101 Offline Ways to Generate Leads for Your Online or Network Marketing Business on a Shoestring Budget
With the popularity of social media, the most common mistake that online businesses and network marketers do nowadays is not promote offline. Just because your business is internet-based doesn't mean that you will no longer promote outside the internet world. Generating leads through online methods such as social media and search engine marketing is great, however, there are still so many leads out there that most people take for granted.
Whether you are on online business, a network marketer, or whatever business you're in, it's important to keep promoting offline. The important thing in promoting offline is to have the materials that will direct the lead to your online business or your website to get more
1. Start with the People You Know.
Make a list of the people you know and start with them!
a. Friends & Family (Inner Circle)
For the most part, you've probably already done this. But if you haven't yet, do not be afraid or do not be embarassed to tell your friends and family about what you do! If you just joined a network marketing company, call up your friends and let them know about it! Great things come to those who are bold!
b. Colleagues & Other Existing Relationships
- If you're a mom or a dad, briefly talk to your kid's teachers about what you do. Give them a flyer, postcard, or a business card.
- Talk to the president of your kid's Parents-Teachers association, tell them about what you do, and ask if you can place an add to their newsletter if they have any. Ask if you can also give a brief presentation about it in one of its meetings.
- If you go to a salon regularly, talk to your manicurist/pedicurist or hairdresser and tell them about what you do. Also talk to the owner/manager of the salon and ask if you can leave some of your flyers or business cards and tell them that you will return the favor by referring them to your friends and family. If you regularly bring in business to them, chances are they will not refuse you!
- If you're like me who has a favorite restaurant, talk to the manager and ask if you can leave flyers or business cards with them as well.
- Your neighbors may just be an acquaintance. Take this opportunity to build a deeper relationship! Knock on their door one of these days and bring cookies and a flyer!
- If you're still working on a day job, tell your co-workers about it during lunch time! (Just don't use company time to talk about it so you don't get in trouble.) Also, if you have developed a relationship with your company's existing clients, briefly share with them about what you do. The way I would do this as to not be unethical is by saying "Hey (Name of Client Here), I'm doing this now and I'm really excited about it, I want to share it with you but do not wish to take company's time for this. Do you mind if we talk outside office hours or if I email you more information about it?"
- If you're already an established business or network marketer, create a contest or provide incentives for your existing clients or team members if they "Refer a Friend." You see banks such as Chase or Wachovia do this all the time. If you refer a friend to sign-up for an account with them, they give you $25. Not too shabby for not so much work right? Sometimes a contest is more exciting! It's all about being creative. Get your creative side of brain to work, it will be fun and rewarding!
- If you are a part of a religious organization, such as your church, talk to the church administrator or Pastor, and tell them about what you do and ask if you can leave flyers in the church lobby. Again, if you have a relationship with them, for as long as what you're doing is not illegal, they usually won't say no!
- If you go to the dentist regularly, talk to your dentist! People that you do business with on a regular basis usually would not say no to reciprocating.
You get the idea! The key is to utilize your existing relationships and generate leads through them! Word of mouth still works whatever business you're in!
2. Get to Know New People.
Always be networking! Keep this principle in mind as well as the Six Degrees of Separation which Wikipedia defined as:
"refers to the idea that everyone is at most six steps away from any other person on Earth, so that a chain of, "a friend of a friend" statements can be made to connect any two people in six steps or fewer."
- When standing in line at the grocery store, be friendly and start a conversation with the person behind you. Most people would respond very friendly as well and at one point in the conversation, you would be asked what you do for a living or you could ask the question first if you feel comfortable about it. Hand the person a business card after wards.
- When going to the drive-thru bank, I like leaving a business card or a flyer and sending one to the teller.
- Join local community organizations or chamber of commerce.
- Go to community events.
- Join other local social groups. Find meet-ups on meetup.com.
- Talk to a mom and pop store, restaurant, or pizza store that delivers and ask to get your cards or flyers placed on the pizza boxes and offer a referral fee or an incentive.
- Sponsor a local event. If you're a network marketer, offer a case of a sample product from your network.
3. Be an Industry Expert.
- Form a local group or association for people in your niche where you can meet on a regular basis. For example: Association of "Go Green" Entrepreneurs. A referral network may also be a good idea.
- Conduct a free seminar. If you're in the health and wellness industry, conduct a free seminar. This doesn't have to be done at a hotel function room or it doesn't have to be a huge one right away. Start small. Perhaps at your house or a friend's who's willing to host the seminar.
- Conduct a free consultation either to a group of people or on an individual basis.
- Pitch an article to a local publication that might have a column/section in your niche.
- Call a local radio station or talk to a local TV show producer. Tell them what kind of valuable information you can offer to their listeners/audience.
4. Form Strategic Partnerships.
Find local businesses in your area that you can compliment each other with. For example, caterers can work with photographers. Local function halls can work with caterers and so on. Think and find businesses that are in your niche but not necessarily a competitor and then form strategic partnerships with them. Form a reciprocal relationship.
5. Direct Response Marketing
This is probably going to cost you a lot more. If you're new to direct response marketing, you will basically need a targeted mailing list and postcards. Add to the cost of these is the mailing postage. Vista Print offers cost-effective printing and mailing list.
6. Other Crazy Creative Ideas.
- Get some shirts done with catch phrase to catch people's attention. If they ask you about it, be ready to hand a business card or a flyer. *Smiles!*
- Get some pens printed with your web URL and go to parks and distribute them. People love pens and it's useful to them! When you pass flyers at a park, chances are they will end up in the trash. When you pass pens, people will pocket them!
- Get some decals done and put them in your vehicle.
- Get some balloons and have it printed with your URL. Go to a park or a parking area and hand them out. Kids with their parents will be drawn to you and it will be a great way to start a conversation! Again, be prepared to hand out a business card or flyer.
There you go friends! As you can see, they aren't necessarily 101! But the point is, just be creative! Out of these ideas I'm sure many more will spring up! See what others are doing in your industry. Learn from the successful ones and mimic their steps. No need to reinvent the wheel but you can definitely improve the wheel! *Smiles*
Do you have additional offline lead generation ideas that you're using and are working great for you? If so, let us know. Share it with our readers! We can all learn from each other!
Finally, if you enjoyed this post and learned something from it, show me some love, by RTing, "liking", or Digging! * Smilles*
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