4 Surprising and Effective Ways to Get Leads for Your Business

Sometimes entrepreneurs and small business owners are so focused on working IN their business that they forget to work ON their business. That's one reason why 20% of businesses fail in the first year, and half of all businesses never make it to year five.

One way to buck the trend is to keep your business growing with a steady pipeline of leads. And there's good news — there are some easy and effective ways to keep those leads coming without having to attend networking events or join LinkedIn groups. Here are four of them.

1. Run a Contest

Want to get new leads by engaging potential customers? Run a contest. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 75% of marketers think it's one of the best ways to raise awareness of your business.

Most people jump at the chance to get something for free, and they'll happily hand over their contact details in exchange. Once you have that information, it's easy to nurture those leads via email marketing and content marketing to turn them into new business.

You can generate even more leads by using a tool like Rafflecopter to give more contest entries in exchange for social shares. That way, people who enter your contest help you promote it — a win-win!

This lead generation strategy really works. Vyper ran a leaderboard contest and got 7000 B2B leads and 8000 social media followers.

2. Set Up a Microsite

When you're thinking about lead generation, microsites aren't the first thing that come to mind, but maybe they should be. Here's the thing: one proven way to generate leads for your business is to create a ridiculously useful free tool, and put it on its own domain.

Advantages of a microsite include:

  • Letting you focus on a free tool or resource that solves a problem for your ideal customer
  • Creating a branded destination that you can promote separately, including for your contests
  • Improved SEO because of targeted content and speedy load times

Hubspot's website grader tool is one example of a successful microsite. Another is SQL School, an educational microsite which brings Mode Analytics 500 new leads a month.

Consider using a top level domain that's a good fit for your microsite, such as .promo for contests, .info for free tools and resources, or .pro for professional advice.

3. Run a Crowdfunding Campaign

Want to generate leads and make sales at the same time? Consider running a crowdfunding campaign for your business. Advantages of crowdfunding include:

  • Validating your idea — if people like it, then they'll help to fund it
  • Getting useful feedback to help with product development
  • Getting contact details so that you can keep people informed about product updates and new products

This is another proven way to find new leads. When Foundr magazine wanted to publish a book, they ran a Kickstarter campaign to gauge interest. The company promoted the campaign via social media marketing and a contest. In the end, Foundr was confident the book would sell, and rightly so — the campaign exceeded its funding goal by four times. Plus, Foundr got thousands of new email marketing subscribers.

4. Create Lead Magnets From Blog Content

These days, most businesses have a blog. But many miss an easy way to use blog content for lead generation by repurposing their content to create a lead magnet.

A lead magnet is something you give away in exchange for people subscribing to your email list so you can continue to market to them. There are lots of effective lead magnet ideas, but one of the easiest is an e-book.

For example, if you've got an in-depth blog post, you can create a PDF and give people the chance to download it in exchange for subscribing to your list. Or you can package multiple blog posts around a theme to create your e-book.

Either way, the best approach is to check your analytics to see what your most popular blog content is. That will help you decide which content is most likely to attract leads when you repackage it.

Hubspot uses lead magnets extensively in marketing with excellent results. In 2017, people shared their most popular e-book 4700 times. It also showed up in search results, driving more traffic and leads to the company.

Contests, microsites, crowdfunding, and lead magnets are great ways to stand out from the crowd while generating new leads. For more tips on growing your business, check out our five favorite growth hacking podcasts.