Marketing is becoming one of the most important aspects of running a successful business. However, it can be difficult to know where to start when you are new and have no connections or experience. With the increase of competition and information abundance, it is more difficult for companies to stand out.
Lead generation is also an essential marketing process where you need to track potential customer interest as well as create a sales pipeline that converts into revenue. With lead gen tactics such as cold calling long gone being enough, customers have grown tired of bombardment with irrelevant content or ads so marketers must be smarter about how they engage their audience if they want success.
This blog post will give you 6 easy steps that will help you get started on your marketing journey.
1) Use your own network
You probably have an entire catalogue of potential clients right under your nose and you didn't realise it!
Your social media connection lists are a great place to start generating leads for your business.
Start out by writing a post asking the people you know if they have any business or marketing needs that you could help with, at first offering your services for free or at a greatly reduced price to build up a portfolio you can in the future take to other businesses.
Consider posing your request as an interactive question or infographic to help draw more attention to your post and remember: "Incentivising is tricky, in order to motivate people, you need an incentive worth the effort."
So you've gained your first client and completed some work for them, naturally, you're going to want more.
The key is to build up a good relationship with your already established customers to influence them into passing you on to other businesses. Consider proposing an offer to your clients, that if you create amazing work for them, they introduce you to three other businesses who would benefit from your services. This method is a super-easy way to get results and generate leads as your work should speak for itself.
Your potential new clients will also be more likely to close a deal with you as you've already come recommended from someone they trust, plus they would have already seen your work in action through their friends' pages.
3) Create your own visible results
This is probably the most important point and easiest to action.
If you're only just starting out with your business and have no visible results to show potential clients, the best thing you can do is produce content for yourself!
By running a campaign out of your own pocket, you'll be able to show real-time actionable results to your target audience. Start by finding a simple affiliate product and set up a lead magnet funnel directing people to the product, you can practice generating your own leads at a low cost. This will give you working evidence to show potential clients.
Once you've run a couple of successful campaigns, you'll have enough work to be able to approach potential clients that you've generated through our previous steps and you'll be up and running campaigns in no time!
4) Give a Little, Make a Lot!
Facebook is every business owner's best friend. There's an incredible amount of business owners on Facebook who has no idea how to advertise, this is where you come in. Join at least 5-10 different Facebook groups relevant to your niche and get posting! Anything from helpful hints and tips, to examples of work you've done, why not check out our last blog post here, even though the post is directed towards LinkedIn, these posting tips are highly transferrable across all social media networks.
By frequently posting, you'll become a familiar voice within these networks helping you gain more trust amongst your potential new clients. Your information will be useful to those who know how to use it, but for those who don't know how to advertise, they're more likely to approach you instead.
This is your chance to show them how well you can work and what you can offer them as a business, and since they approached you, you're more likely to close the deal.
Always remember to pin a call-to-action post at the top of your business page, and add a link to your website's home page for easy access to your business.
5) E-Mail marketing
The time-tested method of email marketing will not fail you, this method combined with the others is sure to get you up and running in no time.
According to Emma, 59% of marketers found that email marketing was still their best channel for revenue.
From our earlier point of ensuring you have a call to action on your business page, you're automatically gaining your potential clients' emails ready to start your own effective email marketing campaign.
Done right, this could dramatically increase traffic to your business. Start your emails by offering solutions to your customers' problems, and don't forget the catchy subject line, you don't want your hard work falling into their junk bins.
Consider writing a weekly or bi-weekly newsletter updating your customers on your latest projects, new trends or even offer helpful tips to keep you at the front of their minds.
6) Paid Ads
Why not use your own skills and create your own paid ad campaign to generate leads, what's better than showing off what you can do and gaining clients at the same time?!
This method is not only actioning what you know but showing any potential customers that you have the ability to market yourself effectively.
A couple of paid marketing strategies are:
- Google search ads - be sure to focus on your ad's Time, Targeting, and Tracking. If you get those just right, your ad is onto a winner.
- Social media PPC ads - This method is better for the creative types. Still ensuring to focus on Time, Targeting, and Tracking, and through creating eyecatching and informative banner posts, you'll be gaining traffic to your site in a flash.
Your marketing strategy is only as effective as your ability to generate leads. Whether you’re using email, social media ads, or inbound marketing content on the web, there are a few tried-and-true steps for increasing lead generation that marketers should follow at all times.
Review them and see which methods work best for generating new customers and clients online.
Which of these 6 strategies did you find most helpful? What other ways have you seen successful companies drive and engage with more qualified traffic to there websites and social media channels etc? Leave your comments below.