If you want more clients and you figure that attracting new clients using online lead generation could be the answer, here are some helpful tips.
This blog post features a 7 step lead generation process and answers to some of the most common questions that I get asked about online lead generation.
It has been written featuring examples that work for consultants, coaches and accountants, however if you're in a different type of business the principles will also apply to you.
1. Know what your goals or objectives are for the campaign.
- What's the potential lifetime value of a client in this industry? (This helps you determine whether or not it's worth spending money on online advertising to attract these clients).
- What's the potential revenue from this type of client over a one year period?
- How much can you afford to spend to acquire that new client?
- How many new clients do you want to attract from the exercise?
- What does your sales funnel look like? Step it out into chunks.
2. Know who you want to attract
The more specific you can be the better.
- Which industries/niches do you want to position yourself as an expert in? (hospitality, medical profession, tradespeople or something else).
- What are the unique challenges that people in this industry/niche face?
- What frustrations do they feel? What are they frightened of? What are they angry about?
- What services do you offer that will help them solve these frustrations?
- What is your point of difference working with these industries?
3. Develop your opt-in offer
What can you do to make it easy, and virtually no risk for potential clients to find out more about what you do? Ebooks, Cheat sheets, webinars, face to face seminars, free consultations are all options. Each one has its pros and cons.
- Ebook and Cheat Sheets: highest opt-in rate, lowest quality of leads. Lowest conversion.
- Webinar: lower opt-in rate, more time in preparation, higher conversion to sale.
- Face to face seminars: lower opt-in rate again, high cost to run but higher conversion rate than webinars. In the last few years seminar attendances across the events industry have been dropping rapidly with webinar numbers increasing so
- Free consultation: this will provide you with the lowest sign-up rate of all but your conversion from consultation to sale will be dramatically higher than any of the other options.
4. Promote your offer
Here's a quick summary of the different ways you can do that:
- Facebook ads - yes they work in a B2B environment and with the right targeting (geographic and industry/interests) they're a lot more affordable than many other platforms.
- LinkedIn - LinkedIn advertising can work however I find it to be more expensive than Facebook. Send emails to your connections and put up posts.
- Google Display Network - for most companies, it's too costly and the ROI is small.
- Email to your clients - naturally you'll want to invite your existing clients to opt in to your offer.
- Direct mail - with email optin rates diving, direct mail is proving to be more effective than ever.
- Endorsed/piggy back mailers from peers endorsing you to their database.
5. Secure the sign-up
You've spent valuable money getting people to click on your website so it's important obviously that it has a high conversion rate.
Here are some landing page design and copywriting elements that help you do that:
- Include countdown timers for webinars
- Use a standalone landing page with no menu links to other areas of your website. This will ensure potential clients don't get distracted
- Use 'proof elements' on the page. These are elements that prove that you have the expertise to share this information. This might include logos of media you've appeared in as well as testimonials, awards you've won, details of books you have written. Don't worry if you don't have any of these. There are other ways to show social proof.
- 3 -4 short, punchy, benefit focused bullet-points
- A strong headline that has the following:
- Flags your reader eg. restaurant owners
- Addresses their fears and frustrations
- Offers a solution (the free offer) and shows how the solution delivers
- A 2 - 3 minute video that introduces you and addresses their hopes, fears, dreams and frustrations.
- Certain imagery and certain colours have been proven to improve conversions dramatically.
At face value, all of this can seem quite expensive and time consuming to complete. With the tools and crowd sourcing services available today it's surprisingly affordable. The key though is to know what copy to include and what design elements to feature. Once you know that, getting the landing page and a video created is quite simple.
For more tips, download my free 63 page sales page copywriting checklist.
6. Nurture that relationship with the right email auto-responders
Okay. The person has shown enough interest to sign up for your offer. Now it's time for relationship-building - to build rapport with them, give them a stack of value and build trust so they'll want to take that next step and do business with you.
For someone to want to do business with you they need to be saying to themselves:
- "I like you"
- "I trust you"
- "You care about me"
- "You're an expert"
- "I'm comfortable you will get me results"
A series of well-planned, strategically crafted auto-responders will help you achieve that.
For instance, with the first email you send out as soon as they sign up you'll want to include:
- Link to ebook or details of webinar .
- Reminder of what a great decision they made to sign up
- Information that resells them on the webinar or ebook eg. you'll particularly like point #4 on page 6. "Apply this step and x will happen."
Remember, build a relationship first. Don't sell in the first few emails.
7. Ask for the sale
You've attracted the right target audience. You've built a relationship with them so they know, like and trust you.
Now is the time to encourage them to become a client. The key to do that is to start slowly and softly.
In the cases of accountants, small businesses already have an accountant and changing accountants is often a big decision for them to make. So - make it easy for them. Do that by offering a low cost, introductory service so they can dip their toe in the water first. Offer a stack of value during that consultation then offer a slightly higher priced service and so on and so on.
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