How to get leads?
If you're wondering "how do I get more prospects into my business" then read on. This article will give you all the basics for getting leads in your email marketing campaigns or as part of an overall Internet Marketing campaign.
The first thing is that we need to understand a little about lead generation before moving forward with our next step. Lead Generation essentially means finding people who are interested in doing business with us right now. In other words they have shown some sort of interest by asking questions like "what kind of help do you want?" They may be looking at our website but that doesn't mean they are ready to buy from us yet. So it's important to ask them if they would consider doing business with us so we don't waste their time. If they say no, let's move onto someone else because there are many other people just like them.
Leads come in two forms. The first form is a cold call where we contact potential clients directly via phone calls or emails. We also send letters through snail mail to generate sales. When you make these types of contacts, remember to always put yourself in your client/prospect shoes. What problems does he or she face? How could your product solve his problem? You must present value based products and services rather than hard sell type pitches. Remember that most people won't even take a second look at your offer until you've established trust with them.
Now lets talk about Social Media Leads (or warm market leads). These are people already familiar with social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter etc. They often visit those websites every day and follow certain friends, family members or colleagues. By interacting with others online they are building relationships which allows them to see your page when searching using keywords related to your niche. It's not uncommon for people to go to one site after another in search of information without ever clicking on any links. That's why having a well designed web presence is essential for generating traffic. Think of your web pages as billboards along a highway allowing traffic to flow towards your destination. Your goal should be to position yourself prominently in front of incoming traffic while giving them something valuable to stop briefly and check out. People love free content and good design makes it easy for visitors to navigate around and discover new things quickly. Once again think long term relationship over short term gain.
We'll start today talking about Email Leads. One way to obtain email addresses is by buying mailing lists. There are several ways to purchase leads including postcards, opt ins, banner ads, text messages, direct mails, telemarketing and telephone solicitations. Another method is to simply write articles on popular topics and include a link back to your web site with each article. Some marketers prefer to pay for leads instead of writing articles. Most companies have a preference for either approach depending upon their budget. For example larger corporations tend to focus on paid advertising while smaller businesses usually rely heavily on organic methods.
Another effective strategy used by many successful entrepreneurs is to create a blog. A blog is basically a journal that anyone can access 24 hours per day 7 days per week. Blogging provides the opportunity to share ideas, thoughts and opinions with a broader audience. Many bloggers are turning to blogging as an inexpensive source of targeted leads. As mentioned earlier blogs contain plenty of useful information so its worth spending time creating quality content regularly. With a bit of work and dedication, you too can develop a highly respected blog attracting thousands of readers. But don't forget, you can only achieve success if you keep providing high quality content consistently. Don't try to force anything down peoples throats. Give them enough quality material to stay engaged and eventually they will seek out additional information.
So how do we actually acquire leads once we know how? First off, we need to set up a capture page. Capture Pages are simple webpages created specifically for capturing names and email address. On these pages we provide an incentive for visitors to sign up for our newsletter or free report. Capturing names and email addresses is called Opt Ins. Depending on the size of your company, you might decide to hire an outside firm to handle your lead acquisition needs. However there's nothing wrong with taking matters into your own hands. Simply setup a webpage offering a free eBook or course of training. Make sure you add a strong call to action telling everyone exactly what to expect. Then drive traffic to your capture page.
Once you have acquired a name and email address, you can begin sending out promotional materials. Promotional Materials include catalogues, brochures, flyers, newsletters, coupon booklets, order forms, special reports, invitations, greeting cards, calendars, certificates, letterheads and envelopes etc. Be creative sometimes you can get away with sending out old magazines, newspapers or junk mail. Just be careful to avoid spam laws. To save money, you can combine promotions together into bundles known as Campaigns. Also included within this category are Direct Mailings, Telemarketer Calls, Public Relations, Trade Shows, Magazine Subscriptions, Radio Advertising, Television Broadcasting, Newspaper Ads, Brochure Printing etc.
