How to generate leads
When a business can successfully and reliably generate leads then it makes the whole business run better.
So how do we generate leads?
The conventional wisdom today is to build a “lead magnet” on your website and then do a ton of outreach, advertising, and promotion to drive traffic to that “lead magnet” to build a list of leads that might be interested in your services.
This method will work, as long as you are:
- a great direct response copywriter,
- who knows exactly what your market needs,
- who has the contacts and to do outreach,
- has the technical know-how, structure, and time to build and provide on-going support an online funnel, and
- has the budget to buy qualified paid traffic to your lead magnet.
Now, don’t get me wrong, an online funnel can be a very powerful asset to your business. I use them myself! But they are quite an investment and many of us aren’t really in a position to fully utilize a funnel like that yet. Some of us feel like what I wrote in the prior paragraph is written in a foreign language. And no consulting business can rely solely on what comes in through an online funnel. You have to have other, qualified ways of bringing in leads.
I have a simpler plan for you
In order to generate leads all you have to do is to demonstrate your expertise to a target market. In other words you need your ideal customer to see that you can solve their problem.
Step One: Think about where your target buyer goes to be with other folks like them. You probably know a few off the top of your head. You could even call up a few of your good clients and ask them what they are reading, listening to, going to. Make a list. Keep it handy. Start it right now.
Step Two: Go and demonstrate your expertise in those places.
You can demonstrate your expertise by giving a talk, by teaching a class, by hosting a webinar, by guesting on a podcast, or more. You need to teach/speak on something that solves a problem for them that they are experiencing today. Many chambers and groups welcome a free speaker on a helpful topic.
Notice that I’m not suggesting that you talk about how smart you are — we want folks to experience your expertise. They need to feel what it will be like to work with you. You need to show that you understand them and can solve their problems. Not tell about how amazing you are.
Do any of those things in front of an audience that contains a lot of folks who look like your ideal clients and I guarantee that they’ll raise their hand when you invite them to. This is how I built my own business for almost a decade. You don’t need audiences of hundreds of people if you have a group of 20 of the right people that’s enough leads for a month! You’ll learn a ton about your audience and save a lot of time and money with this approach over building a big old online funnel with ads that flop.
My Tip for Collecting Leads Once You’re In Front of Them – Free Tool
How do you invite them to raise their hands? I hand out a “speaker evaluation form” at every event to let people tell me how I did as a speaker. The last question on that form asks folks to give me their contact info if they want me to follow up with them. In my experience, about 20% of the audience will request a follow-up. It’s that easy! (Here’s a copy of the form I use.)
How have you successfully generated leads?