Generating leads without driving customers away.

Every business needs a healthy customer pipeline, which means finding ways to connect with and engage people.

Successful lead generation takes persistence, but it’s this persistence that can sometimes cause warm prospects to go cold. So how do you stay the course and grow your prospect base without annoying potential customers? Let’s take a look.

What is lead generation anyway?

In a nutshell, lead generation is any activity you undertake to attract, engage and nurture people who might one day become a customer. From paid advertising to sales calls, to having a chat with the locals at the pub, there’s no shortage of ways to generate leads. Finding the right mix very much depends on the nature of your business.

The best starting point for lead generation is understanding the most valuable types of leads for your business. Which customers deliver the highest value? This could be the people who spend the most, people who engage your business often, or another factor altogether.

To identify the best leads, it’s helpful to consider your most successful customers’ common traits, such as:

  • Age, gender and geographic location
  • Job roles and salary brackets, or budgets for B2B customers
  • Online habits
  • Buying behaviours

From there, you can form a picture of your ideal lead target, or bucket leads into several categories.

RELATED: 4 free lead generation tools for small businesses.

How to generate leads without annoying customers.

We all know what it’s like to be bombarded with phone calls from a salesperson and have an inbox flooded with spammy emails. This is exactly what lead generation shouldn’t be: irrelevant and downright annoying.

Knowing how not to generate leads is a good starting point. Here are some tips for doing it well.

Understand your customers.

Every business’ customer base is unique in some way. The key is knowing what your target customers are looking for and providing value to them from the outset. Ask yourself:

  • What questions do my customers need answered?
  • What problems do my customers need solved?
  • How can I make my customers’ lives easier?

Working through this from the very beginning will help you determine whether your lead generation tactics will genuinely provide value rather than just push an irrelevant sales message.

Solve their problems with great content.

You’ve identified your potential customers’ key concerns, problems and issues. Now you want to demonstrate how you can help. Think about the types of content that will be beneficial to potential customers and compel them to take action.

Long-form articles, how-to guides and video tutorials can help establish you as an authority and a problem-solver in the eyes of your potential customers. If you can solve your audience’s problems, you can prove your value from the get-go and capture leads via sign-up forms throughout your content.

RELATED: Evergreen content and how it can help your brand.

Up your SEO game.

SEO makes your website easier to find on search engines, which will help bring more organic traffic to the top of your lead funnel. Not only that, but it doesn’t involve any direct selling – it’s just about helping customers who are already looking for your products and services in your direction. In fact, with a solid SEO strategy in place, you can drive regular leads to your business without lifting a finger.

RELATED: What is the best SEO strategy for small businesses?

Invest in targeted advertising.

Remember those lead targets we identified earlier? They’ll come in handy if you decide to invest in paid advertising like SEM, which can generate big returns in the form of leads. The key, however, is making sure your ads are relevant – and that’s why understanding your target audience is so critical.

Good luck managing all those new leads! If you need a hand anywhere along the way, find out how you can boost your business with Yellow.

Talk to Yellow about how targeted SEM and SEO can generate leads for your business.

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