So you’ve started your business but now you’re struggling to generate leads for your product or services? Don’t stress, you’re not alone. Even professionals can struggle with this.
Lead generation is imperative for the operations of any business and in the long run, the benefits are endless. If you want to improve cash flow, increase revenue and build your brand presence, you’ll need to make this a priority.
We’ve pulled together a list of activities to ensure your business can succeed in generating leads and succeed in finding your ideal customers. We hope you find this useful and implement one or more or all for your business.
Google My Business
First thing you should do, is create a google my business account and add your business to the listing. This will ensure you get found on the maps which are a great lead generator when people are searching for products or services within your area.
Tip – send the review link to past clients/customers and request a review if they enjoyed your service or product. This will increase the credibility and trust of your business. Do not create fake reviews, Google knows all and will punish your listing.
This is the fastest and easiest way to generate exposure and leads. There are numerous online directories which you can post your services for free. Some larger ones charge a monthly or annual fee to post your services on their sites.
We used brightlocal who charge a once-off fee to do numerous citations in one hit. Now, our SEO manager handles the citation building.
Seocopilot prepared their top 25 online listings which you can view here. There are many more to consider but this list is a good starting point.
There’s no point in selling a fantastic product or service if no one knows about it. Getting in front of your target audience who may be willing to buy your products is essential and can be done through a simple method with search engines and social media channels, referred to as ‘Pay Per Click (PPC) or ‘Search Engine Marketing (SEM)’’. If effectively used, this can create traction to your website and grab the attention of the right consumers.
You could also consider traditional advertising if it is better suited for your product. Examples include ad-space in newspapers or local directories for promotions.
So, how does it work? Generally, you pay per click through to your website. You would pick a number of phrases and keywords that represent your services and/or product offering.
You will compete for the clicks with competitors which will drive the cost per click. Your goal is for people who click through to complete a call-to-action (explained below). Out of the people that click through, only a % will attend to an action, then out of those, a % will become a client.
$5 per click
10% who click sign-up = $50 per lead
10% become customers = $500 per customer ($50*10)
If your sale price is greater than $500 you are getting a positive ROI.
Also consider the customer lifetime value per client when determining the viability of a SEM strategy. Also factor in your cash flow projections and your business plans.
An example of how your Ad may appear when people search is below;
SEO and Websites
Your own website is just as important if not more than promoting your business on social media like Facebook and Instagram. Don’t waste all the effort to attract customers, only to bring them into a website that will not generate a lead.
A good website should scream authenticity and bring out the personality of your business. It should have Calls to Action (CTA) where the potential customers fill out a form or buy a product on your website (CTA explained below).
To rank above your competitors and be at the top of the search engines like Google, become a master at Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). SEO takes time to work, but should not be overlooked. Every great website that generates organic traffic has a strong SEO strategy, so by doing this from the start, you are creating the opportunity for exponential returns.
If you cannot afford an SEO agent, you could connect yoast to your website and begin to optimise. You will also need to upload your sitemap to google search console, and begin to build quality backlinks to the pages you wish to rank.
There is a useful article here on the basics of SEO.
Probably one of the most commonly used strategies, and for good reason. It’s almost impossible to find a business that doesn’t use social media for promotion. Why? Not only is it cost effective, the power of generating leads is endless. Social media management can seem intimidating at first, but once you learn the ropes, you’ll be able to maximize your engagement and lead generation.
Apart from generating new leads, it’s a great place for people to see what your business is about, which may also persuade them to become a customer. This is known as branding and will assist with building your brand awareness.
Calls to action
CTAs are so important for your business and should be constantly monitored for effectiveness and conversions.
Examples are ‘Start your free 30 day trial’, ‘Sign up here’ or ‘Get Started’. They’re direct and clear on what you want the customer to do next.
Tip – Making CTAs look like buttons created a 45% boost in clicks for CreateDebate. See some more CTA statistics here
See apples landing page for an example below.
‘Shop online’, ‘Learn more’, and ‘Buy’ are the CTA’s in their top cut. You’ll see many CTA’s throughout their home page and other landing pages.
Partner with another company
You know the saying, teamwork makes the dream work!
If you have any company’s in mind that share your target audience and feel would be suitable to work with, it wouldn’t hurt to create a partnership. Contacting them and fostering a relationship could prove beneficial via with lead sharing to help each grow together.
An example, this could be creating referral campaigns with similar businesses by offering special discount codes that would benefit both sides. Maybe there’s even a chance for it to go long term and sharing of promo materials or even merging the businesses.
We had great early success in building out our partnerships which was the catalyst for our early growth. The partnerships we built took a fair amount of time and effort to nurture. But once we had put enough love and care into ensuring their success, we had created some automated lead inflows which are creating significant growth opportunities.
Tip – think, what is the benefit of the other business working with my business and sending me leads. I was them, what would entice me to partner with a business like mine.
This takes critical thinking but allows you to be flexible and create an irresistible offering for your new partner. Be generous with your partners while you build your initial customer base. This will create the fastest growth.
Word of mouth
64% of marketing executives indicated that word of mouth is the most effective form of marketing in a recent study.
This can be done through asking your loyal customers to promote to their friends and offering a discount or extra service in return, or even getting positive reviews on relevant websites. People are more likely to believe their friends’ opinions than advertisements.
Similar to a company partnership, customer referral or affiliate schemes can also be used. Discounts or receiving business credits would provide an incentive for customers to get their friends to use your product.
