Online Lead Generation Basics for Small Business Owners

The web offers excellent opportunities for marketing and promotion, but the competition is fierce. How can you generate leads in such a competitive environment with little or no previous experience? Let’s start with the basics first. Discover the 3 steps which you need to take and how to do this properly.

1. Content Is Key

The big question is how to attract visitors to your website and make them willing to seek further interaction with your business. You have most probably guessed to answer: high-quality content which is optimized for the search engines.

What kind of content? The content for lead generation should be designed to target prospective customers who are at the first two phases of the buying cycle and possibly in the third one. This means that your content should be focused on creating a necessity for your product (phase 1), on educating consumers about it (phase 2) and on helping them compare different options (phase 3).

What type of content is best? Articles and blog posts are still fundamental for online lead generation. However, you will also benefit from using high-quality video. Tests have shown that it can lead to an increase of over 30% in signups. Photos are important, especially if you are presenting a physical product.

Don’t forget to use the social media for promoting your content. Cover the major ones, Facebook and Twitter, and ones which are popular with your target audience.

2. An Irresistible Offer

The goal is simple – to make them an offer they cannot refuse. There are various options, depending on the type of product or service which you offer. These include free gifts, access to valuable content, free trials and discounts.

Study your target market well to get a precise idea of what makes them click. You can also check what your competitors are doing and try to beat their offer. It pays off to use psychological triggers such as a limited time offer which helps you create a sense of urgency.

Devote a sufficient amount of time to creating your call to action. Use attractive keywords and make them big. Make sure that the CTA stands out among the rest of the content on your website.

3. Signup with No Hassle

Ask for less and you will get more. This is the rule of thumb to follow when creating signup forms for online lead generation. In most cases, a name and an email should be perfectly sufficient for the purposes of a small business. If you want more information, you can get it once you establish a more personal contact with the prospect. If the signup form is used for creating an account on your website, it is best to make the sign-in with an email and password. By eliminating the step necessary for creating a username, you will reduce the rate of abandonment even further.

Another essential thing is to avoid giving users multiple options when they are about to sign up. This can lead to confusion and will increase the risk of them leaving. Make things straightforward.

Generating leads online requires hard work and dedication. Get started now.

7 Things Successful Small Business Owners Do

If you’re stuck wondering how to be a successful small business owner, know this: running a small business often simply means making good use of successful small business ideas. Successful small business owners face many ups and downs throughout their work. They know that small business ideas cannot turn out successful unless they use the proper approach and strategies.

If you want to be one of the few successful small business owners, remember that having a good strategy is crucial. Without the right strategy and a proper approach, you are not likely to achieve your goal.

Some small business owners manage to overcome their everyday challenges, while others seem to give up after a while. So, let’s find out what successful small business owners do differently from the unsuccessful ones. Let’s turn their experience into your success through your small business ideas.

1. MAKE ANNUAL REVISIONS OF YOUR BUSINESS PLAN AND BUDGET

Every business goes through changes every now and then, including your small business. For this reason, your business plan and budget should be somewhat flexible to bear such changes along with your business goals. Without revising your business plan and budget, you shouldn’t expect your business to flourish and expand.

The flexibility of your business plan will help you avoid and overcome the eventual unpleasant surprises on the market. Also, such flexibility will give you some time to adjust to certain changes you may experience on your way.

Every business experiences both success and failure points each year. In order to detect and estimate these points, you should revise your budget and business plan every year. While revising, you should check if you are still going in the right direction. If not, you may need to make some changes and adjustments to achieve better results in the upcoming period.

Successful small business owners don’t hesitate to reallocate funds, if that is what it takes to achieve success. In order to increase profits, after they conduct a business revision, smart business owners define and implement the necessary changes immediately.

2. UPDATE YOUR OFFER AND ADD VALUE TO IT

People change, as do their needs and habits. As soon as you notice that you aren’t selling as much as you used to sell before, it is time to make changes. If people aren’t purchasing what you currently have to offer, that’s a clear hint that something needs to be done.

A simple price cut may be the first thing that comes to your mind. As much as lower prices may seem more appealing to your customers, they also point to a devaluation of what you offer. Devaluation of your products or services is never a good thing, so try doing just the opposite – add value to your offers.

The best way to update and add value to your products and services is by developing new offers. If possible, try to offer something completely new to your customers. You could offer product bundles, training programs and workshops, and so on.

3. DARE TO BE DIFFERENT

Most successful small business owners believe in daring to be different. They know their target consumers. Trying to target everyone and anyone as a consumer will get you nowhere fast. Instead of trying to make products for the masses, focus on a clearly targeted community and grow with it. Once you target your consumers, it is easy to understand their needs.

Understanding your consumers is the secret to a successful business. When you know their needs, you can modify your products and services in order to satisfy them. Satisfied consumers will not only become your regulars, but they will also spread the word about what you offer. This may become the best marketing strategy for your business.

