You need to generate leads to be successful in any business. Without consistent traffic, online or off, your business is doomed. Here are 7 ways to generate leads both online and off.
1. Embrace social media
Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn have billions of monthly users. Online and offline companies should find out which social sites their customers use and then become active there. Post more than just your offers, though. Show the human side of your business and connect with people on topics outside the “normal” business topics. Connect with prospects and customers alike.
2. Give something away
This is the classic lead generation technique. Provide prospects with something valuable that solves a problem for them in exchange for their email address. This can be as simple as delivering an e-book or digital report or giving out free samples and trial offers. With a brick-and-mortar business or a virtual offering, building an email list allows you to communicate with all of your prospects in a few keystrokes.
3. Narrow your focus
A laser-targeted market focus qualifies your prospects before you ever communicate with them. Stop trying to appeal to everyone and go after your ideal customer. Don’t fool yourself into thinking your product or service is “for everyone” – it’s not. Choose a specific problem your ideal customer has and provide a specific solution. Once you gain traction (and sales!), you can branch out and solve another problem.
4. Ask instead of offer
If you are having a problem generating leads, why not ask your marketplace what they are looking for? Instead of the same old lead generation offer, ask your prospects what you can do for them. When you then offer the solution, you’ll have a ready supply of warm leads from the people who gave feedback.
5. Fish where the fish are
Any good fisherman knows that to put fish in the boat, you have to go where they are. Find out where your ideal prospects hang out, congregate and mingle, online and off, and establish a presence there. Check your thinking, though.
For example, if you market a weight loss product, where would you look for your prospects? A donut shop? Or a gym? Many would think their prospects are at the donut shop, but not really. The folks interested in losing weight – and doing something toward that end – are at the gym. The folks at the donut shop are not ready to change their diets or their weight…yet.
6. Engage your prospects
Live chats, webinars, and conferences let you interact with your prospects in a person-to-person manner. Take it a step further and email 2-3 of your subscribers each week to say hello and get to know who they are on a personal level. So simple, yet so many don’t take the 15 minutes this would take to do.
7. Ask for referrals
One of the most effective leads is a happy customer referral. You have probably eaten at a restaurant or seen a movie because you heard someone raving about those experiences. This is the power of a referral from a satisfied customer. Ask your customers to spread the message about your business. You might even consider implementing an affiliate program.
How many of these lead generation methods do you already use? How many will you implement now?