We all want more clients, but how do we get them? And then, how do we keep them?

If they don’t know about you, they can’t buy from you, so building awareness is key to gaining clients. If they don’t remember you, they won’t buy from you, so being “top of mind” is equally important (for both new and past or existing customers). And, finally, unless you are top of mind AND they prefer you (TOMP – top of mind preference), they’ll give their business to someone else.

In addition to providing a stellar product or service, here are 10 tips we suggest for getting (and staying!) top of mind with customers and clients:

1) Start with your target market in mind. Who are they? Spend your precious resources (time, money and energy) going after the customers you want to attract (and keep).

2) Assess your brand. Does your branding speak to and appeal to your target market? Does it still resonate with who you are, what you provide and what makes you unique? Are you “competing with yourself” with branding and marketing efforts that are not consistent?

3) Assess your current website. It’s your calling card, your online brochure and a sales tool. Is your website’s branding consistent with your other branded efforts and materials? Is it up to date in terms of look, layout and content? Does it tell your unique story? Is it filled with industry jargon and claims everyone else could make? De-jargon it, tell your story and explain your claims.

4) Do you have newsworthy events or stories you could let the media know about? Are you involved in the community? Let people know what you are doing – via your website, social media channels and, if appropriate, the media.

5) Social media. Don’t ignore social media as a tool to get and stay top of mind with your target market (and those who could refer you). If you haven’t already, start with 1 social media channel…and do it well. Don’t make the mistake of thinking “if I build it they will come.” Stay active. And remember that it’s called SOCIAL media. Be social – engage, participate and respond.

6) More on social media: be where your target market is. If you are a B2B company (a business selling to businesses), LinkedIn is a natural choice. But remember that your customers’ targets may be consumers…so they will be more active where consumers are, such as facebook.

7) Pictures are powerful. Use them – on social media, on your website and in email marketing.

8) Assess your marketing materials, advertising and other marketing efforts. Are your efforts speaking to your target market, in terms of content and images? Could your advertising be refined to more narrowly go after your target market? For example, if your target market is primarily men and you’re doing general radio advertising, could you reach a higher concentration of your target market if you advertised during a sports radio program?

9) Where does your target market go to network for their business? The chamber? A trade association? Get involved where they are – join, sponsor, advertise, volunteer, speak, network.

10) Email marketing. Are you communicating with potential, past and existing customers via email or an eNewsletter? Many companies shy away from email as a tool because they don’t want to bombard their database. And yet others DO bombard people. There’s a nice place in the middle…especially when you provide tips, links to helpful articles and special offers.