If you finally decided that you will create a sales funnel for your business, it is time to decide on the design of the entry level lead generation. The more people you are able to add to your funnel at the top, the more chance you will have to convert them into customers. After all, – according to some experts – marketing is a numbers game. No sales funnel can exist without prospects flooding to your site and offers. Below you will find nine proven to work methods of adding people to your sales funnel.

1. Social Networks

If you have a limited marketing budget and would like to make sure that you are able to create awareness in your target market, you have to find out where your prospects are hanging out on social media. Chances are that they have joined some groups on the internet and by simply being present and helpful you can get them interested in your offers. The first step of building a sales funnel is creating awareness and building a brand, and social media  can help you with all that.

2. Lead Capture Pages

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Once you have managed to get people to visit your site, it is important that you create an effective lead capture page. This is also often called a landing page or a squeeze page, as you will try to squeeze the email address and name of the prospect out of them by offering something valuable for free. This can be a blueprint document, a software, an eBook, or an exclusive video that will make them feel like they are getting something valuable for free, so they trust you with their personal details.

3. Competitions

When launching your website, your product, or a promotion, it is a good idea to set up a competition for people to sign up for updates or get a review copy of your product. Whether you are having a competition for free offers or discounts, you will have to get to know your market first. Find out what your main competitors are doing and find a way to offer more value and differentiate your brand. Competitions can be very effective for startup businesses.

4. Giveaways

You might even want to take advantage of other people’s traffic and provide a giveaway product that will get people engaged with you. There are certain giveaway events advertised online, and joining is usually free. Another great option is to create a free product on your own and market it through affiliate networks or other people’s pages to get subscribers who are interested in what you have to offer.

5. Networking

If your business is person-centered, you will need to work harder to get people to trust you and engage with you. Joining a networking event can be a good thing for several reasons. First, you can connect with like-minded people. Second, you can get some ideas from your competitors or people in your industry. Finally, you will be finding out a lot about your potential customer, even meet him or her, introduce yourself, and get them to agree to stay in touch.

6. Newsletters

You might not have a huge mailing list when you start your business, but you can certainly take advantage of other people’s. Find influential trainers and marketers who have a list full of people who would be happy to hear about what you have to offer. Once you have contacted them and got a deal on publishing your content in their newsletter, it is only a matter of time until people turn up on your site and sign up for your own offers.

7. Guest Posts

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Not many people think that guest posts work and most companies use them plainly for search engine optimisation purposes. However, if you can create engaging content and add a company bio at the bottom of the page, you are going to benefit from a lot of qualified leads at a reasonable price. You need to know, however, that this is a time consuming method of adding people to your sales funnel, and you need to have some decent writing and marketing skills.

8. Sponsored Posts and Links

If you have already identified your market, and know which sites and online magazines are popular among them, it might be a good idea to get in touch with the content manager and get a sponsored post or interview published. You don’t have to do list building the hard way; for a low investment you can benefit from other people’s work, provided that your offers and content fit in with their strategy, and you don’t turn out to be a competitor.

9. Paid Ads

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When people mention paid ads, you might be thinking about the budget of Johnson and Johnson and the like. The good news is that social media has made advertising much cheaper, and you will be able to see real live statistics on the performance of your posts, so you don’t have to waste money on campaigns that deliver no results. Try Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin, as well as niche specific social networks.

The most challenging part of building a small business sales funnel is getting qualified leads through the door. Use one or more of the above methods and you can start engaging with your market and guiding people through your marketing funnel.

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