Setting up a small business is an exciting time, but it can also be a period of uncertainty as you find out how your business is going to perform. The industry you work within and the type of business you have will define how easy it is for you to generate leads for your business.
There are several ways that you can generate more leads for your business. We have gathered 10 ways below that you can use to improve sales for your small business.
What is Lead Generation
Whether you have set up your own business or your job role is to generate, increase, or follow up on leads within a company, you will need to be aware of what lead generation is and how to devise a lead generation strategy.
There are a number of factors that can affect how you are able to generate leads and how many leads you can generate. Many new businesses think that the best way to generate leads is to throw money into the equation, and while this can work, it is not essential. There are many small and successful businesses that can generate leads with a small marketing budget and a small or no marketing team.
Where to Start
Generating leads is about creating traffic onto your website and converting that traffic into sales for your business. This is what your lead generation strategies should focus on, initially, how to generate the traffic to your website and then the hook that your company is going to use to entice customers to buy with you.
Target audience is key when devising your lead generation strategy. If you do not focus on the correct target audience for the products and services you offer, you will never generate leads. Next, you will need to look at where, when, how, and how often you are advertising your products and services.
Creating interest in your business, products, and services is the key to successful lead generation strategies and increased leads for your small business. The below tips we have highlighted can be used individually, or you can use several consecutively or concurrently to generate leads.
We would like you to consider that throughout the lead generation process, you ensure that the steps you are taking to generate leads are financially viable for your business. Trying too many lead generation techniques at the same time can be costly, and if it ultimately does not generate as many leads as you were expecting, you may not be able to pinpoint which technique has not worked.
Top Tips to Generate Leads for Your Business
Engage with Potential Customers
One of the easiest ways to accomplish high lead generation is to engage the customers you are hoping will buy products from your business. Customers are more likely to buy from a business that they feel they have a connection to. Interacting with your potential customers in any way will generate leads.
You could use social media channels to interact, post videos on YouTube about the products you sell, or by writing a blog with links to your website. You could also create interactions with customers by linking up with other creators and featuring your business, products, and services on their platforms also.
If you are approaching potential customers to engage with them about your business, it is best to keep the interaction brief, informative, and casual. Too forceful a conversation is likely to have the opposite effect on customers. Similarly, so is a conversation that is solely to push sales.
If a potential customer contacts your company for more information, it is important that you provide a quick, informative, and professional response. The quicker you can provide the customer with a response to their inquiry, the more likely it is that this inquiry will convert to a sale. If you delay in sending a response to the customer, you increase the likelihood that they have found the item or service that they need with another company.
In any interaction with a customer, it is important to leave the option for further communication at a later time. If your products or services are not currently suitable for that customer having a rapport with them will encourage the customer to return to your business the next time they need a product or service that you offer.
This type of lead generation will still benefit your company and could also lead to word-of-mouth recommendations also.
Utilize Social Media
Social media channels are one of the quickest and lowest-cost ways of generating leads for online businesses. You can upload the same advert on multiple social media platforms to generate business leads. You will not need to create multiple adverts for each round of your social media advertising campaigns.
Social media networks also allow for alternative methods of communication with prospective customers. With instant messaging options, you can discuss customer inquiries quickly and provide an immediate response. This could be the difference between conversion to a sale and the customer shopping elsewhere.
Social media lead generation is a low-cost tool that you can make use of to identify sales leads, all leads received are then profitable for your business. Social media posts will be continually generating small amounts of leads without any additional work by you as people are shown your posts in their feeds.
Social media posts will also have a wide reach as they are shown based on interests but also based on friend interaction with posts.
Referral partnerships are an excellent way to achieve lead generation. You can benefit from referrals in a number of different ways, you can co-host talks or events in-person or online. You can collaborate with other brands or companies that sell similar products or work in the same industry as you and refer their customers to you when they know they need your products. Also, you can make your business known by supporting other brands, businesses, or creators.
Each of these referral types will give you different types and volumes of business leads. The more types of referrals you embrace, the more leads for your business you will be able to generate. It might be best to embrace all of these referral types at the same time to increase the number of leads you are generating.
Each type of referral or collaboration will also vary in cost of both time and money, so it is best to ensure that you have enough time to complete the task and that it is financially viable for your business.
If you are planning to co-host or feature in an event with other businesses you can collaborate with, there will be a time investment to make to prepare for this. Depending on the venue of the event, there may also be a cost involved in attending. It is important when considering events such as this whether the lead generation will be worth what you will expend to get more leads for your business.
If you have to spend time preparing for the event that you would otherwise have spent on something you know would definitely generate sales leads, you will need to decide if the event is worth it. Unless you know something is guaranteed to fail, we would always recommend trying new lead generation ideas at intervals throughout your trading year. You will have no way of knowing without trying something new how well it will work for small business lead generation. If you find that, after trying it, it does not work for your business, then you do not need to try again.
Similarly, if you find that travel expenses are too high for an in-person event, begin to investigate if there are any online events that will not over-extend your budget.
