Getting Your First Customers- THE UNTOLD STORY

Starting in my entrepreneur journey I was faced with the task of getting people to buy after setting up products/services and building my online platform. So I went into searching “How to get customers for my product”. I saw a lot of
articles and read a lot of posts on how to get customers.

But one thing those articles, webinar, and courses missed, was “how to actually get your first customers”. One common advice that normally stands out in those courses or articles is using customer testimonials and social proof. For someone that is looking for how to get their first customer, you can see how using customer testimonials can be difficult. I mean, they have to be customers before testimonies right?

We’ve heard the ultimate advice, testimonials are good, get good social proof (social proof shows that people are using your product and it eases the mind of your potential customers), put ads on social media platforms, send out emails(another conflicting statement). Don’t get me wrong those words of advice are all valid but when you are starting up and someone is telling you the only way to get customers is to use testimonials of customers or send emails when you have no email list, it’s kinda slapping you in the face.

As a faithful student, I kept on searching and had to learn the hard way how to get my customers. But in the course of my journey of getting my first customer and my second, I realized that some
strategies are not frequently told that can be effective in achieving your goals. That’s why I am writing this post to open you up to ways of getting your first customer. Let’s jump in, shall we?

1.How to get your first customers

Promote among your local connections.Some entrepreneurs journey normally start with launching their product/services, building  their online presence, and start promoting it online. As that is a good step to take, it makes them jump one primary step. And that’s promoting their product/service among their local connections — family, friends, and acquaintance— people that know them and trust them.

Its easier to get sales from people who know you than from people who haven’t connected with you. You can send out an open letter to friends and family about your business or your services, send out messages to your social media connections (Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram, etc).

There are most likely to work with you because they are already connected to you and have built a certain level of trust with you. You never know, they may need your services and you were not aware.

Some might say “My local connections can’t afford my services”, but they might know someone or a business who does. By publicizing yourself and your business locally, you are building brand awareness for your product.

Till date word of mouth marketing has the highest conversion rate, so you will get free WOM marketing from your connections

2.Offer free or discounted services

What! Free work? I don’t do free work.

I know you are very expensive but people need to see what, and maybe experience why you are expensive. Free or discounted services can come in different forms; Demo account for a Saas business, pay for materials for a manufacturing or production business, Free trial, Buy one get 1 free/Buy 2 for the price of 1, 25% or 50% off for a time period or just plainly doing a free service.

But do big brands offer free service?

Coca-cola started distributing its first coupon in 1887, and that shaped the future of e-commerce. One out of every nine American citizens was using the coupon, they saw the effectiveness of coupons and how it increased revenue for the company that when they released coke they still used that strategy, and before you know coca-cola brand became a household name. Not long other big brands began to replicate this successful strategy in their marketing strategy.

According to research, discount and special offers create happiness among your buyers, boost overall revenue, and discourages cart abandonment especially among first-time buyers.(source)

Reasons why you should consider using this strategy for your business as a startup;

1.It will stir up purchase and give you your first customers.

2.You can increase your customer base and collect testimonials. When you have a good number of customer base, testimonials, and social proof, you can deviate your strategy from free or discount to offering your full-service price.

3.You get free WOM from people purchasing your product or services. build brand awareness with your product.

3. Make the world your marketers — Offer a referral bonus

Getting paid for only talking is almost everyone’s dream. Offering referral bonuses to people for bringing in new customers can help you get not just your first customers but continue to bring in customers to your services. Most brands use it in from of affiliates — offering a percentage to every customer they bring.

In using referral bonuses you get to leverage not just on your connection but also on the connections of others. Its a pyramid expansion that will be favorable to your business. you get more customers and they get a cut for bringing in that customers, it’s a win-win.

Let’s look deeper on why you should consider this strategy.

Consider the lifetime value LTV for your customers — LTV is an estimate of the average revenue that a customer will generate throughout their lifespan as a customer. This ‘worth’ of a customer can help determine many economic decisions for a company including marketing budget, resources, profitability and forecasting (source) — What this means is that you should consider the total money that the customer brought by the referral will bring to your business.

If you have a Saas business that charges monthly and your average customer’s lifespan is 1 year then you can easily know if is worth it.
For example, you have a solution where your buyers can pay monthly for your service, and let’s say your monthly payment is £500, and according to your data, your average customer spends at least a year with your services before canceling it or moving elsewhere.

So if you do the maths; £500 x 12 =£6,000. That means for every customer you get at least £6000 from them, all things being equal. If you decide to pay £50 as a referral bonus for a customer that means you have used £50 to get £6,000. Do you see why it’s not a bad idea to consider?

Second cool reason is people love to share, especially something that is good and makes them look good. So if your services are good and help them accomplish their goal they share it without hesitation to their connections giving you free WOM, which can bring you more customers.
So before you completely remove ideas from your business strategy you need to critically look and analyze the ideas and its possible effect on your business overarching goals.


Every business is different and unique, understanding your business’s internal and external forces will enable you to know which strategy will work best for you. But before you completely ignore any idea, check how it was used by other businesses, the effect it had on them, how it will help you meet your business goals. Some silly ideas might just be what will take your business to a Fortune 500 company.

Now your turn?
Which strategy are you going to use for your business and why will you use it? Do you know any strategy for getting your first customers that people are not talking about? Let me know in the comment section below.

Written by:
Ovwighose Marykate
0809 907 2342

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