RELATIONSHIPS! There is simply no substitute for relationships with members of the community and other local small business owners. Organic growth is sustainable, marketing campaigns typically are not - not to mention very costly.
With that being said, here are a few simple lead generation strategies for a small business with a small marketing budget:
- Local small businesses should have different approaches to capture data. One has to obtain the data, which is called data mining. Only then can one prepare a database and then churn it to crack sales. Let us explore some simple ways to generate leads. You can capture data from people who walk-in to your store. Just a phone number or email would be good enough. You can use online inquiries or calls to capture the required data. You can be at local events, circulate fliers or brochures and use newsletter subscription on your website and at the store or office to generate data. Remember, these are not leads but data. And you have to begin with a database to generate leads.
- One of the most effective lead generation strategies for any small business is a referral program. Employees can be incentivized to refer, customers can be offered rewards to refer and people who aren’t your customers but can refer should be offered some perks so they feel motivated to walk that extra mile. We often think of talking about a product or service with our friends or in our social circles but we forget. Having a few perks will keep people motivated to talk about the small business.
- Networking is the absolute key to exploring new avenues. Local small businesses find large networking events futile as there is little scope to grow the business into a massive scale. However, cross selling and networking with companies that have some shared interests would always benefit small businesses. A vendor that supplies essential items to businesses in a neighborhood can always tie up with another company or vendor that supplies other items. There can be an exchange of customers, leads or database so to speak.
- There’s no denying the importance of a strong social presence in today’s marketing world. Your brand absolutely needs to be present on major networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. B2C interactions have evolved from “you need this” (where the business drives the market) into “but we want this” (where consumers are king). Many purchasing decisions are made before customers ever step foot inside a store. Consumers expect to be heard, to have input and, more recently, to interact with the companies they do business with. Social media provides businesses with the platforms they need to have these interactions and foster more meaningful relationships. As social sites change, grow and multiply, it’s vital for businesses to try their hand at emerging networks. Did anyone believe that Snapchat would skyrocket to popularity the way it did? Most did not. And now it’s believed to be one of the most important up and-coming social marketing tools. What does this mean? The idea of “fringe” sites no longer exists, and instead, businesses need to be willing to try new things and spend time figuring out what new social networks work best for them. A realtor might have a lot of success using Instagram because of the visual elements of his or her job, but that might not hold true for a criminal defense lawyer. Every business matches up differently with various elements of social media, so try things out and find your own recipe for success.
Hope these tips added value to you! If so, I highly suggest you check out the following article: The Secret to Success for Main Street Small Businesses