Every small business knows how hard it is to get customers, especially those first 10-20.  So besides the regular sales calls and marketing efforts, what can you do to connect with and then retain new customers?  Below you’ll find a few tips on getting customers interested and keeping them engaged with your brand.

Who are you?  Let your vision and mission statement take the center stage.  The customer purchase cycle has recently undergone a huge change; it’s all about informed decisions which depend heavily on word of mouth and feedback from others in the industry.  Mention it in your website, blog, and social media profiles.  Keep a web contact page that encourages people to ask questions and interact. They could be potential leads!

What do you offer?  Let them know about your products and what you can do to help them.  Collaborative effort helps businesses.  As a small business owner you should join communities, spread the word, attend webinars and seminars, try hosting your own webinars and seminars, and give away free e-books and whitepapers.  Share your knowledge and you will become a valuable thought leader in your industry.

Stay connected.  Newsletters are a great way to stay connected with your audience. Don’t fill it with industry jargon and repeated information on your company; instead keep it simple with useful information your contacts will appreciate.  In return for the valuable content you provide, you can expect referrals.  Always keep an option to sign up for your newsletter on your blog/website.

Write!  Your subject matter expertise is as good as your offering.  Write in company blogs, publish white papers, and volunteer to send contributions to award-winning blogs and websites. This will enable you to build a community that supports you and stays loyal to you.

Be thankful.  Thank your readers and customers—they are the reason your company is afloat!   Send thank you emails to loyal customers and also to interested prospects.  This will allow you to keep the conversation going in order to find out more about them and their needs. Be human; it’s not always about sales, and establishing a good relationship goes a long way.