In this post I’m going to outline a very simple but repeatable and effective method for generating leads for your marketing funnel business.
This method for lead generation works best when you’re new to the game, struggling to find leads now or have a few leads but nothing much on the horizon.
Stop asking for calls and meetings immediately
I cannot stress this enough. If you are cold calling, you need to stop asking for something from the lead immediately. As in, stop asking for anything at all from the cold lead.
Cold calling does have it’s place and I would argue that cold traffic ads on Facebook, YouTube and Google are the new cold calling, because of their goal.
The goal of cold calling is to find the RIGHT person to talk to, and qualify out everyone else. When you run cold traffic ads, the tactic is to see who watches the ad or interacts with it and then target them further.
When you cold call, the absolute goal is to find out who the right person to talk to is. It is NOT to get a meeting or a call. I cannot understand why sales people and marketers find this so hard to understand.
I get bombarded with cold messages on LinkedIn and Facebook all the time. I have no doubt that we all get messages like these.
This is in my opinion, the fastest method to get me to block you. Here’s why it winds me (and most people) up. It’s insincere. I know full well that you want something from me and you’re vaguely disguising it as giving me value.
I don’t want to spend time on a webinar. I don’t want training. I don’t want a free report. I don’t want more work. When you outreach with something that requires my a) contact information and b) time, you need to give me something more than “here’s a thing that’s good for your business”.
Do webinars work? 100%. When directed to the right person. Hint: THE RIGHT PERSON. Cold calling is designed to make sure that you are the best person to start marketing to. That’s it.
No I don’t want a quick 5 minute call. No I don’t want a digital coffee (Jesus Christ). I don’t need you or your ideas or advice. What I need is to get on with my work.
If you want to start generating leads for your business, stop asking cold audiences for something and start GIVING them something.
You need time, money or audience
I wish there was an easier way to do this, but there isn’t. If you want leads, you need to give up/spend something in return. It either needs to be audience, time or money.
You’re going to have to use at least one of these resources if you want to find more leads for your business. So with that, let’s get into how to find more leads for your marketing funnel business.
Be very specific about who you want to help and the problem you solve
If you need more leads and enquiries for your marketing funnel business, you need to be specific about the leads that you want to attract and convert.
“I want more leads who are interested in working with me” isn’t a good enough definition. That’s like saying you want to work with animals that are interested in being protected with conservation.
Your marketing funnels do LOTS of things. Too many to count. Everything from advertising to product launches to revenue automation. But usually that’s the problem. You’re not focused on what you can do.
If you don’t want to get focused and specific about the type of person you want to attract AND the type of problem you solve, that’s fine. You’re just going to have to spend a LOT of money.
Lead generation is a long term play. It’s NOT a last ditch attempt to find customers and get some income into the business. There are no shortcuts.
- Who can you add the most value to? I.e. who do you want to work with and help?
- What is a specific problem that you can fix and solve in their business?
“I don’t have anyone specific…”
Not good enough. If you don’t have a hyper-specific person that you’re going after, we can’t go further. I’ll make 3 assumptions for the rest of this post.
- You do not have a $100,000 a year marketing budget
- You are not a $10m+ a year business
- You’re not a celebrity with a huge following.
If you are one to three of those traits, then you can be vague and weak about your positioning. If you don’t have one of those traits, we need to get specific and targeted.
You need to come out with a specific statement:
Mike, I’m looking for X types of people with Y type of problem who want to achieve Z.
X type of people
- Business owners with 3 subscription products
- Businesses who sell farmyard machinery
- Authors with an app
- Fitness coaches
- People with kids who have just left for university
Y type of problem
- Too many refunds
- Working 12 hour days
- Spending too much on advertising
- Can’t put their brand into words
- Stuck on their second book
Z type of result
- Want to see measurably happier customers
- Spend more time with family
- See 20% growth in revenue
- Launch a new product
- Feel happy with where the business is heading
DON’T overthink it. Because chances are you’re going to have to change it and adapt it later. If you come up with something you feel is “generic”, then fine. Use it now and change it later. Take action.
Just try to get specific about ONE of the X, Y or Z parts. The specific problem you solve or the type of customer is a really good place to start.
“Helping Companies Grow Their Online Presence With Digital Marketing” is NOT a specific statement about WHO you want to target and the problem that you’re solving. This will not help you generate leads for your marketing funnel business.
