Building an audience from scratch for your small business
Are you having trouble finding new customers for your small business? I know from experience that It can feel impossible to get noticed online, so today I’m sharing how to find customers using my favorite methods to build an audience. In this post, I’ll share my favorite methods for finding new customers for my own online brand, Cabooties. I’ll also give you some advice on how to keep your new customers engaged once you’ve found them without spending a ton of money on ads. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to expand your customer base, read on to build your audience today!
How to Find Customers Overview
When you first start an eCommerce business, it often feels like you’re an invisible fish in a vast ocean. You KNOW customers are all around you, but it feels impossible to capture their attention. There are lots of ways to build an audience and drive traffic to your website but my favorites are:
- Social Media (Free and Paid)
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Email Marketing (For keeping in touch)
The best way to find an audience of people for your product or brand is to borrow someone else’s. Partner with an influence, similar business (someone who serves the same customer as you, not a competitor), or existing customer to spread the word about your small business. You can pay for these partnerships, trade goods in exchange for promotion, or do a partnered promotion with another business.
When you think of sharing a message online, social media is probably the first thing that comes to mind. The most popular platforms for sharing your business and finding new customers are:
Before you get overwhelmed though, I want you to think about where your perfect customer is most likely to spend her time, and focus your efforts there. With social media consistency is key. Building momentum is hard, and building it back after taking time off from posting can be even harder on some platforms. Swipe my free social media planner now, or invest in a tool like SmarterQueue to make sure your feed is always full and fresh. Tap here for an extended free trial of SmarterQueue.
Paid Social Ads
While it is totally possible to build your brand on social media for free, it takes a LOT of time and work. If you want to get in front of potential customers fast, I recommend adding Facebook (and/or Instagram) ads to your social media strategy. If you don’t have a big budget, try Reach, Engagement, or Traffic ads to get your posts in front of as many people as possible for the least amount of money.
Do you love to write? Does your product require a little bit of education, or solve a problem? Then Search Engine Optimization could be a great strategy for you! SEO is free, but it does require an investment of time. You’ll want to:
- Determine what keywords your audience is using to find you (using a tool like Google Analytics)
- Optimize your titles, image alt text, and meta descriptions to include your target keyword
You can take this strategy one step forward by adding a keyword-rich blog to your site.
Once you have someone’s attention, you’ll want to make sure you can contact them again without paying for additional advertising. You can ask them to follow you on social media, but we all know the algorithm gets the final say in who sees your post. If you want to guarantee your message will land in front of your customer, there is no better tool than email. I personally love Klaviyo for collecting emails, creating automations, and staying in touch. Use email opt-in forms or a pop-up on your site to collect your customer’s contact info. Remember, people are more likely to sign up for your list if you offer them value in return!
If you found this brief overview helpful and want to go deeper. I’d love for you to join me in my free small business blueprint course. In this course, we’ll cover
- What to sell and who to sell it to
- Wher to sell
- Social Media
- Email Marketing
- Paid Traffic and SEO