Wondering how to find new customers and increase sales?

You’re at the right place.

In this article, we discuss 8 lead generation strategies that will help you reach out to potential customers.

Let’s dive right in.

How To Find New Customers And Increase Sales

1. Ask For Referrals

One great way of getting new customers? Asking your existing customers for referrals!

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Now, there’s an art to this. It’s not as simple as calling your customer, and asking them if they have any business contacts who might like your products/services.

To maximize the effectiveness of this strategy, here are a few things to keep in mind:

First, make sure you’re asking for a referral during the right time.

If you’ve just closed a client, and they haven’t even begun using your product, then it’s less likely that they’ll vouch for your product and refer a friend.

If your client has recently reached out to you about some problems they’re facing, the same goes - they probably won’t vouch for your product, so don’t bother asking for a referral.

So, when’s a good time to ask for a referral?

As a general rule of thumb, anniversaries are a good bet.

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If your client has been with your company for a year or two, send them a nice email (like the one above), and use the opportunity to ask for a referral.

If a client upgrades from a basic plan to a premium plan, that’s a good indication that they’re getting a ton of value from your product. Again, this is a good time to ask for that referral.

Now that you know when to ask for your referral, the next step is figuring out how to word your request.

You want your client to refer you qualified leads, and not any Tom, Dick or Harry who will waste your time.

Bearing this in mind, be sure to specify the type of referrals you’re looking for (eg marketers in the healthcare industry, or CEOs in the finance sector).

Once you’ve asked for (and successfully gotten) a referral, the next step is to follow up with the lead.

Now, you’ll want to make sure that this lead doesn’t mentally lump you with the 82,212 other sales reps or marketers who are trying to get their attention.

How do you do this?

The best way is to get your existing customer to connect you and said lead.

This doesn’t have to be anything elaborate… all you need is an email that says something along the lines of:

“Hi {Name},

I’d like to introduce you to {Name}, who helps marketers/managers/CEOs such as yourself achieve {Objective}. Thought you might find this useful for {CompanyName}.”

If your customer can’t make the introduction for some reason, then you’ll have to get in touch with your lead yourself.

Assuming you have this lead’s phone number, definitely call them instead of just shooting them an email. It’s easier to build rapport and establish a connection over the phone, and that’s exactly what you want to do.

Here’s our advice:

Adopt a warm and friendly tone, and act like you’re already in your lead’s circle of friends. And instead of just launching straight into your pitch, break the ice with a bit of small talk first.

For example, you could say:

“Michael mentioned that you have the best recommendations for restaurants in Chicago. I’ll be there for a work trip next month, so I’ll definitely appreciate any suggestions.”

After some trial and error, you’ll figure out what opening lines and what type of approach gives you the best success.

Alright, here’s one final tip we have for you:

Apart from asking your customers for referrals manually, you can also accumulate these referrals in other ways.

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For example, take a leaf out of RoboForm’s book, and incorporate a secondary Call To Action (CTA) on your Thank You page to ask for referrals.

2. Increase Your Visibility On Social Media

Another great way of generating more leads is to increase your visibility on social media.

Don’t worry - I’m not saying that you need to spend the bulk of your day posting on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat.

Instead of spreading yourself thin over several platforms, choose just one platform to focus your efforts on.

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Now, studies show that LinkedIn is by far the most effective platform for companies who want to connect with B2B buyers.

On top of that, we also know that LinkedIn drives over 64% of all visits from social media channels to corporate websites.

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So go ahead and focus your efforts on LinkedIn.

First, take the time to fill in your profile completely. According to statistics, users who have a complete profile are forty times more likely to receive incoming inquiries.

On top of that, incorporate backlinks to your company’s website, and encourage your leads to click through to learn more, request for a product demo, or get a free trial.

Last but not least, make sure you post regularly. People who share content at least once a week are ten times more likely to be contacted for opportunities, so keep those updates rolling in.

Apart from increasing your visibility on LinkedIn and waiting for leads to contact you, you can also take the initiative to reach out to your leads.

Here are a few tips on getting in touch with leads via InMail:

1. Use The Right Terms

Words that boost response rates include “connect”, “talk”, “chat”, and “call”.

That said, don’t put too much pressure on your leads by trying to nail down a date immediately. It’s been shown that phrases related to scheduling (eg specific days of the week) actually decreases the likelihood of response, so save that for a follow-up conversation.

2. Keep Your Message Short

As a general rule of thumb, InMail messages between 200 and 500 characters tend to enjoy higher response rates.

Bearing this in mind, don’t overwhelm your lead by getting too rambly.

