All businesses want more leads. Whether you’re selling digital or physical products, providing services to clients, or if you’re mainly an affiliate who is promoting other people’s products, you need leads. Leads are where the income comes from!
There are an endless number of ways to acquire more leads. Here are just a few examples:
• Social media
• Media buys
• Video marketing
• And many others
We're going to focus the first three in this post. These main strategies will help you get more leads quickly, building your email list, which you can then turn into qualified buyers.
Don’t have anything to sell or you're only selling your time right now? Not to worry… you can sell affiliate products to those leads or even just send them back to your site over and over to increase traffic for selling ads on your site or getting clicks to CPC or CPA offers.
Okay… let's dive in
Your Lead Magnet
The first thing you need to do is set up a lead magnet. No matter what business you’re in, there’s some kind of information you can offer in exchange for your visitor’s contact information.
For example, let’s say you have an offline business selling golf lessons. You could offer a free report or video with some basic tips for improving one’s golf swing. Then, inside your lead magnet, you can advertise your service and let people know how to get contact you to set up a lesson.
The same goes for any local service provider like a plumber or roofing contractor. Many homeowners want to know how to do things themselves. You can easily provide information in exchange for their email address, and then teach them how to address simple tasks themselves… while providing compelling reasons why they should also hire you for more complex jobs.
Or let’s say you are selling a complete guide on how to meet women. Your lead magnet might be a free report on mistakes men make when trying to pick up women that just end up turning women off.
While your lead magnet shouldn't provide all the answers, it should provide lots of value and do a thorough job at providing actionable content. The more valuable your lead magnet, the more people will be impressed by what you know and the more likely they will be to want to buy from you.
Don’t just grab some random report and throw it up on your website, hoping for the best. This content needs to be as unique as possible and really let people know what you’re about.
Collecting the Lead
Once you have a lead magnet, it’s time to set up a opt-in or “squeeze” page for it. There are many styles of squeeze pages you can use. Two of the most common are the standard squeeze page and the video squeeze page.
A standard squeeze page is basically a short form of a sales page like you’d see for the average information product on a marketplace like Clickbank. It will typically have a headline, some bullet points, a few graphics, and an opt-in box.
A video squeeze page is similar, but also includes a video to encourage people to subscribe to your list to get your lead magnet. The video will describe what is contained in the lead magnet and why it will benefit the user. Then it will instruct the user to enter their details to receive their free copy.
It’s a good idea to test multiple squeeze pages until you find the best one.
Just because one squeeze page works like gangbusters for one person or in one niche doesn’t mean it will work for every possible situation. Test several and track results.
Using social media is perfect for generating leads, because you can generally have people pre-disposed to be excited about whatever you’re offering – before they even reach your site.
The good thing about social media is that it can be very well targeted. Whatever niche you are in, the likelihood is that there are related Facebook or LinkedIn groups to post to around that topic. And if there isn't, you can create one You can build your own following on social media that is targeted to your niche.
You’ll want to tailor your social media lead acquisition strategy to your niche. For example, LinkedIn is much better for acquiring business and marketing related leads, while Pinterest is better for acquiring leads for businesses related to home, food, family, relationships, beauty, travel, and fashion.
There are four basic parts to effectively using social media for marketing:
• Listening – You must monitor your social pages well
• Influencing – Establishing yourself as an authority in your market
• Networking – Following and associating with other influential people in your market
• Selling – Linking directly to your squeeze pages and lead pages
You MUST do all four of these in order to be as successful as possible in social media. You can't just sell, sell, sell. You need to communicate with your followers. You need to interact with other important people in your market. You need to share great content, including content that isn’t yours. THEN you can do a little selling.
Let’s take a look at some strategies you can use with the various major social media platforms.
Facebook is great for lead acquisition. First, you can start your own fan page or group in your market in order to build your own source of free traffic that you can access whenever you want.
Not only that, you can also leverage the power of other people’s pages and groups by posting there frequently and adding to the discussion.
