Untapped Lead Generation Strategies for Startups

February 26, 2016

7:00 pm

Creating a steady pipeline of leads is the key element of your startup’s success. Yet, no one said it’s an easy process. While an efficient lead generation strategy requires long-term testing and constant improvement, here are a few tips you can start using right away.

Build Credibility

The best sales decisions are usually based on mutual trust. But when you are a new company, how do you leverage the trust factor?

Share the details about your team and work process.  Use your social media to curate employee’s profiles, share the aspects of your work culture and behind-the-scenes snaps. Transparency leverages credibility.  Buffer, for instance, took it onto the new level by making their financial activity public.

Feature testimonials. Even if you are a brand new company, you can still take advantage of placing testimonials e.g. quotes from media coverage and “as seen in” badges; feedback you’ve gotten from an early launch via startup communities like Product Hunt or Erli Bird. Alternatively, you can outreach to a few influencers and offer to test-drive your product for free in exchange for a featured testimonial.

Highlighting your executive team.  Do you have an influential and well-respected advisor on your board? Do you have any major venture capitalists or angel investors, who have been publicly supporting your company? Does your mentor has influence and would be happy to say a good word about you?

Telling stories will be part of your selling process. Even if your product is the “next big thing”, at the initial stage you will have to show that your product already has credibility among the influencers, whom your customers know and respect.

Attract Relevant Traffic

Not all website traffic was created equal. Sure, your goal is to get those search rankings up a.k.a. acquire as much links as possible. However, instead of scattering your efforts around multiple places for the sake of being everywhere, focus on expanding your presence at the places, where your ideal customer hangs out.

Guest posting is still an excellent way to drive quality leads when done right. Rather than pitching all the industry blogs (big or small), create a segmented list of the targeted platforms your ideal buyer visits. If you get your guest post accepted by a popular blog, consider creating a dedicated landing page on your website, which would introduce your company and services, plus offer a relevant CTA for the newly arrived e.g. subscribe to your newsletter. Remember, you need to build trust first, before pushing a sale.

Quora is the place-to-be if you are looking to connect with warmed up prospects. The essence of this Q&A platform is to get answers and quick solutions to your problem. Launch a quick search for a term related to your product e.g. “project management”, review the questions and add your answer with a recommendation of your product as one of the possible solutions. The key here is to bring tangible value, rather than sound like a sleazy advert.

Optimize Your Pages

Once you have built trust and attracted the relevant traffic don’t let it slip out. Here are a few key tips for that:

Multiple opt-in forms indeed result into more signups. There’s nothing wrong with turning each piece of content into an opt-in offer by spicing them up with content upgrades – additional relevant materials readers may want to download after reading the post. On top, place a prominent opt-in form on the top of your blog page, apart from the sidebar area, as a good portion of traffic will inevitably land there.

Make your signup forms simpler. No one likes filling out endless forms to opt-in and giving out private data e.g. phone number or address at this point. The more fields there are to fill – the less leads you will receive. Additionally, highlight the errors, so that your visitors know exactly what they need to fix. This could be done with a simple JavaScript snippet and your readers will much appreciate the option to make corrections instantly, rather than after they have filled in the entire form.

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Dianna is a former ESL teacher and World Teach volunteer, currently living in France. She’s slightly addicted to apps and viral media trends and helps different companies with product localization and content strategies. You can tweet her at @dilabrien

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