The key to starting a business and running a company is paying customers. So, just because you’ve been through all the steps of starting a business, you still may find it a challenge to bring in the customers. You’re not alone, a lot of new business owners struggle with this. However, if you’re a striving entrepreneur while still balance the responsibilities of being a college student then you’ll find yourself at an advantage. In additional to the many benefits of being a college student starting your own business such as free available resources and funding options, you also have the opportunity to turn your classmates into customers. These fellow classmates are great to test the waters of your business to really iron out the details of running your business. Here are 5 ways you can turn your classmates into your businesses first customers.
Use Social Media
Social media is an amazing platform for businesses to utilize when searching for ways to gain customers. Lucky for you, almost every one of your classmates will be on at least one social media network regardless if they’re a die heart Facebook user or a committed Instagram user. Using social media to your advantage will help grow your business and reach your fellow classmates to increase interest. Social media is used all the time now for marketing and branding purposes so who say you can’t use it either. There are many tools available that can help you to expand your following on social media. Additionally, most schools have social media pages dedicated to specific class groups and interests. This is where you can advertise your services to fellow classmates. Even offering them a student discount can entice them to test out your products and services. If you’re looking for the easiest route to reach your classmates as a target audience, then social media is the way to go. You’ll also gain experience in social media advertising which is key to growing a successful business these days.
Create a Website
It’s no secret that most of your fellow classmates utilize the internet for just about everything. They’re using the internet for school, to socialize, to watch movies, and to waste some time. It only makes sense that you should create a website for your business. You want a place where your fellow classmates can learn more about your business and if needed, place an order or find the next step. Creating a catchy call to action and an easy to navigate site will increase your credibility and make it easier for your classmates to find out more information about your business. There are a variety of website building tools that are free to use and easy to set up. This also helps you to build an online presence so when they find you through social media they can be routed to your website and just like that, you have created your first lead!
The best way to turn your fellow classmates into customers is by being real and relating to them. Yes, you’re a business owner but you’re also a student who knows what it’s like to be a student. Ask yourself, what would you be looking for in a business? What is it that catches your attention? Those are brainstorming questions you can think about and then use when trying to gain a customer base. Being relatable is one of the best advantages you have when running a business and putting yourself in your customers shoes has never been easier. Advertise the way you’d want to be advertised to and create a customer experience that you’d be happy with. Relating to your customers is easy and a huge advantage point when focusing on turning your classmates into your first customers. Besides, if something goes wrong, it’s easier to handle upsets when they know you understand and can relate. It’s all about perspective.
Attend School Functions
Attending school functions is the best way to advertising your business to your fellow classmates and also network with them. Most school functions have the option to sign up as a vendor so get out there and connect with your fellow classmates. The more they see your business, the more you’ll build an image for your brand and the more likely they are to buy from you. The best thing about being in college is there are functions all the time and sometimes they are industry specific. If you’re looking for a mentor, they have networking events for that. If you’re looking for funding options such as equipment financing or a small business loan, they have options for that too! The even better part of all of this is there are vendors who need to sign up for every event so while you get exposure through these functions you are also gaining connections which both can help you turn your fellow classmates into customers.
Look for Referrals
Another way to turn your classmates into customers is through referrals. Try asking one of your friends or dorm roommate to try out your product or service. That way, if they’re happy, they can start spreading the word about your business and things will eventually take off. Nothing is more powerful than word of mouth. As you grow, you can also offer your classmates a referral program where they get a discount or coupon for sending someone your way.