How to Find Customers


It is time to look at how to find customers, part of our continuing series on how to make more money from your business. This particular page was inspired by something that happened in our own business last week (written in August 2011). I had a guest post on the hottest blog on the internet, The Huffington Post. It was called 10 Weird Jobs You Can Turn Into Businesses.

My publicist got the invitation for me, as a way to promote my new book, 101 Weird Ways to Make Money. Of course I was introduced as the author of the book, and the title was linked to the Amazon sales page. I'm not sure how many books I sold as a result of the post, but there was another interesting aspect to this story.

You see, I included a link to this website in the first paragraph of the post, and suddenly there was traffic. Thousands of readers clicked through to the site. I figure we made an extra $300 or so as a result of the link in that post--and that's just the immediate revenue boost. Some visitors will return, and some signed up for newsletters offered throughout this site.

The lesson is clear: Go where the potential customers are. I had posted on other blogs before, but never did I get a traffic surge like this. Now you know what to do to promote your online businesses--try to get on the Huffington Post. But what about applying this lesson offline? Let's look at how to find customers in other ways.

Where are the potential customers for a pizza shop? When I lived in Traverse City, Michigan, many of them were guests in local hotels--the town is a big tourist destination. So at least one smart pizza restaurant owner went to the hotels and got them to put an advertising flyer in each room, next to the phone. He paid them a dollar for each pizza delivered to their hotel, but the up front cost was minimal--about five cents per flyer at that time.

Some businesses take the show on the road to find customers. This doesn't have to mean going very far. Loom for a local carnival or street fair going on in your area, and see if there is some way you can sell your products there. The risk is usually no more than a few hundred dollars, and even if you don't cover that in new sales you might get some repeat customers who will return to your normal location.

For a really cheap way to find customers, trade promotional materials with another business that does not directly compete with yours. For example, a flower shop owner and owner of a hot-tub rental business can agree to hand out each others coupons. It's cheaper than paying to have them inserted in a newspaper, and the targeting is better, since couples and romantics are likely to frequent both places.

There will be more pages here on how to find customers. Check back. For now, think about where the potential customers are and how to get to them cheaply.

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Every Way to Make Money | How to Find Customers