How to attract clients with a few simple tricks
I read a question similar to this on a forum today and thought I’d post my reply here to share with you – trying to attract clients in a small town in some respect is very much the same as a small business in a suburb of a city. The question is:
“My business has been open for nearly 3 months – it’s a beauty studio located in the main street of a small town and i work on an appointment only basis.
I’ve tried a few things now to get clients and I would basically like some opinions, advice and tips on what i could do to boost business.”
My response is:
Hi there, first of all congratulations on starting your own business!
I’ve recently moved to Melbourne from Sydney, so I’m in the process of making a list of how to attract clients for myself.
I had a couple of thoughts for your beauty business which may or may not be something worth trying, so here goes 🙂
- when your service is beauty-related, other locals might like to see results, so if you have a digital camera or smart phone, perhaps you could ask your satisfied customers if you can take before and after photos, then post them online
- if you don’t have a website, you could set up a Youtube Channel for your business or a Facebook business page, and post the Testimonials as photos or 30 second videos if your clients give you approval to do so
- handing out business cards is certainly a way to start, but I know that if I end up with a bunch of business cards I might not get around to looking at them; the key here is to give people something really memorable – and this could be an ODD shaped business card or something unusual, like using a hole-punch to make a hole in one end of the card, and tying a bright ribbon to it (to be used as a bookmark – they’ll be less likely to throw it away)
- when you’re walking around town meeting and talking with people, consider having a clipboard with you or your appointment diary, tell people about one of your upcoming special days and ask if you can book them in then and there (you could say this is to save them having to contact you later), and you could offer to call and confirm their booking closer to the date
- I came up with some great tips related to my business, typed them up in a large font on A5 paper, logo etc, and laminated them – boy do these get a lot of comments 🙂 Because they’re laminated, people are reluctant to throw them away, and they’re much bigger than a business card so they tend to keep them near their phone or in view on their desk or counter (no hard sell, just tips they can use today).
If you’re seen to be the person who shares info freely with a smile, more and more people will see you as the expert or the go-to person in your town.
I love the idea about the column in the newspaper, but if they weren’t ready for you to write for them, write your own Beauty Tips Sheet. You could write about interesting and fun things you’ve read about in your niche, like a cheery Newsletter, and this could be printed and also turned into a PDF as well as an email newsletter. Remember to put a message at the bottom of them all telling folks how to sign up to get them in their inbox (and save on printing). These are great to hand out, leave in stores, at the library etc and can be very inexpensive to print – even a double-sided half page is worth doing (A5) – make sure your photo’s on there and a few testimonials.
After you do this for a few weeks you might like to approach a couple of complementary businesses (non-competitors who sell products and services which your clients could use), and see if they’d like to write a column for YOUR newsletter – see where I’m going with this? Being proactive and inviting others to contribute to your News is a great way to build relationships for your business.
I’ve recently started a Wednesday St Kilda Coffee Morning for local business people and it’s early days but I’ve had some great response – this might be something you can do in your small town too (I posted about mine on a forum and was thrilled by the number of folks who contacted me and wanted to come along).
I have a ton of other tips, but that’s enough for you to absorb for the moment – best of luck and I wish you much success!
All the best,
Teena – Join St Kilda Coffee Wednesdays >>
Do you think this answered How to attract clients? Got some tips of your own?
If you have a question you’d like to ask me, I’d love to hear from you. If I post your question and my answer here on my blog, there may be other readers who can learn from our conversation and hopefully add some helpful tips of their own like “how to attract clients in a small town”.