Awztun

How did you get your first customers?

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I've got enough machines and materials to start producing basic signs, decals, banners, etc. I'm just stuck on the most important part, making sales. I'm not really sure where to start though.

So how did some of you guys go about getting your first few customers before your business started to grow?

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In daily conversation, drop your business and name often. That is pretty potent. Outside of that, know any local businesses or relatives that do things? 

 

If you work someplace or worked someplace prior, you've got some contacts you can exploit there and among the vendors.

 

The sign business is like prostitution. Some customers come to you, you go to some of them, and if you were good they keep coming back.

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 Ha ha! I like that that analogy Command.

 

I did some free work on friends and relatives for a while both so I could get some practice as well as get a few other mouths out there talking. Drop a few free decals or shirts (if you do shirts) with a business card and often people will call you back. 

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I walked into a stereo shop, saw their decals stuck on a display case and said "I can make those".   The shop owner asked me to make a few and bring them back,  I did and got an order.

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My very first actual job was a florist van and delivery car. They were both looking pretty beat up and I went in to buy flowers and made an offhand comment about it and that I did that sort of thing when she got ready to re-do them. Handed my card and she called me a few weeks later. 

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Craigslist and following thousands of people on Instagram using your business account. Make sure the people you follow would be potential customers so you dont waste your time.

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Craigslist and following thousands of people on Instagram using your business account. Make sure the people you follow would be potential customers so you dont waste your time.

 

How does following people help?

I can see if they are following you but not the other way around.    

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I started with all my friends on facebook posting to all of them and  then made a facebook page and paid like 7 bucks for the advertising they offer for like a week or so and bam! it took off really quick,Now i have a website  for 16.00 a month thats running but work in progress and it helps as well..  my last job i got was from the advertisement from facebook and that landed a 165.00 easy cake job.

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How does following people help?

I can see if they are following you but not the other way around.    

If you follow someone they always check your account if you are public, people appreciate followers too. Every 150 people I follow I get about 4 inquires. 

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Word,of mouth after a couple of jobs, and some negative publicity for sneaking in a decal,of an old buzzard and putting it on a deputy wardens door :/

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For me i made a facebook business page and then started making things for my family,then i made a Decal album on my own personal page and between the two everytime i started posting new pics of my work people started contacting me that were already on my friends list ,then it went from there. I do have a website as well but i get 98% more business from facebook than my website, But im getting ready to add an interactive price calculator and decal preview for new customers .It will give them a preview of Fonts they can choose from and a ball park on a quote... But facebook is your best friend for sure...

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I was working at a sign shop that specialized in wraps. That were neglecting a lot of the small jobs they would take on. I had to deal with the customers coming in and getting pissed off at me. I had a falling out with the owner and left. A few months later I was approached by one of the neglected customers to see if I knew of anyone doing cut vinyl work. I saw this as an opportunity to start my own small working from home business. 

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my family bought a deli. my father and i were fixing it up, he had a guy that did decals for him, but he was going out of business. we were not yet ready but there was a mad rush to try to come up with a name and slogan for the front window begfore this guy shut down. he wanted $1200 to do the window. i found i could get an mh series cutter and the 2 colors of vinyl he wanted for significantly less than half of what this guy wanted adn it would alleviate the worry of trying to come up with the name on the spot. so thats what i did. 

that store has since closed. but thats neither here nor there. after that, my employer "ran out of money" a few years and we got laid off over the winter, i do a lot of gun related decals and i am on a few gun forums. i just posted some of my work there and offered them for sale. i didnt make a killing, but it was a nice supplement to my unemployment compensation to get my income back up. 

i also still get the occasional local job through word of mouth. 

 

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we have a retail/consignment shop here at the beach. I bought my cutter because no one would show up. kept getting "will b there tom" so decided I would jump in and do my own. started learninf how to with sm decals before doing our 3'x12' back lit sign. also put our business name on my enclosed trailer and added vinyl decals and graphics on the other side. my very 1st cust was a lady shopping in the store and wanted to know what that was behind the counter making that noise. I have an sc . lol. my 1st commercial cust saw my trailer. I did 2 trucks for him and his store ft. I'm hoping to step up my game this yr. plus upgrade and add equipment. so I'm also looking for better methods to get the word out since we have so many tourist come thru.

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On 5/31/2016 at 11:26 PM, decalsdirect954 said:

If you follow someone they always check your account if you are public, people appreciate followers too. Every 150 people I follow I get about 4 inquires. 

I have never had anyone inquire about my services form instagram or twitter. I sure get a lot of people wanting to follow me that I don't follow back or they want me to follow them and I don't back. It is not a good thing if you have less followers than you are following. People are weird like that and think you are not successful if you are the follower and not the leader. It is sad, but true. That is why I try to balance how many I will follow until I get more followers. Still never once has anyone inquired, they have liked my images, but not inquired. So not a good way to spend your time advertising. Mainly I use them to try and build my ranking on my site. Best way is to get word of mouth. It can take a year to get people to trust in you, but it will happen if you are really wanting to put in the time it takes to feel like you are spinning your wheels.

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