I was recently looking at a post of 2021 lead generation statistics. And it said 61% of marketers think their #1 challenge is lead generation. What is this, Groundhog Day? Doesn’t that happen every year?
To be fair, I was too lazy to check, but I’m pretty sure it’s the same conversation every year – what do we do to get more leads? And hey, I’m not judging, I’m in the same boat. How do you think I found that article?
The fact that we keep coming back to this doesn’t mean we don’t learn anything from year to year. It just means we’re looking for ways to do better and that’s great. It’s what pushes progress. It’s what we need to do every year.
As you too look for new ways to grow leads and increase sales, here’s a list of quick tools you can use:
1. Ask for referrals
This Semrush Academy report looked at sources for growth for agencies (told you I was looking). It found that the #1 source to get more leads is referrals. This report was focused on agencies, but most SMEs I have spoken have the same response – happy clients bring more happy clients.
What to do: don’t just wait for referrals to happen, be proactive. Ask your clients if they have any contact they think they’d benefit from the services you offer. Maybe even send them a short presentation they can forward to those contacts. Let people know what you do, who your ideal customer is and why choose you.
2. Get help from friends and business partners
This would also fit into the referral category, but I saw it’s mostly overlooked. So, I think it deserves its own category. Your personal network (whether you’re in sales, marketing or a managing director) can also help. They are the people who believe in you and can help expand your awareness in their channels.
What to do: Post on social media and talk to people in your meetings about what services you offer. Ask if they can help spread the news. Make sure your business partners know this too. They will also benefit from promoting you, so don’t be afraid to ask them to share details about you on their channels.
3. Engage in social listening
Do you know that mindless social media scrolling you do in the middle of the day to pass the time? Why not make this an opportunity to get new leads as well?
Social listening can be done by following hashtags or using a platform such as these to see what people from your industry are talking about. It helps you network, offers value and will be a great source of new leads in the future.
What to do: Be helpful, offer good insight, share your learnings and failures and don’t be afraid to give too much away. Sure, you don’t want to share sensitive information like financial info, but saying what you did successful in an area doesn’t take from your value.
People won’t go doing what you told them – most don’t have the time, but they’ll understand you know how to do it and come to you for help.
4. Share good content
Content pieces are great lead magnets. Every business professional is looking for tips and tricks to do his job better, to test new things, to find out how to fix an issue or understand what others from his industry are doing. It doesn’t have to take long to create a content piece and then you can repurpose it and keep getting leads from it.
What to do: Make something your audience needs and is interested in. Remember what I said under social listening – you need to be helpful, not salesy.
Mention your business, but don’t make that the goal of your content piece. Also, don’t forget about promoting it. Go back to your partners and existing customers, share with them and ask them to share forward if they see value in it.
5. Giving back
This might not seem like something you’d do to get more business, but trust me, it works. By being selfless and offering advice to those who need it without a direct interest, you increase awareness on your know-how.
You might even work as a voluntary for a cool project like an NGO. Plus, you accumulate karma points, which I’ve seen have a way of coming back to you in unexpected forms.
What to do: Be helpful with others, offer free advice, be an active member in communities with your peers and those of your desired customer personas. If they ever need help with what you offer, they’ll remember you and reach out.
You’re now (a bit more) prepared to go out there and get those leads. Good luck!
About the author:
I am Raluca Apostol, Founder and Account Director at Event Marketing Stars and I have marketed over 60 events in the last 9 years, with attendee numbers ranging from 100 to 13,000, in small and big teams, in B2B and B2C, on 3 continents and helped deliver up to £4,000,000 in revenue.
I am passionate about events, lead generation and monetisation. If you want to reach out, you can find me on LinkedIn here.