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How To Get Your First 100 Customers
For a lot of us, the most fun part about being an entrepreneur is getting to explore our creativity. Having the freedom to plan, design, and build something new that has the potential to have an impact on the world. That’s why so many of us got into entrepreneurship in the first place
But, because of this, it’s easy to forget about the most important piece of having a successful life as an entrepreneur - getting customers.
One of the biggest challenges you'll ever face as an entrepreneur is acquiring your first 100 customers. These initial customers are crucial for the success of your business. They build the foundation for your business, provide the roadmap for future growth and help validate your product or service. They are also the hardest to get.
In my recent conversation with Stacy Tuschi, we talked a ton about the entrepreneurial journey, how to get started, and how to scale as you grow. One of my favorite takeaways from the conversation was her insight on how to get your first customers through the door (or website).
In this article, we'll dissect this idea and dive into strategies for acquiring your first 100 customers, tips for making the most out of these early relationships, and how to scale beyond this.
Let’s get into it!
I know, another mindset talk. It might seem very cliche, but getting your mind right really is the first key to success here.
If you’ve ever started a business or sold a product or service there’s a very high chance that in the beginning, you struggled with selling. This is a natural hurdle that almost all of us go through, and it’s not a bad thing, it actually shows that you’re a considerate human.
Most likely you didn’t want to feel like you were putting pressure on someone else to buy what you were selling, or you didn’t feel ‘good enough’ to be providing the service, so you avoided it altogether.
But let's be real, no matter how great your product or service is, if you can't effectively market and sell it, your business won't go very far.
There are a few big perspective changes that you need to make that will help you to get over this fear and get your mind in the right place so that you can successfully get your first customers.
The key to overcoming these fears is to shift your focus from selling to providing value.
Instead of thinking about how you're going to make a sale, think about how your product or service can solve a problem or improve the lives of your customers. Realize that having a product that can help your customer, but not offering it to them, is actually doing them a disservice.
This mindset shift can make the selling process feel less daunting and more like a genuine exchange of value.
Another valuable step is to educate yourself on the topic.
Learn about different marketing strategies and techniques, and experiment with different methods to find what works best for your business. And don't be afraid to seek out the advice and mentorship of more experienced entrepreneurs.
Lastly, you must remember that building a business takes time and effort, and there will be setbacks along the way. But with a growth mindset, being open to learning from your mistakes, and staying patient you'll be able to overcome any obstacle and achieve your goal of acquiring your first 100 customers.
Once you get your mind in the right place, the next step to acquiring your customers comes from modeling.
Find a company, product, or service that is similar to yours and is already successful. You will use this as your template.
You are not going to copy everything they do verbatim, but you are going to learn the general principles they use, who they are marketing to, and how they market, to help you grow your business.
This company has likely already done a lot of the heavy lifting for you in terms of market research. They know who their ideal customer is, where that ideal customer hangs out, and they know the best way to market to that customer.
Learn from these ideas, and use them as a blueprint as you build your marketing strategy.
Take a look at how this successful company positions its product or service. How do they differentiate themselves from their competitors? What value proposition do they offer?
Use this information to develop a unique positioning for your own business that sets you apart in the marketplace.
Make Your Product Great
Once you have a solid understanding of the market and your target audience, the next step is to make sure your product or service is top-notch.
After all, no matter how well you market or sell your product, if it doesn't meet the needs and expectations of your customers, you won't be able to retain them. Use this company as an example of how they make their product stand out. Then go and make your product stand out just as much.
Now that you have the blueprint to follow, you need to focus on the next step, marketing. Without effective marketing, it can be near impossible to reach your target audience and build awareness for your product or service.
When it comes to marketing, understanding your ideal customer is key. Who are they? What are their pain points? What motivates them to make a purchase?
Once you have a clear understanding of your ideal customer, you can tailor your marketing messages and channels to reach them more effectively.
Here are a few tips for marketing to your ideal customers:
Define your Unique Selling Proposition: What sets your product or service apart from the competition? Identifying your USP will help you create a unique message that genuinely resonates with your target audience.
Use multiple channels: Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Use a variety of channels to reach your target audience, including social media, email marketing, content marketing, and online advertising.