Get help from family and friends
There’s no harm in asking for help, especially when your idea is great. Phone, email or text people you know who would be interested or willing to help promote your business idea, and let them know that any form of help is appreciated.
Small actions like sharing on social media, liking pages or content, or connecting with a friend who would be interested in purchasing is a great start. We sometimes underestimate the influence of the little things.
Who would reject free things? Sometimes all it takes is a glimpse of what the product or service is like, whether it be samples or a free trial to capture their interest.
Inevitably there will be customers who drop out, but if your product is great people will be willing to work you into their budgets.
For example, we offer a free initial phone consultation to see what accounting and tax services your business may need. By being authentic and understanding not everyone is a right fit for your business, your free offer will build trust and credibility.
Xero has a free 30-day trial which is a great hook as they know they have a great product. So by offering a free trial period people can see the value in using their online software (which you can get through POP along with a 20% lifetime discount, pretty neat huh!)
Community involvement (online and in person)
Publicity gained by going out and networking with your target audience via online platforms or offline through events, meetups or stalls could improve your brand presence.
In the online community, this could be joining Facebook groups, Reddit, Quora or specific community forums.
What do you do there?
Be the one that provides qualified and quality answers to the people asking questions. Not only will it be appreciated, but this could even gain you more attention by other users in the long run.
Electronic Direct Mail (EDM) and Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) Tool
On your website, it is important to try capture people’s emails so you can retarget to these potential customers. Examples may be offering a free guide or an expert opinion, or a free review of a product or service.
You’ll have already partaken in some lead generation if you have a collection of email addresses to send a EDM out to, but you can encourage the recipients to share the news with their friends using carefully tailored CTAs.
You will also need to get acceptance from people that they wish to receive your EDM’s and other emails.
A CRM is critical for any business. If you cannot afford one early on, ensure you have a centralised place where you store your customers and potential customers details. Creating different buckets will assist with running specific campaigns and targeting based on specific objectives and information.
Tip – quality over quantity.
Don’t spam your current and potential clients.
Instead, send quality information that you know will add value. Ensure your CTA is clear and there are no barriers or friction to proceed with the action.
After Google, YouTube is the biggest search engine worldwide!
If you’re able to establish a strong YouTube presence, not only will you gain brand awareness and a large following, the number of leads will boost along with it.
This isn’t for everyone, but the sheer volume of potential customers should be enough to entice you to include this somewhere in your marketing strategy.
We created videos in the mezzanine of our office on how to start a company in Australia amongst other accounting related topics. The video is now generating sales with the cost to make the video, well, just our time.
Be an event sponsor
The more relevant, the better. It could be a mutually beneficial partnership if there is high attendance. The organisers will appreciate any help with running an event to boost their cash flow. In exchange, you’ll be able to paste your name on a big banner and gain some brand awareness, or even associated with sponsoring a big event.
Use this as more a branding exercise to get the word out about your business and showcase your company’s willingness to contribute. We sponsored Autism Swim which is a great organisation and apart from the exposure, it helped us showcase our willingness to support worthy causes.
Public Relations (PR)
Get the word out about your new product or service via the media. This can be an effective way to let your target audience know that you exist and can offer them what they are looking for. Usually, you will also get a high-quality backlink to your website if done through an online publisher.
When we launched POP Tax, we engaged a PR Agency to create an article with Sydney Morning Herald. The same article was then published by other publishers like news.com.au (you can view here), Courier mail (QLD), The West Australian and many more.
So did it work? It’s hard to know..it created some great exposure, and the backlinks increased our SEO ranking, but it didn’t create a huge amount of leads.
SharkTank’s Kevin O’Leary consistently preaches about the success people have when they go on his show as a result of the publicity.
A classic example is a mum/daughter business that makes cupcakes/sweets which scaled up to $14m+ in sales through continually being on TV; snippet of article here.
Make a blog and create helpful content
In the era of content creation, creating a blog with engaging and informative content is almost now a necessity. By showcasing your knowledge and expertise (like we are doing here), this could increase company awareness, build credibility and build trust.
Stand out from your competitors by adding a more relatable aspect to your business through adding your personal point of view or experiences to the content.
Long term via the use of SEO, your content will be driving organic traffic and increasing your leads! So get blogging.
Who doesn’t love free things?
‘Like or share to win’ campaigns that offer to give away great prizes in social media will 100% bring countless potential leads to your business.
You have to remember that most of the participants are only interested in the prize and not your company. It’s vital that you properly make use of this short term boost – by getting them hooked and interested in your product if they don’t win the giveaway. Ensure they are targeted at the right people to maximise the exposure.
Although it’s considered old fashioned, having promotional materials printed and visible in places where your core audience is, can still be a great and cost effective way of generating leads. Sometimes it can be even more engaging than digital ads.
Be careful though, not all businesses are willing to let you piggyback off their audience. Always ask for permission. Don’t create the wrong impression and harm your image by randomly dropping flyers everywhere.
There’s been a recent rise in popularity for podcasts. Podcasts are an excellent way of communicating with the public and sharing your knowledge and expertise for a period of time. This could be done in local conferences, seminars or local function rooms.
Not only will broadcasting interesting topics for discussion bring subscribers, you could even get a following of a base of people interested in your product or willing to learn more.
During covid-19, the Australian government had a lot of confusing information about stimulus for businesses. I did multiple guest podcasts to explain what we knew about the legislative changes and how they might affect certain businesses. This created great brand awareness for POP and also, some new clients.
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