By Sydney Tyler Photos by Deniece Griffin
On February 16, 2023, Jacey Cadet of Atlanta Ventures joined the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Institute (ENI) to inform entrepreneurs on how to gain customers for their growing business and, just as important, how to maintain them.
Developing a marketing strategy is the first step to success. Cadet shared the AIDAR model with the online attendees. It provides a framework for gaining customers and creating SMART sales goals. Additionally, it establishes a strong foundation in the beginning stages of launching your business.
Gaining customers for your business is a hands-on process that begins with developing customer personas by defining your primary customers and what they like. This formative work will lend “insight into their buying patterns to serve them better.” From here, entrepreneurs can utilize several techniques and services to increase their traction and who can see the product.
9 Ways To Make Your Company Stand Out
- Ensure you have a consistent brand/website with a logo and compelling story
- Maximize search engine optimization (SEO)
- Start a blog that helps customers make a buying decision or learn more about a service
- Leverage social media to engage with customers and build brand loyalty
- Partner with complementary businesses to build an affiliate network
- Offer discounts and incentives for new customers only; provides a low-risk way to try your products or services
- Build a mailing list to keep the company in front of the customer while the company can segment lists to target specific customers
- Network and participate in community events relevant to your industry and your customers
- Ask for referrals from existing customers
Now that you have gained a network of customers through tangible marketing, maintaining loyalty is the next step. Cadet introduces ten ways to keep customers engaged with your business.
10 Ways to Keep Customers Coming Back
- Offer a product or service that solves a problem
- Use subscriptions to bolster the experience
- Create a strong onboarding experience that teaches new customers how to use your product or service
- Become part of the customer’s lifestyle
- Build trust with your customers and apologize when you make mistakes
- Engage customers by listening and connecting
- Implement a customer feedback loop
- Empower customers with convenience by making your products and services as accessible as possible
- Leverage personalization; people are the priority, and customers want to see the humanity behind your brand
- Surprise and delight by creating moments of magic, go above and beyond, and say thank you for their business—it goes a long way
Cadet notes that networking is essential for building your business, so having an intention when connecting with potential partners is vital. Trading services with other businesses is also a great way to get things done within your company cheaply while gaining connections.
Cadet encourages entrepreneurs to follow these guidelines, but most importantly, be transparent and honest with customers and understand that you are your brand. Finally, advocate for yourself and your business; success will be on the horizon.
The Entrepreneurship & Innovation Institute exists to help you develop your ideas, build your business, and seize opportunities. Visit eni.gsu.edu to find out more.