Diversifying ​your client or customer base as a small business is a ​crucial aspect of growing and adapting your brand​. However, sometimes ​it's a lot ​easier said than done (especially during the slower summer months). So here we are, mid-way through July and you may be wondering, “Is this even possible to do during the off-season?” 

​The answer is Yes. You CAN diversify your client base not only during the summer months, but year round​. ​Here are some actionable strategies you can try to get you there, and it all starts with listening.​ ​

1. Listen to EVERYONE.

This week at our Likeable Local headquarters in NYC, we did a team activity where we engaged in listening to others about their personal goals and obstacles. The point of the activity was to gage exactly how actively we were listening and retaining the information​ we heard​. It opened our ​staff's eyes to how important being a good listener truly is​ --​  ​N​ot to mention the fact that being a great listener is a skill that ​can be applied to all aspects of life (and not just for business).

Our ​CEO,​ Dave Kerpen stated that in his entire career in sales, he was more successful when he spoke less and listened more. People want to know that you care​,​ as a business owner,​ about their wants and needs. In ​one of Dave's recent LinkedIn articles,​ he states about clients, “Once I understood them, I could do a much better job of delivering what they wanted and needed, both in the product I was selling and in the way I sold it.”

By simply listening to clients, you will create better customer service, which will lead to more interested​  prospects and finally, a more diverse client base.

2. Make sure your social media is solid.

As we learned in tip #5 from last week, the summer months are a perfect time to join “the giant cocktail party,” otherwise known as social media. It is important to observe your current customers' online behaviors so that you can hyper​-​target them through whichever social media platform they prefer.

Once you have your solid social media following, it is important to be responsive to your customers to ensure a better connection. A better connection leads to happier customers and a happy customer brings us to the ​final piece of the puzzle: Greater word-of-mouth marketing.

3. Encourage WOM marketing through social media.

​It's no secret  that word-of-mouth marketing is ​vital for small business success and social media is a key player in the process. When customers are happy with your business’ product or service, they tell their family and friends and refer them to your ​brand.

While this ​often happens naturally, there are ways that you ​can encourage referrals and speed up the process. For example, you could promote discounts​ or trial​ periods​ of a product or service you provide if they refer a friend​ via social media​. ​Attractive d​iscounts ​(​or anything with the word “free”​)​ are hard to turn down, so this is a sure​-​fire way that ​to grow and diversify your client base!

What strategies will your business try  to better listen to your current and prospective customers?

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