You just opened a new business. You are thinking of marketing your business to close friends and family. There are some advantages to doing this:
They Know and Trust You
Trust and customer loyalty are hard to come by. For those that trust you, you do not have to work as hard to keep them as a customer. If you have a product or service they need, you will usually be the first call.
They Can Provide Reviews and Feedback
Close family and friends can vouch for you. You do not have to prove yourself for they already know you. You only have to prove your business and its value. Your closest friends and family can be a great source of reviews and feedback when you are first getting started.
Keep the Following in Mind When You Market to Family and Friends
1) Customize your elevator speech
Family and friends will hear your ice breakers and 30 second elevator speeches more than others. You do not want to sound like a robot. Mix it up. Make it relevant to your audience.
2) Find friends and family with relevant experience and connections
Find those closest to you who want to help you succeed. Allow them to leverage their resources and connections to help you build your business. Steer clear of those who do not believe in your vision. They will not be of help to your business goals and objectives.
3) Steer clear of being the resident (free) expert
Your time and experience has value. Your friends and neighbors understand this, otherwise they wouldn’t ask in the first place. Do not be afraid to charge for your expertise. Set clear boundaries and expectations early.
4) Do not give a family discount
Instead of providing quality work to those who paid full price, you are trying to provide reliable products and services to those who are not paying you money. This is a bad place to be in. It can be good business to provide incentives and discounts, but they should be targeted and a small percentage of your overall customer profile.
5) There is more to business than business
Make sure you talk about hobbies and other interests at social events. Be well-rounded and take time to connect with people on an emotional level. Remember good business is about trust. So build trust.
6) Host an event or party and invite friends and family
Use this opportunity to share your joy and passion of your business. Let them invite others they know to expand your base of potential customers.
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