Are you struggling to figure out how to generate new leads in your business? Well Yahoo! Small Business @ysmallbusiness will be sponsoring a live Tweet Chat with me, @SmallBizLady, on Twitter Thursday June 28th from 3:30-4:30 ET to help you with this challenge. Yahoo! recently launched a free Marketing Dashboard to help SMBs discover new marketing opportunities that can help grow your business.
If you are a Twitter user and want to join us, use tweetchat.com at the hashtag #YDashboard to join us. As an added bonus, we’ll be giving away two (2) $100 AMEX gift cards, during the live Tweet Chat so please join the conversation! Official Rules are here: http://bit.ly/M2TIaQ
You will have the opportunity to ask questions live on Twitter, but here’s a preview of what I’m going to share on the best practices for lead generation in a small business.
What are some techniques you use to attract new customers?
SmallBizLady: The tools that I find to be most useful for attracting new customers are blogging and using social media. When you position your business with an authoritative blog you will attract customers to you. And when they finally speak to you, the conversation is about availability and price because your blog already shows that you are qualified to solve their business challenge. Utilizing social media is the most targeted and least expensive way to position yourself as an expert with your customer.
What are the best sources of customer leads for your business?
SmallBizLady: I have found the best results in using Twitter and LinkedIn with Facebook being the next option. Writing guest blogs on other high profile websites also is a big help.
Have you optimized your site for the search engines?
SmallBizLady: I use the WordPress platform for my blog which has built in SEO functionality, but I also use Scribe www.scribeseo.com to get keyword suggestions for each blog post to increase the “searchability” of the content on my website and increase my page rank.
How do you use analytics to determine where your website traffic is coming from?
SmallBizLady: My analytics are essential to my business operations. Since my blog is my business, I look at the analytics of my blog and #Smalbizchat from Twitter each week. We use Google Analytics and www.tweetreports.com to pull the data. I also have a consulting firm, Zimana Analytics that produces a report on the analytics with a summary and suggestions of what we need to adjust.
Do you use pay-per-click ads to drive traffic to your website?
SmallBizLady: I have used pay-per-click ads to promote special events with my business, but I do not use them on an ongoing basis.
Is email part of your marketing mix?
SmallBizLady: Yes, email is really the only way to monetize social media. I’m a big social media user, but I can’t do business unless I have my customer’s contact information. I have several ways to engage my website’s visitors to give me their contact information:
- Download a free chapter of my book Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months
- Subscribe to my blog via RSS feed
- Signup to view the transcripts from my weekly Twitter talk show #Smallbizchat
- Leave comments on my blog
- Participate in free giveaways
- Purchase products from my online store
- Use my contact form
How do you use email to engage your audience (newsletters, special offers, etc.)?
SmallBizLady: I engage my email list weekly with e-blasts about who’s on #Smallbizchat, I also recap the week’s blog content, promote any current external content such as my weekly column in the You’re the Boss Blog in The New York Times. I also highlight any events where my readers can see me live, and I let them know about any special offers I might have.
What lead generation tips would you share with other SMBs?
SmallBizLady: Focus on a specific niche target customer and make sure that you keep your content and marketing activities focused on that particular target audience.
Which social media networks do you use most?
SmallBizLady: My biggest social media platform is Twitter. I love Twitter as a marketing tool for small businesses. It’s as essential to my business as my smartphone.
How much time do you spend managing online marketing activity for your business each day?
SmallBizLady: I spend roughly an hour a day (M-F) on engagement activities using social media, but on Wednesdays I spend three hours, due to the fact that I run #Smallbizchat for an hour each week on Twitter.
What’s your best social media tip for other SMBs?
SmallBizLady: Start with one social media platform (Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, etc.) and try to dominate it in your field; you do not need to do everything. Figure out where your best target customers are hanging out online and make sure you are a part of the conversation.
Be sure to check out the Yahoo Dashboard to discover new marketing and lead generation opportunities for your small business http://yhoo.it/JMrEIs
Don’t forget to join me live on Twitter, Thursday June 28th 3:30-4:30pm ET for a live chat on lead generation strategies for your small business. Use the hashtag #YDashboard and join the conversation using www.tweetchat.com
Disclosure: Yahoo Small Business compensated me to write this post and to participate in a live Twitter chat on lead generation strategies for small business. The ideas in this blog post are mine and are not ideas or advice from Yahoo Small Business.
For more tips on how start or grow your small business subscribe to Melinda Emerson’s blog http://www.succeedasyourownboss.com.
Melinda F. Emerson, known to many as SmallBizLady is America’s #1 small business experts. As CEO of Quintessence Multimedia, Melinda educates entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies on subjects including small business start-up, business development and social media marketing to fulfill her mission to end small business failure. She writes a weekly column on social media for The New York Times. Forbes Magazine named her #1 woman for entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter. She hosts #SmallBizChat Wednesdays on Twitter 8-9pm ET for emerging entrepreneurs. She also publishes a resource blog http://www.succeedasyourownboss.com Melinda is also the bestselling author of Become Your Own Boss in 12 months; A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works.