There’s a multitude of ways you can find new prospects online – from Facebook advertising to social media marketing and more.
But what if you could easily find clients that need your services – without wasting money on advertising to people who don’t need your services?
With over 27 of the global Fortune 500 companies residing in the UK, and over a thousand new businesses opening daily, there’s plenty of prospects out there that need your help.
But how do you find them?
Here we’ve listed ten free methods you can use to find new prospects online, quickly.
Check out Crunchbase
Crunchbase, if you haven’t heard of it, is a network of businesses worldwide. It includes big and small businesses, and many are Startups. The incredible thing about Crunchbase is the search function.
It can be much easier to sell in person than over the phone – and with Crunchbase’s location search, you can ensure the companies you approach are going to be accessible to you.
But that’s not all – you can find the amount of funding they have too.
Once you know the budget they have behind them, you’ll be better positioned to price your products, and you’ll know how much effort you should be investing in pitching to them.
When you’ve found your perfect prospects on Crunchbase – all you have to do is reach out and start a conversation. You can even use some of the tools listed in this article to find personal emails and contact details for CEO’s and Founders – so you’ll know you’re reaching out to the right people.
Use LinkedIn Company Search
LinkedIn has a company search, which can make it easy to find leads, whether you’re looking for small businesses or large corporations.
You can search by location, company size and fortune.
Once you’ve found some prospective companies, you can visit their company page and find their employee list – here you can find out who’s in charge of marketing and purchasing print materials!
You can use services mentioned later in this list, like Found.ly or Connect to get the contact details you need to reach out to the right prospects.
Get Involved in Local Business Facebook Groups
Facebook groups are full of people who like to talk about similar interests. If you can find a local business group, you’ll have tapped into a huge list of potential clients.
So how do you find the right group?
If you go to ‘Discover Groups,’ and check out either the professional networks or business groups in your area, you’re sure to find some that fit your target market.
Join any you think are relevant and start a conversation – answer questions, and look out for anyone looking for a good print marketing service.
You can even note people’s names, and if you think they’d be a good fit, either reach out directly on Facebook or find them on LinkedIn – or use a service like Connect or Found.ly to get their direct contact details.
Use “Search Is Back” on Facebook
Facebook have reduced their search functionality, so it can be a bit harder to find prospects using it than it used to be.
But don’t write it off yet.
Michael Morgenstem took it upon himself to make his own search program – and you can use it, completely free of charge, to find new prospects.
Search is Back can be used very easily to find potential prospects; simply type in the likely job title of your perfect prospect (e.g. I used “founder” in this example, but if you prefer, you could try out “head of marketing” or “CEO”, there’s a whole host of options!), and your preferred location, your Facebook tab should automatically populate with your new search results, filled with potential new prospects!
Again, now all you need to do is figure out how you’d like to reach out to them.
Find Relevant Online Forums
Finding relevant online forums is a great way to find prospects that don’t just potentially need your services – often they can literally be shouting out for your help!
As long as you know what your target clients are interested in, it should be easy to use Google to find relevant forums – try searches like “entrepreneur forum”, “founders forum” and “small business forum”.
Here a couple I’ve found that you might like to check out:
From there, a great place to start is to find question boards about marketing & advertising, and answer queries that you feel tie in with your print products.
Another way you can easily find prospects is to search the forums for questions about your products; use search facilities to search for “leaflets”, “business cards” or whatever other printed products you prefer.
Questions should pop up, and you can start to make a list of people you know are genuinely interested in your products.
Local Chamber of Commerce Directories
Chambers of Commerce hold directories of most of the businesses running in your area – search for your local chamber of commerce, and check out the directory.
Each website will be different so I won’t be able to give you exact tactics on how to search on yours; but here are a couple of things you can look out for:
- If you can view open dates or lists of new companies, you can list them quite quickly and reach out as they’re guaranteed to need new marketing materials.
- If your directory has a premium/upgrade membership plan, it can be a good idea to note the people who have paid for the upgrade – as these are people willing to invest in their marketing.
- If your chamber of commerce allows for advertising on their website, you can reach out to those advertising – again, you’ll know those leads are willing to invest in marketing.
- You can look out for the size of the company in some directories too; so if you’re hoping only to pitch to larger organisations, you should be able to quickly figure out who is (and isn’t) worth talking to.
Use Connect to Get Free, Relevant Contacts
Connect is great, free tool for finding prospects. It works similarly to LinkedIn search – except you get to have a prospects’ real contact information, rather than having to message them through LinkedIn.
Not only can you use it to find marketing departments and CEO’s in your area, but you can use it to get their personal telephone numbers and email addresses too.
It’s free to use, and you can collect ‘credits’ to view more people by updating contact information of others. But if you’d rather fast-track yourself to get more prospects contact details quickly, you can also upgrade to paid options.
Ask Your Current Contact List
It seems obvious, but this is a tactic all too rarely used.
If you already have a client-base, and you’ve provided them with a fantastic service – reach out to them. It can take a simple 5-minute email, and you could end up with your new favourite client.
In case you aren’t sure if it’s worth bother your clients – think about this:
77% of people are more likely to buy when learning about products from a friend or family member
91% of B2B buyers are influenced by word-of-mouth when making their buying decision
It’s simple to do too.
If you’ve provided an excellent service to a client, simply reach out and say something like,
I hope you liked the billboards we designed; we certainly had a wonderful time working with you and can’t wait for the next project.
I just wondered if there was anyone else you know that might like to use our services? We also design business cards and leaflets – if that’s of any interest to your friends!
Just thought I’d let you know – hope business is booming!
You can even incentivise your customers to refer you by adding an offer like “we’re currently running a referral offer you might be interested in – if you refer us to a friend you get 10% off your next order, and so do they!”
Reaching out in this way to your current client list can be one of the most effective ways to find new prospects; plus if you choose to get in touch with clients you’ve enjoyed working with in the past, they’re more likely to pass you onto similar clients they know.
Clever Social Searching
You can use services like Twitter to search for people’s updates. “But…what’s that got to do with finding new prospects?” I hear you ask.
Well, I’ll tell you.
You can search for key phrases you think potential clients might be using.
For example, you could search for the term: “Our new website”
Businesses love to rave about their new website’s, so you’re sure to find some people with brand new websites using this tactic.
You should be able to find a whole host of potential prospects this way – and on Twitter, you can even add them to a Twitter List.
You can then reach out to them, and simply tie in why they might now need your products e.g. “What a great new website! Have you thought about getting new signage with the web address on?”
Found.ly links into LinkedIn (and other places on the web) to help you find prospects through the advanced people search.
You can use a similar tactic to Facebook searching as above – and search for prospects with a location and job title you’re targeting. You could use this on it’s own and reach out to people using LinkedIn’s messaging service.
But Foundly takes things a step further – it lets you import prospects in a list, and finds their email addresses for you – and sometimes even a phone number.
You can even use Foundly to run email sequences and more, tailored to each set of prospects you choose.
It’s only free for up to 14 days or your first 250 leads – whichever comes first. But it’s a pretty amazing tool that you can at least have for free for a few weeks to collect prospects details.
BONUS: Interesting Paid Tool Mobunti
If you are targeting newly formed companies, for things like new business cards, a tool like Mobunti might be worth investing in.
It has a massive database of UK companies and tracks new one’s opening every day.
They give you a minimum of the company owners name and address – so you can start your direct marketing campaign directly to their registered address.
If you’d prefer to keep things entirely online, of course, you can still use a service like ‘Connect’ to find the owners email address.
We hope you found this list helpful – and we’d love to hear any of your online tactics you use to successfully find new prospects online right here, simply comment below.
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