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Four Free Ways to Generate New Business

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You can still generate leads with a limited marketing budget. Many companies are “shoestring” businesses and in the start-up phase it is important to maximize ROI and obtain new business without investing a lot of money. Here are four affordable ways to generate leads:

1. Build your prospect list with a Value Offering. You want to capture the name and email of as many people who visit your website. An easy way to do this is to offer something of value for free – I call this your value offering. This could be a free ebook, a reference or how to guide, a free product, etc. Make sure your value offering is visible on your home (or even on every web page) and is “above the fold.” The best way is to have a simple form that describes what the value offering is and its benefits, then two fields: 1) Name and 2) Email (and Company Name if you sell B2B). Then once they submit the form, an email is sent with their download link or instructions on how to redeem their “gift” or a web page appears with this information. Now, you have given value AND collected prospect information for your marketing/email list. Plus, if the content is great in the ebook or whatever you offer, they will likely contact you for more help. *Always provide a visible unsubscribe link or way to unsubscribe when emailing prospects.

2. Write Guest Blogs. Content-driven marketing is extremely effective and is a way to show your expertise. Search for blogs within your industry – preferably with high traffic (look at the number of subscribers or the number of Facebook fans to gauge this) – and ask them if they would be interested in posting a guest blog on (your topic). Most bloggers will say yes because it provides valuable content and variety for their blog without them having to take the time to write themselves. Make sure your guest blog is informative/helpful/interesting. The most successful blogs are short and concise (400 – 600 words) offering tips of some sort or steps on how to accomplish something (bullet points or lists). At the end of your blog, make sure to add a short bio. This is where you can promote yourself and your business so explain what you do, link to your website and even better, add a call to action (“Like us on Facebook to receive a free ebook” or “Enter our giveaway at www.yourwebsite.com”). If the content is helpful in your guest blog, people will take notice and click to your website and even take action to become a prospect/client.

3. Create a button or small banner. Think of this as an advertisement that clicks to your website. Other bloggers and business owners who you partner with or who want to recommend you can place this button on their websites, blogs or even in their newsletters. Often times other businesses will gladly add your button in exchange for you adding their information to your website. The easiest way to do this is to create an “Our Friends” page or “Sites We Like” page or something along these lines. Here is an example: http://www.woombie.com/static.php?page=our_friends

By having a button or banner on another website you are in front of more people seeing your call to action and they will likely click to your website to learn more.

Here is example code for a button (you can use this same code and just replace with your website/landing page link after the href= and then the link to your button image as the src=; careful not to erase the quotation marks):

<a href=”http://babeecovee.com/” target=”_blank” title=”6-in-1 Baby Blanket and Cover”> <img alt=”BabeeCovee multi-use baby blanket and cover” src=”http://www.babeecovee.com/images/babee-covee-button.jpg”> </a>

Make sure your button clearly states what your company is or does – you can illustrate with an image too. Other tips when creating a button/banner:

  • Add a call to action: “Like us on Facebook to receive 10% OFF” for example.
  • Make the button small: 150 pixels by 150 pixels is best
  • Add the button to your website – “Grab My Code” – show the button and show the code to copy so people visiting your website can add your button to their site if they want.
  • Save the button using keywords in the file name.
  • Add a keyword rich title tag and alt tag like in the above example.
  • Always make sure the button clicks to your website or landing page.

4. Create a custom email signature. A custom email signature grabs people’s attention and makes your company look professional and perhaps bigger than it is. Every time you send an email you have a chance to market your business. In your signature make sure to add:

  • Name and Title
  • Company Name and even a tagline if you have one
  • Address (people like to know this when doing business with you)
  • Phone, Fax, Email, Website
  • Call to action (see example signatures below)
  • Social Media Icons
  • Picture of you and/or your logo

Here are two examples:

email-signature-example-2

This image is courtesy of Tasha Mayberry

 

Signature-Email-Example1

This image is courtesy of Tasha Mayberry.

Overall, there are many ways to generate leads without spending a lot of money. Think outside the box and use your expertise and valuable content as your main tool to get more business.

Tasha-Headshot

Photo Credit: Tasha Mayberry

This guest post is courtesy Tasha Mayberry. She is the Co-Founder of Social Media 22 with her husband Pasha. Social Media 22 is a web design and internet marketing company that helps companies gain online visibility and obtain new business using easy and affordable techniques. They specialize in custom website development, website revamping, blog and newsletter design, search engine optimization, social media marketing, public relations/media outreach, and overall marketing for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Tasha has gotten clients on major news TV networks including Good Morning America, Fox, and NBC. Additionally, their clients have been seen in many magazines including In Touch Weekly, Baby & Child, and more as well as major radio shows.

Additional Information from Tasha Mayberry

To receive a no-obligation, free Opportunities Report listing marketing enhancements and strategies specific to your business, click here.

Image courtesy of jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About Gresham Harkless Jr.

Gresham Harkless is a Media Consultant for Blue 16 Media and the Blogger-in-Chief for CEO Blog Nation. CEO Blog Nation is a community of blogs for entrepreneurs and business owners. Started in much the same way as most small businesses, CEO Blog Nation captures the essence of entrepreneurship by allowing entrepreneurs and business owners to have a voice. CEO Blog Nation provides news, information, events and even startup business tips for entrepreneurs, startups and business owners to succeed.

  • These ideas are very pointed and easy to implement. Thanks for posting them.

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