You’ve started a company, built a website, and set up a workflow. Now all you have to do is find some clients. Lead generation is one of the most important aspects of any business, and it can be difficult to know where to start. Even if you have been operating for years it can be a challenge to know how to chase down new potential customers and keep up with the latest trends.
Thankfully, there are a few simple steps you can take to get started in lead generation and attract new customers. In this article, we’ll be covering four easy steps for you to start racking up clients:
- Know your target market.
- Develop a lead generation strategy.
- Generate leads through marketing efforts.
- Nurture those leads until they are ready to buy.
Let’s dive in!
Find your target market
The heartbeat of any lead generation is knowing exactly who you’re looking for. If you know your target market, you can better focus your strategy, saving time and money.
While there are decades of psychological research on what drives the needs and desires of a person, there are a few key things to think about when creating a customer profile. It should include basics such as demographics (location, age, gender, income level) as well as more detailed aspects such as psychographics (interests, beliefs, values).
You can also get more specific by identifying your ideal customer. This is the person you have in mind when you develop your products or services in the first place.
Once you know your target market, it’s time to start reaching out to them. One way to do this is through social media. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter offer great opportunities to connect with potential customers and make sure you have the correct profile.
Develop a lead generation strategy
Now that you have determined exactly who your targets are and what they want, the next step is building a strategy. As LivingSocial’s Barry Judge explained to the Washington Post in 2014, there are other ways to attract clients than just email. Those may include:
- Developing content (blogging, white papers, e-books, etc.) that is relevant to your target market and which you can offer as a free download in exchange for contact information. This free content could be anything from helping you create 1099s, to giving customers a peek behind the curtain of how you operate your business.
- Guest blogging on other sites related to your services. Any chance to get your product or service in front of a new audience is an opportunity, and it stands to reason that some of your ideal customers may be browsing those other sites already.
- Participating in or hosting webinars. 85 percent of customers are likely to purchase after attending just a single live event, and 90 percent will leave with positive feelings about your brand. While online events aren’t quite as successful, human connection can be a make-or-break opportunity to land new clients.
Now that you have a strategy, it’s time to set it in motion.
Generate leads through marketing efforts
Once the research of your target market is in place, and you have created a plan to get your product in front of them, things get a lot simpler.
Excellent analysis plus adequate resources will always result in positive lead generation, even if you don’t have much experience in that area. The easiest way to generate through marketing is by crafting a message that will resonate with them. Tug at their heartstrings, and you’ll have people flooding toward your website.
There are many types of marketing, from online ads to PR, so it’s important to find the right channels for your business and target audience. You’ll also want to make sure that your website is optimized so that once you have them, they don’t have any barriers to entry.
If they need to generate a W-2, for instance, the form should be easy to understand and quick to fill out so that there is no hesitation.
Nurture those leads until they are ready to buy
Importantly, not everyone will be ready to make a purchase right away. You’ll have to nurture some of your leads by regularly sending them valuable content until they are ready to buy.
One way to nurture leads is to send them an automated email sequence that provides them with helpful information related to what they are interested in. For example, if someone subscribes to your blog, you could send them a series of emails that provide them with tips on how to improve their own writing or how to grow their business.
You could also send leads a series of offers related to what they are interested in. If someone downloads an e-book on social media marketing, for example, you could follow up with them by offering a discount on your social media marketing services.
Attracting customers doesn’t need to be as daunting as it first appears. These steps will allow you to focus on the most important elements of lead generation and put you on the path to attracting more new clients. Now go out and try it yourself!