Welcome to the final article in a series about small business growth by special guest contributor, Carissa Reiniger, Founder and CEO of Silver Lining. Want to learn how you can gain more clarity on your growth, find more clients, and increase revenue? Join House of Home and Silver Lining for a special 4-part webinar series taught by Carissa exclusively for HoH vendors. July 26, August 2, August 9, and August 16 from 10:00 - 11:00a AEST. See details below and sign up here!
CONNECTING WITH YOUR IDEAL CLIENT
So far, you’ve learned the importance of focus in saving time and money, how to set growth goals, and how to define your Ideal Client. The final step is creating an Action Plan that will help you in targeting your Ideal Client to make sales and achieve your goal. Let’s talk about that!
So many small business owners fall into the trap of launching tons of new business development strategies all at once. They have a million ideas that they’re excited about and can’t wait to execute. Or, they’re anxious about sales and feel pressure to try anything and everything to bring in new clients or customers. So, what do they do? They start a flurry of new business development activity -- social media, sponsorship, marketing campaigns, you name it! In the end, their actions are scattered and they don’t do enough follow up on any of their strategies to get results. We see it all the time -- the more kinds of activity they do, the less likely it is that it actually works!
Since we’re all about focus at Silver Lining, we have one really important rule -- implement just one new business development strategy per quarter. Why? Because we want you to get real results from your actions, instead of throwing a slew of ideas against the wall to see what sticks. And, remember your Ideal Client? Absolutely everything you do should lead directly to him or her!
There are 8 “connecting strategies” that we believe best help small business owners go out into the world and find their Ideal Client. They don’t cost a lot to implement and are extremely effective when used in a focused, persistent way. For your Action Plan, you’ll choose 4 -- one to implement each quarter. Here are 3 examples:
New business development isn’t only about getting new clients -- it’s also about keeping the ones you have! With a loyalty strategy, the goal is to deepen your relationship with your best customers and turn them into raving fans! How do you do this? By doing something unexpected for them that adds value above and beyond what they have already paid you to do. This is not about sending the standard issue mug or pen with your logo on it. With a loyalty strategy, you are thinking deeply about what you know about your clients and what they need (based on what they’ve already bought from you) and figuring out a small, affordable, and strategic gesture that lets them know you care. A hand-written note asking how they’re enjoying your products, a relevant article, a small gift for the home -- the possibilities are endless!
This strategy is all about finding people, organizations, or companies that have two things: 1) a big database of your Ideal Client and 2) credibility that could strengthen your brand by being associated with them. However, the #1 most important thing to remember with partnerships is that they must always be mutually beneficial relationships. When pitching a partnership to a company or individual, you must genuinely believe that it will benefit them as much as it benefits you. The key is to lead with what you can do for them, as opposed to asking what they can do for you. Ask lots of questions, let them talk, and listen carefully to find out what they’re working on and what’s important to them, and find common interests. Then figure out how you can help each other grow!
This is one of the fastest and easiest Connecting Strategies to implement, and always produces great results. With a Referral Strategy, you’re activating the people in your world who care about you to help you find your Ideal Client. If you’re like most people, you rarely talk about the specifics of your business and the people you know only have a vague notion of what you do. A Referrals Strategy is all about educating people from all corners of your life -- friends, family, neighbors, acquaintances, colleagues, college buddies (anyone!) -- about what you do and who your Ideal Client is. The first step is making a list of 50-100 people you know. Then, send them a simple yet catchy email telling them that you’re on a mission to grow your business, describe what you do and who you do it for, and ask if they know anyone who looks like your Ideal Client and needs what you do. People will help if you ask! Then, don’t forget to show some love to all the wonderful people who made introductions by finding out how you can help them too!
Want to learn more about how to use connecting strategies to grow your business? Don’t miss SLAPbootcamp, a 4-week live webinar series just for the House of Home vendor community! This interactive, hands-on training program will help you find a clear path to growth and define the actions you need to take to hit your goals. Each 60-minute online working session will guide you through the process of building a 1-year growth plan for your business using Silver Lining’s proven methodology for finding more clients and increasing revenue. Please join us!
If you would like to know more here's a link to Carissa's website
Article One in the series - Creating More Time & Money
Article Two in the series - Setting One Year Growth Goals for your Business
Article Three in the series - Finding your ideal client
Article Four in the series - Creating a Marketing Action Plan to Connect with your ideal client