Top 10 Free or Nearly Free Ways To Generate Leads in Today’s Economy

  1. Clear Position– Before you start advertising, you need to understand why your customers buy from you and then develop a Unique Selling Proposition (USP.) The best way to do that is to simply ask your best customers, “What are the top three reasons you buy from me and not somebody else?” Then you need to distill the answers into a clear positioning statement and market to prospects that appreciate what you have to offer.
  2. Target Top Prospects– Most businesses follow the 80%/20% rule. 20% of customers represent 80% of sales, profits, and enjoyment. You need to figure out the characteristics of this 20% and develop marketing plans to find more prospects like your best customers.
  3. Targeted Direct Mail – Whether it is an eye-catching postcard or a well written direct mail letter, targeted direct mail is a very effective way to reach your top prospects.
  4. Telemarketing – Telemarketing has a bad reputation because many companies have overused and abused the strategy. They do this for one simple reason, it works. A great approach for a business to business prospecting is phone mail phone. What this means is that you or someone you hire would call a target business and ask who is in charge of the area that could benefit from your product or service. You would then mail that individual a letter, and three to five days later; you would call that individual back. A note of caution, if you have a business to consumer business, you will need to understand the laws in your particular state before starting a telemarketing campaign.
  5. Internet – Most people under the age of 50 will go online to find a service rather than looking in the Yellow Pages. A good website with strong search engine optimization (SEO) is critical in today’s market.
  6. Social Media – The world of advertising is changing rapidly. The fastest growing way of getting your name in front of prospective customers is Social Media including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and You Tube.
  7. Strong Logo – If you want to succeed in business, you need to look professional. The world of graphic design has come a long way. You can get a logo online for a few hundred dollars or have one custom designed for well under $1,000. Your logo will be the thread that will tie all of your marketing together.
  8. PR – Most business owners overlook public relations (PR). As newspapers cut back on writers, they are always looking for great stories about local businesses. You can try to send out press releases on your own, but this is an area where it is best to use a professional who knows how to write a release that will attract attention and knows the media contacts that can get an article published about your business.
  9. E-Blast – Also known as permission marketing, sending out emails to a well screened list is a cost effective way of advertising. The key is to gain permission to email your prospects with the ability to opt out at any time. The next most important thing is to make sure your emails are relevant, useful and interesting. Finally, don’t overdo it.
  10. Referral Program – Finally, every business should have a referral program. Rather than word of mouth which is passive, a referral program is actively designed to convince your customers to refer you to their friends and business colleagues. Depending on your business, you may provide an incentive to your existing customer and the prospect. This is often less expensive than the cost of advertising.

I use over 100 different lead generation strategies with my clients. Obviously no client uses all 100 because every business is different. If you would like to explore which business building lead generation strategies will work best for your business, let’s talk.

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