Every business needs to generate good leads to grow, but every budget has different limitations. The good news is, you don’t have to spend any money at all to start getting leads immediately. All you need is a willingness to be a little outgoing coupled with a touch of creativity.
What Does It Mean To Generate Leads?
A lead is someone who has expressed some level of interest in your company’s product or services. Lead generation is the process of strategically attracting leads and successfully converting them into paying customers.
Let’s walk through 9 effective ways to generate vetted leads- ranging in cost from free to paid.
1. Ask Your Customers for Referrals – Free
This is one of the most effective free lead generating tools available. No matter what industry you’re in, word-of-mouth marketing is powerful. When you ask your existing customers for referrals, they do the advertising and the vetting for you. These leads are often easier to convert into paying customers because your referring customer does a lot of the selling for you. A recent study reports that 88% of consumers place the highest level of trust in word of mouth recommendations from people they trust. All you have to do is provide great service, which is a budget-conscious way to get quality leads and keep them.
2. Join Facebook Groups – Free
The Facebook community is full of all kinds of group pages. These are always created for a specific audience with shared interests, problems, history or needs. They provide the perfect environment to identify high quality leads for free. If you own a housecleaning business, for example, joining groups for working moms in your community is an excellent idea. Think about it, these women are busy, on-the-go, and possibly short on time for thoroughly cleaning their homes. With any group, when a member shares their pain, relate to them first as an individual and secondly offer them a heartfelt solution. The goal here is to make connections without seeming like a pushy salesman.
3. Go Live on Social Media – Free
Is your creative process interesting? Do you have new products that you’re excited about? Is there a heartfelt message you’d like to share in difficult times for your target audience? Do you want to promote an upcoming event? Any one of these situations and more are great reasons to go live on Facebook or Instagram. It gives your audience a chance to connect to you in the moment! You can ask for opinions and suggestions and immediately respond verbally to whatever your potential leads have to say. There is so much information circulating online. Being able to interact with business owners and employees helps to strengthen brand trust. Trust makes it easier to convert your lead to a paid customer!
4. Connect with Influencers – Free or Paid
Just in case you’re not sure what an influencer is, let us explain. Social Media Influencers are everyday people who have a large following of people whom they influence. They tend to have thousands, even hundreds of thousands of committed followers. They are established as experts in a particular area. Businesses are getting a $5.20 return on every $1 invested into influencer marketing. If your target audience is on Instagram, it’s worthwhile to locate an influencer to help generate leads for your business. Some of them will only accept monetary compensation, others are happy to receive free products or services to promote on their pages.
5. Start Blogging – Free or Paid
A whopping 77% of internet users read blog posts, and we suspect that number is growing. People may not always be online searching for products, but the internet is the number one way to access information. Enter the blog post. Having a blog page on your website is a highly effective way to generate leads right on your own website. Your blog should have relevant, quality information that visitors will find useful. It also needs to be written with specific keywords that drive traffic to your page. No matter what, your blog must show your business off as experts in your industry. To do this, you can write them on your own or enlist the services of a professional content writer to do them for you.
6. Create a Social Media Contest – Free or Paid
Ok, these are fun! They are also budget-friendly ways to generate high quality leads that convert into paying customers. Here are the steps to do it:
- Set S.M.A.R.T. goals
-Your goals must be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
- Choose a platform
-Both Instagram and Facebook are great, but use whichever your audience frequents.
- Select a giveaway
-This can be anything, but giving away your own products is best.
- Create a landing page (optional)
-Not required, but a great way to increase subscribers to your email list
- Set contest rules & length of qualification period
-Just a little CYA, if you know what we mean.
- Promote contest
-Use everything you have: your social media, paid ads, in-store promos, emails, newsletters, etc.
- Announce a winner
-Make this a really BIG deal. Be sure to add photos of the winner with his/her prize.
- Use your new contacts to convert
-Remember the whole point was to generate leads that convert. Use this time to immediately get in touch with your entrants and send a coupon or information about promos, events, company news and more!
7. Social Media Ads – Paid
Researchers estimate nearly 80% of the U.S. population has a social network profile. Globally, Facebook estimated that 2.26 billion people are using Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram or Messenger every single day! Whether you have an aggressive growth plan or prefer a gradual increase in business traffic, social media advertising is a must do. It’s one of the most fantastic ways to engage local audiences with targeted ads. Facebook ads manager gives business owners and marketing experts all the tools you need to set up, execute and manage an entire campaign on one platform.
BONUS!! Learn more about how to start a Facebook ad campaign with our FREE resource entitled, “How To Set Up Facebook Ads: A Beginner’s Guide.”
8. DIY Pay-Per-Click (PPC) – Paid
PPC is an internet marketing tool that allows you, the advertiser, to drive visitors to your website by paying a fee every time someone clicks on your ad. The cost is limited by a predefined budget that you set. It’s much more aggressive than relying on organic means to generate vetted leads. Google explains step-by-step how creating ads works. Yet, it can be a little confusing and time-consuming for the average business owner who is busy working on their business. Now, enter number eight…
9. Partner with a Digital Marketing Agency – Paid
Everything has a cost, including your time. After all, time is money, right? Joining forces with an experienced digital marketing team is an excellent option if you value efficiency and effectiveness. Professional digital marketers know the ins and outs of all forms of online marketing. This saves you the time and headache of developing a strategy on your own. No man is an island, so teaming up with a supercharged team who’s fired up about generating quality leads for you is a smart investment!
If you need guidance or have questions about more ways to generate quality leads that convert, let us know.