“I’m struggling to generate leads consistently”
Said every business owner at some point in their journey!
Well, today, in the age of automation, lead generation for your business has never been easier. This blog post is going to show you some techniques on how to generate leads for your small to medium-sized business in 2021. The aim here is to stop you from having to rely on referrals and word-of-mouth.
First of all some background on exactly what lead generation is and what it looks like to generate leads online today…
What is Lead Generation?
Lead generation is the process of attracting, capturing and qualifying leads – potential customers who have shown some level of interest in your products or services. It is a key component of your customer acquisition process and a crucial part of your business. Leads are the raw building blocks of your sales pipeline, with contacts ranking in importance according to how far they are down the sales process and how much of your content they have consumed.
Understanding the AIDA Framework and Sales Funnels
Attention – Quality content will grab the attention of your prospects and hook them into wanting to know more about you and your business.
Interest – Prospects decide they actually might be interested in buying your products or services.
Desire – Arises when you provide potential customers with incentives to take action and provide scarcity such as discounts if they respond promptly.
Action – Prospects follow your CTA (Call to Action) i.e to contact you to ask for more information, book an appointment, sign up for a trial or make an order.
Lead Generation in 2021 vs the Traditional Way
Lead generation used to be achieved by searching for sales leads in various sources such as the phonebook, databases and direct mail. This process not only took up a lot of time but was also expensive and inefficient.
Nowadays, lead generation primarily happens through online marketing efforts via social media, various other touchpoints and email campaigns where prospects have given permission to be contacted. A more efficient technique to generate leads is by putting systems and processes in place that can automate the lead generation process and generate leads in the thousands every month.
Generating Leads Efficiently With Automation
It’s important to look at lead generation from a numbers perspective which is where workflow automation is essential because it’s going to help you reach so many more people, monitor your data and take care of the menial tasks for you so you can focus on the things that only you can do.
Another way automation helps you to generate leads is a lot of the time, you’re not actually aware of the fact that your lack of organisation is losing leads for your business, but by utilising automation, you will capture those sales opportunities and your sales team will automatically be reminded to follow up with your sales leads.
Ultimately, automation is going to ensure you have a system in place that will take care of the lead generation process for you, rather than relying on your team to do it manually and eliminates human error.
So let’s get into some of the best ways to generate more leads in 2021 that will work well for your small to medium-sized business, specifically…
10 Effective Lead Generation Strategy Tips
If you are going to try to generate your own leads and not let a marketing agency take care of the process for you, you need to know what you are doing. The more eyeballs you have on your content the more leads you will have come in.
Here are 10 things you need to know before you set out and sell your services online… Remember you are trying to gather contact information from complete strangers. In order to capture leads, you are going to have to keep up with what’s working today, with your finger on the pulse. Be innovative in your approach and always studying what’s working…
1. Optimise Your Social Media Profile to Generate Leads
Social Media is a great free tool and an integral part of lead generation campaigns. Business is all about relationships and social media provides a great opportunity to kick off your relationships with prospects.
Whatever social media platform you will use to generate leads needs to be well optimised to clearly grab the attention of your potential customer or client. Outbound marketing is more effective than inbound marketing and you want your social media profile to be looking appealing when you have potential leads checking you out.
Your messaging needs to be clear and succinct – a well-written bio, a professional profile photo, solid social proof and a cover photo telling clearly who you serve can really give you an edge over your competitors and build valuable rapport. Your social media profiles are at the top of your sales funnel and to convert a prospect into a sales lead you are going to need a profile that encourages your visitor to get to know, like and trust you as quick as possible.
2. Use LinkedIn Lead Generation Strategies That Work
A few important tips when it comes to using LinkedIn for acquiring business leads are :
- Create a profile that stands out and encourages prospects to connect with you, add your experiences and try to acquire recommendations. You will find leads ending up on your landing page more quickly!
- Understand that LinkedIn is a professional platform and is unique, it can be a great way to generate leads but you have to understand the nature of the platform so do your research.
- Leverage the power of groups and join relevant ones to your niche where you can see your prospective customers actively engaging.
- The B2B space is about building credibility and trust with potential leads or clients, so make sure your profile already reflects this before risking losing opportunity with high-quality leads and rushing in.
- Establish healthy relationships with influencers in your industry and offer to help them.
- If you’re running a B2B lead generation campaign, create content that has a friendly, helpful voice and is tailored to your ideal customer.
- Offer incentives like free content, free tools or training and other and lead gen magnets…give, give, give and you will find yourself becoming popular on LinkedIn and acquiring more leads.
3. Follow Up With Your Sales Leads!
Sales teams should be following up constantly with a clear call to action for more leads and more conversions!
We’ve noticed so many businesses are missing out on the opportunity to qualify leads and then convert them into a paying customer by simply not messaging them back. So why is this, if it’s so simple?
It’s usually down to a fear of coming across as spammy or salesy…If your business sells anything from a product to a service, give prospects a nudge who show interest in your offers with an email campaign and send them information that can help educate them. If you are truly providing value then you will have no fear at all of sounding spammy.
If it’s a lack of organisation then there are some great CRM’s out there which have automated functionality built-in, for example here are a few of our favourite CRM’s:
These are all great systems that can also be used to nurture leads, generate more leads for your business and also manage your sales pipeline. You will keep things organised and improve your marketing efforts dramatically. CRM’s are arguably one of the most important lead generation tools out there today, if you want more leads then invest in a great CRM!
