7 Activities That Don’t Scale but Will Win You Customers


Photo Credit:www.launchsolid.com

Starting a business is hard work and early on you will need to hustle to find your first customers. There is no need to stress right away about what marketing channels will scale because you won’t know which options work best. And even when you do find out what will scale, it’s often the activities that don’t scale that will continue to provide the best ROI.

1. Attend an Industry Conference

For example, if your business is building websites for construction companies, you need to find out the most popular conferences. A quick Google search shows these conferences would be a good bet to attend: Construction Super Conference or the International Conference on Transportation. For your first few conferences, going as an attendee is recommended so you can scope them out and determine if it makes sense for you to come back as a vendor (and possibly rent a booth). Spend time walking the aisles, and I love hanging out by the lunch area, if you sit down at the right table and strike up a good conversation you can make a critical connection.

2. Organize a Q&A with Industry Experts

Create a list of 6-10 questions and reach out to industry experts to see if they want to participate. Package up the responses in a PDF, include bios and photos and make sure to give everyone a copy. Blog about the responses and encourage participants to get the word out. Since you are appealing to the vanity of the experts, it’s very easy to drum up interest, don’t be afraid to ask!

3. Sponsor Relevant Meetup Events

Meetup events all over the world are going on and they are often just a handful of people. If you target relevant Meetup groups and offer to sponsor their next event, you will find a lot of takers. Sometimes money to buy pizza is all you need to do and the organizer will add a special offer on their Meetup page and if you’re lucky and/or persuasive they will announce it at the event.

4. Solicit Individual and Personalized Feedback on Your Product or Service

Early on it’s a struggle to get even 5 or 10 people on board as customers. When you do get the first few customers reach out to each one of them with a personal email and thank them for trying you out. Ask for pointed feedback and if you can get them to spare 10 to 15 minutes on the phone that is fantastic as they will provide helpful insight about your product.

5. Attend Local Meetings/Events

Leverage your hometown or nearest big city to attend marketing groups and meetings. Chamber of Commerce meetings or local business groups are a great place to start. It’s not that you will necessarily find your ideal customer in your backyard, but once you start talking about your new company, your networking may uncover other opportunities. In addition, the people you meet may know other people that will help propel your business forward.

6. Target Tangentially Related Companies for Joint Marketing Efforts

If you own a stock photo site, it would make sense to contact web development companies as they often need stock photos when they are creating new websites. You could create a co-branded landing page that provides a discount to the web development companies if they want to have access to a special offer on your site. You could send their special offer to your email list (and vice versa) if you want to do additional joint marketing.

7. Create Handwritten Letters as a Relationship Builder

The old school approach can win you big points. If you take time to customize handwritten letter like this example here, you have a great shot at making a beneficial introduction. Do your homework and understand what the person likes and dislikes before writing the letter and make sure to send it to their place of business.

11.16 headshotChad Fisher is a co-founder of Content Runner, a marketplace for connecting users and freelance writers for the creation of unique written content. Friends of Duct Tape Marketing can create a free account and receive a $30 credit to try out the writers on Content Runner, click here to learn more!

How to Track Your Social Media Efforts

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photo credit: pixabay

If your small business is taking advantage of social media to engage with customers in hopes of growing your business, how do you know if your efforts are paying off? The truth is, it can be hard to tell if all the work you’re putting into growing your social media following is worth the investment. There is only one way to know for certain: you have to measure it.

The purpose behind measuring your activities on social media is to enable you to figure out what you are doing that is working (and therefore should continue doing) and to find out what you’re doing that isn’t bringing you any positive results (and should therefore be improved or eliminated).

Ongoing analytics help familiarize you with how your customers are interacting with your updates generally and more specifically, analytics are the way you get a feel for how your company is perceived in the marketplace. For example, you want to know what people are saying about your brand, your company, and your products. Are people complaining about your customer service or are you seeing a lot of criticism about the quality of one of your products? All of this can help you improve and provide better service going forward.

General Analytic Tools

There are a few simple tools that you can use that will help you know when people are talking about you online. Google Alerts will happily shoot you a quick email anytime someone mentions you or your business anywhere across social media, blogs, and websites. This will give you a chance to respond to any concerns or just join in the conversation.

Social Mention will also track whenever any of your keywords pop up on any of more than 100 separate social media sites. It is similar to a search engine, but it specializes in social media.

If your intention with social media is to drive traffic to your website, then you will want to keep track of the number of clicks, URL shares and conversions that you get as a result of your social updates. Google Analytics is one of the best tools for measuring the traffic that is coming to your website. In addition to telling you where your traffic is coming from so you know which links are getting clicks, it will tell you what people are doing once they get to your site. In other words, after they consume the content they clicked on, are they staying on your site and looking around? If they aren’t, that could be a sign that you need to add more attractive/interesting content to your site so people will want to stay longer.

Tools for Specific Platforms


If you want to keep an eye on specific social media platforms, Hootsuite and TweetDeck both provide simple ways to monitor Twitter without requiring you to scroll through hundreds of individual Tweets.


Facebook provides its own analytics tool called Page Insights. It’s handy if you want to know more about your audience and how they are interacting with your posts. As soon as your Facebook Page gets at least 30 likes, you’ll be able to use this feature.

Booshaka is a service that tracks and collects every time a customer interacts with one of your Facebook ad campaigns.

Centralized Analytic Tools

You can combine all of your social media tracking efforts on a single dashboard like Quintly. They give you a neat overview of your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, as well as several other types of social accounts.

If you want to keep an eye on your RSS feeds as well as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, you can use a dashboard service like NetVibes.

With a little planning and one or more of these helpful tools, you’ll be able to keep on top of your social media efforts without feeling overwhelmed.

Tess PajaronWith a background in Business Administration and Management, Tess Pajaron currently works at Open Colleges, Australia’s leading online educator. She’s also interested in branding and digital media.

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