3. Personalize Your Message

Put yourself in your lead’s shoes…

If you receive an InMail that’s a generic, copy-paste message, would you take it seriously? Probably not.

That said, we understand that it’s not effective to spend hours crafting personalized messages for each lead you reach out to.

So yes, you can have a generic paragraph that you fall back on, but always tweak the opening lines of your InMail to refer to your lead’s profile.

3. Blog (And Be Better Than Your Competitors At It)

10 years back, the whole idea of blogging (especially in a business context) was pretty new.

During those days, the bar was set pretty low.

As long as your company had a blog, and you published high quality content regularly, you were pretty much regarded as a thought leader and an expert.

Sadly, that’s not the case anymore.

In this day and age, pretty much every company has a blog.

And 2,000,000 blog articles are published every. Single. Day.

Does that mean that blog articles are no longer effective in generating leads?

Well, it depends.

If you’re just going to publish a fluffy and generic 500-word blog article per month, then you obviously aren’t going to see a sharp uptake in your leads.

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If you blog frequently, however, and you amass a treasure trove of highly valuable articles and content, this will have a significant impact on your leads.

The key here is to focus on both quality and quantity. If you’re compromising either of these factors, then your leads will turn to your competitor instead - simple as that.

Of course, make sure you’re optimizing your blog articles for SEO as well, because this helps drive more organic traffic to your website.

To learn more about SEO optimization, read this article by Moz to learn more. (Hint: you shouldn’t be doing any keyword stuffing.)

4. Guest Blog

Blogging on your own site aside, you can also guest blog on other websites, and get more subscribers and leads that way.

If you want to generate more leads and find new customers in a short period of time, we’d actually recommend this strategy over blogging on your own site.

Why? If you’re starting from scratch, and building up the content on your own blog or website, it’d take quite some time before you’ll see any results.

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If you guest blog on someone else’s (already established) site, on the other hand, you’re essentially getting a shortcut.

Now, how do you go about scoring guest blogging opportunities?

The first step is to build your credibility. If you want to write about digital marketing so that you can sneak in a mention about your marketing agency, for example, then make sure you’ve got the relevant qualifications and expertise.

Next, you’ll want to identify blogs and websites which accept guest authors. To do this, simply Google your industry (eg “marketing”) and “write for us”.

Other keywords that you can use include:

“Industry” + “guest post”
“Industry” + “guest article”
“Industry” + “guest post opportunities”
“Industry” + “guest column”
“Industry” + “guest blogger”
“Industry” + “guest post courtesy of”
“Industry” + “guest posting guidelines”
“Industry” + “guest poster wanted”
“Industry” + “guest posts wanted”
“Industry” + “guest author”

“Industry” + “contributing writer”
“Industry” + “contribute to our site”
“Industry” + “contributor guidelines”
“Industry” + “contributing writer”

“Industry” + “become a guest blogger”
“Industry” + “become an author”
“Industry” + “become guest writer”
“Industry” + “become a contributor”

“Industry” + “submit blog article”
“Industry” + “submit content”
“Industry” + “submit your content”
“Industry” + “submit post”
“Industry” + “submit an article”
“Industry” + “submit guest post”
“Industry” + “submit an article”
“Industry” + “submit article”

Now, here comes the hard part: pitching your ideas to the publication.

Make sure you do your homework, so that you can come up with a pitch or idea that’s hyper-relevant to the publication’s audience.

First, check out the articles this publication currently has on their blog, so you won’t mistakenly pitch a topic that they’ve just written about.

On top of that, pay attention to the tone and voice that they use, and how they phrase their blog titles as well.

Do they keep their language straightforward and easy-to-understand, or are they more partial to clickbait-y titles? Do they do a lot of listicles, or do they like to reference statistics and studies in their title?

At the end of the day, your article has to be a good fit with the publication you’re hoping to land a guest post on. So tailor your language and content to what they’re already doing, and you’ll increase your chances of success.

Okay, here’s one last tip on the topic of guest posts…

To maximize the effectiveness of your guest post, make sure to insert backlinks to your site.

Some publications may just allow one backlink (at the start or end of your post), but some may allow you to insert multiple links. You can either check the publication’s contributor guidelines, or ask the editor directly.

5. Use PPC ads

Next on our list of how to find new customers and increase sales is… PPC ads!

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Now, when we mention the term PPC, most folks will immediately think of Google AdWords.

While Google AdWords is a great way for you to advertise your business and get more leads, there’s another channel that’s even more effective.

And that’s none other than LinkedIn ads.

So, why should you choose LinkedIn ads over Google AdWords?