Next we'll cover how to reach prospects? Now that you have acquired some leads, what happens next? Well here comes the fun part - Calling your prospects. No matter whether you choose to build a large team or perform everything solo, calling your prospects is the key to developing lasting relationships. Although the concept seems very straightforward, it isn't necessarily easy. Here are a few tips to making the process easier:
Understand your customers. Know your customer inside and out. Ask yourself what drives him or her to buy? Is it price, convenience, style, performance, safety, image, service or emotion? Understanding their motivations will enable you to determine what type of person you should target. Always tailor your pitch and message accordingly.
Know your numbers. Find out exactly what works best for your particular situation. Learn what percentage of your customers respond favorably to what you offer. Are you able to convert 5% of the inquiries made into orders? Do you receive 2% of clickthroughs? Does it cost $1.50 to acquire a customer vs. $5? Knowing these figures will allow you to better manage costs and optimize resources.
Choose the appropriate medium. Determine which medium produces results better for your company. Will a video response produce higher conversion rates than a written response? Will a trade show booth attract more attention than a magazine ad? Which medium fits your budget best?
Use multiple channels. Mix it up. Use both traditional and newer technologies simultaneously. Don't limit yourself to 1 channel. Have a fax number, toll free number, live chat option, recorded voice message, email auto responders, a blog, videos, podcasts, audio downloads, downloadable presentations etc. All these different options increase your likelihood of converting your prospect into a paying customer significantly.
Finally how do you reach out prospects? Reaching out to prospects involves contacting them personally to introduce yourself and explain further details regarding your offerings. You may also choose to send periodic updates reminding them of upcoming events or recent accomplishments. Lastly, you may wish to invite them to attend seminars, workshops, conferences or trade shows.
As you can clearly see, acquiring leads is much simpler than it sounds. The trick is knowing what to do and being consistent. And above all else, never lose sight of the fact that you really do care about your prospects. Treat them with respect and professionalism at all times. After all, they are trusting you with their future and possibly their life.
You're looking for ways to make money online. You want more than just clicks from your ads or sales from your offers. What can you actually offer people that will help them solve their problems in exchange for something of value -- perhaps an ebook download, a consultation call with someone who knows exactly what they're doing, or even a physical product like a t-shirt or book? The answer is lead generation (or marketing).
Leads are prospective customers. They have shown interest in solving some problem in one way or another by working with you or buying products similar to yours. In other words, if you sell weight loss solutions, then a lead might be someone interested in losing weight. If you run a business coaching service, then it would probably be someone seeking out a coach's services. The point is that you need to identify those leads before anyone else does so that you can start talking directly to them about whatever it is that you do and charge accordingly.
In addition to finding potential clients, there are also many types of businesses that simply don't need any kind of advertising at all. A few years ago, when Facebook was still new but hadn't yet become saturated with advertisements, we used our own personal network as our primary source of traffic. Nowadays, most marketers know that social media isn't going anywhere anytime soon, but that doesn't mean that it has to dominate every aspect of your Internet presence. This means that instead of relying on your family and friends, you should focus on using organic methods such as search engine optimization, article submissions, video creation, guest posting, etc., to drive targeted traffic to your site. These tactics aren't expensive, either. All you need is some creativity and persistence. Just keep reading below to learn where to look for these leads and how to contact them once you've found them.
How do you qualify to be a prospect?
Qualifying for a lead means determining whether or not said person meets certain criteria that makes him or her worthy enough to receive information from you. For example, maybe he needs assistance choosing between two competing fitness apps. Or she wants advice on which type of workout routine suits her best. Perhaps his credit card company won't renew his membership because he missed payments too often. He could benefit greatly from learning how to manage debt effectively. She may feel overwhelmed after being laid off from her job. Her financial future seems uncertain. It'd certainly pay for you to provide her with tips on managing finances better.
All of these scenarios represent different degrees of urgency. With each scenario, you'll come up with specific questions that you ask yourself first, followed by asking the individual himself or herself. But no matter what stage you reach, remember always to remain professional and courteous. Keep the tone positive, friendly, and supportive. Be sincere and helpful without pushing hard. Remember that "no" means nothing here. Your goal is to build trust and rapport so that you can eventually convert qualified individuals into paying customers.
How do I find my prospect?
