Small Business Leads to Keep You Going and Growing

You are reading this today because you have made a conscious effort to develop and maintain your business or perhaps you are not yet in business and you are doing some preliminary research. You want to know what it will take to find new customers.

You have likely looked into Yellow Pages advertising. Incredibly expensive is it not? Perhaps even radio, television or newspaper advertising has crossed your mind. After all, these are viable and time tested methods to explore markets and drive new business right? They used to be. Not anymore.

A search engine on the internet has led you to this article. You found it. I did not go looking for you. I strategically placed this content where I knew only those I cared to reach would find it. I find it odd that business owners with real capital and extensive knowledge in their markets would just poke around in the dark in an attempt to bring in new revenues. They do this because they do not know any better, not yet.

I understand internet marketing. I have made that pretty obvious just by being exactly where I needed to be in order for you to find me. I truly believe that business owners like myself need to take control of our marketing platforms. In your case, no one knows your business better than you do. If you want quality, qualified and ready to buy prospects to talk to every every day you need to fully grasp and understand one rule.

“The right prospect, at the right time and the right place is looking for you.” Your absolute best prospect is the one looking for you. If you are putting generic ads out there hoping to come across the right customer that is like throwing your net out to sea. Be a lighthouse instead and bring your prospects to you.

If you have purchased leads before you have probably done so with good intentions. The decision to purchase leads usually comes at a time when a marketer, salesperson or business owner has hit a wall. Tired of trying to convince people to become prospects the natural next step is to find a way to cater to the “searcher”.

As a result of this niche naturally developing on its own there is a huge surplus of websites selling leads. Lead purchasers from all walks of life and all lines of industry are buying up leads based on the premise that they are not in the marketing business so they should just let someone else do the prospecting leaving the business owner to close sales in his/her area of expertise.

The problem with purchased small business leads is that they are rarely exclusive to you. They are often sold to more than one small business. You end up paying to talk to your competitors prospects! That is insane. Especially when purchasing leads at a premium.

If you want to get ahead and stay there you need a dynamic approach. There is some setup time and a little financial investment involved in setting up your own private lead generation system online. It is worth so much more than you will ever put into it though because you will own and control this system online.

Your next step towards lowering or completely eliminating your marketing expenses while increasing your enjoyment and revenues at work begins with taking control of your small business lead flow

Jean-Marc Begin

3 Free Ways To Market Your Small Business Online

Most small business owners know they need to be involved in online marketing but many are at a loss on simple free steps they can take to get started or grow their internet presence. It’s unfair too because many small businesses are stuck buying expensive print ads in newspapers and the yellow pages.

So, in this short article, we’re going to learn 3 free ways to market your small business on the internet. With no further ado, let’s do it!

Free Marketing Method 1: Create a Facebook Fan Page

Facebook Fan Pages are not just a novelty anymore. If you look, most “big brands” aren’t even advertising their own websites these days, they’re advertising their Facebook page. You’ve probably seen ads for companies like Ford and at the end it says “visit us on Facebook” or something along those lines.

Why is Facebook so important for small business marketing? To answer that question, let me tell you a story. Imagine you go to a party and when you arrive first. While you’re waiting for everyone else to show up you look around the room. Sure, there are beautiful pictures everywhere and you can read all about your host and even learn a little about why the party is happening.

After hours and hours of waiting alone, you finally figure it out. No one else is coming to this party. So, why am I talking about parties? Because that “party” is your website (if you have one). Websites are good to quickly give information, but there’s no space for interaction. And even if there is, it’s not in real time.

Facebook practically allows you to communicate in real time with your customers, and it allows them to interact with each other. Your best customers will help spread the word about your business and help the “newbies” who have questions. To go back to our party example, it’s like being at a party with all the cool kids – and they all want to talk to you!

So, if you don’t have a Facebook fanpage yet… now is the time.

Free Marketing Method 2: Blogging For Your Business

Besides a Facebook fan page, you need to be blogging. A Blog is simply a type of website that allows you to post articles or posts in order. They aren’t too hard to setup and you can get free blogs from sites like Blogger.com or WordPress.com. Although, I think it’s best to install your own custom blog software.

Blogs are really important because they allow you to create fresh content which in turn get your site ranked for better terms. This is especially important for local businesses because it’s a lot easier to rank for keywords when you have a local phrase. For example, if I wanted to rank for Tarpon Springs Internet Marketer it wouldn’t be that hard because:

1) There’s not a lot of competition
2) I have a blog and can write a blog post all about that topic

Google loves stuff like this because the page that my blog creates is completely optimized for the phrase Tarpon Springs Internet Marketer. And blogs also help solve the “party scene with no guests” scenario because you can actually include Facebook comments in your blog. This is a bit complex, but most web designers can do this for you if you ask.

Free Marketing Method 3: Find Free Small Business Leads Using Twitter

This is a great little tactic for small businesses, especially if you don’t mind reaching out and looking for customers. So many local business owners just wait for someone to walk in the door… so by getting out and looking you’ll be 10 times better off than other business owners.

Here’s how this strategy works. Many people are on twitter. It’s a micro-blogging site that allows people to post short updates about what they’re doing. You can sign up for Twitter by going to Twitter.com. It’s always best to use your name so you appear to be more real. And don’t worry, it’s free to sign up.

