Your goal, obviously, is to turn as many new leads as possible into qualified leads ready to do business with you. How your organization does that depends on a number of factors: what you sell; whether you sell online, in person, or both; and so on. But whether you’re a solopreneur selling subscriptions to your investment blog or a coffee roaster serving local businesses and mail-order customers, the same basic principles of identifying, organizing, and working with leads apply. The more efficiently your business captures and identifies new, qualified leads, the better you’ll be able to work with them.
Leads may come from various sources or activities, for example, digitally via the Internet, through personal referrals, through telephone calls either by the company or telemarketers, through advertisements, and events. A 2015 study found that 89% of respondents cited email as the most-used channel for generating leads, followed by content marketing, search engine, and finally events. A study from 2014 found that direct traffic, search engines, and web referrals were the three most popular online channels for lead generation, accounting for 93% of leads.
According to Jennifer Stevens, executive editor at International Living, the list is vast, but it isn’t comprehensive. “We created it to give people a sense for the scope of opportunity out there,” says Stevens. “We’ve written lots about the different ways expats abroad fund their lives. Sometimes it’s with online work—like writing or drop-shipping. Sometimes it’s in-person services they provide, from running a consignment store to wedding planning. Certainly, the online opportunities provide great flexibility and portability. But it’s worth pointing out that business owners in many places tell us that it’s much easier to start a business abroad because it’s often less expensive and less bureaucratic than it is at home.”
Developing a strong internet presence is a key part of lead generation. This is often accomplished using inbound marketing techniques like content marketing, website forms, and search engine optimization. These are topics unto themselves, but they boil down to using content that you publish to drive prospective customers back to your website. The digital age has made it easier for companies to research and understand their prospective leads. When you get a bead on what buyers want and need, you can tailor your online presence to better draw them in. From there, it’s important to develop and nurture relationships with them, which we’ll talk more about in a later section of this article.
Nurturing is so aptly named because it’s all about giving your new relationship what it needs to prosper. Some leads will want regular emails, some will want quick responses to questions on social media, and others will want an 800 number and a conversation to learn more about your offerings. Developing an effective lead nurturing strategy pays off: Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost and boast 9% more sales reps making quota than companies that struggle with nurturing.
Once you have a good mix of high-value content, including visual content, start promoting it on social channels. The more engagement you get, the more Google considers your content to be of high value, which in turn boosts your SEO rankings. Search engines look for natural links, so the more informative your content is, the more likely people will link to it naturally.
Because search engines equate high-quality content with a high-quality website, creating content with value is very important. Conduct a content audit to see how many of your assets fall into the thought leadership vs. promotional category. That means making sure that your thought leadership content has substance to it. Lots of companies are jumping on the content bandwagon, so do it right: focus on quality over quantity, and on providing useful – not promotional – information.
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Just be sure to put a lot of care into your product listings. Everything from the titles you use, to how effective the description is at convincing potential buyers your product is better than the rest, and even taking care to shoot high quality product photos can have a dramatic impact on your sales. I recommend using photo editing tools like Fotor, which gives you the ability to edit your images, create captivating graphic designs and more.
Franchises can cost a lot of money, but there are opportunities for less than $50,000, says Jania Bailey, CEO of FranNet, a franchise marketplace. “You might be able to get financing from the (Small Business Administration) or the lenders the brand works with. It’s a little more affordable than people think. If it takes $100,000, you might need $20,000.”
Mechanical Turk: Amazon's Mechanical Turk is a resource for doing human-intelligence tasks, or as the site commonly refers to them, HITs. You get paid a very small fee for any given HIT and you'll need a good deal of volume to make a substantial amount of money. But it is a resource you can use in your spare time to generate a small income online.
Like talking to people and helping walk them through problems? You can bring in extra income as a contract customer support superstar for companies all over the world. Due to the 24/7 nature of online businesses, companies are looking for people in different time zones to help deal with issues that their users are having. Better yet, if you have experience in service or retail you’ll be perfectly suited. Check out indeed or the other remote job boards I listed earlier to find opportunities.
Unsurprisingly, the more revenue a company has, the more leads they generate. The differences are most drastic at the highest and lowest end of the spectrum: 82% of companies with $250,000 or less in annual revenue report generating less than 100 leads per month, whereas only 8% of companies generating $1 billion in annual revenue report less than 100 leads per month.
