Lead generation? – A beginner’s guide
If you’re reading this right now, you need some help. Let me guess, you’ve heard the term ‘lead generation’ time and time again, but you’re still not exactly sure what it means? Well don’t worry – I’m here to help!
According to our trusty friend Google, lead generation is ‘the action or process of identifying and cultivating potential customers for a business's products or services’.
In less than 5 minutes you’re going to become a lead generation expert.
Firstly, what is a lead?
Let’s keep it simple. A lead is someone who expresses interest in your company’s products or services in any shape or form. They may make contact via email, fill out an online form, or sign up for a free consultation. Or they, may have simply visit your website, check out your LinkedIn, or read a blog post (like you’re doing right now!).
They are not a customer yet, but they are on their way to being a potential customer.
So, what is lead generation?
Basically, it’s finding unique ways to attract people to your business. It is the art of providing potential customers with content that gets them naturally interested in your company, getting them on a path that will eventually influence them to buy.
How you choose to generate leads depends on who your customer is. Years ago, outbound lead generation was king. Firms pushed messages to their target market, regardless of whether people asked for it or not (think mass emails and cold calling).
If you’re looking how to generate leads, this is not a technique I recommend. It is costly and impersonal, which explains why the ROI is much lower than inbound marketing. Instead, when it comes to lead generation, you should be focusing on inbound marketing.
In-bound lead generation?
In-bound lead generation is all about creating valuable, engaging experiences for potential customers. It is all about drawing customers in, rather than pushing content out.
This may be simply attracting people to your website, blogs and social media through relevant and helpful content, which might lead to engaging with potentials through a chat bot or personalised follow up emails and calls.
Unlike outbound marketing, you don’t need to fight for your customer’s attention. In-bound lead generation organically builds trust and credibility with potential customers. It is an ongoing relationship.
Never stop updating, creating and building content. You should be generating content for both potential leads, and for leads that have now converted into paying customers. Update your social media content regularly, generate thought-provoking, attention-grabbing blogs and optimise your website.
Never get too comfortable. In order for your relationship with your customers and potential customers to flourish, it needs to be on-going. Your business should be on a constant pursuit to generate leads and convert these leads into paying customers.