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7 Outreach Tactics Entrepreneurs Can Use In Troubled Times Need help getting off the ground? Use these seven strategies to reach out to new people.

By Victoria Howes

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Robbie Jay Barratt | Getty Images

Twitter has been hitting the headlines as they seek help from the community to fix their inherit issues. After losing another $2 million, they are seeking alternative forms of help in the hopes for a savior in the community. Their most recent tactic is taking down joke thieves, and they are considering verifying everyone. The point is, they're trying.

This got me thinking about the necessity for outreach tactics in troubled times and how companies can really use a lot of great marketing outreach efforts to bring their companies back to life. Whether you sit in the space of poor platforming like Twitter or bad focus like Nintendo during its lackluster Wii U release, companies can use different outreach methods to reinvent themselves or refocus themselves to bring new life into a dying company.

Here are seven of the many amazing outreach tactics entrepreneurs, small businesses and even major corporations can use to push them through their troubled times.

1. Community outreach

At the end of the day, 87 percent of consumers feel that corporate social responsibility is important for choosing a company to buy from or work with, so one of the best places to create a buzz for business is around your community

Look into sponsorships for your local sports. From giving jerseys to peewee soccer teams to donating money to improve the sports stadium, donating to local sports programs is a great way to get your name in front of the community. Jerseys are great, because they normally let you print your logo on the jersey to show the community sponsor, and stadium donations normally come with an engraved brick or sign with your name on it.

If you really aren't in a situation to spend money right now, you could always get involved in local community clean-ups. Whether you organize the events yourself or join in on the local trash pick-up day, your team can get involved. You might get a pleasant surprise and meet someone who can help you turn the troubles around.

2. Ask for referrals

When you look for ways to float your business through troubled times, it never hurts to reach out to customers you've had in the past. This is especially true in the business-to-business (B2B) market, where referral business is a basic necessity for growth. Try to remember your best customers and reach out to them. You never know until you ask, and if that customer had a great experience, they are more likely to actually help you with referrals.

You can make personal calls to customers or run an email marketing campaign that offers a reward for referrals that sign. Your past customers are likely to know a person or two looking for services like yours. Another great way to get a bit help from your customers is by asking them what you did right and what you did wrong.

3. Search for investors

Sometimes, the best ideas just aren't quite ready for the market, but their use in the market could be so revolutionary that it would be crazy to give up on it. That's the best time to seek out investors. Whether it's a personal investor or an investment firm, this is a great way to get the funds you need to survive through development. Although there is also risk with investors, it's a great way to get large amounts of funding for prices the banks couldn't hope to match. With that being said, bank loans are always a great option, too.

No matter where you go for the funding, you need to go in with a budgeted plan. People won't be interested if you can't show them the potential for ability and profit. Take your time when you create your budget, and be as realistic as possible. If you create a realistic budget and create a realistic plan for repayment, your idea will be sure to catch an investors eye.

4. Marketing funnels

For many businesses, marketing funnels are essential for driving sales. Whether you realize it or not, the steps you are taking to close your sales are driven by your marketing funnel, and this is especially true in the age of the Internet.

With amazing content that speaks to the right people, you can easily help a potential customer who stumbles across your business convert with your business without having to touch a thing. Programs like ClickFunnels and SharpSpring can help you create automated processes that interact with your customers through email and social media with automated triggers. That means you can set up the processes and leave them be.

If you have the right content your customers and subscribers are looking for, you are sure to drive repeat sales with automated deals and promotions. You can even create specific funnels for new customers, return customers and favorite customers. Keep in mind, these funnels are best used for people seeking answers to a problem, so that means it's all about how your frame what you are selling, especially online.

5. Contact your local chamber of commerce

An often overlooked but invaluable resource, your local chamber of commerce can connect you with local businesses and programs that can help you build a reliable business network. They can point you in the direction of local networking events, help you get involved in your community and link your business with another business they know is looking for your services.

6. Sales to drive sales

People love deals, especially when they get exactly what they are looking for. Creating sales inside your company can help you drive sales. Whether it's seasonal items, introductory promotions or closeout prices, sales are sure to catch your customer's eye.

Remember how we talked about those email marketing campaigns earlier? Well, why not use that in combination with your sales tactic. You can send out all your deals to your customers who provided their email addresses.

7. The trusty giveaway

If all else fails, you can take the sale to the next level with a free giveaway. You could use a gift card, product, new car, free trip or just about anything you can think of to generate hype around your business. As people provide you with their contact information, they are entered into a drawing for the giveaway. One of those lucky people will get something for free, but you get that many more contacts to promote other offers and sales to.


Take the time to focus on what can really drive traffic and profits for your business, and try to run with that course. You never know what your audience will respond to, so don't be afraid to try all of these tactics. If these don't work you really have a big decision to make. You have to decide if it's time to go back to the drawing board and completely refocus or update your brand, sell or close your doors completely.

The thought of having to shut down is terrifying, but with the right tactics for outreach and excellent work, you are sure to revitalize your business and drive new and returning traffic through your doors. You can do it.

How did you use outreach to revitalize your business? Do you have any other tactics that are great for driving traffic and sale for your business? Help your fellow business by sharing your secrets in the comments.

Victoria Howes

Independant Consultant

Victoria Howes is an entrepreneur, business consultant and traveler.

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