A small business relies on communication with its customers as well as potential customers in its target market—whether that’s Bradenton, Florida; Elk Park, North Carolina; or anywhere else in the world.
It’s one thing to make a memorable brand impression. But the crucial first step in any business interaction is to make direct contact with a potential client or customer. People have to go from “just browsing” to “actively engaged in a conversation with you.” In many cases, this means getting someone who needs your service to reach out and contact you.
So how do you make this vital first connection?
Well, your digital marketing platforms, including your website and your social medial accounts, are irreplaceable tools for connecting with customers and future customers alike. Here are a few tools I use on my own website and in my own social media pages to encourage customers to contact me—and how those tools can help you and your small business, too.
Using Social Media to Connect with Customers
Social media is fundamental digital marketing tool for a lot of reasons. One of them is as a casual, approachable, and easily searchable way to connect with your business.
At the very least, you want your social media accounts to display your business website and contact information.
For one thing, people searching for services may find your social media accounts before they find your website. So what they see when they go to Facebook or Instagram will generate their first impression of your business.
Secondly, people use social media every day—even when they’re not shopping for specific goods and services. Your company’s presence on social media builds comfort and familiarity with your brand.
Not only are people scrolling social media, but they’re interacting, too. Their “like” or comment on your post may be their first direct contact with your company. Even before you speak to them directly, they will feel like they’ve started the conversation—and they’ll be one step closer to calling you when they need you.
Online Contact Form on Your Website
I invite prospective customers to contact me through an online contact form on the “Connect” section of my website. While people also have the option of emailing me directly, the online contact form asks them a few questions that can better determine what it is that they need, and what I can do for them. This sort of pre-questionnaire helps to streamline our initial conversation. (Check out my “Connect” contact page and online form here: https://deckardandcompany.com/connect/.)
E-Newsletter Subscription Signup on Your Website
I include a newsletter signup as recurring content, just above the footer at the bottom of my website’s pages. (Scroll down to see my e-newsletter subscription signup here: deckardandcompany.com.)
While this signup doesn’t directly initiate a sale right then and there, an e-newsletter is an incredible tool for long-term relationship-building. People who sign up for your newsletter are opting into an ongoing conversation, one that keeps your brand fresh in their minds so that they will think of your business when they need it. This is what marketing is all about.
Additionally, e-newsletter signups do something else amazing: They allow you to build a database of people who are interested in your brand, your company, and your services. Every time someone signs up, their email is added to your own private list of potential future customers who have explicitly stated that they want to hear from you. In the biz, we call this “digital marketing gold.”
Scheduling Appointments Through Your Website
I even offer prospective clients the option of scheduling appointments directly through my website. When visitors go to the “Book Us” links throughout my business site, they’re taken to my own private, customized calendar on Calendly, a great online scheduling service. (Check it out on my “Book an Appointment” page: https://deckardandcompany.com/book/)
Scheduling an appointment is the biggest commitment a customer can make before they actually buy your product. If they’re ready to schedule an appointment with you, are you ready to give them that chance?
Take advantage of online scheduling—and all these other online contact tools—and you know you’re not missing out on your most eager set of future customers.