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How to Generate Leads for Your Business

A seasoned business development manager or a novice marketer may be looking for new ways to generate leads for their campaigns. While there are many lead generation channels that you can use, the ideal way of generating business leads is usually through content marketing.

Generating leads for small businesses is a huge task – the kind that can take over and dominate your entire time. But it doesn’t have to be like this. I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt (and a few other nice items). The reality is you can generate leads for your business and get it all online without spending hours on it each week. So sit back, grab a cup of tea and relax because in this post I’ll cover how you can generate lots of quality leads for your small business website – getting you closer to those much needed sales!

Are you a small business professional? If you are, then you know that leads are thelifeblood of your small business. If your relationships with existing customers aren’t strong enough and you can’t grow your customer base, then your little business venture is going to struggle. There are a lot of different ways to generate leads for your small business. This article will cover a few different ideas that can help you increase your lead generation and generate more revenue for your company.

Generating business leads is just one of the many ways you can promote your business or open a new location. But if you’re unsure of how to generate leads, this article will shed some light on how to best get started. The most important thing to keep in mind before hitting the ground running is to make sure you have a call-to-action that’s easy for potential clients to find — especially when it comes time for them make the decision about purchasing.

12 Lead Generation Examples

Whether you plan to buy leads or build your lead generation marketing plan, having a business lead generation strategy in place will help you turn strangers into paying customers.

Increase your revenue and grow your business today with these 26 lead generation techniques. Download your free eBook now!

Before building out your strategy, take a look at the following 12 ways to generate leads for your business.

1. Direct Engagement

what is lead generation in marketing?

If your business sells a high-value product or a service that is billed on a monthly retainer, directly engaging with a potential customer is a great approach to generating new business. If your revenue model operates on low-value high-volume sales, it’s best to rule this option out.

You can reach out to prospects directly through social media, email, by phone, or even in person after establishing that they might be a good fit for your business.

For example, if you run a lawn care company in Houston and there’s a large commercial property being built in the area, call the property manager about servicing the completed estate. This is a great example of how to generate leads in Houston or any other area that your local business may service.

2. Generate Leads on LinkedIn

Did you know that the audience on LinkedIn has 2x the buying power that your average web audience has? B2B marketing using LinkedIn is especially effective, and can yield very profitable results.

Making connections with relevant industry leaders is a great way to generate business opportunities. Potential connections asking for recommendations for a service that you offer could turn into your next paying customer.

Using social media to advertise is also a great way to leverage LinkedIn if you have the budget. You even have the option to pay for lead gen ads that include forms directly within your ads. These ads make it easy for relevant users to sign up for your products or services.

Another way to get business leads on LinkedIn is to connect with members of your target audience, engage with their posts, and message them directly to offer your product or service. Take note that this approach will only work if their profile and posts indicate that your services will help fill one of their unmet needs. If that’s not the case, your outreach could be written off as spam and hurt your credibility.

3. Advertise and Retarget

lead generation marketing strategies Houston

Social media isn’t the only place to advertise! Use targeted pay-per-click advertising on Google or Bing to market to search engine users. This helps you serve ads for searches you already know are extremely relevant to your business.

Imagine you’re a BMW dealer trying to improve your car dealership marketing in Houston. You can create ads that target phrases like, “best BMW dealer in Houston,” or, “new BMW in Houston,” and even use a geo-filter to target consumers that are searching in the Houston area.

Very few web visitors convert on their first visit to your website. When a user clicks on your PPC ads, you can use display retargeting to show visual advertisements for your products on other popular sites across the web.

Digital advertising can take some time to perfect, but it can be one of the most effective ways to generate leads for your business.

4. Ask for Referrals from Current Customers

Customer referrals are one of the oldest lead generation marketing strategies out there. If your product or service has delighted a current customer, ask them to share their experience with their friends who also might benefit.

The quality of your business’s offerings may be good enough that customers do this for free, or you could set up an incentive system. For example, give your customers a certain percentage off their next monthly retainer fee for every client they refer.

Customer referrals are a great way to get more leads for your business because it’s profitable, and your current customers are doing most of the work.

5. Write Guest Blogs

Writing guest blogs is a great way to generate referral business through content marketing and improve your SEO at the same time.

Guest blogging provides all of the following marketing benefits:

  • Forms new industry connections
  • Improves your SEO by acquiring meaningful, industry-relevant backlinks
  • Generates referral traffic from a relevant audience

You can find leads for your business by guest blogging for sites that are relevant to your industry but don’t directly compete with you. For example, if you’re a marketing company, you can guest blog for sign companies in your area. You know that the sign makers audience is interested in marketing themselves, and your services act as a complement.

Guest blogging for local influencers aligns with local SEO best practices. For example, writing a guest blog and getting backlinks from a popular podcaster in your area will help your site rank more easily in that locality.

For optimal results, make sure the site you’re guest blogging for is relevant to both your industry and location.

6. Rank in search engines to generate leads

how to generate leads for your business

When your target audience searches for your product or services online, make sure they can easily find you. Learn how to generate more leads for your business by tapping into SEO and SEM for your website.

