If you want to make money in any business then generating good, solid leads should rank near the top of your most pressing priorities. But maybe you have tried to find the proverbial oil geyser of leads but instead of black gold you have found nothing but disappointment.

Unfortunately you have probably been searching in the wrong places or quite possibly you have just given up too quickly. Just like in the quest to strike oil sometimes you just have to keep digging.

Here are six tried and true ways to turn your lead­generating fortunes around.

1. Social Media

Some folks are still reluctant to commit to social media but it’s time for everyone to learn to embrace this modern marketing marvel. And that of course includes leveraging Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn (and others) to generate leads. You can pinpoint specific people, especially on LinkedIn, using advanced search options. Add them to your contacts or create a group and invite them to join.

2. Utilize Forms

Compel visitors to your company website to fill out forms. Offer free information about your products or services, an eBook that is pertinent to your line of business or create a newsletter that will motivate visitors to provide their information.

3. Referral Programs

Do you offer incentives to your customers for referring friends and family? If not you might want to consider creating a worthwhile referral program. Note: worthwhile. Make the program enticing enough to persuade your current customer base to tell the world, or at least their closest contacts, about your products.

4. Attend and Participate at Trade Shows

Trade shows are not only educational and fun they are also fantastic for finding new leads. Attending alone is great but actually participating is even better. Perhaps you are not the most skilled professional at public speaking but really consider getting up on stage and informing the trade show attendees about your business. And remember the more you speak in public the better you will become.

5. Direct Mailing

Take a classic, direct mailing, and kick it up a notch by making it a more personal endeavor. For the time being forget about mass mailing and instead opt for a small number of strategic recipients. When you craft your direct mailing campaign keep in mind that you want the reader to fill as if this letter was created specifically with them in mind. Impress them with your personalized touch and you will be rewarded with their future business.

6. Marketing Partnerships

Looking for a relatively easy and inexpensive way to generate leads? And really who isn’t? Then consider a marketing partnership. From co­sponsoring events to exchanging mailing lists to writing a guest blog, the ideas are endless and, if executed, properly will generate a surplus of solid leads. But make sure you choose your marketing partner wisely. Companies that cater to the same demographic and offer complementary products and services make the best partners.