Take 5 minutes to read this refresher on the fundamentals of lead generation, and you will be happy you did! – Because over the next couple of blog posts, I will show you how to generate your own highly targeted leads on demand.
But first, let’s get the big elephant out of the room. This is shocking but true…
You simply cannot survive or grow without new customers; that’s a fact. You’ll never have the security and peace of mind if you cannot confidently and profitably create a steady flow of new customers anytime you need them.
Honestly, it is still a mystery to me! Most business owners cannot, will not, or do not approach their marketing needs in an organized manner even though they know that’s essential for getting a competitive edge.
As a business owner, you’ve likely been an advertising VICTIM – constantly wasting money, not really knowing what works and what doesn’t and constantly reinventing the wheel too often, and – to be blunt – getting where you are going by paddling faster and harder, without a fail safe navigation system. Well…I am here to warn you THAT NO LONGER WILL WORK.
Big dumb companies sloppy, wasteful “mass advertisement” practices are catching up with them — the secret cancer that has eroded so many big corporations has left them weak, fragile and vulnerable. Unable to weather the last recession.
The small business owner, a local merchant, or even mid-sized company owners can be slaughtered much faster by NOT KNOWING HOW TO SYSTEMATICALLY, efficiently and profitably “target” their ideal, ready to buy, high-value customers, clients or patients.
How would you like to stop being an advertising victim? How would you like to finally get accurately measurable, quick results from each and every dollar you put into ANY kind of advertisement, marketing or promotion?
My Goal For Today Is To Give You The Lead Generation Advice and Tools You Need To Thrive and Not Just Survive
You may have heard the old saying “there’s no such a thing as a free lunch.” And while that may be true, there is such a thing as free as business and life-changing information that will show you how to grow your business, increase your profits and help you create a life that brings you certainty and stability to you and your loved ones.
Impossible, you say? Well, stick with me for a little bit longer because in this post and over the next several blog posts I am going to reveal:
- All the different types of leads and how they vary
- How to:
- Build a mailing list
- Increase trust and authority in your niche
- Use lead management software
- Make sales from leads – turn leads into customers!
- Write an effective squeeze page
- Make leads excited for a product
- Build leads in person
- Create a large following on social media by selling your ‘dream.’
- Why having a brand and a mission statement is so important
So just what exactly is a lead? Why does it matter so much? And how do you go about getting one?
In internet marketing, the term lead can be used fairly broadly to encompass a number of different things. In fact, though, the term ‘lead’ actually comes from the sales niche and sales teams around the world have done a lot of work to define the term, categorize it and break it down.This is a useful short little read because it will help you better understand what you’re trying to do and how you can measure your success.
The Life Cycle of a Lead
In sales, we talk about leads as having a ‘life cycle.’ That is to say that a lead will develop from one ‘type’ of lead to another as they become more engaged with your brand and as they become more likely to buy from you.
Generally, the lifecycle is as follows:
First, we have the cold lead. The cold lead is the lead that you have only just acquired that knows nothing about your business and that, as yet, has no interest in your product or service. They are a lead though because you have their details/contact with them and because they fit into your target demographic and your buyer persona.
You know all those calls that you get from companies trying to sell you insurance, PPI and other services you don’t want? They are calling you because you are a cold lead. In other words, they bought your details (most likely) from another company because they know you fit their demographic.
Now they know who you are, they have the means to contact you, and you are someone who is likely to want to buy from them. Their mistake is trying to go straight in for the sale – cold leads haven’t given permission or shown any interest, and so they’re not likely to buy right away. If you try and make a sale from a cold lead, it will likely lead to a backlash.
If you are an internet marketer, then hopefully you aren’t buying mailing lists or followers – these are marketing methods that are generally doomed to failure. Our equivalent of this then is a visitor to our website – someone who we now have access to but who may well have just landed there by accident.
However you got your cold lead, your next step is to convert them into a warm lead. Better yet, there are ways of ensuring that your leads are warm when they first reach you, which can save you a lot of trouble and effort. The warm lead has everything that the cold lead does – they fit your target demographic, you have the means to market to them, and they are statistically likely to buy from you.
Their big difference is that they have shown some actual interest in your brand (if not your product) and hopefully even given you permission to contact them. This might mean they have followed you on social media; it might mean they’ve joined your mailing list, or it might mean that they have sent you an email praising your site and all your hard work.
These people haven’t necessarily indicated that they want to buy from you, but they have demonstrated some kind of liking for your brand and your ethos. These people are thereby much more likely to buy in future when compared to people that you’ve never had any contact with.
A qualified lead is a lead that has taken the next step and gone from being interested in your brand to being interested in your product. That means they have somehow shown interest in buying from you – perhaps they have asked for more information about a specific product for example, or perhaps they have added your product to their cart or to some kind of wish list.
Maybe they made a low ticket purchase. They might have asked for a quote, or they might literally have told you they want your product. Either way, the qualified lead is now someone who wants to buy and who just needs that tiny push in order to actually take the plunge.
You can also categorize leads as sales qualified leads (SQL) and marketing qualified leads (MQL). This term is popular in businesses with separate sales and marketing departments. It depends on which team qualifies the lead and very often an MQL will pass immediately on to the sales team to become an SQL. Sometimes you will also see the term ‘IQL’ or internet qualified leads.
Lead Generation, Scoring and Categorization
There are more ways to think about your leads and to categorize them. Some companies, for instance, will actually ‘score’ their leads and use this as a measure of how likely they are to buy from you. Only once the lead has reached a certain level you then actually go for the sell by sending a special offer by email, or by getting a member of the sales team to give them a call.
How do you score leads as an internet marketer? That’s up to you – but ultimately the more data you can collect the better. You might for instance score your customer in terms of engagement with your brand (How often do they visit the site?
How many of your emails do they open? Do they comment on your posts?) and in terms of the interest, they’ve shown in buying from you. So for example, a lead with a good score will be someone who has done Google searches for your specific product, who has spent time looking at the item on your e-commerce store and perhaps who has actually made a purchase in the past.
Finally, you should also categorize your leads based on their demographics. That means thinking about their age, gender, income, location and more. This is important because a lead that meets your criteria will be more likely to buy from you.
Attracting your “ideal” prospects is only part of the list building process. Deliberately repelling the kind of people you don’t want to deal with is just as important if not more important.
We’Il get into the specific details of how to do that next week. We’ll also talk about specific linguistic and copy issues required to build as strong a relationship as possible with your ideal customers and prospects with your emails, social media, websites… and my most important success secret for keeping customers faithful to you and
your business. . . for DECADES to come.