Top tips on how your startup can attract the right clients

Building and maintaining a client base is an on-going, and often full time job; particularly for startups that are finding their feet and testing the waters in their industry. A report released by PwC earlier this year on South Africa’s emerging companies found that 22% of entrepreneurs find having access to markets and customers as their primary challenge.

Here are a few top tips on how your startup can attract the right clients:

Find the sweet spot

The first step is to determine how many clients you can service without spreading yourself too thin. Try stick to the old adage of under promise and over deliver. That said, you want your team to be working close to capacity at all times for maximum productivity, so the trick is finding the balance between the two.

Read more: 6 ways to save your business from difficult customers

Pinpoint your dream client

Next up you need to give some thought to the type of clients you want to work with. Ask yourself who your dream client would be, work out why, and look for those traits in other potential clients.

Spell out your service offering

Focus on what you do well and stick to your core service offering. A potential client should understand what you do within a minute or two of speaking to you or visiting your website. Give examples, encourage people to contact you to find out more and offer incentives for first time clients to draw them in.

Set the right tone

Your company culture and values should be reflected in all your communication — from a PowerPoint proposal to a Facebook update or Instagram post. Keep it consistent and relevant to your brand.

Don’t sell yourself short

Read more: Startups: forget consumer, B2B is where it’s at

Value your own time and your experience or expertise. Draw attention to results rather than costs, and give potential clients a reason to trust you. For example, create a case study on work done for a long-standing client and include a testimonial from the client.

Be visible in the right places

Ensure you have a professional presence on LinkedIn and Google+ as well as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Work out where your customer base is most likely to be and engage with them there. Industry listings and directories are also worth looking in to and are a great way to benchmark your brand against competitors.

Image by Jakob Montrasio via Flickr

Emma Donovan


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