Before I get started with the article, we’re hosting a free webinar: “Your Customers Are Looking For You: 4 Ways to Generate Fresh Leads to Your Business” on October 14, at 9:00 a.m. PST/12:00 noon EST.
Be sure to register for it so you can hear more about this topic live!
You’ll learn four ways to generate new web leads that you probably hadn’t thought of before.
Small Business Owners: You’re NOT Alone
97% of all businesses in the United States are small businesses, as defined by the Small Business Association.
That means that there are approximately 30 million small businesses. If you’re a business owner, chances are excellent that you own a small business.
One of the hardest things about owning a small business is getting people to notice you. In the ocean of 30 million “fish”, you have to do something to rise above all the noise and get people to engage.
It doesn’t mean you need to be #1 above all the rest. Not at all.
You just need to attract your ideal client to you, especially when they’re interested in what you have to offer.
Advertising is a way to get your message out to the masses when 99% of them don’t care about your stuff, but hoping it “sticks” to someone somewhere.
Instead, what I prefer is to attract only those that have an interest in your products or services. One thing to remember is that most of those who are interested, are not ready to buy.
So if you try to “sell” them right away, you’re going to turn them off.
By getting them to engage with a small commitment, you can woo with them over time, and when they’re actually ready to buy, they’ll do so at that time.
This in a nutshell is called “lead generation”. You generate leads, keep them interested, and they’ll eventually buy from you.
But there’s the rub.
4 Ways to Get Your Prospects Interested in You
How do you get them interested in your stuff? You have endless opportunities here, including online coupons, e-mail newsletters, your Facebook page, and so on.
Here are four ideas to generate leads that you may not have thought of before:
1) Search Engine Optimization (or SEO)
SEO is necessary, and most people know this. Unfortunately most websites have not been set up correctly. The mistake that most people make is to optimize your site for what services or products you sell.
Instead, optimize your site for the problems you solve.
When people search on Google or the other search engines, they are looking for a solution to their specific problem.
They either want to solve it themselves, find a product or service that will fix it, or a company to fix it for them. If you optimize for the problem you solve, you’ll attract those who want a solution.
2) Online Reviews
Your online reputation is what can instantly set you apart from your competitors (we all have competitors you know). If you nurture your online reviews and encourage your happy customers to leave recommendations, over time this will start showing up in the search engines, and sway buyers to you.
Make absolutely sure that you have set up and claimed your business listings on Yelp and Google+. Reviews left there show up high in the search engines, and make you stand out.
3) Set Up a Lead Magnet
By giving away some valuable, useful information, you can attract people into your newsletter so that you can continue to nurture the relationship with your buyers. Sometimes people will take a year or more before they’re actually ready to buy, but if you haven’t stayed engaged, they’ve moved on and forgotten about you.
This doesn’t have to be hard or complicated.
Create a simple one-page document that gives away some great information. In order to get it, they have to give you their first name and e-mail address.
An example of one that I suggested for a photographer friend of mine was “10 Questions to Ask a Wedding Photographer Before Hiring Them”. So if someone is going to get married in a year, they’re thinking about how to hire someone.
Give away this “insider secrets” and then you can continue to e-mail them until they’re ready to buy.
Of course you can create several of these for each of the different areas of your business. It can also be longer than a single page, like mine: “Ten Ways To Get Found Online Today!” which is a 12 page report.
4) Use Other People’s Content
There are lots of people out there creating really useful stuff like blogs, articles, videos, and so on. You can leverage these things in your social media with a lead capture tool. My favorite is snip.ly which allows you to set up a link to your lead magnet (see above), but you share other people’s content on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or wherever you’re hanging out.
This way you’ve always got a fresh stream of useful content on your social media pages to keep readers engaged, but you don’t have to create it.
Find blogs that your target audience wants to read, and schedule out a week’s worth of posts using snip.ly. It works.
I hope you’ll join me on our free webinar on this very subject. It’s Wednesday, October 14, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. Pacific/12:00 noon Eastern. I’m going to demonstrate exactly how to set all this up for your business so you can use it yourself.