10 Tried-And-True Ideas for Improving Your Leads
In a previous post, I introduced you to the “5 Drivers of Business” and how small adjustments to each driver can have a dramatic impact on your bottom line. As a follow up to that, I’m going to focus on the one driver that most business owners gravitate towards the most: leads.
I’ll be honest—leads are the most expensive of the five, and I recommend you start your improvements on a different driver. But, the allure is obvious: increasing your leads puts you in the enviable position of being more selective. So here we are.
Now for the million-dollar question: how do you increase your leads? Well, I’m going to share 10 of my favorite and most effective ideas for doing just that.
1. Strategic partnerships – Find another business who is trying to reach the same audience as you and run campaigns for each other or with each other. Or, partner up to create joint value through a webinar, email campaign, etc.
2. Produce, curate & distribute valuable content – For the last decade, the refrain within the content marketing realm is “content is king.” Consumers want brands to share RELEVANT, valuable content about things they’re interested in. Get a blog, social media and/or email newsletter strategy up and running, and start showing potential customers that you know your stuff. Keep in mind this important note: content isn’t about selling. Stick to a formula of 80% audience building, 20% farming.
3. Social selling – Besides content you’re producing, you’ll want to get into the social sphere and start being a part of the conversation. Get on LinkedIn or other social channels that make sense. Share content. Comment on other posts. Having a nice-looking, fully built out profile. All of this will serve to continually put your company’s name out there in front of potential customers.
4. Long-tail organic search – Search engine optimization is all about keywords, right? But there are two types of keywords: short-tail and long-tail. A short-tail keyword for Skyhook might be “web developer,” while a long-tail might be “WordPress web developer in Chandler.” When working on your content in #3 (or your website content), take a little time to think about what long-tail phrases or questions you want to rank for to get people to your site; Then, optimize your content accordingly. Honestly, this is one area where hiring an expert is worth the extra cost. SEO experts have access to expensive tools that can help you identify the right keywords for you to focus on.
5. Paid digital media – As the saying goes, you gotta spend money to make money. Paid search/PPC, paid social ads, promoted posts, native ads, display ads—there are tons of options out there, no matter what your budget. This is another area where hiring an expert is in your best interest.
6. Low-key market research – Working on a new product or considering adding a new service? Call on people who aren’t customers (but could be) and ask them for input on how they might use it. Make sure you make it clear that you’re not calling to sell them; you just want their insights. It’s a great way to get your foot in the door and start building a relationship.
7. Online directories – Directories can be a great shortcut to improving your organic search rankings. Spend some time figuring out the ones that rank for your type of business and what it takes to get a listing. Some are pay-to-play, but a lot have at least a basic free option. Not sure how to start? Try doing a general search as if you were a potential customer (for instance, “WordPress designers in Mesa”) and see what comes up.
8. Affiliates – Depending on what you sell, you may be able to create an affiliate network where people do the selling for you and you pay them per lead or even conversion. You see this a lot with bloggers who will feature products and earn affiliate commissions on sales.
9. Speaking opportunities – Speaking is a great way to link your business with thought leadership. Consider having yourself or other subject matter experts:
- pitch to speak at conferences
- guest or co-produce a strategic partner’s podcast or webinar
- create your own podcast or webinar series
10. Mini conference – Take a look at your best-performing types of content and put together a small event. This is yet another opportunity to pursue strategic partnerships. For instance, if you’re a realtor, you might partner with a bank or mortgage lender on a daylong home-buying workshop. As with your content, stick to the 80/20 rule—80% value content, 20% selling.
You certainly don’t have to do all 10 of these, or even half of them. Maybe you have a few different ideas up your sleeve. Just remember, even just a 10% increase in leads can have a multiplicative effect on your revenue. Find the right channels and opportunities for your business, and go for it.