6 Amazing Lead Generation Ideas
Have you seen the movie “The Bachelor”? Remember how all those crazy brides ran behind to groom at the end? Well, imagine having the same effect with your leads using a couple innovative or creative lead generation ideas.
When you think about it, the world revolves around sales. From early on, we are always selling something to someone, be it our point of view on an issue, why we should go to one movie over the other, what restaurant we should eat at, to what car to drive. Everyone has opinions, and basically selling revolves around getting someone else to buy into yours. For the types of “sales” mentioned above more than likely you had a captive audience. But as a business owner and marketer your challenge can be where to find customers to make those sales to. Generating leads is paramount to your business success. You can’t sell your product or service without any customers to sell it to.
So just how do you find customers? Well, you need prospects, or leads. You need to find those people that may be interested in what you have to offer, and present to them your offering (product or service!) For a brick and mortar business, you need to get people in your doors. For a website, you need to bring people to the site and get them to give you their information. Sounds pretty easy, right? The truth is , it’s going to take some understanding of marketing to the right group of people, and giving them something enticing enough to want to hear (or read) what you have to say. Coming up with lead generation ideas can be daunting, but it’s important.
A lead is just that, a lead. You won’t sell all of them, so the plan is to generate good ones so you don’t waste time with people that have no interest in what you are selling. You’ve heard the saying “it’s a numbers game” – and it is. The more leads you get that are qualified, the better chance you have to sell them. To be qualified, they have to be in your wheelhouse. For instance, if you own a business selling cows to farmers, you aren’t going to want to market your cows to New York Designers, and while maybe Martha Stewart is the exception in this scenario, you understand what I mean. What you’re going to want to do is come up with lead generation ideas that bring you a large number of folks that want to buy cows now, or in the future.
On the Internet, this concept is called conversion – this is where you not only get someone to your site, but you get them to take action by giving you their information so you can keep talking, or marketing to them. The idea is to obtain email addresses and permission to connect with your prospects. If you can think of some relevant ideas to do that, and cast your net wide, but not too wide, you’ll attract enough leads to your site to keep you selling for a long time. Now the question is what should you do. I can get you started and help you with that, here are 6 amazing lead generation ideas that you can adapt for your business:
Let Your Subscribers Do the Work
It sounds like you’re taking the easy way out but actually it is a brilliant (if I do say so myself) marketing strategy and it won’t cost you a lot either. Offer a referral program, and compensate current subscribers with a reward or incentive for getting their friends to join your site. But be creative about it. For a site I owned, we built our very successful business this way by utilizing word-of-mouth advertising via referrals, and we never spent one penny on traditional advertising. We gave our subscribers a really nice dinner at a wonderful restaurant for every 10 referrals of theirs that joined our site. The current member didn’t receive the reward for friends or family that only gave us their contact information, the referral party actually had to pay for a subscription to count as one of the 10 towards our referral program. However, a lot of times those that just gave us an email address up front ended up joining down the line because we were able to market to them as soon as we had their information. A crucial point to remember is to make the reward enticing enough and be sure all your subscribers know how the referral program operates. Do that, and you’ll find this is one of the lead generation ideas that really works, and fast.
Remember what I said about everyone is always selling? Well, another thing your membership base can do for you is provide positive feedback with testimonials. When you love something, you want everyone you know to be part of it and enjoy it like you do. I get a great new skincare product, and I insist my sister has to use it as well. Your subscribers are that way, too. We all know subscribers that love us and would probably jump at the chance to give us their stamp of approval with their words. So ask some of those that you think would, and post their positive statements on your homepage and by your “join” button. These words of praise can really solidify a potential subscriber and their impressions of your products or services.
credit photo: PaulCutarellix
Diversify Very Intentionally
When I go shopping, and I see anything (and I do mean anything) that I think I need to buy, I always buy it in multiples. Heaven forbid I buy only one pack of paper plates (I always buy two just in case, in case of what I don’t know) or one sweater. If that sweater comes in more than one color, I am going to buy that same sweater in at least two colors, maybe three. Don’t do this with your lead generation efforts and put yourself out there all at once in all ways. You need to be intentionally selective and strategic about where you go. As an example, if you are going to utilize social media (and, duh, you should) don’t post to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn all on the same day. Post to one the first day, then go to another the next, and so on. You’ll build more awareness and interest than you would by being on every board or network at one time.
