Since many small business owners are working with tight marketing budgets, it’s not always easy to drum up sales using traditional online and offline advertising methods, such as direct mail campaigns or banner advertising. Whether you’re a home-based business owner or running a small retail store, you may need to resort to creative measures to find new customers and generate sales leads for your small business. Fortunately, I’ve found there are several affordable — or even free — online and offline marketing strategies that can help you attract more business and build your brand presence.
Use some of these tips to generate sales leads for your small business:
Get Active in the Community
Seek out ways to get noticed in your community by lending a hand at social events, sitting on a board for a local organization, or by attending business networking events. In-person networking can help to spread the message about your business without being too pushy. You can attend community and charity events in the neighborhood, set up a vendor booth at trade shows, and join the Chamber of Commerce. Just make sure you take along a stack of business cards and be prepared to describe what your business has to offer in a few sentences.
Host a Contest or Sweepstakes
If you’re a brand new business, one of the easiest ways to get noticed and attract potential customers is by hosting a contest, competition or sweepstakes. People love to win something, and many will be happy to follow you on Facebook or Twitter, or even sign up for an email newsletter you are sending out, in exchange for the opportunity to win something. Set up an attractive lineup of prizes and create buzz around this special event. If you’ve already built up a following online, you’ll find it will be that much easier to share the news about this special event, and you could end up with a few more sales or “hot” leads before the event even happens.
Offer Web-Only Promotions
Encourage existing and new customers to follow your business on Facebook and Twitter by offering exclusive, online-only offers and deals. Many people jump online to find deals and special offers from businesses in their area, and you can tap into this very active market by posting specials alongside your competitors. A special promotion could be just what you need to generate more sales leads in a very short period of time.
Polish Up Your Website
Make sure your small business has a professional web presence and can be found easily when people are searching for services and products you offer. If your website doesn’t look professional, potential customers may have a hard time trusting you — especially if you are accepting payments for purchases online. Find a way to include a new website or a website redesign in your budget, and make it a top priority this year. A professionally-designed website can be the most powerful marketing vehicle a small business has for generating sales leads.