When your profits plateau, you may need to grow a customer base of businesses outside your local net. Here's how to start.
There's a common plateau that B2B service providers run into. You've built up a solid client base in your local market, but your profits have leveled off. To continue growing your business, you'll need to expand beyond local clients.
Growing your client base probably won't happen overnight, but a few tactics have proven effective for going outside the local market.
1. Do more social media marketing.
Social media marketing has become a popular choice for B2B digital marketing, with 79 percent of marketers even calling it the most effective B2B channel. Even though B2C companies tend to get more attention for their social media marketing, it can be a great way to build your brand and network with clients in new markets.
LinkedIn and Twitter rank at the top of effective lead generation for B2B companies. Although both social networks are worthy of your time, don't leave out marketing efforts on other networks just because they aren't as good for leads. Facebook, Instagram and YouTube are all great ways to build your brand, and in time, that brand building will expose your business to new clients.
2. Improve your SEO.
To have clients from other markets use your business, you need to find them or they need to find you. Better search engine optimization (SEO) will help with the latter.
You may already be doing well with your local SEO, but it's obviously much more difficult to rank in more general search results without a location attached. Perform keyword research to see what your new target market is searching for, and create pages targeting those keywords. You may also want to consider some pay-per-click (PPC) ads.
3. Use good word-of-mouth to your advantage.
Don't underestimate the power of re ferrals. Your local client base could put you in touch with more businesses and help you in your expansion efforts.
Depending on your relationship with your clients, you could simply ask them if they know any other business owners in need of your service. Another option would be offering an incentive for a referral, such as a discount on their next project with you.
4. Build your business as an authority in its industry.
When your business gets a reputation as an industry expert, it brings in more clients from all over the nation. The most important part of becoming an authority is your content. By consistently posting high-quality content that's valuable to people, your business will begin to develop a reputation for its expertise.
You don't need to post all your content on your business's site. Contact other sites in your industry for guest blogging opportunities. Not only is this good for your business's reputation, it also helps your SEO and your site's traffic through the backlinks you'll get.
The good news is that the internet has made it easier than ever before to expand into new markets. Gone are the days when you needed to open a new physical location for your business to penetrate a market. All it takes is some savvy use of social media, content marketing and SEO to get your business in front of a whole new group of clients.