Lead generation is so much more than advertising, and yet advertising is one of the few lead generation tools that small businesses typically limit themselves to. Advertising worked in the old days and it’s not cheap so it must work, right? Well yes, and no. Advertising has its place and a great looking ad with carefully crafted copy in the right place should get results, but it can also be expensive and ineffective. In order for an ad to work it must be seen by someone looking to buy at the time they see the ad which according to Chet Holmes is just 3% or people at any one time.
You could argue that advertising is for branding and exposure, to get your name out there. For the giants like Coke it’s part of a much bigger plan to connect you with the feelings you experience when sharing the product. But, it is most likely you don’t have the budget to achieve this and accordingly you need alternatives.
With the transition to digital media about half of all businesses have invested in websites with some very mixed results. Online, your competition is extreme. At the touch of a button your prospect has a list of competitors and their offerings and only 10 of you will ever feature on page one of Google.
Now this does not mean you shouldn't have a website. In fact, most people shop for what they are looking for online before buying a product or service making it extremely important piece of real estate. Just like a traditional store must advertise its open to attract customers you must promote your website to attract visitors so while your website can be a lead capturing mechanism it alone is not a lead generation strategy.
And then there is the social media craze where people are more connected than ever without actually saying a word. Many business owners jump on board the facebook bandwagon because that is where everyone is without having any real objectives or even an understanding of what makes it work.
They invest time and money in this seemingly disconnected space to promote their products and services but fail to generate any traction because they have forgotten the all important aspects of relationship and adding value.
If you have made it this far then you probably think that lead generation is a whole lot of hard work for a minimal result, and your right. But it doesn’t have to be. Effective lead generation is about objective and strategy and when you play the bigger game with these in mind you are almost certain to multiply your results.
With every marketing opportunity you must ask yourself two questions: What am I trying to achieve? And, Is this the right media to get my message to that market?
While advertising is about getting a buyer to take action and buy, lead generation is about having your prospect engage in some way so that you can nurture them into a client. It’s about expanding your market beyond the 3% that are ready to buy to include the other 67% that are either open to it, not thinking about it, or have no idea about your products or services.
To achieve this you need to be clear about how you will nurture them and therefore what your are trying to achieve from your lead generation process. What is it you want your prospect to do? Visit your store, opt-in through your website, attend an event or something else.
Then simply make it easy for your prospect. Have a clear call to action that tells them exactly what you want them to do, and what the benefits of doing so will be.
When you stop making the mistake of blurring lead generation and sales, and simplify the process into individual steps with their own objectives you will be able to employ strategies for lead generation, nurturing, conversion and sales that work time and time again without all the stress and cost.
If you need any help with lead generation get in contact with Shannon Daniels from Emanation and make sure you come to the next Business Accelerator workshop. Details are at www.PerthBusinessEvent.com