Find Customers & What Makes Them Tick

small business market researchOne question you may have when you are first starting your online business is,  “where do I find customers?” 


Experts always say to stand out and get customers, you need to give your market what they want as well as answer their questions. 


This is doubly difficult for new entrepreneurs to accomplish, due to not knowing where exactly to find customers in their market in addition to not having a customer base from which to mine marketing information.

 

So where do you find your market and future customers?


Well, as reported on eMarketer a study of Canadian moms conducted by Google Canada and OTX and published this past June revealed this:

 

81% of Canadian moms are searching for information before they head to the store. Search is their No. 1 online source, followed by email, maps, retailer websites and social networking sites.

 

EMarketer states similar results were found with US moms.

 

And other statistics collected over the last few years have also measured similar results in various niches. (To see other similar stats, read Market Research World, Microsoft Business, and Search Engine Land articles.)

 

For the online entrepreneurs, these stats tell you it’s highly probable your market is hanging out online searching for solutions and information. You therefore have an opportunity to engage them and build relationships with them where they hangout online.

 

So, where do they hang-out and how do you start connecting with your market?

 

Start Networking & Building Traffic Today

 

1. Find your market’s social hangouts. The most likely place to connect with markets online is through social networks. So look for groups related to your market. You can find these in such places as:

 

  • Yahoo Groups,  
  • niche related forums,
  • Twitter,
  • Facebook,
  • LinkedIn (who also have active groups),
  • Pinterest,
  • and Google+.



Social networking tools like these have blasted off into cyber-popularity over the past several years and show no sign of slowing down, making them a powerful medium for getting to know your market and building traffic.

 

2. Get Social. Once you’ve located some likely hangouts for your market, open a couple or several social networking accounts, making sure to include a link back to your website. Learn how to use each platforms and then start connecting and collecting information. You can achieve this in many ways:

 

  • Read what people are saying and stay abreast of what your market is talking about;
  • Read their questions, and then answer the ones that fall in your line of expertise;
  • Comment on what they’re saying;
  • Provide some helpful information;
  • And of course, share, like, pin, retweet, and bump what you think is valuable information in your topic of expertise.

 

If what you’re sharing and saying is worthwhile, you’ll get noticed. And before you know it, people will start to follow you all the way to your blog or website.

 

Now, you may be thinking setting-up accounts, reading, commenting and such adds to your busy schedule. And they do. But if you devote some time regularly to doing this, you’ll gradually build quality traffic for free and you’ll collect some valuable marketing information.

 

Duct Tape Marketing puts social media work in perfect perspective:

One of the greatest things about the Internet is that you can see all kinds of questions that people are asking about the things that you may be an expert in. Anything from plumbing questions to how to properly do taxes – your expertise is desperately needed. No one has the time to spend all day answering questions for free, but consider what might happen if you just spent 20 minutes a week looking at some of these questions online in forums or on Twitter, or on Facebook. By answering a few, and linking back to your website, you’re building goodwill, demonstrating your expertise, and putting your business in the position where as soon as someone needs help in your area … you’re their go to resource.

 

Start finding prospects online and give them what they want such as information, advice, and conversation. Provided you are delivering quality, you’ll begin to build a loyal customer base that will not only dispense valuable market information and create traffic to your site, but also spread the word, bringing you additional customers without your lifting a finger. Like magic!

 

So, do you already use some of these techniques? How helpful are they in bringing you traffic and providing marketing information?

Louise

On free way to find out what your market is asking on Twitter.

 

Love what you do!

Do what you love!

 

 

 

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One Response to Find Customers & What Makes Them Tick

  1. […] people will often seek information on social media platforms like Twitter. In the previous post Find Customers & What Makes Them Tick, I referenced a few studies that show that most buyers will inform themselves online first before […]