Marketing is all about vision and risks. It’s about making connections, delving into the analytics, crossing those fingers, and encouraging creativity. It’s about forcing your products and solutions to come to life in different ways, for different people.
But for everyone outside of the marketing world, marketing is about having fun. It’s about crayons, PDFs, and pooping out magical glitter-filled baby unicorns. It’s not about the connections or the finger-crossing, and it’s definitely not about the analytics. And because of this, when many of our members decide to get going with their marketing, they’ve got the whole “idea” thing down; however, when it comes to the actual “implementation” of these ideas, things start to get a little rocky.
And when we say rocky, what we really mean to say, is that it looks like death and destruction raining down from the tops of Mount Everest.
The very first thing you should consider when it comes to marketing your products and solutions is who are you actually going to market to. If you can’t answer this question, then don’t bother with all those brilliant marketing ideas of yours. Seriously. If you have no leads to market to, then what’s the point?
But where do all of these beautiful, golden-laced leads hail from? Well, how about we do you a solid and answer that question for you? Here are three of the most basic ways to generate new leads.
A referral could be the unicorn you’ve been searching for, or… it could be absolutely worthless. But, then again, this could be said about any lead from any source, and the really good thing about a referral is that it’s usually been prepped and polished for you by the referrer. However, you know as well as we do, that referrals are few and far between. So if you’d like to see more than one referral a decade, you should probably consider adopting a referral program of some sort.
The majority of our members who offer a referral program create a tiered rewards system – the further the lead goes in the pipeline, the bigger of a reward the referrer will receive. Other companies like to engage their clients with a new reward each month – one month it’s a basket of chocolates from a local business and the next month it’s a high-tech gadget. You can push your referral program on your website, monthly newsletter, or leave-behind flyer.
It may cost you money to attend an event, but if you get just one good lead out of it, it’ll pay for itself. You need to be careful attending events, though. So many people are obsessed with getting as many leads as humanely possible that they fail to make legitimate connections with potential prospects. As a result, they get back to the office with a hundred business cards that have no worth.
Speaking of business cards, you can’t attend an event and just expect everyone to hand you their contact information. Business card acquisition requires planning. How are you going to engage attendees in a way that makes them feel obligated to give you their email address or phone number? Maybe it’s a promo item or maybe it’s a game. Whatever you decide to do, make sure there’s a decision involved in there somewhere.
There’s always the option to purchase a lead list, but you must do so with caution. Make sure the leads you purchase are relevant – industry, revenue, and size should all come into play at some point during this process. In other words, research is required.
Hoover’s is a great place to start; however, don’t bother paying for any email addresses (you don’t want to “accidentally” slip into a spamming grey area). As long as you have a phone number, you’re good to go. Hold an in-house event like a webinar or Lunch and learn and use this as your way in. Call down on your list and invite these new leads to your event – and even if they can’t make it, ask for the email address anyways. Let them know you can send them follow up information based on the event or a whitepaper regarding some prominent cyber-threat.