We have discussed many aspects concerning lead generation strategies for small- and medium-sized companies. But many of these strategies are not feasible for startups. New entrepreneurs have neither the finances nor the time to channel exclusively to this type of marketing strategy, while figuring out how to make their business take off.
There are so many things a beginner entrepreneur must do, so many roles they have to fill and the day still has 24 hours, not one minute more. But lead generation is so crucial for a newly incorporated business – it represents the first wave of loyal customers to count on before you build more awareness and reach out for more prospects.
So, what is the best strategy to apply when time and money are short? The best way is to integrate lead generation with your overall marketing and awareness building campaigns. It means that everything you do – on your website, on the social media and in your direct interactions with prospect – should include the thought that you must attract and nurture a lead.
Here are the first things to start with and work on as your startup is growing:
- Diversify and Enrich Opt-Ins
Opt-ins are the best way to gather leads – that is, people willing to give you their email address and accept communications from you. Even if they have never heard of your business before, people are willing to fill in opt-in forms if they believe that they will get something valuable and useful in exchange.
Opt-ins should be especially attractive and carefully selected in the initial startup of your business. Offer a valuable eBook or other download, access to interesting articles, tools and resources which your prospects need to solve some of their problems.
- Trim Down Opt-in Forms
Since we are discussing opt-ins, pay close attention to how much information you ask from your potential leads. Initially, their name and email address should be enough. Do not become greedy and ask for more because they will likely leave the form without filling it in and sending it. Put yourself in their shoes: they know nothing about your business, they cannot get a trusted referral or review from their friends, yet you are asking them to give you lots of personal information. Would you give it willingly if you were in their position?
- Build Your Social Media Presence
Any startup needs to go from “who are they?” to “oh, it’s them!” in a short time if it wants to gain qualified leads and convert them into customers. There is one simple and 100% effective way to do it: take the social media by storm. Set up your accounts and start sharing interesting, entertaining and helpful posts, and people will get to know you and share your content to their friends.
In this way, when people get on your website, they are no longer total strangers but prospects who have an idea about what you do and are willing to be convinced that you are the right choice to solve their problems and needs.
- Craft Your Offers Carefully
The initial offers you make on the social media will not make your fortune, but they will attract the right kind of customers if you prepare them carefully, with a balanced mix between incentives and premium products. These offers should be similar to trial periods for software, to give a parallel. Do not promote your most expensive products, but those which represent the core of your business and have an affordable price in the eyes of people who never heard about them.
- Understand and Apply the Principles of Remarketing
Once you’ve got your first clients…get them again. And again. A customer who made a purchase is not to be forgotten about. Continue to promote your products and services to them, encourage them to refer their friends and to recommend your products if they liked them, and invite them to try complementary products to their initial purchase.