How to Generate Sales Leads for Your Small Business

Most small businesses are constantly looking for new ways to grow their customer base. And that can be a long and time-consuming process, especially in the beginning. But in the long run, it’s efforts like these that make the most difference. And it’s important to remember that it’s an ongoing process.

If you want your business to be successful in the long term, you’ll always be marketing in one way or another. Read on for a few tips to get you started.

Identifying your audience

The first thing you need to do before you ever print that first flyer or post your first tweet is to identify your audience. In marketing, you might hear this called your “target market” or “target audience”. And it’s simply a term that refers to the people most likely to buy your product or service.

There are several ways to identify your audience, but most of the time, it just requires a little common sense. For example, if you run a children’s clothing store, your market will be moms with small children. Of course, it isn’t necessarily always that easy; you might run a business where you need to narrow your focus down to determine your ideal audience.

An accounting firm might, for instance, need to choose a niche for themselves in order to successfully find business leads in the beginning. They might choose to target only farmers, doctors, or small businesses, to name a few. And this would give them a good idea of how to structure their marketing campaign.

Collecting emails

Contrary to what some may believe, email marketing is definitely not dead. The majority of internet users still check their email at least once per day. And they’ll have the same address for possibly their whole lives. Both of these factors make it a relevant marketing tool. And there are a couple of ways to collect these email addresses.

First, you can and should be collecting email addresses on your website. You should have some sort of opt-in form that allows them to give you their information in exchange for something free. Depending on what your business is, this could be a digital coupon, recipe, e-book, or other type of printable.

You can also collect emails through social media. Facebook in particular has made it possible to include an opt-in form in your header. But you can also direct people to your website by posting a link to it on all your active platforms.

Engaging with your community

If you own a brick and mortar business, it’s especially important for you to get active in your community. One of the ways you can do this is by joining social service groups like the Lions Club or Rotary Club. You can even ask to be placed on the program so you can speak to the group about your company.

It’s also a good idea to show some goodwill by attending events planned by other local businesses, or by pitching in for public city events. You can usually get involved by joining your local chamber of commerce and keeping up with the local calendar.

Using social media

Once you’ve identified your target market, you can now successfully engage with them on social media. Your social media campaign should include posting original content as well as curating relevant content from other companies. It should also include actively participating in conversations with other people and brands.

It’s also important to choose the platform(s) you’ll use based on your target audience. Facebook is still the most widely-used social media platform for most adults. But Twitter and Instagram are more popular with young adults under 30. That doesn’t mean you have to steer clear of certain platforms. It just means your efforts will be better spent using the right one for you.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.