By Neil Patel
To survive, businesses constantly need to come up with new revenue streams.
While you may generate plenty of money by improving customer retention by focusing on your existing customers, you’re only getting a small piece of the pie.
The companies who focus on lead generation do more than just survive—they thrive.
That’s where I want you to be.
People don’t start a business to make the bare minimum.
As a marketing expert with a proven track record, I can help your company generate more leads with simple strategies.
Customers won’t find you unless you put some effort in making yourself visible.
Surprisingly, the majority of these tactics won’t be too much work for you and can be accomplished on a reasonable marketing budget.
You don’t always need to break the bank to get more customers.
Here’s how you can get started.
Use influencers to generate social proof
Look at how FabFitFun got a professional surfer and model Anastasia Ashley to post about their brand on Instagram:
FabFitFun sends their members a gift box every three months with a bunch of new products.
The box includes some beauty supplies, fashion items, and fitness gear.
Using Anastasia’s platform to promote their brand helps expose their company to a wider range of people.
Anastasia has over 1 million followers on Instagram.
That picture alone generated nearly 12,500 likes.
Let’s dissect the advertisement one step further.
Look at the caption. She included:
- a tag to the @FabFitFun Instagram page
- discounted subscription codes
- a link to the company’s website
- related hashtags for the brand
Anyone who sees this picture knows what steps to follow if they want more information.
It’s a great strategy for generating new leads.
Anastasia has more than twice the number of Instagram followers the company has.
It’s safe to say the majority of Anastasia’s followers weren’t even aware of this brand.
Employ the same strategy for your business.
Don’t think you’re obligated to use Instagram as the platform for this technique.
YouTube is another effective channel for influencer marketing.
Even though consumers may not know these influencers personally, they still feel a personal connection with them compared to a more well-known celebrity like a movie star.
These people may seem more approachable.
Interacting with your favorite television actor may seem unrealistic especially if they have millions of followers on different platforms.
But these lesser-known influencers are more relatable.
They don’t have personal drivers and red carpet access, so consumers are more willing to take their advice.
Find some brand ambassadors and social influencers to help your business generate new leads.
Create an actionable Facebook advertisement
Facebook ads are a great way to gain exposure for your brand, which ultimately generates more leads.
But sometimes displaying your brand name alone with an advertisement isn’t enough.
You need to give your audience a reason to continue.
Make sure your Facebook ad has a call to action.
Let’s look at an example from AdEspresso:
I love this because, ironically, it’s a Facebook ad about Facebook ads.
I used this example because of the actionable CTA button: “Download.”
Getting a prospective customer to download a free ebook is a great way to generate new leads.
I like this strategy better than simply linking your Facebook advertisement directly to your homepage.
Anybody can do that, so be different and stand out from the crowd.
Facebook ads also let you customize your target audience, so you can generate leads by targeting the right people.
Take advantage of what Facebook for business has to offer:
When creating a campaign, select lead generation under the Consideration menu.
Facebook will even let you create a split test to see which advertising strategy gets better results.
This is something you should consider, especially if you’re debating between two different CTA buttons.
I like to use Facebook Ads because the platform allows you to completely customize your target audience.
Set parameters such as:
- relationship status
All of these help narrow your focus so you can generate leads from people who would be genuinely interested in your company.
For example, let’s take a look at a Facebook ad from Philips Norelco:
Their beard trimming products are obviously gender-specific.
But this advertisement focuses on men of a certain age and lifestyle.
It doesn’t belong on the newsfeed of a college female.
Make sure you fill in all the parameters when narrowing your audience to get the most accurate results and leads.
Use Twitter’s advanced search queries
Twitter is another top resource for lead generation, but too many businesses overlook this method.
This is great news for you because you’ll have the chance to capture leads from your competition if you execute this strategy effectively.
There are two main steps to this tactic:
It’s that simple.
The advanced search query makes it easy for you to accomplish this.
There are four main categories of this search:
We’ll go through a hypothetical example to see how this works.
Let’s say your company sells sunscreen and sun tan lotion.
Words you might want to include in your search could be:
- Sun burn
You can see where I’m going with this.
Include in your search relevant phrases too, such as “pool day” or “going to the beach.”
But what about the “none of these words” query?
If you include “sun burn” as two words, you may want to put a word like “razor” into the “none of these words” field so you don’t get search results for “razor burn.”
Does that make sense? It’s simple.
Now let’s move on to the People section.
You’re already getting notifications when people interact with you on Twitter, so there’s no reason to include your name in the search.
Instead, search for your competition.
As a sunscreen company, you could search for results that include Banana Boat:
You’ll see Twitter users who engaged with your competition.
Shortly, I’ll talk about what you can do with these users.
But for now, we’ll continue going through the search fields.
If you’re a local or regional company, narrow your search results to your area.
You don’t need to see what people are tweeting about in South Africa if your company doesn’t distribute products outside of Phoenix, Arizona.
For argument’s sake, let’s say your sunscreen company has an ecommerce platform with global distribution.
