Updated: Feb 22
Creating a flow of clients for your business is one of the biggest challenges that every company struggles with. To sustain sales, you need effective strategies to generate clients. Marketing can often blow your budget, particularly for small businesses which do not have independent marketing teams or big budgets.
So, before starting, consider these two questions:
What is the upfront cost required to fund the strategy?
What amount of regular effort is required to keep it running?
With this in mind, let's review the five lead generation strategies to get new clients with little upfront costs.
1. Invest in Lead Generation Campaigns
Lead generation refers to providing free valuable content to your potential clients in exchange for their contact information. The purpose of a lead generator is to attract hot and warm leads that you can then directly contact and market to.
A successful lead generator provides a free product that brings value to your potential clients. It can be anything from an e-book, blog, webinar, template, or checklist. It builds trust in your business through the exchange.
The best thing about a lead generation campaign is you create it once. The system then continues producing results without the need for extra work on your end.
2. Set Up a Referral System
Gone are the days when you could ask your friends and family to refer your business. This might work as you're starting your business but cannot sustain itself as a long-term growth strategy.
Aim to provide a tangible incentive to your existing clients to refer new ones. In this case, the referral will come from someone who has already tested your service, thereby increasing the chances of getting a new client. That's the power of word of mouth.
One of the common strategies is offering a discount to your existing client if they bring in a new client. This is great as it directly benefits your client and does not require any expenditure on your end unless you see a result.
3. Ramp Up Your SEO Strategy
With the rise of platforms like WordPress, anyone can create a website for free within minutes. In such a situation, getting lost in the crowd is very easy. While developing a great product or service is essential, it's useless if potential clients don't get to see it. This is where search engine optimization (SEO) matters.
SEO organically improves your website's rank on the search engine results page. It ensures that potential customers see you before your competitors without paid advertising. This includes a wide range of strategies such as finding the keywords your clients are searching for, improving your site speed, and ensuring your content is accessible on different devices.
4. Build a Social Media Presence
Social media presence is critical for client generation in 2022. There's no barrier to entry and zero capital required with social media, meaning you can begin today without spending any money.
Many businesses exclusively rely on social media for clients to grow their business. Take Natalie Ellis's multi-million dollar company, Boss Babe, as an example. Before Boss Babe, Ellis Oh My Glow had zero marketing budget. She quickly realized that selling through social media was the best way to market for free. Ellis marketed Boss Babe on Instagram for free as her business grew.
Managing social media accounts will require regular active effort. The good news is that you can start small. Just 30 minutes a day can do wonders for your social media account.
5. Offer Strong Incentives
Another way to expand your client base is by offering irresistible incentives. This can be in the form of a discount or an introductory offer. For example, you might give a 10% discount to every client who hires you for the first time or signs up on your email list.
Create incentives to fit your business model. Let's say you prefer working with clients on a retainer. You could limit the introductory offer to such clients that retain you for three months in such a case. The great thing about incentives is they don't require a big marketing budget. Profit margins will take a hit in the short run, but it won't need any upfront costs from your end.
The Bottom Line
Getting more clients is a never-ending challenge, and being successful requires constantly coming up with new ways to get fresh leads. As marketing strategies change and evolve, so will your lead generation campaign. This isn't something you accomplish overnight; it's a process. But by focusing on these five lead generation strategies to get new clients with little upfront costs, you can build a framework for a successful campaign so that new clients can find you in 2022.