11 Ways to Grow Your Customer Base
Are you thinking of starting an independent career services practice or do you have one in place now? You might worry that you may not attract enough customers to have your business generate a sustainable income. Targeted advertisements, social media posts, or word-of-mouth may be some of the most common ways to raise awareness about your practice. But, there are many other ways that can be just as — if not more — effective. To help you get started, I’ve listed 11 ways to help you grow your customer base.
1. Create your own website
Having your own website will allow you to have a permanent landing page online. You will need to work on SEO and have the right keywords so that you’re easily found. Make sure that you write about your offerings, about yourself, and make it clear how customers can contact you. There are different options to set up your website and its content; you can use templates, get inspired from others, or use a website development professional. On your website, you can also offer discounts, freebies, and post client testimonials as well.
2. Start your own blog
The blog can be on your website or hosted on a separate blogging platform. Write articles of at least 300 words using keywords that will enhance your SEO even further. You will be able to share them on different social media platforms. Picking topics that are related to your field will also help you rank higher in Google searches.
3. Write specialized articles on industry-related blogs
Writing for industry-related blogs (like this one) will help showcase your knowledge and expertise. These blog posts help create backlinks to your own website and increase traffic. The secret here is consistency; writing regularly will keep you at the top of your audience’s mind.
4. Be present on social media
Choose social media platforms where your target audience usually hangs out. Some professionals separate their personal accounts from their business one, while others combine them. I personally decided to separate them should I ever want to incorporate and sell later. Besides creating quality content for your existing and prospective customers, interact with other people. Initiate and participate in discussions of interest even if unrelated to your business. You can answer questions, offer help, or even set up a competition.
5. Polish your LinkedIn profile
Ensure that your LinkedIn profile is stellar and reflects your personal brand. Many job seekers look for career professionals there. Design a visually pleasing banner, turn on the “providing services” feature, and write a compelling “About” section. Make sure that all sections are properly filled in and don’t forget to ask satisfied clients for recommendations! You can also join relevant industry-related groups via LinkedIn.
6. Create a closed community
On platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, you can create a closed community that only select people have access to and where you can share exclusive content. This can serve as a gated space where participants can share their personal experiences and where you, as a career professional, offer career-related guidance to the group. You can also offer special discounts and promote your best-selling items and services.
7. Show up!
“Showing up” can take different forms besides you simply being present on social media. You can attend or speak at networking or community events, or conferences like Cannexus. You can volunteer at a local NGO or charity, sign up on freelancing sites such as Fiverr or Upwork, create online courses, webinars, masterclasses, or even write a book. All these methods are excellent ways to put your name out there as the career professional prospective clients will want to work with.
8. Participate in competitions
Participating in a competition like Career Professionals of Canada’s Awards of Excellence is an excellent way to add an additional layer of validation and trust in your competencies. Clients want to know why they should work with you and awards from trusted associations and organizations will give them added confidence that they’re making a smart choice.
9. Join an association or a network
Joining an association like Career Professionals of Canada brings many benefits and will allow you to get a professional profile listing in their directory. This is an additional touch point for job seekers who are looking for certified professionals to work with. Check and update your profile’s details and content often to make sure it is always current and relevant. You can also join a network like the Business Network International Canada to create a marketing referral program.
10. Collaborate with your colleagues
Whether to pass on customers when you’re fully booked, creating an additional collaborative product/service like Job Search Secret Weapon, or getting hosted on Clubhouse, Youtube channels or podcasts, keeping in contact with other industry professionals can be instrumental to your business. Don’t be afraid of competition; there are plenty of clients for everyone.
11. Add to your offerings
Come up with a new service offering that fits your customer base. You might addd a monthly/yearly subscription-based offering next to your regular ones. This subscription service would come at a lower cost and help grow your customer base. It can give customers a cheaper option to explore what it would be like to work with you. If they like it (and you), they may sign up for your regular offerings.
In Conclusion: I Hear You Saying, “But that’s too much!”
It is true that all of these tips require quite an investment in time and, sometimes, money as well. Start by picking a select few that you believe will work for you and your business. When one tip does not give you the wanted results, try another one or two and fine-tune along the way! A simple Google search will serve up many other good ideas for growing your customer base.
Call to Action
Have you implemented any of the strategies above? Do you have other ones you could suggest to help career professionals grow their customer base? If so, please share in the comments section below.
Rita Kamel is a Career & Employment Consultant and founder of DossierPro. Her mission is to empower international job seekers by providing tools and information to help them generate career opportunities. Rita holds the Career Development Practitioner (CDP), Certified Career Strategist (CCS), Certified Employment Strategist (CES), Certified Resume Strategist (CRS), Certified Interview Strategist(CIS), and Certified Work-Life Strategist (CWS) designations through Career Professionals of Canada. In addition, she holds a master’s degree in marketing and has extensive experience in recruitment. You can connect with Rita on LinkedIn and Twitter.