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What is Lead Generation?

Lead generation is the act of finding people or businesses who are considered to be potential customers immediately or in the future. Lead generation is a term that you will hear often in the world of marketing and sales. It’s an important process that is essential to building a larger database of customers and potential future customers for your business.

What is a Lead?

A lead is the business or person that you are targeting to promote your product(s) or service(s). In other words, these are the customers that fit into your niche market. These are the customers who you believe are mostly likely to do business with your company.

What is a Lead Generator?

A lead generator is a person (or a software tool in some cases) that generates leads for your business. A person may spend time scouring the internet, making phone calls or sending e-mails in an effort to find potential leads. While it can be time consuming for a person to search for leads, the end results often pay off when a sale is completed due to the discovery of a lead.
There is also lead generator software that is designed to track down potential leads for your particular business. Some lead generator software gathers leads from databases, generates leads from your website visitors and compiles relevant business contact information from across the web.

How to Generate a Lead

When you are not using lead generating software, there are some things that your business can do generate more leads. Here are a few ideas to help you generate leads:

  • Create an email newsletter. This will help build relationships with your potential customers.
  • Utilize social media on a regular basis. Social media is an excellent tool to help you connect with a large audience.
  • Set up a referral system with your customers. This is a great way to expand your network through your base of satisfied customers.
  • Post blogs on a regular basis. Blogs are great marketing tools to help you connect with your audience on a more personal level. In addition, they help your search engine optimization efforts.

What is Lead Management?

Once you have your leads in hand, lead management is the process of tracking and managing these potential customers. There are several components of lead management that can help your business properly handle its leads. Most notably, lead scoring and lead nurturing are two major components that we want to discuss further.

What is Lead Scoring?

Lead scoring is the act of sorting your leads by priority. You will create a customized scoring system by accurately categorizing your leads based on the specific details related to the potential customer. Scoring depends on the details of what you are trying to accomplish with your sale. For example, if a customer fills out a sales lead form online, then this customer will score extra points in your lead scoring system.

What is Lead Nurturing?

Lead nurturing is the act of scheduling follow-up communication with your leads. Leads should be identified as “contacted” or “uncontacted” with follow-up dates that are inputted into a schedule. The type of follow-up communication should be noted as well; for example, it should be noted if the customer prefers a phone call, email, text, or some other type of communication. All of these details will help give you a better chance of landing this lead as a sale in the future.

Lead Generation in Today’s World of Internet Marketing

Internet marketing is the most popular form of marketing in today’s business landscape. With that said, lead generation efforts continue to evolve in today’s fast-paced world of technology. It’s important to stay on top of the latest trends and methods that are available to find, track and communicate with leads through the internet. Implementing and maintaining a high quality lead management strategy should be a top priority for any business.

Must Know Brand Marketing 101 for Startups and Entrepreneurs

Starting a business can be an incredibly exciting experience. One mistake though is getting overexcited and forgetting about the basics, including brand marketing. A strong brand is vital for any company. It is how you are perceived and judged by anyone that views your business. Here’s how you can start off your brand marketing.

Make your brand stand out

One way to do is read up on the subject and get your hands on a guide to everything you need to know about branding. Branding is big and critical for your startup business so pay heed to professional advice.
Most professionals will tell you that by marketing yourself as a personal brand you are letting potential customers immediately know who you are and who they can trust. On the flip side, if you bungle up and market yourself poorly, it will lead to poor branding and misrepresentation of your business. That’s why it’s important to know what qualities you have that makes you stand out.
Another way to learn is observe and analyze famous brands. For example think of Disney, you’d immediately think of child-friendly movies. The same goes with Intel with high-quality computing equipment, Gillette with affordable razors and Rolex with luxury watches. There is more to these brands than what they sell.

Market to your niche

What’s common about those brands is that they know what type of product sells and who they’re marketing to. Disney wouldn’t advertise outside of a nightclub, Gillette wouldn’t market themselves as a luxury brand and Rolex wouldn’t have a stall in a convenience store.
It’s important to identify who you are and what your brand stands for. This can take some detailed research and patience. Trying to find your unique selling point (USP) is vital, especially if you have a small marketing budget. It’s important to note that winning a small targeted group of people is better than trying to swim and survive in a sea of unknown population.

