More often than not I have seen young entrepreneurs with brilliant ideas go belly up or just freeze within months of going live with their e-businesses, be it an App, product, online store or service. They fail to press the all important growth buttons and struggle to acquire their customers and get the critical mass to sustain the enterprise. Let me take you back to the streetwise shop floor basics to get you back on track. Consider these 4 simple P’s, Push, and Pull, Product, Press and start acquiring customers online.
1- Push. No apologies here, hustle, go out and look for business.You need to force users to come to you. Try this, radio mentions with small giveaways. Get potential users or customers to go onto your webpage or site or application read or do or identify some content, then call in live or SMS the answer to the radio station. The winners are announced live on radio. This works better than a simple advertisement telling people what you are about. Get immediate action and more bangs for you dollar! Do promotional swaps, I give you “Y” you give me “X”. Try this, most radio stations have a Facebook page and have decent followership, trade freebies or specials with their fans. Get some affiliation with sports and music. These are all time leisure favorites, do specials and one offs with the associations. Try offering free tickets to a game for people who visit your webpage or perform a revenue-generating event on your site. Find other companies to help promote each other. Look for reciprocal relationships. Try this, Mobile Operators all have payment platforms they wish to promote, use them to promote your site so that your customers use their services to make payments to you. Get in your customers face, and don’t be timid about it. The market place has gone online, but the hustle bustle is now called buzz!
2- Pull. Create a proposition where yourusers come to you. Develop content which calls for action. If the first 3 words do not provoke a response then you’ve lost them at the “hello”. If you are building local App make it a great App, get featured, make it an App people want, get talked about! If it is an online store, get courier companies working for you and singing your praises. Get the vendors to draw customers to the fact that their product is available on your store. Constantly review, track progress everyday. Both Google Analytics and Facebook have excellent tools for this, use them! If you need to tweak and change do so and create momentum, don’t stagnate. Velocity is everything. It is easier to speed up when moving then to start and stop. Aim for national exposure get onto the local directories and publications and create more buzz around your content. Being top of mind is everything; it lays the platform for action. Try this, ask your friends to contribute. Yes your friends, as a source of referral and likes is a “free” pull option.Get a lot more activity from social media, what are your friends doing on the App, product or service you are offering. Send activity and invitations through these social media networks. Try this, what am I doing now and how can I invite friends to tag along and like. When creating pull just ensure you not trying to extract teeth from a chicken!
3- Product. Have an outrageous App, product or service with insane features. Then use the App, product or service to bring customers to you. Do an “Apple” on the user. The iPod on music companies, The iPhone on device companies, The iPad on computer companies and of cause the iCan on your competitors. Try this, doctors and pharmaceutical companies are experts at referral programs. Learn from this useful closed shop marketing technique. They only refer you to specialists they know or medicine brands from companies they work with. Become the reference so that users and customers associate you with the generic for that category. Sampling is key, giveaway product, free credits, storage space, discounts, or whatever works best for your App, product or service. Trial is the first step in the conversion process. The Engage audience and create social API’s on your website. Remember,API integration, don’t force your user to log in they are already logged in! Learn from those established businesses that have mastered this and don’t forget to update as API’s evolve often. Enough said!
4 –Press. Those people who separate the wheat from the chaff and then publish the chaff. You need them badly. Establish genuine mutual relations with them. Research widely and focus on journalists who write about your App, product or service category. Share information with them and work hard on your relationships. Focus on developing a story angle with the right message to the right media. Try this when introducing something new, have a press kit, spiced up with samples, videos, infomercials and free or discounted trials. Run competitions amongst the press for innovation, coverage, and credibility of your event. Be persistent, write articles, speak at events, be accessible, and be approachable. In short become honey and attract the press and vinegar to repel the chaff. Who says you can’t build an online web business off line?
Get the 4 P’s right Push, Pull, Product and Press then acquisition in e-business improves exponentially. Optimize all the time, always analyze, review, chop, and change. Be curious, read as much as possible, connect and exchange, try and test. Whether you grow vertically or horizontally its growth, good buzz or bad buzz is buzz all the same.
Image Credits: Geektime/Techcrunch