Same with more traditional advertising formats. True, there may be some exceptions to blitzing the market, but it is more likely that the well thought out and planned approach will work better. Unless you have tons of money to place traditional ads regularly in choice publications, you’re going to have to do some thinking as to when and where to spend those advertising dollars in order to get people to your site. Outline a placement line of attack that will build momentum and keep you in the forefront of your subscribers, and potential subscribers minds.
credit photo: thomastoons
Network Like You Mean It
Building relationships, ah, the backbone of existence. Well, that is true personally as well as professionally. It isn’t for nothing we are told to join a dating site, and it isn’t for naught we are told to join professional organizations either. So when you are trying to drive traffic to a website, you want to network as well with other site owners. Why? Lots of reasons. First, you can affiliate with each other. Now, you would want to be sure you have related subscriber bases, remember selling cows to designers above, but if you do, other sites can be a fantastic way to generate leads for yours.
Additionally, you could perhaps guest on the other site. Write a blog for them with a link back to your own, or be an expert on a pertinent subject that relates to both sites. Think of all the exposure, and you wouldn’t even have to cover up!
credit photo: martin.canchola
Lie, Cheat, Steal (Okay Just Steal – Skip the Lie and Cheat Part)
In business, it is always a good idea to know your competition, inside and out. That holds true with lead generation ideas. Go find out what they are doing and put your own twist on it. If it is working for them, it will most likely work for you as well. Remember, imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.
credit photo: James Debono
Have a Contest
We all love to win things, so have a contest or sweepstakes. It’s a really effective way to bring people to your site and ask for their contact information (voluntarily of course) so you can tell them all about you. When I did this, I would think of some amazing idea for a prize, like a Hawaii trip (I know what you’re thinking but keep reading) then I would figure out a way to make it happen so I did not have to pay for it. My first line of defense would be to go to my network (see above, I told you they can be a great lead generator plus helpful in other ways as well) and see who I knew that had ties to hotels, airfare and such. In many cases, I got these things without having to pay for them, yes comped as they say in Vegas, or, at least for a really, really low price. Plus, I was getting my business and site out there, which was an extra added perk. My subscribers loved it, and I always saw a spike in memberships around the contest times.
Bloggity Blog Blog Blog
Did I mention blog? Everyone is doing it, and there is a reason for it. You become “real” to your readership and they seek you out, and they read you and then they pass on the wonderfulness to their friends. Lo and behold, next thing you know those friends are on your site giving you their email address so you can talk to them too. They want to be a part of the community you are building that their friends belong to. How many times have you received an email from a friend or family member that said “you HAVE to check this out?!”
Once you’ve come up with all these great lead generation ideas, it is time to undertake some, or all of them. But be sure you are going beyond just implementation of these ideas. Any good marketing strategy consists of analyzing results. After you try your lead generation ideas, you should take a look at how effective the idea was for you. Was it worth the money (if any) and effort spent? Did it produce the intended results? If so, great. If not, then maybe you need to tweak it, or eliminate it all together and come up with something else. Whichever is the case, use it to learn what works for you, and build on that.
So there you have it. 6 amazing lead generation ideas that you can adapt or use as is or modify to fit your particular needs. There is one more important thing to remember though. Dig deep, there are a lot more lead generation ideas to be thought of, so brainstorm, read, ask around and try and come up with others that will bring you the membership base that you seek.
credit photo: francescopozzi
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