Five Top Lead Generation Sources for a Small Business

Lead Generation

What channel produces the most leads for your business?

Do you track how many leads your business receives each day? Each week? Do you know which of your marketing efforts results in the best leads?

An examination of myMarketing Cafe’s online and offline lead sources revealed the following as our top five high quality lead generators. For us, digital marketing takes precedence because of its lower cost and far-reaching capability, but it’s also a top producer of leads.

1. Inner Circle Contacts

The business contacts who I have the strongest relationships with have produced the best leads within the last year. These are the people I am in contact with on a regular basis. Sources of contact have included commenting on their blog posts and social media content, sending an email to catch up, and having at least one phone conversation every quarter. These are also people I am actively seeking lead opportunities to send their way. I’ve vetted their skills and services and can highly recommend them to my contacts.

2. Email Marketing

For my business and for my clients, email marketing is a strong producer of business leads. The strategy I have used with email marketing ties directly with a business blog. At the cafe, we send a weekly email to our contacts highlighting that week’s blog and several others that are related to the topic. For one of our longtime clients, we tie the email marketing to a current blog post and schedule a webinar that further explores the topic. The webinar is an important step for bringing prospects from the business blog into a conversation with team. The webinar content focuses on solving a common problem for the audience and often includes guest presenters who are experts on the topic.

3. Business Blogging

A business blog is the most versatile content source for a small business. With regards to lead generation, our business blog gives me quality content to share across my digital marketing channels. The two key components for this tactic include high quality content and broad distribution of the content. Distribution is important because we need to be in front of our prospects when they have a need, which requires us to distribute content frequently. I’m also able to use the content in targeted lead cultivation efforts. As a prospective client moves along the buyer journey with our company, we can send them content tailored to their unique needs. By generating high quality content, we are positioning our company as a valuable resource for our prospects.

4. Speaking Engagements / Trainings

A speaking engagement produced one of our largest clients this past year. I presented strategies and tactics for using social media beyond likes and shares, and drew the attention of a nonprofit client. These types of trainings provide the opportunity to truly showcase your expertise, provide real life examples of a strategy or tactic, and showcase your personality. Our company is a service firm, we interact with clients daily and so a team member’s professionalism and personality is important for client relations. Speaking engagements can serve as an ice breaker and build a connection with prospects.

5. Referrals

If you ask a small group of your contacts to tell you what you do for a living, could they adequately answer the question? You might be surprised at how little your contacts know about what you do. It’s actually a great way to gauge the effectiveness of your content. However, your contacts are key to producing referrals for your business. In a recent blog post, we shared how to build a referral system and important steps for cultivating a referral.

Leads reach a company through a variety of channels. It’s important to capture and analyze the information to ensure you’re investing in the channels that are best for your business. Grab ideas for other possible lead sources in the myMarketing Cafe small business marketing toolkit.

small business marketing toolkit

What sources have produced the best leads for your business? Please share in the comments below.

  • Word Ninja Thank you, Amanda. I’m now mad at Livefyre because I didn’t see your comment until now. Waiting 22 hours to reply is certainly not a lead generation tactic! Ha ha!  I’m excited to see where your business goes this year.

  • As you already know, I am in dire need of setting up a means of email communication with site visitors. Which leads to #3, ah, the regular blog posts… Referrals have worked best for me, and I’m looking forward to checking out your post about building a referral system. Thanks for all your wonderful work, Jo Lynn!