Personalize your messaging: Personalization can help you create a more effective message and increase engagement with your target audience. Use all of the customer data you can find to create targeted messages that speak to their specific interests and needs.
Test and optimize: Try different marketing strategies and tactics, and track the results. Use this data to optimize your marketing efforts and improve ROI.
Leverage word of mouth: Encourage satisfied customers to share their positive experiences with their friends and family. This can be a powerful tool for acquiring new customers.
Once you have the basics of marketing down, there are some great advanced tips that Stacy mentioned in our talk that are worth exploring more in this article.
Relationship marketing is one of the secret keys to not only getting your first 100 customers but expanding to 1000, 10,000, and beyond.
This type of marketing is all about using the social reach of other people to help you reach your targetted audience. There are two main ways this is done.
Mutual sharing: This is where you find someone who is at a similar stage to you in their journey, and you collaborate on some type of content creation (podcast, IG live, youtube video). This allows both of you to reach each other's audiences and expand your reach.
This is typically done with two people who have similar targeted audiences, however, this isn’t necessary and sometimes it is just as effective when sharing differing audiences.
Influencer marketing: This is where you find someone who is ahead of you in their journey and has a larger audience. You can offer them some sort of compensation (money, free products) in order for them to promote your business.
This tends to have a great result, as testimonial reviews are still one of the most important marketing materials.
Spending More Money Isn’t Always The Answer
Now we have to get to one of the most crucial points of this entire article, and it’s something that is a major stumbling block for many beginning entrepreneurs.
It's easy to think that when sales are low, throwing more money at advertising and marketing will solve all your problems, but unfortunately, it's not that simple.
If your messaging, offer, or product is not up to par, increasing your marketing budget will not solve the problem. In fact, it can actually make things worse by amplifying a weak message and wasting valuable resources.
Before you start spending money on advertising and marketing, you must make sure that your messaging, offer, and product are solid. This means conducting market research, identifying your unique selling proposition, and testing your messaging and offer with potential customers.
Once you have a solid foundation, then you can start to focus on building an effective marketing strategy. This includes identifying the right channels to reach your target audience, personalizing your messaging, and testing and optimizing your marketing efforts.
It's also important to remember that not all marketing efforts are created equal. Some channels may be more effective than others for reaching your target audience. Therefore, make sure you are strategic about where you allocate your marketing budget.
Keeping Your Customers
Acquiring your first 100 customers is a huge milestone for any business, but it's not the end of the journey (if only it were that easy).
Once you've acquired your first 100 customers, it's critical to make the most out of these early relationships. One way to do this is to provide excellent customer service, which can help turn first-time customers into repeat customers.
Additionally, you should also be thinking about how to upsell and cross-sell to your existing customers, as this can help drive additional revenue for your business.
It's vital to keep these customers coming back for more. Retention is just as important as acquisition, if not more so. Repeat customers are also more likely to spend more, refer their friends and family, and leave positive reviews.
Here are a few tips for keeping your first 100 customers coming back for more:
Provide excellent customer service: Make sure your customers are happy with their purchase and are satisfied with the service they received. Respond to complaints as soon as possible, and always try to go above and beyond to satisfy them.
Build a relationship: Get to know your customers and what they like and dislike. Send them personalized messages and offers. Show them that you care about their experience and their business.
Give more than you take: Offer additional value to your customers through free content, exclusive deals, or a loyalty program. This will give them a reason to come back and do business with you again.
Always be improving: Constantly be gathering feedback from your customers and making improvements to your product or service. This will help you stay ahead of the competition and ensure your product remains relevant and in demand.
Be an excellent communicator: Keep your customers informed about new products and upcoming promotions through email, social media, or SMS. This will keep your business top of mind and remind them to come back and shop with you.
Acquiring your first 100 customers as an entrepreneur can be a challenging task, but it is not impossible, even though it may feel like it at times.
By first getting your mindset right and then finding a successful business to model you are already on the right path. After that, harness your marketing skills and provide excellent customer service, and you can build a strong foundation for future growth and success.
Remember, acquiring your first 100 customers is supposed to be a fun, ongoing process. It doesn’t happen overnight, and there will be stumbling blocks along the way.
Stay patient and persistent and you will succeed.
That’s it for today. Check out my full interview with Stacy to get more insights on this!
If you enjoyed this article, I’d love to hear from you.
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