Should you omit the places field?
Enter locations where people need protection from the sun.
You also want to filter the date range.
If someone tweeted they got sunburn back in May 2013, that won’t help you generate leads today.
Narrow your search to the most recent results. The past week or month should be a good place to start.
Now that you’ve completed your search, it’s time to go through the results.
Reach out to users by replying directly to their tweets.
Favorite their tweets.
Follow their profiles.
These types of interactions will help increase your chances of getting more followers.
My favorite part of this strategy is that it won’t cost you anything, just your time.
Even if you’re paying a social media manager to do this job, it’s an efficient use of their time as well.
But unlike some of the strategies we looked at earlier, such as influencer marketing or Facebook ads, the Twitter advanced search query is free to use.
Focus on your value proposition
Through one avenue or another, let’s say a prospective customer manages to find themselves on your website.
If you used one of the strategies we looked at so far, I’m willing to bet you’re going to see an increase in website traffic.
But what happens from here?
You obviously don’t want them to just visit your website and leave.
Get some information from these visitors by having a strong value proposition.
Check out this example from Crazy Egg:
It’s a simple and accurate description of what the customer will get.
Your value proposition needs to be easy to follow and straight to the point.
Too many companies have a long and unnecessary “About Us” section on their homepages.
That goes for your company mission statement too.
Neither offers any value to the customer.
Now that you’ve explained why you’re better than the competition, you need to collect some information from the customer.
After you enter the website address you want analyzed, Crazy Egg will prompt you to create an account and enter your email address.
It’s an effective tactic for generating leads.
I know from firsthand experience because I’m the one who came up with this idea for Crazy Egg.
Once you have the person’s email address, you can continue to contact them with your existing email marketing strategies.
Make sure your website has a blog
Blogs are a top way to increase website traffic and engagement.
They are also a great excuse for you to promote other content on your website.
If you can write SEO friendly blog posts, your website ranking will improve on Google’s search algorithm.
Now when someone is searching for something related to your brand, products, services, or industry, you could be a top hit.
You can also promote blogs across different social channels.
If you are struggling with finding content to post on your Facebook page or Twitter profile each day, you can post links to your blog posts so those social sites stay functional.
Your blog needs to be active.
If you’re struggling to find good writers or can’t put out blog posts frequently, consider looking for guest-bloggers.
It’s a win-win situation for both you and the guest blogger.
They will gain exposure to a new audience, and you’ll keep your content fresh.
In return, you can ask for this guest-poster to promote and link to your company on their blog.
You should also take advantage of guest-posting yourself.
Whenever other blogs related to your industry are looking for a guest post, jump on that invitation before someone else takes it.
Now you have the chance to do the same thing.
Your guest post will reach people who may not know your company even existed.
Blogging is one of my favorite strategies for generating new leads.
Leverage cold outreach (the right way)
Yes, I am all about inbound marketing, but sometime cold outreach and prospecting is just as effective, if done right.
When I say cold outreach I mean highly targeted cold outreach, not the spray and pray type of grind.
This will allow you to fully personalize your outreach message, which will yield drastically higher ROI.
Here is how you can do it.
First, figure out your exact target prospects.
- Company Type: Fortune 1,000
- Revenue: $1 Billion
- Employee: 30,000-45,000
- Position: CFO
Once you figured out what your target prospect look like, head to LinkedIn to do some lead research with their Advanced Lead Search.
After you input the criteria, it’s time to reach out and start prospecting.
But, before you send anything, you need to ignite a first touch point.
You can do this by enabling email notifications for your target prospects inn LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator to get notified whenever they post on LinkedIn. Then you can reply and engage with their LinkedIn updates.
After you do about two to three of these engagements, add them as a connection and send out your first LinkedIn direct message.
In your message, make sure you personalize it by mentioning one of their updates that you engaged with. This will yield a high response rate, because you are not just some random guy messaging out of no where.
In addition, you should follow up with a direct personalized email.
To find your prospects’ email addresses I recommend using VoilaNorber. In addition, you can save loads of time with the chrome plugin Gmass, which allows you to automate your personalized emailing and follow ups.
Your business should always be looking for improvements.
While your existing customer base can help you pay the bills, continuing to grow and expand your company can help put some extra change in your pockets.
While some lead generation strategies will cost you money, you can use some inexpensive and free options as well.
Consider looking for influencers with a big social following to promote your brand.
You’ll have to pay them, but it shouldn’t be too costly.
It’s a great way to expose your brand to a new audience.
Facebook advertisements are a top way to make sure the ads are targeted.
Your company won’t be seen by just any random person.
Instead, you can choose your custom audience for your ad.
If you’re on a tight budget and don’t want to spend any money, use the Twitter advanced search query to generate leads.
Narrow your search options, and engage with relevant users.
Blogging is another free way to generate leads.
Look for any opportunities to guest-post as well.
Don’t forget to focus on your value proposition.
And last buy not least, give outbound prospecting a try.
What are some effective lead generation strategies you have tried?