Getting to know you
Getting to know all about you
Getting to like you
Getting to hope you like me
“Getting To Know You” from The King and I is one of my favorite Broadway show tunes. It’s such a simple yet beautiful song (although taken out of context, maybe just the tiniest bit creepy).
Anna, the teacher and heroine of the show, sings this song to break the ice with her new pupils. To be able to effectively teach her students, they have to build a relationship: she gets to know them and they get to know her. The same relationship building concept applies to businesses.
To build a relationship between your business and your customers, you have to get to know each other. But most customers need a little push to get to know a new business. That’s where your work begins. You need to generate leads.
Effective lead generation
In a magical world, customers would be lining up the instant you open your business. Alas, that rarely happens. Instead, you wisely rely on lead generation to build buzz in your business, which leads to sales down the line. You create a relationship where you and your potential clients get to know each other.
How do you get leads effectively? Sure, you could air a commercial with basset hounds howling out your website on the Super Bowl. Adorable, definitely, but it probably won’t generate a stellar ROI.
The best way to generate leads is also the easiest and most economical: using social media. Turning your social media into a lead-generating machine is easy. You just have to follow these simple but necessary steps.
Step 1: Give them a place to get to know you
This step is fairly straightforward. You need to be present online in order for people to be able to learn more about you. Be on every network that your target audience uses.
Having a home base, or a website that details your products, services, and contact information, is the essential place to start. You also want to participate in other key social media networks, like Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram. Make your social media pages a place where customers want to be. Write an informative blog, create funny videos, post cute photos. Don’t just be present. Be active.
Step 2: Introduce Yourselves to Each Other
Once you have a strong presence on social media, it’s time to start building a relationship. You want customers to flock to you. There are both free and paid ways to reach out to prospective customers.
Contact major online influencers and ask them to promote your products. If you sell strawberry jam, offer jars to leading cooking YouTubers – one for them to keep and at least one for them to give away. If you have a diaper cleaning service, offer a prominent local mom blogger a free month of service and a coupon code for her readers. Major social media gurus build deep trust bonds with their followers. If they say your product or service is great, their followers will accept their word as gospel truth.
Paid advertising is another key to lead generation. Most of the major social media venues, from Facebook to blogs to Twitter, offer some form of paid advertising. You do want to be careful with ads, though. They can be a great way to get customers’ attention, but they can also be annoying if overused. Use metrics on sites like Facebook to target ads to customers who will be most interested in you.
When you do paid advertisements, focus on making honest, enticing ads that are clear and catchy. The best ads offer something that will make your target audience excited to explore your company.
Step 3: Cement Your Friendship as BFFs!
The end goal in lead generation (besides a sale, of course) is to get customers to reach out to you *and* to give you their contact information. That way, you get to know each other. One of the best ways to do this is to offer your customers “gated content.”
Gated content is information or items you provide your customers in return for their contact information. Knowing contact information not only allows you to reach out to potential customers in their future, but it also tells you who is sufficiently interested your business that they will take the time and risk of giving you their information. It may get fewer clicks than ungated content, but it’s more likely to get serious viewers.
What’s the best kind of gated content? It depends on your business and who your target customer is. Several of the most popular forms of gated content include giveaways, webinars, ebooks, and newsletters.
There are many different ways to generate leads and to start the relationship building process. The most important thing is to put yourself out there. Businesses aren’t that different from friendships. You both give a little and get a lot. With a little effort, you can help future customers “get to know you” and find a new “friend.”