ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Create Repeat Customers for Your Business and Projects

Updated on July 2, 2013

The Snowball Effect

When I founded my small business, Buttonhead - Custom Button Pins, in 2007, I had to fight for every single sale I made. I had no customer base, no name recognition, and no experience. So, every step I took was a struggle. It was an exciting struggle! Still, it was a struggle. I called local business owners. I walked into local shops, just me and my briefcase. I social networked. I made videos for YouTube. I spent hours in forums and chat rooms. I did anything and everything just to make a sale. I worked for days straight just to close my first deal – for $2.00.

For the first two years, I was a marketing machine. I ate, slept, and breathed Buttonhead. As time went on, little by little, I was able to work less and still get the same amount of business. Why? Nearly half of my business started coming from repeat customers! People liked what I had to offer and wanted to come back for more. Many of them started recommending me to their friends and blogging about my work, which turned into even more leads. Suddenly, my business was like a snowball rolling downhill, gaining momentum all on it's own. By year three, I literally sat back and did no marketing, while my business grew by itself.

Creating repeat customers is the single most important thing you can do for your business – or if you're not a business owner, the same idea can be applied to any of your various projects. As people become fans of your work, they naturally want to keep in touch. They want to help spread the word about something they feel enthusiastic about. What could be more beneficial to a small project on a tight budget?

So, what is the best way to create repeat customers or fans?

Every business and every project is unique. You may need to do an in-house assessment to decide what will work best for you. In the meantime, here are a few tips to help get you started:

Treat everyone like a member of the family.

In the age of Wal-mart and automated phone systems, customers have come to expect crappy service. This is your chance to stand out by offering something personal. Talk to your fans. Get to know them. Find out what they think. Ask their advice about what else you could be doing. Trust me, they will want to tell you. Each customer is a human being with thoughts, feelings, and struggles, just like you. Take the time to make a connection, and they will always remember you.

Free Stuff!

You can never go wrong with free stuff! Hey, we're only human. You don't have to spend a bunch of money on giveaways. Create a cool logo or graphic and have it printed up on custom button pins to hand out. Make your own t-shirts or bags with your branding. Give out free samples of your work. Offer 'buy one get one free' deals. Have a blog giveaway. Host a contest. People love free, fun stuff!

Create Incentive for Repeat Business

Have you ever gone to a sandwich shop and picked up a 'Buy 10 subs and get the 11th free' punch card? Man, that free sandwich sounds good! So, you visit the shop again and again, eating your way toward victory. It's like a mission! This is a great idea for creating repeat customers, and it can be applied to practically any business, project, or product. If the punch card idea doesn't spark your interest, try offering something new each day, week, or month: a newsletter, a product, a contest. Give people a reason to come back to see what you're up to.

Stay In Touch

There are so many ways to keep connected with your fans. The challenge is: Not everyone has the same preferred method of contact. Try to offer as many ways to stay in touch as possible: a mailing list, an e-mail newsletter, Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Tumblr. Do your best to cover all of your bases, but be careful not to spread yourself thin. When it comes to content creation, it's better to focus on five of the most popular and widely-used methods of 'social networking', rather than have a hundred open channels that you never use.

It's Not All About You

Here's one I had to learn the hard way: Not everything is about you, your business, your product, your project. Many organizations (and I too have been guilty of this) approach customer service and brand awareness from a very stale, broadcaster-like view. Yes, it's important to share your updates, but don't be a spammy, self-centered jerk. Rather than make everything all about you, try reaching out to people. Engage them. Create meaningful interactions. If you get too 'advertisey', people will lose interest. Besides, there are enough advertisements in the world. Good grief! It's time for a new approach, and that new approach is: Be a human being. Gasp!


As I soon enter into year five of my adventure in entrepreneurship, I realize that nurturing my current clients is just as important as seeking out new business. To date, I have used both of these concepts to create a very well-rounded and stable enterprise. I hope these tips have been helpful to you as you build, bond, and grow your business or project. Best wishes to you all!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • p10kabhijita profile image

      Abhijit Aswath 

      6 years ago from India

      Very useful read :) Getting loyal repeat customers is the need of the hour. Voted up.

    • Robert Erich profile image

      Robert Erich 

      6 years ago from California

      This is a fantastic article with great advice! I have spent some time working in business and with businesses as well - this advice is fantastic for those struggling with getting the word out about their business. I am voting up this article and sharing it.

      Good luck as you continue on with your business!

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 

      6 years ago from California

      You are very wise. I heard someone say, just today, "You build more relationships in 2 weeks by being interested in others than you will in two years of trying to make others interested in you". Very good hub

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Wonderful advice on how to increase customer base and make them come back. Yes it is about caring. When people feel that, you don't have to drag them..they come. Thank you for sharing your 5 year successful experience. On my way to see your website and buttonheads! :)

    • STEVEW13 profile image

      Steve Wright 

      6 years ago from Norwich, England

      Hey Ali this is a really great hub, and it's always nice to see someone who has succeeded and then willing to offer advice to those wondering where to start. You write really well too. I liked your FB page and am now following you on G+. Look forward to reading more from you. Steve

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      6 years ago from North Texas

      Excellent hub with great advice! Voting you UP and useful!

    • RTalloni profile image


      6 years ago from the short journey

      Good stuff here. Important concepts for building business relationships by remembering the we-are-people element!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      alipuckett nice hub, relationship with customers should be meaning ful to make them as repeat customers.

    • alocsin profile image


      6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Good advice -- I think free stuff is effective but can get expensive. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks for the great advice! I'm bookmarking this one.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great post. Thanks for the tips.

    • profile image

      Paige @ Little Nstalgia 

      6 years ago

      Great points, especially about coming off too "advertise-y." I always hate it when other people do that, so I work hard to avoid doing it myself.

    • profile image

      DaQuan Anderson 

      6 years ago

      Dear Alipuckett,

      I have come to learn the person you are almost day by day and I must say I am very well pleased to have signed up for your newsletter. It has allowed me to se you as a human being, Gasp, lol. I love your business and you are truly a reflection of your slogan "i don't make buttons I make love" :)


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)