Updated: Oct 12, 2021
Have you just started your business and are struggling to find leads?
Or do you not have the courage to start a business because you don't think you can acquire leads?
Or, are you buying your leads through ineffective data-mining and pricey Facebook advertisements?
Whichever it is, the point is you believe it is difficult to find leads, and you are trying to find ways to acquire leads without spending heaps of money.
For that, I know just the way.
What I'm about to tell you is not fairy dust or black magic. It is my experience, and it has proven to work. However, it does not come easy, and it is more about your mindset than your execution. So, brace yourself for this hefty lesson ahead!
i) Your goal should not be more leads.
Essentially, that means the number of leads doesn't matter if you're paying more than they should cost. Read that again. Understand the justification for your cost should not be merely based on its difference with the customer lifetime value or the profit margin. Your goal should be to accelerate revenue while reducing cost at scale.
Let's look at this with an example.
Say, your cost per lead from your advertising efforts, whether it be Facebook or Google, is USD $10. You might earn USD $20 from each closing lead. That seems like a good investment. But have you ever questioned if the cost per lead should be even lower?
The simplest way to accelerate revenue while reducing cost at scale is to push that cost per lead cost down. It can be done. And the most effective way to do so, given that your targeting and objectives are correct, is to refine your content.
Your content should be tested organically and is proven to attract your target audience.
Your content should be personalized to the stages in the customer journey by addressing your target audience's pain points.
Most importantly, your content should appear in the right contextual moment.
That is the only way to maximize your budget, and that is how you reduce your cost per lead. Good content, therefore, allows you to enjoy a higher ROI, do less work, but gain more revenue.
ii) Your goal should be to acquire more high-quality leads.
It can be tempting to just acquire whoever first and see how it goes, but my advice is you should only be acquiring high-quality leads. Low-quality leads not only ineffectively use up your budget but are also highly time-consuming. You might spend weeks trying to nurture them and realize they aren't that interested.
Low-quality leads usually come from cold outreach. Since the relationship started with you disrupting them with an ad or an email blast, the people you reach might be looking for services you don't provide or services that drive the lowest profit margin.
So, do high-quality leads usually come only from the bottom funnel? The answer is no.
High-quality leads can well be people who do not have purchasing intention yet. The important thing is for them to have you top of mind when they do require the service or product. That ensures your marketing efforts are not wasted, and the closing ratio is high.
But high-quality leads can only be attracted. And the most effective tool in attracting quality leads is through offering them value with content. Their engagement, search, click, or even download and subscription showcases interest. The chances of you closing them is much faster and higher than blasting out cold emails.
iii) Your goal should be to acquire leads automatically.
Sounds unrealistic? Well, the point here is to adopt a funnel. If you don't have a funnel, you'd find yourself starting fresh every month. You'd be thinking about what ads to create, coming up with new email templates non-stop. Instead, if you have a structured funnel, you'd know your customer journey, and all you need to do is put in the right pieces at each stage. Your only goal is to drive people into the funnel.
What you might be doing now is buying ads for the top, mid, and bottom-funnel stages. That means you're using ads to grow brand awareness, to tell people to subscribe or download your materials, and to drive people to your landing page to book an appointment or buy a product. You are, therefore, spending your budget on three sets of ads.
The smart way to do it is to just spend a budget on one set of ads. And they should be your top funnel ads.
All your ads should be doing is to drive people to enter your funnel.
The funnel should do the rest. Your always-on content should nurture your new reach, and your EDM funnel should be calling them to action.
You should just be focused on refining your top funnel, which is the big front gate of where your leads enter.
iv) Your goal should be to acquire leads regularly.
You might acquire a lot of leads one month, but acquire none the next. The key is to acquire leads regularly so you can anticipate for business, allocate your workforce, and scale properly. The way I managed to attain that is by having a content marketing strategy.
Imagine each piece of your content as a chess piece on the chessboard. You can't play a game of chess unless you have all the pieces. But once you have all the pieces, you can anticipate how they can move. You can strategize your gameplay. You have a better understanding of how you can win.
Content marketing is just the same. Once the right pieces of content are created and distributed across the right channels, they generate numbers that you can anticipate for every month. With a content marketing strategy, you can use these numbers as monthly benchmarks and start calculating your metrics. How many reaches lead to a lead? How much does one reach cost? By knowing these data, it helps you foresee and forecast what needs to be done every month to drive your desired amount of leads.
v) Your goal should be to use leads to acquire more leads.
Don't wait until a lead becomes a client for you to utilize their network and their social power. Cater to your leads and follow up with value-adding content. Share with them intimate details of your business growth. Make them recall you even when they aren't ready to use your service.
Most companies acquire leads and then forget about them. But leads lead to more leads. What you should do is to nurture them so they either recommend you or mention you offline, or you start affecting their social media algorithm so your content starts showing up in their network online.
Acquiring leads is not easy, but it is not as hard as one would think. With the right strategy, the right framework, and most importantly, the right mindset, it's just repeated gameplay. For entrepreneurs, I highly recommend you to download my free ebook on 5 simple yet powerful techniques you can use to start your own business and acquire your first client with content marketing to learn more. For small business owners, reassess your current approach and do not get fixated on just the number of leads. Look into the ways to increase revenue by reducing cost at scale.
Finally, there is a reason why you've landed on this blog. I believe it signifies this is the time for you to take action! Think about the potentials that lie ahead of your current or future business and start acquiring leads the right way.