Keep in Touch
In any business there are only 3 ways to increase your revenue:
- Increase your prices
- Get more customers to purchase
- Get existing customers to buy more
Of these three, the most effective is #3 – Get existing customers to buy more (or buy again). This is why you want to keep in touch with your existing customers, to encourage them to repurchase.
Increasing your prices may deter new customers from buying. As you have probably figured out, getting new customers is costly in terms of both time and money. The most cost effective way to increase your revenue is to encourage repeat purchases from your existing customer base. When you are a solo-entrepreneur your time is your number one resource so choosing both time-effective and cost-effective ways to increase your business is where you should focus your energies.
How do you do this?
To keep your relationships warm, you must keep in touch with your customers. You must look for ways to be present in their lives on an ongoing basis. Ways to do this include:
– An email newsletter
– A printed mailing
– Sending them flyers or eflyers when you have a new show/showing/project
– Keep in contact through Twitter & Facebook
– An occasional phone call – invite them to something or see how they are doing with your product/service
– Throw a party and invite all your previous customers
– Christmas card/Valentine’s card/Easter card
– Send them a card on their birthday
You want to look for opportunities to stay in contact with your previous customers on a regular basis.
While you are keeping them informed about what you’re doing, look for opportunities to help promote THEM or THEIR work. You are looking to build a community (or a Tribe in Seth Godin terms) so you want the exchange to go in both directions. Look for opportunities to refer business to members of your community (this is a great way to encourage them to refer business to you). Ask for information and referrals from your network. And promote your new work to them at the same time.
You might consider offering an incentive to repeat customers – 10% off their next purchase to encourage repurchasing. While you’re at it, give them a sneak peek of any new work you’ve got.
Action – put pen to paper and sketch out how you can keep in touch with your existing customers over the next 12 months. As a minimum you want to contact them quarterly, but to be effective you probably should aim to reach them at least once per month.
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