Generating good prospects requires a combination of things and it depends on whether your doing business to business (b2b) or marketing to consumers. For me, I’ve found smaller more personal groups with like-minded small business owners and entrepreneurs work best.
Although, social media and technology are very important I’ve found more and more businesses get inundated with digital communications and even I rarely take time to read an unsolicited email from someone I don’t know or have ever heard of. Attending small trade shows where your able to make real conversations and share ideas on each other’s products and market always work best for me. I do attend larger conferences or trade shows, but the sheer numbers of attendees make forming real connections harder unless you do a small seminar within the large conference.
Over the years I’ve found building connections with people who you can offer advice and they can offer their own expertise works best. The deeper the relationship and trust the better chance they’ll keep you (and your business) mind when they come across a potential sales prospect or opportunity. “Out of sight, out of mind”, do develop good leads with referrals you have to stay in touch with your fellow small business owners/friends.