When it comes to generating more leads online there is no shortage of strategies available to try.
You can run paid ads, you can do email marketing, you can create video content for YouTube, audio content for a podcast, or text content for a blog. You can optimize your website for SEO, spend time doing organic social media posting, the list is pretty much endless.
But what makes matters worse and even more confusing, is that for every strategy available there are at least a dozen gurus saying it’s the best thing ever, and a dozen more saying it sucks and don’t waste your time.
So let me pull back the curtain and let you in on a little secret that most gurus don’t like to share. It’s not that the strategies don’t work… most of them do… and it’s not necessarily your fault either… odds are you did your best and gave it the old college try.
So. The problem isn’t the strategy, and it’s not you either, rather, it’s the mismatch combination of the two and the fact that most strategies aren’t being built on a solid foundation.
So let’s fix that now. Here is my 5-step strategy and the best way to generate leads online today.
Step #1: Market (Identify Ideal Target Market)
Step #1 is kinda boring, but oh so important. Because if we get this part wrong then nothing else matters and all your time, money, and energy will be completely wasted.
This is why the very first thing we need to do is as accurately as humanly possible, clearly identify your ideal target market and most perfect potential customer. That customer that loves you, loves what you do, is willing and able to pay you fairly for the value you provide, and wants to tell everyone they know about just how awesome you are.
It’s important here to clearly identify their demographic details like age, gender, occupation, income, etc, as well as their geographic details like what city, state, province, or country they live in, and lastly their psychographic details like their interests, attitudes, beliefs, and opinions.
The better and more clearly you’re able to picture your ideal target market, the better your online lead gen will be.
Step #2: Miracles and Miseries (Dreams and Nightmares)
Alright now that we’ve got you ideal target market fleshed out it’s time to move on to Step #2 and work on what I call, Miracles and Miseries.
In this step you want to identify their wants, needs, dreams, and desires, as well as their fears, frustrations, pains, and nightmares. It’s in these Miracles and Miseries that you’ll be able to locate and clarify the problems they’re going through that they want solutions to, and then all you need to do is give them what they want by showing them how to solve them.
You see one of the best ways to show that you can help people, is by actually helping them. And when you identify someone’s Miracles and Miseries and then you show them the solution, and ideally, a solution that you are uniquely positioned to deliver, well… that’s when you both win. Alright, let’s move to Step #3.
Step #3: Message (Give Them What They Want)
Step #3 is all about giving them what they want in the form of Education Based Marketing, or EBM for short. It’s in this step you’ll want to create the content that directly addresses their Miracles and Miseries and delivers it in a way that suits both you as the content creator, and your ideal target market as the content consumer.
What I mean by this is you want to determine what kind of content your audience likes most. Is it video? Audio? Text? Or a combination of them all?
Also, if you hate the thought of being on video then that’s obviously not going to be the best plan. Same goes if you hate writing… which would quickly strike starting a blog off your list.
The key here is to find a match between your preferred content creation style and your ideal target markets preferred content consumption style. When you do this, you get content congruence.
Once you’ve got the content created you can deliver it in exchange for a name, email address, phone number, whatever you need… or simply give it away for free. Just make sure if you’re giving it away for free to include a call to action in it so your leads know what to do next.
Step #4: Media (Go Where They Are)
It’s at Step #4 where the rubber really meets the road, because this is where you’re actually going to be getting your content in front of your market.
After all, the best content in the world don’t mean much if nobody sees it.
This is also where most marketing tactics fail. You see, most tactics advise picking a channel first, typically whatever’s “hot” that day, and then diving in and staking your claim there.
Sadly, this is the entirely wrong way to do things, and has resulted in countless businesses creating expensive, time-consuming, and complicated content marketing lead gen strategies on platforms that aren’t being used by the people they want to reach. Ouch.
The alternative then, and the best way to do things is to take a look back over the previous few steps we’ve just covered and use that information to identify the absolute best platforms to use for your target market. In other words, where is your ideal target market spending their time online?
When you figure this out, it makes choosing where to focus your online lead gen efforts a complete no brainer.
Step #5: Matrix (Accelerate With Online Ads)
Alright, we’re now at the final step and It’s at step #5 where we take a good thing, and make it better. And the way you do this is by doubling down on your most effective lead generating content and throwing a little gas on the fire with paid ads.
Again, where most people go wrong is they start with paid ads and go all in on a single piece of content before knowing what’s going to work best. This can work and we do it a lot when we’re less concerned with budget but overall a far better strategy is to start by creating a series of different pieces of content, seeing which one resonates best with your ideal target market, and then putting money behind it with paid ads to show it to even more people, even faster.
That’s the recipe for success.
My Top 2 Channel Recommendations
Alright, so we’ve covered a lot here, and if you go through the steps from 1 to 5 you’ll be miles and miles ahead of the competition who are still trying to generate leads using stale and outdated tactics from 5 years ago. Remember, strategy first, tactics second.
All that said, If you’re still not sure the best place to generate leads online for your business I don’t want to leave you hanging, so the following are my top 2 channel recommendations for most of my clients and students to use.
First up is Facebook. While the big kahuna has come under heavy fire these last few years it’s still one of the best and most effective places to generate leads online. This is due largely to its monstrously huge user base, but also because of the targeting options available through its ad platform, meaning you can hone in with laser like precision on your most ideal target market. For most businesses, using Facebook is an easy choice.
Probably not surprisingly, my other recommendation is YouTube. This is due to a huge number of reasons we don’t have time to get into here but a big one is that while Facebook is a discovery platform, meaning people discover your content rather than actively search it out, YouTube is for the most part the opposite, predominantly a search platform where people are actively searching for a solution to a problem they have.
Use Facebook or YouTube alone and get good results, but use them together and your online lead gen will never be the same. In a good way.