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Lead generation without spending a penny

Lead generation on no budget

Lead generation, it’s one of the top marketing challenges for small businesses. Add to that the lack of budget and then things start to get interesting (or should we say hard work!).

I know because I am one and it’s always on my list to do. I’ve been to business coaching that tells me – focus first on cutting costs – but the reality is that if I don’t have any leads, I don’t have any customers, and if I don’t have any customers I don’t have any business.

So I’ve put together a list of 4 of my top lead generation methods that cost absolutely nothing.

However, before we start, we need to answer one key question:

Who is your audience?

I know it’s so cliché. I’m a marketing person, I’m bound to say that! But it’s true. This is the very first thing you need to work out before you start any of the below, because the reality is that you can’t be all things to all men all of the time.

It’s much better to focus on one audience who you know will bring in the revenue that trying to reach out to everyone. You simply won’t have the time, budget or energy!

For those of you who haven’t worked this out, it’s OK, have a look at this post

Done that?

Now on with the tactics of finding those leads. These are just a few that I’ve found work really well


Networking is a great way for people to get to know you, how you can help them and even how they can help you. It’s personal, it gains trust early on, and allows you to showcase your talents. A word of warning though – make sure you go to the right networking groups – where you audience is.

If you’re a local business who is offering cookery courses for those over 40, think about free networking groups such as ‘Ladies who Latte’

If you’re looking at larger businesses, think about networking groups such as ‘Chambers of Commerce’ or ‘Institute of Directors’ – there is often a cost involved with the bigger networking but think of it as a ‘good lunch’ and then technically it’s free!

There are so many networking opportunities out there, take advantage of the free trials, try them out and work out what is right for you and your business.