Lead generation for small business

How to Easily Generate Leads for Small Business

A small business’s success is dependent on how many leads you bring in.

Yes, conversion is critical, but without leads, you’ll have no one to convert into a paying customer. 

Lead generation includes a mix of passive and active marketing strategies – both sharing the same goal of converting leads into buyers. 

In short, the phrase “generate leads for small business” is a fancy way to discuss how you can bring potential customers to your small business and make money.  

You’ve likely already been taking steps to generate leads for your small business without even realizing it. 

However, if you aren’t taking the right steps to boost your leads, your business will suffer. 

Today, we’re going to tell you proven ways to easily generate leads for small business so you can succeed.

Active vs Passive Lead Generation 

Active vs Passive Lead Generation

There are two main types of marketing used to generate leads for small business: active and passive.

As the term suggests, active lead generation requires action.

With active lead generation, you work actively to get your website, service, or products in front of customers.

Before the internet, active leads came from cold-calling potential customers. 

In the digital age, active leads come from referrals (or links to your site), as well as online interactions with potential customers (such as webinars). 

With passive lead generation, you use smart positioning to attract potential clients, such as creating content that leads visitors to your website.

Unlike active lead generation, passive leads come from people who are not actively searching for what you offer. 

For example, someone may search Google for side hustles for teachers and discover a blog post I wrote for Retirement Hustle titled “The 22 Best Side Hustle Teaching Platforms.” 

The individual may not have been looking for my website, but they found it because of my blog’s content. 

Ultimately, you should use a combination of active and passive lead generation strategies to generate leads for small business.

[Related Read: How to Start a Blog for Under $100]

Passive Lead Generation Tips

Passive Lead Generation

You want everyone to know about your small business, but that doesn’t happen overnight.

Instead, it requires using passive strategies to generate leads for small business.

For example, Suzy on YouTube may not have heard of your business, but your YouTube video on a topic she’s interested in introduces her to you.

Passive lead generation involves taking the long view. It’s not actively putting content in front of potential customers; instead, it puts it out there to be found at the right time.

Instapage explains, “The content was already published before the search was conducted with no additional effort required to bring the customer into the business. Although passive marketing still takes work and planning, it’s thoughtful, anticipatory, and practical, so it gets long-lasting, continued results.”

Here are some examples of using passive marketing to generate leads for small business.

YouTube Leads 

YouTube Leads

One of the easiest and most effective ways I have found to generate leads for small business is to take advantage of YouTube.

YouTube has more than 2 billion logged-in monthly users, and that number doesn’t include those people viewing videos without an account.

According to Hootsuite, “74% of adults in the U.S. use YouTube. That’s more than Facebook (which reaches 68% of American adults). And it’s almost twice as much as the next runner-up, Instagram (40%).”

That’s massive passive lead generation potential! 

I regularly post high-quality content on the Retirement Hustle YouTube channel. (Check it out and subscribe to get notified when I post new content.)

At publication time, I have 7.44K YouTube subscribers.

More importantly, my YouTube videos have brought in tons of leads.

For example, one of my videos on Social Security Benefits has brought in over 4,000 leads over the past 5 years.

The key is to make it as easy as possible for YouTube viewers to get to your website.

Here is what I do:

  • Use the description to lead viewers to your website by including links. I often include numerous links back to my website.
  • Make sure all your contact info is up to date and all links to the website work.
  • Include links to all business-related websites and social media pages.
  • Put calls to action in the video and description, such as “Subscribe Now or Follow Us on Twitter!”
  • If you have a lead magnet, plug that as well. For instance, I include this call to action in my YouTube video description: Get access to the strategies and tools needed to build your side-hustle into a profitable and fun business, eliminate your debt, and achieve the financial freedom you have dreamed of here: https://bit.ly/2ZANRGB​ (If a viewer clicks this link, it takes them to my lead magnet that requires them to submit their name and email to receive the strategies.) 

Run Ads

social media ads

It is well worth the money to run ads for your small business.

You will attract new leads for your small business depending on the types of ads you run.

Social media ads, such as Facebook ads, are effective because they get your ad in front of people not actively searching for what you offer. If you have a great ad, they will click the link and learn more about your business.

PPC ads, or pay-per-click ads, are another effective means to generate leads for small business.

One reason they are beneficial is that you only pay when someone clicks your ad. 

Additionally, PPC ads can be hyper-targeted.  

Get Active on Social Media 

social media leads

If your small business is not active on social media, you are missing out on many potential leads.

According to Review 42, “There are more than 3.5 billion active social media users today. According to 90% of marketers, their social media marketing efforts have increased the exposure of their business, and 75% say they’ve increased traffic.”

However, the keyword here is “active.” In other words, you can’t just create a social media business page and leave it.

You have to keep it updated and post valuable content regularly.

Plus, you need to engage with other social media users, such as commenting on posts and reposting or sharing posts.

Whenever someone connects with you on social media, find a way to continue the conversation, such as responding to comments. 

Email Marketing

email marketing

With my lead magnet, I collect website visitors’ names and email addresses.

What is the point of collecting this information if you never do anything with it?

Instead, take advantage of email marketing to generate leads for small business.

Continue to build your email list and market your products or services to the people who receive your emails.

Find ways to keep them engaged and interested. 


Active Lead Generation Tips

Lead Generation Tips

In addition to building your passive lead generation, you need to boost your active lead generation.

Active leads require a more aggressive, direct approach by specifically targeting the people already interested in whatever you are selling.

This means identifying those in your target audience and getting your small business in front of them. 

Here are easy ways to use active lead generation to generate leads for small business.

Build a Referral Network

Referral Network

According to a survey by Alignable, 85% of 7,500 small business owners said word-of-mouth referrals were the best way to get customers. 

In other words, referrals are key to the success of your small business.

Here are some ways to build a referral network:

  • Use LinkedIn to find referral sources.
  • Go through people you already know and reach out.
  • Make phone calls to key referral sources. 
  • Offer a referral incentive program. 
  • Invite referral sources to guest blog or be a guest on podcasts or webinars. 

Host Online Events 

Online Events

Online events were already on the rise before 2020 forced millions of people to quarantine. 

As a result of their popularity, online events are a great avenue to generate leads for small business.

Offer a variety of online events to your target audience, such as:

  • Host a Webinar – An online seminar or presentation.
  • Host a Workshop – An interactive, educational program.
  • Work with Those in Your Referral Network – Be a guest on other people’s webinars or podcasts.
  • Go Live on Social Media – Stream live consistently with valuable content. The time people spend watching Facebook Live has quadrupled in the past year.

When it comes to hosting online events to generate leads for small business, aim to keep these events free or low cost. For instance, a webinar may be free, but a longer workshop that covers more in-depth information is a paid event.

Pick Up the Phone and Call 

phone calls

While digital marketing is a must today, phone calls are still an excellent way to generate leads for small business.

A survey by the Rain Group found, “69% of buyers accepted a call from new salespeople in the past 12 months.”

Keep in mind that this percentage is new calls or cold calls.

Imagine the percentage if it covered calling past clients or checking in with old inquiries who never took action!

Grant Cardone writes for Entrepreneur, “If you get your phone game on, you will get more confidence, have higher levels of activity, and a bigger bank account. To get things you desire but don’t yet have, you will have to cold call in life.”

Have a dream client you want to work with? Pick up the phone and call.


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