7 free lead generation channels to keep costs down and drive new clients to your sports training organization and events:
The cost per lead for outbound marketing is 62% more than for inbound marketing (CMOCouncil.org, 2015). That is a staggering cost difference and making smart decisions on the front-end of your sales funnel will help you maintain a competitive advantage with high margin profits on new clients. When it comes time to generate sports leads, each lead generation channel process is slightly different, yet your objective with each is the same: introduce new contacts to your sports business!
Overview: Thumbtack is a free service that sends you customer requests to sell. You get client requests for your training, decide if you want to respond to them, then you send a quote (bidding against others) for their business. Then, you get hired!
Tip: Offer the lowest bid by quoting for Free. Remember the goal at the front end of the sales funnel, is using promotional opportunities to get new clients then add them in the back end of the funnel to generate profits.
Get a refresher on the sales funnel here.
Create a Thumbtack Profile here.
Cost: Free profile, they charge 40% of the first lesson price.
Overview: Takelessons.com is a marketplace that connects coaches with parents seeking private lessons for their athletes. You create a free profile, potential clients can reach out to you and book a lesson with you. TakeLessons charges 40% of the first lesson price.
Tip: Offer the same lesson pricing you offer today on your organization website through this service, then when you have the new contact added to your contact management on Upper Hand, they will be funneled through your sales funnel like all your new contacts with a higher rate of retention since they have already trained with you.
Create a TakeLessons Profile here.
Overview: Craigslist offers free postings for services like lessons, camps and other sports opportunities. Post under “Services” > “Lessons & Tutoring.” Your post will last 7 days in major metro cities and up to 45 days in other areas.
Tip: You can post as many times as you like for various events, each coach in your organization, etc. However, if your ads look identical you will only be allowed a couple of postings at any given time.
Here is how to submit a free Craigslist posting.
4. Facebook Pages & Places
Overview: Facebook offers a great free marketing tool for local businesses, called Facebook Pages. This is an excellent way to help people find you when using Google search. You can also use your Facebook page to promote your contact information, upcoming training opportunities and more.
Tip: Having a Facebook Page also increases your credibility with new contacts.
Overview: Twitter is a fun and easy way to not only communicate with your clients but also let them share your business with people they know. You're essentially, making awareness as easy as retweeting you. Post every upcoming training event, share pictures from completed trainings and share your coaching methodologies to add credibility.
Tip: Not much of a “tweeter” yourself? Don’t worry, with Upper Hand, just having a presence on Twitter makes it easy for your clients to follow you and share your events.
Sign up for a Twitter Account here.
Overview: LinkedIn lets companies create free company pages to share news, information and engage with other contacts on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a highly reputable online social service and having a company page will increase your credibility with new contacts.
Tip: Use your LinkedIn company page to promote your coaching and training methodologies by posting. Not only can the methodologies assist in promoting your services in sports, they are also valuable in business - and almost all of your athlete's parents are on LinkedIn working during the day, when they book your training.
Create a LinkedIn Company Page.
Cost: Free profile, they charge 25% for each new client.
Overview: Coachup is a marketplace that connects private sports coaches with athletes for individual training. Coaches can create a free profile, respond to new contacts interested in lessons, and get booked by new clients.
Tip: Coachup is similar to TakeLessons.com, so offer the same lesson pricing you offer today on your organization website thru this service, then when you have the new contact added to your contact management on Upper Hand, they will be funneled through your sales funnel like all your new contacts with a higher rate of retention since they already trained with you.
Tips for maximizing the above lead generation channels:
- Launch each lead generation channel, identifying where in that channel you will capture the name and email of new contacts.
- Add new contacts name and email to your Upper Hand using the contact management tools, and let the contact flow through your sales funnel.
- After training is completed, re-engage that new client with upcoming training to move them into your recurring revenue stream.
In summary, remember to think BIG, iterate often and record your results. With time and dedicated effort you will identify the key lead generation channels critical to the success of your sales funnel.