How to find potential customers and clients

Registering with the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce KVK, launching your website, or creating a social media profile. All important milestones when starting your business. But the moment your phone starts ringing and emails start pouring in, that’s when the work really begins. This is how to find customers and clients in 3 steps.

It is never too early to start thinking about ways to attract customers. In other words: about your marketing. Marketing means promoting your product or service on the market. This includes all activities that you undertake to improve the sales of your product or service. For example, through social media, fairs, or advertising in a local or national newspaper.

1. Promote your business

Start with promoting your company. Your potential customers have no idea who you are and what you do, at least not until you tell them about it. You need to actively promote your business to reach customers and clients in your target group. For example, by posting interesting content on social media, handing out flyers at a networking event, or by means of an interview in the (local) newspaper. Even talking about your business to your neighbour at a party can be part of your marketing strategy - this is called word-of-mouth advertising.

2. Build a clear picture of your dream client

Next, you define your ideal customer. Maybe you are convinced that your product or service is suitable for everybody. Why should you choose? The more customers, the better, right? Because it is hard to reach everybody, there are a few downsides to this attitude. For one, you will need a very big marketing budget. Furthermore, not everybody has the same interest. Or the same problem that requires your specific product or service as the solution.

When you have the courage to define the specific type of customers you really want, you can target your search for that new client. You can promise that your product or service can solve their problem. And you can deliver on that promise. Your customer is satisfied, makes another purchase at your business, and recommends your service or product to others.

To determine your ideal client, you have think about the specific group of people that may benefit from your product or service. What problem are you solving for them? What is their budget? What makes them happy and what is their age? The focus that you apply now, will help you reach your dream client.

3. Start your marketing

Now it is time for action! Do you start immediately, or first set up a plan? Whatever you decide, start in a way that suits you.

  • Make a pitch and rehearse it. You can first present this pitch to your friends and family, for example, and learn from their reactions.
  • Do your research and use your findings to write a marketing plan. This way, you will know where to find your client, online and offline. This will be the place where you become active and promote your company. Consider handing out leaflets, visiting online market places, using search engine marketing and social media, or implementing influencer marketing. Approach local and national media for (free) publicity.
  • Extend your network and mix with people who work in the same sector. For example, go visit a fair, do some networking, and see how your competitors are doing. And join your sector association.