Are the challenging economic conditions making it more difficult than ever to find and keep new clients?
How do you generate new leads for your business in the most cost-effective manner?
Below are my top 7 FREE, or nearly free, lead generation strategies.
Will, YOU put these ideas into practice?
Choice Is YOURS!
1. Public Relations
When was the last time you had your business in the paper? Mine was Easter Sunday when I announced the addition of my most recent associate coach. Be creative. The papers are willing to print newsworthy articles. The trick is developing a story about your business. I have helped many of my clients get literally thousands of dollars worth of advertising in the form of articles. Moreover, since the articles are written by paper, they are more credible than an ad written by you.
2. Write a Column
If you have something to give back to the community, put it in writing. Many newspapers and magazines, especially the community newspapers are looking for content. If you are an electrician, you could give do-it-yourselfers tips. If you are a nutritionist, you could give out health tips. I wrote business growth articles for Business Strategy Magazine for many years. Tom Biviano, the newest ReSults, LLC coach is going to write a column called the Coaches Corner in the Messenger Post. Have some fun with it.
3. Develop a Newsletter
You have probably all heard this is a good idea. Most people don’t start one because they think it will be very time-consuming. Here is a trick, get other people to write for you. There is often excellent content available from trade associations or strategic alliance partners. Just Do It! (Oops, I hope Nike doesn’t mind, but we will get to Guerilla Marketing later.)
When I talk to most business owners, they tell me that their number one and often their only lead generation strategy is word of mouth. I then ask them how they nurture the referrals and am normally met with a very quizzical look. If you do not ask, you are unlikely to receive it. You need to ask for referrals at every opportunity. When a new prospect says yes, that is a great time to ask because they are feeling very positive about your offering. When a prospect says no, that is a great time to ask for a referral because they feel a sense of obligation. When a customer is satisfied with your offer, that is a great time … GET THE PICTURE! How often do you ask for a referral and do you have a formal program? I do.
5. Guerilla Marketing
You may have heard the term, but do you know what it is and have you used the principles? I met Jay Conrad Levinson, the author of Guerilla Marketing, last August at the ActionCOACH global conference. Until then, I did not pay enough attention to the principles. According to Mr. Levinson, your prospect needs to hear your message nine times to move from unaware to a purchase. The problem is that we only hear a message one in three times so you need to create 27 impressions and Guerilla Marketing is a great way to do that. If you would like to learn more, go to www.gmarketing.com.
6. Google Ad Words
A great Guerilla Marketing strategy is the internet. Most people go to the internet to research a product or service. Recently, I have been using Google Ad Word or “Pay per Click” to test advertising headlines. The beauty of the approach is that you must be very disciplined (only 25 characters for the headline) and the feedback is immediate. A number of my clients have experienced excellent sales returns from this test and now integrate Pay per Click as an integral part of their advertising. To learn more about marketing with Guerilla Marketing and Google Ad Words, go to www.perrymarshall.com.
Last but certainly not least is networking. Everyone does it, but only a few network well. You may have heard that it is not Net-Breakfasting or Net-Lunching; it is called Net-WORKING. You need to invest the time in networking and go in with a plan. There are plenty of formal and informal networking events. One of the best formal networking and referral organizations is BNI, www.bni.com. Its founder, Ivan Misner’s mantra for BNI is “Givers Gain.” What he means by this is that before you can expect to receive referrals, you must first give them. That principle hold true for every aspect of business. You must first give and then you will gain.
Any one, or all seven, if these strategies if used consistently will grow your business in today’s economy. The real question is, what are you going to do about it … The Choice is YOURS!