The rising level of online competition is not breaking news anymore. Still, to prove that point let’s just consider the story of a 40 something single mother selling home-made shampoos and soaps online. The lady, with the help of a web developer and designer probably, has created an amazing website. Her online customers hardly know that she lives in a shabby apartment and runs the whole business from her part living-room part office. Her competitors on the other hand are other similar business owners, and most of them do have a proper office or at least a dedicated room and PC to run the business. Yet, the lady gives them a tough competition, all because of her spot-on lead generation endeavors.
So, anyone interested in making money online must steal away the leads from hundreds of (big, small and gigantic) competitors in order to increase the overall sales. That’s right! Its literally hundreds, and we are talking about the local competition. Without proper online lead generation, all your online selling and marketing endeavors, including the cost of creating and running a website, will end up down the drain. It is like throwing all your money in the deepest pit. So, if you are serious about making money online, you need to do it the right way.
And for that, you need to equip yourself with the online completion survival skills and tactics. Here, we share a lead generation survival guide, which despite the ever-changing nature of online marketing will provide an ever-lasting and unwavering foundation for your lead generation activities.
Learn From Competitors
If you want to beat them, see them. What we mean here is to know your competitors, the successful ones specially, and the way they have employed online lead generation strategies. You must know who you are competing against and the factors that might give them an edge over you. Explore their attraction marketing activities and the way they attract and increase their leads. If you are a small business or start-up, you really don’t have the time or resources to learn from failures – at least not with the furious competition out there. So it is better to learn from others success and failure.
Do NOT Follow
Now that you know what your competitors are doing and how they are doing it, make it a point to not do it – at least not the same way. There is no point in copying the competitors. If they have already attracted leads through that strategy, using the same approach won’t divert their already established customer-base. When you are on the same level with your competitors, your prospects are likely to stick to one they have already trusted. So, whatever your competitors are doing, you need to do it better. You need to give your prospects a reason to give you a chance; even a slightest hope that it might be a better option either in terms of cost or quality.
A Warm Welcome
This is where online lead generation starts to get more practical. The first thing you need to lay the foundation of your online business is a website. And when it comes to getting a competitive edge, you need a website that better and more welcoming than your competitors. For start-ups, we don’t suggest going all flashy, but keep in mind some key points such as the content, navigation, SEO (discussed later), etc. Your website must be able brand your business a professional, credible and user-centric. It is actually your website that paints a picture in your prospects’ minds and opens their eyes to the value you offer.
Reach the Right Ones
Value, as a matter of fact, is something you cannot offer to everyone. Your online lead generation activities might help you increase the number of leads you get but not every lead converts into sales. The dilemma of quality and quantity of lead is a broader subject that we will discuss later. For now, what you need to know is the fact that unqualified lead will just increase the traffic congestion on your website and nothing else. You need more qualified leads, you need to focus on the rightly targeted online lead generation. For instance, if your business targets women over-thirty make sure it is somehow made clear in your business message. Use social networks where the involvement of your targeted prospects is higher.
Avoid the Pits
Continuing the same example, if your social network page, Facebook page for instance, is attracting the wrong prospects, teenage girls, you are either doing it the wrong way or the Facebook really isn’t the right place for you. So, you either change your online lead generation strategy for Facebook or you leave that sinking ship and focus on channels that are performing well. As we said earlier, sticking to strategies that won’t work is like throwing your money in a pit. As a startup or small business, you can’t just keep investing and wait for it to work.
Stick to SEO
Now this may seem like a very basic suggestion but there actually are businesses that often overlook the importance of SEO. They invest in all kinds of strategies and channels, PPC ads, social media marketing, etc, but none of their endeavors is optimized for the search engines. The search engine, despite smarter algorithms, fails to see any kind of relevancy or quality and throws them somewhere in the bottom ranks. All the possible leads for your targeted keywords end up in your competitors’ court – most of whom despite the sub-par quality of their product/service, realized the perks of effective SEO.
Finally, regardless of the nature and size of your business, I suggest using different types of lead generation channels. This is because attraction marketing is not just about touching your prospects on a personal level through social networks, but also about making a professional impression through educational channels such as webinars and blogs. Learn what works and leave what doesn’t and you will soon find yourself way ahead in the online lead generation competition.