Casting a Wide Net: Strategies to Find Clients Online

by Christine Mortensen on May 28, 2014

Vector set of hands - money and handshakeAccording to Gleanster Research, 50 percent of leads are qualified but not ready to buy, and just 25 percent are legitimate leads that should proceed to sales. The faster you can determine which leads are legit and which are back-burners, the higher your earning potential. While many of the time-tested methods for assessing lead quality and converting leads—cold calling, personal services and in-person networking—are still relevant, technology can help you identify qualified leads faster and earn more.

Find Clients Through Self-Promotion

Online self-promotion requires you to prepare promotional materials or thought leader pieces (such as blog posts or articles) and sharing them online, and then waiting for these materials to find an audience. As they do, you become a topic expert, and clients in your field see you as a sales expert they want to work with.

Entrepreneur’s Ann Hadley recommends SlideShare for sharing slideshows, webinars, white papers and PDFs. With a Pro membership (which ranges from $19 to 249 per month), you can enable a LeadShare feature that requires viewers to provide their contact information to view your materials. This one-time investment in content preparation and membership can feed you leads on a regular basis without additional effort.

Attract Clients via Social Media

Finding quality leads on social media requires a regular time commitment. Once you figure out what types of content to post and how often to post them, social media can be a rewarding leads channel. The key lies in listening to conversations, making authentic connections and promoting your services at just the right time.

Try identifying interests your clients may have (i.e. fitness, cars or parenting), then listening in on those conversations and engaging the posters (by asking about fitness goals or recommending baby products). Then, slip in your lead in a natural manner, once you’ve made a connection. If you can make the connection that a new baby means it’s time to consider life insurance, you’ll earn a qualified lead. Just promoting life insurance on its own is less likely to foster a lead.

Use a Lead Generator

Lead generators narrow down the “wide Web” for you by sending you qualified leads in your topic area. Targeted leads put you in a better position to engage the possible customer compared to individuals who have not demonstrated an interest. Companies like QuoteWizard, which was listed in Deloitte’s “Technology Fast 500″ as one of the top 500 fastest-growing technology companies in Canada and the U.S., act as an insurance salesman’s customer funnel, saving time and increasing sales performance.

Maintain Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is a viable way to build your network and gain sales leads. To generate leads via LinkedIn, ensure your profile is up to date. Periodically review questions asked and offer answers. Use LinkedIn Groups to connect with other professionals who may need your services. By focusing on offering your product as a solution when it’s truly a good fit, you can generate quality leads and become seen as a topical expert on LinkedIn.

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