Start by doing keyword research to determine what phrases your target audience searches before purchasing your product or service. You can use tools like SEMrush or the Google Ads Keyword Planner to find search data.

Once you’ve identified the right keywords, optimize your page content. If you’re selling a highly competitive good or service, ranking organically might be difficult. Using an SEO company can be a great way to generate consistent leads if you’re willing to invest.

Learn how to choose an SEO company before you make any investment decisions. Not every agency delivers the same results, so it’s important to know how to choose a firm that is right for your business.

7. Answer Forum Questions

Answering forum questions is a great way to prove your subject matter expertise while also setting the stage for reciprocity. If done strategically, this practice can help you find leads in a matter of minutes.

“… The key to using the Principle of Reciprocity is to be the first to give and to ensure that what you give is personalized and unexpected.” This quote from Influence at Work outlines how being the first to give something can help you receive something of equal or greater value.

Put this principle of persuasion into action by answering forum questions on sites like Reddit or Quora. Find a category that is relevant to your business, and start answering user questions. At the end of your answer, make sure to include a call-to-action to use your product or service to help solve the user’s problem.

For example, imagine that you’re a law firm offering family law services. You can subscribe to a legal subreddit where users ask questions specifically about what your business offers. Take a few minutes each day to search for any questions that you can offer some insight.

If a user asks about a child support question, leave a helpful answer and finish by linking to your website and suggesting the user contact you for a consultation. By offering free advice, the user who asked the question may be more compelled to reciprocate by paying you for legal services in the future.

Answering forum questions is a great example of how to generate new business leads, and it can be great for SEO as well. For our Reddit example in particular, if your child support answer gets enough upvotes, your link can have a positive impact on your law firm’s SEO. This kind of synergy can lead to compounding returns on your lead gen efforts.

8. Offer a Free Tool or Lead Generation Magnet

Offering a free tool is a great way to generate business to business sales leads. What type of problem does your product or service solve? Can you offer a free tool that will help users without eliminating the need to eventually purchase from your business?

For this example, imagine that you’re a Houston-based plastic surgeon. After polling your Twitter audience and doing some keyword research, you determine that users are interested in learning about procedure costs and recovery times.

As a result, you decide to compile an eBook that outlines price ranges, recovery time ranges, and before and after photo examples for all of the different procedures that you offer. You write up a teaser blog post and then require people to exchange their name, phone number, and email address for the information you’ve provided.

With the right topic, targeting, and call to action, your blog post can start earning contact information. A higher alignment of the blog topic, CTA, and offer will result in a higher conversion rate. Here are the visit-to-lead conversion rate averages that you can expect according to blog lead conversion data from Databox.

best way to generate leads for business - blog conversion

The teaser blog post is so valuable that interested readers are linking to your website and signing up for the free eBook. Your guide will help you get leads for your business and have a positive impact on your Houston plastic surgery SEO at the same time.

What opportunity exists within your industry? Popular examples include building calculators, compiling original research, offering free guides, or even offering free consultations to help generate leads for your business.

9. Influencer Interviews

get more leads for your business Houston

Interviewing leaders in your industry can open up a lot of doors for you and your business. Not only is this a great way to network and learn from experts within your industry, but you can use these interviews to create powerful content.

Video record your interview, turn it into a Q&A blog post or stage it as a podcast. Framing your interview in these different formats will help you leverage the content and bring interested users to your website or social media properties. You can even consider gating the interviews and requesting contact information to improve your business lead generation.

Many times, the influencers will share the resulting interview across their marketing channels, multiplying your reach and ROI.

10. Start Networking

Networking rarely leads to direct revenue but is great for nurturing professional opportunities. Try to select a networking event that is both local and related to your industry. This will help keep your travel costs low, and ensure that you are capitalizing on easy business wins.

What can you expect to gain from networking? If you walk in with ROI in mind, you’ll almost always be disappointed. Instead, look for oblique wins.

Maybe you’ll meet a complementary business that you can partner with to share leads, expanding your reach. Perhaps you meet an influencer that agrees to interview with you so that you can build a great piece of content and expand your marketing reach at the same time. Networking can even open up guest blogging opportunities for your company.

There are almost always multiple returns on your networking investment, making it one of the best ways to get leads for your business.

11. Create an Email Offer

Lead generation doesn’t always have to stem from exposure to a new audience. You might have untapped business potential in your email lists.

If you’ve built your own list of email subscribers, consider putting together a special offer. A special discount or limited time offer can effectively turn a passive bystander into your next paying customer.

You can also offer special email offers to other people’s email lists. If you’re actively networking or partnering with complementary businesses in your industry, you can structure a deal that lets you promote yourself to their audience.

Recall our previous example of a guest blog partnership between a marketing agency and sign-maker. The marketing agency could suggest a business promotion in the sign company’s next email blast and offer the sign-maker 5% of all sales generated from the initiative. This is a win-win-win situation for the marketing firm, the sign company, and the happy new customers.

