Top Lead Generation Strategies for Startups & Small Businesses

Let’s face it. Running a business is a lot of work.

You have to deal with long hours, sleepless nights and tight budgets. Tons of things that just suck the life out of you. Stress just keeps on building. But you’re cut out to be an entrepreneur and never give up.

You figure out that digital marketing is the next big thing, your ultimate chance to best the competition. So you launch a website, write several blog posts, and create social media accounts to share stuff. But for some reason it’s just not working.

Why?

Sergey Grybniak, a digital marketing expert and founder of clever-solution.com, knows the answer. He’s sure that owners of small businesses and startups make one very glaring mistake: They focus on driving visitors, not generating leads.

I am going to interview Sergey to find out more about the best lead generation strategies that bolster conversion rates and are guaranteed to shoot revenue through the roof.

Sergey, what’s the thing with lead generation?

Generating leads is the most important objective for every business owner. And you know why? Because leads mean money.

Let’s have a closer look at how businesses do digital marketing. They are obsessed with getting more visitors, and invest thousands of marketing dollars to drive traffic to their product pages.

While having lots of visitors is vital, it doesn’t make sense if a business lacks the tools to convert and close them. If owners just tried to capture leads, they would turn their marketing into an effective revenue generator. But what they actually do is more like using carpet bombing vs. laser-targeted missiles.

Businesses need money. So, let’s get to the point. What’s your first lead generation strategy?

This strategy is quite hard to master: Learn the mechanics of online lead generation.

Most business owners are bad at lead generation because they know nothing about it. Let’s do some learning together, shall we?

The lead generation process is based on four crucial elements: offer, CTA, landing page and form.

Your product or service is your offer. And your goal is to make it irresistible.

How? Rely on psychological tips and tricks. Use limited-time and limited-quantity offers to show your prospects that they may be missing out on a good offer. The law of scarcity will spur them on to convert.

You can rely on a tried-and-tested tribal effect as well. Convey a message that others love your product and reduce anxiety with social proof. Humans often copy each other – take advantage of it.

Your next element is call-to-action. Ensure that your CTA:

  • Stands out “above the fold”
  • Has a clear copy
  • Is linked to a dedicated landing page
  • Matches with the landing’s title

A landing page is your secret sauce. Use it wisely to reinforce the message about your product’s benefits.

How? Well, tweak and test relentlessly until you come up with:

  • A catchy title
  • A subtitle with the offer description
  • Up to five “value” bullet points
  • A visually appealing image
  • A clickable and noticeable CTA
  • User-friendly social buttons
  • A neat form to fill out

The final element is a conversion form. Test it well because users hate long, unfriendly forms. Minimize the number of fields to fill out.

When you master these four elements, your conversion rate will improve. And, moreover, you will have a clear picture of how your funnel with the sales prospects is actually doing.

This strategy isn’t a dark art but still rather complex. What about the second one?

Unfortunately, it’s not too simple either: Rely on multi-channel lead generation. You should promote your product using as many marketing channels as you can.

Blogging, email marketing, social media, organic search – every little thing matters.

Though it takes some time to learn how to capture leads with blog content, emails, social posts, or through organic search, it’ll help you get the right marketing mix to spur your business on.

And what can any business owner do right now? I mean, do you have any kind of a foolproof strategy?

Absolutely! And this one is just a piece of cake: Register on lead generation platforms.

There are dozens of platforms to drive free leads from. As a rule, these are digital marketplaces. Your goal is to find ones that fit the needs of your business.

If you lease cars, search for marketplaces that provide car leasing services (e.g. Carvoy, ZipCar). If you own more of a mixed-bag company, register on jack-of-all- trades marketplaces (e.g. Opporty). Want to make a bigger splash in the travel industry? Get your company noticed on Vericost or Rome2rio. It is a little more difficult than just submitting your company to some directory. You should be connected to information distribution networks. But once it is done you can get get a significant amount of orders absolutely for free.

There’s no shortage of examples.

And it’s not rocket science! Just find a marketplace, register, and bring in leads to your website. Anyone can do it.

Any final thoughts?

I’d like to sum it up. Basically, you have five strategies to generate leads:

  • Learn about online lead generation mechanics
  • Utilize multiple marketing channels
  • Register on lead generation platforms (marketplaces)
  • Build strategic partnerships
  • Hire a professional digital marketing agency

The first four depend on each other in a sense that they require hard work and constant fine tuning on your part. The fifth is a one-size-fits-all strategy.