I thought I would share my thoughts on some lead generation tactics as we’ve had a few posts and comments on the subject recently. Let’s get the elephant out of the room, everyone wants leads and new business NOW! But the reality is, it takes time, and to be honest, most people don’t want to wait, we’re all used to getting the stuff we want to be delivered in an hour by Amazon! Building a sustainable flow of leads takes time for a number of reasons.
- You need to build up awareness of your products or services. This takes time and consistency as people will rarely buy the first time they see your brand, especially if they’re not “in the market” for what you’re offering.
- You need to build up trust. This again takes time as trust is often defined by how trusted you are by others, so things like reviews, testimonials (especially video ones), and industry accreditations need to be gathered and presented to consumers.
- You need to develop authority. Authority is different to trust and is about building YOUR story as the founder/owner. Building authority can be done by instructional videos, giving value upfront, showing up on your social media regularly, essentially positioning you and your business as the authority for what you do.
You can’t send paid or organic traffic to a website or landing page and expect it to convert, if you’ve not layered it, and the customer journey to get them there with all of the above. So, that’s my first tip – focus on building awareness, trust, and authority BEFORE you start spending big bucks on paid marketing activities.It doesn’t take a huge effort to build up a few reviews on Facebook and Google, write up your back story and why people should trust you, and gather together your accreditations to put them in front of prospects. With that in mind, and in the absence of a marketing strategy, here are some tactics I know 100% work for local businesses.
- Google My Business – it’s free, it takes 30 minutes to set up and five minutes a day to maintain, but so many businesses neglect it or set it up once and forget about it, thereby negating ANY benefit from it.
- Facebook – it’s free and you can reach thousands of local residents quickly, especially by creating eyecatching content i.e. videos, and sharing them with local Facebook groups. But, it has to be part of an ongoing strategy, not a do once and forget about it approach.
- Facebook Paid ads – they 100% work if you do them right and have a strategic approach. Create a single ad and it will unlikely work, however, run multiple ads, test what works and retarget people that have engaged with your business and this will 100% work.
- Google Ads – Different from Facebook ads as this targets people that are actively looking for your product or service and will show your ads to local people that you can define using what’s called ‘negative keywords’ i.e. trigger words that will ensure your ads are NOT shown to certain searches.
- LinkedIn – Yes, LinkedIn! It’s not the scary place it once was years ago and is pretty much the Facebook for business. Want to build relations with local builders, or lettings agents and landlords – you’ll find them on there. I started a LinkedIn account for a plumber two weeks ago and he’s had two paid jobs from connections I made for him!
- Local SEO – This is a long burn strategy but your future self and business will thank you for starting to do it now! The work that is done today won’t start paying off for 3-6 months, but in 3-6 months you’ll have another lead channel bringing you regular website visits, and in turn, leads. Plus, a website with high authority in Google will rank new pages faster and higher than a website that hasn’t.
- Targeted mail drops – Want to find customers in a particular area because they’re populated by high net worth individuals? Then a targeted solus (basically, yours is the only leaflet dropped) mail drop will work well for you. Make it relevant to them and solve a problem in their life and it will bring leads. Mail drops fail because they’re usually ‘spray and pray’ in approach and don’t have anything the consumer wants. Who wants their grass mowed in Winter?!?! But right now, I’d say it’s the perfect time to hit people with that message.
- YouTube – Did you know it’s possible to rank a video on page one of Google for a chosen keyword/phrase within ten minutes? I don’t have time to explain in this post but using software like Videly you can search for high traffic keywords that when applied to a video on YouTube can get you ranking LOCALLY on page one within minutes. Also, did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine in existence behind Google? Even more, a reason to have a presence on there.
So, there are lots of ideas on how you can proactively bring customers to your door. I’m not suggesting you do everything, but basically, you need to have two strategies running in tandem:
- The long game – Building up your awareness, trust, and authority – whilst working on a number of tactics such as local SEO, Google My Business – basically your local digital footprint
- The short game – Tactics to get the phones ringing – Paid ads, mail drops and social sharing/virality. They’re more expensive, and without the long game strategy, you’ll ALWAYS be paying to acquire traffic.
Hope that helps folks. It’s a loooooong post but I’m happy to answer questions, and if you want to book a quick 15-minute slot with me feel free to message me.