Entrepreneurs dream big. They come up with great ideas, create buy-in, and execute their vision. Just one small task left: getting paying customers (or clients). It’s easy right? For some lucky small businesses, sales leads drive themselves. For the rest of us, we need to go out there and hustle. For those who hustle, here’s a top ten list of ways to drive leads for your small business…in no particular order.
The only places you can find leads are the places where your target audience exists. For most businesses, a good portion of the audience exists on social media. There are a few ways to generate leads through social media. You can interact directly with potential leads. You can draw them in with engaging content. You can even use your profiles as calls to action—Facebook has even made the call to action a physical button. Find out where your audience is on social and become a thought leader in that space. Customers will come running.
If you’re like me, you send and receive what feels like millions of emails each week. Why not put those emails to use for the business? Along with some other clever lead generating techniques, Unbounce.com suggests linking to a landing page or website in your email signature. It will provide every single contact with a chance to connect with your business. Make this technique company-wide, and you’ll have a small network of employees making daily sales pitches with little effort.
Email Lists and Newsletters
If you have an email list, use it. If you don’t have an email list, find a way to start one. When a person takes that step to sign-up for your emails, it means there’s interest in your brand. With that interest comes some level of purchase intent. Your emails will have the ability to push them into making that purchase. Email campaigns have a higher conversion rate than other platforms because of that initial interest. Design quality email campaigns and the dollars will follow.
How do you build an email list in the first place? Having people sign-up on your website is one way. The other way is to get email addresses in person. Don’t just ask strangers for their emails; they won’t have the buy-in to lead to a conversion. Speak at local events held in your area of expertise. Bring along a way to sign-up—iPad or good ol’ pen and paper. Show them your expertise through engaging conversation and quality messaging they understand. Then sell them on your expertise with an email campaign. It’s almost too easy.
You don’t have to do everything alone. You can, you just don’t have to. The other nine techniques will help you do it yourself…this one will help you save time as long as you’re willing to spend some cash. There are benefits to hiring freelancers or agencies to help you, and there are also these five signs that it’s time to outsource your marketing efforts. If this fits your business needs, you can stop reading now. The rest of the list will mean nothing to you. You have people doing it for you now.
Pay Per Click (PPC) Campaigns
Sticking with the “pay for it” theme: PPC can help drive leads. Head over to Google and bid on some relevant keywords to your business and you’re off to the races. Of course, it’s a little bit more complicated than that. You need to know which keywords to target to reach your audience. Once you reach them, you need to send them to a relevant landing page, and then you need to funnel them to a sale. An intelligently designed PPC campaign can wield great results for a small business.
Everyone is on their phone. All. The. Time. You are probably even reading this on your mobile device right now. That makes sense, but you might be asking “how does mobile optimization generate leads?” It doesn’t. It can, however, do the opposite if you’re not optimized for mobile viewing. One study shows 69% of tablet users have shopped on their tablet in the past 30 days. That 69% won’t be shopping on YOUR site if it’s not optimized for mobile. They will go elsewhere. Be mobile and keep your leads.
Your business’ website is the hub for all other marketing activities. Like with mobile, a poorly designed webpage can scare away potential sales. A well-designed site can also draw in leads. A well-designed, and managed site with fresh content will get you right to the top of Google’s search rankings. Right where you want to be if you want leads. You do want leads. That’s why you’re reading this. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a tactic that carries a lot of misleading information. Using the right mix of link building, quality content, and technical aspect will get you on Google’s good side. You don’t want to see Google’s bad side.
Content. Content. Content.
If you’ve read a marketing article in the past year, you’ve read about how important content can be. Your blog can set you apart as an expert. Its keywords can attract customers and build SEO. Its internal links can aim potential customers in the direction of conversion. Content is important. It’s number two on this list of steps to building an inbound marketing strategy—but number one in our hearts. Consistency is almost as important as quality when it comes to content. Your content needs to be engaging, and it also needs to be regularly available.
Good Old Fashioned Customer Service
Customer referrals are as old as time. They are also as reliable as time. Your current customers can be the most effective ambassadors for your brand…if you treat them right. Word of mouth is a cost-effective, and just regular effective way to drive leads for small businesses. According to this post, word of mouth drives 13% of all consumer sales. How do you get good word of mouth? You give your current customers a good experience—before, during, and after purchase. Let your customers be your sales team. They’re much cheaper, and work after-hours without complaining.
“The original article can be found at http://undergroundcreativegroup.com/