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4 strategies small businesses can use to get new customers in 2021

Small businesses are trying to get through this pandemic in any way they can. Some are planning for the upcoming holiday season, but don’t have the strength or energy to even think about what they’re supposed to be doing next year. 

We’ve already seen massive shifts in how business is done, and how you, as a business owner, market your business.

So, how are you going to create momentum and get new customers in 2021? 

Below you’ll learn four different strategies you can implement to help your business grow in the new year. 

1. Market as if in-person events won’t happen

If your business primarily used to focus on in-person events as a way to get new customers, it’s important to craft a new marketing strategy as if this won’t happen.

Although restrictions are loosening, you don’t want to put all of your customer generation tactics in a single area. 

For example, if you’re an agency that used to rely on events to generate leads, you can start hosting virtual masterminds with experts in your niche or create webinars to sell products and services to new customers.

Or, if you’re selling high-ticket items and run a local car dealership. You can create virtual showrooms to showcase your inventory. 

This doesn’t mean in-person events are out of the question, but by focusing on virtual and digital events and presentation you’ll set yourself up for success regardless.

2. Invest in your website and online strategy

The pandemic has shifted a lot of business’s energy (and customer preferences) towards the online space. This means that your website will continue to be one of the central hubs for your business.

If you don’t have a website yet, or it’s still outdated, now is the time to upgrade.

With a professional website, you have all kinds of ways to monetize your business and get new customers even if your business used to rely mostly on your physical storefront. 

For example, coffee shops can add ecommerce functionality to their sites, and sell packaged coffee grounds, coffee accessories, apparel, and more. 

Beyond incorporating new income opportunities into your website, you can generate more local customers through your website.

Here are a few ideas to make that happen: 

  • Create a locally-focused blog. Your blog can act as an education channel, a way to bring your business new leads, and even help your SEO. 
  • Focus on local SEO. If you still have a physical storefront local SEO can help a lot. When people search for keywords related to your business and you rank first, there’s a great chance they’ll become a customer.
  • Get customer reviews. Customer reviews are one of the best ways to drive new visitors to your business and act as social proof for new customers to give your business a chance.

3. Get active on social media

Social media use has seen a huge surge in recent months, with more people at home, and more people spending time on their phones than ever before. 

Social media use will only continue to grow and spread across all demographics as well. For example, Facebook started as a tool for college students and now has 68% of adults over the age of 50 using the platform. 

If your business hasn’t been active on social media during this pandemic, now is the time to start. 

Here are some tips to get started and some content types to focus on:

  • Find the right social media network where your customers are hanging out, whether that’s Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Pinterest.
  • Create Instagram Stories and video content to connect with followers, promote content, and get them to visit your business.
  • Target micro-influencers in your local city and market to align with to post content and stories
  • Run locally-targeted social media ads to your customers. Use retargeting to bring back people who have already visited your website or social channels.

4. Use your CRM and email list

Email is one of the best ways to stay in touch with your customers and generate new sales. For every dollar you spend on email you can expect to earn $42 in return.

It’s also a great way to generate business on a budget. For example, if you can’t afford to invest in social media, you can scrape your existing CRM or email list and create an email campaign to re-activate those old leads.

Going into 2021 you can focus on growing your list, by encouraging social media followers and website visitors to join, and market to them in the following ways:

  • Create a welcome sequence that sets communication expectations
  • If you’re selling digital products create a small upsell on your more expensive products
  • Offer coupons and subscriber-only discounts
  • Send regular value-add emails, stories, and reminders about the products and services you offer

Use these strategies to spread the word about your business, engage your loyal fans, and get new customers this year and into 2021.

Check out these resources on OpenWeStand.org for more guidance and business strategies you can use to get through these difficult times.