Generating leads is a constant need for any business. While different methods of finding potential customers abound, many popular techniques of the past are no longer used. Needless to say, today’s favored lead generation tactics may not be around forever.
To consistently find new leads for your business, you might need to start thinking outside the box and be open to evolving your strategy. Stepping away from standard practices to try new approaches can help you generate leads in unexpected ways.
Not sure where to start? Try these 14 unique ways of finding new business leads from the members of Forbes Coaches Council.
1. Create Your Digital Footprint
Creating your digital footprint is a multifaceted way to generate leads. This includes using social media channels, creating content such as opinion pieces, thought leadership and comments on third-party posts, engaging with the right focus groups through hashtags, upping your credibility through various associations, memberships and connections—the list can be a long one. Draw an action plan and go for it. - Arthi Rabikrisson, Prerna Advisory
2. Conduct A LinkedIn Lead Program
I think it really depends on the industry you are in and also the speed at which you need to turn leads into sales. For a longer game, I would suggest using content marketing, as this will draw people into your funnel by delivering value, potentially leading to sales in the long term. Otherwise, online is where everything is happening at the moment, so I would look at conducting a LinkedIn lead program. - Andrew Constable, Visualise Solutions
3. Create Value-Based, Human-Focused Content Create value-based, human-focused content in various mediums based on your unique buyer’s journey. Companies spend far too much time being product-focused in their content and not enough time correlating their products with how a client’s problems can be fixed. By taking a value-based approach to content marketing, companies will be able to bridge the trust gap and shorten the sales cycle. - Yunche Wilson, SolomonBell Consulting
4. Ask Satisfied Clients For Referrals Your best way of finding great leads is always referrals from satisfied clients. Don’t be afraid to ask these folks for their ideas or for video testimonials, which you can put on your website or in short email links. Nothing is better for business than having happy customers talk positively about you and tell stories that will resonate with your prospects. - Jay McDonald, Middleton McDonald Group, Inc. 5. Lead From A Place Of Passion How do you attract those who would value having a relationship with you? Most will lead with a sales mindset. To differentiate yourself, start with understanding your “why” and lead with a passion for what you can contribute to an organization. When you lead from a place of passion, it will be accepted as genuine and can lead to trusted relationships. - Bryan Powell, Invite Change
6. Focus On Delivering Differentiated Value “Go-givers” get more. The best leads are the ones that your current customers proactively generate for you. Therefore, a focus on making sure your customers gain differentiated value will be the key to generating leads at the lowest cost. - Venkataraman Subramanyan, Tripura Multinational
7. Host Educational Webinars Webinars are wonderful, “one-to-many” marketing vehicles that allow you to share ideas, educate and demonstrate your skill for your target audience. Those who click on your invitation have an interest in your subject; those who attend likely have a real need and are worthy of follow-up. And webinar invitations sent via email and social media also serve as great branding tools. - Jennifer Wilson, ConvergenceCoaching, LLC
8. Write Blog Posts About Current Or Ideal Clients Write blog posts, each profiling one of your clients or someone who is a good match for your target market. You’ll not only be helping them build awareness of their businesses, but the subjects of each post will also share the pieces with their respective networks. Their reputation and their trust in you will encourage others to get in touch with you. - Lee Eisenstaedt, Leading with Courage Academy
9. Position Yourself As A Thought Leader On LinkedIn LinkedIn is a powerful tool to authentically generate high-quality leads. A third of my business comes by way of LinkedIn. The key to using LinkedIn is to position yourself as a thought leader. You can do this by delivering content that allows prospective clients to see your value. Clients will naturally seek you out as a result. - Kyle Elliott, MPA, CHES , CaffeinatedKyle.com
10. Know Where Your Target Market Spends Time Online First, you need to know where your target market is and where they visit frequently. In the old days, it would be a physical location. Today, it’s a virtual location. Are they on Facebook or LinkedIn? What websites do they frequent? Once you know their hangout spots, you can narrow down your marketing to target those specific sites, locations or publications. - Cory Swain, Advisors Excel
11. Leverage Social Media Hashtags It sounds quirky, but I had a third party generate a hashtag list for me. The hashtags were relevant to the clients I was seeking to attract. I found that every post was reaching more potential clients, as opposed to me just dropping information with my fingers crossed. Hashtags can be strategic and targeted, offering a great way to leverage your current social media exposure and attract new clients. - Amera McCoy, McCoy Consulting LLC
12. Ask For Testimonials One of the best ways to generate leads is to ask for them. Testimonial advertising through word of mouth (face-to-face interaction) is the most valuable form of marketing. Asking your clients to share the work you do for them and the value it brings to their business is a great way to generate leads. Start asking your clients to refer names of people they know who could benefit from your services. - Jon Dwoskin, The Jon Dwoskin Experience
13. Talk To Your Ideal Clients About Your Offering Combine the modern (technology) with the timeless (connection). Before launching a new program or service, think about five ideal clients you would like to work with. Reach out and just have a virtual conversation with them about your offering: How many times a week would they ideally like it? How much would they feel comfortable investing? How long would they prefer the duration to be? - Kyla Mitsunaga, WITH Warriors LLC
14. Get Crystal Clear On Your Brand Story The easiest way to take the stress out of dealing with changing algorithms, updates on platforms, tools coming and going and comparing yourself to your competition is to get crystal clear about your secret sauce (aka your brand). What’s your story? What value can you provide? How do you do it? Who benefits the most from it? That fact is, your story is the only thing no one can compete with. A job can be done by anyone. - Petra Zink, impaCCCt