Firstly, LinkedIn Ads allow you to deliver ads to a hyper-targeted audiences. Among other things, you can refine your audience according to their job title, industry, and location.

Want to reach out to sales directors in Michigan? You can do that.

Looking for CMOs in the education industry? Yup, that’s achievable as well.

With Google AdWords, you can target your audience as well - but you’re limited to more generic options such as gender, age, etc.

On top of that, LinkedIn ads are also a lot more cost-effective than Google AdWords.

How To Find New Customers And Increase Sales: Tried & Tested Tactics

This case study from Hubspot, for example, pitted AdWords against LinkedIn ads. Using the same offer, they generated 11 leads at $90 per lead from LinkedIn, and 8 leads at $125 per lead from AdWords.

Why are LinkedIn ads cheaper?

Well, Google AdWords is such a mainstream platform, and competition for keywords on AdWords is stiff. LinkedIn, on the other hand, isn’t that popular with marketers yet.

Now, you might be wondering: won’t the cost of LinkedIn ads start to increase when other companies jump on the bandwagon, and target the same audiences that you do?

Yup, that’s 100% true. That said, we don’t foresee advertising costs on LinkedIn exceeding that of Google AdWords, at least for the next five years.

Okay, now that you know the advantages that LinkedIn ads bring to the table, it’s time to familiarize yourself with the different LinkedIn ad formats.

Commonly used ad formats include:

  • Sponsored content
  • Direct sponsored content
  • Sponsored InMail
  • Text ads
  • Dynamic ads, and
  • Lead gen ads

Since you’re looking to find new customers and increase sales, the Lead Gen ads are probably your best bet.

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To learn more about Lead Gen ads, click here.

To learn more about the other formats of LinkedIn ads, read this guide.

6. Set Up A Facebook Group

Maybe you want to learn how to find new customers and increase sales…

But you have no budget to spend on PPC ads.

Well, here’s a zero-cost alternative: create a Facebook group, and use this group to generate and nurture leads.

We’ll run you through the process, step-by-step.

Step One: Create a Facebook Group, and invite everyone on your subscriber list to join.

At the same time, link to your group from your company’s website and Facebook page in order to drive more traffic to your group.

Step Two: Come up with a posting schedule.

It might take some time for you to gain traction (and for your members to start posting), so in the meantime, you should seed posts internally. Use a content calendar to keep everything on track, and get everyone in the team to chip in.

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Step Three: Engage with your members.

Once your members start posting and commenting in your Facebook group, make sure to encourage them by commenting on their posts, and replying to their comments.

You can also ask your members for feedback, and get them to tell you what kind of content they’d like to see more of.

Step Four: Analyze your Group Insights.

Once your group has over 250 members, you’ll be able to access a “Group Insights” section from your left sidebar.

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There’s plenty of information that you can glean from here, including…

  • Member growth
  • Posts, comments, and reactions stats
  • Active members
  • Popular days and times
  • Top posts
  • Top contributors
  • Age and gender breakdown
  • Top countries and cities

Now, think about how you can use this data to fine-tune your posting strategy.

If you realize that your members are particularly active on Thursdays at 8pm, for example, then start scheduling your posts to publish at that time.

Step Five: Generate leads

To generate leads from your Facebook Group, come up with an offer that’s relevant and attractive to your members.

You’ve been interacting with these folks for quite some time, and you should be familiar with their motivations and pain points. Now, go ahead and craft an offer that they can’t turn down.

How To Find New Customers And Increase Sales: Tried & Tested Tactics

If you find that a particular offer is extremely well-received, you can resurface the same offer a few months down the road.

This time, add a couple of testimonials or case studies (collected from the folks who previously took you up on your offer), so that you can capitalize on all that social proof.

Alternatively, you might want to come up with new offers and new CTAs to test.

As a general rule of thumb, make sure the ratio of your non-promotional to promotional posts hovers somewhere around 5:1.

No one likes to feel like they’re being sold to, and if you’re too aggressive, you’ll find your members becoming less active (or even quitting on you).

7. Create A Tool For Your Website

Inbound marketing revolves around the idea of creating value of your leads and customers, so that they come to you.

Now, many marketers and sales reps will fall back on lead magnets, including…

  • eBooks
  • Whitepapers
  • Case studies
  • Checklists
  • Reports
  • Cheatsheets
  • Handouts

Notice something in common?

All these lead magnets are static, and non-interactive.

Now, I’m not saying that these don’t work. If you’re disseminating a well-written ebook that contains a ton of actionable tips to your target audience, I’m sure you’ll be able to generate a couple of leads from it.

