Lead Generation for Small Business Owners – Part 1 of 5

Do you have a strategy for generating leads? You do realize that without leads you will not have new customers. Attracting and generating leads is a necessary component in growing your business. The lead attraction process is not overly complicated.

In order to generate leads for your small business you must have a lead attraction strategy. There are five primary steps needed when designing your lead attraction strategy.

1. Be visible – you must promote your business. When you send an email your email tagline should contain your business information and a call to action that directs the reader to your website, social media sites, or blog. An email auto-responder or the resource box on your articles or press releases will also generate leads for your business. Your business information must be visible and contain a call to action directing traffic to your website or squeeze page.

2. Offer or Give away – people love free. You will want to offer a free eBook, tip sheet, special report or a coupon on your blog, website or squeeze page. A squeeze page is the preferred method. You do not want your lead to get distracted by clicking on other buttons and then navigate away from your offer. Your goal with your squeeze page and offer is to capture his or her information.

3. Contact information – when your lead clicks to download your free item or makes a small purchase you will want to collect his or her contact information. At a minimum you will want his or her email address. If you are able to capture a phone number or mailing address you will be able to follow up using various methods.

4. Follow up – you must have a strategy for following up with people that receive your free report. You will want to send another report or your newsletter. If your lead purchased something you may want to follow up with a phone call or send him or her something in the mail as a thank you.

5. Continue to follow up – you will want to continue to build rapport with your leads. This can be done using your ezine, print newsletter, or via social media. Do not SPAM their email account with emails. Remember, to follow FTC guidelines. You must follow up after the initial contact. You must make time to establish rapport and build the relationship.

Lead attraction and lead generation are necessary steps in growing your small business. Today, you have many free resources at your disposal to aid in growing your business. When you capture your leads contact information and follow up without spamming you will continue to grow your business.

This article is the first of five and is an overview of the lead attraction and lead generating process. Please read the remaining articles in the series for more specific steps to designing your lead attraction and lead generating system.

Social Media for Small Businesses

Social media has become an integral part of our day-to-day lives. Businesses of all size and shapes have started making the most of available mediums. Today we will try to anatomize tips on social media for small businesses. There are a plethora of small businesses eyeing social medium to promote their business/services. However, majorly these small businesses are failing or not being able to make optimum use of social media for their business growth. There are many theories and strategies on how to effectively use social media for established brands, but the topic social media for small businesses is seldom addressed. According to Digital state of eMarketing India 2017 Octane Research:

60% small businesses promote their business on social media. 50% focus on SEO and 35% use multichannel marketing funnel.
70% small businesses consider content strategy as their primary marketing activity.
52% business owners are using social media as to efficiently address customer engagement.
More than 20% of business owners said that they are making 50% plus profit using social media.

The primary reasons for the low turnout are uncertainty on an application of social media, calculating return on investment and persuade employees/stakeholders to clinch social media. Hence it is important to address the elephant in the room and analyze how beneficial is Social media for small businesses.

Social media for small businesses is a great way for emerging businesses to generate lead and build a reputation. If regularly updated, social media can deliver more results as compared to traditional mediums. Social media for small businesses gives brands an edge of control over the content that they want to post. Also, since social media is a two-way dialogue process, it helps businesses to instantly identify what is benefitting them. Social media for small businesses also helps generate Word of Mouth, which is one of the best tools for emerging businesses.

Social Media for small businesses | 10 Tips to effectively use Social Media

Define your Target Audience
The first and foremost important part that small businesses should focus on is to define their target audience. This helps small businesses to device their social media strategy accordingly. The target audience should be defined basis age group, sex, location, users’ online behaviors, their likes, interests, and preferences. For niche products, business owners can even target users based on their birthdays, anniversaries and important milestone. Audience targeting plays a very crucial role in the outcome of the results. For e.g.: a local shop selling footwear should not target users with interest in entertainment. The shop definitely won’t get the desired results.

Set achievable goals
Overnight success is a myth. Small businesses must understand this basic fact. Generally, when a new business starts selling on social media, there is palpable excitement is achieving more than set targeted sales. Businesses need to set goals which are upwards and forward. To achieve enormous goals, small businesses start updating social feed with multiple updates in shorter duration. This leads to user’s disinterest in the product/service. The set goals should be in sync with brand’s core capabilities and expertise. For e.g.: if a business is into selling shoes, they shouldn’t set a goal to repair maximum shoes in their area.

