More leads means more revenue, which means more profit.  Leads can come from many places – advertising, repeat business, referrals, google search, and the list goes on. In this blog, I will give you 10 surefire ways to obtain more leads (without doing paid ads).

Remember, you can have the best product or service, but your business will likely fail if no one knows about it. This message needs to constantly resonate in your brain. 

10 Ways to Obtain More Leads

  1. The first (and possibly most important) tip is to keep your current customers happy. Your existing customers are your most valuable resource. Keeping your existing customers happy could mean repeat business or a referral.

We all know that repeat business is more profitable than starting over from scratch with a new customer. It can be 5 times as expensive to start over with a new customer. Many companies focus the bulk of their time and budget on acquiring new customers, but it is also very important to concentrate on customer retention and repeat business.

 It is crucial to maintain customer loyalty because it is a known fact that customer loyalty means an increase in referrals.  Over 80% of customers trust recommendations from family and friends. I recently read an interesting article from Hubspot about 27 interesting customer loyalty statistics. You may even want to consider starting a loyalty program.

2. The next tip might sound like unusual advice because there is much evidence against the usefulness of outbound marketing. In addition, many marketers think of outbound marketing as an outdated strategy but really, you should deploy both outbound marketing and inbound marketing. While it is important to do a mixture of both types of marketing, it is probably more useful to put more of your efforts into inbound marketing, as it tends to be more personalized.You may wonder what the difference is between the two marketing strategies is.

  1. Outbound marketing – is putting a message out to a wide audience. For example, posting a message for everyone to see, such as on your Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter page.
  2. Inbound Marketing – on the other hand tends to be more personalized and focused. For example, posting something to a LinkedIn group, or doing a webinar or an in person workshop.

Remember, you can have the best product or service in the world, but your business will likely fail if no one knows about it. Which leads into my next tip…

3. Be present on Social Media – Think about where your target market is (ie. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc). That is where you should be placing the majority of your social media efforts. Here are some general tips on some of the most popular social media sites:

    • LinkedIn
      • Pictures – Make sure your profile picture and header picture looks professional and is of good quality.  Remember these are your first impressions.
      • Join LI groups. Be present and post there, but also make sure to like and comment on other people’s content. 
      • Search + In mail.
      • Check existing connections (ask for introductions or revisit).
      • Optimize your profile.
      • Your headline should be benefit driven
      • Add testimonials/social proof to summary
      • Making sure there are links to your website, or better yet – a specific landing page. (This can be done on other social media sites as well.
    • Twitter
      • Good rule of thumb, for every tweet about yourself and your services, the next 4-5 should be educational or value driven.
      • Ask for followers for retweets.
      • Search for relevant # and be a part of the conversation.
      • Make Sure your page has relevant links.
    • Facebook
      • Ask friends to “like” your page and “follow” you.
      • Friends (determine if there are business prospects on your contact list)
      • Fan pages (like groups on LinkedIn) Be where your target audience is.
      • Make sure that your page includes links to your website or a landing page.
    • YouTube
      • Reach out to channel owners.
      • Transcribe all your videos. (Google picks up the text)
      • Make sure your page has relevant links.
      • Don’t be afraid to ask for likes. I see many videos that ask for likes.

This is a general list and many of these strategies can be applied to a variety of social media platforms. One of the most important things to consider is whether you are posting quality content, things your “target market” wants to hear about. Put yourself in their shoes and think like them. Think about common concerns or questions. Current news is also a great thing to post about. Make sure you are consistent with your posting. Above all though – remember quality is more important than quantity here.

4. Automate your marketing – There are a plethora of marketing automation tools out there, but the tool we use for ourselves and that we implement for clients is ClickDimensions. To learn more about ClickDimensions visit our blog. We recently collaborated with ClickDimensions on a webinar about choosing the right marketing automation solution for Dynamics 365.

We use the ClickDimensions Social Marketing tool, which is powered by Oktopost. Oktopost is an integrated social media marketing tool that allows you to easily manage various social campaigns and post single or multiple messages to your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages. In addition, Oktopost features rich social media analytics that allow B2B marketing teams to measure social media efforts and reach marketing goals.

Whatever marketing automation tool you decide to use, it is important to ask yourself if you are getting the most out of your marketing automation and if you are using all available features. Learn about how you can close more deals with marketing automation.

