The ideal way to generate leads is to have an in-house marketing department working on it full-time. But what if your company just can’t afford a marketing department right now, or if your department just doesn’t have the resources to be concerned about inbound links?
You can still generate sales leads without all these; you just have to play it smart. Here are a few ways to get started.
Write blog articles
Regularly posting your own blog on your website or LinkedIn page can generate fresh content and keep your site healthy. But it’s also an SEO best practice that can be a great way to generate leads.
Choose simple topics related to your business and consider ending with the offer of a free estimate, phone call, or consultation. That offer will draw people in need of your services or products. Even if haven’t yet made up their mind, you have a solid lead to pursue later and add to mailing and contact lists.
Outsource lead generation
You may not yet be able to put a whole marketing team together in-house, but you can get the same benefits at greatly reduced cost with the right B2B service. Instead of paying for onboarding, training, and full-time salary and benefits to several employees, you can get dedicated software (with support) for a monthly fee.
If you own a car dealership, for instance, the right software can find leads from car sales for you and then design and generate direct mail and email marketing campaigns using those leads. It can even help you regularly weed through your lead lists to make them more accurate.
Leverage your personal network
You might think it’s either unethical or impossible to use the people you know personally to help generate leads. But there’s a way to do this right, and it starts by considering all the different circles you move in, many of which never intersect.
There are the other parents at your child’s school, former coworkers, and people you’ve met at the gym. When the relationships are strong enough to talk business, they’re also strong enough to generate leads: everyone prefers to recommend someone they know personally. As long as the money doesn’t change hands and you’re not violating any rules (like a golf club ban on shop talk) there’s nothing unethical about it.
Ask current clients for a referral
Once you determined a customer is satisfied, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask them for help. Send an email and ask them for ten minutes of their time. If they agree, call, thank them for their business, and then make it clear that you value the relationship and you’re ready to follow up.
Once you’ve done that, ask them if they know anyone else who might be interested in your services. Get contact information, and don’t be afraid to ask them to send off a quick email introduction to help you get your foot in the door. If a client gives you a good referral, don’t forget to make it worth they are while in some way.
Use a chat widget
It’s fairly simple to get a chatbot customized for your brand and running on your website. You can use this chatbot to answer simple questions from customers, of course, but it’s also a valuable way to generate and qualify a lead.
The key here is to be regularly checking up on your chats to make sure you follow up on real leads. It’s also important to use a well-designed bot that isn’t annoying, includes actionable messages relevant to a browsing person’s intent, and looks brand-authentic.
If you don’t like your leads or aren’t getting enough, there are strategies you can implement. Even without a marketing department of your own, you can generate more business and make good use of what you already have.