If there’s one thing the coronavirus pandemic has taught us, it’s that you can never rely on the status quo. Perhaps your small business had a robust client base in January, and you might have established a pipeline that consistently attracted new clients to your business. But times change—and new circumstances call for new strategies. Given the added financial pressures brought on by the pandemic, it’s more important than ever to be focused and efficient in your efforts. “In a perfect world, you would have an unlimited budget to market your business in order to find new customers and increase sales,” says marketing guru Elizabeth Wasserman. “You could buy lots of online and offline advertising, run promotions to build traffic in-store and online, and launch a proactive public relations campaign to increase your product or brand's visibility and awareness. But this isn't a perfect world. Realistically, most small businesses and even many mid-sized firms have more great ideas on how to peddle their wares than available resources.” In order to reach the right people and maximize your marketing dollars, you’ll need to lay out a clear strategy. Your first objective: identifying your target audience so that you can connect with potential clients rather than wasting time, money, and resources on individuals who are unlikely to convert. Many small business owners blast past this step of the process in an effort to get their messaging out quicker—but this shotgun approach will never deliver refined results. You need to work smarter at the onset, not faster. Once your focused messages are out in the market, you’ll enjoy faster results due to the improved effectiveness of your efforts. “How old are they? What gender? What is their socio-economic background?” asks a client analysis from The Balance Small Business. “Knowing who your market is makes it easier to find them and deliver messages that entice them to check out your product or service. Take the time to understand who your target market is so you don’t waste your time or money finding and selling to the wrong customers and clients.” Once you’ve identified your client profile, you’re ready to develop customized marketing tactics. Here are 7 proven methods for finding new clients: 1. Activate the power of social media: Few marketing methods offer the reach and value of social media. Refer to the research you’ve already done in creating your client profile to select the social channels where your potential clients are most likely to be active. One of the best aspects of social media: it not only connects you with new clients, it also serves as an ongoing conduit for your communications. Through social media, you complement your client-attracting efforts with initiatives to strengthen your existing base. 2. Seek referrals: You can often find new clients by leveraging those already in your base—after all, great minds think alike. If someone already values your product or service, there’s a good chance their friends will, too. Creating a consistent referral system will make your client-recruitment efforts more successful. Perhaps it’s sending an email that leads to a landing page or making phone calls to your top clients and asking them directly. Whichever method you choose, ensure that it’s not difficult or confusing for your clients to make a referral. 3. Provide perks for new customers: A little incentive often goes a long way. Consider offering a special discount or sample for all new customers. This makes it simpler and more affordable for them to try out your business. Follow-up is always crucial, so be sure to track the customers who take advantage of your introductory offers. You can then send them targeted communications down the road to keep them engaged. 4. Tap into a business organization: When you understand your client profile, you’ll also know the organizations they’re likely to belong to. Join any relevant clubs and organizations, then participate in a way that demonstrates the strengths of your business. For example, you could give a presentation at one of the organization’s meetings that includes references to your distinct role in the industry. 5. Revive past clients: Sometimes you don’t have to look far to find what you're seeking: your past clients likely still fit within your ideal profile, and they previously saw enough merit in your business to be your customers. Reach out to these contacts with similar offers to those you would extend to new clients. With the right incentive and messaging, you can convert some of your past clients into current ones. By sticking closely to your client profile research, you’ll be able to get the most bang for your buck, regardless of which strategies you employ. Clearly communicate the unique benefits you offer so you can highlight how your business stands above the competition. Then make sure to deliver the customer service that proves you’re worth it.