Small businesses are often at a disadvantage with the larger competition.
Those big companies have large marketing budgets and more room for error.
But small businesses have an opportunity when it comes to small business lead nurturing strategies especially in today’s economy.
Here are some of the best strategies to help you get more clients from those leads.
Note: For lead generation ideas please read – 10 Ways To Get Free Small Business Leads
Small Business Lead Nurturing
Before we get into the strategies for nurturing leads I think we should discuss where lead nurturing has kind of gone these days.
Everyone is focusing on software, but a business still needs to be able to take that initial outreach from the prospect and turn it into a trusting relationship.
Software can certainly help automate this process and some software really helps with this, but there is still a lot of work to do. As a small business owner you know this. You’re not afraid of work.
Each of these items below is something that requires some work. Some are more than others and all are ways to turn those initial contacts into clients that trust you and are willing to do business with you for the long haul.
Email is just about as old as the Internet. It seems everyone has had an email address for the last 15-20 years and they use it as much or more today as they ever have.
Email is not going anywhere. When someone gives you permission to reach out to them in their inbox it’s a real opportunity. But it’s an opportunity you have to be careful with because one slip up and that person will hit the spam button or, if you’re lucky, the unsubscribe button.
There are lots of articles about email lead nurturing along with software that makes it easy to reach out to prospects with email messages. I use Aweber. You can setup auto-responders and you can manage company newsletters.
Or you can take things the old fashioned way by doing it manually with your leads.
I’ve been testing different responses to leads to gauge where the new lead is in the process. I try to answer all their questions before they even reach out because it saves me time and makes them knowledgable when they reach out.
I like the manual way of reaching out, but I also mix it with automated blog newsletters for subscribers. This helps to keep the lead interested in the brand while building trust.
I’ve had some success with developing guides. They’re great for capturing leads, but they’re also good for nurturing those leads.
Back when I worked for an Internet Retailer 500 company my co-workers were always emailing guides back and forth to each other. Sometimes it was just to learn about a topic, but other times the guides really worked as a way to get to know the company.
We always figured that if a company knew enough about a topic that we could trust them to handle our marketing budget to get results.
People are watching more video these days and the trend appears to be on the increase in the coming years.
Basically you’re taking all the content you share with your clients already and turning it into digestible videos. It could be how-to videos about the things you’re an expert in or it could be an overview of your process.
Video is an extension of a lot of the content creation processes that are already in place. It’s becoming less expensive to create video and customers really love it.
4. Case Studies
Case studies or testimonials have always been great for small businesses.
When I think of case studies, though, I’m talking about in-depth studies of your current clients.
A case study like this one – A Blog Increases Traffic by 250% in Six Months – really help to convince leads that you’re the business partner they need.
We’re working on more case studies at GBW because they work really well to get leads interested and to nurture those leads into clients.
We’re biased at GBW when it comes to blogging. We have to include it on the list, but we’ll put it as the last item.
Our blog has been the biggest reason for all of our current clients. We figure since we sell blogging services that we should have a really good business blog that discusses blogging and lead and traffic generation.
Our blog posts here on GBW generate an 53% more traffic to our site than we would otherwise get. And that’s probably underestimating things. That’s a lot of new leads coming to the site and once those visitors are on the site they’re reading the posts, coming back to read more posts and getting to know our company.
It’s all about nurturing visitors into leads, earning their trust and reaching the point where they’re convinced that we know what we’re talking about.
It’s the advantage small businesses have when it comes to nurturing leads.
These are five of the ways I’ve been nurtured as a lead for small B2B businesses and ways that I nurture leads at Ghost Blog Writers.
I’ve found that taking a prospect from the first point of contact to the point of sale can really take place on your company website and it often doesn’t happen while you notice.
That’s why I find that blogging works well to convert those leads to clients. Your website works for you while you’re busy working on your business. The lead gets all the content they need on the site and once they reach a certain point of trust and comfort they reach out and you start doing business.