Choose the right medium
By now everyone knows, social media is for free. Even paid campaigns can be conducted at a relatively low cost as compared to traditional mediums. It is in this scenario, that we often see small businesses jumping the bandwagon and creating profiles on all the available platforms. Creating social profile doesn’t hamper brand image, but aggressively promoting a brand on wrong platforms can lead to brand losing its potential customers. Hence it is advisable for SME’s to first identify the right platform through which they can maximize their business. For e.g.: If a shoe selling brand tries to aggressively sell on LinkedIn, they won’t get a plausible response as compared to promotions on Facebook/Instagram.

Promote your core product/services
Since each and every business is riding in the social media wave, it is important for a them to promote their core product/services. Nowadays, we see a lot of businesses promoting their services as well as promoting peripheral products/services, which revolves around their core product/services. Majority of the times, this SME’s doesn’t have capabilities to fulfill a requirement, which can lead to a bad word of mouth for their business on social media platforms. Let us go back to our example; if a shoe seller is trying to aggressively promote socks instead of shoes, it is not going to benefit the business in the long run.

Create quality content
Now that we have covered the topics of identifying the target audience, setting achievable goals, choosing the right medium and promoting the right product/services let us now take a look at the type of content a business should promote on their social pages. A business should always focus on creating good quality content rather than not-good quantity content. Even if the business updates their page once in a day as long as it is relevant to their business, advocates about its core products send across a clear message it is considered as a good quality content. Antagonistically, if a business posts multiple updates which aren’t even relevant to the business’s products and services leads to users considering the business as fake/spam. Also, new businesses should try and refrain from promoting other businesses on their social platforms initially.

Create a content calendar
Making a small business successful on social platforms is no small task. It takes a lot of efforts for the businesses to keep up their conversion ratio. One such effort is to create a content calendar. Small businesses must anticipate important events and create a content calendar accordingly. Ideally, a content calendar must be planned a month in advance but an even weekly content calendar is highly recommended. This helps businesses to avoid any last minute hassles, strategize much more effectively and it also helps in creating curiosity amongst its loyal fans/customers.

Test and re-test
Social media is highly unpredictable. The content a business posts today, might not work for tomorrow. Hence, small businesses must always test their content before publishing it on their pages. Testing content also applies to the platform a small business chooses to promote. Small business owners must always don the consumer’s hat before posting about any product feature, updates, schemes or offers. A consumer’s perspective is the key when testing the content that has to be uploaded.

Look for inspiration
Small businesses must always look for inspiration from a competitor who is successful in the same category. Copy pasting competitors idea or content is not the answer. Small businesses must look for the kind of content its competitors are putting up and derive their own strategies subsequently. Inspiring content/stories always make a business to strive to create their own content that is appreciated by one and all. It helps in increasing brand consideration, brand visibility thereby increasing conversions for the business.

Calculate ROI
Even a small promotional budget is not justifiable if there is no mechanism to calculate its return on investment. It is more important in case of small businesses. It is very important for a small business to keep a tab on the budgets allocated to any promotions and the subsequent ROI related to it. If a certain promotion is not doing well or the business is not getting desired results, the brand custodian can always look for other platforms to generate quality conversions.

Analyze and Re-strategize
There can be umpteen instances where a particular campaign/promotion might not work for a business. That doesn’t mean that the promotion is wrong or the product/service is not good. Doing an analysis of the campaign is as important as setting the objective. This helps the business to formulate their upcoming strategies in more effective ways. At the end of every campaign, brands must note down the learning’s from that campaign and identify if the content/idea was appreciated by their fans or not. This helps businesses to skip the non-performing updates from future communications.

Final Thoughts
Social media for small businesses is definitely beneficial and fruitful. If followed correctly, small businesses can benefit tremendously from the power of social media promotions.

7 Facebook For Small Business Barriers To Overcome for Endless Fresh Leads

Utilizing Facebook for small business as an awareness builder and lead generation tool has had lots of barriers. Identifying the specific issues is key to choosing a successful approach that will overcome each of them.

