Step 5 – Operate a Lead Generation Trio

One can think of it as lighting candles along dark paths so that weary travelers can discover the company in the dark. Those candles are the education-based entries in social media hubs like Twitter and Facebook – gentle guides of introduction. They are the PR efforts and articles, written to illuminate one’s expertise. They are the blog posts, designed to attract surfers looking for the way. They are the strategic partnerships, alignments that evoke trust. They are the web conferences, providing interactive discussions with customers and prospects. They are the community-building events, places where candles can be re-lit and shared.

You can no longer sit back, dump an offer in the mail and start working the phones. You’ve got to build your inbound marketing machine and start taking advantage of the power of information, networking, trust, connection, and community to generate leads.

Today’s integrated lead generation trio consists of creating education-based approaches that blend the use of advertising, public relations and referrals.

1. Advertising: Advertising is used in highly targeted, measurable ways to promote awareness of education- based content such as white papers, audios and seminars. It carries the highest cost and lowest credibility, but is also the only lead generation tactic that can be completely controlled. Advertising works when utilized as described and must be part of the overall mix.

2. Public Relations: PR is such a powerful, credible and low-cost tool. It is an area that is often underutilized by small businesses. There’s no real magic to generating positive press. It’s a game of building relationships with a handful of key journalists and committing to creating announcements and small stories every month using a combination of local press contacts and online social media tools.

3 Referrals: Referral generation is primarily a process of finding ways to be more referable first. It starts with the mindset of making every customer a referral source, and making it easy for them to be one. Once this is in order, you can move to building a network of strategic partners that can be relied on to refer new customers. These leads are often the highest quality.

While most businesses find they develop a primary lead generation tactic, it’s the thoughtful combination of repeated contacts, consistently placed, that leads to the greatest long-term, trust- building marketing.

Step 6:  Make Selling a System >>