Wanna have a successful and profitable business? Then you need leads… and lots of them.
Nothing happens without a lead. No sales, no revenue, no profit, no nothin’.
Below are 10 ways to generate MORE leads without spending a bundle.
But before we get to the list, there are a couple of lead generation ground rules you should be clear about. Without understanding these, you can end up wasting a lot of time and money.
Ground Rule #1: Build a Value Machine for the Long Term
WARNING: This is boring, far from sexy, and nothing even close to resembling a silver bullet lead generating solution. And THAT’S why it’s so effective
Don’t ignore it now or you run the risk of being sorry later.
We’ll start off with the lead generation technique that most people will not have the discipline or patience to pursue. That is creating a REAL value machine for your market. This could be a blog you post to daily, or a video series you create daily… or something else.
Sounds simple, but it’s far from easy. I dare you, try it and you’ll see. Write a 100% value blog post every day for a month. This is work from top to bottom. That’s why it’s so effective, in my opinion. Because the majority of your competition is most likely lazy. Use that to your advantage—I am and I like the results.
Sometimes, however, you need leads yesterday so that you can put food on the table today. In that case, speed is what works, and we’ll get to that in a few moments. However, even if that’s the case, ALWAYS have a long term lead generation system running along side your short term campaigns.
Build your asset before you need it.
Ground Rule #2: Understand That the Money is Not in the List
It appears that one of my lists currently has little to no “money” hiding in it. That’s because I filled it with freebie seekers instead of potential buyers. I built a list before I had something to sell. If I had it to do over, I wouldn’t bother. Learn from my mistake. You build lists NOT to get leads, but to get buyers.
Unless you’re just lonely, you don’t want to be generating just any lead… you want to be generating leads that turn into buyers. It’s easy to build a list of people that just want free stuff. Those are not the kinds of leads you’re looking for.
Consider this: cast your lead generating net as wide as possible. But as quickly as you can, like on the “thank you” page, make it clear that you’re SELLING. You’ll totally scare away the folks who are only looking for a free lunch. As long as you provide value WHILE you sell, the true potential buyers will stick with you.
You are running a business, not a charity. So make that clear (unless of course you ARE running a charity), otherwise when you DO try to sell, it will be jarring because it will be totally inconsistent with what came before.
Ground Rule #3: You Don’t Have Time to Wait Around for a Relationship
People buy because they want things. They buy because they’re yearning for the perceived benefits of what you provide. Yes a relationship helps. But you can’t pay your bills or pay your expenses with relationships. So ask them to buy FAST.
Isn’t that why you’re in business? Don’t make excuses for it. Just sell.
OK, so let’s jump in to 10 ways to get you more leads:
1. Viral Video Works
Create a viral video and post it to Youtube®, or better yet, to both Youtube® and your own site. (if it goes viral, trust me, you’ll be happy you put it on your own site once all the link love starts coming.)
On the video page, make an offer for the NEXT video in exchange for the optin.
Go buy some cheap PPC ads on Facebook®, not promoting your offer, just promoting the video.
People (especially people on Facebook®) like to be entertained, so make sure the content of your video is clearly INFOTAINMENT. Don’t just teach… Teach, sell or pre-sell and entertain.
What you don’t know is if all these leads you’re attracting are going to be buyers. You won’t know that until you try it. (See item #3.) This is business, if you want guarantees, do something else.
2. Leverage Your Real Estate and Don’t Be Lazy
In my opinion, the jury is still out on just how profitable social media is for generating sales, but as for spreading ideas, it can be darn effective.
Give your leads the opportunity to spread your message for you. So on your “thank you page,” put a Facebook® SHARE button (not the Like button which hardly stands out on someone’s Facebook feed). Add in a retweet button and any other social gizmos that your market uses to spread things.
Better yet, if you know what you’re doing with code, make the “Post to Your Wall” pop up immediately. You can pre-fill it with a title, picture, link and message so people on Facebook® can spread it around with a SINGLE click.
You might pay for ONE lead, but that single lead might very well bring you 10 more.
