If you want your efforts to result in revenue generating leads you need to approach it as you would a garden.
Soil: Choose your soil wisely so that you produce the leads you want. If you planted your garden in sand you would only be able to grow cactus; in red clay you might get only kudzu vines. You need soil that is receptive to your products and services. Be sure the places, organizations and websites you spend your time on are interested in your products and services.
Planting: Your seeds or seedlings need to be planted in a way that will facilitate them "taking hold." If you throw your seeds by the handfuls into your garden, very few will work their way down into the soil and actually produce a plant. Scattering your business cards, brochures, materials or time randomly will not plant your business in the minds of very many actual purchasers and users.
Fertilizing: No fertilizer may starve your garden, too much or the wrong type will kill it. Finesse will guide you in how much stimulant to apply to the marketing seeds you have planted.
Tending: A few seeds will fully mature and produce results all on their own. More will produce results if the garden is watered and weeds are cleared. Watering equates to your paying daily attention to marketing. Weeding your Lead Garden means that you clear it of things that eat up your time, effort and money and produce no revenue. Some things that can be weeds or revenue producing plants are: lead generation or networking organizations, advertising, blogging, interacting on social media sites, cold calling, media coverage, and training. Properly tending your garden means that you look closely at the plants and determine what is a weed and what will produce revenue.
Harvesting: Unfortunately produce from a garden will not fall from the plant and march itself into your kitchen. Neither will sales, contracts and projects fall into your basket. You must watch leads closely, determine when they are ripe and close the deal. Having a pretty garden is fine for flowers, but not for produce. Planting marketing seeds and generating leads are important, but be careful you donít spend all your time generating leads and rarely reap any benefits.
Replant: Most plants do not produce more than one season. Even fruit trees have to eventually be replaced. It takes replanting to continue to have revenue to harvest.
This is an excerpt from "101 Winning Marketing Actions for Small Business" a workshop in book form by Janet W. Christy. The book is for all Small Businesses, but is particularly helpful to businesses that are Very Small, Woman-Owned or Minority-Owned.