Small businesses comprise the backbone of the economy, and small business owners are continually looking for ways to expand their customer base and flourish for the long-term. Driving and sustaining the growth of your small business is undoubtedly a challenging, ongoing and complex process, but there are ways to make this process more straightforward or at the very least ensure that it achieves the outcomes you want.
Generating high-quality leads on a consistent and regular basis is absolutely essential to ensuring the continued growth of your small enterprise. Ultimately, having a steady and reliable stream of leads will mean a steady and reliable stream of income, which is the core of any successful business. Following is a useful guide explaining how small-businesses can identify and generate leads, and then convert them into customers:
Identifying Target Audiences
First and foremost, you want to know which audiences are going to be interested in purchasing the product/service you provide. This is absolutely critical, because if you are directing your marketing and advertising campaigns towards the wrong audiences then you’re going to receive very little return for the investment. By creating a clear portrait of the type of customer who is most likely to want to buy from you, you can then work on tailored and bespoke campaigns which speak directly to them.
Creating this customer portrait is relatively simple, and can be constructed from a number of identifying markers such as age, gender, location, education, profession, hobbies and interests. Research is key, because it is only when you actively try to understand your customers that you can begin cultivating meaningful and long-term relationships with them.
Pursuing Prospects on Social Media
We’re living in a digital age, where everyone is constantly connected to their devices and communications are instant. This fast-moving and dynamic environment provides the perfect platform for you to present and spread your brand’s message and purpose, but only if you do it in the right way. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are invaluable resources when it comes to generating leads, especially when the majority of consumers are consulting social media for information on a product or service they are thinking about purchasing.
A small business can’t afford to neglect their social media platform, and it’s important that you are always making sure that your platforms are as optimised as possible so that you can tap into the vast audiences they offer. Whether it is keeping up with viral trends, using hashtags, creating quality content or interacting with your followers, optimising your social media pages as a small business has never been more necessary.
Creating a Sales Funnel
The sales funnel is a core business concept, and it is one that every small business owner should have a working understanding of if they are to implement this powerful tool within their lead generation efforts. Once you have identified your target audience and have started reaching out to them, you also have to make sure that you have a strategy in place for bringing them further down the sales funnel.
When you’ve engaged and interested prospective customers in whatever you have to offer, you then have to funnel them to a landing page or subscription form which encourages them to provide their contact information. Typically, you’ll need to incentivise them to do this by offering them something in return, whether it is a coupon, sample, free gift or anything which adds value to the transaction. With this information, you can either personalise their overall experience or directly reach out to them in order to convert them into leads.
Building Relationships via Email Newsletters
Generally, you’ll ask your prospective customers to provide you with their email address, perhaps alongside their name and location as well. An email address is an incredibly versatile and effective point of contact that you have with your target audiences, because it allows you to directly reach out to them and offer a truly bespoke and unique customer experience. What’s more, because these email addresses have been voluntarily given, any email newsletters you send won’t be perceived as aggressive, annoying or unwanted.
By sending regularly-updated and high-quality email newsletters, you can build relationships with potential and existing customers, and create a strong connection between them and your brand. By far, an email newsletter is the best way for you to keep up with customers, give them exciting updates and news about your business, and reward them with special gifts for their continued loyalty.
Establishing Yourself as a Reputable Authority
Small businesses are an appealing alternative to larger corporations for a number of reasons, and one of the most important reasons is because they are offering a product/service which is unique, niche and can’t really be found anywhere else. The reason customers come to you is because you provide a solution to something they need or want, and it is essential that you capitalise on this interest by establishing yourself as a reputable authority in whatever you’re selling.
You could do this by uploading instructional or explanatory tutorials on YouTube, publishing informative content on your blog, or creating high-quality content for social media. Ultimately, the aim is to let your customers know that you are an expert in whatever you do, and that they can rely on you to fulfil their expectations and requirements.
Growing Your Small Business
This guide provides a useful outline which you can use to inform your lead generation strategy for your small business. There’s no doubt that lead generation is going to be a long-term, ongoing and dynamic process for your business, which is why it is always worth investing in the services of a lead generation agency. With their professionalism and experience, they’ll be able to create and then implement a campaign which incorporates each of the steps mentioned in this guide, and so much more.
Once you have an efficient system in place which is continuously and reliably bringing leads your way, you can streamline your marketing efforts and vastly increase the opportunities for your small business’ growth, expansion and success.