Obviously, the easiest method of generating leads through email is sending messages to listservs (e.g., Yahoo!) or mailing list providers (e.g., MailChimp) containing relevant content related to your niche market. However, while these strategies work well for promoting things like newsletters, blogs, or events, they obviously fall short of converting qualified leads into actual customers. To accomplish that feat, you must take advantage of various forms of social media. And since you now live in the age of smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches, you must also consider mobile users. While desktop web pages tend to load faster, smartphone sites typically display quicker and allow visitors to navigate easily. Thus, having a responsive website optimized for smaller screens helps turn browsers into buyers.
To generate leads via social media platforms, you'll first need to create accounts on popular websites such as Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Snapchat, Reddit, and others. Then, update your profile and upload various images and videos that relate to your target audience. Once you have established connections within your chosen community, you can begin reaching out to people and building relationships. Don't spam people, though. Instead, engage in conversations and share useful links and resources when appropriate. When you receive replies back, respond appropriately. Also, stay consistent in terms of quality over quantity. Quality counts far more than quantity.
Once you understand how to attract the attention of potential leads, you can decide whether you intend to connect further with them based on what you see fit. Generally speaking, however, the next step involves setting up follow-up emails with valuable information pertaining specifically to the interests of your prospect. Use these emails to establish rapport and gain permission to send promotional materials later on. Always make sure that your emails contain compelling subject lines, easy-to-digest copy, and calls-to-action.
How to find prospects for free?
While paid advertising works great in theory, sometimes it can prove quite costly. Luckily, there are plenty of effective techniques for getting started without spending much money. One option is to give away informative material related to your industry. People love to read good books, watch educational movies, listen to podcasts, and view insightful articles.
If you're running a blog, write articles packed full of useful information. Submit your articles to directories like EzineArticles, ArticlesBase, GoArticles, Article Dashboard, and Helium. Post your articles on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest. Make sure that your tags include keywords relevant to your field of expertise. Share your articles across multiple networks regularly until people begin to notice you. Afterward, you can promote your own content in exchange for a link back to your main website. Of course, you can also post your articles elsewhere, including Medium, StumbleUpon, Digg, Quora, Reddit, Amazon, Tumblr, and Goodreads. There are hundreds of options available nowadays, so try experimenting with various ones to determine which ones appeal to your readership.
Another strategy is to develop informative guides that cover topics related to your niche market. Offer them to your subscribers as bonuses or add-ons whenever they sign up for updates. By creating guides, you'll not only educate your followers, but also encourage them to buy additional items from you down the road. Since people enjoy saving money, making them happy both emotionally and financially tends to go hand in hand. Plus, giving away freebies is a fantastic way to show appreciation for loyal fans.
Lastly, you can earn leads organically by offering consultations and workshops. Simply put up posters around town explaining what you do and invite people to visit your office to inquire about scheduling an appointment. Consider putting signs outside of local coffee shops, bars, restaurants, gyms, yoga studios, meditation centers, public libraries, bus stops, grocery stores, laundromats, car wash stations, pet supply stores, farmers markets, parks, and beaches. Try placing flyers inside phone booths near busy intersections. Ask people if they require any particular sort of consulting or teaching services.
How do I find my prospects?
Let's say that you've already identified a lead whose area of interest matches closely with what you do. Shouldn't he/she be contacted immediately? Absolutely! Here are several steps to ensure that happens quickly. First, set aside time to prepare for your meeting. Find a quiet place where nobody will bother you. Next, grab a pen and paper and jot down notes regarding what you hope to discuss during your encounter. Think about anything pertinent to the topic at hand. Do not deviate from this document unless absolutely necessary. Lastly, arrive 10 minutes early to avoid rushing into your conversation. Take deep breaths and relax. Your client may end up liking you regardless, but if you appear nervous or unprepared, your chances of winning his or her confidence drop significantly. So breathe deeply again and be confident that everything will turn out fine.
Follow up shortly after your initial meeting. Send a handwritten note thanking your client for taking the time to speak with you. Include details regarding why you were late and apologize for the inconvenience. Explain that due to unforeseen circumstances beyond your control, you had to reschedule your date. Mention that you wish to continue pursuing opportunities together moving forward. Remind him or her of the important points discussed earlier and restate your willingness to assist in any way possible. Add a little bit extra if you think it's needed. Let them know that you appreciate their candidness and openness. Finally, seal the deal with a quick signature and stamp it with your official logo. Repeat this process periodically throughout the year until everyone becomes accustomed to hearing from you.
