The hardest thing for any business, particularly B2B startups is how to generate regular leads that will ultimately convert into sales. Often small businesses fail to grasp that consistent online and offline marketing is the best way to generate initial brand awareness and subsequent leads. If your startup is targeting the corporate sector, there are multiple ways to increase the number of enquiries from prospective clients and generate some much needed revenue for your startup.
Active Networking – If you’re not already, ensure you are a well known face on the social scene within your industry, if people are familiar with your startup, they’re much more likely to purchase from you. Make sure to approach your networking strategically; pinpoint the attendees who will be most interested in your startup’s offering and spend time cultivating a relationship with them. The most important lesson when networking is to always follow up with attendees, even if they haven’t shown any initial interest in your startup. By keeping in regular contact, chances are when they are ready to purchase, you’ll already be on their radar. Read this guide from Elite Daily on how to generate more leads when networking and be sure to put them into practice at your next event.
Guest Blogging – Don’t let your lack of an English Literature degree prevent you from blogging. Aside from writing regularly for your own business blog, it’s imperative you allocate ample time to guest blog on other websites relevant to your industry. Not only is this a fantastic way of building brand awareness and driving links back to your website, it’s also the perfect way to reach prospective clients who are regular readers of trade publications. Have a content strategy when you are guest blogging by making a list of sites you wish to work with and topics to blog about, often sites with a significant circulation will send the type of traffic to your site you could only dream of. As a direct result of consistent guest blogging over 9 months, Buffer’s Leo Wildrich drove over 100,000 new sign ups to his social media management tool.
Thought Leadership – By creating authoritative content like E-books, white papers and reports, you can build a level of credibility as an expert in your field. Make use of your current customer data or conduct a survey on issues pertinent to your industry and pull the most interesting findings to create a downloadable resource for prospective clients. Content like this helps to build authority for your startup and suggests you have your finger on the pulse on breaking news and key trends within your industry. Read this awesome case study from Marketing Sherpa about an IT company generating sales of $8 million as a result of a comprehensive thought leadership campaign.
Cold Calling – As terrifying as it may initially seem, you will often have to resort to cold calling prospective clients in a bid to drum up business. This needn’t be an aggressive sales call however, a simple email introducing your startup and outlining your services will suffice. By identifying a problem your prospective client faces and suggesting how your startup can help, you may very well have reached out to them at the perfect time. Ensure you allocate at least 2 hours each morning to send about 5 – 10 pitches daily and more importantly, make sure to follow up as it’s likely they may have missed your previous email. Check out this sample speculative pitch a web design startup sent to some prospective clients he hoped to work with for inspiration.