In the ride of the digital age, it’s been increasingly important to find creative ways to reach new customers and gain customer leads.
This article was originally published on Forbes.com.
The possibilities for where you can find customers are endless. Never has it been more varied.
One strategy is for certain: Identify where your potential customers spend time and invest in strategies to capture their attention. But don’t get lost in areas that don’t serve you — like browsing Facebook for hours. Have a plan and see it through every time. There isn’t a simple recipe, but these ideas from members of Forbes Coaches Council can help get you started and keep you focused.
1. Use Facebook Groups
Find a Facebook group that has a large base of members. Find a comment thread where there is a controversial conversation or debate going on. Comment by adding an in-depth answer and provide a stack of value and actionable steps. You will be perceived as the expert and people will automatically follow you, go to your website, connect with you, etc. – Regan Hillyer, Regan Hillyer International
2. Go Live
Live webinars, Facebook Live, and other forms of live video are becoming increasingly popular today. Not only do these channels cater to our customers’ desire for on-demand content, they also encourage the type of authentic engagement with you that creates loyal fans. Many people are intimidated by the idea of being on the spot. So if you’re willing to do it, you’ll set yourself apart. – Greg Faxon, Greg Faxon Enterprises, LLC
3. Stay Front Of Mind
If you offer a truly client-centered service, you will naturally get leads through clients, former colleagues and others. The goal becomes how to stay in front of people who have the means and motivation to hire or refer you. For me, LinkedIn is great, but there is no one magic place this happens. Find out where your ideal client or referral source hangs out — online and off — and add value there. – Anne Marie Segal, Segal Coaching
Writing, posting and following up on comments made on your blogs is one of the most innovative lead generators of modern sales. People who read blogs and those who comment on them are not only great leads; they have shown by their level of interest that they are open to connecting. Posting blogs will generate leads for you, and commenting on others’ blogs will open doors so you can close sales. – Meridith Elliott-Powell, MotionFirst
5. Quote Well-Known Experts In An Article You Write
You want to earn customer leads? Interview subject-matter experts and quote them in an article you write and publish. Are you allowed to do this? You are and you should. You must make your article interesting and outstanding. When your subject-matter expert compliments you, it is a nice time to ask for an introduction to their connections whom you can build into a customer relationship. – John O’Connor, Career Pro Inc.
6. Don’t Ignore LinkedIn Invitations
I used to be annoyed when I received a LinkedIn invitation from someone I didn’t know who used the default invitation text. Now I respond by thanking them for the invitation and asking why they reached out. I have opened conversations and acquired clients in this way. (Search around for how to respond without accepting the invitation first. It can be done.) – Mary Schaefer, Artemis Path, Inc.
Podcasts are gaining popularity as a way to reach new customers. Creating a podcast that is both in your niche and has a unique reporting style is one way to find leads in the age of social media. It’s important to speak the language of your target audience, and podcasts are a great way to showcase your point of view. – Tanya Ezekiel, CareerCoach.com
8. Do Some Public Speaking
Speaking in front of an audience either through invitation or hosting your own event is an awesome way to generate leads. While many fear public speaking, they don’t realize that all one needs to do is to start small (a presentation to two or five people from your network), and repeat the experience many times until there’s stage comfort. Then speak anywhere and everywhere at least once a week. – Julia Katsivo, Julia Katsivo
9. Offer Clients Referral Marketing Materials
Asking for referrals and leads is only part of the battle. If you make it easy for happy customers to provide leads by giving them materials to do so with one click, they will readily do the work for you. Companies can easily create a referral page with downloadable or shareable materials such as brochures, coupons, or introduction emails. Gleam.io is also a great share tool. – Laura DeCarlo, Career Directors international