There are probably hundreds of ways you can generate leads for free (or very low cost) in your business.
But not all of those ways are necessarily the BEST strategies.
For example, some might take a considerable amount of time for very little results.
So, what are the best ways to generate leads for FREE?
In this article, I’ll go through the top 10 ways to generate leads for free (or very low cost without spending a penny on paid advertising.
I’ll start from best to worst.
BEFORE you start getting quick wins with your marketing and sales funnel you need to actually have a high converting marketing and sales funnel. CLICK HERE to see the BEST funnel to use to get high quality leads, appointments and clients predictably each month.
How to get free leads (summary)
Here are the best ways to get leads for free in your business:
Best free lead generation channels
Here are the best free lead generation channels and how to use them:
On YouTube you can generate high-intent leads for FREE through YouTube SEO.
How does it work?
It’s super easy.
All you need to do is create a video answering a question your potential clients ask.
For example, here’s an example of a video I recorded answering the question “How do I generate leads for FREE?”
Check it out:
And you can see my YouTube channel for more examples of questions I answer from potential clients.
So, in your case, you can do exactly the same.
All you need to do is answer questions your potential clients are asking in a short video.
See Step 4 in this video for tips on how to find out what content your potential clients are most likely searching for.
The more questions you answer, the more leads, appointments and clients you can generate.
Why does this work so well?
By creating YouTube videos you can rank both at the top of YouTube AND Google for various keywords related to your business services.
Another advantage is that most of your competitors are most likely NOT creating videos. So this makes it easier for you to rank higher on Google if you DO create videos.
Oh and it’s completely free to do this. Yes, you do need to spend some TIME creating videos, but once it’s done, you can rank at the top of Google & YouTube and get more leads, appointments and clients from ONE video for years to come.
Tip: You don’t have to be on camera to record videos. Many of my YouTube videos are faceless videos and they still work really well.
2. Blogging (SEO)
Blogging on your business website (also known as search engine optimization) works very similarly to YouTube.
The main difference is that instead of creating videos answering questions your potential clients ask, you would create articles or blog posts (just like the one you’re reading now!)
To save time, you can answer the same question in both a YouTube video and an article on your website.
See also: How to rank higher on Google
There are two ways you can generate leads on Linkedin.
The good way and the bad way.
The bad way:
- Add random people on LinkedIn
- Spamming / pitching your services via direct messages
- Asking people to jump on a 15 minute call
- Having awkward conversations to lead prospects into a sales call
The good way:
- Connect to potential clients only
- Ask if they want to watch a video that solves a problem that they have (this is NOT a pitch… it’s a free helpful educational video)
- IF and only if people like what they hear on the video, they can choose to book a meeting with you
The reason “the good way” works so well on LinkedIn is because you’re not selling to people straight away. You’re helping them. People are much more likely to say “Yes” to a free helpful video than to say “Yes” to schedule a call without even knowing if you can help them or not.
Tip: If you want to save time, here are some of the best LinkedIn automation tools (optional)
The top 3 channels above are by far the BEST ways to generate leads for free.
Note: The best way you can start getting leads, appointments and clients from your funnel is to implement strategies to generate leads on LinkedIn, Google and Facebook.
This article is going to go through some alternative ways you can get leads using free, easy and quick methods.
4. Website referrals
If your website already has people visiting it through referrals, word of mouth or other marketing methods, you probably won’t be converting most of the traffic.
A lot of people have a website, but there’s usually only a contact form or a phone number. But the reality is most people are not going to fill in a contact form the first time they visit your website.
So what can you do instead?
A better way to start getting leads from your website is to send people to your funnel through as many links on your site as you can. Your navigation menu, content pages, blogs, buttons, etc are all great places to start.
Remember, the more people that go to your funnel, the more leads you will be able to generate, and the more appointments and clients you’ll get.
5. Social media posts
If you’re already sharing content on social media, did you know you can send people to your marketing funnel from the social media posts you share, even if you send people to other websites?
How do you do that?
There’s a free tool called SNIP.LY that customizes every single social media link that you send on any platform.
Whatever you use, you’ll be able to send out a link to someone else’s website but embedded in that link, you’ll be able to also link back to your marketing funnel.
It’s a great way to start getting some quick wins with the content that you share on social media.
6. Email signature
If you’re already sending out emails to prospects, or even clients, an easy way to start getting them into your funnel is just having a link in your email signature going to your funnel.
You can ask if they’ve seen this latest video or other lead magnet that you’re using, and if not then they can click on the link to check it out.
Then whenever you’re sending out emails to people, or other people may be forwarding your email onto someone else, they’ll be able to see your email signature, click on that link, then go to your funnel.
I’ve seen some clients that have used this exact process, and they’re getting a steady stream of new leads from people that they’re emailing or people that have reached out to them.
It’s a great way to get people to go into the funnel and start building up more trust with prospects and people that you are already speaking to.
You already most likely email lots of people every day (suppliers, prospects and clients). So, why not use this opportunity to send people that you email to your funnel too?
7. Networking / word of mouth
You don’t always know if a referral is going to be a good fit for your business.
The only way you can know for sure and start building more trust with those leads to really get them to understand what it is that you do and how you can help them is by giving them content that allows them to educate themselves on what big problem it is that you solve for them.
So if you send any referrals that you get to your marketing and sales funnel, that marketing and sales funnel (if set up correctly) will build up trust with these referrals.
If you build up enough trust with these referrals, they will be more likely to actually want to work with you.
And the quality of those referrals will be even higher as well because you’ve educated them as to how you can actually help them since they’ve gone through your marketing and sales funnel.
8. Content marketing
Just like you can add links to your funnel all over your website, don’t forget your blog too! In fact, I recommend adding links to your funnel throughout your blog content itself.
You want to do this in a way where, when people are reading your blog post, it naturally takes them to that next step, which would be to go into the marketing and sales funnel.
Hint: See if you can spot all the links goin to my FUNNEL in this blog post as an example.
Other marketing activities
Have a look at any other marketing activities you’re doing and ask yourself ‘how can I send these people to my funnel?’ – Remember, the more people (traffic) that go to your funnel, the more leads, appointments and clients you can win.
Hope you enjoy these quick and simple tips to promote your new marketing funnel!
Ashley Davis (or ‘Ash’ for short) is the CEO & Founder of Skyline Social. For over 15 years, he has been helping business owners with lead generation. Ash specializes in helping businesses get high-quality leads, appointments and clients each month in an automated, scalable and profitable way. You can watch his free Masterclass training to learn more.