How to land your first customer?

It will be tough if you are a newbie in the market. No one wants to sit in an empty restaurant. They will ask who your previous customers are which you don’t have. So how do you find your first customer? You need to do everything you can to get your first customer. It is the key thing make or break your business. There are some ideas for you to try out:

You Own Network: based on history, most of my works come from who I know. They are my friends, my old colleagues someone I know. So think about your network, your friends, your family even your old boss. They are most likely people who will give you the first shot.

Online Social Networking: try to engage social networking. Set yourself up on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. It’s free. Join some groups, take time to interact with others and offer value. Some of them may be your potential customers or know someone will be you customers. At least, try to get noticed.

Offline groups: Join meetups, attend events where can lead to your customers. If you are offering software development services, joined groups with your fellow developers to discuss tech things. If you are really good at what you are doing, there are chances they will think about you when they need extra hands. Try to join business groups where your customer hang-out but remember avoid groups with consultants who just talk to offer their services to you. This just waste of your time and there are tons of them.

Making lists: Making lists of companies, people related to your fields. You can find them one search engines, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook. Follow them. Contact them to ask if they need your services.

Give it away: If you build products or services. You can offer your products or services for free. It’s not always possible to give it for free, especially you do service, but it’s a good way to build up users. You know it doesn’t make you money but you can offer your product free to gain users. Software companies often do premium model, that means offer a basic product for free and charge for the premium one.

If you cannot do that, you can just offer a limited number of users for a special price, example first twenty users.

Pay for ads: You can pay for advertisements on channels such as Google, Facebook to get customers. But as a startup with limited money, this is not my choice.

Remember even if you don’t like sales, to be a successful entrepreneur you will need to be able to sell.

After all, if you’re lucky and work hard, you will find a first customer. Treat them right. Please serve them the best you can. Worth of mouths is one of the best marketing tools. They are the guy giving you the first shot. Do your best, they will tell their friend about your services.

Blog by Binh — Co-Founder of @KANDSTech , the best .NET AND MOBILE Software Consultancy in London . I’m always looking to work with customers, software agencies, startups and fellows software developers. Contact me via twitter @binhtech or email binh@binhtech.com

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