As long as you remain persistent and genuine, you'll never struggle to find leads. Whether you prefer to approach strangers offline or online, knowing how to capture their interest and convert them into paying customers is crucial. As long as you treat people respectfully and honestly, you'll likely reap rewards in return. Eventually, you'll realize that the key is to focus on providing value rather than chasing after leads. That's the difference between success and failure.
So many people are asking themselves these questions. They're wondering if they should be marketing online or offline. Should I blog about my business? Should I email customers? How do I track all of those leads that come in from various sources?
This article will provide some basic information on where you can find quality leads for your business, as well as give you a few tips on finding them more efficiently than ever before through social media.
First off, let's talk about lead generation methods. You may have heard terms like "elevator pitch" and "sizzle", but these two words don't really tell you much. The key is to understand which method works best for you and then stick with it. If something isn't working, try another one until you see results.
The following are just a handful of ways to generate leads. There are hundreds more out there -- pick any combination and mix up your efforts. Your goal here is not to learn everything at once, but rather to become familiar enough with each technique so that when one starts to work well, you know exactly what to continue using.
Blogging - This is an effective tool because most internet users look first for answers on blogs. It also helps that search engines love blogs (and link to them). Keep your content fresh and relevant by posting regularly. A good rule of thumb is to post daily. Also make sure your readership is growing every day. Once you start generating traffic, consider offering freebies like ebooks or reports related to your niche market.
Social Media Marketing - Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter attract millions of visitors looking to connect. Use social network optimization techniques to maximize your exposure and visibility. Join groups relevant to your industry or topic and interact with others who share similar interests. Don't forget to include links back to your website within posts and comments to help drive even more traffic.
Video Marketing - Video marketing allows potential clients to view your product/service offerings directly without having to leave their homes. Be creative with titles, descriptions and thumbnails. Make use of keywords to enhance viewer engagement.
Email Marketing - Email marketing has been proven over several years to be the most successful form of direct response advertising available today. Send emails only to targeted subscribers based on keyword searches. Test different subject lines, meta tags, opening paragraphs, etc., to determine what generates the highest click rates. As an added bonus, you'll probably discover new fans while doing research on target markets.
Newsletter Advertising - Newsletters serve as mini sales letters designed specifically to promote products and services. They are usually sent via email and contain pertinent updates regarding your company. Content must always be concise and compelling so that interested parties want to keep reading. Subscribers tend to trust newsletters since they receive regular communications from businesses they respect.
Online Classified Ads - Online classified ads allow buyers to browse local listings for goods and services. Sites like Craigslist, Backpage and Kijiji are popular places for individuals seeking specific items/services. Follow simple directions listed below and create eye catching headlines to capture attention. Write short, descriptive sentences and add images whenever possible. Do not spam other members. In addition, never submit false claims or misrepresent yourself. And remember to proofread thoroughly before sending.
Ezine Advertising - E-newsletter publishing companies charge small fees per subscriber. Many publishers offer excellent value and high delivery rates. Ezines are often distributed via RSS feed (Really Simple Syndication) technology. These types of publications typically feature helpful articles, reviews and advice aimed toward consumers' general interest. Readers appreciate being able to read informative material without feeling bombarded by commercial advertisements.
Trade Shows - Trade shows are great opportunities for establishing relationships between buyers and sellers through informational meetings. Try attending events hosted by professional organizations and associations. Network with attendees and exhibitors alike. Ask lots of questions during sessions and ask current customers about their needs. Remember to take plenty of notes and followup accordingly.
Now we've covered the basics. Next we'll discuss how to find leads.
Where to find leads?
Finding prospects to contact can be tricky. Depending upon your type of business, you might need to reach out to thousands of people. So how do you narrow down your list? Here are three easy steps to follow :
1.) Identify your target audience. Determine who would benefit most from receiving your service or buying your product(s). What kind of person does your ideal customer fall into? For example, are they male or female? Are they married or single? Young or old? Educated or uneducated? Income level? Interested in sports cars or hybrid vehicles? All of these factors play a part in determining whom you should approach.
