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Free business loan leads: 5 top tips for lenders

entrepreneurs signing a business loan contract

Key takeaways

  • Use consistent branding and online reviews to generate trust in your loan company before asking for contact information from potential borrowers
  • Create landing pages that target specific members of your target market to turn more website visitors into business loan leads
  • Partner with coworking spaces, incubators, and other companies that support startups and small businesses to reach people who need funding the most

When entrepreneurs want to bring their dream businesses to life, they often need financial help. In fact, 34% of entrepreneurs sought traditional financing in 2021 to fund their ventures, and some may borrow again for new projects down the road. However, business owners know that loans aren’t without risk, so they’ll only borrow from lenders they trust.

If you want more borrowers to choose your financial institution, you’ll need to engage them with the best information about your business. You can do so by collecting their contact information and turning potential borrowers into leads. Here are five ways to get free business loan leads faster without paying for lead generation services.

1. Build a trustworthy brand

Business owners are often bombarded with junk mail about financial services as soon as they open their business bank accounts. If you want to set your company apart from its many competitors (and scammers), you need to position it as a trustworthy lender.

Brand consistency can help your company inspire trust. For example, if a loan provider uses a different company name on every platform, it would be difficult for potential borrowers to verify if the brand is legitimate. However, if you use the same name, logo design, typography, slogan, and brand personality on every channel, your brand can feel more well-established. Over 60% of brands agree that consistency is key to generating more leads.

Creating guidelines that outline the look and feel of your brand can help you and your team members present your company in a consistent way so you can get more free business loan leads.

2. Create targeted landing pages

small business owner working on laptop

Search engine usage accounts for nearly 30% of all web traffic because users habitually turn to them for answers. Landing pages—which are targeted, standalone web pages designed to capture leads—can be highly effective tools for boosting your brand’s visibility on search engines and generating business loan leads.

Effective landing pages target specific segments of a target market, such as real estate investors or entrepreneurs with low credit scores, by answering their frequently asked questions (FAQs) and showing how your business funding options can meet their unique needs. For instance, a landing page for potential merchant cash advance leads could emphasize that MCAs can offer faster access to working capital than a normal business loan. At the end of your landing page, you can include a call to action for visitors to enter their contact information to learn more.

To get as many conversions (visitors who become leads) as possible, you’ll need to drive traffic to your landing pages. Search engine optimization (SEO) tactics can help your landing pages rank high on the right search engine results pages (SERPs). For example, you can include relevant keywords, like “merchant cash advance” or “how to get business funding with bad credit” if you want to reach potential MCA leads.

Once you create landing pages, they can automatically capture free business loan leads on your behalf.

3. Promote lead magnets on social media

Members of your target market aren’t researching business loans every second of the day, so it’s important to promote yourself where they spend their time. The average internet user spends over two hours per day scrolling through social media, which can make sites like LinkedIn and Instagram great platforms for winning free business loan leads.

While social media feeds can be fast-paced, you can stand out from the noise by promoting lead magnets, which are freebies given away in exchange for contact information. High-value lead magnets—such as fixed interest rate offers and downloadable guides—give users more of a reason to stop scrolling, read your post, and give you their email or phone number.

4. Partner with coworking spaces

entrepreneurs congregating in coworking office space

Adequate business financing is particularly important for people who are in the early stages of starting a business. New and aspiring small business owners need to manage the demands of both startup expenses and operating expenses, i.e., the costs required to cover a company’s launch or break even and ongoing earnings to stay afloat. To increase their chances of success, many entrepreneurs congregate in coworking spaces to minimize overhead and get support from other business owners.

Partnering with coworking spaces is a useful way to get more exposure to potential small business loan leads as well as more established companies that use shared workspaces. Consider offering free consultation services or educational presentations to members in exchange for exclusive business loan leads. Or you can compensate coworking space owners with a commission fee when they connect you to a borrower who chooses your company.

Consider going to networking events hosted by coworking spaces to get involved in their community before you propose a partnership. When you focus on building a relationship before asking for support, shared office space owners may be more willing to help.

In addition to coworking spaces, you can also partner with business incubators and accelerators that work closely with startups. These resource providers often help business owners with their loan applications. As such, winning an exclusive partnership can be a great way to funnel startup owners straight to your brand.

5. Leverage online reviews

When assessing the legitimacy of a loan provider, business owners may turn to online review sites to learn about other borrowers’ experiences with a brand. One way to impress them with what they find is by sending prompt and professional responses to each review you get. This can show potential commercial loan leads that your brand cares about the people it serves.

When you add or claim your Yelp Business Page, you can respond to online reviews fast, facilitated by real-time notifications that alert you as soon as someone leaves a review. You’ll also be able to update your business details—like your address, phone number, and website address—to ensure your page visitors have the information they need to reach out and become leads.

If you want more ways to leverage your online reviews, consider sharing the best ones on social media or embedding 5-star reviews on your website. This can help you build trust with potential leads on other platforms that business owners visit while doing their research.

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Win free business loan leads

Getting free business loan leads for your financial institution can be easier than you think. There’s no need to pay a lead provider to do the work for you when many free options exist. Whether you’re making your brand more consistent or using reviews to your advantage, speeding up your business loan lead generation simply starts with boosting trust in your brand.

Once business owners feel confident that your company is legitimate, you can win more quality business loan leads with targeted landing pages, lead magnets, and strategic partnerships. Next, discover more lead generation ideas to help your business collect more emails, phone numbers, and addresses from members of your target market.

The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.