15 Things Your Boss (and you) Wishes You Knew About Lead Generation

No matter what business you’re in, finding leads – potential customers – is vital to your success. If you feel like you’ve been searching with no luck, these tips will help you turn things around. Who knows? You may even earn a raise!

1. Don’t burn bridges

Stay in close touch with past clients. Use cards and little gifts to make them feel appreciated. If they bought from you before, chances are they will again.

2. Get great testimonials

Past clients are good for more than future purchases. They often have nice things to say about you that you can put on your website or in your newsletter. If a former customer compliments your business, don’t be shy about asking him or her to recommend you to others.

3. Engage in warm calling

It’s far easier to get your foot in the door at a business when you have a referral. Don’t waste your time on complete strangers. Call a friend of a friend or of an existing client.

4. Involve social media

If you think your boss should pay you to spend time on Facebook or Twitter, you’re right. Social media is a great way to connect with leads. The more playful and creative you can be, the better.

5. Run contests

Offer regular contests related to your business. Perhaps your clients could help you name new products, for instance. Get the contact information of those who participate so you can add them to your mail or email lists.

6. Offer something for nothing

Well, not exactly for nothing. Offer a book, access to a video or some other product related to your business in exchange for an email address. You can use the addresses you collect for your marketing efforts.

7. Offer to speak at events

Present yourself as an expert by speaking at events related to your business. Everyone who hears you speak becomes a potential client.

8. Design your website with a big, bold call to action

Don’t be shy about asking website visitors for what you want. If you want them to buy your company’s book, for instance, design an eye-catching link that says “Buy Our Book!”

9. Focus on a single call to action

Too many choices can confuse visitors. Pick one thing you want visitors to do, such as sign up for a mailing list or buy a product or service and focus on that.

10. Keep your blog going

It’s amazing how many leads will find you if you have an informative, interesting and regularly updated blog. For the best results, focus on evergreen content – that is, content that doesn’t get outdated.

11. Avoid bulky forms

When people sign up for something online, they like to do it quickly and easily. Long forms that require personal information up to and including the name of their dog can be a real turn off. Remember, turned off visitors rarely become leads, so keep your forms simple. All you really need to start your marketing efforts is a name and an email address.

12. Be easy to get in touch with

Include contact information for your business and your call to action on every page of your website. That means potential clients won’t have to surf around – and perhaps get frustrated and leave – in order to figure out how to do business with you.

13. Follow the changing rules of SEO

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s a fancy way of saying, “Make it easy for the search engines to find you.” Select a few phrases related to your business – phrases a customer might type into a search engine to find business like yours – and sprinkle them naturally throughout the content of your website.

14. Make your email signature a call to action

Include a link in your email signature. The link can take customers directly to your call to action.

15. Picture your ideal customer

What kinds of people are most likely to buy your products or services? If you’re selling pet care equipment, for instance, you’ll find your leads in very different places than if you’re selling power tools.

Lead generation is far from easy, but there are several ways to make it less painful. Try using these 15 easy tips and watch your pool of leads increase by leaps and bounds.

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