How does a business survive? A business survives by gaining new business as well as retaining existing business where appropriate. That’s why the previous two blogs, What is Your Vision for 2015 and Creating a Strong Foundation in Your Business are so important. Each of these steps builds to then help your business create a strong lead generation strategy.

Are you ready to generate new leads for your business? Targeting your ideal customer impacts how you reach those leads. Understanding the demographics, psychographics, and behaviors of the ideal client is essential in reaching the right audience.

The first step: Determine how you plan to market. There are so many ways to reach your ideal client but what is right for your business? How will you gain the best return on investment (ROI) for your marketing, advertising and PR budgets? Know the difference between inbound and outbound marketing. Outbound marketing is the more “traditional” way of marketing and advertising where you push your message out to the masses through advertising, tradeshows, brochures, commercials etc. Inbound marketing is promoting your company through blogs, videos, podcasts and other avenues where you are pulling the potential customer/client into your funnel.

Listed are some ways your business can reach its ideal client, but I cannot stress strongly enough that you must understand how to reach your ideal client and develop a marketing, advertising and PR strategy for the year.

Grassroots Marketing: Depending on your business, grassroots marketing is still one of the best ways to gain new clients. People do business with someone they know, like and trust! If you are a service-based company, one of the best opportunities for you may be grassroots marketing. Where do you go? Again it depends on your ideal client. As a consultant focusing on businesses, my company does a lot of grassroots marketing with the Delray Beach Chamber. We do attend other networking events as well. The most important aspect is consistency. While you may go to one event and pick up a client, more than likely, you need to consistently attend events so people get to know you and your company. 

Print Advertising: While print advertising is not for every business, it is still a great way to gain brand recognition for your business. It does require a budget because you must be in a publication for a minimum of three to six months to start seeing a return.

Internet Marketing: Internet Marketing is the big buzz these days. Many like it because it is a less expensive way to market their business but if you don’t know what you are doing or how to reach your ideal customer, the cost will still add up. Inbound marketing is a big piece of Internet marketing. Below are just a few pieces that go into Internet marketing but there is so much more. If you have a competent Internet marketing team, you will find huge success. 

Website: Who doesn’t have a website these day? Most do and if you don’t, you should. Be aware of what is needed in a website. It is not enough simply to go to Wix or another one of the free ones and throw up a site. Consider WordPress and while I recommend having an expert initially build the site, a small business should definitely know and understand how to run the site.

Before you get started, know how you are going to draw traffic to your site. You must be clear on your brand, create the professional branding logos, banners, and sliders that go with your site. Second, don’t expect people to simply find your website. Have a plan on how people or businesses will find your website. So much goes into SEO or Search Engine Optimization.

What is your plan to update the site? Google does not like a static site but rather a dynamic site. A blog is one of the easiest ways where you can add new content to your website.

Social Media: At this point, social media is here to stay. If you aren’t on a social media platform, you are more than likely missing the boat. Very few industries exist today that I can honestly say should not have a social media presence. Having a profile is also different than updating a profile. It is not enough to have a business page on one of the platforms if you never update it. It is like having a website that sits there with no additional information added.

Online Advertising: More and more businesses are starting to advertise on the Internet. Before you do so, be clear on where to find your ideal client AND understand the steps to do online advertising. Several options exist including Google Ads, Facebook Ads, other social media advertising and many more. If you are not familiar with how to set up ads, I definitely recommend consulting a professional. Before doing so, do some research to find the best business to do this and what type of return you should achieve.

Public Relations: Many businesses totally overlook PR or Public Relations. This is one piece of your marketing mix and definitely not a part you want to overlook. Having a positive story come out about you and your business may be the differentiating factor that someone needs to hire you vs. the competition. Don’t overlook PR and yes, there are inexpensive ways to hire a PR expert.

As a business owner, you want to establish a solid stream of clients where you aren’t guessing where your next paycheck is coming from. Instead you are clear about what your strategy is to gain new leads and then learn what the next steps are to close those leads. Do you want to start 2015 off right? Join us for a FREE Webinar on the Dream.Plan.Start.Grow. process on Tuesday, January 20th, at 7:30pm et. While it is better to be on the webinar live, we will be recording it as well so you can replay it.