5 Powerful Lead Generation Tactics

Struggling to generate more leads for your solopreneur business? You’re not alone. One recent survey of home-based entrepreneurs found that attracting new customers was the second biggest challenge they had to deal with (after managing their time). Generating new leads is, of course, essential for making your business grow. So, how can you get more leads?

Five Steps That Can Dramatically Boost Leads

The power to generate more leads is in your hands. Some of the tactics involve actively going out there and engaging with the world, others are more passive. If you’re shy, it can be tempting to avoid activities like networking and instead stick to sending emails. That can work, but to really get a consistent stream of leads coming in, you need to diversify.

The power of social media: Social media is an essential tool for work-from-home business owners. This survey from sales and marketing experts HubSpot found that social media is the most successful marketing tool when it came to lead generation for all kinds of businesses. What’s more, it was especially good at generating leads for small companies.

Your business needs a strong presence on social media, especially Twitter, Facebook and (if you’re a B2B business) LinkedIn. Come up with a unique tone of voice, interesting campaigns and engage with potential customers.

Also, use social media to link to new content on your website, promos or special deals.

Email marketing is the cornerstone: If your work-from-home business isn’t using email marketing, it should be.
Emails are easy to produce and get your brand in your customer’s email inbox. Add anyone who signs up to your services to your email list (remember to ask their permission though). We’d recommend producing a monthly newsletter, with the occasional campaign for specific promotions.

There’s a whole art to writing emails that make readers turn into customers. But, if there’s one thing your email must do, it’s include a call-to-action! This is normally 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’).

Get out there and network: Whether hate the idea of small talk or are a social butterfly, business networking is an essential way of creating leads. Start by reading this great B2B networking guide. However, don’t just think of networking in terms of business events—it can also include tapping into your own personal network.

Networking includes being active on forums related to your area of expertise. Join LinkedIn groups for professionals in your sector or 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 a CRM to store leads: A customer relationship manager (CRM), is a tool which stores all your contacts with existing and prospective clients. Once you start picking up more business, trying to manage all those contacts and their details in your email inbox is inefficient and likely to result in you missing important details.

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. 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 consistently.
The CRM won’t generate leads on its own, but it will make sure you don’t lose info on existing leads – and it also makes you a lot more organized.

Website basics: Your website does not need to be a work of art to bring in new business. That might help if you’re selling yourself as a web-designer, but for most companies, you just need the essentials in place. Your website should:

  • Be mobile friendly
  • Include photos and attractive imagery
  • Have connections with all your social media accounts
  • Offer easy payment options
  • Display all your contact details
  • Provide forms where people can contact you and book your services
  • Use text which answers all your customers’ questions
  • Have calls-to-action

Generate Leads Like A Boss!
Once you’ve optimized your lead generation process, you’ll see a real boost in the amount of business coming in. Now all you have to do is work out how to fit all that work in!

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Len is a tech and business writer who covers small business and startup advice and has appeared in many print and digital publications. He lives in London, UK, where he's also a sub editor on a national newspaper. He loves to travel and has lived in France, Spain, Senegal and Rwanda.

10 tools you need to support serious growth

Unless you’ve spent most of your career in IT, knowing which technologies are right for supporting your growth can be a huge challenge. According to one study, “understanding changing technology needs and what products and services to use” was the top cited technology challenge among business owners.

So, our list of 10 technologies for growing your business will give you an overview of which essential apps and tools to support growth and help you grow.

Here are 10 kinds of tools which will become the backbone to your company’s growth.

1. Website

Clearly, no serious business today can launch without a website. And nowadays you don’t need to be a web designer to build a half-decent online presence for your company. Platforms like the ever-popular WordPress or Wix provide you with simple building blocks and templates to create a functioning website in no time at all.

2. Content storage

You and your teams will, over time, build up a lot of documents, files and folders. Storing them on your desktop is risky in case it malfunctions, and a server in the corner of your office is expensive. So, we’d recommend cloud-based storage like Dropbox, Box, Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive.

3. Accounting software

Consistent and professional bookkeeping will save you a lot of time when it comes to paying your taxes at the end of the year, and can be a lot cheaper than hiring an accountant. Tools like Xero and QuickBooks are especially popular.

Read our intro to bookkeeping for small business.

4. Email management

When you want to send emails to your mailing list, a plain old message sent from your company Outlook or Gmail account isn’t going to catch anyone’s eye. Modern email management tools let you send thousands of emails without being considered spam, they let you build eye-catching, image-heavy messages and they provide tracking features for you to monitor the success of your campaigns. MailChimp is the king here, but check out alternatives like Get Response too.

5. Team task management

You need to be able to delegate tasks to your colleagues as you grow, and so tools like Asana (read our recent review), Trello or Basecamp allow you to share work on projects and ensure tasks don’t get delayed.

6. Collaborative communications

Email is still the most popular way for teams to work together, yet there’s a range of new tools coming onto the market which facilitate more collaborative communications. Check out Slack or Microsoft Teams which let employees across the company chat from any device and collaborate on documents in real time.

7. Essential office tools

Few businesses can survive without email, word processing and spreadsheets. Microsoft’s Office and Outlook remain the market leaders by a long shot, although Google’s Docs and Gmail are very popular among start-ups.

8. Analytics

For the sake of marketing, you need decent analytics for your website, but also for your social media and other platforms. Google Analytics is the undisputed leader for website analytics, while tools like Audiense are great for social media analytics and Mailchimp has great internal analytics.

9. Collaborative notebooks

Paper is so 1990. Today there are countess powerful, cloud-based note-taking tools which allow you to take notes on any device, as well as photos and screengrabs. Tools like Evernote and OneNote mean you’ll never lose an important idea again!

10. Social media management

The world is more social than ever, so tools like HootSuite or Buffer help you manage your social media marketing more effectively by timing when you’ll send updates and facilitating interaction with your audience.