Sales is the life blood of every business, both big and small. Cut it off, and that business will die faster than a man drowning in quick sand.
Admittedly, generating leads – quality leads at that – is a ton of work. It gets harder for new businesses, or start-ups in this case, who have little or no portfolio and clientele.
Now, the big question is: How can you find paying customers for your business without breaking the bank in the process? What are the best lead generation strategies you can use today to drive sales to your new business? You can’t just afford to expend the limited resources at your disposal on stuff that won’t work.
Here is the deal – there are several kickass strategies you can deploy right now to attract paying customers to your new business, or even an already established one.
They are simple, though not easy.
Yes. Content still hasn’t ceased to be King, and will definitely maintain that position in the coming years.
Content is a form of inbound marketing. Inbound in the sense that customers come “inwards” looking for you, and not the reverse: you going to look for them.
Content marketing, holistically, consists of: content ideation, content creation and content promotion.
Quality content is the key here. By quality content, I mean super-duper informational blog post, articles, video or infographics.
Fluffs or filler content won’t cut it.
If you haven’t take content marketing serious, here is why you should.
- As of February 2017, 615 million internet users used ad blocking software, indicating a decline in web advertising. Content marketing is barely affected by ad blockers.
- Content marketing allows you connect with your audience on a personal note.
- Content marketing is way cheaper and somewhat more effective than conventional advertising.
Long story short; it’s about time you took content marketing seriously, if you haven’t.
Luckily, content marketing isn’t rocket science. All you need do is to:
- Launch a blog or add one to an existing website
- Write on the blogs of others. Guest blogging, technically
- Write and publish white papers
- Leverage video sharing sites like YouTube, if video creation is your thing.
Remember, content marketing is just a means to the end – the goal is to win customers. To do that, you need to be consistent. Period.
2. Leverage social media
While outbound marketing (advertising) lets you “talk at” prospects, social media affords you the opportunity to “talk with” them.
Confused? Don’t be.
The one good thing about social media is that aside from helping businesses generate leads, it lets them engage prospects and customers personally.
Through social media, you get to find out exactly what customers are looking for.
Depending on the social media platform you chose, your approach to lead generation could be casual, formal or a mix of both.
Say you decided to use reach out via Facebook. You will get a better response if you shared whimsical and funny contents – nothing too serious.
On the other hand, LinkedIn users will respond more if you shared something a bit more serious: whitepapers, case studies etc.
For Twitter, pepper the two approach – casual and formal – together.
The secret is to tweak and test till you find something that works. Also, just like content marketing, consistency is key.
3. Host webinars
In case you didn’t catch the gist, webinar is a blend of two words: web + seminar. So, webinar is basically a seminar hosted on the web.
If you are looking to engage your targeted audience in real time, hosting a webinar is the surest thing to do. The key to pulling off webinars successfully is to find your audience’s pain point – something they’re seriously looking to find a solution for – and then trashing it out.
If for some reason you can’t host a webinar, team up with an influencer in your niche.
4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Done rightly, search engine optimization can drive tons of targeted traffic to your business – at zero advertising cost.
To get started with SEO, you first need to setup a website, if you haven’t. That out of the way, the very next thing you would want to do is to search for keywords. Since your end goal is to generate leads, focus more on commercial-intent keywords. But this isn’t a ticket to leave out informational keyword.
Commercial Keywords Information Keywords
“Best” “How to”
“Top 10” “Generic keywords”
The trick is to blend the two categories of keywords.
After selectively handpicking the keywords, insert them intelligently in the pages of your web page and blog posts.
5. Get active on Quora
As the world largest Q and A site, Quora is where savvy marketers go when trying to endear prospective customer. Quora allows you place a link back to your site in your signature.
If you can provide as many helpful answers as possible on Quora, users will eventually take interest and will want to connect with you.
6. Hack copywriting
Essentially, copywriting is all about writing to sell. To achieve this, copywriters combine human psychology with art to sell to readers – sometimes without the reader even know s/he is being sold to.
How can you leverage the power of copywriting to attract leads?
- Craft a compelling copy on the homepage of your website. Emphasize more on the benefit of your product/service, and less on features
- Tell your audience a story – everybody likes a good story. The story needn’t necessarily be true, but at least something readers can relate with.
- Write and send out newsletters. In the newsletters, ask your reader to take a specific set of action – give them good reasons to do so
If all that sound like much of a task, go sign up for a course in copywriting. Better still, scour Google for free copywriting training resources – there is a ton of them out there.
7. Get active on forums
You are better off hanging out where you prospective customers are than just waiting for them to come to you. The easiest way to go about this is participating in forums related to your niche.
Don’t go salesy – seek to build a reputation first, sales will follow.
There are two ways to find forums related to your niche:
- Google search – use the following query: “niche” + forum. If your niche is health, enter it.
- Search for forums on Boardreader
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different lead generation strategies. The secret is to find something that works and then sticking hard to it.