Lead Generation Strategy Guide: How to Land Quality Clients

By |07.14.22

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Times have changed and reaching new customers can be tough. Where you could once buy potential customers through ads, now you must earn their attention. We live in a world where content is king. So to keep up, let your lead generation strategy lead the way.


What Is Lead Generation?

Lead generation is the process of attracting people who know little-to-nothing about your business and turning them into people interested in your services. Strangers and prospects alike.

This process typically starts by giving those lucky strangers enough information to make them say “I’m interested in knowing more and doing some information-digging myself.”

Gaining leads could look like giving your audience valuable knowledge in exchange for their contact information.

Think of content like “10 tips to keep your house cool this summer,” that you offer in exchange for the prospect’s email address.

Once they’re hooked on content like that and provide their email address, these people are then considered “leads.” And when it comes to gaining leads, it’s all about nurturing them through to purchase.


Why Is Lead Generation Important?

Lead generation attracts people to your business by providing answers to their needs, wants and/or pain points.

Think of it as the opposite of cold calls. How excited would you be to hear from some random heating and cooling business about an “exciting” offer? On a scale of 1-10, it’s looking like a 1.

No one wants unsolicited calls. Even from your business. That’s not how you gain leads.

When people are naturally interested in your business, you provide them the opportunity and control to begin the relationship.

It’s a more natural progression than starting with a cold call. Plus, they’re far more likely to work with you in the future.

Cold calls have a success rate of 2% in converting cold leads to warm prospects

—Marketing for Success

Are There Different Types of Leads?

There are several types of leads — it’s worth learning the ins and outs of each. But ultimately, the point is to focus on the leads who will most likely close the deal.

When they do, that’s called making a “conversion.” In order to get as many as conversions as possible, you need to know the characteristics of each type of lead.

At the same time, you’ll also need to define how your company will measure the leads it generates.

Cold Leads

Cold leads are people who know nothing about your service but fit your buyer persona to a T.

Maybe a lead generation software platform pulled these names for you, or perhaps you did some research of your own to find them. Some people even pay for this type of lead.

Regardless how you get them, these are the most difficult leads to convert.

Warm Leads

Warm leads are at least familiar with your business’s name and maybe how your business works. Hey, it’s a start! They’ve likely followed your social pages or watched your videos. Maybe they know about you from talking to a current client.

These leads are a little easier to convert.

If you’re looking to start converting warm leads, connect with them to indicate you’re aware they’re mildly interested. But without being stalkery-creepy.

You might target them with communications that add more to the content they’ve already consumed, and move them along to become a conversion.

For example, let’s say you’ve noticed certain prospects are gravitating toward certain topics. You might send an email that references that subject, such as: “Like the tango? Give rhumba a try! Watch these videos from our local dance studios. Class registration is open now!”

Hot Leads

When you come in contact with a hot lead, you’re in luck. These are usually the easiest to convert. Hot leads are also referred to as qualified leads.

These are the kind of leads that engage directly with your company. They might have even reached out to you themselves. Give these leads your immediate attention because waiting too long could cost you their business.


What Are Common Lead Generation Struggles?

Lead generation plays a key role in gaining customers and, like all great things, doesn’t come without a great deal of work. In fact, there are a few common hang-ups that hinder businesses from gaining qualified leads.

  • Assuming referrals and word-of-mouth will make sales happen. While a referral marketing strategy might seem like a good idea, it might not be the most cost-effective route. And while word-of-mouth plays a large role in why people trust brands, it’s not enough. A sound lead generation strategy methodically moves leads down the sales route.
  • Not knowing enough about your customers. If you’re not sure of your customer’s preferences, how can you talk to your leads? Look at what they’re searching for and how they find their answers so you can meet them there.
  • Lacking creativity when seeking information. Buying prospect information and cold calling is a no-go if you’re looking to save time. Otherwise it’ll cost you dozens of work hours. Instead, find efficient ways for your prospects to interact with you. Build a quiz that helps potential customers find solutions to their problems; at the end, ask for their information. Or implement forms within your high-traffic blogs that readers can use to contact you.

Build Your Lead Generation Strategy

The business may be yours but you exist to serve your clients. Look at things from your customers’ perspectives. Offer solutions and be present where they are, as opposed to where you think they should be.

You need to know as much as you can about your target market to appeal to them. Make that the key differentiator between you and your competition. Then turn that knowledge into eliminating any real or perceived barriers to doing business with you.

Simplify Your Website

How can you expect to capture leads if your website is in a disarray? Your potential clients aren’t going to fight to understand your website content or navigation. They also aren’t going to stick around if your website loads too slowly.

A few quick tips to improve your conversion path:

The goal is to draw in new clients so it’s your job to use calls-to-action (CTAs) where you can to help them and yourself. This goes for your website, blogs, social posts, forms, offers, paid ads and even your email signature.

Tap Into SEO

Using search engine optimization (SEO) is a great way to generate leads in a targeted way. Using keyword research to have your website rank higher on search results will improve your chances of turning that lead to a customer.

SEO efforts can be used on your website, its blog and your social media. Just be sure to keep up with current SEO trends.

Take Advantage of Search Intent

You want to get prospects down the sales funnel quickly, right? Did you know you can skip some top- and middle-of-funnel steps? Do some keyword research. Group those keywords into categories based on where they fall in the funnel.

The standard sales funnel has three layers. Most companies use variations of these three.

  • Top: Awareness. These keywords would be more informational. Think generic education.
  • Middle: Consideration. This is where keywords get navigational. Think “near me” searches.
  • Bottom: Conversion. These are transactional keywords. Think due diligence when getting ready to purchase.

By skipping to the conversion phase, with its more transactional keywords, you can close that sale and get customers quicker.

Go for Paid Media

If you want to boost exposure quickly, paid media is the way to go. Whether buying ads on social media or bidding on native advertising broker widgets on other websites, this is a great way to promote your business and gain more leads. Just make sure your website is ready for more incoming traffic.

Because money is involved, make sure you know the ins and outs of the channel you decide to use. More importantly, check your work before sending it live. There’s nothing worse than spending hundreds of dollars on an ad that leads to a broken website link.


Lead Generation Best Practices

When it comes to converting leads to sales, you want to focus on following best practices as much as you do building your strategy.

Be Sure to Set Your Goals

Goal setting is an important start. Make sure they follow the SMART outline.

  • Specific: Make goals clear and specific so planning the steps to reach them is easier.
  • Measurable: Define what metrics show progress. Those same metrics will also send up red flags to reevaluate if necessary.
  • Attainable: Goals should be reasonably accomplished within the desired timeframe.
  • Relevant: Make sure goals align with your company’s values and long-term objectives.
  • Time-Based: Set realistically ambitious deadlines that motivate and assist in task prioritizing.

One example of a SMART lead generation goal would be: Generate 200 leads per week.

Keep Your Buyer Persona Updated

Your buyer persona helps you figure out what your ideal client needs. As time goes on, people and their needs change. Your business will need to change with them.

Be sure to keep a clear understanding of what your target market’s problems, needs, interests and purchasing behaviors are.


An Ever-Evolving Journey

This is only the beginning. You’ll never be done brainstorming and optimizing when it comes to lead generation, so get comfortable.

And remember, generating leads is as much of a journey for you as it is for your prospects. So test, learn and adapt continuously to ensure your marketing efforts help your prospects make decisions. Doing so will keep the leads coming.

Over time, you’ll improve the quality of those leads, increase how many convert to customers and ultimately boost your revenue.

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