Having a great business with a solid team and an eye-catching logo is something to be proud of, but is it enough to keep your business growing in the long term? Probably not! In today's highly competitive markets, companies need a solid lead generation strategy to ensure that they keep bringing in new clients and growing as a business.
What is lead generation?
Lead generation is the process of attracting clients through a combination of marketing strategies and relationship building in order to keep a steady stream of income flowing into your business. While returning clients are extremely valuable, businesses must also attract new customers and new purchases on a regular basis if they are seeking to grow.
How to turn leads into customers?
Lead generation helps prospective customers get to know your business, see the benefits of your offering, and ultimately become paying customers. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to lead generation, so be sure to consider your businesses' strengths, resources and goals carefully as you develop your lead generation process.
Learn how to generate leads for your business with these ten tips
No matter if you have a B2C or a B2B business, you can use these ten tips to generate leads for your business, win potential clients, and start growing your business today!
1. Seek referrals and testimonials from happy customers
Start by tapping into the resources you already have!
Current customers can be an excellent source of new leads. A happy customer can vouch for the quality of your products or services and connect you with potential buyers. This is a huge part of the reason why it is so important to maintain solid business relationships with all of your customers.
Since referrals are one of the most reliable sources of new leads, don't hesitate to ask for them as a standard practice when closing sales. A referral from a happy customer allows you to approach high quality leads confidently and avoid cold calling. Customer referrals can also grant a level of trust that increases the chances of a new individual or business choosing to become a customer.
Word of mouth testimonials are one of the most valuable forms of marketing, so be sure to let your customer base know how much you would appreciate them telling colleagues, friends and family about their positive experiences with your business. Another way that happy customers can help you generate leads is by providing written testimonials for you to share on your business’ website and social media channels and even in email newsletters.
Social proof can have a hugely positive impact on lead generation. So, remember to show appreciation to the customers who give you referrals and testimonials and help you succeed—they are absolutely integral to your future growth!
2. Create buyer personas
What kind of person is your ideal customer?
Whether you are just starting out or looking to reinvigorate your business, creating buyer personas can help you to really understand who your ideal customers are and how to best reach them through your customer journey and retain them during the sales process. A buyer persona goes beyond the basic demographics of your ideal customers and includes elements of their physiological profiles in order to gain a deeper understanding of them and what drives their day-to-day decisions—including their purchases.
Turn visitors into leads with buyer personas
Having clear buyer personas will help you to make the most of all of the other tips on this list. Once you create them, make sure to have your buyer personas available as a reference point when making decisions such as what type of content to create, which networking events to attend, and what special offers make the most sense for your business.
3. Create helpful and informative content
Creating educational content is another important lead generation strategy.
Whatever your specialty is, there is the potential to create valuable content on the topic to help drive people to your website and create more business leads. From blog posts like this one, to ebooks, to a white paper or even a podcast, there are endless ways for you to showcase your knowledge and your brand in a way that is helpful to current and future customers.
Get the attention of buyers through collaboration
In addition to creating your own content, be sure to take advantage of collaborative opportunities by appearing as a guest on a podcast or writing a guest post on a blog.
Carefully consider your audience and each piece of content
When planning to produce content for lead generation, consider your target audience, their demographics and what they are most likely to benefit from. In tech or other STEM fields, showcasing your accessible expertise with a well-researched blog post could help bring people in, while a marketing firm may do better with a fun and creative podcast. And, of course, many companies go after business leads by producing multiple types of content!
In addition to introducing yourself to larger audiences and showing off your expertise, you can use your content to help build your email list by creating exclusive content that is only available through a newsletter that requires an email address to sign up.
Creating relevant content is also a way to drive traffic to your website. To further enhance your content's lead generation capacity, be sure to check out our next tip on Search Engine Optimization (SEO)!
4. Understand the value of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
If you are putting loads of energy and resources into offering excellent services and creating valuable content, you really want to be sure that people are finding it. That's where investing in SEO comes in!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of helping websites to rank more highly in search results on search engines such as Google. Ranking more highly on Google allows more users to come across your webpage when searching for terms relevant to your business.
An SEO consultant can help you to understand what keywords you should be using throughout your website and offer guidance for creating SEO-friendly content that will bring organic traffic from Google to your site. While there are plenty of great resources for learning about SEO yourself, such as Search Engine Land’s Guide To SEO, working with an expert to increase your SEO ranking will help you speed up the process and bring in new leads from Google more quickly.
5. Network your way to new leads
Networking is a classic way to generate new business opportunities that remains a mainstay for a good reason—it works! While networking can serve many goals, it has a place in lead generation because it allows you to connect with potential customers and explore business opportunities in an immediate way.
