Running a business can be a very rewarding experience. Like most things in the professional world, running a business has its own obstacles and challenges. One of the most common challenges a business owner may face is how to generate leads for their business.
A business owner should always take into consideration how they are going to generate leads when they are getting ready to kick start their business. It is also important for a business to consider the most efficient strategies and approaches to use.
If a business owner does not generate enough leads, then he or she may find themselves losing out on the return of their initial investment. According to the SBA, about one-third of new business owners end up closing their establishments because they did not have the skillset to optimize their clientele reach. It is essential for new business owners to understand both how and why they should generate leads for their business. This article will focus on how you can generate leads for your business in our rapidly evolving fast-paced age of digital media marketing.
What is a Lead?
In short, a lead is a person who is interested in your company’s product or service. In the world of digital marketing, generating a lead entails building actionable customer interest for your business. For instance, a potential customer who is interested in your product or service may request the information for your social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
If the customer follows your pages, you as the owner can follow up with the lead by sending them a direct message to book or purchase your service or product respectively.
Here are some other examples of how you can obtain business leads:
- An email sign up form
- An inquiry submission form
- A text or phone call
Lead Generation Best Practices
The goal of a lead is to enable new businesses to establish the makings for a concrete rapport with potential customers. Furthermore, businesses should always try to make the consumer relationship process as easy as possible for their customers. The last thing a potential customer wants is to have their hopes up, to then be let down by their initial experience. Businesses should ensure their customers are having a solid first experience by ensuring that all links on the landing page are clickable and not broken. They should also make sure that the address and contact information is accurate on all search engines.
Should You Use Lead Generation or Demand Generation?
Sometimes business owners use the terms lead and demand generation interchangeably. It’s acceptable for larger more established businesses who have marketing maturity to use these interchangeably. However, new businesses should know the difference between the two.
Put simply, demand generation is the process of getting potential consumers interested in your products or services. In other words, you are creating demand for your products. On the other hand, lead generation is the process of turning that interest into actionable information such as names and contact information.
New businesses should challenge themselves to hone in on lead generation. This is the best way to ensure the business will receive the most out of the marketing process. It is important to have a marketing plan in place in order to turn strangers into actual clients. Pre-planning your marketing strategy will give your business an edge on the competition.
Lead Generation Strategies
There are many lead generation strategies out there and you can choose what is going to work best for your business. Some strategies may be more geared towards businesses selling products, while others may work better for businesses selling services, for example.
Writing Guest Blogs
If a business is looking to generate a stream of referrals, they can utilize content marketing by writing guest blogs. Writing guest blogs is a great way for new businesses to generate leads. Furthermore, businesses can improve their search engine optimization by doing so as well.
The use of guest blogging will provide several benefits including the following: generating referral traffic, driving search engine optimization, and forming backlinks that are relevant to the business. Businesses can also generate leads by guest blogging for up and coming new businesses that offer similar services and products. However, businesses should avoid writing guest blogs for their competitors.
Businesses should also aim to keep location in mind when they are planning to generate leads via guest blogging. They will ultimately get the best results by prioritizing the relevant business markets specific to their area.
Host an Event
With the digital age taking our society by storm, it might be tempting to strictly stick with online methods. The Covid-19 pandemic has also forced many new businesses to stick to online formatting for generating leads. However, a combination of in-person and online lead generation strategies might be best.
Hosting a live event is an excellent way for customers to put a name to the face of the business. To make it even more accessible, you could stream the event virtually too. Hosting a live event is an excellent way to capture the minds and interests for your products. During your live event, be sure to include additional incentives for consumers like fun games, a raffle prize, and refreshments. Customer appreciation will go a long way in generating leads for your business.
Furthermore, a live event will pave the path for an overall sense of longevity when generating leads for your business. The aim should always be to ensure that the leads generated will be able to withstand the test of time. What good is generating a lead if the customer does not plan to follow up with you for a purchase?
Offer a Coupon or Discount
Who doesn’t love a great deal? Customers will always go above and beyond to search for a last-minute promo code when they are making a purchase. Plus, you can easily convert prospective customers who have expressed interest in your products previously by providing them with a coupon code or discount. This added incentive will still act as a great way to generate leads even if the customer does not use the coupon right away.
Repetition is the mother of learning, and consistency is the key to driving leads over time. Thus, consumers who constantly and repeatedly receive your invites and coupons will always keep your business in the back of their minds for future potential purchases. Top dog retailers are successful with this method because they also include text alerts into these offers as well. You don’t have to limit yourself to giving your prospects coupons via email only. Text alerts can be just as effective if not more effective because the client does not have to sift through unwanted emails. Instead, they can follow the lead you have generated conveniently from their smartphone’s text thread.
Create an Email Offer
When many new business owners think of how to generate leads for their business, they think it only applies to new clients. This is not always the case. New business owners can access the emails of their current clients and email them special offers about upcoming deals on their products or services. The first step would be to send an initial email inviting the client list to subscribe. This way, the clients do not feel forced or bombarded into becoming a customer. Once the client has become a subscriber, it’s time to reel them in with the promise of special promotional offers. Be sure that your business is generating enough traffic to be able to offer deals for new leads. If you are looking to broaden your reach of lead generation, look into partnering with your current clients to access their email list. In doing so you can promote yourself to an even wider range of paying customers. This is a great way to supplement your lead generation approach.
Start Generating Leads
Now that you know how to generate leads for your business, it’s time to put your newfound skills to work. There is a plethora of lead generation resources that are at your disposal if you would like to build on your knowledge even further. When preparing to generate leads, it’s important to keep in mind where your customers are and what they want from a business.
- What is a lead?
- What are some lead generation best practices?
- Is lead generation or demand generation better?
- What are some lead generation strategies?
- Why should I use a coupon or discount code?