Generating leads and finding customers is the obvious key to success for every business, but sometimes, it’s not as intuitive as it seems. If you’re struggling to grow your client base, add these five strategies to your repertoire. Before you know it, your leads will turn into dollars!
Your potential customers are already fans of other businesses and products. It’s wise to team up with them! Think about who your customers are – and more importantly, who influences them. Who do they take advice from? Who do they already shop with? These are the companies you should be building connections with.
For example: If you’re a dog trainer, get to know local kennels and groomers. Just got into copywriting? Build relationships with graphic designers. If you sell fitness products, meet some studio owners.
Our best advice: ask them for a coffee hour (or a phone call, if they aren’t local) to find out if their customer base is truly your ideal client as well. If it’s a yes, ask them if they partner with anyone in your field! Approach respectfully, but don’t be afraid to get your business out there, especially to the right people. Remember to nurture these relationships — doing so will create a better chance at frequent referrals.
Networking is not about generating leads directly – it’s about finding people who can refer you to your dream clients. To do this, you’ll have to pitch yourself and your business well, both online and in-person. Masterminds, conferences, BNI groups, and business retreats offer great avenues to connect in person on a deeper level, but we’ve also seen tons of success through Facebook groups, NextDoor, Instagram hashtags. If you believe in your business, you can’t be shy about promoting it! Get some great copy ready or craft your elevator pitch, then get out there.
Lead magnets come in many shapes and sizes, but they’re simply a bite-sized version of your product or service. These can be free or discounted. Either way, the goal is to allow potential clients to experience you without committing to the full price tag – once they do… you’ve generated a lead! Don’t confuse lead magnets with consultations or discovery calls – this is an item that your clients will benefit from as a gift from you, not a sales pitch. The more they value this item, the more they’ll trust you when it comes time to buy bigger products and services. Common lead magnets include: free ebooks or PDFs, discounted virtual tools or resources, free estimates or limited-time coupons.
Paid advertising is tried and true, so it’s worth sinking some dollars into. Be thoughtful about where, and to whom, you advertise – your customer has to identify with your messaging for your ads to be successful. (If you need help identifying your customer, read our helpful guide here.) Advertise via social media sites like Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and Pinterest, or partner with influencers in your field on these platforms. If your ideal client is not on social media, Google Ads are the way to go in order to generate leads.
For local businesses, purchasing ads in local publications or websites is often incredibly helpful as well. You can learn to craft these ads yourself, or you can pay someone to create them, but beware of marketers who want to charge you top dollar while providing mediocre service. Vet them, and make sure they will provide stat reports with results. Keep in mind that quality leads do typically take 2-3 weeks to show up – the beginning of a campaign is usually the “testing” phase.
We are a media-driven society in many ways, so it’s a good idea to get your name published in a few places. Look for opportunities to be featured in articles or magazines and be a guest on any podcasts whose reach fits your customer base, and find credible sources to endorse your product or service. This provides legitimacy for your business and creates backlink SEO for you, but it also introduces you to a whole new client base. If you’re not sure where to start, begin with a media kit. A splash in the media is the best way to generate credibility and leads!