Spreading the word about your products or services is called a referral marketing strategy. It’s been proven that most of the faster growing small businesses turn to this kind of marketing rather than relying on traditional advertising.

4. KNOW YOUR COMPETITION

Successful small business owners know their competition. They know that keeping an eye on the competitors and understanding their policy and pricing is crucial to the business. It is wise to consider your direct competitors in your area, as well as indirect competitors.

A direct competitor offers the same primary services to the same target group as you, and they are easy to follow on the market. However, an indirect competitor company offers the same or similar products as a segment of a wider product or service offering.

In some cases, the indirect competitor may offer a product that is an applicable substitute for the original product. Successful small business owners know how to position their company against the indirect competitors. They take both types of competing companies seriously and they account for them in their annual business plan.

5. HIRE THE RIGHT PEOPLE

Even though hiring the right people for your business sounds obvious, it can be a really tough job for small business owners. Also, not hiring the right people could be a huge downfall for a small company. People who don’t share the concept of your business approach and goals are not the type of people you want to engage in your business.

Candidates who don’t have the right temperament, skills, or talent for the job position that you offer can be too pricey for your company. Having the right people in the right job positions can make your company outstanding. Exceptional companies recruit exceptional people.

6. ACCEPT TECHNOLOGY CHANGES

Technology changes on a regular basis nowadays. Successful business owners are very well aware of that, so they change accordingly. Doing things the way they were done years ago will not provide the same success nowadays.

Accepting technological improvements can help your company become more effective and efficient. Keep yourself informed about the latest in new technology, and the improved solutions it brings. Choose the most appropriate ones for your business and adopt them. Your customers will be grateful and you’ll experience great benefits.

7. TRUST YOUR INTUITION

If you believe your intuition has been serving you well so far, listen to your inner voice carefully. Your instincts can lead you a long way. If you still feel strongly about something, regardless of the lack of facts or data – act on it. What seems right for other businesses doesn’t necessarily mean that it will work for you as well.

Relying on intuition is often the first step out of your comfort zone, and the first step towards becoming a leading company on the market. While you watch your business grow and spread, remember that having faith in yourself and the business you are running is crucial. Being aware of your inner voice can lead you to making business decisions with more confidence and a greater success rate.

Why DRLG Is The Most Powerful Form Of Small Business Advertising

There’s certainly no shortage of small business advertising opportunities available to entrepreneurs.

Sadly, most are woefully ineffective when it comes to truly bringing the small business a positive return on investment.

The reason:

Most small businesses use a common form of advertising commonly referred to as institutional or brand advertising.

You know what this is…

It’s when a business attempts to “brand” their name in the minds of prospective customers similar to the way big Fortune 500 companies do.

Unfortunately, this approach to advertising requires lots of advertising capital – something most small businesses don’t have – and lots of time to actually, if ever, achieve top of the mind awareness.

As well, brand style advertising isn’t trackable and doesn’t generate immediate results – something almost every small business requires when investing capital in advertising and marketing.

This is why two-step advertising, commonly referred to as direct response lead generation (DRLG) advertising, is the best choice for smaller businesses when it comes to generating new customers, clients or patients.

For clarification purposes, DRLG is focused on generating an immediate response from recipients in the form of generating a lead.

Meaning: the primary goal of DRLG is to generate a qualified lead.

Once the lead is generated, it gives the small business the opportunity to plug that lead into a follow-up contact system (like an email autoresponder). This is an incredibly valuable aspect of DRLG because as most entrepreneurs intrinsically know… the fortune in advertising and marketing is in the follow-up.

For example:

When a chiropractor uses DRLG as their primary chiropractic advertising approach, they will convert more prospects into patients from the follow-up contacts than they will from the first marketing contact (or initial contact point).

But, the ability to follow-up with leads is really just the beginning of what makes DRLG so powerful and effective for small businesses.

The next huge benefit is that because DRLG asks for an immediate response – generating the lead – it is easily trackable. This provides small business entrepreneurs with the ability to hold every dollar they invest in advertising accountable for a positive return on their investment.

Next, when DRLG is done properly, it also gives the entrepreneur the opportunity to segment leads into specific follow-up sequences. This increases conversions because it allows the entrepreneur to deliver highly-compelling, targeted follow-up messages to leads.

Again, let’s take the chiropractor.

A DRLG chiropractic advertising campaign could include several different follow-up sequences for different types of leads (i.e. back pain, accident recovery, general health, etc.). And, anytime you a small business narrows their focus when marketing, they’re better able to craft a more compelling message that resonates with prospects.

Lastly, because DRLG advertising always include a lead generation offer – offer being the key word – it generates an immediate response. Meaning: when it’s done properly, it brings in money right away.

Overall, compared with brand or institutional advertising, DRLG brings so many exciting (and profitable) benefits to the mom-and-pop entrepreneur, without the huge outlay of capital or the time requirement. It really should be a no-brainer for the small business entrepreneur. Try it for yourself and see.