Do you know where your customers or potential customers are hanging out online? That’s usually the first question you need to answer when building a solid brand awareness on the Internet.
Understanding your niche potential customer starts with knowing where they spend time online. Once you locate them, join the conversation and then propose an interesting offer that makes it hard for them not to visit your website.
In this post I’m going to share some tried and tested strategies for locating places frequented by your target niche customer.
Start With Google
This seems obvious but many people either overlook it or simply think that it does not work. The fact is that Google is arguably the best place to start when searching for potential target customers.
Start with a detailed search for your keywords and find the top websites or top authorities (personalities) in your niche that are already established.
Once you’ve identified those websites, you want to spend time on them, taking part in comment debates and forums, and generally putting yourself out there. People who follow those established authorities are your potential customers so hanging with them is the best way to understand what they want.
Write a Guest Blog Post On An Authority Blog
Your initial search in the previous step should have revealed a number of authority leaders in your niche. These people probably already have thousands of followers who are also your potential customers. Writing a guest blog on one of the best known authority sites in your niche gets you a step closer to the people you’re looking for.
Most authority websites allow guest bloggers to post content with full credits to the authors. It’s best to apply to write a guest post when you already know what you want to write about, which obviously needs to be relevant to the blog’s readers. Look for a write for us section and post your application or contact the website via the provided contact details.
Leverage the Power of Twitter Search
Twitter has a dedicated search feature which can give you priceless insights about the interests of your target customers. For instance if you search for WordPress Themes, Twitter pulls hundreds of conversations and pages that closely match your search. Most likely you’ll see lots of conversations where people are talking about WordPress themes.
So how do you join the conversation? Position your Twitter page in the conversations that contain your main keywords. You will then start appearing in searches that contain those keywords and people will be flocking to you. These will most probably be potential customers who want something related to what you offer.
Join Forums Related To Your Niche
Before social media networks took over the Internet, online forums were some of the most frequented places on the Internet. The potential of forums lies in the fact that they attract like-minded people. Also, a typical online forum tends to be a close-knit family of enthusiasts who are very active in the forum.
This method may take longer to yield results since you have to ease into the family gradually until other members are comfortable with you and can trust you. However it can pay off handsomely especially if you have something valuable to offer.
A word of caution though: forums are generally wary of sales people and Internet marketing speak, so never use salesy language in forums. Find other creative ways of luring members to your website.
Join Facebook Groups in Your Niche
Facebook groups are basically an extension of traditional online forums. They work more or less the same way except that groups are part of a bigger social networking network. There’s a Facebook group for anything that matters; you simply have to find them.
Groups bring together hordes of like-minded users who spend a lot of time there. Join a relevant group and be active so that other users notice you. Your main aim is to get potential customers to recognize you and want to know more about you.
Creating a successful online business takes a great deal of effort especially when you’re just starting out. However if you employ proven strategies for gaining customers and remain focused, you will build a sustainable and profitable business.
Use the strategies listed above to locate potential customers in various online places.
Over to you now: what strategies do you use to find customers online.
Image: CC BY – 4.0