How to Grow Your Business and Attract Leads
If you started a company and did no advertising, or marketing, would you be surprised if you did not make any sales? Of course not!
Consumers will not come to you unless you help them find your company. I know your probably thinking, about how to increase the sales of your business without investing a lot of money. Using these creative marketing strategies will help you build an online social media presence, generate new leads, and focus on the company’s overall goals.
1. Create Goals
Having goals and objectives are key to growing your business. You should use the S.M.A.R.T framework when setting your goals in order to increase your chances of success. This means that each goal should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
When identifying specific marketing objectives to support your long-term goals, it is common practice to apply the widely used S.M.A.R.T framework. You will notice that S.M.A.R.T is used to evaluate the suitability of objectives set to drive different strategies or the improvement of the full range of business processes.
To identify the S.M.A.R.T framework, ask yourself the following questions:
- Specific – Can the detail in the information pinpoint problems or opportunities? Is the objective sufficiently detailed to measure real world problems and opportunities?
- Measurable – Can a quantitative or qualitative attribute be applied to create a metric?
- Actionable – Can the information be used to improve performance? If the objective doesn’t change behavior in staff to help them improve performance, then what is the point?
- Relevant – Can the information be applied to the specific problem faced by the marketing team?
- Time-bound – Can objectives be set for different time periods? Can targets be reviewed periodically?
2. Set Objectives
The main objectives that a business might have are the following:
- Survival – a short -term objective, probably for small business just starting out, or when a new firm enters the market or at a time of crisis.
- Profit maximization – try to make the most profit possible. Most likely to be the aim of the owners and shareholders.
- Profit satisficing – try to make enough profit to keep the owners comfortable, probably the aim of smaller businesses whose owners do not want to work longer hours.
- Sales growth – where the business tries to make as many sales as possible. This may be because the managers believe that the survival of the business depends on being large. Large businesses can also benefit from economies of scale.
As an entrepreneur you may find that some of your objectives conflict with one another. For example growth versus profit; for achieving higher sales in the short term you will reduce short-term profit. Set the objectives to define how you’ll achieve your marketing goals. Each objective should specify an action and a desired outcome. You also want to consider is if the objective is achievable? Remember achievable not inspirational, should be the characteristic of the objective. You need strategies that you can actually measure. If you are articulating a goal, to create a "world class sport experience" at your DIII athletics program or to "save Detroit children" at your local nonprofit you must be clear and concise. Those aforementioned goals sound nice, but you must explain what they really mean. Make sure your strategies, objectives, and goals make logical sense.
Mistakes in Setting Objectives
It is worth guarding against the mistakes I sometimes see with companies, rather than listing objective examples like those above. The company will create separate objectives under a heading of each S.M.A.R.T, but this doesn’t work. A better way is to group objectives in a logical way. Sometimes separating out overall business objectives, marketing objectives, digital marketing objectives can help with organization.
Another mistake to avoid is creating a long list of objectives. We have all seen an entire page of bullets with no structure. Instead, you should group them logically in a way you would present them to investors.
You can add to your tests of choosing the right objectives by testing these 10 measure design tests developed by performance management specialist “Professor Andy Neely”. For S.M.A.R.T metrics, ask the following questions:
- The truth test. Are we really measuring what we set out to measure?
- The focus test. Are we only measuring what we set out to measure?
- The relevancy test. Is it the right measure of the performance measure we want to track?
- The consistency test. Will the data always be collected in the same way whoever measures it?
- The access test. Is it easy to locate and capture the data needed to make the measurement?
- The clarity test. Is any ambiguity possible in interpreting the results?
- The so-what test. Can and will the data be acted upon, i.e. is it actionable?
- The timeliness test. Can the data be accessed rapidly and frequently enough for action?
- The cost test. Is the measure worth the cost of measurement?
- The gaming test. Is the measure likely to encourage undesirable or inappropriate behaviors?
These tests show additional filters are useful, however choose the best measure that fits the growth of your company.
3. Focus on Establishing a Revenue Source
You can do this by implementing a referral or customer loyalty program. Try out marketing strategies based on previous purchase behaviors to encourage repeat business from your targeted consumer.
4. Startup Adaptability
One trait that successful startups often have in common is the ability to switch directions quickly in response to changes in the market. Set the foundation in place, water it and watch it grow. If you do the foundational work, when you experience growth, it won't be that difficult to adjust, since the hard part is already done.
You’ve printed flyers, you’ve sent out mailers, you have blasted your social-media followers, but you’re still not getting the lead flow you need, to grow your company into the next multi million dollar brand. There are hundreds of ways to generate leads, so don’t get bummed out about your leads. Just try something different and see were that may lead you. LOL!
5. Social Media Leads
Twitter is a dream for generating leads. Use it to reach out to influencers in your industry and get into conversations with them. Their followers, who are probably some of your potential customers, will see your interactions and follow you or visit your site. You can also follow trending subjects that pertain to your business and interject your thoughts into the general discussion by using the hashtag (#) symbol. For instance, if you are in the mobile world, you may use #iphone to find and eventually get leads. Other social media platforms like Facebook, Snap Chat and Instagram have great lead potential as well.
6. Tech Savvy
Webinars are an inexpensive way to get your message to thousands of potential customers. There are many services that allow you to broadcast a webinar quickly and easily. If you make it a recurring event, you’ll continue to grow your following. So, come up with a great idea that helps your customers and promote it using social media, your network, your newsletter, or you blog.
7. Branding = New Leads
Customers love authentic companies. They like it when a company has a strong and clear message and that message is consistent across all of their marketing platforms. Do not try and be everything to everyone. Customers want the experts and the company that is the best in its industry. Focus on communicating that through your branding and your conversion rates will go up, resulting in more leads and more sales.
The world is filled with all types of companies trying to sell all types of products and services. The idea is that you have to find a way to standout with seeming obviously desperate. I am not a marketing expert yet, but I know that the future of marketing is through the internet and social media. My experience at the INBOUND 2016 conference in Boston, showed me that today’s entrepreneurs and celebrities understand the value of sales generation and branding. You have to be you, but you have to also show the world who you are. As you put yourself and your business out to the world just remembers that the key to any success is persistence, so if you fall down get right back up and go after your dream.