7 Lead Generation Tips for Startups
by Carl Neumann
Every Startup has one key objective, and that’s growth. Without growth, even the best Startup idea is dead in the water.
The foundation of successful growth is lead generation, since it is the first step in the sales funnel. It happens when someone discovers your website or platform, and is interested enough to sign up and engage with your brand.
Many Startups focus most of their resources on product development, and fall behind on lead generation and marketing. But it’s hard to catch up with marketing later on, so I recommend investing in lead generation right from the start.
This is exactly why we offer LinkedIn lead generation services that business owners can use to get traction with their marketing.
Here are 7 tips to help you turbocharge your lead generation:
Don’t try to do everything yourself.
Many Startup founders seem determined to do EVERYTHING, from strategic planning to product development, to marketing, and even customer support, on their own.
This is a big mistake, since you can’t be an expert at everything, nor do you have time to do it all. So focus on your main area of expertise, and hire others to do the rest.
If the budget is tight, parts of your business can be outsourced, such as SEO or digital marketing.
Market your product from the very start.
Don’t work on your product until it’s “perfect” and then expect customers to find their way to your site and buy your product simply because it’s so amazing.
Instead, start promoting it early, even at beta stages of development. First of all, you’ll get valuable customer feedback from real users, and secondly you’ll learn which marketing channels are best for you.
These insights are incredibly valuable once you’re ready to scale.
Study your target market.
Even if you and your cofounders are absolutely convinced your idea is awesome, make sure you get feedback from the people you think will actually want to use it, and do this as early as possible in the development stage.
This will tell you a) if it really is as useful as you think, and b) if you need to make some major changes or additions. Also, this information will help to target your marketing efforts at the right niche, once you’re ready to offer a paid product.
Developing an ideal client avatar is absolutely essential for success in marketing. In our experience, failure to do so is one of the most common LinkedIn mistakes you should avoid.
Invest in a great website.
In the Internet age, your website is your most important marketing tool. Trying to save money by getting a cheap website is like shooting your marketing team in the foot even before they’ve started.
If you can’t spare a lot of money for marketing, at least spend it on a really good website, otherwise you’ll end up wasting all your other marketing efforts because people are turned off by your site.
Narrow down your niche.
One common mistake is trying to reach too many target markets, and trying to reach them all immediately.
Spend some time in the beginning figuring out what your core business is. That’s the area where you can provide the greatest value, and that’s what you should be selling to people.
Next, try to work out who can benefit the most from your product or service, and start marketing to that group. The more specific you can be, the better. If you don’t get traction with a specific target market, move on to another one.
Once you find a promising niche, concentrate ALL your marketing efforts on that group until you reach a plateau.
Test different marketing channels until you find something that works.
Every Startup requires a different marketing strategy, and so there’s no magic bullet that is guaranteed to work for your product or your company.
Brainstorm all marketing channels that might be promising (for example content marketing, paid advertising, social media marketing, etc.), and then pick one or two to focus on. Commit as many resources as possible to test those channels thoroughly, and make sure you track and analyze the results.
That will tell you very quickly if a channel is promising or not. If it isn’t, let it go. But if it looks good, throw everything you have at it to generate rapid growth. Once you reach a plateau, look at additional channels, and test them in the same way.
LinkedIn is a great marketing channel for many verticals, and might be worth exploring. For more details on how to do this, check out our LinkedIn marketing course.
Follow up with leads actively and rapidly.
Many Startup founders are product-focused, and feel that the benefits of their product are self-evident.
But nowadays people are bombarded with an overabundance of options, and come across new products and tools every day. So once you’ve gotten someone to sign up with you, make sure your sales team reaches out to them immediately to get a personal meeting.
Once you get on a call with a lead, start by asking them about the problem that they want to solve, and then guide them on how to use your product for that purpose.
If you follow these suggestions, you’ll find your customer base growing steadily from the very beginning, and you’ll avoid some the most common pitfalls in Startup marketing.