In short, client acquisition just means gaining new customers. But what are some of the best strategies for getting new clients, and could your existing customers help bring in new clients?

Let’s explore some of the steps you can take to acquire clients:

  • How to identify your ideal customer
  • Client acquisition strategies and channels
  • Customer retention as an acquisition strategy

Identify your ideal customer

There are many ways to acquire new clients, but you probably have limited resources when you’re self-employed. So, to make sure your strategy works, it’s essential to identify your ideal client and define your goals. To have a better understanding of your perfect client, consider some of the following:

  1. What does your ideal customer struggle with?
  2. Where does your client find information?
  3. When is your ideal client looking for products or services?
  4. What is your ideal client’s demographic profile?
  5. What benefits do customers look for in your products?
  6. Why would they NOT buy your product or service?
  7. What could your customers accomplish by using your product?

Getting a clear picture of your ideal client will help you target your marketing efforts to the right people. Targeting specific people can help save you from wasting time and money trying to reach those who don’t need what you’re offering. 

You can customise your content and set parameters for different audiences on Google and Facebook to help you target your ads. For example, those who work as wedding planners might be targeting engaged couples; those who sell toys on the internet might target parents of children under ten.

Check out this detailed guide on the best ways to attract new customers, including identifying your ideal customer.

Client acquisition strategies and channels

Now that you’ve got an idea of your ideal customer, you can choose the best channels to reach them. Customers first encounter your brand through customer acquisition channels such as social media, organic search, and paid ads. 

Let’s have a look at some of the most popular methods of acquiring customers.

Use social media and paid social media ads for marketing

Marketing on social media is one of the more affordable channels to look at for small businesses. Creating a presence on Facebook or Instagram is an excellent way to build a community around your brand and connect with potential customers. 

For example, you might get your customers to talk about you and share your content if you Tweet about helpful tips and share educational material on your profiles. Learn more about successfully marketing your business on social media here.

Optimise your website for search engines 

SEO (Search engine optimisation) is the best way for businesses to make themselves visible to potential customers searching the web for services or products. Naturally, you want a website that is easy to use and makes a good impression (see here on how to build a good website for your small business), but you also want it to rank high in search results. 

Customer acquisition through SEO is popular for two reasons: It’s relatively easy, and it’s very cost-effective. Discover how to benefit from SEO marketing here

Benefit from word of mouth marketing

Word of mouth marketing is essentially free advertising caused by positive customer experiences. When your product or service exceeds expectations, your customers could potentially rave about you to their friends and family.

Consumers find recommendations from friends to be the most credible form of advertising. So when you get your customers to recommend you to their friends, it can drive some high quality leads your way. 

Consider implementing a referral program

As recommendations from existing customers work so well for acquiring new ones, you might want to consider whether you could benefit from a referral program. A referral program is when you offer a discount, free product or another perk to a customer who recommends you to a friend. 

The best part about referral programs? They require little investment, and 60% of marketers say that referrals bring in a high volume of potential clients. 

Customer retention as a client acquisition strategy

In addition to attracting new customers, it’s crucial also to keep the ones you have. Keeping the customers you have can be more profitable than gaining new ones. This is because loyal customers are likely to buy more often from you and spend more money on each purchase.

Whether customers want to stay with you depends on their experience with you. So make sure your customers are fully satisfied with every aspect of your product or service. The happier and more loyal your current customers are, the more likely they will recommend you to their friends. Have a look here to find out what customers want from your product or service.

Another great way to retain customers is to offer a loyalty program. Studies show that 69% of customers allow the presence of rewards or loyalty programs to influence their shopping decisions. But make sure the program is easy to use; research shows that 75% of all consumers would switch brands for a better loyalty program. 

Save time on bookkeeping and focus on your customers 

Bringing on new customers while keeping the old ones happy takes a lot of time and energy. You can free up hours of your time by automating your bookkeeping with the Countingup app.

Countingup is the business current account and accounting software in one app. It automates time-consuming bookkeeping admin for self-employed people across the UK.

With automatic expense categorisation, receipt capture tools and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances and save yourself hours of accounting admin, so you can focus on doing what you do best. Find out more here.