lead generation

When you’re running a small business one of the toughest – and most critical – tasks is attracting new customers.  This is doubly true if you’re not a natural sales person.

In reality, after a couple of decades in business, I’ve found that most of my customers come to me as a result of either a recommendation by someone else or by coming into contact with me in some way through networking online or offline.  In the first instance, someone who already knows, likes and trusts me is passing on that trust to their contact.  In the second situation, it’s usually that the customer has started to get to know me before making that decision.

However, this is a fairly random and not always consistent way to find new clients.  But what if you could start building those relationships that bring potential customers to you consistently.

Attract the right people

What are the biggest problems that your customers experience?  Could you give them the solution as a written document?

If you can give them a guide or ‘How to …’ document they’ll be willing to share their email address to get something that has significant value.

This is a lead magnet – and lots of people have them, but they’re not always focused on the right content.  If you already have a lead magnet, review it and ensure it’s exactly what your perfect customer will find impossible to resist!

Let people know about it

You don’t need to invest in Google or Facebook advertising (although you could if you want to), you just need to tell your social networks about it.  If you’ve got the right title for your document, it should be easy to attract people.

What’s the right title?  Here are some examples:

  • How [your target audience e.g. printers] can compete successfully with [biggest challenge e.g. digital media] and win.
  • The 7 essential keys to help [target audience, e.g. accountants] stand out from their competitors
  • How [target audience] can double their business, without making a single phone call.

You’ll notice they are quite long – but that’s not a bad thing, it helps them to self-identify and is highly focused on their problem – and offers a solution.

Promote it regularly – this is not a one-hit kind of activity; you should be reminding people about this valuable resource every week.

One swallow does not make a summer

One email – providing the download link – doesn’t create a relationship either!  You need to follow up and nurture your relationship with people who have self-identified as potential customers.

My recommendation is a series of emails that follow up with additional value and remind the recipient to revisit (or get around to reading) the valuable information they’ve already downloaded.

After a few (3-5) you could then offer an upgrade – this might be a video or e-course, a book or a webinar series – be creative.  It will need to be a follow-on, but more in-depth information – and be priced at an affordable level.  Typically, this is usually under £50.

Then ‘rinse and repeat’.  Keep in touch with your list, keep sending them great value and some of them will become valuable customers.