Direct referrals are a less risky and less time-consuming way to generate leads for your business. Once you have an agreed referral process in place with other companies, you will see lead generation over time. There is very little you will need to do to increase lead generation in this area unless you want to add other companies to your referral base.
It is important to ensure that you do not collaborate with too many similar companies for this type of referral. If the companies you are working with have an overlap in the brands, products, or services that they offer, you will not be able to refer your clients to multiple companies at the same time. Breaching a referral agreement that you have in place can damage your business’s reputation and cost you financially if there is a clause for this in the contract.
Finally, get your business name known for supporting the brands and creators that you respect and work with. In the days of social media and the increase in interest in shopping with small businesses, your name being associated with supporting creators will benefit your business.
It is popular with customers for small businesses to support each other, so if customers of a company see you regularly sharing, liking, or commenting on another business’s products or posts, this can lead to lead generation for your business too.
Building your company’s SEO is a really important tool in your lead generation arsenal. It is important in any lead generation campaign that a small business is easily found on search engines. Improving your business SEO will lead to new high-quality leads for your business. You can start by improving your local SEO score and then move on to a wider reach. You can create accounts on sites such as a sales funnel, which can then be found when clients search.
It is important that if you are not sure of the ways in which you can increase the company’s SEO, you consider online help and support with the help of a specialist in this area. Improving the SEO for your business is time-consuming and costly, and so it is not always something to try yourself if you have no experience or knowledge in this area.
In addition to collaborating on hosted events, as your business grows, you can expand your lead generation campaigns. This will give you more freedom about how and where the events will be and will also allow you to generate new leads based solely on your business and the products and services you offer.
If you are looking to increase online lead generation, you should focus on online events to begin with. With online events, you can reach customers who are not in your immediate area and include links that will drive traffic to your business website immediately.
If you are unsure where to begin to market your lead gen campaign, you should invest some time into your marketing strategy without delay. If you have existing customers, you could run an email marketing campaign to generate qualified leads for your business. With an email campaign, you can include a link for a friend of each existing customer to attract leads from both new and existing customers to help build your customer base for future marketing campaigns.
This type of incentive, and others, are a great way to increase sales leads for your business. Sales leads are often easier to secure from customers who have used your business previously. Their knowledge and trust in your business are a big sales lead for customers with previous experience with your business.
You can also offer discounts to encourage sales leads, either a specific amount as a new customer discount, referring a friend, or a discount for returning customers. Whichever discount you choose to use, if you do, to increase your sales, leads will have to be financially viable for your business. It is not worth increasing the pressure to convert even more sales leads just to increase the leads.
Personalized Advice Services
Advice on a business website in the form of a blog post on the landing page or in a specific area of a website is an excellent way to increase potential leads, as a blog post will increase interest in your products or services. You can also include a link to blog posts on any social media platform.
However, we are seeing increasing interest in personalized information and advice services when purchasing products. You could run an ad campaign or advertise at industry events where each paying customer can request one piece of personalized advice for each purchase or effective lead generation that they complete. Current customers who have possibly used your products but have further advice requests will be likely to be encouraged by this offer. You can also offer advice on a guest blog to show prospective customers the level of advice you can offer.
Personalized information and advice are becoming an effective marketing tool as it encourages customers to eventually purchase products with you. You can then request proof from your sales team that the purchase has been completed before you offer the advice.
Create an Online Community
Creating an online community for your small business is a free tool that can help you to capture leads effectively. This is a service you can offer to paying customers or potential customers to improve your lead generation. Offering current customers an online forum to stay engaged with your business can be more effective than content marketing or cold calling.
Fostering an environment where paying customers, or just website visitors, can chat with each other outside of marketing channels can be hugely beneficial for your sales process too. Your sales teams can use the community you create to get a few tips about what is working well for sales and what can be improved.
This type of online arena for customers can help to build relationships between your business and those who frequent your website. You can utilize this forum as a call to action for lead gen and a call to action to transform visitors into sales.
Create Pop-up Offers
Landing pages are an effective way to hook customers and encourage them to view your website; however, not every view on landing pages convert to sales. Pop-up offers where you ask customers to include their contact details on your landing page offer an excellent opportunity for a follow-up call or email if the customer does not convert to a sale.
In addition to a pop-up on the landing page, you could use pop-ups after a sale to encourage an additional purchase. As an example, if a customer purchases an item for a law firm, you could load a pop-up that shows further products or target keywords to encourage more business. You could link this to a discount if that is possible to create a steady stream of buy leads from each purchase.
It is important that you utilize all of the lead generation tools that are already working, might work, or that you have not tried yet to check. Using different tools at different times throughout the year or throughout the growth of your small business will also have the best effect on lead generation, as this method means that nothing you are doing will become repetitive or stale.
Kasra Dash is a Scottish entrepreneur, Kasra Primarily focuses on SEO & digital marketing for companies in the UK he enjoys brining positive ROI’s for business owners with his marketing expertise.
Kasra is also an investor in Searcharoo.