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Topic: lead generation

Sales Funnel for Marketing Funnel

Everything is a funnel.  When you are promoting your business or product you are out casting a net and bringing people that are interested or meet certain criteria into a funneling process.

I see a lot of small businesses fail because they are focused on building a better marketing funnel when they have not defined and refined their sales funnel yet.

Things that can be included in your sales funnel are:

CRM – I have used many CRM’s and they are critical to building a good sales funnel.  There are free CRM systems and higher priced ones with more features.

Productize – Even if you are a service company, create products for your services.  Give them names and definitions so you can talk about them and explain them in a way that is clear and easy in the sales process.

Templates – You have to have great templates, because once people are in the sales process they will start asking for more information on parts, and being able to quickly send them things is essential.

Case Studies – In many cases you want to have case studies you can use in your sales funnel.

There are more thing as well, but this is a good start.  Think about the process of selling and everything you might need along that path.  Find ways to illustrate your value and make the sale easier.  Keep refining your sales funnel all the time.

Then, once you get your sales funnel fully defined and running well, that is the time to start building your marketing funnels.  Internet marketing will be one marketing funnel, but you should look at where your ideal prospects are and build multiple marketing funnels and measure things like lead generation, revenue, profitability, cost per lead, etc.  These will help you identify your best source of leads in your marketing funnels and focus on them, increasing profitability.

Too often the small business owner thinks of this as all one big funnel.  You can never identify your best marketing funnels unless you define each one separately.

Buying Leads vs Building a Lead Generation Website

What is the difference between buying leads and building your own lead generation website?

A lot.  However, this does not have to be a decision.  If you are buying leads from a lead generation company and making a positive ROI on the purchases, then you should never stop buying leads from them.  It is all about if you are getting quality leads and if you are successfully converting leads to customers.

However,  just because that works does not mean you should not build your own lead generation website for your company.

The good thing about building your own lead generation website is that you can generate free leads that are exclusively yours.  Again, this should not mean that you turn off your other lead generation efforts.  The disadvantage of building your lead generation website is that it takes time to get going, it takes some regular effort of writing some articles and getting links, and it requires some time and expertise to set up.

The Buzzoodle lead generation system does make it faster, easier and more effective because it has video on how to set things up and publishing tools to help you improve your publishing, linking and social media integration that will increase your inbound marketing effectiveness.

The good news is that generating leads on the web is not difficult.  But it does take a few months to get set up and to start seeing results – and most people give up before it kicks in.  That said, it is not going to usually produce large numbers of leads a day usually.  When executed properly, online lead generation can produce highly targeted leads that are likely to buy your product, but how many depends on your market and your competition.

Because of the low cost of building a lead generation site, every business serious about growth should have its own lead generation website, but they should also consider other lead generation strategies as well.

Blog Lead Generation

What are the best practices for blog lead generation?

I hope you do not question whether a blog can generate leads or not.  It can and does every day.

However, it is not the fact that it is a blog that makes it a lead generator.  It is because it is the perfect tool to develop a content marketing strategy to attract buyers and generate leads.

The first thing you need to do it to decide what your blog lead generation strategy is.  There are two very different strategies, and you can pursue both, but you should do so on two different blogs.

#1 is developing your expert status. This is when you build relationships with your readers and write interesting things frequently.  This is hard and takes time, but the payoff can be big.  People like Chris Brogan have leveraged a blog into a speaking career, author and more.  However, this is a bit of a crap shoot and I do not like to encourage this approach unless someone understands it will probably take years and will take a very steady effort over that time.

#2 is utilizing WordPress as an SEO and lead generation tool.  In this approach, you set up a blog targeting niche keywords and work the system to rank well in search for those words.  When people land on the blog from search engines they get the article and also see your clear call to action and some will become leads for you.

The good thing about #2 is that you can expect faster results normally and you do not have the pressure of writing extremely unique articles several times a week.  This is especially important for people that want leads in areas that are not so flashy.  For example, if you have a steak restaurant or a roofing company, do you really want to become an industry expert or do you just want some targeted, local leads?  Obviously the second option is the best for those kinds of businesses.

