How are you generating leads for your business? Finding leads is one of the most challenging aspects of starting up a new business. In fact, in a recent survey, over 60% of marketers say they struggle with lead generation. And if you’re like most business owners, then you’re probably wondering how to generate sales leads through social media.
But that’s the problem. We’re led to believe that creating great content is the best way to generate leads.
However, this isn’t necessarily true, especially for new businesses, where the budget is tight and human resources are limited.
So, as a small business, what can you do instead?
While there’s no exact formula for generating sales leads, there are a few other things you can do (aside from content marketing) that will help you gather enough leads for your new business.
In this post, I’ll share with you:
- The reasons why I don’t recommend content marketing for new businesses;
- A few lead generation alternatives to content marketing; and
- The exact strategy you could use today to start generating leads for your new business.
Are you ready to take action?
Let’s dive in!
Why Creating Content is the Worst Way to Generate Leads (As a New Business Owner)
I know what you’re thinking. “If content marketing is so effective, then why doesn’t everyone do it?”
Well, let me tell you something about content marketing.
Content marketing is powerful. It helps you build authority and credibility. But to make content marketing work, you need to consider the following:
1. Clarity is the number one prerequisite to content marketing.
Before you can dabble into marketing strategies like content marketing, you need to have clarity on what your business is all about, who you’re serving, and what value you’re offering.
When you have clarity, you’ll be able to craft content that resonates with your prospects. And when you resonate with your audience, you’ll be able to connect with them on a deeper level.
However, the reality is, new businesses often lack clarity. Since they’re new, they barely know what their business is all about or who their ideal customers are.
And even if you knew all these beforehand, you still wouldn’t know how your ideas will fare out in the real world unless you put it to the test.
And that’s exactly what I’m talking about here. If your business is new, you need to validate your ideas before you can understand whether or not they’re going to work.
Think of a new business as a blank canvas. You have nothing to show yet, and you’ve yet to discover who will be drawn to your work.
So, if you want to start generating leads, you need to first fill out your canvas by putting your business out there in the real world. You must also learn how to listen to other people’s problems to get to know your target market better. Only then will you be able to discover what your business truly stands for and who you should be reaching out to.
To tell you the truth, this is where most new businesses get stuck because they jump right into content marketing without any clear direction.
2. Instead of helping you reach your goals, content marketing will only distract you.
You might think creating content day-in-day-out will get you the results you need.
But the truth is, content marketing at this very early stage in your journey will just distract you from what you should be doing instead.
You see, when you’re still new, and you lack the clarity of who you should be talking to, you’ll end up producing content that won’t appeal to a specific audience. Your messaging could end up being too general. Or worse, it could be too focused on something that no one cares about.
And when that happens, algorithms work against you. Social media platforms and search engines will push down your posts, and you’ll lose potential clients only because their algorithms see your content as irrelevant.
3. Content marketing takes six months or more to generate leads.
As a new business owner, it’s tempting to believe that once you create enough content, you’ll be flooded with leads.
But unfortunately, that’s not true. In fact, it takes time to generate leads through content marketing. It takes months (even years!) before you can start seeing results.
After all, it takes time to establish yourself as an authority in your niche. It takes time to build up trust among your followers. And it takes time to develop relationships with those who matter.
In short, it takes time to build a brand.
If you don’t have the patience to wait (and I know you don’t since you don’t have a huge budget just yet), then you need to consider alternative methods of lead generation.
And that’s what I’m going to share with you next.
My Step-by-Step Guide on How to Generate Sales Leads… Fast (For New Business Owners)
It can be tough to find and attract new leads and turn them into customers. But if you know your way around, it’s actually easier than you think!
Follow the steps below so you would know how to generate sales leads fast:
Step 1: Know your 4Ws and 1H.
Do you remember way back in grade school when you were taught about the 4 Ws and 1 H? The 4 Ws are who, what, where, and why, while the H stands for how.
And guess what?
The key to generating leads and sales in any industry starts with this simple formula of 4Ws and 1H. You just have to be clear on the following questions:
- Who: Who do you want to help?
- What: What problem do you solve?
- Why: Why do they need the problem solved?
- When: When do you solve it?
- How: How can you help them?
Knowing your answers to these questions should give you a good headstart for the next step, and that is, crafting your positioning statement.
Step 2: Craft your positioning statement.
A positioning statement is essentially a short paragraph of 1-2 sentences that tells your prospects exactly what you offer, why you’re different than everyone else, and how you can help them.
To give you an idea of what a positioning statement is, here’s mine:
I help aspiring entrepreneurs land their first paying client in eight weeks using low and no-cost marketing strategies so that they can validate they have what it takes to work for themselves.
Now that you have an idea of what it is, go ahead and grab a pen and paper and work on your positioning statement. Tweak it until you’re happy with the outcome. And once you’re ready, proceed to the next step, and that is…
Step 3: Go out there.
Once you’ve crafted your positioning statement, it’s time to get out there.
Spend time – be it online or offline – in places where your target audience hangs out and listen to the conversations that go around. Pay attention to the problems your target audience is sharing.
How are they describing their issues? What is it that they want to solve so badly that they talk about it all the time?
Take note of those, and then proceed to the next step.
Step 4: Contribute to conversations.
Once you have a clear idea of what exactly your target market is struggling with, it’s time to take some serious action – contribute to conversations and give advice to those who need them.
You see, most people like to talk about things that interest them. So by joining authentic conversations, you’ll be able to learn more about your target market, and thus, you’d be able to craft better messaging that would resonate well with them. Above all, by giving something of value, you’ll be able to build trust with your prospects and even pique the interest of those who haven’t heard about you or your business just yet.
So start contributing to conversations now, and soon you’ll begin to see and pre-qualify people who truly need your help.
Step 5: Use your positioning statement when you get an opportunity to do so.
Remember, your positioning statement is your calling card. Use it whenever you get an opportunity to speak to someone new. You can even use it to kickstart a conversation!
Here’s a scenario:
Say I’m at a networking event, and I hear somebody talk about wanting to start a business but don’t know where to start.
I could go ahead and tell them:
Hey, I help aspiring entrepreneurs land their first paying client in 8 weeks. Is that something that you need help with?
And that’s it! You’re spreading the word about your business in a professional, subtle, and non-icky way!
Just remember this: it starts with a very organic and easy conversation. From there, people will express interest in what you do, and then that’s your chance! You can then invite them to a separate conversation to discuss their problems and whether or not you can help them.
Do this a few more times, and soon enough, you’ll be able to generate sales leads even before the event is over!
As I mentioned early on, you don’t have to create content to attract customers. Instead, you can start with authentic conversations to hear what people struggle with. Once you understand the pain points that your target market faces, you can then craft messages that will resonate with them.
If you follow the steps above, you’ll be able to generate leads faster than content does, and there’s no reason why you can’t try this strategy today!
So there you have it!
If you think you’d like some more in-depth help and support with lead generation and all things related to building a brand new business, then I’d love to invite you to hop on a call with me and my team. Click here to book a call. Talk to you soon!
Thanks for reading!