Anyway, when you register you can now communicate with other people on Twitter. So, who are you going to talk to on there? Easy. You’re going to go here:

http://search.twitter.com/advanced

Search for words or phrases people might say who need your product or service. The good thing about Twitter is that people love to complain on there over mundane things. For example, someone might write, “dang it! My brakes are going out. This sucks!”

So, imagine if you’re an auto-mechanic you could contact that person and offer them a free check-up or whatever. And the best part is, before you do your search, you can actually type in a zip code area to search in. That way, if you’re in Dunedin, Florida you are going to be seeing updates from people in a different state.

Small Business Internet Marketing: Start Now

You’ve just been given 3 great ways to get stated marketing your small business online. But the real key is to get started now. Don’t wait another second. Your competitors are either already online taking your customers or getting ready to be. One of the real keys to the internet is that the early bird gets the worm.

So, take what you’ve just read and put it to work now.

Small Business Lead Generation – Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Small business lead generation using pay-per-click ads can be very challenging. In fact, paying for leads can either make you really rich or drive you out of business. Google makes a ton of money every year from pay-per-click ads. Most of the money that they make from these ads did not generate a single bit of additional revenue to the companies or entrepreneurs who purchased them. However, there are a few people out in the business world who pay a little bit of money to Google and generate millions of dollars in return. They don’t generate this type of income by accident. These entrepreneurs just have a better strategy than the ones who end up losing money on pay-per-click ads.

How to Lose Money in Pay-Per-Click Ads

The Uninformed Entrepreneur says, “I am not making money from my website because no one is coming to my website, so I will invest in pay-per-click ads and that will make me money.” No, that will cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars every week with very little, if any, return on your investment. Effective advertising leverages or magnifies the return that you are already getting from your current sales channels. If your website is not generating leads or business for you before you invest in advertising, then you will be magnifying a zero return. 300% of zero is still zero.

Most people use pay-per-click ads as the starting point, and when they do, they will almost always lose money. They are betting their business capital on an untested experiment. It would be like buying a thoroughbred and running down to the racetrack and betting a bunch of money on your horse’s first race. Yes, you would know your horse, but your horse is untested against other horses. However, if your horse wins his first three races, you might want to invest a little in his fourth one.

Your website is the same way. Develop your website to where you are generating leads and sales from those leads. Then, one you have a track record of success, invest in pay-per-click ads. Then you are betting on a sure thing.

How to Generate Lots of Revenue from Pay-Per-Click Advertising

The Informed Entrepreneur says, “I have finally got my business generating new leads from the internet, and now I want to leverage the success that I am currently getting.” Now you can make an informed budget for your pay-per-click advertising.

Here is a highly simplified example. If you are generating 10 leads per week from your website, and you are averaging closing one of those leads for $100 in revenue and $25 in profit, then you could only afford to pay $2.50 per lead to break even. Remember that just because someone clicks your pay-per-click link, does not mean that they will contact you and become a lead. If you have a fantastic website, you might be able to turn one out of every ten clicks into leads, so you could pay no more than $.25 per click to just break even. So pay-per-click won’t yet work for you yet. You would need to increase the revenue per customer, or the profit margin, or the closing ratio (or all three) to make pay-per-click more cost effective for you.

If you invest in an email follow up system and generate the same 10 leads per week, this time you might turn three of those leads into customers. Since you are now able to build a longer term relationship with your leads, you might be able to bundle a few of your products together and generate a higher revenue per sale and increase your average sale to $300. By doing all of this, your cost per lead goes down dramatically. Now for every sale you are generating $100 in profit. With three sales out of ten leads, you generate a total of $300 in profit. You can now afford to pay $30 per lead, so with the same ten clicks turning into one lead, you could afford to pay up to $3 for each click. If you can get quality clicks for just $1 each, you will triple your pay-per-click investment.

So forget the cold calls and spam, use your website to get more leads to call you, and then use pay-per-click to leverage your success, and you will generate great success through small business lead generation.

Writing Pay-Per-Click Ads that Lead to Sales

Once you have a great site and follow up system set up, now you can in some ads. Remember that the goal is NOT to get people to click your ad. The goal is to get people who will buy something from you to click your ad. For instance, if I put “One out of every 100 who click this link will get $1000,” I’d get a LOT of clicks. However, none of them would buy anything from me, so I’d just lose a lot of money. Or, if I am a local dentist in Frisco, Texas, and I place an ad that says, “Free Teeth Whitening Tips,” I’ll also get a lot of clicks, but very few sales. Most of the people who click will just want the free tips, and very few of them will be in my local neighborhood. A better ad would say something like, “Frisco, TX Dentist – Free teeth cleaning with your first whitening treatment.” If you don’t want to go to a dentist in Frisco, TX, you are less likely to click that link. People who do click the link are probably pretty good prospects for you.

You will always have numb-skulls who click your links even though they don’t need or want anything that you are promoting, but you’ll have fewer people click your paid-for links who are looking for something different than what you are offering.

So if you want to generate small business leads using pay-per-click, make your website and follow up system solid first, then use effective ads to target the specific market who will buy your services.