This post is actually the follow-up on Lead Generation Part 1, which I promised to do, so we can technically call it Lead Generation Part 2. So before you read it, I suggest you first read Lead Generation Part 1. Somewhere along the line you will be looking for some connecting dots if you don’t.
Without leads, you’ll never be able to generate customers. If you never have customers, then you won’t earn any revenue. And without revenue… we all know what happens next.
The first step in any lead generation exercise is to establish the objectives and goals that you hope to achieve. Having these objectives also allows you to quickly react when the exercise is not meeting your expectations. Without goals, you have no means of gauging the success of the exercise.
Newsflash: Goals give lead generation exercise and associated activities direction
These goals should be aligned with your broader marketing strategy, so that your lead generation efforts drive toward your business objectives. You should also use the SMART framework when setting your goals. This means that each goal should comply with the framework.
SMART goal examples:
Increase web site traffic from Facebook by 20% by October 30, 2016
Increase email list sign ups through social media channels by 300 names by June 30, 2016
The two examples are Specific in what they want to achieve, you can Measure their results (20% and 300names), they are Attainable (they can be achieved), they are Relevant to business, and they are Time-bound (October 30, 2016 and June 30, 2016).
In lead generation, the medium or channel of communication is as important as the message, (the wrong medium may repel the people you want to attract). It has an impact on how the message is received. When selecting which medium or channels to use for lead generation, most small businesses make the mistake of using one of these approaches.
- Everybody else does it this way
- Requires the least effort
- Shot in the dark
- I have always done it this way
The right choice will expand the value of every money you spend. Your lead generation budget needs to be as well targeted as your massage.
For small businesses there are three key elements to consider when choosing a channel for lead generation:
Reach: You can’t attract new customers if they don’t know you exist. Remember that your customers won’t go out of their way to get your message, and they don’t have to. So you have to use channels that reach your customers as a regular part of their lives. (Channels your customers interact with or come in contact with as they go about their daily business – channels that will reach them naturally)
Attraction: Once the channel and its message have reached a target customer, you hope that the customer will pay attention and be attracted enough to take action. But guess what! Before customers can be attracted to your message they first must be attracted to the messenger – the channel carrying the message. If you choose a channel that your customers are not interested in or one that repels them, they may never even get to the message no matter how compelling the message may be.
(Have you ever hung up on a telemarketing phone call before the caller was able to say more than ‘’hello…’’).
What repels one person does not necessarily repel another and what attracts one person does not necessarily attract someone else. So you must really know your customers.
How do you determine which channels will attract your customers? Consider these criteria
Credibility – Is this medium believable? Do you customers trust it?
Appropriateness – Is this the way your customers want to be approached and communicated with? Is it consistent with their picture of themselves?
Associations – What other thoughts does this medium bring to mind? Are they pleasant or unpleasant?
Cost: Determine the financial condition of your business, your budget and your revenue goals to see how much money you will need to get the results you want. Then you will evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the various channels available to you.
”The most efficient channels will give you the most ‘’exposures’’ in your target market for the least cost. The most effective channels will give you the most qualified leads for the least cost”.
Let me explain what I mean by efficient and effective. Let’s say you are planning to do a training programme for engineers and there is an engineering company in that town that employed about four hundred engineers. You decide to rent a big bill board in front of the company to advertise your programme. That means every morning four hundred engineers will see the bill board and in the evening the same four hundred engineers will see the advert again. Four hundred engineers see your advert two times a day – your advert has the most exposure in your target market.
Now if you go to a radio station that most people listen to in the morning while driving to work and take a 10 minutes slot to talk about the programme, the engineers at the engineering company and other engineers elsewhere will all hear you. You have effectively increased the number of engineers you are reaching and this may generate the most qualified leads.
The first scenario is efficient and the second is effective.
Lead generation is one of the core operating systems of every business, and so must be taken very serious. There needs to be proper planning before any lead generation exercise starts, no matter how small or insignificant you think the exercise is. Without proper planning, you will not get the desired result out of your lead generation work.
To effectively implement your lead generation exercises in your business, you must create two documents:
- Monthly Lead Generation Plan
- Monthly Activity Calendar
Monthly Lead Generation Plan
This document contains all the lead generation exercises you want to carry out within the month and their details.(replace the red text with the details of each heading)
Monthly Activity Calendar
This document contains the sequence of activities with dates for each lead generation exercise.
No matter the channel or medium you decide to use for any particular lead generation exercise. The headline of your message must connect with your target audience instantly. Establishing connection with the target audience, especially doing it within the very brief time you have before you lose them, is truly an art, not a science. There are no hard and fast rules about it.
There is an easy way to increase your skill at creating headlines, images, and sensory elements so you can make the most of your opportunity to ‘’connect’’ with your target market. It won’t make you an expert, but it will improve whatever level of skill you already possess.
What you do … pay attention. When you watch television, listen to the radio, read posts on social media, read blogs, read a magazine or newspaper, or read your mail, etc. pay attention to what you are seeing. Notice the headlines, the images, and the sensory elements in all the advertising that comes your way throughout the day. You might even take some notes. The key is to notice which headlines and images capture your attention and draw you in. The simple act of paying attention will build your skill. (There are free soft-wares for analysing headlines, you can check – coschedule or advanced marketing institute).
Small business owners always seem to have the same complaint which sounds something like: ‘’why do I have to come up with all the ideas? Why aren’t my people more creative’’ Does that sound familiar? If it does, then let’s do this exercise.
Have your employees do exactly the same exercise you did in Lead Generation Part 1. Let them write down all the lead generation ideas they can come up with, regardless of how workable they think they are, for 15minutes every morning for 7 straight days. Then invite them to share what they have got with you.
Take one day, get together with your people and share all the lead generation idea you all have generated. Organize all the ideas into:
Medium means the kind of lead generation exercise e.g. email, social media, promotion, etc.
Content refers to the offering you are making, the words you use, the design of the finished product, an email message or campaign, a brochure, etc.
Process is the method by which you implement the activity, step one, step two, etc.
This exercise achieves other goals for your business too. It creates the culture of Organization, the culture of Creativity, and the Culture of Responsibility in your people.
Did you find this article helpful? Then kindly drop me a comment and also spread the love by sharing, so that others can benefit too.