5 Foolproof Strategies for Capturing & Generating New Business Leads
In today’s highly competitive economy it is not enough to simply have the best products or services on the market. As a small business owner, you have to create an action plan for helping customers find you, and provide them with incentives for trying you out.
This is what we refer to as capturing and generating leads. Lead generation should be a continual process, not a one-time quick fix. Below are six strategies worth committing to if you are serious about bringing in new customers and converting leads into sales.
1. Prioritise lead generation by creating a process
Focus is everything. If you don’t have a system in place you need to get one to help you capture customer information. This enables you to keep in regular contact with your customers so that you can form an ongoing relationship with them, and let them know of special offers.
A popular method for capturing client information is having a contact form on your website which can store email addresses. Another method might be offering freebies for people who sign up for email newsletters.
Part of your system should also include making sure your Google Analytics are set up properly so that you can track where your sales are coming from. This will enable you to refine your marketing strategy by putting most of your energy into the areas that yield the greatest profit, and highest quantity of sales. You cannot do this if you don’t know where your sales are coming from.
2. Establish yourself as an expert
It’s a well-known fact that people buy from people they trust, and people usually trust anyone who they perceive to be an ‘expert’ in their industry.
You can gain credibility as an expert simply by raising your public profile, for instance by striking up relationships with influential bloggers in your local area, and offering to write a guest post for them related to an issue your business deals with. Another option is to speak at a community event.
Each time somebody hears your name, and connects it with your industry, you build a reputation as an authority on that subject and gain the ears of potential customers.
Similarly, spend some time doing some basic SEO practices: in the online marketplace, listing high on Google searches lends you credibility, and makes it easier for people to find you.
Find out the best tips on growing your email list, improving your open rates, and sending emails people want to read.
3. Tailor marketing materials to specific groups of people
One of the most common advertising mistakes is grouping everybody into the same category.
For example, say you run an online footwear store. Your clients may come from many different sectors of the community and each will have different needs. Solo mums will be interested in very different types of shoes to working professionals, as will sports athletes.
Tailored marketing messages written with a very specific group of people in mind have the ability to speak to a direct concern or issue amongst that group and offer a remedy which you can provide. This then creates buy-in from the customer, and will likely lead to word-of-mouth publicity, with customers referring other people from a similar section of society to you for help.
You may have heard the saying “if everyone is your potential customer, no one will be your actual customer” – this just means that generic advertising runs the risk of getting lost in the crowd, whereas targeted advertising makes people feel special and understood. When people feel understood they are more likely to purchase whatever you are offering.
4. Use social media effectively
Social media has numerous benefits for lead generation for new businesses, but chief among these is the fact that social media is a world without barriers. Offering wider reach and exposure than any other marketing method currently available.
Social media competitions which get potential customers to ‘like’ your page or ‘+1’ a post in exchange for a chance to win an amazing prize can bring hundreds if not thousands of new potential customers to your social media site.
Keeping them there, and turning them into paying customers relies on two main things:
- Posting interesting and relevant content on a regular basis.
- Including sales-related content some of the time.
Experts suggest sales content should feature roughly 20% of the time (1 in 5 posts). To keep regular content appearing on your site without having to keep logging in throughout the day you can use apps like Hootsuite, which lets you schedule content to appear at specific times.
5. Partner up!
Why do everything yourself when you can collaborate? Think of businesses in your area that offer complementary products or services, and see if you could add value to their customers somehow. Maybe you could offer a 10% discount to customers of that business. This gives you access to a new customer base and it is a win-win for the company you are partnering with too.
Remember, the key thing is to make lead generation an active, not passive process, and to take small steps towards this consistently. Spending even an hour a week consistently on lead generation activities will have big benefits if you can stick with it.