Word of mouth works a little bit differently than it has in the past, and it's definitely not sufficient to fuel your business' growth in the long term.
There are only so many family, friends, and friends of family and friends to cater to - not enough to sustain a proper business. This becomes especially true for most service-related businesses. Think about it - if a roof is put on correctly, water heater fixed or replaced, vehicle tuned up - i.e. if you have done your job correctly - you shouldn’t see the customer again - not for a while, at least.
The other piece to consider is that there is a limit to the number of referrals you can get - even if you think you’re getting enough leads through word of mouth, that might be true today but it won’t be the case forever.
You need to generate your own business - here’s how you do it:
Facebook and Google Advertising
Let’s dive right in. You can’t generate leads if you don’t get the word out. That means you need to advertise where the traffic is - and that means going to Facebook and Google. You can design effective ads that are actually lead generation forms. With some attractive imagery, research and a little creativity, it’s a very affordable way to drive customers to your service.
If a potential lead has a question, it is crucial to have a contact form. It’s important. In fact it can’t be just on your site - it has to be hard to miss. Typically speaking, if somebody has a question, they are a lead - that might change depending on the answer, but the point is, if it’s hard to ask a question on your site, guess what - they’ll go somewhere else. Get those contact forms up!
What the heck is a landing page? Think of it like a satellite web page, designed to do… whatever you want. That is to say, depending on your goals, you can use a landing page to create a mailing list, drive traffic to your website, or - you guessed it - generate qualified leads! Building landing pages is easy and allows you to focus on certain goals without touching your company’s home website.
Google My Business
An important piece of lead generation is driving traffic to your website, and to do that, it’s a good idea to support your site’s SEO (search engine optimisation). Don’t worry - we know you have about 10 emails a day from freelance SEO experts who want to ‘put you on page 1 of Google’ - but that’s no bother - there’s an easier way to go about it. Claim your business on Google My Business. Once you do that, your business will be optimised locally, and rank higher - in simple words, it’ll start appearing when people look for services similar to yours on Google Search or Google Maps. No need to pay strangers on the internet to perform obscure services for your business!
It’s crucial, it’s free, it builds online authority for your business (that’s a good thing, believe us), and most relevantly: allows more leads to find and communicate with you. If you’re a local business, you need to be on Google maps. Why?
We’ll answer that with another question: What do you do when you need something? At least some of the time (probably more), you Google it. What 2 words pop into the autocomplete any time Google sees that you’re looking up a service?
Unless you get your business up on Google Maps, you’re invisible to all of this traffic, and that just isn’t good for your business in this day and age.
The good news is, getting set up on Google Maps is quick and easy - here is our step by step guide.
Collect More Reviews
This piggybacks well on our last point. If you run a local business, then you know that reviews are king. They are the evolution of word of mouth - in a business sense. Reviews might seem almost extracurricular - nice when they happen, almost like a tip - but they are not.
Reviews are incredibly important to businesses. In the age of information sharing, some of that information includes customer experience - and most consumers read up on it before buying.
Reviews need to be actively pursued. Luckily, you don’t have to be an incredibly smooth talker or sales minded individual to chase them down effectively. Here are useful tips and tools that allow business owners to professionally and neatly ask for a review after providing their service, automatically. The more good reviews your business gets, the more it’ll be used. In fact, Google reviews significantly impact the way your business is ranked in Google Search or Google Maps results!
This article has largely focused on the digital side of advertising, and we realise that good old fashioned print, billboards, signs, and newspaper ads can indeed be effective, depending on the service, location, situation… etc. However, these are more expensive forms of advertising and they don’t yield nearly the same kind of data, information or feedback that the online sphere does. That said, if signs or flyers work for your business - put them up/out!
No matter how you choose to go about it, getting the word out about your business is how you generate leads, and grow your business for years to come.
To learn more about how Fuzey can help you attract more leads, convert more customers and retain more business, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or book a demo clicking the button below!