There is a huge variety of options when it comes to networking, so be strategic and really think about where your target audience is most likely to be in order to reach prospective leads and prospective clients. Join business associations, attend industry events, and keep an eye out for educational events relevant to your field (there is a wide world of educational events that you can attend as another way to bring in new leads).
While meeting face-to-face offers its own benefits, we can't forget to mention the value of networking online using your desktop computer, laptop or other mobile devices. Social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter can be great resources for reaching out to potential customers and staying in touch with existing ones—make sure to read our next tip to learn more about the power of social media to generate leads!
6. Harness the power of social media
Even beyond the networking aspects, social media channels can be an invaluable resource in generating leads. They can serve as a marketing platform for your business and any of the valuable content you may choose to share. In addition, they also allow you to engage directly with potential customers.
To make the most of your social media presence, be sure to start off with a great profile. A complete profile includes your logo, a concise description of your business, and links to your website. This will set you up for success by making sure you look professional and ready to do business.
Once you've optimized your profiles across all the social media networks you have chosen to be a part of, you can begin to generate your own social media posts and to engage with posts from businesses that you would like to work with. Reaching out over social media can be a great first introduction which you can then follow up on more formally through email or in person at a networking event!
7. Paying for advertising pays
While you can market your business on social media for free, it is also worth considering the option of paying for ads. Facebook ads have been recognized as one of the most effective ways to generate leads. The ability to direct ads to your targeted audience (based on your buyer personas) is part of what makes this strategy work so well.
While it makes sense to want to avoid unnecessary costs, we encourage business owners to consider placing paid ads because they will reliably bring you new traffic and potential customers. It's important to make sure that your advertising strategy aligns with your marketing budget, but it's also worth noting that your competitors are very likely to be spending some of their budgets on advertising costs. It's been found that lead generating ad spending is likely to reach $3.24 billion in 2023, so it's worth considering how costly it might be to ignore this method of lead generation.
8. Create a special offer
Everyone loves to feel like they are getting a good deal, so one way to turn prospective customers into paying customers is to offer special introductory offers or "new customer coupons."
You could choose to offer a discounted rate for new clients, a free consultation, or a free tool. Whatever makes sense for your business! Similarly to content creation or advertising, this strategy does have a cost to your business, so make sure that your offering is sustainable—don’t bust your budget on your lead generation strategy!
Lots of businesses use this lead generation technique, so don't be generic! Really put some thought into what you could offer. Ideally, this will be something that will allow you to stand out to your ideal customers by giving them something of value that they can’t get from your competitors.
9. Nurture your existing leads
Always nurture your existing leads.
The most effective approach for nurturing leads has been found to be personalized email marketing. This approach combines personalized messaging and automation. Depending on the clients and the structure of your business overall, follow-up calls can also be a valuable way to stay in-touch with potential customers and keep them up to date on your most recent offerings.
Also, crucially, it’s important to remember that just because a potential customer was not ready to work with you when you first reached out does not mean that they will never become a paying customer. In fact, research has shown that 60% of buyers say “no” four times before saying “yes," so don't give up on valuable contacts! Keep track of all potential leads by storing their contact information and reaching out to them on a regular basis.
How to keep track of existing leads
While a spreadsheet can certainly help you keep track of existing leads, you may consider investing in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool that automatically tracks and stores all of your contact info and communications.
Whatever way you do it, be sure to record the source of the contact and what type of product or service they’re most interested in. This way you can continue to send relevant information and offers to the potential clients who are most likely to be interested. This kind of thoughtful regular contact can build the relationship over time and make a business lead more likely to think of you when they are ready to make a purchase.
10. Join B2BeeMatch for new leads today
B2BeeMatch is our business matchmaking platform that allows businesses to connect with each other based on the B2B services each party is seeking or offering (or both!). It is similar to a dating app, but for businesses!
For example, if an accounting firm is looking for help with a new logo, our proprietary algorithm will suggest a design firm as a lead. Once the lead has been suggested, each member gets to select "interested", "maybe later" or "not interested". When both members express interest in working together, that’s a match! They can then start getting to know each other using our secure chat feature.
Online networking as a lead generation tool
Because B2BeeMatch is built with B2B companies in mind, it is an excellent option for generating leads. You will only be suggested leads with businesses who either need what you are offering, or whose services you are looking for.
So, what are you waiting for? Get high quality business leads by signing up for B2BeeMatch today!
Where will these tips lead you?
Lead generation will look different for each individual business. Consider your resources in terms of network and access to capital and develop the lead generation strategy that makes the most sense for you. Test out a few of the most appealing strategies to start and always stay open to adjusting the plan once you start to see which strategies are the most successful in creating new leads for your business.
Follow these tips for how to generate leads for your business
Whether you choose to focus your lead generation efforts on email marketing, SEO, social media, in-person networking, online networking, or all of the above, stay persistent! Lead generation is definitely a marathon and not a sprint.