4. Email Marketing – is still one of the top ways to generate leads. It is generally cheaper than many marketing strategies and can have huge returns.

It is important to get to know your target audience very well, from their background to purchase habits and preferences. This allows you to determine which methods and strategies will have the most impact.

One thing you might try is a newsletter – The two most important factors in sending out a newsletter are content and consistency. Make sure your content is of high quality, something your audience wants to hear about.  Being consistent in sending your newsletter out is more important that how often you send it out. Look at your schedule and time commitments and determine a realistic schedule for your newsletters to go out.

Another thing you might want to consider, in regards to email, is adding a call to action in email signatures. This seems like a simple thing to do, but it can make a big impact.

5. Mobile Responsiveness – With all the people checking emails and websites on their phone, it is important that your content and webpages are mobile friendly.

6. Search Engines

  • Title Tag – is the text that comes up when you scroll over the tab of your website. This is how google tags your website. Having a good title tag will not guarantee that you will be at the top of the search engine, but having a bad title tag can hurt you immensely. Here are some tips for writing great title tags….
  • Backlinks – this is how many sites link to yours.
    • Set up a few profiles on business directories. This may not seem important but just setting up a few will put you leaps and bounds ahead of your competitors. We’ve included a list of 57 online business directories.
  • Social Shares – greatly increases search engine rankings
    • Don’t be afraid to ask for social shares.  We all know that Facebook has its own set of rules and doesn’t allow you to explicitly ask for social shares or likes. Here are some alternative ways to encourage Facebook likes, shares, and comments without asking. Facebook penalizes you for doing what they call “like-baiting.”
    • In addition, here are some  more tips for getting social shares across the various social media platforms.
    • Comment and share other people’s content. There is a lot of value to being seen and having a presence. Also, hopefully they will return the favor and share your content (increasing your social ranking).

8. Content- This tip is mentioned right after search engines because creating content and putting it out there is actually the #1 thing you can do to increase search engine rankings.

  • Having a variety of different types and lengths of content is important. This would include blogs, videos, infographics, or whitepapers to name a few. Having a variety of content ensures that you will reach a wide variety of readers.
  • Make sure to include keywords in your content, although Google will penalize people for “keyword stuffing.” Avoid the dangers of “keyword stuffing” by inserting keywords safely.

9. Directly engage with leads – So much of marketing is personalization. No one wants to just feel like a number. Everyone wants to think they, their problems, and concerns are unique. This is a nice lead in to my last tip.

10. Networking – Just as it is important to directly engage with leads, it is important to get yourself out there and network, whether is is physically or virtually. People want to do business with a person, not a name. It’s not enough to just be present on social media. Comment on and like people’s posts, join groups of interest, and let your voice be known. Show your personality. Virtual networking is important, but in person networking is also important. Here are just a few networking ideas:

  • Join networking groups and groups of interest.
  •  Join your local Chamber of Commerce
  • Be active in your community.
  • Volunteer work.
  • Meetups
  • Workshops
  • Chamber of commerce events
  • Meeting a colleague or group of colleagues for coffee

Of course the list is not limited to the activities above. Networking can happen even when networking is not the objective. Many social events lend themselves to networking. Networking is all about making connections.

So, there you have it – 10 ways to obtain more leads (without doing paid ads). Most of the things on the list are things you can do immediately. With that being said, I will mention that there definitely is some value to doing paid ads as well. Amongst the most popular are Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, and Linked In ads. Most social media platforms have their own paid ad service. Spend some time thinking about where your target audience is before you decide where to place your time and efforts.

Remember that nothing will work immediately. Be patient – give it adequate time and don’t forget that consistency is the key!

Turn leads into lifelong customers

The lead management capabilities in Microsoft Dynamics 365 let you connect with your customers in a whole new way.  In Dynamics 365 Sales, leads are used to keep track of business prospects that you haven’t yet qualified through your sales process. The information you track and log about leads in Microsoft Dynamics 365 can be used to build relationships and turn leads into lifelong customers.

In fact, creating a lead record of information about a new lead is often the first step taken by users  in the sales process. If you would like to learn more about how to use Dynamics 365 for Sales to create leads and opportunities, contact the experts at enCloud9. We have worked with many companies on lead management.

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