It seems like a common occurrence for businesses is an uneven business lead cycle.
I don’t know why it happens the way it does, but sometimes you’ll get nothing in terms of new business leads for a few weeks. You’re getting worried and you’re not sure why this is happening and then you get a handful of leads all at once.
It varies by business, but it seems to be pretty universal. Yet some businesses seem to be able to even things out. They know how to get a few different channels of new leads coming in so that if a one starts to wane there are others to pick up the slack.
Here are some tips for evening out the lead sources for your business. It will help to make your growth more consistent. It can help your cash flow and it can definitely help your sanity.
1. Produce Consistent Content
When you’re producing content – blog posts, guides, videos, podcasts, etc. – you’re giving people a reason to follow you. It also adds more content to the online world for new people to find.
When you publish a blog post or whatever, it’s out there forever for people to find. One post is great and it will always be out there, but over time your content builds and you offer more and more for people to find. You create content with an eye on your target customer, but you’re never entirely sure what will attract them to your site.
When you create content consistently over time it seems to just put more out there to cast that wide net over your target audience.
Think of creating content like putting money in the bank every month. On the first of the month that money comes out and it’s almost like a bill. You don’t even think about it until a few years later when you have this chunk of money.
That’s your content asset that is sitting there. You’re adding to it all the time and over time it brings in a few more leads and a few more leads until it’s consistent.
2. Send Regular Emails To Subscribers
Email is one of the older online marketing tools and maybe for that reason it’s overlooked a little bit. Yet email might be one of the more effective channels for marketing.
At GBW, we just had a new lead come in. The person said they had signed up for our email list a month or so ago. They got the email each week with the new posts. They read a few of the posts and finally reached out.
That’s kind of how the sales cycle works. You have to earn trust. You have to stay in touch. If someone discovers your company they might not be ready to buy at that point.
Email keeps you in touch with them and keeps you in their minds and when they’re ready they’ll reach out. The email will trigger it.
3. Send Individual Emails To Clients
It’s good to keep in touch with clients from time to time. The previous step is more for subscribers and people kind of on the fringes, not ready to really buy or get that type of information yet.
But it’s also good to keep in touch with your clients. Depending on your business, you probably do that anyway, but from time to time just ask them if they know anyone that is struggling with something. See if there is an opportunity out there. Your clients are some of your biggest assets for finding new business. They have networks. Drop the question from time to time.
4. Reach Out To Colleagues
Also reach out to colleagues. Do it consistently whether it’s with an email or in person or on the phone or whatever. Ask them questions about how their business is going. If they need help with something offer to help.
Then pay attention to see if there is a need that could align with what you offer. Or see if they know someone that’s struggling with something that maybe you can help out with.
I’ve kind of been bad about networking in the past, but it does work and you can do it consistently. Just reach out and ask people how things are going. Ask what’s going on. Get them to share stories and things like that. From there you can see if there is an opportunity with them or with someone they know.
5. Start Some PR Outreach
Finally, PR is something that many businesses seem to ignore and it’s a great opportunity. I’ve ignored it for far too long, but recently I started doing more PR in the form of podcast interviews.
This is content that gets out there to new audiences. There can be an initial influx of leads or queries at first, but then the podcasts are out there and like any content people are always discovering it. The more you do the more there is for people to find and that can lead to consistent leads down the road.
The big thing here is to broaden your scope when it comes to finding new leads. The ideas above are all mostly long-term efforts. If you make them a habit every month or every couple of months then over time you’re going to buildup some good sources of new leads. Reach out to people every month or so. Publish a blog post every week focusing on answering common customer questions. It can al help to even out those annoying and sometimes deadly lead cycles.