Did you know you can actually post on other people’s pages as your own page instead of using your personal profile? Yup… Facebook will let you comment on other people’s fan pages as long as you aren't spamming, but you can still get some traffic. This works especially well if your fan page’s name is easily recognizable as related to your industry. For example, if it’s named something catchy or silly like Market Doodle or Money Bags, people might just pass right by. But if it’s called Dog Breeding Tips, people are likely to click your name to see what your page is about.
In addition to content in posts, you can also create more substantial content, live events, opt-in pages, and even courses and membership programs all inside Facebook. Seriously! One of my favorite tools for this is 22Social.
We’ll also talk about Facebook ads in the Media Buying chapter in a bit.
Twitter is not quite as simple for organic marketing as Facebook, because there are no actual collections of individuals in a specific market or interest area like groups. Instead, you’ll need to search for people using hashtags.
If you don’t know what a hashtag is, it’s a keyword (no spaces) with a # symbol in front. Here are a few examples of hashtags: #marketing #spaceexploration #democracy #leadership
When you search Twitter for hashtags, you’ll find people talking about certain topics. You can follow those people, and many of them may follow you back. Again, having a username that is easily identifiable as being in your market is helpful. More people are likely to follow you back.
You can learn more lots more about hashtags in my Udemy course.
Pinterest is a terrific place to get traffic to a squeeze page in nearly any market, but some markets perform better than others there.
Because Pinterest’s market is a majority of female users, topics that appeal to women tend to fare better than those that tend to apply more commonly to men. That’s not to say you can’t market to men there. In fact, there are still millions of male users on the site. It just happens that the female market is larger on the site.
Topics that tend to do well on Pinterest include: Family and parenting, Dating and relationships, Weight loss and fitness, Health and wellness, Beauty, Fashion, Food and cooking, Home décor, Home remodeling, Crafts, and Travel. But you’ll find just about everything on the site.
In order to get good traffic from Pinterest, you need good images. This means you’ll need to find images related to your market to pin, and also create them. I like to use a simple-to-use Chrome extension called Stencil to create my images.
It’s important to have clear, legible text on images that lets people know what the image is about.
Let’s say your squeeze page is a free guide to 15 foods that burn more calories during digestion than they contain.
Here’s an example image that would probably be effective:
(I created this using Stencil in about 90 seconds)
Using photos in your image tends to grab more attention. You can take a look at some of the most popular pins to get an idea for what is currently getting a lot of views and re-pins.
To get more followers, be sure to search for keywords related to your market and follow those pinners. Many will follow you back, and other people who view their list of followers will find you as well.
A Few More Social Media Tips
The most important thing you should remember when marketing on any social media website is the word SOCIAL. Social media means connecting, networking, and engaging. If you’re failing to engage your followers and reach them on a one-on-one basis, you are never going to be as successful as you could be.
Also, it’s a good idea to share other people’s content on a regular basis, and not just your own. This is beneficial in several ways:
• It helps establish you as an authority in your market
• It shows you aren’t just there to sell
• Is builds goodwill in the community
• It gives you extra content to build your own following
• It increases engagement
• The people whose content you share may later reciprocate
Let’s say you’re running a fan page on Facebook. You want to build your followers, but you don’t have a massive amount of your own content you can share yet. So share other people’s content, as long as it is proven to appeal to a lot of people, will help increase engagement on your page. It will also help build YOUR fans, because when your fans share it, their friends may see it and follow your page! It’s win-win.
To find great content to share, visit very popular fan pages in your niche and follow them. Look for recent posts that have a lot of engagement. (Lots of likes, comments, and shares.) Those are the posts you want to share, because they are already proven to be successful. You want to share their best, most popular content.
Click share, but instead of sharing to your friends, select “Share” and then choose “To a page you manage”. Select your fan page and share the content to your page. You can also get some additional benefit by mentioning them in the description of your share by using @Username.
Example: “Check out this great post on Facebook marketing by @baermktg!”
