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Generating leads is one of the most important things you can do for your business because obviously you need leads if you want to make any money. But generating leads isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially when a large number of those leads don’t, well…lead anywhere.
You don’t want to waste your time and attention on leads that are cold and stale.
You want leads that are already warm, leads that’ve probably been sitting nestled by a fire with a cup of hot cocoa in an ugly knit Christmas sweater.
But leads like that are kind of hard to come by, aren’t they?
Not if you use the methods I’m going to show you for finding the right leads to convert into customers.
So let’s get right to it.
1. Build a Blog.
Blogging is one of the best ways to drive organic traffic to your website. You can use your blog to provide useful information to your readers that somehow relates to your product or service. For example, if you’re an IT service company providing services to other businesses, you might create technology-related blog posts that dive into how to choose the right IT service provider (i.e., what to look for in a provider). And then list the attributes that your company has. Use both internal and external linking to help better position yourself in search engines.
Brainstorm a list of topics that would interest and engage your target prospects and come up with a regular posting schedule. You could blog once or twice a month or three times a week if that’s what you feel comfortable with. Regardless, remain consistent with your blogging and your prospects will start to see you as a trusted and reliable source of information, which helps you build credibility and authority.
2. Build an Email List.
Building an email list is a little easier when you already have a blog to do most of the work for you. There are a few ways you can build your email list using your blog. You can use the end of each blog post as an opportunity to get your readers to subscribe to your blog. One way to do it is to simply ask your readers to subscribe to your email newsletters if they like the content you already have.
Another way is to offer a freebie in exchange for contact info, but we’ll get into that a little later.
There are so many ways you can build your email list. Just some of the ways include:
- hosting a contest or giveaway,
- using opt-in forms on your website,
- using social media to increase engagement and build relationships
- using a light box that asks for an email address whenever someone is about to leave your blog or website (but don’t just blatantly ask for it – you gotta finesse ’em…let ’em know they’re about to miss out on something great or something to that effect).
You have a bunch of options to choose from. And you can even be creative and come up with your own ideas or put a twist on one of the ones above.
3. Use a CRM System.
A customer relationship management (CRM) system can help you nurture your leads so that you know where each customer is in the buyer’s journey, which includes the following stages:
A CRM helps you keep track of all of your relationships with potential and current customers so that you can give them whatever they need to get them closer to the sale (or make a repeat purchase), whether it’s a product demonstration, a case study, or a white paper. Some of the most popular CRMs out there are:
- Zoho Office Suite
- Copper CRM
Do your own research to determine which one is best for your company. Some CRMs are better for small businesses while others work better for larger corporations. HubSpot’s free CRM is a great place to start.
4. Find a Balance Between Sales and Marketing.
Sales and marketing are two different things, and while many people use the terms interchangeably, sales and marketing departments should not be treated like they’re one in the same. In many companies, sales and marketing departments don’t even interact with each other.
If you want to see business growth, your sales and marketing departments should work together towards your business goals. Not separately.
Your marketing department should be responsible for coming up with strategies to build brand awareness and brand engagement. Your marketing team should be working on building engagement and relationships through social media, content marketing, advertising, viral marketing, and other activities that involve making your potential customers aware of your company and what you can do to solve their problems.
Your sales department should be responsible for using the company’s sales process to interact with prospects. Your sales team should be working towards finding ways to move your prospects from one stage of the buyer’s journey to the next. Sales should be responsible for things like cold calls, networking, and one-on-one client meetings.
You can get your sales and marketing departments to work together by using a sales process that helps both teams do their jobs more effectively.
For example, for the awareness and interest stages of the funnel, you can have your sales team send your prospects eBooks, white papers, how-to articles, educational videos, or a webinar invitation.
Once your sales team warms up the lead, they can then pass the prospect to marketing. Then, your marketing team can continue to nurture the lead by providing a product demo, case study, data sheet, a sample, free trial, or testimonials. These types of content are best for the consideration and intent stages.
Once your prospects are warm enough, you can focus on closing the sale. At that point, your prospects might only need a bit more information before making a purchase. If that’s the case, you might get away with shooting off a quick email to remind them about how your solution can help them. But you can also provide product reviews, offer a promotion, or invite them to take a survey to allow them to express any lingering concerns they might have.
The key is to find balance between sales and marketing. Make sure everyone knows what they’re supposed to be doing by implementing a sales process that everyone knows and follows.
5. Use Social Media.
Social media is a great lead generation tool for a few reasons. The main reason is that social media marketing has become so specific and targeted that it really isn’t all that difficult to generate warm leads, especially with paid advertising. What you need to do is start creating and curating content that your target audience would find useful, entertaining, or informative – and then promote that content in the form of paid ads. Keep at it and put yourself on a schedule if you really need to.
