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Lead Generation: Step 1 in the Sales Cycle

October 31, 2016 | ,

Lately, we’ve been talking a lot about getting leads, increasing enquiries, and boosting your website’s traffic. That’s because achieving these goals takes some work and can be fairly tricky, and for the newcomer it’s downright bewildering. It’s easy to get lost in the crowd, especially if your market is saturated. Generating leads – particularly organic leads – is key to your success. So how to stand out enough to get those leads?

Organic Leads

No, not that kind of organic, though every time I read that phrase, I have visions of my grocery store’s stupendous produce section. An organic lead is from an online search, a social media share, or links on other sites – all non-paid traffic.

In Content is King, I outlined why your blog needs to be updated frequently, and why it needs to be in your voice. Combined with good SEO, this is a major aspect of generating organic leads, but there are others, too.

Get off the Computer

While a great website and accompanying strategy are essential, so is in-person networking. There are lots of resources for the small business owner: Meetup is a great one for small-ish gatherings where you can really get to know people one-on-one. It’s a great opportunity to gain a core group of loyal followers who are likely to share your posts on their social media, with added testimonials. Personal referrals are the crème of the marketing crop. Conferences and industry events are also fantastic for lead generation, as well as finding potential collaborators.

Everyone Likes Free Stuff…

…as long as it’s useful. You need to know who your potential clients are and what they want for this to work well. Accountants can offer budget templates, business finance crash courses, or even free consultations. If your business is based on tangible items, a limited-time giveaway will attract attention as well as create a sense of urgency that people will be drawn to. Make sure it’s unique, and authentic – that will position you as an authority, and will gain your visitors’ trust. Don’t forget to collect their information first, though!

Team Up

There’s no reason to go it alone in today’s market – teaming up with a complementary business (one that offers different services/products, but who you share clients with) eliminates any competition, and gains you both a trusted partner. Examples include photographers and event organisers, accountants and financial advisors, and designers and project managers. And you don’t have to limit yourself to just one trusted partner – it’s a great idea to build a network of complementary businesses, to maximise the number of leads you share among you.

SEO

Yes, SEO again. For many people, it’s nearly a dirty word that brings about visions of hours of keyword research, blog composition, and budget-crushing payments to SEO service providers. It doesn’t have to be so! If writing blog posts and social media updates isn’t your thing, perhaps a VA is the right next step for you. Along with writing SEO-friendly blog posts, a VA can help out with other small tasks you’re too busy to get to. There are also tons of resources out there for the DIY-er; this article from Entrepreneur is chock full of excellent SEO information and advice.

Bottom Line

There is a lot of work and planning that goes into lead generation. The hardest part is getting started, and then finding the right solution for you and your business.

Have questions or want a bit of personalised advice? Contact SGD with your question, or sign up for a free strategy session today!

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