Your business is built on the customers you bring in. Without leads that convert to customers, there is no business. But finding those leads can be a challenge, and there are always hills and valleys when it comes to hot prospects.
What you may not realize is that you’re already in all the places where most business owners find their best leads–it’s just a matter of taking the time to act on them.
Here are some of my favorite places to find and nurture leads for my own business.
Even if you do most of your marketing online, in-person networking events are a great place to practice your networking skills and connect with other movers and shakers in your geographical area. Plus, local events get you out of your comfort zone, which is something that you need if you’re going to grow as a person and a business owner. Building relationships with others is one of the best ways to grow your business because you never know who your next referral will come from! Even if your perfect lead isn’t at the event, chances are that building new relationships will get you the referrals you need.Whether your business is virtual or local, in-person networking events are key to business growth. Click To Tweet
LinkedIn and Facebook Groups
In the online world today, there are few people who aren’t present on social media–personally or for business. LinkedIn and Facebook groups are both ideal for those looking to network with like-minded business owners. They provide a space to share your content, start and continue conversations and showcase your expertise by answering questions and providing value. But be careful: If you choose to use social media to network and look for leads, be sure you’re interacting with the right people and spending time in the right groups. Many groups can be a rabbithole of distractions and wasted time!
Your Own Network
If you’re doing your job right and wow-ing your clients, they are some of the best resources for new business leads. Many of your current clients will take the lead and refer you without a second thought. But others, you may need to ask. Add a message to your invoices and email signature, letting clients know you have openings and would love a referral from them. Or send a personalized email to clients who have a wide network, thanking them for choosing you and asking for a referral to a specific person. Be sure to respect their time and privacy and if you don’t hear back, don’t take it personally. Everyone is busy and it might not be the right time.There’s a good chance that your perfect client is already following you. Nurture those relationships. Click To Tweet
Most conferences have hundreds (even thousands!) of attendees–a breeding ground for networking and business growth. But with that many people, it’s a little overwhelming to connect with the right folks. If a list of attendees is available prior to the event, do some research and make a list of those you want to connect with. Then seek them out. You can also listen carefully during Q&A sessions and approach anyone who asks a question that really resonates with you.
No matter where you’re networking and looking for leads, go into these conversations to build a connection and relationship–not to gain a customer. The more authentic your approach is, the better the leads will be and the faster your business will grow.
Need help with following up after meeting someone you think might be an ideal lead? Grab my template for lead follow-ups!