For a long time, small businesses have faced a seemingly insurmountable challenge, constantly looking for the answer to the golden question:

Where and How do you acquire new business?

In a 2014 study by Gallup and Wells Fargo during Q1, attracting customers, targeting business opportunities and finding work or new business was the top challenge among US small-business owners, cited by 21% of respondents. You can see the results in the image to the right.

The next closest challenges, including those related to costs and the government, trailed by at least 10 percentage points. That just goes to show how challenging finding new customers really is for small businesses. Does that sound like you? Are you having the same challenges?

What can you do as a small business owner to acquire more business?

Marketing is how you can attract more business – and you need to change how you do your marketing. First off, you need to stop working alone when it comes to marketing your business. DIY just doesn’t work. You waste your time, can’t properly build your audience, and can’t sustain it for very long.

Instead, you need to leverage the power of your best partners and their audiences! Start working together. It’s a lot easier to get more done and grow your business. Working together using co-marketing is your best course of action. That’s the whole point, there is no “I” in “Team”. Everyone is working together for the betterment of the group, not the just the individual.

What marketing tactics grab your prospects’ attention?

According to March 2014 polling by Huzzah Media, friend referrals were the marketing tool US small businesses saw the most success with, with more than half of respondents saying so. Everyone needs friends referring people to their business because people trust their friends’ opinions.

That’s exactly what co-marketing can do for your small business. Think of it as a referral engine that builds momentum as you create more and more partner(friend)ships.

When you find a co-marketing partner and they publish one of your articles on their website and link back to your own website, that’s their way of telling every single one of their audience members (and the search engines too!) that they trust you. They find your content valuable enough to publish it on their site, give you credit for it, and promote it amongst their own audience. That’s powerful stuff.

That’s the same thing as word-of-mouth referrals, but it’s all done online, and it’s way more beneficial and impactful in the long run! Why? Because that piece of content is always going to refer people to your website as long as it remains live, so people will continue flowing in as long as the content remains relevant and useful.

That’s the main benefit and awesome power of evergreen content. Think about it, there’s no way you could place an advertisement for your small business on a sign that’s viewed by thousands of qualified people every day/week and not have to continuously pay for it. It’s free advertisement.

And those referrals don’t just bring about marketing success—they generate revenues as well. That Word-of-mouth was the second-best source of revenues according to US small businesses surveyed by Huzzah Media was likely why respondents saw friend recommendations as so successful.

How do you get started building your audience with co-marketing?

Sign up for a free BoostSuite account right now and start sharing your valuable content in the marketplace to form new co-marketing partnerships that boost your audience and customers.