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How to Obtain Leads for your Small Business

As a small business owner, one of the most important priorities is to gain new business each quarter. The old school method of cold calling, print ads, and door knocking just aren’t as effective as they used to be. People these days value their privacy, and strongly prefer to be the one to reach out when a service is needed. So, how can you ensure that these privacy first individuals know how to contact you when the time comes if you can’t depend on those old school methods for advertising?

Your first thought may be, “perhaps I should send direct messages to people since I can’t call them?”. Unless the customer has showed interest, this is not a good idea. Spamming someone’s inbox is not much better than cold calling. Personally, if a business spams my inbox unsolicited it’s going to annoy me and the likelihood that I will use them plummets. I know many who feel the same way. However, if someone has shown interest in your business by interacting with your website, social media page, has made a previous purchase, or sent you a message, by all means reach out. The conversion rate for customers who reach out to your first is high. That’s a solid lead. Other than that scenario, a good alternative to cold calling or messaging are targeted ads. Targeted ads can reach the same audience that you would have contacted the old school way, but in a way that leaves the potential client in control of the interaction. What about referrals you may ask? A direct mailed postcard, flyer, or brochure works perfectly for referrals.

In order for your business to thrive you must be on top of your digital marketing game! A good marketing agency will know which methods to use in order to make your brand and reputation known. You may be wondering which methods they use in order to do this…let me share a few.

Brand Identity: Make it Memorable

First, you want to ensure you have a strong brand identity. That means a recognizable logo, consistent brand colors, a memorable slogan, and if it is appropriate a jingle (ex., you sell vehicles, appliances, etc). The key is to create a brand that sticks in the mind of potential clients.

Next, you want to have a consistent and engaging social media presence. A great example of an account I happily follow is Unofficial: Lafayette City Government. While this page doesn’t sell any products, they nail user engagement! The person who runs that account is consistently funny, interesting, and always responds to comments and questions.


Even if you do not sell products you want a website to represent your brand and what your business stands for. Afterall, service industry businesses need leads too.

A website rounds out the ways a potential client can contact you. It also boosts your digital marketing presence, and makes a potential client more comfortable (builds trust). Lastly, but very important is that a website helps to build your online SEO. Do you want Google to know you exist as a business? You need a website.

Finally, you want to invest a monthly/quarterly budget towards digital advertising. Yes, it can be pricey. Yes, it can be complicated (which is why you hire an agency like myself to handle it). If you opt not to spend money on digital advertising you are setting yourself back YEARS. Not months, but years! Why is this? Well, in order to gain enough organic (unpaid) traffic to your website and social media presence it takes a lot of posts, blog entries, daily interactions, sales, referrals, etc. If you want to skip ahead and save time you need to invest in paid advertising. The cost is worth it. It’s an investment, and you know that you have to invest in your business.

Print Advertising is Dead

The days of effective newspaper ads are over. Door knocking is intrusive. Cold calling is infuriating. Spam is annoying. Invest in your business, and hire a professional digital marketing company that has been in the business for twenty years, and has watched it change from 100% print ads and cold calling to 95% digital advertising, and email campaigns.