the influencer will know their audience best and will pick up on solutions your product offers that will work for them. Use this also as a guide to see what users want.
- Making it easy for influencers to share their love. Having a referral reward for both influencers and their audience makes it more likely that the partnership will continue. Providing the extra incentive to share the product will drive more conversions.
And Remember, Customer Retention Is the New Acquisition (Method)
Most businesses focus only on a customer acquisition strategy and not so much on customer retention. But the two are important, particularly with the cost involved in generating new leads.
Retaining your customers is an acquisition method in itself. It can cost up to 25x more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. That is why you need to;
Have a Great Product
If your product doesn’t solve a problem faced by customers, it’s unlikely they will stick around. Before anything else, make sure your product or service is the best it can be with the knowledge you have. Then, keep refining it based on what your loyal customer base has to say.
Have Good Customer Service
People will remember how your company treated them throughout their purchase journey. Was the journey smooth or rough? Did they feel taken care of, overwhelmed, or like they couldn’t get a hold of anyone on your team? The better the experience they have with your company, the more likely they are to return. This brings us to the last point.
Have Satisfied Customers Market Your Product
Turn your best customers into promoters by giving them easy ways to share their experiences. You should aim for customer delight, rather than only retention. You can ask satisfied customers to promote your product through a client testimonial or story. Additionally, you can make your content shareable, giving customers an incentive to share your expertise and your solution.
Back To You
In the last six years, the cost of acquiring new customers has increased by 60%. Marketing is more expensive and customers are less trustworthy of brands, meaning companies should just give up… right? While the first two statements are correct, the last one is (thankfully) not. Instead of focusing on what’s frustrating, focus on what’s possible – with the right strategy, you can capture customer attention, create greater engagement and improve sales conversion.
Fear of selling isn’t an option here. You need to get up on that horse and start finding out the best ways to get your first 100 customers for your startup. Whenever you get knocked down, just lift yourself up again and try something else. Something will stick.
I’ll have Shia LaBeouf take it from here to get you all psyched and ready to go in for the kill. It is an oldie but a goldie.