We talked about business leads last week, and I’d bet you’d like some for yourself. In this post, I want to talk about developing a lead generation strategy that you can use to gather leads. Tactics are everywhere, but I’ve found that tactics just aren’t really enough if you don’t have an underlying strategy.
Why You Want and Need Leads
One of the major challenges business-owning moms face is the feast or famine problem. You land a large project and are super-excited for what it means to your business. But then you spend so much time working on that project to make sure it’s a success that you don’t focus on bringing in new business at all. So after you finish your project (the feast) you have no work lined up (the famine).
If you have a strong lead generation strategy and keep coming back to it, you can have a pipeline of potential customers coming into your business. If you have this pipeline of leads, when you wrap up one project, you have a list of possible customers ready to interact with you. You’ll have much less down time, having to scramble for your next project.
Your lead generation strategy can be designed to make better use of your time. And you can earn more because you’ll be able to go from project to project instead of taking a break in between to drum up new business.
Lead Generation Strategy Components
When you search on lead generation strategies, you find many different tactics. And those tactics might be the best ever. But they aren’t strategy, and if they don’t fit into your strategy, they’re not going to be amazing for you.
Strategy is the plan, while tactics are the actions you take in pursuit of that strategy.
Your lead generation strategy will incorporate what you know about your audience, the content you create, the traffic that sees you, and how you help people.
Figure Out Your Audience
Finding your sweet-spot, your niche, your ideal client… all of these are much easier to talk about and understand than to actually do. But, before you can attract people to volunteer themselves to work with you, you have to really know who you want to attract.
Some people immediately know who they want to serve and how they want to do that. Is that you? Lucky.
Many others have a broad idea, but really need to niche down to a more specific idea. The more specific an idea of your audience that you have, the easier it will be to find and attract them.
Even after you have a good idea of who you want to serve, you can get even more specific by starting to create content and watching for responses. When you get it just right, you’ll get more people sharing your content and talking about you.
Add that topic to the interests of your ideal audience to get a better and better picture of your audience as time goes on.
I have a couple of articles to help with niching and ideal clients:
You know you’re supposed to create content, but do you know why you’re doing it?
Along with building authority and working ideas out for yourself, you’re creating content to attract future customers. So, create what your ideal audience wants.
Again, easier said than done, and this step often cycles with refining your idea of your ideal client.
Your format can be anything really, if you think your ideal client would see it and would like to consume content in that way. But, create the most content on the platform you want to use to collect your leads. I recommend creating on your website.
Even if you’re using video or graphics, have your website as home-base. Facebook might change its rules, IG might shut down an account, YouTube might suspend you. All of those are survivable if they’re not your home base. Then, you can translate that content to multiple platforms.
If you’re truly at zero, or don’t know what to create, create a few things that interest you and see what gets the most traction. Keep refining and researching, and you’ll hit on topics that your audience loves.
Here are some articles to help you with content creation:
Drive Traffic to Your Content
I’m making some assumptions here that you’re running an online business, so I’m writing in those terms. However, these principles will apply no matter how your business runs.
While traffic is rarely the answer to poor sales or not enough leads in an established business, you must have some traffic. You have to get yourself, your products & services, and your content out in front of your audience. Whether you’re getting people to walk in off the sidewalk, or stop scrolling so they can read your blog post, you have to have them come by to convert them into a lead.
Online traffic tactics include search engine optimization, social media posting, advertising, and social bookmarking. But their effectiveness is going to depend on the type of content you decide to create and who you’re creating for.
I haven’t written a lot about traffic, but I have some good tips in the following article:
How You Help, or Your Offer
Your offers must be appealing to your audience, or no one is going to step up and say they want to be a business lead. This includes your general offer of how you help people, as well as specific offers.
I recommend that business-owning moms gather leads in an email list so that they can own their list of leads, and can contact them when they want to.
When you ask a site visitor for their email address, you’re asking for a valuable piece of information. So you should offer something enticing in exchange for that email address. That “something” is called an opt-in freebie, or lead magnet. And it’s going to be different for every business and every offer.
There are a million formats and many different approaches. Make your offer with the intent of helping quickly on a small, specific problem. The better you know your audience, the better your can make your offer.
These posts can get you started with lead magnets:
Strategy First, Tactics Second, Automation Third
Your path to more leads is to work out your strategy, and then the tactics will be much clearer.
Simply knowing your audience can eliminate lots of tactic options. For example, if you’re trying to reach male executives, Pinterest ads probably aren’t the right move.
Try out different tactics and hang on to the ones that appeal to your audience.
Once you have that, automate your lead generation so that you have your pipeline of leads coming in all the time.
While I know that tactic articles are much more popular, thinking about your overall strategy, and figuring out how to figure it out is what you need to focus on.
There are a few people who hit it out of the park just by testing one tactic with no strategy, but that’s not the norm, and you can’t count on it!
Start with your audience, and start creating content for them. See where that leads you.
You're a business-owning mom, so you use this guide to prioritize your tasks in 2 minutes, and have 41 minutes left to knock out a task.