No matter what kind of small business you run, lead generation can be a challenging puzzle to solve. In order to succeed, you need your customer base to keep growing. But, once you’ve expended your personal connections, tapped into the local market you are familiar with, and reached out to your family and friends to hopefully tap into their networks as well, where can you turn to easily generate leads as a small business owner? That question can be a major point of stress, but it doesn’t have to be. Consider these easy lead generation secrets for small businesses.
In the internet age, content marketing is proving to be one of the most effective ways to generate leads for business owners of all sizes. Content marketing involves the production of high-quality, unique, and useful content, which is then posted to your website to bring potential customers your way.
Content marketing works because Google and other search engines use the information on your site to rank you in search results for any particular word or phrase. By creating high-quality content for your site, more visitors will be sent your way through search engines, getting you more leads at the end of the day.
Optimized WordPress Sites
Content marketing only works if you already have an independent website set-up that works well for your business. WordPress has proven to be one of the most affordable, flexible, and powerful engines for small business owners to create their own sites, and you can rely on this platform entirely to help you generate leads if your site is built right.
There are a lot of tips out there to optimize your WordPress site, but there are a couple of big things to keep in mind from a lead generation perspective. Start by making sure all of your branding is consistent and in line, and make sure that you have contact forms readily available on your landing pages.
Depending on the nature of your business, generating leads could be as easy as a change of decor in your waiting room or customer service area. Passive installations are seemingly mundane “decorations” with a more specific purpose in mind: in this case, generating leads for your business with no continued work on your end.
Some examples are posters, banners, and other easily homemade marketing materials. If you have an area of your business where customers spend time waiting, creating an installation with some targeted language and contact information could end up generating leads.
Hosting events can be a great way to create a community around your business and bring people together, but you can also use the opportunity to generate valuable new leads for your company. The key to using an event as a lead generating tool is to start by throwing events that are genuinely fun, interesting, and valuable to the community you are targeting.
From there, make sure that you capitalize on the moment appropriately in order to generate leads without scaring away potential clients. Try not to focus on “hard selling” your services at events. Instead, gently ask guests if they would be interested in leaving their emails and contact information for more opportunities in the future.
Aggressive Social Media Use
Most small businesses have some type of social media presence, but few fully utilize social media as the lead generation tool it can be. To get the most out of social media, start by being more frequent with your postings, more thoughtful and frequent in your replies, and more active in your community building.
From there, you can use social media more aggressively as a market tool to start researching potential clients that your business could work with. If you offer B2B products, use social media to find other businesses in your niche that you can market to directly through private messages and social media interactions. Don’t abuse the opportunity or “spam” other social media users. Think about using your accounts more proactively.
All around the internet, people post questions and wait for kind strangers to provide accurate answers. By answering these tools with a well-built profile on sites like Quora, Yahoo! Answers, Reddit, and others, you can be that “kind stranger” and build customer relationships along the way. “Well-built” means filling out profiles completely, and linking to your sites where you can. From there, it’s a matter of answering questions directly.
The key to using question/answer platforms like Quora well is finding questions relevant to your business and niche and providing answers that promote your business discretely. When answering questions, you can provide links to your website and blogs, but make sure that they are inserted naturally and in the context of a useful answer. Once you master the art of answering questions found around the web, valuable leads who already appreciate your expertise can be generated with ease.
Lead generation is often simpler than you think. Be creative, offer helpful information, and connect with others to generate quality leads.