The world is built on small businesses in every sector, but most new to the game are struggling to find clients for a wide range of reasons. Many don’t have a good grasp of their market’s realistic needs, their brand’s actual positioning, the right marketing resources, let alone the in-house expertise to handle all of these and other important elements of pursuing B2B clients. In 2021, the challenges have changed, as more small businesses have started primarily working remotely, no networking events have been organized for in-person sales pitches, and making connections online can be difficult for many.
Getting more clients this year means that your business needs to focus on a dedicated client acquisition strategy that takes all of these new factors into account. Although the strategy should also work in favor of client retention, make sure that you develop a plan that will allow you to get more B2B clients in the months to come, to build a stable business presence through these effective tactics.
Ask for client referrals
Do you have happy clients who have been working with you for ages? In 2021, their trust and loyalty will mean more business for you. Ask them to give you a referral and connect you to some of the other business owners they know. People often work with like-minded professionals, so you can find trustworthy individuals through these word-of-mouth recommendations easily.
This is especially important for building your local reputation. When you work with local businesses, chances are that earning their trust will earn you the trust of the entire community, and you’ll slowly be able to grow your client base.
Organize a webinar
Without that many in-person networking events to attend, your business could benefit from attending their digital and virtual alternatives. In 2021, many small businesses have started organizing their own online conferences and webinars in order to keep up with the pace of their industry and forge new client connections. The beauty of online is that you no longer have to limit yourself to your own location, so you can attend events everywhere without leaving the office.
On the other hand, you should also not wait for the world to set up an event where you believe you would thrive. Take a chance to create a webinar or a conference yourself, invite a few keynote speakers, set up chat rooms for people to connect, and create a database for those interested in more of your work. Consider it an opportunity to exchange business cards and schedule some meetings virtually.
Work on local SEO
For your business to be prominent in the 2021 landscape, you need to be mindful of what your audience prefers and needs. If you run a Sydney-based business and you know that there’s a blooming startup scene in the city and across Australia, you know that you should narrow your focus on landing clients that would appreciate developing the local economy even further. The best way to do that is to rely on effective Sydney SEO methods that push your brand to the top of the results page.
Sydney business owners will search for specific keywords and phrases when looking for your services, so make sure your website is fully optimized to gain their attention. You can also get their attention by creating a local link building strategy, so that your brand will show up on different local portals every Sydney business owner visits and reads. Earning the respect of search engines through smart local SEO means that you’ll be much more prominent for potential clients in the region, too.
Learn from competitors
Less experienced business owners will try out a number of different tactics that make sense to them, but it’s best to rely on thorough market research to better understand your position and possibilities. Much like you’ve differentiated yourself by defining a scope of services your clients most definitely need, you should also be mindful of how your competitors fit into the playing field, especially the more experienced and successful ones.
As part of your digital marketing strategy for 2021, conduct a thorough competitor analysis so that you can get a better sense of how they are outperforming your small business. Check which keywords and phrases other small businesses in your industry rank for, how they approach their content output, see how they interact with clients via social media, and the like. You can do so much by merely observing how others attract clients.
Leverage social channels
Social networks might have started out as personal spaces for people to connect with their remote families and stay in touch with friends, but they’ve evolved so much over the years, and now they are the perfect lead-generation machines. In fact, one of the key B2B client expectations is that you will do your best to elevate your engagement with them on a multitude of channels. If your B2B clients spend their time on Facebook, they’ll want to connect with you on Facebook.
In the B2B world, connections are indeed everything. In 2020 and still in 2021, the pandemic has affected how we establish those connections, so we’ve turned to digital outlets for building bonds. Use social media both to promote your business through sponsored posts and ads, but even more so, to communicate your core brand messages, and to build relationships. That’s how most long-lasting client relationships begin.
Over to you
Running a small business often means you need to work closely with people around you, and even more so, with the clients you choose and manage to find. That said, it can be a time-consuming process, but it will be worth your while to create a detailed strategy and to analyze every step you make to see which tactics work best for your target market. B2B clients might be more difficult to win over, especially for the long haul, but these ideas will help you be more successful and develop more partnerships in time.
by Mike Johnston