You’ve come up with a brilliant idea. You’ve launched your product. Now what? The trickiest part of any small business is finding those first few customers. Without interested consumers, you can’t sell! Simply opening your doors isn’t enough in the online world. Remember, there are thousands of other products and services out there. You’ve got to stand out and compete for your customers’ eyes. So, how exactly do you get that flood of customers through the gate? We asked experienced business owners how they secured their first few customers. Here are their best tips.

1. Define the target audience

Before you go out and generate customers, you need to know who you’re targeting. Every product needs an ideal target market. The following tips all focus around advertising, social media, and marketing. But, if you don’t know your target audience, how will you find them? Spend some time creating a profile of your ideal customer. What is their age, gender, and location? What are their motivations, aspirations, and interests? When you know this information, you can begin to reach out to them.

2. Lead generation

Lead generation is a marketing term. It is used to describe the process of generating interest. It’s increasing the numbers of people that actively enquire about your business. All the tips on the list would broadly be described as lead generation. It’s all about getting people interested in your product. We list it here specifically because you can actively hire lead generation services. They will actively go out and target your audience and bring customers and enquiries flooding in.

Related: 8 Business Owners Reveal How They Found Their First Customers

3. Advertising

Ads are one of the simplest ways to guarantee your first few customers. Online advertising has proved very powerful, and it will work for you too. Start with Google AdWords or Facebook advertising. Create a compelling call-to-action to grab people’s attention. Then use the strongest image of your product. Target your adverts to the age, gender, and location of your target audience, and set a budget. With online advertising, you only pay for those who click your adverts. It’s the first step to your million dollar business.

4. Create demand

There’s a new force in digital marketing called creating demand. The trick here is infiltrating the customer’s world. Use social media to create a deafening buzz around your product. Make sure people are sharing your pictures and devouring your content. That means more eyes on your product, hence more demand. As a business owner, you need to create this excitement. Focus on building a social media community and feed them with exciting content.

5. PR and events

There’s nothing we love more than a big launch event. You may have already launched your product, but have you done it with a bang? Hire a PR team to communicate with the local and national media. They’ll help secure reviews and media attention for the launch. At the same time, host a big event at your store or at an appropriate venue. Invite influential tastemakers and leaders of your target audience. That’ll get people talking!

Follow this advice and you’ll see a flood of eager new visitors! Congratulations, and good luck!

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