In our last post we looked at the key differences between an average domestic PC user as oppposed to a business client. Now it’s time to examine the most effective ways to reach and sign up domestic users (and perhaps pick up new business work along the way!)
Approaching domestic users is more a matter of large numbers than it is a singular, focussed effort. You need to have an effect on the way people think, feel, reason and ultimately select an online service. It goes without saying that you need a presence on the top 3 social networks where you can identify yourself as a go-to IT guy, and in return ask people to try out your software free for a given amount of time and then decide if they wish to continue to use the service.
According to ebizmba, the top 3 social networking site are:
- Facebook (surprise!)
Although this is not a lesson in networking, we recommend that you take the time to use these 3 tools effectively, and link them so they all update automatically. Strike a good balance between your following and followers, interact with them and they will share your product with their network.
You can also leverage the online ‘marketplace’ where people go to trade goods and services locally. Gumtree should be the first domain that springs to mind. If you were to place a paid ad on Gumtree for professional computer support you would consistently feature at the top of peoples search results and pick up ad-hoc work as a result. You can add value to your service by offering offsite backup for photos, documents, family videos and anything else they hold dear. Again, this might come in the form of a 14-day trial, but if you create enough value in your service, they’ll sign up.
Although we have never extolled the benefits of print marketing, if it’s done a certain way it can generate a higher ROI than normally expected. A mass mailing campaign in your local area, asking people to ‘test’ your software at no charge, and with no obligation, will generate interest. You must emphasize that you are a local IT specialist, and working on your own ‘Cloud Backup’ solution for Business and Domestic users. (Differentiating between domestic and business will entice some business owners to try your service) Have people get in touch with you so you can set them up with a 1GB trial account, and back up some photos, documents, and anything else they don’t want to lose. Follow up after a few days, have them delete and restore a bunch of files.
Just before the account is due to end, thank your ‘participants’ for trialling your software. Let them know that the software is going to market at X amount of dollars, and offer them a special price for helping you test it. When asking for referrals, again divide them up into Business/Domestic users and offer an introductory rate to all the people your new clients refer.
Bear in mind that you can do almost exactly the same thing to attract business users, either by phoning or visiting their premises and offering them an opportunity to help test your software.