If you read enough books about lead generation, it quickly becomes clear that everyone promises a magic bullet in lead generation, as if they have found the road to salvation. However, just like a spiritual journey there is no quick, easy path to generating leads, it’s a process that requires time, consistency and patience.
Regardless of your product offering or needs, these are some essential industry agnostic suggestions to increase your leads and to potentially pre-qualify them before they contact your company. In an effort to boil it down to some essentials of lead generation, here is a list of four things to do to aid in generating leads.
1. Provide quality content
There is a reason this is number one. You need to establish yourself as an “industry thought-leader” and there is no better way than to create excellent, explanatory content via blogs, posts, etc. It’s important that you pump-the-brakes on a sales-y approach, but rather prove that you know about what’s happening in the industry and where the business is headed. Be sure to diversify your content and write about the industry or industries you service in wholistic terms. That may mean talking about aspects of business services you don’t provide. That’s okay. You can talk about the focused nature of your business.
2. Direct the traffic
Once you’ve got them reading your posts, it’s okay to gently (and I emphasize gently) nudge them to your products and services. It’s best to apply the 80/20 rule and have 2 out of every 10 posts about your company and services. If you are busy, feel free to brag about the popularity of your company. The scarcity rule always gets people interested. Leaving them wondering, ‘what am I missing?’ When you direct them to your services, create a strong call to action, either in the form of an obvious button or an expiring discount.
3. Give them a place to land
While it used to be enough to just direct the prospect to your website, this is no longer the case. Create a specific landing page, with the aforementioned call to action. A topical and specific landing page will further guide your lead to getting more information or just enough to whet their appetite. Make the landing page purposeful, with a form to fill out to receive a specific offer or retrieve the full content they are seeking. It’s okay at this stage to give them a nugget or two, establishing yourself as a knowledge-base for the customer is key to keeping them engaged.
4. Keep the form simple
The more complex the form that your prospect fills out, the less success you will experience. Keep the form simple. Bigger is not better in this case. The general guidepost is to ask for no more than three required fields of information from your prospect. Remember that qualifying a lead is a multi-stage process and trying to narrow down a website inquiry with a dozen or more fields will only send them running most of the time. If you need to capture more fields, it’s best to try a tiered approach and ask for more information further down the customers browsing journey, like requiring a key to the next door to continue on your website. Finally, don’t label your submission button ‘submit’, rather label it, ‘Get your Free copy of X here’ or some such topic.
In the end, remember that lead generation is about gently guiding your prospect through the journey. You want to remove any sharp edges along the journey and provide them with valuable, intelligent content that leaves them seeking more information. Most importantly, consistently post content. Establishing yourself as a go-to resource for your prospects will lead to future clients.