12 Ways to Get More Leads for Your Small Business

The concept of lead generation for business is nothing new, but the option for bringing in more leads for your small business has changed dramatically in recent years.

As a business owner, you know that generating leads for your business isn’t something that will just happen on its own, so you need to find a way to focus on lead gen efforts that actually pays off by converting leads into paying customers.

Lead generation, when done well, creates a win-win situation for everyone. You’re not wasting time on people who have no interest in your product or service, and your customer isn’t getting a sales pitch for something they have absolutely no intention of ever purchasing.

Additionally, conversion rates from leads are generally much higher than they are with cold outreach because the leads are pre-qualified. Lead gen can work for just about any small business in any industry, so having a variety of different tactics you can use means you’re setting your business up for success and growth.

Here are 12 proven ways to get more leads for your small business:

#1. Create an Email-Based Sales Funnel
A sales funnel is a step towards converting website visitors into paying customers. The idea of an email-based sales funnel is to educate your prospects about the products or services you provide, describe the benefits, and hopefully convert them into a customer by the end of it. By understanding what potential customers are looking for and specifically targeting those needs via email, you’re increasing the chances of closing the deal with your sales funnel.

#2. Start an Email Newsletter
Email newsletters are an excellent way to establish a relationship with potential customers. Through regular communication, you can promote your business and build trust while also establishing yourself as an authority. Newsletters should be sent on a consistent schedule so that readers know when to expect them, and they should offer some information or insight that the reader will find valuable.

#3. Leverage Your Social Media to Engage Potential Clients
Social media opens up a number of opportunities for you to connect and interact with potential customers as well as generate new leads. For your social media to be effective, you need to offer content that’s compelling and be ready to engage with people in real-time. Plus, if you’re going to focus on social media to bring in new leads, ensure you regularly share new content.

#4. Offer Free Consultations
One of the best ways to turn someone from a “maybe” to a “yes” if you’re selling services is to offer a free consult. These don’t have to be long, drawn-out meetings where you get into every little detail.

Instead, consider offering free 15-minute consultations where prospective clients can ask general questions and get a sense of who you are. People want to do business with someone they trust, so sometimes, a quick conversation can be enough to put their mind at ease and help them feel comfortable doing business with you.

#5. Start a Referral Program
Never underestimate the power of a referral. Hearing from existing customers that you and your business are great to work with can go a long way towards convincing someone else to take the plunge and buy from you.

Happy customers are some of the best resources at your disposal for generating new leads, so offering them some sort of incentive to refer prospects is a great way to get more leads.

#6. Partner with Another Business to Co-market
If you have established relationships with businesses that offer products and services that complement yours, why not partner up for some cross-promotion? Creating mutually beneficial partnerships where you can promote both your services and someone else’s, can generate leads from a whole new source.

Let’s say you run a business that offers bike and boat tours around your city. You could get in touch with the local tourism board and see if they will promote your business in exchange for you offering a discount or special tour for people booking through the tourism board. In return, you’ll promote the other events the tourism board hosts to your customers.

#7. Establish Yourself as an Authority
People who are considering using your products or services want to feel confident that you’re an expert and offer a high-quality product. By establishing yourself as an authority in your market, your potential customers will want to listen to what you have to say.

You can use your blog, social media, or website content to showcase your knowledge and provide people with information that shows why they should do business with you. People who view you as an authority are more likely to consider buying from you.

#8. Increase Your Content Marketing
If you don’t already have a blog — start one. By regularly offering fresh new content that is interesting and relevant to people who are visiting your website, you increase the chances of people finding you via a Google search. Make the most of your content by using SEO tactics to improve your standing in search results. The more people that read your content or find you on the Internet, the more likely you are to have inbound leads coming your way.

#9. Try Video Marketing
Videos are a great way for people to see who you are and what your business is all about. Create a series of “how-to” videos that show off your knowledge and authority by answering common questions, showing how to use products, or offering suggestions to common problems people are trying to solve.

Considering that YouTube is the second largest search engine, having a video presence is a surefire way to get yourself seen and bring in more leads. (Or you could add them to your website or share on your existing social media platforms.)

#10. Conduct a Free Webinar
If there’s one thing people love, it’s the word “free.” People also love to learn new things, so why not take advantage of that? You could make use of the live video features on Facebook or Instagram to host a live training on social media. Or, if you would rather do something that requires interested people to register for the event ahead of time, you could use a platform like Zoom.

The idea here is to engage your audience, and share information about your products or services. Consider what the main problem is that people are trying to solve when they come see you, and deliver a session that shows that you have the solutions they are looking for.

#11. Reach Out to Your Existing Network
Everyone has both a personal and professional network, so when it comes to finding leads, this is an excellent source to tap into. You can’t assume that everyone knows exactly what you do, so taking some time to reach out to people and letting them know about the products or services you offer, is worth your time. Word of mouth is a powerful tool, so capitalize on the people that know you, and let them help promote your business.

#12. Attend and Speak at Events
If you’re not already part of your local chamber of commerce, you should be. Creating opportunities to get greater exposure to people in your community or industry, opens the door to new relationships that can translate into leads.

When you run your own business, it’s not uncommon to spend a great deal of time behind the scenes, so finding ways to become more visible and connected is important. If speaking at an event seems a little scary, start slow by attending events and making some connections and promoting what you do.

Generating leads is never going to be a passive activity, so even by choosing to do only a few things from this list, you’re setting yourself up for success.

If some of these suggestions are out of your comfort zone, that’s okay. Start slowly with the ones that don’t seem too daunting, then build on those over time.

Gary Thompson
Owner, OnMerit Marketing

About the Author

Gary is OnMerit Marketing’s owner and blog writer. A Brand Designer and Digital Marketing Specialist, he has a passion for helping small businesses look great and grow their businesses online. Follow Gary on Twitter @onmerit, or Facebook: www.facebook.com/onmeritmarketing