In the Tinder dating app, users “swipe right” when they are interested in a person and want to meet them to potentially date. Drumming up new business is actually quite a bit like dating. You’re working to put your product or service’s best face forward like you would on a dating app.  You’ve chosen the best profile picture possible to attract your target audience. You’re also looking to generate as much interest as possible, messaging each potential partner for a while before deciding to meet up – kind of like how marketers nurture each potential lead for a while before the decision to make a purchase is finalized.

Since a Tinder-like app doesn’t exactly exist for small business owners (if only it were that easy!), you have to come up with other ways to find and attract new top of funnel leads.

But don’t worry – getting those top-of-funnel leads to “swipe right” for your business is easier than you think.

Write On

Just like in online dating, you have to put yourself out there to get noticed. Yes, you have a great product, but does the world know that? Probably not. One way to spread the word and drum up new leads is to tell people — through writing blogs and social media posts.

Use blog posts to tout yourself as an expert in your industry and discuss the latest trends and problems around that topic. As long as you’re utilizing search engine optimization (SEO) when you’re creating these blog posts, people will find them when they’re doing a search on the topic. Those searches will bring them to your site where, should you have a nifty little checklist, white paper or other offer alongside your content, presto, you have a new potential lead.

For social media posts on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook, you can link to your blog posts, of course, but you should also post more than just that. If every one of your posts looks like it could have come from an RSS feed, the followers you have will bail and you won’t obtain new ones. Woo potential leads by giving your social media posts some personality. Also comment on news in your industry to again be seen as an expert in the field.

Like in dating, being authentic through content and social media is a great way to pique the interest of new leads, enticing them to learn more about your business.

Coffee Talk

Coffee or drinks are both informal ways to test the waters with a date – or with new leads. Is your office spacious or unique in some way? Offer up your space to a local networking event first thing in the morning or during happy hour. Typically, the creator of the event will thank you by giving you a few minutes to talk about your business. Use social media to broaden your reach by asking attendees to “check in” on FB at your business, reaching their friends, who may check out your site and become a new lead or customer.

If you don’t have a great space for hosting, consider sponsoring an event to build brand awareness.

No Booth Babes

When it comes to online dating, there’s always the potential to misrepresent yourself – whether through a fake profile pic or content that’s just not true to you.  While tempting, faking it to attract your audience – in dating and in business – usually ends badly.

So, forget the “booth babes” at your next tradeshow. Instead, you and your sales team should be there to showcase your authentic business and culture.

Sometimes, as an exhibitor at a tradeshow,  you’ll get lucky and receive a list of all of the registrants after the show, but often, you won’t and it’s up to you to wrangle and track those leads yourself. There are a number of apps you can use to scan conference and tradeshow badges to gather the leads, which makes it easy for you to then upload those leads all once into your CRM.

Either way, use tradeshows as an opportunity to showcase your unique personality, style, and value-prop.  Create an authentic experience at your booth that will draw in attendees and keep the buzz going about your business at the event, on social media, and beyond.

Seal the Deal

Like in dating, you never want to come off as clingy – it makes you appear desperate, and let’s face it, undesirable. So, once you have all these new top of funnel leads, resist the urge to send them a one-off “Hey, buy my stuff. It’s great!” email and consider it done.

Instead, nurture those potential leads throughout the buying cycle from the top of funnel “awareness” stage all the way through to “purchase” with personalized emails and offers.