How to generate leads for your small business

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To keep your small business growing, you need to continuously top your sales funnel by generating new leads. That’s why it’s important to know how to generate leads for small business.

Luckily, we’ve got the secrets to perfect your lead game and win you more business. Keep reading to learn the top ways to generate leads for your small business.

What is small business lead generation?

Small business lead generation means something different for every business. In general, this refers to a series of strategies you deploy to attract new customers to your business.

Lead generation involves prompting your target audience to start a conversation with you or having them provide you with their contact information through lead gen forms

No matter what industry you’re in, lead generation is an important part of building your customer base and driving your business forward.

How to generate leads for small business

Coming up with a lead generation strategy is something many small businesses struggle with. 

One of the most important aspects of lead generation is to structure your customer’s experience in a way that makes it easy for them to engage with your business. 

Some common ways that small businesses generate leads include:

Lead generation tools accelerate your goals by establishing a system that works for your business (more on this later), but first, let’s discuss proven lead generation tactics.

Lead generation ideas that transform visitors to leads

Search online, and you’ll find plenty of ways to generate leads. However, your unique small business may require some unique — even unconventional — lead-generating tactics. 

To get you started, here are some of the best lead generation strategies that convert visitors into leads. 

1. Deals, discounts, and promotions

Everyone loves a good deal. So offering discounts and promotions is one of the best ways to build interest in your business. 

One common way to attract leads is by offering a discounted amount off a customer’s first order or service if they fill out your online web form. This way, even if they don’t immediately enlist your services, you can nurture them through other marketing strategies.

2. Free samples

What do people love more than a good deal? Free stuff.

If you run a product-based business, offering free samples is a great way to garner attention for your business. Giving people a taste of your product builds demand and demonstrates your excellent customer service.

This is another instance where you can require your leads to submit a form to receive their sample and follow up with them later to see if they enjoyed it. 

3. Showcase your expertise

One of the key components of knowing how to generate leads for small business is understanding your industry.

Offering advice is a great way to demonstrate to leads that you are an expert in your field. 

There are several ways that you can offer insights to potential leads and get your name out there, such as:

  • Hosting industry events.
  • Q&A sessions.
  • Webinars.

4. Personalized advice

Take your advice one step further by offering consultations to give your customers an idea of what it’s like working with you. 

Consultations don’t require your leads to fully commit to your services, but they’re an opportunity for you to show them what you can do. 

If you’re just learning how to generate leads for small business, this is a great starting point.

5. Proof of customer satisfaction

Prospective customers look for signs that you offer great quality products and services. The best way to deliver this proof is through reviews and testimonials. 

Always ask your customers to provide a review at the end of the sales process. Better yet, ask if they’re willing to give a testimonial that you can use when marketing your business. 

Visuals are often more effective than words, so be sure to leverage photos of your work on your website and social media platforms.

6. Fun competitions

When answering the question of “how to generate leads for small business,” the first thing that comes to mind might be traditional marketing tactics such as email campaigns or lawn signs.

But lead generation doesn’t have to be boring. There are several ideas you can try out that will have your leads interested and engaged with your business.

For example, social media competitions are a popular way for businesses to gain leads. People get excited at the idea of winning something for free, and entering a competition often requires minimal work. 

These competitions are a great way to drive engagement for your social media posts and gain visibility for your business. 

Now that you have an idea of how to generate leads for small business, let’s dive deeper into the strategies you can try out. 

The top 5 tactics to generate leads for your small business

Knowing how to generate leads for small business increases your exposure and gives potential customers a glimpse of what you’re capable of. 

Understanding the common lead generation tactics is the first step, but finding the right ones for your business is where the real work begins.

Here are the top 5 creative ways your small business could be generating leads:

1. Customer referral programs with incentives

Never underestimate the power of the referral, as your happy customers are the strongest weapon in your marketing arsenal. In fact, referrals are still the best way to garner new business.

The best way to drive referrals is to create an incentivized customer referral program. Offer discounts on your products and services when a referred lead converts into a customer, and you’ll find your customers more enthusiastic to refer your services. 

Getting started is as simple as providing your current customers with a referral link they can share online. 

Your loyal customers may already be promoting your work online to their network. Giving them a referral link to add to their post doesn’t require them to do any additional work and benefits both of you.

2. Think beyond traditional promotion

Knowing how to generate leads for small business means understanding the basics. But traditional lead generation through ads can be pricey. 

Luckily, you can maximize your lead generation activities and create a lasting impression on potential customers with a little creativity. 

For example, if you own a moving business, it’s more effective to target houses listed on real estate websites or with “For Sale” signs on their lawn instead of sending out a mass email.

3. Co-marketing with unexpected partners

Your relationship with a local competitor doesn’t have to be a vicious battle. Competitor partnerships work well for businesses that provide similar (but not identical) products or services. 

Here’s how it works: If a possible lead approaches your competitor and they deem that they aren’t a right fit for their business, they’ll send them your way, and vice-versa!

You can also start referral partnerships with small businesses whose services complement your own. For example, if you build a deck for a customer, they might be interested in sprucing up their backyard as well, so they’d be open to landscape business recommendations.

4. Offer free consultations

Free consultations encourage leads to contact you or fill out your web form for more information. 

Consultations are an important part of developing a relationship with your lead, and that relationship is vital to the potential customer who trusts you to deliver the best service. 

This tactic also provides you with more qualified leads.

Leads who book consultations are often further in the sales process than other leads. 

Take home renovation services. If a lead books a consultation, they’ve probably already decided they want to go ahead with the reno and are now in the stage of choosing who they want to work with. 

A consultation is your chance to show this lead why you’re the best one for the job. Plus, if you’re the first business to give them a good consultation, they’ll be more likely to go with your services rather than continue their search.

5. Host an in-person or online Q&A

If your business involves developing trust with leads before becoming customers, try hosting Q&A sessions. This is the perfect strategy for businesses such as small law firms and real estate brokerages.

For example, a real estate business can find rental condos with many tenants in the “first buyer” demographic and host a Q&A cocktail party in the building’s party room. This is a great chance for renters to ask experts their questions and build a relationship over drinks.

How will you generate leads for your business?

Once you know how to generate leads for small business, you can:

  • Determine the right tactics for your business. 
  • Seek out the tools to get you to your lead generation goals. 

Lead generation tools keep track of your leads activities so you can spend more time turning those leads into customers. 

Lead management tools:

  • Automate your lead collection.
  • Integrate with your solutions, such as Gmail and Outlook.
  • Record each interaction you have with your leads. 

Kickstart your how to generate leads for small business learning process with a sneak peak of Method:CRM!

Image credit: Canva Studios via Pexels

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