4. The Importance of Direct Engagement
As much as we love automation, it is important to mention the importance of direct engagement and how crucial it is to have a human touch with your prospective leads…
Especially for those business owners who are uncomfortable with being approached with automated sequence messages, or particularly if you are selling high ticket products or services, you need to have an approach of being able to engage directly with your prospects. Lead gen is all about creating more meaningful relationships, and showing how you can help before trying to sell or engaging in any business discussion.
This could be through phone calls or face-to-face zoom meetings but it’s essential that the prospect has a human connection as this will make them feel valued increasing conversion rates and make them more likely to part with their valuable contact information.
5. Use Retargeting Ads and PPC Campaigns
This is an effective way of following up with people who have shown interest in your products and services and visited your landing pages. To set up a retargeting campaign you will need to create a unique Facebook pixel for each landing page you would like to track.
You’ll need to create ads for your business that are relevant and specific in order to target those who have visited your website via their browsing history and personal insights. Retargeting is hugely effective in 2021 and it should be at the forefront of any sales team’s strategy.
Creating content with custom audiences in mind and going back to that previous point of having an engaging, clear call-to-action within those ads will increase conversion rates and result in more leads. This is because people are more likely to click on something that stops them from scrolling and resonates with their problem.
This is a great way of following up with those prospects who have shown interest in your products and services but then do not make the purchase or fill out your opt-in form. Retargeting ads work so well because you know these prospects were interested enough to visit your landing page before, it’s just a matter of running your ad campaign in between them.
This is a great way to buy leads because it will allow you to show up higher on search engine results pages based on the terms and keywords that people are searching for which will be relevant to what you’re selling – this makes sales so much easier!
PPC campaigns are often used by companies to market their products on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing, with such high search volume and these search engines being so popular you can see the value. You’ll need to have a budget in mind that you want to spend per month for your campaign, clicks can cost anywhere from a few pence per click up to £50 per click depending on how competitive your search term is! PPC is not a free tool by any means, but it’s certainly the quickest way to generate quality leads and a great lead generation strategy if you have the budget.
6. The Power of Writing Guest Blogs
Writing relevant content for blog articles on other businesses websites is a great way to open up opportunities and to have people eventually purchase from you after reading your blog post.
This is also a great way to create more authority for you and your business by having the opportunity to provide value to current customers of another business in the same industry as you. This will make them feel like they are getting an expert opinion from someone who knows what they’re talking about leading to more qualified leads that trust you.
7. Get Your Target Audience to Find You on Google
Most leads for small businesses come from Google so it’s important that you have a way of being found on there. With the right SEO strategy, this will allow your site to rank higher and get indexed in search engine results pages for specific terms which are relevant to what you’re selling expanding your marketing channels.
There is an art and science behind getting ranked on Google and it’s a good idea to invest in building your SEO value for your website up as soon as possible as it can take a while…however the results are very rewarding! If you want a lot of web traffic which are likely to lead to more sales as well as a loyal following then invest in SEO.
8. Providing Value Through a Lead Magnet
A lead magnet is a term for a free piece of content given in exchange for contact details. Make sure it’s something that’s valuable and provides insight to the target audience you’re looking to serve. It should contain relevant information to your prospects biggest pain point or problem. Make it irresistible so that they have to download it!
Some examples of great lead magnets are:
- Resource lists
A lead magnet should be something that is more than just a list of benefits or features. It should have information and value for those who download it, this can include things like:
- Marketers report with research data and expert opinion on the topic
- Pictures showing what your product will look like after you use it
- A checklist of what needs to happen before purchasing from your website
Lead magnets are a great way to get people interested in your product or service without making them feel like they’re being sold something. This is because the lead magnet should be providing value or solving someone’s problem for free!
9. Network Regularly to Find New Leads Organically
Tap into an ocean of opportunity by regularly attending events and meeting existing customers of other companies that sell a product or service similar to yours. It’s often overlooked but it’s important to network because it allows you to create relationships with people who are interested in what you’re doing and can provide valuable data.
You can find a lot of warm leads in other people’s networks as they are paying customers and if you can work out what problem they have paid to have solved, you can probably figure out new business opportunities for yourself as a result. Be polite, helpful, friendly and this can be a great long term strategy.
10. Come Up With a Juicy Email Offer
Last but certainly not least… lead generation doesn’t only apply to new audiences, there are inbound sales to be made and you should be running newsletters and email campaigns to make this happen. It’s important that these have a juicy offer attached to complete the buying cycle nicely.
This is because email offers are free offers that people don’t have to physically do anything for and this will get them interested in your business. The idea of an email offer is you’re giving away something valuable for free or giving a special discount and letting people know about your product or service at the same time, without being pushy.
In conclusion, generating leads for your business is easier than ever before in 2021…however it is still a lot of work and it requires putting in the time to develop systems, processes and strategies. The difficult thing about this process is that there’s no one way because every industry has different requirements for lead generation marketing which needs to be addressed by lead generation strategies specific to your niche.
If after reading this you don’t feel you have the marketing experience or confidence to generate leads for your business consistently, it might be time to hire a lead generation specialist.