3. Don’t Wait to “Butter ‘em Up” Just SELL Them
Once you’ve leveraged a new lead’s ability to spread your message for you (and hopefully generate more leads), give them a test. Put an offer (hard or soft) in front of them right away.
Again, you don’t want just ANY lead, you want ones that buy. The more of them that buy, the more leads you’ll be able to afford.
4. Don’t Ignore the Simple Stuff
Please make sure you don’t discount simple ways to generate leads that are cheap and or free. For example, do you have an offer in your email signature? If not, get one.
5. Free Junk is Getting Harder to Give Away
I’m sure in the old days, you could offer just about any “freemium” as an enticement for people to join your list. Just saying, “Sign-up for my newsletter” could get some results. But the bar is getting higher, so sending your “Top 5 Tips For XX” just doesn’t carry the same weight it used to.
People have too much junk on their hard drives already. So make the “Free” thing you give away something that actually has inherent value. Some suggestions: software your leads can USE, a definitive resource (101 tips for XX) that they will come back to again and again, something that solves a real point of pain for the people you are trying to attract.
In other words, to get more leads, you should be offering them something that is MORE and BETTER than anything they can get elsewhere.
Raise the bar or you will be left out.
Editor’s note from Derek Halpern: When we launched the Thesis blog, I wrote an in-depth ebook that taught people how to use nonverbal communication online to get leads and subscribers. It converted extremely well for us. The first day we had a 70% opt-in using this page.
6. People Want What They Cannot Have
If there’s one pillar of sales psychology, this is it: people want what they cannot have. So how can you build THAT into your lead generation campaigns? How can you add an element of scarcity?
Perhaps you could create a new “freemium” each and every month. Once the month is gone, that “freemium” disappears and gets turned into a product for sale.
Again, it’s work. But people who are willing to work hard have a built in competitive advantage.
If your funnel is always open to everyone, everywhere, what’s the reason they should contact you TODAY and not 4 years from now? It helps to have a good answer to that question.
7. Detach Yourself from Results and Think Bigger
I’d have to say that most of my lead generation campaigns stink. They don’t produce much. This is a numbers game. So figure out ways to use that fact to your advantage. Instead of doing a single lead generation campaign, why not launch 10? Create one squeeze page with a killer offer on it. Then launch PPC, banner ads, articles, press releases, forum posts, blog comments, SEO, videos, guest blog posts, interviews, etc. Get creative and work hard.
If you’re looking for a quick fix silver bullet way to generate leads, you’re in danger of having your lunch eaten by the entrepreneur who is just willing to do the real work.
If you’re going to win, you need to give yourself enough chances to win. Think bigger.
8. Think 4 Steps Ahead
When opportunities show up at your door, always be asking yourself, “How can I leverage or repurpose this to create 10 times the impact with the same amount of work?” Did you get asked to be interviewed on a blog? Can you secure the non-exclusive rights to turn that interview into a product or a lead generating “freemium” for you? To fully develop the potential of all the opportunities you have, you have to be thinking ahead. It’s a habit that takes time to develop.
9. Link Bait Works
I’m not talking about the link bait that comes from attacking someone or publishing something sensational. Link bait doesn’t need to be controversial, it just needs to be valuable.
Could you publish something TRULY valuable and timeless for your prospects? Ask yourself this: “What could I create that my prospects would consider in their best interest to spread around to OTHER prospects?”
Again, think four steps ahead… you don’t just want leads, you want sales. So work backwards from the sale: select your offer, consider any things that have to happen to remove obstacles to the sale, create your linkbait, etc.
I recommend this advice because I’ve ignored it more times than my ego would ever allow me to admit.
10. Don’t Let Shiny Objects Take You Away from the Basics
Success comes from executing the basics WELL. Generating leads is not complicated, it takes 3 things:
- a great offer
- putting that offer in front of the right people
- a reason to act now
Rinse and repeat.
About the Author: Jason Leister is the Editor of “The Client Letter,” the daily e-letter from ClientsSuck.net, where he helps independent professionals create success.