How to Get Leads for Small Business
Leads can be generated by creative ways. Before anything, a lead is a user who visits your website. It may be first-time visitor or repeat visitor. It’s true that not all visitors turn out to be leads but you can still learn from them. Your website has been visited which means the person is interested in your product or service. You don’t have to be an expert on social media marketing, content marketing, SEO and many more for generating leads for your business.
As an entrepreneur and business owner, you know the importance of generating your own leads for your business. However, all too often, businesses are content with generating very few leads, which causes revenue to plateau sooner rather than later. While most business owners are aware of the importance of lead generation as part of a successful marketing strategy, they don’t have any creative ideas on how to generate leads. Here are some creative ways you can get qualified prospects who are ready and eager to buy from you today.
Don’t let any opportunity pass you by when it comes to selling your products. This book will show you how to get leads for every stage of business: from startup companies just starting out to established businesses looking for a new client base.
Generating leads for your business are important. These leads have potential to turn into sales and as such, more revenue. There are many ways to generate leads and this article describes some of these ways, showing examples on how some people are generating leads .
What is Small Business Lead Generation?
Small business lead generation is when a small business deploys various strategies to build interest in their product or service and attract those who are interested in the hopes that they will eventually become customers.
Here, we’ll dive into some of these strategies and tactics, and how they specifically apply to small businesses.
What Is Lead Generation in Marketing?
Lead generation in marketing is the act of gaining actionable customer interest for your business’s output. This typically involves a customer initiating a conversation or providing you with their contact information for follow-up regarding your business’s products or services.
For example, for a law firm to generate business leads, they might receive:
- A form submission from a potential client that is inquiring about their services.
- A phone call from a potential client to set up a consultation.
- A direct message on social media asking about their rates.
- An email from a potential client who is asking to schedule a consultation.
Thus, part of finding new business leads involves structuring a marketing experience that makes it easy for customers to engage with your company. If you’ve heard about demand gen and are wondering about whether you technically need demand generation vs. lead generation – you need both, and it’s not worth differentiating them at this point.
Your lead generation strategies should always result in the exchange of a prospect’s contact or payment information, or an in-person meeting.
How to Generate Sales Leads in Your Small Business
Many successful small business owners are continuously looking to expand their customer base and grow their businesses. Business growth can be a difficult and long-term process, though. One of the foundational elements of growing a business is having access to a steady stream of sales leads. A lead is a person, or business if you have a company that sells to other businesses (B2B), that has an interest in the products or services you are selling.
Here are some tips for creating a system that will help you identify sales leads in your small business, and — with the right focus and effort — turn them into customers.
Do basic local SEO
- Claim your free Google My Business directory listing and optimize it.
- Perform basic search engine optimization (SEO) across your website’s pages with descriptive title tags.
- Optimize each page with a compelling meta description to inspire click-throughs from search engine results.
- Claim local business listings on online business directories, such as Yelp, Merchant Circle, Citysearch, and other local directories.
- Encourage customers to post reviews about your business. When asked, the majority of satisfied customers do oblige.
For example, when I did a search for ‘event catering,’ as shown above, a number of local companies that have claimed pages in the Google My Business directory appeared prominently in the results.
Identify Your Target Audience
The first step of lead generation is identifying your target audience. You can’t successfully reach and sell to your ideal customer if you don’t know exactly who that is. So it’s important to research your audience and come up with a clear picture of who they are, where they live, what they like to do, how much money they make, what their lifestyle and personality are like, etc.
If you don’t already have one, you should also create a comprehensive marketing plan as part of this step.
Run paid search ads
- Explore the many advertising options offered by Google Ads.
- Refine your tactics to reduce pay-per-click costs and improve ROI.
- Consider Microsoft advertising, which runs on Bing and Yahoo! Search.
Pick Your Promotional Methods Wisely
In order to generate leads, you need a promotional plan that will get your products and services in front of members of your target audience. There are a number of ways you can promote your business, and again, you will want to use your marketing plan to identify the most effective methods for your business.
Some marketing ideas include an informational website, a blog, social media, speaking engagements, industry events, current customer referrals, pay per click (PPC) advertising, and traditional advertising.
Create a Sales Funnel
Once you know who you are targeting and have determined how best to reach them, you need to have a plan for collecting contact information. The first part of the process involves funneling all prospects to a standard form or landing page that encourages them to share their contact information, generally in return for a free gift, a coupon, a sample or some other value-added incentive.
