An efficient way to generate qualified leads without continual, heavy investment in capital is to focus on business development activities that provide leverage and a force multiplier.
Leverage means that the effort that you spend on a given activity continues to pay dividends long after you are finished working on it, and a Force Multiplier is something that allows you to get your message out to many people simultaneously without any additional incremental costs.
Three good examples are:
- Developing and maintaining a website that provides a continually updated source of valuable information about your products and services.
- Actively sending out an e-mail newsletter (sent ONLY to those who have opted in, of course).
- Deploying a modest, yet appropriately targeted, phone book ad.
Engaging in these sorts of activities allows you to create a system that will enable you to establish yourself as an expert in your field, attract new leads, and, done properly, pre-qualify them before they get in touch with you for more information. All done while enabling you to focus time and effort to service your existing clients.
This isn’t something that happens overnight, and it takes time and effort to craft the content, continually update your site, and write regular, relevant newsletters. However, the time is well spent because of its leveragable nature. This is contrasted against activities like cold-calling, going to trade shows, and sending out expensive direct mail campaigns where the effort that you spend has no leverage. Once you are done with the activity, it does not continue to provide you direct benefit.
On your site, there are many different ways of providing the content to your visitors. Blogs, forums, articles, and newsletters to name just a few. Each business is different and the mix of features depends on your business, your products and services, and your audience.
A good example of a site like this is Pineapple Alley Catering, a website that we designed, built, host, and provide a comprehensive content management system whereby it is easy for the owner to continually update the site. The owner gets approximately 4 – 5 qualified leads a week sending him e-mail through the contact form on his site because of the depth and breadth of content on it, and the fact that it is regularly updated.
As far as the phone book ads go, it might sound like an outdated approach, but it is another of those leveragable marketing efforts in that once it is out there it continues to work for you without any additional effort. In most cases, when someone cracks open the phone book looking for something, they are ready to buy. Make it very obvious in your ad that more information can be found on your website and you can help use it to drive traffic to your site.
All of these activities have the force multiplier effect because it doesn’t take you any more time to have 1 or 1,000 people visit your website; send out an e-mail newsletter to 1, or 1,000 people; and literally millions of phone books include your business’s marketing material, phone number and website in them.
So, when thinking about ways to market your business think about activities that have both leverage and a force multiplier to them and you can begin to build a system that continually works for you and helps you get the most out of your marketing investment.
— Ryan Chapin
President, Nuts & Bolts Interactive, Inc