12. Create Helpful Blog Comments

As a warning, I did not save the best business lead generation strategy for last.

As a business owner or marketing executive at your company, make it a point to subscribe to industry publications and even competitor blogs. This can help you keep a finger on the pulse of your competition, and open up opportunities to be helpful.

If you notice that readers have left several blog comments on a post that haven’t been answered, offer your personal insights in response. It’s not a bad idea to include a call to action to some relevant information on your website that will further address the reader’s question.

1. Facebook Ads

Facebook ads are one of the best ways to drive leads. If you’re willing to “pay to play,” you have access to specific targeting options, including age, location, interests, and more.

To make your ads successful, and drive qualified leads, use best practices and follow your data. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you create your first Facebook ad:

  • The ad should be closely related to the content people are clicking through to. If there’s any confusion, people are more likely to click away, assuming there was a mistake.
  • Use eye-catching, bright colors, rather than blues or whites. The latter tends to blend in with Facebook’s branding, suggests James Scherer of Wishpond.
  • Run your first ad based on a “lookalike audience,” which uses your list of imported customers to find similar Facebook users.
  • Know the difference between CPM (cost per impressions) versus CPC (cost per clicks). Read through Facebook’s guide on this before choosing one or the other.

2. Personalized email marketing

Email marketing is a great way to drive leads, especially when your emails are personalized to the person receiving it.

A study by Experian found that personalized emails generated up to six times higher revenue than non-personalized emails and campaigns.

Use your email platform to personalize your email greeting to include the recipient’s name. Group your contacts by name location, purchase history, or expressed interests.

This small touch can help you drive more leads while building brand loyalty with potential customers.

As you begin sending emails, it’s important to track your success. This allows you to test, modify and evolve, driving more leads with each send. Compare your open and click rates to the average for your industry, as well, to determine if you’re on par or behind.

Tip: Use Constant Contact’s Industry Chart to check your numbers.

Don’t forget to check where people are clicking within the email itself. If you place links in more than one place in your email — which you should to increase total clicks — track which ones are being clicked more often. Learning your subscribers’ habits allows you to be more effective.

3. Discounts and coupons

To drive leads with discounts and coupons, focus on “new customer coupons.” In a 2016 CouponBox survey, 75 percent of retailers polled said this was the best coupon/discount for increasing long-term revenue.

Once you’ve created your deal or coupon, it’s time to distribute — you can’t expect customers to find these discounts and deals themselves.

Share with current and future customers via all your online platforms, including social media and email.

Tip: Strike while the iron’s hot and add an introductory discount to your Welcome Email. 

generate leads through welcome email

If possible, create a banner ad or pop-up for your website as well, enticing potential customers to buy right then and there.

If direct mailing is part of your marketing budget, use this as a way to distribute discounts and coupons as well.

4. High-value content

Content is a great way to build search engine optimization for your website, show your knowledge as a business, and generate leads.

The first step in using content as a lead-driving tool is to remember that this term encompasses more than just blog posts. Content could be an ebook, guide, white paper, graphic, in-depth study, or video.

The content is then gated, so potential customers give you their contact information in exchange for access to it.

To make the most of this content, consider how you can make it most valuable and targeted.

For example, if your ideal customer is in the healthcare industry, create a piece of content for healthcare leaders. Learn about this audience, write about a topic that you’ve found to be most important to them, and in a format they prefer (I.E. ebook versus white paper) and then promote it accordingly.

5. Referral Partnerships

As a small business, you can generate leads by partnering with other small businesses. A simple way to facilitate this is with a referral partnership.

In this case, you receive a percentage of the revenue from referrals you send to the other business and vice versa.

Have your lawyers or legal team create and proof paperwork, to ensure both sides are clear on the stipulations. Include information about requirements such as quality of the leads, total sale amount, percentage tiers, and more.

Why Do You Need to Get More Leads for your Business?

In some ways, figuring out how to get more leads for your online business is a numbers game — at least in the beginning. The more leads you have, the more information you collect based on their behavior.

Of course, you need a reliable tool to track what those prospective leads do when they arrive at your website. As you collect information about user behavior, you can put together a solid marketing funnel and begin targeting content and offers to your ideal customer.

As you saw in the marketing funnel graphic above, marketing has taken over many tasks that used to belong to sales.

However, both marketing and sales need to work together. It’s possible to convert a lead at the bottom of the funnel into a customer without ever involving your sales team.

The only way to do that, though, is to attract more leads and analyze their behavior. The more you know about user psychology, the easier it becomes to present the right offer at the right time.

Conclusion

Generating leads is important for any business owner. Often, it’s the most critical aspect of running a business. If you don’t know how to generate business leads, you may have to call it quits and return the money back to your investors. Generating leads could be a very profitable endeavor if you do it right though.

Businesses, for the past years have been more focused on expanding on the business opportunity rather than providing a good service to the consumers. But at times you need to go back to business basics. Nowadays digital marketing has become one of the most significant parts in the business arena. To get more leads is one of the most significant objectives of any business. And generating leads without spending too much money is also important to stay competitive in today’s business scenario.

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