At this point, it is vital to have a customer relationship management (CRM) database that will help you keep track of potential customers through the process.
Use an Email Newsletter to Build Relationships
Now that you’re in contact with prospects, it’s time to cultivate those relationships so you can take them from the lead stage through a sale (and eventually a repeat sale!). One of the best ways to create consistent communication with your prospects is through an email newsletter.
While you are planning your email marketing plan, make sure you are aware of and follow regulations that are a part of the CAN-SPAM Act.
Leverage Social Media to Connect and Engage
Social media provides a number of opportunities for small businesses to create conversations with prospective customers and generate new leads. You can create a Facebook page, Twitter profile, LinkedIn company page, Pinterest account or a YouTube channel to attract and engage your audience, then funnel them through your process to become leads.
Plus, once you have leads in the system, you can use social media to talk to them and find out more about what they need and want. The more positive touchpoints a customer has with your business over time, the more likely he or she will be to trust your brand and eventually purchase from you.
Lead generation should be thought of as a long-term and continuous process. If you get an efficient system in place using the sales lead tips above, you can streamline the lead generation process and increase your opportunities for business growth.
Run a giveaway or contest
A giveaway or contest can generate a ton of email and social leads in a short period of time. It works like this – brands offer a prize in exchange for participants to refer friends, share content and like your social media profiles.
You can get creative with the prize/reward types as well as the actions needed to collect points (sharing, tagging, referring, etc.). Below is an example of the giveaway thank you page and how the prize and points system works. Check out this case study on how to run giveaways.
Directly engage with leads
Direct customer engagement should one of your top priorities.
Most businesses choose to go with in-direct engagement – such as FAQs. This is not the most effective way to engage.
Direct engagement, on the other hand, makes use of live chat, forums and help centers – where customer service representatives are present all the time to make sure every query is handled properly.
More engaged customers results in better word-of-mouth and more leads.
Deploy outbound & inbound marketing
According to the stats, outbound marketing is still more effective than inbound marketing. But, it doesn’t mean that you forget about inbound marketing. Look to deploy both approaches in a balanced manner as this will be helpful in generating leads and eventually your business.
From an inbound perspective – personalize your email communication and get active in online communities by regularly sharing informative content, as well as solving common customer problems. This will help you establish healthy relationships with your customers and build more leads.
Invest in new technology
New technology sets the trend in the market. For example, smartphones are trending all over the world. Subsequently, most people access their mail or browse websites through smartphones or tablets; this shows that the you should invest in making your marketing efforts compatible with these devices, allowing you to reach the maximum amount of customers.
In a nutshell, you should keep an eye on emerging technology and channels through which you can get more leads for your business.
Find leads on Twitter
Twitter is not only a social networking website, but also a source of potential leads for your company. With the help of Followerwonk, you can analyze aspects such as; information about followers, at what time your followers tweet, etc., so that you can reach the audience that is associated with your niche.
Followerwonk helps you find influencers and connect with them. It also has a great interface.
Develop & optimize informative content
It is undeniable that content can be a great source of web traffic – which will result in more leads. But it needs to be informative and appeal to your target audience.
High-quality content can be an asset for you as it attracts traffic to your website well beyond its publish date. Try to include images, video and infographics to increase share counts and engagement.
Tip: For video content, use InVideo to create stunning professional-level videos in minutes with pre-made templates.
Make your Tweets sing
If possible, include images with your Tweets, they have a way of making things more interesting and engaging to your customers.
Plus, use hashtags so your content is easier to find. The more often you are found, the more leads you will get.
What is a Lead Generation Business?
A lead generation business sells qualified sales leads to clients (other businesses) who want more customers. Essentially, a lead generation business is a broker between their clients and people who match their clients’ ideal customer profiles.
Business owners use lead generation agencies and services because they don’t have time to focus on client acquisition themselves, but still want a predictable stream of new leads coming in every month.
If you can build a system that enables you to send a list of qualified prospects to established businesses every month, you’ll be able to generate consistent profits without needing to even get on the phone with the leads you’re sending your clients.
Generating leads for your business is one of the most crucial parts in getting more clients. Even if you already have clients, it’s still good to be able to generate additional leads. Word of mouth can help you build a website and get new happy users. Word of mouth can help when it comes down to reputation management. However, the best way to make your business evolve is through those leads. Generating quality leads is easy if you know-how.
On the internet, there’s tools, apps, strategies and things you could do to help your small business generate more leads. Generating leads can be more challenging especially if you are just starting and your business has no brand name yet.