A small business owner needs to know where the next source of revenue is coming from. This is especially true in the B2B world, where your sales process may take longer, and you’ll be working with a low-volume but high-value approach (whereas someone selling products may work with a low-value but high volume of sales). This is where a sales funnel comes into play, and you should know how to keep it consistently full by using lead generation.
This article will be a guide on how to generate leads for small business owners by looking at the following tips:
- Direct approach
- Use social media
- Create a referral program
- Use content marketing
- Start a newsletter
The first way you can bring on leads is to approach individuals directly. This method maybe a little more time consuming because you might have to research companies and find the correct person to talk to within an organisation, but it is a more personal approach to finding new business.
First, look at your local area. Find businesses or potential clientele that are a good fit for your business services or products. Then reach out to them via phone or email (if that information is available online) or through social media.
It’s best to make that personal connection by speaking to someone directly instead of messaging a company through a generic email or a standard form. Once you’ve started local, spread your search area to include further afield into other towns or cities you’d like to work in.
Keep your eyes open for other opportunities that may benefit your business. For example, say you are a landscaper and notice a new commercial development is in the process of being built nearby.
You could contact the property manager to find out about the development and offer your services to maintain the estate when it is completed. This work could be an ongoing contract for your company, so worth looking into any local or upcoming opportunities and inquiring directly.
Use social media
Generally, B2B businesses may have more success via Linkedin or Twitter, where the culture is centred around information sharing. However, if you are B2C or product-based, you may find more success with Instagram or Facebook. These are more visual platforms to feature attractive imagery and draw in inquiries through private messaging or a link to your website.
For B2B small businesses LinkedIn could be the key to unlocking a new source of customers. LinkedIn has twice the buying power of an average web audience, and so start by making connections with influential people in the industry, as well as some people in businesses you’d like to target. Then showcase your products, services and company culture/ethos on this social media platform in posts, and you might find that it’s a more valuable source of leads than your website.
If you have the budget, you could also advertise via LinkedIn. To do so, you can select specific job titles and industries to target with your ads, and you might find that you can bring in some enquiries about your services this way if you have some money to spend on it.
Create a referral program
Let your customers or clients help you promote the business by creating a referral system. The benefit you offer in return for a referral could be money off their next invoice or a free hour of your time, depending on your products and services.
By offering the customer something valuable, they may be more likely to share with their social circle – and it’s been shown that 92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know. This could open up your business to a whole new range of people and companies.
Use content marketing
Digital content is information and text on your website. Starting a business blog and creating content (articles) allows you to show your expertise and capture any searchers who found your articles via a search engine. Once they are on your site, you can show them why your products or services are a good fit for them.
An excellent way to get free article ideas is to Google a question your business gets asked all the time. For example, let’s say you are an electrician, and many of your customers ask you which colour is the live wire. Start by searching that question, and scroll down until you find the ‘People Also Ask’ list of more questions. The People Also Ask list should give you various related subjects to start creating articles, which will show potential customers that you are an authority on the topic.
Start a newsletter
Once you’ve started gaining email addresses through your lead generation work, you could start a newsletter to help you build relationships with those on your email list. Give your subscribers stories, news, case studies or imagery that does one of these things;
- Gives them inspiration
- Solves a problem
- Grabs attention/shocks
- Provides an easy way for them to fix something they are struggling with
If you offer B2B services, then the way to your subscribers’ hearts is to show how you can save them time, stress or lessen their workload. For example, use blogs you’ve written, or write some top tips, so they take away something valuable back to their desk.
Going back to our landscaper example, you could be looking to attract both B2B clients and the general public too. In this case, using visuals may be stronger than an email full of text. For example, featuring recent ‘before and after pictures of your work will show, rather than tell, your subscribers why they should get in touch with you. Paired with a closing line of ‘Click here to email me about your dream garden’ would be a powerful way to nudge readers into contacting you.
Make accounting admin simpler
Managing your finances can be stressful and time-consuming. That’s why thousands of business owners use the Countingup app to make their financial admin easier.
Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are.
You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward!
Find out more here.