The problem with many marketers and Internet consultants is they think one size fits all.  They keep beating the drum of relationships and expert status, when all someone really wants is 10 more inbound leads per month that are worth $200,000 per month in new sales and cost $100 to generate and took about an hour of their time in the month.  (example)

The social media consultants that are selling relationships need to start taking their own advice and listening to business owners.  Most want results, not fluff.  Blog lead generation works if you understand what your goal is up front and focus on it.

WordPress Lead Generation Ideas

This post will cover some WordPress lead generation ideas for you.

Most of these tips can be used in conjunction with our lead generation program.

  1. To generate leads with WordPress you need to think like a first time visitor and make a clear and compelling call to action that is on EVERY page in the WordPress site.
  2. You can get more organic lead generation if you target specific lead oriented keywords in your writing.  I suggest you try the free market samurai tool to find out what those are.
  3. Lead generation with WordPress is much easier if you write every day or two.  Look at outsourcing or repurpose your writing to keep your WordPress site fresh and full of good content.  Freshness is a big factor in how you get ranked.
  4. Use autoreponders to quickly follow up with leads that opt into your list.  I use aWeber as an affordable way to caputre and follow up with leads that visit our WordPress lead websites.
  5. If you want phone calls, make sure you put the phone number in the top right where people can see it.  If you are not sure you want calls, use Google voice to set up a number and have it email you the text of messages left for you.
  6. Look at plugings – some plugins may not be called lead generation plugins but they can be used for lead genetion outcomes.

These are just a few of the obvious WordPress lead generation ideas that you can use to generate leads with a WordPress site.

Free Lead Generation

Come on!  Really?  I get people landing on our sites all the time looking for free lead generation.

Partially that is because we offer free lead generation software and training as a lead generation strategy for our advanced lead program.  Our system works well, so we rank well (usually #1) for that term.

But really I am surprised when I see the search terms we get.  Would you really want someone to hand you free leads?  They would be crap.  I mean CRAP.

Our free lead generation strategy does take work, which is why so many people land on the page but more than half do not take advantage of it.  Free is still too hard.  They just want the leads list, I am guessing.

Here are reasons you would not want a list of free leads even if they were handed to you:

  1. The person giving them to you is an idiot because they could sell them to someone else if they were any good.
  2. The person handing out free leads could find an affiliate program and make money himself.
  3. The leads are probably so bad that the phone book from 1984 would be a better source of leads.
  4. How many other people got their hands on those free leads first?

You get my point.  If you want to generate leads, do what every real business does.  Advertise.  Network.  Pay Per Click.  Buy a lead generation system.  But don’t expect to get something great for nothing.

Realtime Web

Just read this news article about Google and how their new algorithm is doing more with fresh content.

Our primary product, the lead generation website system depends on fresh content regularly.  It is tough because business owners understand how critical it is but they do not keep doing the thing long term.  I consider it the biggest challenge when it comes to helping people build successful lead generation websites.

Now with the new Google update, it is more critical than ever.  Most likely, even if you do not have top ten ranking, new posts will bounce up temporarily.  That is really great but makes competition for this permanent even more difficult.

I guess the good news for companies that help people with Internet marketing and Lead Generation Online is that we will never be out of a job because the game is always changing.

Lead Generation

What is Lead Generation?

Some people will say that lead generation is referrals.  In fact, even an Internet marketing guy like me agrees that for many businesses, referrals and word of mouth are the best lead generation strategy.

But who said you have to pick just one?

The fact is, you should build several lead generation systems and measure their effectiveness.  For example, document your referral and word of mouth lead generation strategy.  Does it include thank you letters?  Does it include affiliate payouts?  Do you know who is recommending the most leads to you?

Next, look at your advertising and promotions options.  Yellow Page advertising used to be a necessity, but now I see well crafted lead generation websites getting much better returns for much smaller expenses, because many people turn to the search engines to find a company to help them with their problem.  Am I saying not to do lead generation with Yellow Page ads?  Absolutely not.  If your industry gets leads that way in the past, then keep doing it but track it carefully.  How much profit are you making on the leads that come from that source?  Is it covering the marketing costs?  Every year these returns keep getting weaker in many cases so you cannot blindly assume that because it was a profitable lead generation source it will continue to be one in the future.

Of course, advertising in magazines, newspapers, on websites and in email newsletters are all ways to do lead generation that can be effective.  You must test and measure to find which ones are worth continuing to do.  Remember that there are diamonds in the rought.  I know someone that pays $50 per year for a banner advertisement that produced 6 figures in sales per year.  Those things are out there but they are hard to find.

