Generating new leads is hard work, especially when you’re working in an industry like marketing, which has its own set of challenges that other industries don’t have to deal with as much. To make your life easier, here are 10 lead generation ideas for marketing agencies. These ideas may be great ways to generate leads in the short term, but they could also be the base of your own lead generation plan over the long term if you implement them correctly and keep monitoring them for results over time.
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1) Offer free consultation calls
Call businesses directly and offer to take 15 minutes to talk about their marketing needs. You’ll be surprised how many people will want to do that, and you’ll be able to quickly determine what areas of business marketing they’d like help with most. Some of them might actually end up as clients. Additionally, try posting on job boards or forums that are relevant to your target audience and ask if people would be interested in hearing from you about your marketing expertise. The worst thing that can happen is they say no, but you never know unless you ask!
2) Develop an affiliate program
Whether it’s with a group of blogs, social media influencers or through an email list, building an affiliate program is one of your best tools to attract new customers and grow your business. An affiliate program gives people who love what you do (and know your target audience) a reason to promote and share your products. For example, maybe you are a graphic designer that has created some template business cards. With an affiliate program, any other designers who work in the same industry can sign up to be affiliates and earn 20% if they refer someone to your business cards.
3) Have a giveaway
Even if you don’t consider yourself an email marketing expert, you should still start collecting emails. Start by implementing a sign-up form on your website and encourage people to subscribe—the best approach is to do so passively (no pop-ups or interstitials) and allow people to sign up with minimal friction. Once you have that sorted out, make it a point to share interesting content via email at least once per week. There are services like Campaign Monitor, MailChimp, AWeber and others that will let you send beautiful emails from day one. We recommend using a service like ActiveCampaign if you need more advanced features like automation, landing pages and other tools.
4) Build an email newsletter list
First and foremost, you need to build a list. And we don’t mean a newsletter. We mean an email list. The difference is that subscribers on your email list are opted-in and therefore directly consenting to hear from you. That gives you permission to market your products or services directly to them—rather than indirectly through social media or search engines. Email marketing also affords you more opportunities for segmentation and personalization, making it better able to reach people who may be interested in what you have to offer, but who haven’t necessarily engaged with your brand yet.
5) Host events
Yes, it’s time-consuming to plan and run a successful event. But when you look at it from a lead generation perspective, hosting an event can be highly cost-effective. For example, one of my clients hosts an annual webinar where they showcase their past work and speak about their plans for new projects in 2018. The work showcased is done by past clients so instead of being overly promotional, we just say things like This is a project we did earlier in 2017 for Company X. This way clients feel like they’re attending something that’s useful while also getting to know us better as we speak about our upcoming projects with other businesses in similar industries.
6) Reach out to prospects on social media
Reaching out to prospects on social media is one of those things that feels like it shouldn’t work, but does. Finding prospects on Twitter can be easy (if you know what you’re doing), and it pays off big time in results. Prospects usually check their personal Twitter feed every day, so reaching out to them over there makes sense. Use hashtags, retweet content that is relevant and contribute helpful information to build your reputation as an expert in your field. Then, when a prospect sees your name pop up on his or her Twitter feed, they’ll be more inclined to respond. You can also use tools like Tweetreach to find influencers who are following prospects and leverage them into a sale.
7) Encourage referrals from current clients
If you’re at a loss for what to do, you could always volunteer. Find an organization that works on a cause or issue you believe in, and find a way to help them out (even if it’s not that glamorous). Make sure your talents are applicable to their cause—for example, maybe you can offer public relations assistance or spread awareness. Then, sit back and enjoy knowing that your work has really made an impact. When considering volunteering options, try your local YMCA or United Way office; oftentimes they have volunteer programs just waiting for people like you!
8) Give back by volunteering in your community
It’s always a good idea to give back to your community, but it can be especially valuable if you do so in between clients. Volunteering has been proven to raise morale and promote teamwork while connecting you with others in your industry. Keep your eyes open: local business organizations, nonprofits, and marketing groups are all opportunities to help others.
9) Develop expert status online
If you want to develop an online platform that brings in new leads, you’ll need to start developing an expert status. This can be done by: 1) creating content on your own site about your area of expertise; and 2) participating in blogs where you comment on industry-related topics or answer questions as a recognized subject matter expert. By showing others that you know what you’re talking about, they’ll pay attention to what else you have to say and eventually consider working with you. Learn more at BusinessNewsDaily’s Expert Advice section .
10) Ask friends, family, and colleagues for introductions
Is there a marketing agency that you’ve worked with in your role as a project manager? If so, do them a favor and ask for an introduction to their business development lead. Remember, you don’t need to pitch yourself—it’s perfectly fine to ask your contact at a marketing agency if they know anyone who might be interested in working with you. Just remember that if they want to work with you, they should reach out. Notifying them of your interest is only polite.
So here you have it. 10 lead generation ideas for marketing agencies. You now have dozens of ideas at your disposal to start generating leads today. Remember, you need to constantly be testing and optimizing so that you can make sure your lead generation campaign is working. And if you’re looking for more great ideas, feel free to check out our ultimate guide on how to generate leads! It contains 150+ different strategies that have been proven time and time again by top-performing digital marketers around the world – just like you!