How to get your first 100 customers

Jake StottRetentionGrid Segments

Does any of this sound familiar?
You’ve had a great idea for an online shop
You’ve made a great looking website
You’ve sourced your products and are ready to start selling
You’re now looking for ways to get your first 100 customers

For many the question of how to get your first 100 customers is a tough one. Unlike the traditional bricks and mortar store, the internet does not have a flow of steady footfall. The world of ecommerce requires different strategies and a different marketing approach to gain customers. Today I’m going to go through 5 ways to get your first 100 customers.

So to start with, Kevin Costner would be a terrible ecommerce consultant. The adage of “If you build it, they will come” does not apply to ecommerce. You have to think kind of like a bricks and mortar store owner, who has a store down a back alley and that store is in the basement of that building!

1. Speaking to your friends and family
This is always the best place to start. Your friends and family may be your perfect customers for this new store. You may have actually created the store because it’s based around one of your interests. The chances are your friends have similar interests.

The other big point is that your friends most likely have other friends. This is where things can start to snowball and can really help you towards your first 100 customers.

2. Social Media
Social media is a big topic, but in 2015 it’s by far the cheapest and quickest way to get your name out there. There are a few key things to consider and the my most important advice would be to not spread yourself too thin. Think about what resources you have and if you can’t maintain Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn and Snapchat then pick the most important 1 or 2. Facebook is likely to be where your friends are, so that can be a great place to start, Twitter gives you the capability to reach everyone without having to pay for ads and Instagram is a great way to get engagement fast with 40 times the engagement of Facebook.

Pick your channel and nail it. This article can give you a guide on how often to post on each channel. Here are 100 ideas for the content you can post on social media.

3. Collect Email Addresses
Email addresses are essential to being able to reach your customers. But this is a great way to turn visitors into customers. You can create popups using sites like Leadpages. Some people find these popups annoying however the bottom line is that they increase the amount of email addresses you collect. The more email addresses the more potential to get your first 100 customers.

Here is a great article that gives you 67 ways to collect email addresses.

4. Google Ads
If you’ve ever used Google you have seen Google ads. The key with Google ads is doing your research, as you can quite quickly spend the budget you allocated. First go through your website and look at what you are selling, as well as the subcategories. Then go to Google Adwords Keyword Planner to look through some of the possible keywords you could target and most importantly. Start small, test different keywords and build this up over time based on the data. This is a detailed article that goes into depth about Adwords for beginners.

5. Facebook Advertising
I have already mentioned social media and advertising. For me, Facebook advertising has replaced much of the newspaper/magazine advertising of the past. With nearly a quarter of the world’s population on Facebook it’s a big marketplace. In recent years Facebook has become far more about ads, however they have added tons of features that can help you towards your first 100 customers.

Shopify have done a great introduction that goes through all the possibilities of Facebook ads and here are some other top tips.

I hope these 5 ideas help you get your first 100 customers. If you are looking for more tips, there are tons and tons of resources on the internet for each of the 5 topics mentioned. The most important thing is to think about who your target audience is and which strategy can help you reach the most of them.