Entrepreneurs who sell online will soon find out if they don’t have customers, they don’t have a business. Getting the first customer is great, but your business will always be a hobby until you can get past the 100 customer mark.
Here are four steps to get your first 100 customers online.
Build your customer profile.
As an entrepreneur, you need to know who your customer is and build your customer profile. A client profile consists of demographic (age, income and sex) and psychographic (values, opinions, attitudes and lifestyles) data. What are the things that interest your client? What other brands or services do they use or buy? How do they do their shopping? Understanding your customer profile helps you make better marketing and business decisions.
Understand the conversion funnel.
The marketing funnel has many layers. But in its simplest form, the marketing funnel is an upside-down triangle that starts at the top of awareness, then goes down to consideration, and finally to purchase. It’s a funnel because it starts with awareness and goes down to purchase.
The marketing funnel is important because there is a Marketing Rule of Seven which states that people must “hear” the advertiser’s message at least seven times before taking action to purchase that product or service.
Entrepreneurs often think that people will buy after the first email or Facebook ad they see. In fact, people need several rounds of auditing a business before making a buying decision.
Create a message and strategy for each part of the marketing funnel.
The message for someone who is unaware of your product will be different than for someone who has heard of your product and is considering purchasing it. When someone goes down the marketing funnel, they will have different needs. Therefore, they will need other messages to meet these needs.
Getting the same message over and over after someone has reached the consideration stage of the marketing funnel will become less and less effective.
Likewise, entrepreneurs need to think about strategies to reach people in every part of the marketing funnel. How are you going to find new customers who have never heard from you? Some approaches to consider are Facebook and Google ads, influencer marketing, public relations, or TikTok posts.
Once they hear from you, how will you continue to market to them until they buy? Many businesses are using SMS and email marketing to help people move down the marketing funnel to finally buy.
The marketing funnel is a funnel: you start with a lot of people taking notice, which goes down to a smaller amount when considering buying, and then down to an even smaller amount to buy.
But what’s the conversion rate as people move down every part of the conversion funnel? For each stage of the marketing funnel, determine the conversion rate and the cost involved. For example, if 2% of people in the review phase buy, you need 5,000 people in the review phase. From there, also determine the cost involved in converting a person to a buyer. Do the same from awareness to consideration.
And this is where you need to start thinking about the marketing funnel strategically. How can I reduce my costs? How to increase the conversion rate? Is my marketing funnel profitable?
These are the four steps to getting your first 100 customers. It involves constant reiteration and testing. But once you understand these steps, it provides a useful blueprint for the evolution and growth of your business.