Once your prospects start to notice what you’re doing and realize how useful you’ve been, they’ll start to engage with your brand on social media. Find ways to get them engaged from the very beginning using things like surveys (to ask them about their business goals and challenges, for example), videos, infographics that explain how to do something they don’t fully understand, polls, and straightforward question posts. Find out what your prospects are looking for and try to be the best one providing it. Be authentic and real when it comes to interacting with them on social media because it’s supposed to be a personal experience. Act like a person and treat them like one as well.
Use Facebook and LinkedIn groups to build personal relationships with people. The more you humanize yourself to your prospects, the easier it becomes to turn them into customers that continue to buy from you again and again.
6. Give Away Freebies in Exchange for Contact Info.
One of the best ways to generate leads is to give away something valuable for free. It can be an eBook, a PDF download, a workbook, or anything else that gets your prospects to give you their info. Once you have that, you can keep in contact with them either via email or phone (or both) and continue to nurture that lead until you get them to the sale.
Brainstorm a list of potential freebies to offer visitors to your site. Think about what would make the most sense in your line of work or industry.
Here are a few examples of how it’s done:
7. Use an Influencer.
Influencer marketing is becoming a trend in digital marketing that doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. Influencer marketing is essentially taking the idea of the celebrity endorsement and scaling it down for smaller audiences and less famous celebs. Influencers can be bloggers, YouTube stars, or anyone online with a large following. There are influential people from all walks of life and in every industry.
Finding an influencer in your industry could be as simple as searching for a well-respected digital marketing expert and blogger on LinkedIn. You can easily spot these people because of their massive following of thousands or even millions of followers. Those are the people you’re gonna want to snag for your influencer marketing campaigns because they already have a large, targeted audience so you know the leads will be at least somewhat decent.
But before you just jump right into influencer marketing, create a strategy and and budget what you can reasonably spend. Think about how you can demonstrate your credibility, authority, and thought-leadership within your own industry, as recommended by Influencer Marketing Hub. If you’re not familiar with influencer marketing just yet, it’s a good idea to find a company that can match you to influencers in your industry instead of trying to go it alone. You’ll be much better off with a bit of guidance by a company that knows what it’s doing.
8. Create a High-Converting LinkedIn Profile.
As a B2B business owner, LinkedIn is a gold mine for finding not only employees, but leads as well. LinkedIn is a great space for you to highlight not only who you are and what your company does, but what you can do to help your prospects solve their problems. Many people make the mistake of writing with themselves in mind, but that’s actually pretty counterintuitive. Instead, focus on how your company gets others the results they’re looking for.
For example, your headline on LinkedIn might read something like this:
“I help technology companies generate 10-15 qualified leads every month using SEO and link building strategies.”
This headline lets the target audience know exactly who you are, what you do, and what results you can deliver. But your headline is only the first step in setting up your high-converting LinkedIn profile.
Remember to use a high-quality profile picture and provide proof of credibility if possible (i.e., you in a professional setting).
Also, focus on continuously expanding your network. Posting articles on LinkedIn regularly can help draw your target prospects to you. It also helps to beef up your profile by adding any relevant awards, publications, and certifications. Use the experience section to write a description that highlights the specifics about how you can help your readers. Adding a quick call to action to visit your website or book a meeting is also recommended.
9. Create a Free Tool.
If you’re not really up for writing an eBook, you can always go a different route and offer a free tool. Think HubSpot’s free CRM or CoSchedule’s free headline analyzer. The options are unlimited. Think about what your prospects really want and try to deliver that in the form of a free online tool like the ones I just mentioned.
Neil Patel, one of the world’s leading digital marketers, is offering the chance to grow your traffic. All you have to do is enter your website URL.
Think about what makes the most sense for your business and industry and start creating a tool that can help your potential customers.
10. Host a Webinar.
Hosting a webinar can provide a great source of leads with the right topic. It can help you build trust and authority and stand out among others in your industry. But most importantly, hosting a webinar can help you capture high-quality leads.
Come up with a list of ideas for webinars that can help your prospective clients solve their problems in some way. For example, you could host a webinar that tells people how set up their websites quickly, how to create an online course, or how to use effective SEO strategies boost website conversions.
Before you do anything, start by defining your audience and objectives. That can help guide you as you create the content for your webinar. Creating buyer personas and keeping the buyer’s journey in mind while you craft your content is recommended. A webinar for lead generation is likely going to yield prospects in the awareness stage, which means they know what their business challenges are, but they’re not quite sure how to solve them. Your job is to give them the information they need and provide a solution, which can move them to the next stage.
Remember to track your success using metrics-based goals, which might include the engagement rate during the webinar, the conversion rate from people who registered to people who attended, the number of total registrations, and the rate of response to the call to action.
Now that you’ve got the resources and tools you need to generate warm, qualified leads quickly, you can take what you learned and apply it your own business.
Have you tried any of the above methods for generation warm, qualified leads? If so, what were your results.
Let me know in the comments.
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