The idea behind lead routing is pretty simple, but as your organization grows, the process can get complicated quickly. You want to assign every lead to the sales rep best suited to guide the buyer through a successful transaction. That could mean distributing leads by geographic territory, by customer or deal size, or by which product(s) the lead is interested in.
Cost per thousand (e.g. CPM Group, Advertising.com), also known as cost per mille (CPM), uses pricing models that charge advertisers for impressions — i.e. the number of times people view an advertisement. Display advertising is commonly sold on a CPM pricing model. The problem with CPM advertising is that advertisers are charged even if the target audience does not click on (or even view) the advertisement.
Insurance companies are increasingly outsourcing their incoming phone calls to contact centers, which then have to hire or contract with licensed insurance reps “because state laws mandate that only licensed agents can ‘sell’ policies,” says Durst of Rat Race Rebellion. So, if you see an ad on TV for a life insurance company and call the number on your screen, there’s a good chance you’re talking to someone who is working from home.
What It Is: Create virtual displays of art and graphics by assembling images, typographies, and motion graphics for published, printed, or digital media. This may include drafting logos, packaging, labels, and advertisements for brands. Top candidates will have skills in creativity, typography, software, web design, Adobe Photoshop, technology, and more.
20. Etsy – If you like to create arts and crafts, you can sell them on Etsy.It’s completely free to open an Etsy store. You simply sign up, post pictures of your creations and starting selling. You can choose your payment option, but PayPal is generally the easiest. Etsy makes it easy to sell and keep track of your inventory. There is a small listing fee and they take 3.5% of every sale you make.
The self-directed buyer’s shields are up, and they are ignoring your messages. Developing a relationship to cut through the noise is critical. Not all leads that go to sales are ready to buy, so you have to make sure that you have in place a solid lead nurturing strategy to continue to build awareness and affinity for your brand while your prospect is self-educating. Through paying attention to your MOFU efforts through tactics such as lead nurturing, you can continue to have a relevant conversation with prospects long after your lead generation efforts.
Has anyone ever told you you have a voice for radio? Are you great at creating original characters with just your voice? There are tons of people looking to pay for quality voice overs for their corporate videos, animation series, or educational videos. Check out Fiverr and UpWork or create a profile on a specialized site like Voices.com or The Voice Realm to get started making money online doing voice overs.
Build up a following on your Instagram account and you could quickly be making extra money online. Major brands, gear companies, and even startups are willing to shell out $500-$5,000+ per post to get in front of your audience. While it’s getting harder and harder to build a massive Instagram audience, if you already have a solid niche and are posting quality content regularly with a great camera for taking Instagram photos, with a few small tweaks you can make yourself an influencer. Check out this awesome article from Shopify on how to build and grow your Instagram following to get started.
Search engines also provide lead generation options. Any business with a website can appear on a search engine listing for related searches, and visitors can then click a link and be taken to that company's website. However, some search engines also offer a pay-per-click lead generation option. The search engine posts a link to the company's website at the top of the search results form, making it much more likely that prospective customers will choose to visit that website. However, when a visitor does click the link the search engine charges that company a small fee, as opposed to the free 'general' listings. Companies that use pay-per-click advertising are advised to move cautiously at first, as an overly successful campaign can end up costing far more than expected!
Not only will this multiply the money you’re bringing in in a serious way, but it protects you against any sudden changes in the market or in your business. Remember that old saying about putting all your eggs in one basket? A few hours a week committed to just one or two of the following opportunities will put you in a much stronger position to be financially safe and independent.
Consumer behavior changes constantly, and so do opportunities for lead generation. That’s why it’s important to periodically revisit your strategies for capturing leads to take advantage of evolving consumer behavior and technical trends. That said, in addition to establishing a strong online presence, referrals, word-of-mouth recommendations, tradeshows, and networking are all still excellent sources of lead generation. But whether you’re contacting with prospective customers in person or online, you’re going to want to keep track of them digitally. We call that lead management. Let’s walk through getting your business started with it, shall we?
High-ticket consulting or coaching: You could sell your own high-ticket consulting or coaching products from your website. You'll still need a website, merchant account, sales funnel, lead magnet and many other items. But you can easily earn a substantial amount of money from each individual customer, making it well worth the arduous setup required.
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