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Published Tuesday, September 5, 2017 5:00pm

Dollar billsAre you struggling for customers or do you wish you had more clients? Aside from needing more time in the day, this is one of the most common sources of angst for small businesses. But how do you get more leads if you can’t afford to hire a shark of a salesperson? You follow these lead generation tips:

1.      Flesh out Your Social Media Bios and Profiles

Make the most of the social media platforms you participate on by fully filling out your profiles and bios. Use important keywords to your business in your bios but also include some fun information. The hashtag keywords will help those who are searching for what you offer to find you and the fun tidbit will give them something to like about you once they get there.

2.      Use Your Email Signature

How many emails do you send out in a day? I’m guessing north of several. For that reason alone, you should be using your email signature for something more than wishing someone a nice day. Instead, add a call to action to your email signature line. Offer a free download of something of value to your target audience or ask them to follow you on social media. Or design out a signature with a call to action button or graphic. Put that signature to use. The British Red Cross did.  They found that adding a call to action to every employee email signature meant the clicks to their website were 4x greater than what they were without it.

3.      Join the Chamber of Commerce

The chamber of commerce offers many ways to get leads, and while membership is not free in most cases, for a small business it’s about the price of a cup of coffee every day. That’s a pretty good price for an investment in your business.

A chamber membership introduces you to other business people in the community, makes you a part of member-to-member discounts, opens up the ability to host learning sessions, and gives you access to their email blasts.

Chamber pros can introduce you to those you want to meet. They also can help you work on a game plan to get your business more attention on social media and build your business with digital marketing.

4.      Listen on Social Media

Right at this moment people are asking others for suggestions on exactly what you sell or do. They’re also having conversations about services you offer. If you’re not out there listening, you’re missing it.

When you find someone who is talking about something you can help with, don’t jump in and offer them a price quote. Instead, offer them something of value. Maybe it’s an article you wrote about how to select the right business in your industry or tips on things you should know before buying. Be helpful first. If you want to get a sale, you need to give before you receive.

5.      Optimize Your Website

You need two things on your website—a clear call to action and a quick summary of what you do. If you leave people in doubt as to what your business does, they will go elsewhere. Instead, make it clear how you can help and what areas you specialize in.

Before anyone will buy from you, they must think about your business. Ideally, you want them to know, like, and trust you. Social media and in-person meetings are excellent ways to introduce yourself and bring in leads without spending a lot of money. The chamber can help with both.