5 Tips to Attract New Prospects

February 20th, 2018

The same question seems to be coming up a lot lately. “Hey MEO, I’m advertising on television and radio and increasing my posting frequency on social media…but it doesn’t seem to be turning into new customers, or even prospects, for me. Any ideas?”

And since I do have some ideas, this month I’m sharing 5 Tips to Attract New Prospects:

1. Host with the Most. Whether it’s a one-time grand opening, an annual open house or something you plan monthly like first Fridays, hosting an event is a great way to showcase your business and attract new prospects.

  • Make it fun and memorable. Plan your event around a theme that fits your industry or expertise. For instance, a bridal shop might host a fashion show, while an auto mechanic might host a classic car rally.
  • Build buzz for your event. Write a press release, advertise on social media and send an e-blast to help spread the word.
  • Create urgency. Offer an incentive, raffle or special discount that is only available at the event. For instance, makeup artists might raffle off a limited number of free makeovers.

2. Be an Exhibitionist. Tradeshows, expos, markets and fairs all provide opportunities to show your business off to new prospects. And bonus, you know those in attendance already have some level of interest in your services.

  • Find events. Check online resources and trade publications, or use the business office at your local library to find events that are right for your business.
  • Set a budget. Some obvious costs are exhibitor fees, travel and staffing your booth. Be sure to also factor in branding such as signage, banners or tradeshow displays.
  • Be prepared. Make sure you have plenty of business cards, brochures and a great leave behind, promo or incentive that helps your business stand out and makes it easy for attendees to connect with you after the event.

3. Use the Buddy System. There’s truth in the old adage “strength in numbers.” And you can put that to work for your business and partner with related businesses to reach new prospects.

  • Find the right fit. You might share your network, host events in tandem or attend events together, so make sure you and your partners offer complimentary services.
  • Give and take. Increase the odds of converting your buddy’s network to your customers, and vice versa, by offering exclusive discounts to each other’s referrals.

4. Network Like a Boss. Not only is networking a great way to meet new prospects, but you might also find mentors, learn about new referral partners…or maybe just have some fun.

  • Find events. Network After Work hosts regular events at hot spots in most major cities. Meetup allows you to filter events based on location, interest and timing. And industry groups on LinkedIn may be helpful in finding networking groups tailored to your industry.
  • Be prepared. Show up with a memorable elevator pitch, plenty of business cards and a great smile at the ready.

5. Alert the Media. Most of us think paid advertising when we think of radio, television and newspapers. But, flip the script and create opportunities for earned media by approaching local press outlets thoughtfully.

  • Be newsworthy. Think about the news angle before you pitch the media. Is there a seasonal or current event tie-in to your pitch? Will someone well known be involved, such as a book signing or speaker appearance? Are you sponsoring a youth organization or supporting a local charity?
  • Put it in writing. Present your pitch in the form of a press release to make sure it gets routed properly, and your media contact will know how to contact you for more information or with questions.
  • Help them help you. Cultivate relationships with local journalists and ask them what types of stories they’re looking for. That way you’ll know when the right opportunity presents itself.

Feeling overwhelmed? Hire an agency to help you select and execute the right mix of marketing activities to help your business reach new prospects and convert them into customers. At MEOGraphics, we help individuals, businesses and non-profits use copy, visuals and style to tell a story and connect with audiences in print, online and in person.

Let's Talk! Keep the conversation going by posting questions or your own style experiences in the comments.

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