9 Tips for How to Generate Leads for Small Business
It’s quality over quantity when it comes to generating leads. Follow our tips for the best lead generation tips for your small business.
As a small business owner, you’ve probably realized that most customers don’t just randomly stumble across your business and make a purchase out of the blue. Instead, most of them tend to first visit your website, interact with the social media channels, or maybe even sign up for your SMS texts before committing to your brand.
These customers who indicate interest in your company are called leads, and the tactics you use to entice them to your brand are part of a lead generation strategy.
While drumming up interest in your brand and attracting leads might seem simple, you may need some help. To help you navigate the world of small business lead generation, we’ve outlined some tips on generating leads.
9 Tips on How to Generate Leads for Small Businesses
Whether your law firm needs new clients or your real estate agency wants more prospective buyers, it’s important to know how to attract new business. Follow our small business lead generation guide for all the best tips and tricks.
Familiarize Yourself with the Different Kinds of Leads
Not every lead is the same, so you shouldn’t treat them like they are. There are several kinds of leads, and knowing the differences can improve your game.
Some of the most common leads include:
- Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL): These leads have interacted with your marketing efforts in some way, such as by filling out a landing page form, downloading an ebook, or attending your webinar to receive more info. They may be interested in your company, but they’re not ready to make a move yet.
- Product Qualified Leads (PQL): Having already used your product—often via a trial subscription or free sample—these leads imply they’re ready to buy your product.
- Service Qualified Leads (SQL): These leads are further along, as they have already contacted your company, indicating they’re reading to speak with a sales rep or make a purchase.
Because these leads are at different sales funnel stages, you shouldn’t address them all the same way. For instance, an MQL is just getting their feet wet, while a SQL is on the verge of making the purchase, so you’ll need to finesse how you approach them.
Differentiate between B2C and B2B Lead Generation
Next, determine if you’re attempting business-to-customer (B2C) or business-to-business (B2B) lead generation, as these involve different strategies.
For instance, one report revealed that B2B companies have more success with telemarketing, while B2C companies see more results with traditional advertising. The same report showed that SEO is the best lead generator for B2B companies, with social media being the best avenue for B2C companies.
Understanding these nuances can help direct your business lead-generation efforts and better target your audience.
Understand the Importance of Quality Leads
Just as not every lead is the same, not every lead is a quality one. This is important to note, primarily if you rely on referral programs and lead generation companies to track your leads.
Small business referral programs and lead generation companies collect consumer data and sell it to those in need of leads. While this can be an excellent tactic for getting your hands on contact information for potential customers, it’s crucial to partner with a company that understands your target audience. For example, you want leads potentially interested in your brand, aligning with your values, or requiring your products and services.
For example, if you’re an eco-friendly small business that sells road bikes, having the contact information for people who love driving huge gas-guzzling monster trucks won’t do you much good. Instead, acquiring contact information for a few strong leads who enjoy biking and reducing their carbon footprint will be far more viable than 100 random leads.
Diversify Your Efforts
Gone are the days when cold-calling was the preferred way to generate leads. Today, there are so many new ways to reach potential customers, and you’re only hurting yourself if you’re not experimenting with various strategies.
For starters, brush up on your SEO skills. Your brand should be easily discoverable on the web, so ensure your website and content are optimized with the appropriate keywords associated with your small business. The more your small business shows up in search results, the more likely your leads will remember your company.
Also, put your marketing hat on and get savvy about connecting with your customers. Craft engaging social media posts, write captivating blogs that resonate with your audience, create intriguing email campaigns, and communicate with your customers via SMS messaging. Whether you’re sending out special promos or writing helpful how-to guides, these are all ways to drive your customers toward purchasing with your company.
Define and Track Your Goals
Failing to define and track your goals is a common mistake small businesses make regarding lead generation. After all, how can you determine if your efforts are successful if you haven’t set any markers?
To avoid this pitfall, begin by defining your goals. What do you consider a successful lead and conversion? And how do you measure that?
For one business, that could mean your lead signs up for your newsletter or SMS text communication, but for another, it could mean them making a purchase.
Once you define your goals, you can assign metrics, determine your ROIs, and monitor your success. If you’re not getting the desired results, tweak your strategy until you do.
Get to Know Your Leads
Understanding your leads doesn’t have to be a guessing game. Use the data you’ve gathered to appeal to them. But if you don’t have enough information to go off of, encourage them to fill out a survey, take a quiz, or engage with your content, so you can learn more.
You can then use this info to discover everything from their preferred ways to consume media to obstacles they face when making purchases.
Knowing all this lets you create business lead-generation campaigns geared toward appealing to their preferences and solving their problems, but it can also help you understand the best way to approach them.
Score Your Leads
As you get to know your leads, you can begin assessing what kind of lead they are based on their interactions with your brand (see tip #1). For instance, if a lead has already enjoyed your free trial, they are closer to purchasing one who has only visited your website once.
Applying a score to them can help indicate when and how you should interact with them. In this case, the one who has completed your free trial is ready for a direct sales call, so they’ll receive a higher score than the other who might need more time to engage with your brand before receiving a direct sales pitch. Of course, their scores can change based on where they are in the sales funnel, so periodically monitor them and re-score accordingly.
You can also implement business lead generation tools (see tip #8) that will assign scores and rank your leads for you, making it easier to segment them and determine when and how to contact them.
Nurture Your Leads
Just because you’ve captured some quality leads doesn’t mean your job is over. Your leads won’t magically buy from your small business without coaxing. Therefore, this requires nurturing your leads, so they feel inclined to make a purchase.
If you’ve followed tip #6, you should know more about your leads, which will help you connect with them. This means you can craft tailored content, promotions, and messages that cater to their preferences. During this stage, you should follow up with your leads via a personalized email, phone call, or text, but be wary of badgering them, as too much communication can be an immediate turn-off.
Take Advantage of Lead Generation Tools
Finally, acquiring, assessing, categorizing, and tracking your leads may seem like a tall order, but you don’t have to tackle it alone. All kinds of small business lead-generation software and tools can help you capture leads, organize your data, and monitor your efforts in one convenient place. HubSpot is one platform celebrated for its lead generation features and other software like OptinMonster, AeroLeads, Overloop, and more. Allow these programs to do the heavy lifting, so you can focus more on nurturing your leads.
Add Mobile Marketing to Your Lead Generation Strategy
Now you know more about how to generate leads, but did you know you can generate even more leads with mobile marketing? With a platform like EZ Texting, you can send SMS texts directly to your potential customers’ cell phones. From here, you can promote your product, send personalized promo codes, and provide customized content to attract and nurture your leads. Contact us today to learn more about our EZ Texting marketing solutions.