EPISODE 127: MY FAVORITE LEAD GENERATION STRATEGIES FOR SMALL ONLINE BUSINESSES
On today’s episode, let’s talk about my favorite lead generation strategies for small online businesses. I have clients that range from huge multinational brands like Fonterra to small online businesses, and all of these clients came in from my lead generation strategies.
Without new leads coming into your online business, at some point you will run out of customers or clients.
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"Content marketing is where you create free, but valuable content that highlights your expertise. And it's something that all small online businesses can do right away."
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Topics Discussed In This Episode:
- The 2 main ways to generate leads - organic and paid.
- My favorite organic lead generation strategies
- Some paid lead generation strategies if you're looking for a faster approach to lead generation
Resources Discussed In This Episode:
Hey guys, this is Hack Your Online Business podcast episode number 127. I’m Chrystabelle, host of the podcast. On today’s episode, let’s talk about my favorite lead generation strategies for small online businesses. I have clients that range from huge multinational brands like Fonterra to small online businesses, and all of these clients came in from my lead generation strategies.
I run a small online business and one of my daily activities is generating leads for my business. Whether that’s spending time creating content for the podcast, or shooting a video for my YouTube channel, or connecting with someone new and exploring a business partnership - every single day, I spend time on lead generating strategies and activities.
And the reason why I place so much importance on lead generation and helping my clients with lead generation is because without new leads coming into your online business, at some point you will run out of customers or clients.
So there is an important need to have an evergreen lead generation system that includes strategies to consistently bring in new audiences and new leads for your business.
Before I dive into my favorite lead generating strategies for small online businesses, if you want to learn how to build a large email list and audience from scratch, I have a free list building guide with the 7 stages of list building. Go to the website https://www.hackyouronlinebusiness.com/listbuildingguide/ to download the free list building guide.
Now if you want to learn more about online business and online marketing, then I encourage you to subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify or anywhere you tune in from. Even better, leave a quick review for the podcast on Apple Podcast, and if you do, take a screenshot, and then tag me on Instagram @hackyouronlinebusiness.
So I like to break down lead generation strategies into 2 main ways: the organic way and the paid way. The organic way is the free way to get leads and the paid way is when you exchange money to generate leads.
Let’s talk about the organic lead generation strategies first. The first organic lead generation strategy that I do is content marketing, which is creating free but valuable content consistently online.
Ever since I started my first online business, I have been creating content online, week in week out without fail. I have been creating audio content, videos, blog articles, social media posts, free courses, and so on.
Content marketing where you create free but valuable content that highlights your expertise is something that all small online businesses can do right away.
There are many platforms that you can create content on, from YouTube to podcast to Facebook to LinkedIn to Twitter to blogging. The key is to pick one or two channels to focus on first so you don’t feel overwhelmed like you’re working all the time, test the channel out and see if it brings you a positive ROI.
So say for example, you believe that Instagram could be a great place to find your audience and generate leads. What I’ll recommend is test that out, create an Instagram presence and start posting valuable content that your audience will find engaging or entertaining or educational, and keep track if you are getting actual leads from Instagram.
So for me, I had an idea that I could find my ideal paying customers through podcasts. I had the idea that this would be one of the best way to reach my target audience and generate leads from it because I know that a lot of entrepreneurs consume podcasts on a daily basis.
So I took that hypothesis and created this podcast, Hack Your Online Business podcast back in December 2018. And 127 episodes later, I have gotten not just leads from this podcast, but also clients and customers. That proved to me that this is a channel worth continuing to create content for.
In comparison, I also created a free Facebook group around the same time. A lot of people have had success with Facebook groups, I’m just not one of them. Because it was just my commitment to it or the theme of my Facebook group, but I didn’t get to see the success that warrants my time creating content for it, so I shut it down.
This is the approach you want to take when you’re exploring different channels for lead generation. If you think that LinkedIn is a great lead generating channel for your business, test it out, be on that platform consistently, creating content consistently for a period of time, and see if it makes you happy and if it brings in new leads.
