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Lead generation has changed with the ease at which we can now access information. The customer is now in control of the buying process. They have to find us and we will only be found if we answer their question, problem or issue better, faster and in a more compelling way than the alternatives. 

The better your content is at answering the different questions your customer has at different stages of the buying cycle the more effective you will be in converting leads through your marketing and content strategy.

6 simple steps you can take today: 

1. Help don't sell

You need to take a different approach to your lead generation process. Customers choose to engage with you. How do you get considered in their buying cycle?

Think about their needs and how you can help them with what they want. Providing educational content be it ROI calculators, reports, reference checklists, interactive demos, whitepapers, viral videos, case studies, feature guides, webinars, podcasts, curated lists, e-books, e-newsletters or the latest widget or app! All of these tools help to gain you consideration if they address a burning need with your ideal customer segment.

Remember no one cares about you, the prospective customer is looking to solve his problems. It is our job to get the prospect to engage with us and whether he or she is listening, reading or watching we want them to say: “This girl really knows her marketing stuff, I like and trust her to do my marketing".

2.  Make your website the hub of your marketing

Having a findable website is critical but as important is ensuring you are addressing the needs and concerns of your ideal customer through that search process for them.

3. Provide the right content at the right time

It is my strong opinion that you need to communicate with people who could be your customers, but just aren't ready to buy today because many of those prospects will buy eventually. The more effective your content is in addressing the needs they have at their stage of the buying cycle the more effective you will be. We have great analytics now that give us this information so we don’t have to guess.

4. Connect on an emotional level

It is not enough to just provide great resources you need to make an emotional connection with your audience. People buy off people they know, like and trust. Are you likeable? How do you convey this? Do you have a sense of humour, are you quirky or brash? Remember you can’t be all things to everyone.

5. Get found

These days it is about having the right content for the right customer available in many formats. Do you know where your customers might be searching for your service? Are they likely to be on Facebook or LinkedIn, Youtube, Twitter, local networking groups, etc? Then be there. You need to be where they are. Get a lead, that’s easy, get the right potential customer, that’s the challenge! Just a word of caution. Don’t put everything behind a form. Remember it is better than your customers get a taste of you than leave your website. Give away your best stuff, remember you might not get another chance.

6. Nurture that lead baby

With customers in the box seat in the buying process, it is important to stay in touch with them, despite their readiness to buy. This nurturing process is one of the most important aspects of your sales and marketing engine in small businesses today. Most companies don’t have any lead nurturing beyond a function perhaps once a year and a Christmas card to their best clients. Staying in touch, listening and reacting to your prospects needs is the best way to build a sales funnel.

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