2.) Create profiles of your prospective customers. List characteristics such as gender, age, occupation, marital status, income levels, education, family size, children ages, hobbies, likes and dislikes, lifestyle preferences, entertainment habits, religious beliefs, political affiliations, preferred modes of communication, etc. By creating lists of these sorts of data points, you'll begin to develop better ideas about who would be interested in your company's products or services.
3.) Contact multiple audiences simultaneously. While focusing exclusively on one group could seem wise, it actually dilutes your time and effort significantly. Chances are, you'd encounter far fewer rejections if you reached out to multiple demographics at the same time. Consider contacting your prospect pool at large with a message containing a brief description of your business along with a hyperlink to your site. Then send additional messages throughout the week with updated details regarding future promotions.
Once you have narrowed down your selection, you now need to decide how to locate leads. We recommend utilizing several strategies to ensure maximum efficiency. Below are four ways to obtain qualified leads for your business:
1.) Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Develop a plan whereby organic rankings for certain keywords appear naturally on major search engine result pages. To accomplish this task, you'll need to employ tactics known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), wherein webpages are optimized according to rules laid out by Google and other search engines.
2.) Article Submission Services: Submit your content to directories around the Internet. With proper formatting, articles can effectively draw reader attention and increase brand awareness. However reputable directory submission firms can sometimes cause problems. Ensure that the submitter of your article complies with guidelines set forth by individual directories. Not doing so can result in rejection of your piece. When submitting via article directories, be aware that editors review submissions carefully. Therefore, you should avoid including offensive language or inappropriate references. Editors generally require that authors disclose conflicts of interest and disclaim liability for statements made in articles. Never copy entire articles from other websites. Instead, cite original source materials wherever appropriate.
3.) Webinars / TeleConferences: Host educational seminars featuring expert speakers discussing topics related to your particular field of expertise. Record the event and distribute copies of slides or handouts to participants. Presenters should aim to educate as opposed to sell outright. An interactive demonstration of your product/service coupled with a question & answer session enables viewers to fully grasp its benefits. Offer giveaways and incentives to encourage repeat viewing. Afterward, compile names/email addresses of individuals who expressed an interest in learning more.
4.) Public Speaking Engagements: Speak publicly at venues such as conferences, trade shows, expositions, workshops, luncheons, dinners, book signings, conventions, community gatherings, charity functions, church gatherings, sporting events, weddings, housewarmings, funerals, etc. Always bring a stack of business cards with you so that you can meet people face-to-face later on. Handing someone a card immediately after speaking is acceptable etiquette. Doing otherwise tends to intimidate people.
Finally, let's briefly touch upon tracking leads. Most likely, you already have a system in place to manage incoming inquiries. But if you haven't put together a lead management process yet, why not consider implementing automated systems into your workflow? Whether you prefer to manually enter records or utilize software applications, choose whatever option suits your preference. Just keep one thing in mind -- nothing beats experience. Experience means knowing what works and what doesn't.
Here are five ways to record leads automatically:
1.) Auto responders: Set up auto responders to respond to emails sent from a specified address. Preferably, auto responders should be programmed to deliver standard responses to common inquiry scenarios. Some examples of auto responders include ones provided by ConstantContact, MailChimp, GetResponse, and Vertical Response.
2.) Lead Scrubbers: Utilize lead scrubber software programs to filter away unwanted calls, texts and emails. Choose a program that allows you to customize filters to suit your personal preferences and budget constraints. Examples include ones offered by Acxiom, InfoUSA, Nuance Communications, and Xoopit.
3.) CRM Systems: Customer Relationship Management platforms enable you to organize client contacts easily and monitor interactions. Popular examples include Salesforce.com, NetSuite, Zoho, Oracle, SugarCRM, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Sage ACT!, InfusionSoft, Workday Inc., PeopleSoft, SaaSHub, Service Now, SuccessFactors, Viant Technologies, Hyperion Solutions, Computer Associates Intuit Small Business Products, Joomla, SharePoint, and Adobe CQ5 Cloud QA Platform.
4.) Database Software Applications: Track prospects across diverse industries by maintaining detailed database logs.