by Tammy de Leeuw
"The Grouchy Marketing Lady"
Just because my specialty is helping small and midsized businesses set up long-term lead generation "machines" doesn't mean I don't feel your pain.
It's nice to plan for the future. but I do realize you need some INCOME NOW...
You want quick, proven ways to jumpstart your list-building...So you'll have money to put into the more complex, longer turnaround time marketing.
Okay, then. Here are three slightly old-school ways for generating lots of leads very quickly. The caveat is that while they have been proven to work, if you don't do them RIGHT, they won't.
1. Event marketing:
If you've ever been to a street fair...You've probably run across this guy:
The lonely, bored sales rep from Wonderful Widgets, Inc.
He's passing out pens...
Tossing erasers at kids
Half-heartedly asking passersby to sign up for his awesome newsletter..
(rolling his eyes or suppressing a sigh when they refuse)
The boss made him do this
Or his marketing person told him it was a good investment
"Buy a booth and they will come!"
Widget Dude should have DOZENS of prospects for his marketing list by now
But, instead he has ZIP, ZILCH... NADA
How can this be? Thousands of people are at this fair...
Mr. Widget has a custom-designed EZ-Shade3000, cool logo shirt...
A pair of hip shades... And boxes of PENS
What's not to like?
What we have here is failure to engage
Most of the time, you can't possibly create a better environment for list-building (aka "lead generation") than a typical American street fair.
Even in tough economic times, people can be found at fairs, corndogs in hand, perusing crocheted toilet paper covers, or admiring painted light switch plates.
Sure, sales are down, but that doesn't mean people aren't interested in learning about you and your product or service...
Use a little creativity, a lot of planning, and a great attitude, and you could turn a $100-$500 street fair investment into 100 or more qualified leads. In future editions of the BLEND-O-MATIC I will show you some simple ideas for event marketing that will put the fun and profit back into the mix.
2. Speaking engagements
I know what you're thinking: "Oh yuck! Why does she have to go there? I HATE to speak in front of groups."
The hackneyed statistic that most people fear public speaking more than death is probably true.
With few exceptions, most people don't really like to speak, so they don't do it and miss out on lots of great potential customers.
The podium can produce rich results in terms of lead generation. I personally attended an event where the keynote speaker was able to obtain the data for nearly 300 people... almost all of them in his target niche!
If you really and truly don't like to speak, here's an idea: Partner with someone else who has a dynamic, winning presence. Work out a deal to share the leads generated. You might even want to videotape the event to use later on your blog or website.
The person you choose shouldn't be a direct competitor of yours, but rather the owner of a complementary business. Example: If you sell annuities, you could ask an attorney who specializes in estate planning or senior issues to come and speak... If you sell high end blenders, you could have a local chef do a demo... or talk about how blenders can be used to create healthy food for kids, etc.
3. Life in the fishbowl -
This decidely un-sexy method of lead generation has been around for years. And yet...
It still works.
Again, the trick is being a little different in your approach, finding just the right places in which to place your fishbowl, and giving people a compelling reason to give up their contact information. (contest, free meal, etc.)
Blender Marketing is all about fusing old school, time-tested lead generation ideas with new, innovative strategies that take advantage of the digital revolution.
Toss these ideas into your trusty bar blender, add fresh fruit, a pinch of salt, 12 herbs and spices, hair of the dog, and a splash of vermouth. You'll have a concoction that's pleasing to the palette and the pocketbook and marketing will suddenly be fun again...
PS: If you want in-depth help with any of the marketing methods in this article, please call Grouchy's office M-F 8-4 Pacific time. 925-776-4368