Combine your brand with marketing

Your brand and your marketing are two separate aspects but are strongly bonded. You have to market with your brand in mind, and you have to develop your brand thinking about how you are going to market it.
So if you market without considering your brand you are going to risk confusing your customers. You need to create a marketing strategy that everyone can buy into in order to give yourself a consistent message across all platforms.

Don’t send mixed brand messages

Today, there are more ways to market your brand than ever before.
Your logo design and name are important so make sure you get them seen across as many platforms as possible. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are great tools to start with.
Your website can also be vital, as will any app that you have. Blogging is a great way to educate and convince your customers of your brand’s authority, and help your website show on search engines.
Across all these platforms, you want to make sure that you are marketing your brand message consistently in order to start growing your business with a solid foundation.

Final thoughts

Your brand is a powerful piece of intellectual property and you need to protect it at all cost. One bad marketing move and you could cause damage that could take awhile to recover. So pay heed to building your brand from ground zero.

Guest Author Bio
Bill Watson is a digital strategist whose passion is to promote startups and small businesses via online media. He loves creative tattoo designs, dogs and lots of coffee. Connect with him here.

What is Branding and Brand Development?

What is Branding?

Brand development is the process that a company goes through to maintain a consistent level of quality, value and trust amongst consumers. It’s important to understand that branding does not occur over night. It takes time for customers to become familiar with a brand.

Branding your Business

As we mentioned earlier, brand development is a process that occurs over a long period of time. Think of some of the most famous brands that are out there – they developed their images over time by consistently delivering a product or service that can be trusted and valued by its customers.

Take a look at these how-to steps to help brand your business:

  • Know your audience. You need to understand your target audience before you build your brand.
  • Write a mission statement. Don’t just write down flashy statements that sound good. Develop a mission statement that will provide your brand with a purpose.
  • Get to know your competition. It never hurts to know what your competitors are doing. In doing so, you may be able to establish some ideas that will outshine the competition.
  • Create a logo. This task is a calculated art form. It takes a lot of time and research to land on the right logo for your business.
  • Develop a tagline and a message that will resonate with your target audience.

What does a Brand Development Agency do?

A brand development agency specializes in creating, improving and managing brands. Branding services can help grow your business by providing expert assistance in brand development that is often required in order to develop meaningful content that will engage your target customers.

A brand development agency will conduct thorough market research, focus groups, graphic designs, content development and other components that will build your brand. Here’s another thing to consider – an outsider’s perception on your brand will always carry a lot of weight. It’s this outside perception that helps create innovation with your branding strategy.

What are some Brand Development Strategies?

When it comes to branding your business, you have a wide variety of brand development strategies to choose from. Here are some of the most effective brand development strategies to consider:

  • Increase exposure. This is about getting your brand out there any way you can. Take on more projects in the community, advertise on social media, create a blog, and look for other creative ways to get your brand out there to the public.
  • Create a unique personality for your brand. Maybe it’s funny taglines? Or maybe you want to create more serious ads that resonate with an important social issue? Regardless, creating a brand personality will help you stand out amongst the competition.
  • Extend your brand. Use an existing brand name to help extend a new brand. This is helpful when you are launching a new product or service. You are using a trusted brand from the past to introduce a new brand. Customers will be more willing to consider the new brand when they see that it is attached to a brand that they already recognize.
  • Don’t forget about digital marketing. Utilizing online marketing through search engines, social media, videos, websites, blogs and more will always go a long way to help your branding development strategy. Remember, digital marketing is the most efficient way to reach the largest amount of customers.

Be Patient with Brand Development

If there’s one thing to keep in mind during this process, it’s this: be patient with branding. With the right brand development strategy in place, customers will come to trust your brand over time. Branding your business takes time and effort to continuously develop and maintain brand development strategies that have a positive impact on your target audience.