I see that same basic phrase for digital marketers, marketing agencies and businesses all the time. Which is hilarious to me, because it’s the exact OPPOSITE of what a good marketing agency would say.
“We help YouTube creators monetize their audience when they don’t have any products.”
I can generate you lists and lists of people who fit that profile.
Ultimately, if you want to generate more leads you need to focus on WHO you want to attract, not what you do.
Collect low level, easy leads and information
The next thing is to make sure that you even can capture leads. Imagine going through all that work, attending networking events, online advertisiting, content creation, only to fail to collect the information from people that do want to work with you.
The question shouldn’t be “how can I get more leads?”. The question is “can I even handle more leads?”
You’re going to need 2 pages on your website and a “pop-up” optin form.
Pop-up: Just capture email addresses
You might capture a name too, but for the sake of ease, you can just capture an email address to start with.
People moan about popups and love to hold their noses up at them.
“I hate popups and immediately leave when a website has them!”
Fine, but you are not your customer AND the popup isn’t the reason you leave, it’s the lack of value displayed in the offer on the popup.
Remember that hyper specific problem that you’re going to solve? That’s a pretty good place to start. Having a popup appear and offer to solve a hyper specific problem is a fantastic way to do 3 things.
- Test your offer and see if people are interested in it
- Start generating some leads (that was easy)
- Give you feedback on what people want more of
As an “agency” or marketer or whatever you want to call yourself, stop defining yourself by the outdated and restrictive model of the agency.
Just because no one else is doing it, doesn’t mean it’s not something you should be doing. Remember that generic “we help businesses grow” statement earlier?
If you want to separate yourself from everyone else, you need to do something different from everyone else. Instead, if you say that you work with “environmental NFPs who need more benefactors so they can publish more work” then you’ve got something to offer.
Drive More Benefactors
7 ways not-for-profits can increase benefactors in 30 days.
Doesn’t that sound specific and valuable? Our optin performs at around 4.5% – 5% with simple targeted messages like that.
That means for every 100 visitors we get to a site, between 3 and 5 will become an email subscriber. For the sake of a timed popup, I’ll gladly offer something like that and generate leads on automation.
The other reason I love to test popups like this is because it lets me see what offer is most compelling to my audience. In the example above you can see we tested “7 Sales Strategies” and “49 Niches”. The niches won by a landslide.
That’s a pretty good indicator that most visitors to my site are looking for a niche. I can now test other offers and solutions against the niche offer, or I can test headlines for the niche offer.
Either way, I’ll continue to gather data on what my leads are really interested in.
Page 1: Lead magnet
Once you’ve got a clear idea of the type of offer that your audience are interested in, you’ll want to create a squeeze page. This is a simple landing page that just offers a lead magnet in exchange for an email address and a name.
Exactly the same as the popup, except this time you have a specific page that you can a) drive traffic to and b) refer people to in content or meetings.
Use a URL like website.com/offer and keep it really simple. The reason this is so powerful, is because (this is going to sound cuckoo-bananas) I believe the universe rewards those that make space for the goal they have.
The God’s help those who help themselves, type thing.
I know it sounds mad. But the mere practice of having a specific landing page for a lead magnet shows that you’re willing and able to accept more leads into the business.
It’s also way more convenient to offer people you meet and your audience a fast result just by visiting a landing page.
As you can see, this page here at sellyourservice.co.uk/proposal is super basic. Click pop optin/2 part optin and just 3 bullets and a headline.
These work man, these really work. You can drive remarketerd traffic and even old school word of mouth traffic to them. If you can show and demonstrate that you’re ready to handle more leads, you’ll be rewarded with them.
Page 2: Detailed lead capture
Finally, you need a detailed lead capture page. This is something a bit more detailed in terms of questions, rather than just name and email.
The purpose of the page is to capture details of people who are interested in working with you. That’s about it. The idea is that if someone reaches out to you and asks if you’re available for work, you want to get their information.
If you demonstrate that you have a process, you’re showing that you’ve done this before AND you’re looking to work with people. Again, you’re open to the idea of working with people and generating leads, why wouldn’t you have a page to capture that data?
I use Gravity Forms to create a super simple lead capture form that also qualifies people. It collects their information and organises it so that I can use it better next time.
If you want an example, head to sellyourservice.co.uk/new-project and check it out. Fill it out too if you want, and I’ll hammer you with hard sales follow up.
Grow an audience
The fastest method to generating leads for your funnel business, is growing and nurturing an audience. That means having a regular communication with a group of people who get to know you. And you, get to know them.
