By Sweta Patel

Are you facing a drought in leads in your pipeline? The holidays have always been a great time to get a new group of customers through the door, especially B2B customers.

Here are a few techniques I have used to grow my business:

Zapier Your Way To New Business

Zapier is an automation workflow tool, which allows you to connect two services. For example, if I want to set up a Twitter hashtag search and make it go to my Google Docs, then I can trigger the Twitter search to import into my Google docs.

San Diego-based marketing entrepreneur Sweta Patel.

How does this help your business? First create a “zap” by deciding on the trigger and the action. If you need more help on setting this up, then read more about creating Zaps.

The first way to use this tool is to trigger an RSS feed into your Google documents. For example Reddit supports RSS feeds by adding a simple “.rss” to any subreddit URL. For example, subreddit event marketing jobs r/event and the feed URL would be: Another place to look would be Authentic Jobs and get the RSS feed URL for any search. Check this one out for Marketing Jobs. When you point these feeds to your Google Doc, it will export all of the postings in there. What better way to create a hit list?

Best Practice: Set the trigger to be the RSS Newsfeed. Set the Action as the Google Docs. Then add specific keywords to filter out all the noise. 

Twitter For New Business

Thousands of people are asking for recommendations on Twitter using phrases such as: “anyone know a good….”, “looking for a great” and “can anyone recommend…” Those requests can be opportunities for you. Use Twitter advanced search to find these and even pick specific locations. For instance, I usually type in, “anyone know” marketing and I get results like this: Twitter Advanced Search for Marketing Jobs.

Many times people need something urgently. In that case, use search terms like: “Desperately need a marketer” or “Urgent, need a marketing plan.” This is the best way to find clients in need. In the search add “urgent AND marketer need” to get results and then respond.

Best Practice: In Zapier, set the trigger as a search mention via Twitter. The search terms should include your niche and words such as “urgent,” “anyone know,” etc. Then the custom filters should include your location. The action can be to send a Gmail. You will have to tell Zapier what information from the tweet to include. 

Power Zap With LinkedIn 

We all know we can import our complete email database onto LinkedIn. However, do you really want to invite ALL your Gmail contacts to connect with you on LinkedIn? Probably not, as some might think you are spamming them or it may open up a can of worms. Instead, create a label in your inbox. For example, when I go networking or have a phone conversation with someone I enter their email under the label “LinkedIn Zap.” Now I can create a zap that triggers this label with the action set to connect with them on LinkedIn. You want to be at top-of-mind when you add a contact on LinkedIn. Zapier even allows you to add a customized message to every zap.

Best Practice: Set the trigger to Gmail and the unique sender and set the filter by label name. The action will be to send Invite via LinkedIn and you can customize the message. 

Help A Reporter While Growing Your Business

Your credibility is very important when it comes to growing your business. One way to boost your credibility is by becoming a source of information for reporters through HARO.  Help A Reporter Out provides queries from reporters looking for information from reliable sources. Getting quoted gives your business and your expertise credibility. The downside is that you’ll be flooded; HARO sends several emails to your inbox every day that compile requests for information from journalists. Instead, you can use Zapier to send HARO requests based on your preferences and keywords.

Best Practice: Create a HARO label in your Gmail box. Then set up a zap for Gmail: New Email, under the filter of your label name, and your keyword search terms. This is the trigger. Then the action is to send an email to yourself. Make sure you include the original HARO message in your email. 

PowerPoint Marketing 

I saved this one for last because it is definitely the secret sauce. Many marketers are not aware of the power of SlideShare and how PowerPoint presentations get indexed in the search engine results page for their keyword. This is an easy and simple way to get traffic to your website and generate leads at the same time. The best way to showcase your expertise is by converting blog posts into slides and adding them on SlideShare. This means free SEO, increasing credibility and generating more online business than you can handle.

If you really want to generate new leads for your business, then create a new tool that makes life easier for your target audience. Then make it exclusive by having them enter a waiting list. You can pick and choose who you want using the tool via the waiting list. If you make the tool open to all it will appear to have less value.

Best Practice: We used SlideShare to turn our blog posts into slides. Then in the description and at the end of every presentation we allowed our viewers to download a special tool we created for marketing. This tool assists with content marketing and content curation. We want to collect names and emails to grow our list. This was the easiest way to do so! 

I hope this post helps you make better business decisions. As leaders and decision makers we must implement fast and be results-driven. This post was created to give you the competitive edge when it comes to business growth.

Did I miss anything? Please comment below.

Sweta Patel is a San Diego-based marketing entrepreneur whose company is Global Marketing Tactics.