It's easy to get lost in the big picture, in the large, scalable planning that views customers as numbers and values and conversion rates rather than individual people. And, of course, there is a certain stage in every business where this becomes a necessary evil. Or, at least, it can be hard to put in that individual attention when you're servicing thousands of individuals per day.
Even so, one of the best ways to grow early on is to focus on getting just one new customer per day; delighting some one person so much that they just can't help but tell everyone they know about their wonderful experience with you.
In fact, since word of mouth is so powerful, your efforts put into this kind of approach are usually amplified and end up reaching more people than you originally thought.
Go to search.twitter.com and start looking for conversations using keywords in your market.
Think about the types of conversations people in your target market might be having and seek them out. Now, here's the trick: engage with every conversation you see. Don't advertise, just offer comments where you are qualified to, send a funny gif in response to someone describing a common struggle in the industry, etc.
Now, when you find someone who looks like a hot lead (for example, they're asking the twitterverse if anyone knows of a company that offers exactly what you do), jump right in!
Let them know you'd love to help, and that you would like to offer a discount for them as a first time customer. More often than not, they'll take you up on it.
So let's say you find someone on twitter, or Instagram, or reddit, or some community talking about your topic and realize that they might like what you have to offer.
Instead of asking for their business straight up, consider taking on the role of a (not creepy) internet stalking and finding out from their profiles or previous posts what they like, what their interests are.
Then, message them saying you're a company offering what they're looking for but that you would like to send them a small gift.
Mail them a note with a small piece of memorabilia related to their interests, along with a note letting them know you're there to help if they decide to order some day. Sure, spending $20-50 mailing gifts to a lead might seem excessive, but the potential for long term ROI is huge here.
You know which customer service interactions people are most likely to remember?
It's not the ones they have with products that are fantastic from the beginning, it's the interactions that start off with a problem, but which you or your company handle with poise and an unwavering commitment to making things right.
No matter what, being nice to people is the right move, and don't underestimate the ripple effect this can have on people hearing that you are someone they want to give their business to.