Building your lead list is an essential first step when it comes to growing your small business. If there’s no one to reach once your product goes live, how can you expect to secure sales and boost on-site engagement?
This issue is extremely common. Surveys suggest that 61% of marketers think generating leads and traffic is the biggest issue affecting their growth.
And they are not wrong.
Before we continue, let’s define the term ‘lead.’ Simply put, a lead is someone who can genuinely benefit from your product or service.
For business owners, a lead is also connected to their brand through other marketing platforms, like email and social media. The more prospects a business has, the more opportunities they have to sell their product or service.
The good news is there are countless ways to generate leads for your business and convince first-time visitors to become loyal customers.
Today you’ll find a selection of hand-picked strategies that I believe can help business leaders and marketers across all industries connect with potential customers.
Now, let’s get started!
Build Detail-Oriented Buyer Personas
Before you can start building your lead list, ask yourself questions like:
- Who do I hope to reach?
- How will my product help consumers with their goals and pain points?
- What makes my product different from the competition?
- How can I illustrate the benefits of my brand through my marketing?
The answers to these questions will give you the foundation you need to build buyer personas. Buyer personas (also called customer personas or customer profiles) are what business owners use to determine viability when researching new ideas, creating blog posts, developing marketing material, and much more.
These customer profiles help leaders and marketers break their audience down into small groups called segments. Each segment has a unique list of goals, pain points, and interests.
The more you know about these sub-groups, the easier it will be to connect with like-minded shoppers and convince them to join your list or engage with your brand.
These various profiles allow businesses to showcase relevant content and offers to each user, which is essential for boosting engagement in sales. If you’re wondering how much of an impact this could have, consider this; 80% of people say they would like to see businesses use more personalization in the future.
I suggest using on-site feedback forms and data obtained from other platforms, like social media, to build detailed, actionable customer personas.
Create Valuable, Engaging Blog Posts
Content marketing, like blogging, is an excellent way to turn first-time visitors into leads. For context, companies that blog get 67% more leads when compared to non-blogging brands!
There are several reasons for this phenomenon. For starters, content gives you a chance to offer value to readers before they ever pull out their wallets. Think about how you would feel if you visited a website looking for information but found a wall of product pages instead.
Most people would hit the back button at this point. You didn’t want to purchase something today; you wanted to learn the answer to a question or check out a guide on a compelling topic, so why would you stay?
Now, let’s flip the scenario around. Let’s say you show up and find hundreds of categorized, engaging, and, most importantly, valuable blog posts. You quickly find what you’re looking for and many other articles you decide to save for later.
There’s an excellent chance you will subscribe and return to this site later, which could prompt a purchase.
Research shows that the average person reads at least three blog posts before making a purchase online, so it’s not hard to see how this element fits into your overall content marketing strategy.
Another advantage of a solid content strategy is improved search engine optimization (SEO). If your posts include relevant, frequently searched keywords, there’s a pretty good chance your website will eventually appear in the search results. If more people organically discover your website through your content, you can expect to see a surge in signups and engagement.
Show that You’re Trustworthy
If you want people to engage with your business, you must show them you’re trustworthy.
Here’s an example so you can see how trust can impact sales and lead generation:
Let’s say you’re walking down the street. On one side of the road, you see an official Nike retailer with a massive selection of new products and tons of customers outside. The other side of the street contains an empty kiosk with someone selling Nike knock-offs but insisting they are the real deal.
Who’s more likely to get your business? If you’re like a vast majority of shoppers, you picked the official retailer.
In the digital age, you need more than an attractive logo and good products to build consumer trust. Many people look for social proof, which are cues that your brand is reputable and trusted throughout the community.
Product reviews are one of the best ways to build social proof for your business. Research shows that product pages with reviews see 270% more conversions than those without. You can gather user testimonials by sending email surveys, talking to users on social media, and simply including options to leave a review on your product pages.
I also suggest including noteworthy numbers on your site when applicable. For instance, you could ask users to join your email list with a notation that says, “Join 20,000 other people!” Obviously, you should use real numbers if you want to win over the trust of first-time visitors and turn them into subscribers.
Use Popups to Increase Signups
Popups are another fantastic way to generate leads for your small business. Some people are 100% against popups. I believe that, like other marketing strategies, there’s a time and a place to use these handy tools.
For example, it’s improbable that you’ll convert visitors by blasting your page with random, generalized popups. However, if you create a personalized popup, you have a better chance of convincing the reader that your product or email list is worth their time.
The popups you make for your site will vary based on audience size, product selection, and resources. The most common and effective type of popup involves a lead magnet. Simply put, a lead magnet is an exclusive piece of content only accessible by joining your email list.
Here are a few ideas for creating a lead magnet:
- Compile relevant blog posts into a downloaded guide
- Create an online course for beginners
- Gather statistics and make an eye-catching infographic
- Promote special offers + rewards for email subscribers
Experiment with Social Media Events
Finally, let’s talk briefly about how social media events can help you grow your lead list. Before we go any further, here’s an interesting statistic: a whopping 31% of all website traffic comes directly from social media.
So, if you’re not using sites like Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter to engage with your audience and grow your lead list, you could miss out on around one-third of your traffic.
Social media events are a great way to get subscribers because they are engaging, interesting, and offer true value to our audience. One strategy that works well for us is running online giveaways. People are more than happy to share our posts and interact with our brand if it means there’s a chance they could get something for free.
We invite users to participate for a chance to win an annual license for our software, Amazon gift cards, and even Apple MacBooks. The rules are all geared toward turning people who find us on social media into followers, email subscribers, or customers.
Typically, we have several different entry methods visitors can follow to enter the event. For example, we sometimes ask users to check out our email newsletter for an additional entry.
I’m also a big fan of live events, like webinars and Q&A sessions. I find these events helpful because they allow me to interact with prospects and convince them that our brand is committed to their success. It’s also a great way to connect with people who have never heard of your brand.
The average person spends around 2 hours and 27 minutes on social media daily, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to connect with prospects with this marketing tool.
I suggest covering the topics that matter most to your readers. For instance, the owner of a gardening supply store might do a complete walkthrough of their crops while talking to people on social media.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to generate leads for your small business. We’ve used the tips outlined for years with great success, and I firmly believe you can do the same.