Make sure the username is linked before you post. This will show your post to some of that page’s fans. It will show up with the text “@Username was mentioned in a post”.
Buying ads is incredibly effective for generating leads, and may be the only way to get a good number of leads quickly if you don’t already have a good number of followers on social media.
Facebook ads are definitely one of the most profitable of the various types of ads available online. They can be targeted very narrowly, so they convert very well if you choose your targeting properly and have a the right offer in your ad.
The secret to getting affordable clicks with Facebook ads is to have a very interesting ad that makes people want to click, and then getting that ad in front of the right people – people who will be interested in it and want to click.
If you’re offering something free and you have a good squeeze page, all you really have to do is make sure you’re targeting properly. This means targeting the right demographic, the right interests, and the right behaviors.
If you’re using Google Analytics (and you should be) you can check your site’s demographics to find out a little bit about your target audience. You’ll want to target the right gender and age range, as well as the right geo location. As far as interests, you may have to dig a little to find major players in your industry that you can target.
The trouble is that not everything you WANT to show up as an interest actually will. For example, if you want to target your competitors’ fan pages, you are probably out of luck unless they are a MAJOR industry player. But once you find a few interests that are tightly related to your industry, you’ll be golden.
You may see clicks as low as about 4 cents if you have a great offer, great ad, and target VERY well. Generally, you’ll see clicks of about 10-20 cents, though. And don’t panic if your first few clicks are very high! Most of the time clicks start out expensive and decrease over time as more and more people click. The better your CTR, the cheaper your clicks will be.
AdWords is all about getting a great Quality Score. Your Quality Score is based on a number of factors, including:
• The ad’s relevance to your keywords
• Your landing page’s relevance to your keywords
• Tightly targeted ad groups
• Other factors
The better your quality score, the lower your CPC (cost per click).
Dedicated Email Drops and Solo Ads
You can actually build your own list by buying dedicated email drops from other list owners. You’ll pay a pre-specified fee, and they’ll send your message to their list on your behalf.
This is beneficial, because they get paid even if their list doesn’t convert to sales very well. (After all, getting email addresses in exchange for free stuff is typically easier than getting people to pay money for something.
If you’d like more information on email drops, here’s a great article from Digital Marketer.
Video marketing is another great way to get leads, especially if your squeeze page is on its own easy-to-remember domain. That way, you can put the URL in your video’s description, as well as mentioning it in the video itself and putting a link on the screen in the video.
One thing to remember when using video marketing is that you shouldn’t concentrate solely on YouTube. Sure, it’s the biggest video site, by far, but other sites like Vimeo, Daily Motion, MetaCafe and others can provide some traffic, too. Every little bit helps!
The most important thing to remember about video marketing is to remember to put the appropriate tags in when you submit the video. Use great keywords here that people would use to find your video. Also, encourage people to like, comment, and share your video. The more engagement you get, the more you’ll show up in search. More traffic!
It's also possible to purchase video ads, especially on YouTube. This training from video marketing expert Justin Sardi, will give you a great insight into what's possible using Video ads.
Now That You Have A Growing List…
Building a list is extremely important, no matter what kind of business you have. Whether you’re an information marketer who sells mostly eBooks and video courses, you’re selling physical products online or offline, you’re providing a service, or you’re just running a website that sells ads or uses AdSense to make money… a list will increase your income drastically!
A lead magnet or some sort of giveaway item, is the perfect way to build your list, but you can’t build a list successfully without traffic! Hopefully I've provided some useful ideas for getting more people to see your opt-in offer.
But once you have people on a list, don't just let those names and addresses collect dust. You need to stay in contact with your list regularly once you build it. This keeps the list “warm” and will make it easier to sell something to them whenever you have something to promote.
I know this sounds pretty obvious, but you'd be shocked how poorly most businesses and marketers handle list management and communications. To help you avoid that same fate, I've put together a guide to help you overcome some of the most common list building mistakes. You can grab a copy for free right here.