I understand the initial hesitation around growing an audience.
- I don’t want to be an “influencer”
- I don’t want to be a YouTuber or a personality
- I run an agency, I’m not a leader or guru
Of course you have other options and I’ll talk through those below. However growing an audience a) is the fastest and most sustainable method for generating regular leads and b) does not mean you have to turn into a YouTube personality.
Although, there’s no reason why you can’t be a YouTuber. Or a blogger or a podcaster or whatever. Just because you’re an agency, that doesn’t mean you can’t use a platform to help your potential leads.
If you’ve got a focused niche or statement from above, why wouldn’t you create content (video, audio or written) and use it to grow an audience? Even if its only 1000 people, that’s so much easier to generate leads with.
If you don’t have an audience, you need to grow one. If you do have an audience, that’s a great way to generate leads.
Everyone in the world is out there and if you focus on a niche, you have a segment of “potential audience”. That potential audience then becomes your audience with enough consistency, effort and content.
Over time, that audience converts into leads if you remind them enough and make offers. I would argue that regular visitors to your website are your audience.
Growing an audience attracts the leads to you. It’s not you going out to market, it’s bringing the market to you. It could take months, probably years. But it’s a hell of a lot faster than stop/start marketing where you try a new “hack” and cheat the process.
You can’t rush history. Growing an audience is like growing a field of crops like wheat or cannabis or tommaco. It takes time but you reap what you sow.
You already do have an audience by the way. Your current network wants to work with you and I’ve got a post here talking about how to use that audience.
There’s also this video that talks about using your network:
Don’t want to grow an audience? Then spend money
There is of course a method to speed up the process. Spend money.
Money is a very good way of accelerating what you’re already getting.
Action = result
Action*money = more result
I want to make this abundantly clear, because you need to look at the result you’re getting already before you start spending any money.
Money doesn’t create results out of thin air. It accelerates the results you’re already getting. This is critical to understand, because if you’re not getting leads now, throwing $10,000 at the problem will result in exactly as many leads as you’re getting now.
1 × 0 = 0
10,000 × 0 = 0
It sounds totally counter-intuitive but spending money on your lead generation when you’re not attracting any leads already, is a really bad move.
You NEED to grind it out and spend money to accelerate what’s working. You can’t avoid sales. As my friend Miles Beckler says, “you can’t outsource pushups.”
Either you find a lead generation process that works OR you pay to find a lead generation system that works. If you do pay someone else to find out what works, it could be a long time and a lot of money before you do.
Why shouldn’t you pay someone to generate leads for you? Nope – that’s not what I’ve said. What I said was don’t spend money on results that you’re not getting.
If you have generated leads and sales in the past, you clearly have an offer which converts. THAT is worth spending money on because you’ve already done something right.
That’s why we create landing pages and optins, because we want to accelerate results that we’re already getting. It’s also extremely scalable. Spending money to accelerate the leads you’re already generating from your current system/audience is smart.
Spending money to get leads when you’re got getting any already is not smart.
After that, you WILL have to spend money on leads at some point. The other end of the spectrum is struggling to generate leads because you’re struggling to scale.
Your lead generation problem might not be a lack of leads, it might be a lack of capturing those leads. If you’re already at capacity, even if you want more leads, you’re naturally going to prevent those leads getting through.
Many businesses fail to realise that they probably don’t need more leads OR a magic method of generating leads different to the one they have now. What they really need is to spend money on their lead generation process and make it more streamlined and automated.
So in short either do or don’t spend money. Clear? Great.
I’m presuming that you’re reading this post however because you’re sitting on zero or very few leads.
Don’t want to spend money? Then grind it out
Your last option is time. Spend time to build your audience and generate leads instead of trying to cash in your current audience or spending money.
This of course is the “cheapest” option and probably the one you’re going to need to use. But that’s OK because just like growing that huge field of tomacco or wheat, most things take time.
There is no shortcut – outside of the attention of an audience or spending money. If you don’t have money or an audience, spend your time to acquire an audience.
It’s slow progress, but it is progress. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen. The trick is doing it long enough to see your results come to fruition.
Take your time to build content, acquire an audience and grow your reputation. Focus on your niche statement above and build useful resources for them.
Get comfortable with knowing that this takes time and it is a grind. Forget the hustle and grind bullshit, just do one thing 1000 times to grow your audience and build the lead generation pages above.