Despite lots of technology scattered around everywhere, small businesses today obtain customers largely as it’s traditionally been done. In fact, the majority of local pros focus on getting new business using the same techniques they’ve been using for the past 50 years or so:

  • Local networking (i.e. “Shaking hands and kissing babies”)
  • Print ads/flyers/direct mail/local real estate magazines
  • TV and Radio ads
  • Billboards
  • Family and friends
  • Charity sponsorship
  • Giveaway swag (shirts, hats, cards, stickers, mugs, calendars, etc.)

The problem? Well, the internet. And mobile apps. And social media. And Alexa. And Siri. Accurate, easy web and mobile search have never been more important.

 

Leads, Leads Everywhere and Not-a-One For Me

These days, consumers want to use an app or the web on their phones to find what they want, research it, make decisions, buy and be done with it as quickly, efficiently and by talking to as few “real” people as possible. They want to talk to smart devices in their homes and just ask “find me a 4-bedroom home in Fresno under $500K” or “top rated landscapers near me.”

What does that mean for small businesses and their sites? If you’re not being found in search – and found well – you’re going to be in trouble. Especially as time goes on.

With solid SEO, SEM, and a good site designed to capture leads, digital searchers become digital leads. If you want to grow or sustain your business, you have to work them. The problem is, digital leads can’t be worked to a successful close the same way traditional leads from traditional searches.

 

Working Digital Leads Requires Changing Your Ways – And Learning New Ones

For the folks here at VandalsSmile, we’ve been compiling data on digital leads and conversion rates for many years now.

Like leads you get in other ways,  digital leads come in many personalities and require diligent work – and in the right way! – or you will not have success. Some things to understand about digital leads today:

  • Digital leads tend to be younger on the whole than other leads you get
  • High-pressure or “car salesman”-ey sales does not work – ever
  • Digital leads prize convenience and simple processes above all
  • Digital leads don’t like phone calls and prefer text, email, and chat
  • Speed of outreach is even more essential – wait a day or two and you won’t engage
  • Don’t ever “touch base” instead only communicate to offer valuable info or convenience
  • Kindness, gratitude, and politeness helps every time
  • Be simple and efficient, don’t waste time and be concise in saying what you will do
  • Always follow-up when/do what you say you will
  • Get tech savvy so you can speak their language – or they’ll bolt
  • Let them know you will handle all big and small details for them!

And, finally, one last very important bullet: Digital leads expect to do almost everything online.

That means your web, your mobile apps, your contracts, your communications need to be as simple, fool-proof (i.e. “not broken”), and up to date as is possible. If not, they’ll find a competitor who’s better and more convenient.

What does that mean for you?

It means adopting tools like LeadPages, DripDrift or Hubspot and custom mobile apps with chat features. It means your website has to be more function that form (i.e.pretty does not equal effective, folks). It needs to be kept fresh and up to date. Forms and features must be simple and intuitive and….it must work every time.

Also, get as much of what you do with them as you can out of email and into a functional website or 3rd party tool (e.g. Docusign is a good example, as well as shared Pinterest boards for them to save and show you things they like, etc.).

I could go on here for a small books-worth of items, but you get the idea. Well, maybe you do.

Understanding these kinds of concepts is easy. The hard part? Actually changing what you do to attract, work and acquire more digital leads.

The future is here. The old ways are dinosaurs and the weather’s only getting colder outside. The new ways are small, furry and agile creatures that will adapt and survive. Which one are you?

Other Helpful Resources for You

What is digital lead generation anyway? – https://www.marketo.com/lead-generation/

Inbound vs Outbound Marketing – http://seopressor.com/blog/inbound-vs-outbound-marketing-more-effective/

Why digital marketing matters more than ever – http://neilpatel.com/what-is-digital-marketing/

Wanna get more digital leads and get them to close?

VandalsSmile can help you improve your lead generation and set you up with all the tools to close more new customers than ever before.

Get ahead of the game and your competition. Find out now if your site is set up for success or what needs to be done to get you there.

Or, send us an email directly and we’ll scan your site for free! sales@vandalssmile.com.

About the Author

Jason Polancich

Jason Polancich is app designer and digital marketing lead for Musubu.io. Polancich is a linguist, software engineer, data scientist, intelligence analyst, and real estate broker and investor with his wife and business partner Rebekah. He's also the founder and lead architect of VandalsSmile, a data-driven, small business marketing and lead generation network making big data work practically and usefully for owners. Polancich also originally created HackSurfer/SurfWatch Labs (Pre-VC), a cyber analytics firm founded in 2013 that provided highly accurate, timely and actionable information to businesses regarding the cybercrime threats they face. Polancich is a serial entrepreneur focused on solving complex internet commerce, data analysis, and cyber-defense problems. Novii Design, a company he co-founded in 2005 with Rebekah Lewis-Polancich, was based on his contributions to cloud architectures, distributed computing, data analysis and systems integration. The company assisted the U.S. Intelligence Community and Department of Defense in building some of the largest data warehouse and analysis systems ever put into operation within the government and defense contracting sectors. Novii Design was sold to Six3/CACI in 2010. Polancich is also a service-disabled veteran of the U.S. Army. Amazon Author Profile.

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