Image: Getty Article Contributor: Jeanette Dorazio

Three Lead Generation Strategies For Your Service-Based Business

Every business owner wants to make sales. But before you get a new customer, you need to generate leads. These are people who have expressed interest in your brand and want to learn more about what you do and how you can address their needs. Once they’re in your sales funnel, you can nurture the relationship, educate them on your offerings and ask them for the sale when they’re ready to make an informed decision.

Generating leads is a crucial part of building a service-based business. But unfortunately, it’s not always easy. Sixty-one percent of marketers say lead generation is their number one challenge. This is especially true for new business owners and entrepreneurs who are still establishing their online presence.

The key to successfully inviting someone into your sales funnel is to offer them something of value. If you can solve one of their problems free of charge, you’ll immediately earn their trust, and they’ll be much more willing to hand over their contact information.

Provide solutions with free consultations.

If you’ve optimized your website and content correctly, prospects will have a good understanding of who you are and what you can offer. But nothing has quite the same impact as a face-to-face conversation. This is why free consultations are still an integral lead generation strategy for service-based businesses, whether you’re targeting B2B or B2C customers.

There are a number of benefits to free consultations.

• They show that you have confidence in your work.

• They let you build relationships with potential clients.

• They allow both sides to assess whether working together would be beneficial.

The key to a successful consultation is to provide more than just a list of your services and rates. Give them a solution that they can act on immediately. Not only does this showcase your value, but it also establishes trust. By solving a small problem now, you’ll increase the chances of being hired for a bigger problem later.

Reach a wider audience with a virtual event.

There’s something to be said for the one-on-one nature of a consultation. However, as your business begins to generate more leads, it might not be realistic to sit down with every interested party. That’s why more and more entrepreneurs are embracing virtual events.

Unlike physical events, which require larger budgets and more resources than most small business owners have access to, virtual events are accessible to everyone. An internet connection and a video conferencing tool like Zoom or Google Meet is all you need to connect with your audience and deliver a memorable experience.

Worry less about production value and more about your content. Even a simple training session with some basic slides can be extremely powerful if the information provided solves a critical problem.

Holding regular virtual events will build your brand and demonstrate your skills to a larger audience, which in turn will allow you to generate more leads.

Share your knowledge with lead magnets.

More personal services, like consultations and events, are great for adding a human touch to your marketing. However, these types of services require your presence, which makes them difficult to scale. By taking content you’ve created for your consultations, events and other channels and automating it, you’ll maximize the number of potential customers you’re able to reach.

Lead magnets are downloadable content pieces that users access by submitting their email addresses. Some common examples include checklists, ebooks, whitepapers and training videos. Whatever form they take, the key to a successful lead magnet is providing a quick win for your audience.

Is there a particular problem that your clients consistently bring to you? Are there certain questions you’re asked on a regular basis? Use these pain points as the basis for your lead magnets. Creating an easily digestible asset that provides an actionable solution is one of the most effective ways to grow your email list with qualified leads.

Lead magnets have become one of the most popular lead generation strategies, largely because they’re easy to automate. Unlike consultations and events that require you to be present, lead magnets are very hands-off. Once your content is created, you can build a landing page to host it and automatically deliver your content through your email marketing provider.

Solutions, not sales pitches, are what drive lead generation.

The new digital landscape has made it easier than ever to launch your own service-based business. But that’s also opened the door for a wider range of competitors. If you want to capture people’s attention, you need to prove your worth. By showing your prospects what your business has to offer, rather than simply telling them, you’ll earn the opportunity to further the relationship and add them to your sales funnel.