The second organic lead generation strategy that I do is focusing on SEO, or search engine optimization. That means when someone is searching for something related to what you do or what you sell, you want that person to find your website or your content as one of the top few searches on Google or Bing or Yahoo.
SEO is more technical than content marketing, but if you get your website and your content optimized for search, then you could potentially start generating leads automatically every single day and capture a slice of the 3 billion daily Google searches.
One of the best ways to make sure that your website and your content is search optimized is to include the keywords or phrases that you want to be ranked for. You’ll want to make sure that you create quality content around that keyword or phrases.
If you don’t know what keywords or phrases to rank for or to include in your website or content, there are several tools out there that share what people are searching for.
A free tool that you can use is answerthepublic.com. All you need to do is to enter a keyword and it cranks out every useful phrase and question people are asking around your keyword.
This is a goldmine of consumer insight you can use to create fresh, ultra-useful content, products and services that your target market actually want. I use answerthepublic whenever I’m doing a brainstorm of content ideas around a particular topic.
A paid tool that you can check out is called Ubersuggest, which is a free tool created by Neil Patel that allows you to reverse engineer your competitors’ SEO, content marketing, and social media marketing strategy.
The third organic lead generation strategy that I do is partnerships. I do a lot of partnerships and collaborations for Chrys Media and Hack Your Online Business.
The way partnerships work is very different from content marketing and SEO. For partnerships to work, you need to start with strategically selecting the right brands or people to partner with or to collaborate with.
The idea of using partnerships as a lead generation strategy is to tap into their audience. Especially when you’re a small business, a strategic partnership can open up doors to a huge market without needing to spend lots of time and money.
So the brands and people that I partner with have access to online business owners. If someone approaches me to do a collaboration or an interview for their audience or any joint venture collaboration, I first look at who they target and if their audience is the audience that I am looking for. If not, I turn down the opportunity.
The fourth organic lead generation strategy that I do is getting earned attention. That’s PR, and it involves actively promoting yourself to publications and journalists and podcasts and so on.
Once you get the chance to be in an interview or be featured in a magazine or an article, you always want to have a call to action ready. That’s the link that they are going to link to from their website or article or interview, so make sure that it links to somewhere where you can capture their data.
So whenever I’m on a podcast or a livestream interview, I always have a URL to a lead magnet ready, and I’ll let the audience know that they can go download the lead magnet afterwards. That way, I’m using this as a lead generation strategy.
Now let’s move onto paid lead generation. For the most part, when it comes to paid lead generation, it involves running paid ads.
You can run paid ads on a variety of platforms - from different social media channels to forum websites to sponsored banner ads on websites.
It’s about advertising where your audience is hanging out online, and so there isn’t one recommended website or social media platform for paid ads.
Besides paid ads, other paid lead generation strategies include event sponsorships or product placements. I won’t go into them, but the key with such sponsorships is making sure that the event that you’re planning on sponsoring has the target market that you’re trying to reach.
As a small online business, they might not be the best way to generate leads, so do your homework before you jump into such strategies.
So those are my favorite lead generation strategies for small online businesses. A lot of how I generate leads is based on organic lead generation strategies. It’s slower than paid lead generation, but it can become an evergreen lead generation machine that brings in leads even after you stop pouring money into it.
Now, don’t forget if you want to learn how to build a large email list and audience from scratch, I have a free list building guide with the 7 stages of list building. Go to the website https://www.hackyouronlinebusiness.com/listbuildingguide/ to download the free list building guide.
So I hope you find this episode very useful. Now don’t forget to subscribe to this podcast so that you don’t miss my weekly Monday and Thursday episodes.
Lastly, go connect with me on Instagram. I’ll love to get to know you and your online business. You can find me on Instagram at @hackyouronlinebusiness, send me a DM and tell me you listened to this episode.
Thanks for tuning in guys, I’ll catch you in the next episode.
Thanks For Listening, My Friend!
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