One of the most common problems that work-from-home businesses face comes down to generating leads. A recent survey of home-based entrepreneurs found that attracting new clients or customers was the second biggest challenge they faced (after managing their time). Generating enough leads is, of course, essential for paying your bills and having enough capital to invest in your business's growth. So, what can you do to boost the numbers of leads you generate?
There are countless ways your business can generate more leads – some involve actively going out there and engaging with the world, others are more passive. Ideally, you should be putting in place a mix of lead generation activities. If you’re shy, it might be tempting to avoid activities like networking and instead stick to social media. That can work, but to really get a consistent number of leads coming in, it’s important to diversify.
Networking: Whether you’re a social butterfly or hate the idea of small talk, business networking is an essential tool for creating leads. There’s a great guide on B2B networking here. However, don’t just think of networking in terms of business events—it can also include tapping into your own personal network – both ‘in the real world’ and online.Networking also includes being active on forums related to your area of expertise. Join LinkedIn groups which relate to your sector in your city and start contributing. Once people know about you, they’re much more likely to get in touch or recommend you to someone else.
Use social media: Social media is an invaluable tool for work-from-home business owners. This survey from sales and marketing experts HubSpot revealed that social media is the most successful marketing tool when it came to lead generation for businesses. What’s more, it was especially good at generating leads for small businesses.Your company needs a strong presence on social media, especially Twitter, Facebook and (if you’re a B2B business) LinkedIn. Come up with a strong tone of voice, interesting campaigns and engage with potential customers.Also, use social media to link back to new content on your website, special deals and sales or promotions.
Email marketing is also a must: If your work-from-home business isn’t using email marketing yet, it should be.Emails are easy to produce and get your company in your customer’s email inbox. Add anyone who signs up to your services to your email list (remember to ask their permission though – here’s a guide on what you can and can’t do). We’d recommend producing one weekly or monthly newsletter, with the occasional campaign email for specific promotions.There’s a whole art to the practice of writing emails that make recipients more likely to turn into customers. But, if there’s one thing your email must do, it’s include a call-to-action! This is usually just a button in the email asking the recipient to do something once they’ve read your message (e.g. ‘book a session with me today’).
Use some kind of CRM to store leads: A CRM, or customer relationship manager, is a tool which stores all your contacts with existing and prospective customers. Once you start picking up more and more clients, trying to manage all those contacts and their details in your email inbox is a pretty inefficient and likely to result in you missing out important information.Your CRM can be as simple as a spreadsheet where you store all customer details, and write any comments on your relationship with them and the work they’ve commissioned from you. But, most businesses today opt for a more sophisticated web-based tool (many are free), which integrates with your website, email service and other tools to store all that information more coherently.The CRM won’t generate leads on its own, but it will make sure you don’t lose any data on existing leads and makes you a lot more organized.
Get your website basics right: Your website does not need to be a work of digital art to bring in leads. That might help if you’re selling yourself as a web-designer, but for most companies, you just need the correct basics in place. At a minimum, your website needs to:• Include photos and attractive imagery• Be mobile friendly• Have connections with all your social media accounts• Display all your contact details• Offer easy payment options• Provide forms where people can contact you and book your services• Use text which answers all your customers’ questions• Have calls-to-action
Once you’ve optimized your lead generation process, you’ll see a real jump in the amount of business coming in, meaning the only stress you'll have is how to fit all that work in!Book Like a Boss helps businesses like yours close the last mile in generating leads with our simple calendar and appointment booking tool. Learn more here.