In Episode 27, I am going to show you how to generate leads without using Facebook Ads.
Hey, a penny saved is a penny earned?
If you want to own a profitable business, you need paying customers.
Gone are the days when brands pushed their products down the throats of helpless customers.
Consumers have too many choices today. Which means you need to earn their trust before expecting to win their business.
Lead generation is the first, and arguably the hardest step of this buying journey.
A lead is anyone who has shown interest in your products by filling out a quote form, downloading your offer or maybe even subscribing to your newsletter.
But how do you stand out and grab a potential lead’s attention?
I have two basic methods for you today: outbound and inbound lead generation.
Outbound Lead Generation
The first is outbound lead generation. Outbound is a more traditional route where you send messages directly to your prospects.
I know what you are thinking.
Just a few seconds ago, I told you that aggressively pushing your products no longer works.
And I stand by that.
So why am I advocating outbound lead generation tactics, which usually involves cold calling, tweeting, and emailing?
Because, when done right, they can still work in certain industries. B2B is the most common.
Let me paint a picture of an outbound lead generation tactic that’s been working for people in the B2B industry.
Let’s say you’ve just started a new software company that services the medical industry. You can use LinkedIn’s advanced search feature and find a ton of valuable information on potential leads.
You can search by name, keyword, industry, company and a whole bunch of other features.
So in this example, I might search by industry (medical practice) and look for people who are involved in marketing.
From there, you can use the tips mentioned in episode 25 to find the email address of leads and pitch them your product without sounding like a sleazeball.
Best case scenario, you win a client. The worst case, is you make a useful business contact. Either way, you win.
But the B2C world is more complicated.
You can’t just start cold calling people and saying:
“Hey. I don’t know you and you don’t know me, but do you want to buy my gadgets and widgets?”
Consumers like you and I don’t have the time or patience for disruptive sales pitches like these.
So what do you do?
You go inbound.
Inbound Lead Generation
Inbound lead generation is about your prospects finding you. In order for them to find your website, you need to make yourself searchable where your customers want and when your customers want.
In other words, fish where the fish swim.
Here are some popular inbound lead generation tactics you can use for your business.
Establish Trust Using Social Media
Social media is not a typical channel to generate leads.
People gather together on these networks to keep in touch with their loved ones, network with their colleagues, and nurture new relationships.
However, social media can be used to grow your business if you can drill these principles into your strategy:
- Provide helpful or entertaining content that is relevant to your target audience.
- Give without expecting anything in return.
- Be patient. It takes time and persistence to prove that a strategy works or doesn’t work.
That being said, here are two popular ways you can generate leads through social.
Contribute to Facebook Groups
Facebook ads cost money, but Facebook groups are free.
With over 620 million Facebook Groups, there is hardly a topic that is not represented on this network.
Be an active and interested member of a relevant Facebook Group. Find out what kind of challenges are being addressed and by whom. Then offer customized tips to address these challenges.
If you have a relevant blog post you can add into your answer, then be transparent and provide it as an additional resource.
Mingling with your target audience will enable you to better position your services and generate leads in return.
Promoted Pins are pins paid for by businesses in order to increase their visibility.
When compared to Facebook Ads, Promoted Pins give you a big bang for a very small buck.
Promoted Pins run on a cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-per-engagement (CPE) basis. Many businesses have seen high click-through rates with a maximum cost-per-click of just $0.50.
You’ll need a Pinterest business account to get started with promoted pins.
Pinterest is a visual paradise. It is the perfect vehicle to showcase your brand’s values and personality.
Unlike Facebook or Twitter posts, pins are for life. High-quality pins that are uploaded today will continue to pay off in the long term.
Pinterest is also a powerful social search engine. Creating aesthetically appealing pins with keyword-optimized descriptions will make your brand searchable.
Provide Extra Value with Content Upgrades
A content upgrade is simply bonus content that people can access in exchange for their email address.
Unlike general lead magnets, like an ebook on your homepage, content upgrades act as an invaluable bonus to a particular blog post.
For instance, if you click on moneyjournal.com, you can find the option to download my free eBook “Scale: Target Audiences That Buy”.
While this eBook provides a general overview of how to scale your business, it is irrelevant to a lot of the topics covered on my blog.
Someone with a specific pain point like coming up with blog post topics will find nothing useful in this eBook.
So how do I satisfy these visitors?
I write a blog post addressing that pain point and include a relevant content upgrade within it.
Last year, I published a mammoth blog post titled: “SEO Checklist: 74 Step Process for Mammoth Rankings blog post.” I could have stopped there, but I included a printable PDF version of this checklist as a content upgrade.
Nearly 2,000 new leads from a single blog post.
Your creativity is the limit when it comes to content upgrade formats. You can include checklists, eBooks, interactive maps, infographics, spreadsheets or printable worksheets.
Anything goes as long as it’s valuable to your readers and the context of their visit to your website.
Extend Your Visibility with Joint Webinars
Webinars are effective lead generation tools. Because only those who are interested in your content will make the effort to sign up for them.
Sounds good, but how does a small business with minimal clout conduct a successful webinar without breaking the bank?
You partner with an online influencer.
Not just any online influencer, but a relevant influencer whose sphere of influence overlaps with your areas of interest and expertise.
You could either cold-pitch that influencer like you would an unknown business prospect. or interact with that influencer for a few days, weeks or months before proposing your partnership.
Either way, stress the value you bring to the table, along with what that person will get in return.
Once you win the confidence of the influencer, you can ask whether it’s okay to offer a sales pitch towards the end of a webinar and split commissions with them.
Typical commissions are 50/50 in these JV webinars.
Joint ventures introduce you to an audience you would have otherwise never found.
Assert Your Authority with Quora
When people think social media, they think Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn.
Few people understand the significance of Quora, a popular question and answer platform.
Basically, Quora is a non-spammy version of Yahoo Answers.
Brands who provide valuable information on this platform find qualified leads more easily than on bigger networks.
Because the context of your conversation has already been set. They ask questions and you answer them.
To top it off, click-throughs and conversions have proven to be significantly higher on Quora than on spam forums like Yahoo Answers.
For instance, if you search for “How do I sell my home” you will see a list of answers by real estate experts below the question, along with a set of Related Questions on the right side of the screen.
Click on the Answer button (below) to offer your own two cents.
Keep in mind the following don’ts while answering questions:
- Don’t sell your services. Spammers who scream “Me Me Me” will be flagged and possibly penalized for commercial use. The objective here is to simply offer an informative response to a question.
- Don’t give away all the information. Tease your audience with abbreviated answers that will fulfill their intent and link to relevant blog posts with a content upgrade inside your answer.
- Don’t copy and paste your response from an existing article or another website. Provide a unique answer to their question and personalize it.
Showcasing your expertise this way positions you as a trusted authority. It also gives you a chance to guide prospects to your website and ultimately into your sales funnel.
That’s it for episode 27. I hope you’re able to take these tactics and put them into action to generate more leads for your business.
If you liked this video, then give me a thumbs-up and make sure to subscribe for more actionable online marketing tips and strategies.
You can find the show notes and the resources mentioned over at moneyjournal.com/episode27.
Now I want to hear from you. Have you tried any of these lead generation methods? Let me know in the comments below.
Until the next episode, remember to take action because every minute counts.