Which of these four initial barriers have prevented you from fully pursuing making a business Facebook page an integral part of your marketing approach?

  1. Too busy – who has the time to figure out how social media for small business can really produce the results you need?
  2. Not sure what is the right content.
  3. Too soft. Can’t measure ROI.
  4. Too expensive to hire a social media expert.

Here’s why it is time Facebook apps for business deserves a second look.

Face the Facts

Did you know?…

There are now over 125 billion total connections on Facebook.

$100 billion near the initial Facebook IPO market valuation.

With this staggering potential and value recognition, it’s time for making a social media for small business part of your wining marketing strategy.

More why a Facebook for small business marketing approach is so compelling:

The average user spends 57 minutes a day.

The coveted demographic group, 18 – 34 year olds, spends more time on Facebook than TV and print, combined.

People are four times more likely to make a purchase on a recommendation from a trusted Facebook friend.

Facebook is nearing 1 billion registered users globally, with 185 million currently in the U.S..

Any organization can get a free Facebook page giving you access to an explosive viral audience.

Avoid Joining Fools Who Rush In

Avoid a common pitfall when designing your Facebook for small business content. Begin by knowing your audience and why they are there to make the right connections.

Where Google attracts knowledge seekers, Facebook attracts those interested in people and fun.

In making a business Facebook page succeed it’s vital to understand how to appropriately engage with your audience.

As a very successful mentor I know says, always remember that social media is just one big party. It’s where you go to meet people and build relationships.

When you go to your neighborhood block party do you ask yourself, I’m going to try to make five sales tonight? I hope not.

Would you dominate a social gathering in your neighborhood by talking endlessly about your work? If you did you would probably be labeled a social moron.

Instead, you go with the attitude of sharing laughs with old friends and making new ones. Social media is the same thing.

One of the best ways to succeed with social media is to think relationships before results.

In the same way making a business Facebook page is a place for relational connections and to not to always lead with work related topics.

The Biggest Challenge and Opportunity

How then do you engage people with Facebook for small business?

First, it’s important to know what NOT to do to when making a business Facebook page. Here are the final 3 barriers to overcome that are primarily inherent with the Facebook platform.

  1. Poor layout – Spacing, color choices, wrong or missing images
  2. Lack of fresh and compelling content
  3. Managing Facebook Funk. With Facebook’s continual programming changes in format and function how can an already stretched owner keep up making a business Facebook page succeed?

Overcoming these seven common barriers is a sure way to start generating more awareness and leads with social media than you ever thought possible. Begin with the biggest social media tool of them all. Succeeding with Facebook for small business has enormous potential for increasing new leads to help your business grow.

Small Business Needs Massive Traffic: Getting Leads for Your Home-Based Business

There are many people, looking to generate more income in today’s market who are turning to a home-based or small online business in order to reach their desired level of success. More and more people are finding that this is the ideal solution to getting the income they need in a market where making a suitable income in a traditional job setting is harder than ever. This has lead to a whole new generation of entrepreneurs and ones who are helping to change the way today’s job market operates entirely.

However for the entrepreneurs of these small businesses; it is important that they know what to do to help not only get their company off the group but to get their small business to find the growth and success they are looking for. If you are one of these individuals you will find that even with a small business on your hands, even the smaller businesses need massive traffic. This is important in order to find success and in order to make sure they are getting enough visitors to their website so that some of these visitors will actually have a legitimate need for the products and services being offered.

It is important that customers, leads or prospects are able to find the website or the central hub for your small business in order for you, the entrepreneur to make money. The great news is for small businesses to get massive traffic, many times a lot of upfront money is actually not required.There are a number of companies that will help you set up a business and will help you with the most important part of that company; generating traffic and getting business leads that will lead to income.

For the many people interested in earning money from their own business who have heard that they can ‘make money in their sleep’ this is how they will be able to do it. When you turn to a professional company that will help not only in establishing your home based company but helping you drive traffic to that website so that you can find success, you have a much better chance of earning the type of income that you are looking for.

There are all different types of ways to generate sustainable traffic to your website between search engine marketing, affiliate programs, pay-per-click and more; all of which can be overwhelming for any small business owner to navigate on their own. This is why turning to the help of a professional who will work to get that traffic needed from a proven system is always the smart decision for those looking to take their small business to the next level.