Lastly, continue building a lead generation website for your business.  This is not something that usually produces results the first week, but over time it can become your most valuable asset to your business.  A good lead generation website can be set up for a fraction of the cost of other marketing efforts and often produces much higher results once the site started getting noticed and ranked well in search engines.

The reason that a lead generation website, separate from your traditional business website, is important is that it does not mess up your other marketing and it is able to focus on one clear, measurable goal.  One of the strongest selling points to what we help people do is that we are not touching their existing website.

Lead generation results can be developed and increased if a business is willing to go through the process and build out the strategy.  It is the same techniques that lead generation companies use to collect and sell leads, but you build the site for yourself and the lead generation is exclusive to you.

Buzz Marketing and Lead Generation

Measuring Buzz marketing results is all about proper lead generation strategies and having a sales process.

All too often, people want buzz marketing and they think that if there is a lot of buzz, things will just happen.

Sometimes that may be true – but more likely you willl generate some interest that will quickly fade and result in little actual ROI. However, if you craft a lead generation technique and then use Buzz marketing to enhance the exposure of your lead capture tool, you can show a huge ROI.

What this means is that you are not doing a Buzz marketing Campaign unless it is part of a well crafted sales process. Buzz marketing and Social Media are great for getting people to come to the top of your sales funnel and peer down. But unless your sales funnel is good at generating leads and following the sales process through to a transaction, you are going to be spinning your wheels trying to grow your business on casual interest and no clear outcome.

To counter this probelm, work first on perfecting your lead capture and sales process. You can use something like aWeber to capture information and build a list. You can get a CRM and build a better sales process. There are many, including SalesForce, Zoho, vTiger and SugarCRM. I personally have used all of these and currently use SugarCRM on Bluehost and used oDesk to hire a programmer to set it up for me.

Set up was under $200 and monthly is less than $10. Not bad to get a tool that is helping me grow my business very fast.

Lead Generation and Sales must be your first focus if you are looking for ways to increase revenue. Get those processes well defined and proven, and then invest in Buzz marketing, Viral marketing or any other interest creating technique you want.

Lead Generation Marketing Speaker

A while back I took a hard look at the value I was bringing to clients.

Understand, I have never felt it was a bad value or I would not have been doing it. Period.

But there were issues around selling people software that they simply did not use to it’s full potential. So the product was good but the average outcome was less than ideal. - By the way, I think Microsoft suffers from the same thing. I want less, not more.

As a Marketing Speaker, I get a strong feel from the audience on what they want, and that is usually less as well. Just tell me the couple of most important things – not a long list of things I will never do.

That is why we built our Lead Generation Product.

It is simpler than anything else I have ever built. And it is more valuable. It generates massive leads for clients that use the system. And since the whole thing is automated, there is nearly nothing to do. You only need to either write short articles or pay someone to write short articles. Then leads find you and request information from you.

I often get hired as an SEO Speaker but most people do not want the details – they want to know how to get the maximum results for the minimum effort.

That is why I now do Web marketing workshops around using SEO, Social Media and Lead Generation Strategies to build your own lead generation engine. You need to contact me if you are interested as we customize it to your industry and goals.

It is high, high value and I have never felt better about what I have to offer. You should take advantage of it before your competition does.

Lead Generation with Blogs

Can you generate leads for your business by blogging?

The short answer is yes. The long answer is a bit more complex.

Blogs are a way to provide information to people. How well your information does at generating leads has less to do with the medium (In this case blogs) and more to do in developing a lead generation strategy and crafting the blog and information you produce to get lead generation results.

If you want to primarily use a blog to generate leads and you are not worried about establishing yourself as an industry expert, then you need to craft a strategy that focuses on ranking well for important keywords and having a clear call to action that results in leads. Something like downloading a free study or taking a free course.

The blogging mistake people make is that they use a blog the way they think it is supposed to be used. There is not one way to use a blog. A blog for lead generation is much different from a personal blog or a blog that is meant to establish you as an expert. Your lead generation blog should have minimal distractions and focus on your primary call to action. Period. Less navigation, no blogroll and no adwords or advertisements. (No, this blog is not for lead generation)

This works really well if you want lead generation with blogs – but you have to get the system and formula right and start out with the best blog strategy.

Online Lead Generation