How many articles have you read about lead generation for your small business?
How many of those articles have failed to give you any new ideas that sparked actions that lead to an influx of new leads?
We all know that generating new leads is the best ways to grow a business. We also know that article after article repeats the same monotonous advice.
You’re ready to get inspired by something new. In this article, we hope to do just that for you.
Any of these ideas may trigger the perfect lead generation idea for your small business that helps take you to a new level.
1. Create a Powerful Referral-Based System with Incentives
As cliché as it may sound, word-of-mouth advertising is still the best way to generate new leads for any business — especially small businesses.
But the fact is that the way customers spread the word about you has changed in the last decade.
Instead of in-person conversations, most people now share the word about you with links or via text.
You need to harness the power of this lead generation opportunity by building an incentivized referral system.
Selling your products or services online is crucial today. When doing so, it’s easy to set up an individualized referral-based system that will incentivize your current customer for spreading the word about you, while also giving the person they refer a nice discount on their initial purchase.
You can do this by setting up individualized online referral codes that your current customer can share with their friends and family.
When the new customer uses that code on your site, they’ll get a discount on that purchase, and the one who referred them will get a discount on their next purchase.
Not only does this create new leads, but it also lets you know exactly where each lead is coming from (and why based upon what they purchase). This information is crucial as you grow your referral-based strategy.
2. Broadcast Directly to Your Specific Niche
Have you ever purchased advertising on television or radio?
If so, you were likely disappointed with the return on investment. Instead of advertising to the precise segment you’re targeting, you’re throwing a net out there to tons of people who may have no interest in what you offer.
And now my sage advice: Podcasts. There are currently over 750,000 podcasts with over 30 million episodes covering every possible niche you can imagine.
And the fact is that these podcasts have stolen millions of listeners and viewers from radio and television. It’s time to harness that power to get directly to your target market.
Podcasts are genuinely lead generation gold.
Do some research to find the most relevant podcasts in your niche and inquire about their advertising rates. In many cases, you’ll find that it is substantially lower than traditional broadcast advertising and will return exponentially better results.
3. Direct Mail Isn’t Dead — But It Has Changed
Many small business owners think of direct mail lead generation as a relic from the ’80s. This bias couldn’t be further from the truth. It may just be that the direct mail campaigns they’ve tried were using an ’80s approach.
Firing off thousands of postcards addressed to “Current Resident” won’t get the job done anymore. This approach may even leave the reader with a negative view of your business. Traditionally, people aren’t big fans of junk mail.
In 2019, a new approach to direct mail is crucial — and can work.
First, to get the attention of the recipient, you need to create very compelling flyers (not postcards!) that bring the consumer a valuable offer.
Secondly, target your mailing to a smaller audience so you can invest more in the quality of your mailing. Big numbers aren’t always better if you’re not sending the right message to the right people.
As we said above, a precise segment targeting beats throwing out a broad net.
You’ll also want to use specific, data-driven referral codes for your leads to use when they make a purchase. Sending out generic, un-personalized coupons for a 10% discount won’t return the lead generation results you desire.
Lastly, think of your direct mail campaign as your first attempt to get a lead to check out your site, call you or stop in for an initial consultation.
Don’t try to “make the sale” on your very first contact with them. Create an interest that leads them to take initial action.
4. A Modern, Regularly Updated Website Is a Must
So many small business owners throw up a website and think, “there, it’s done.” This assumption is the biggest mistake you can make when looking for new leads.
First, technology is changing every day — especially in the business world. Think of the last time you were researching a purchase.
How much time did you spend on a site that looked like it was built in 2013 and hadn’t had a posted updated since 2017?
If you’re like most buyers, probably less than 15 seconds. No matter how effective your campaign might be to drive new leads to your site, if it’s tired, outdated and doesn’t have fresh content, you’ve wasted your time and efforts.
It doesn’t take a lot of money to have a modern website. In fact, with options like WordPress and a little know-how, you could quickly build that beautiful site on your own. It also doesn’t take much time to get fresh, quality content on your site regularly.
You need a blog and you need to understand the basics of SEO (yes, you’ve heard that 1,000 times before, but it’s true). Put some of your time into great content, and don’t take for granted that your knowledge is common knowledge.
After all, you’re an expert in your niche and know a lot that the average Joe doesn’t know.
5. Organic Social Media Lead Generation is Officially Dead
It’s a sad thing to report, but organic social media marketing doesn’t work anymore. No matter how many followers you’ve built on the most popular platforms, only a tiny handful of them will see anything you post.
Yeah, we miss the days of going organically viral as well. But that doesn’t mean social media can’t still be leveraged to bring in new leads.
Using highly targeted paid social media advertising is inexpensive and effective. You don’t need to broadcast to 100,000 people to see results.
Instead, use the easy-to-use tools platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook offer to highly target your campaigns to as few qualified customers as possible — within a reasonable budget.
You’ve no doubt read this idea before, but how much time have you put into learning the nuances of how it can grow your pool of leads?
A little time, effort, and money in social advertising could easily bring your next wave of fresh leads.
Lead Generation in 2019 Has Changed…
…but it’s not as different as you might expect.
Often, all it takes is one great idea to spark a campaign that makes your small business next-level successful. We hope we’ve inspired that idea right here.
Do you have other ideas and strategies that have been successful in your business? If so, let us know!