But trust me on this: providing consumers with a resource that’s dynamic and interactive will be even more effective in generating leads.

For example, this AI scheduling software comes with a nifty ROI tool that you can use to calculate how much their tool will save your company.

How To Find New Customers And Increase Sales: Tried & Tested Tactics

Smart, huh?

And just for the record, your tool doesn’t need to “sell” your product.

For example, check out HubSpot’s blog idea generator.

How To Find New Customers And Increase Sales: Tried & Tested Tactics

This doesn’t directly promote HubSpot’s marketing software, but it still provides a ton of value to their target audience.

And given that Company XYZ is already using HubSpot’s idea generator tool, they’ll probably turn to HubSpot (instead of other platforms) if they do want to experiment with marketing software.

Other tools (or interactive content) to consider using include:

  • Quizzes
  • Calculators
  • Assessments
  • Webinars

By the way, you don’t need any coding skills or technical knowledge to build these tools. Simply use plug-and-play solutions such as Outgrow, ContentTools, and Kuia.

8. Get Media Coverage

Last but not least, you can also increase brand exposure and score yourself new customers by getting media coverage and mentions.

Here are your two strategies: disseminating press releases, and pitching to the media.

Let’s talk about press releases first.

Say you’re celebrating a milestone, pushing out a new product, or collaborating with a celebrity or a famous personality.

To get more eyeballs on your brand, you can write a press release and circulate it on sites that aggregate and distribute these releases.

If you’re lucky, reporters or journalists might pick up your story, and run with it.

Of course, you’ll need a great “hook” to capture the media’s attention. Basically, your story has to be newsworthy.

To learn more about writing a press release, read this guide from HubSpot.

Looking for somewhere to distribute your press release? Check out this list of websites.

Okay, onto the next tactic… pitching to the media.

First things first: this requires a great deal more effort on your part. You’re approaching individual reporters or journalists, and pitching them a story that’s relevant to the publication that they write for.

Sounds familiar? Yup, the process is pretty similar to what you’d do to secure a guest post.

That said, you’ll be subject to a more rigorous vetting or screening process when you’re trying to get your company featured by mainstream media (as opposed to an industry blog).

Industry blogs may be happy to accept guest posts along the lines of:

  • X Ways To {Insert Item}
  • X Benefits Of {Insert Item}
  • The Definitive Guide to {Insert Item}

But these won’t make the grade if you’re pitching to journalists or reporters.

Again, the idea of newsworthiness is important here.

Your story idea should either:

  • Be surprising or unexpected in some way
  • Feature some sort of superlative, or
  • Tie into a trending topic or phenomenon

To expand your list of media contacts, and find more journalists and reporters to pitch to, try JustReachOut.

BONUS: Track And Reach Out To Your Website Visitors

The vast majority of lead generation strategies involve driving traffic to your website, and converting them using CTAs and opt-in forms.

But regardless of how much effort you spend on optimizing your CTA copy or your form, the fact remains that only a small percentage of your visitors will convert.

But what happens to the rest of your visitors? Should you let these guys churn into oblivion, or should you track and reach out to them?

Obviously, you’ll want to do the latter.

Here’s the good news…

Tracking and reaching out to your visitors is easy with our free tool, Albacross.

How To Find New Customers And Increase Sales: Tried & Tested Tactics

Getting started with Albacross is easy.

First, create a free account. This takes only 30 seconds, and you don’t need to input any credit card information.

Next, paste Albacross’s tracking script on your website, so that we can start tracking valuable information about your customers.

Then sit back, relax, and wait for the magic to happen.

Albacross will send all its data your way (in daily, weekly, or monthly reports), so that you can figure out who’s viewing your website, and what actions they’re taking on your site.

Albacross even provides you with your site visitors’ contact information. This allows you to reach out to your visitors, and convert them into paying customers.

Again, Albacross is 100% free to use, and it comes with:

  • Unlimited visitors and companies
  • Unlimited users
  • Revenue, profit & contact information
  • Advanced filtering & tagging

Among other features. To claim your free account, click here.

How To Find New Customers And Increase Sales

Relying on PPC ads and other paid methods is a surefire way of finding new customers and increasing sales.

That said, there are plenty of other strategies that you can employ as well.

The key is to look at the resources that you’ve got on hand, and play to your strengths.

If you have a core group of loyal customers who absolutely love your product, then ask them to recommend you to their friends.

If you know many journalists and reporters, then try and see if you can get your company in the news.

Keep grinding, and keep working on your lead generation efforts. Here’s to growing your company to infinity and beyond!