5 Ways to Leverage Your Existing Customers for Growth

Rising Bread

No matter how small your current user base is, these five simple tactics will help you acquire new customers by leveraging existing ones.

1. Video Testimonials

Creating video testimonials is a powerful way to convey customer satisfaction and convert prospects. You may have been avoiding video due to high production costs, but unlike your intro video an engaging testimonial can be as simple as a Skype screen capture. The lighting doesn’t matter as much as the sound; however, don’t forget to have the customer clearly state their name and company (if relevant). Upload the videos both to YouTube and your site, and consider using memorable quotes for written testimonials. Instead of constantly asking loyal customers for references, you can now simply direct an endless number of prospects to the videos at any time.

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Why do you want to work for us?

The Office

The make or break question. Interviewers often end interviews with this seemingly simple question in order to weed out those just looking for a paycheque. However, less than qualified candidates can fake interest with a shallow answer.

It seems as if some candidates prepare for interviews by only spending a couple of minutes on online research. They then mention a unique aspect of the company during the interview, which may fool some inexperienced interviewers. While information can be harder to find when applying to smaller businesses, I used to wonder why recently launched startups even asked interviewees “why do you want to work for our company?”.

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Your Company’s Five Customers

#beta #invite

Every business has to deal with these five types of customers. Below are some tips on how to treat each customer, once you’ve identified which category they fall into.

1. The Early Adopter

The Early Adopter signs up before you’ve even had a chance to read your own launch announcement. They are eager to try the latest products, and their Twitter feed is full of “I just signed up to x, join me now… #beta #invite”.

How To
Beware, it won’t be long before the Early Adopter gets distracted by the next shiny startup and forgets all about you. One way to keep these customers around is to make them feel like insiders and constantly update them on new features. Don’t worry if they do disappear, as they are often not your target audience. However, try to keep the Early Adopter engaged long enough for the word to reach prospects in her network.

2. The Groupie

The Groupie is an Early Adopter that felt so special she decided to stick around. These customers will bombard you with suggestions, and won’t hesitate to answer any requests for feedback.

How To
Accept their advice graciously, but don’t feel compelled to satisfy their every demand. You might find some gems, but as much as these customers love your product, you’ll notice the Groupie rarely converts into a paying customer.

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You’ve had a bad day

haters gonna hate

Once your company will be worth billions, one mean-spirited email won’t matter. In fact, it will most likely never even reach you.

The story is different when you’re a team of five. Every single email, good or bad, is forwarded to you. While feedback is always welcome, some people don’t realize that sending an email full of hate isn’t very helpful. These people might even be your biggest ‘fans’, but they fail to realize how badly their careless email hurts. Furthermore, they fail to realize how their follow up tweet will hurt your chances to close your upcoming funding round.

The best solution is to kill them with kindness, and hope they move on to their next rant.

Don’t worry about launching your MVP without an email sign-in if you’re targeting Facebook users. Don’t delay your weekly blog post because you haven’t found the perfect image. Don’t leave out a call-to-action until you’ve hired a copywriter.

These type of people are always going to find something to complain about, make a big deal out of it, and say that you’re the worse. Haters gonna hate. The next time someone has a bad day and takes it out on you, remember that the only reason you have a missing feature is because you actually had the courage to launch something in the first place.


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Invite Your Friends

Invite Your Friends

Word-of-mouth is undeniably the most powerful form of marketing. While you can’t force your users to tell their friends about your service, you can do your best to delight and make it easy for them to spread the word. If your customers love your brand, or just had an experience that exceeded their expectations, they will find a way to share it. However, more often than not, you have to build in the tools that gently nudge, and even incentivize, customers to share.

There are a couple of methods to encourage word-of-mouth, but it also comes down to the way they are executed. Slapping a couple of social media icons on a physical product isn’t going to cut it.

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