Updated: Apr 6
Lead Generation Methods & Tactics To Help You Reach Your Dream Audience So You Can Make An Impact In Your Marketplace
We all know just how important lead generation can be to a business - it can ultimately 'make or break' you. Especially when we're talking about MLM or 'home-based business' lead generation. And while this topic can be made into TONS of blog posts, books, or even libraries, here's a great resource to get you started.
***Those who know me know I'm all about direct, concise, fluff-free material... so without further ado, let's get started!
The 8 Main Categories
Using Multiple Platforms to Deliver Content
Use Blogs to Educate and Entice Write high-quality blogs on key topics regularly, using Keywords you want to emphasize. Use SEO best practices, (e.g. linking content internally and generating external links to posts), so you can draw surfers on the web to your site.
Give Your Website a Makeover You want visitors to your website. Don’t leave stale, outdated content that’s difficult to navigate out there. Your website should be a projection of who you are – show it with new, crisp content, useful information, and quick navigation.
Optimize Your Profile This is very relevant for social media posts as well (see below), but the same goes for your website. Craft your profile carefully, highlighting the specific attributes that you want your visitors to focus on – namely your expertise and experience.
Use Success Stories Be sure to include success stories – try to include ones that are relevant to the space where you are operating but if not, talk about your general industry/consulting experiences. The idea is to leave your visitors with the impression that they can approach you for help if they need to.
Share a Customer Experience to Spark Brand Searches If you list experiences on projects/completed sales that are relevant to the people visiting your site, it’s very possible to trigger responses including their own inquiries about potential help from you.
Creating Original Content Aimed to Educate and Hold Attention
Provide More Value to Visitors with Gated Content on Your Website
When your blog lures interested visitors to your website, don’t give information away for “free”. Guide them through a landing page or a chatbot that makes them “sign up”. This helps you collect valuable customer leads. Promote gated content through e-mails and other channels.
Have Visitors Fill Out a Personalized Survey
This may be a great way to engage visitors. First, have multiple content documents that can be downloaded after your visitor fills out a personalized questionnaire. Not only does it narrow down the search to an answer that is close to what they may seek, but it’s also a way to collect their contact email.
Provide a Perfect Answer to a Tough Question
This may seem difficult, but you should realize that you know more about the topic than the average person seeking help. One surefire way of raising your branding in the eyes of prospective clients/customers is to provide thoughtful, step-by-step analysis and answers to a difficult question that is either raised in a forum or prevalent within the industry. List it on your site to hold their attention.
Interview a Third-Party Expert to Provide Value-Added Content
Instead of rehashing your own content, provide a fresh perspective by interviewing an industry-recognized expert on a relevant topic to provide an objective, honest view. You’ll gain brand recognition as people familiar with the expert now also associate your name with him/her.
Have Deeper Conversations, Publish Thought Leadership Pieces & White Papers
These have become a staple for higher-end sellers and service providers to brand themselves within the industry. They also create “special content” that you can keep gated and make available to specific customers or visitors as a means to ensure loyalty. Overall, the deeper (more substantive) your interactions with your prospects are, the more you distinguish yourself.
Books and eBooks
Publishing books or eBooks, perhaps available through an online retailer or downloadable by clicking a “Call to Action” link on your website, is a great way to stay topical, hook customers who are interested in the topic, and introduce new ideas. Writing one doesn’t need to be hard, especially if you are producing regular content via a blog. You can also use PLR services.
Audio Content (Podcasts and Audiobooks)
A 2018 study showed that over 112 million Americans listened to podcasts. Many of them subscribe to 6 or more shows. Producing content in conversational form or podcasts with fellow principals or outside experts is a great way to generate a following – it’s a tested and true method. Audiobooks are another way of pushing content, people can listen while driving or doing chores.
While books provide in-depth coverage, a Downloadable “How To” guide is a great tool to provide specific solutions to your customers’ problems. Gather pertinent information from blogs or other content you have created on such topics, format them logically and post. Invest in creating an exit-intent popup on your site, where people intending to move away receive a link to download your guide before they leave.
Educational or Instructional Videos
Creating an educational/instructional video usually takes less than 30 minutes, especially when you already know the subject matter. What it does is clearly demonstrate/communicate your message – complementing written posts. Uploading on YouTube once or
twice a week will create additional awareness of your brand.
Being Visible (Part 1): Using Social Media Channels to Promote
In order to push marketing for your products and services, post your content on multiple Social Media Channels after customizing it for the audience. People spend a seventh of their time on Social Media, so you can’t afford to ignore it.
As you post your content to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and other platforms, be aware that some platforms are better for posting different types of content (you have to choose between long and short versions), others are more discussion forums.
Tailor your approach to the audience and make sure of certain necessary steps (see below).
Optimize Your Profile
When posting on social media, ensure that your profile highlights all your information, allowing interested parties to contact you, sign up for your newsletter, shop, and more. This is a MASSIVE 'hack' to generate MLM leads! Whenever possible, include Call-to-Action buttons. For example, if you run a restaurant or event management site, include “Book Now” or “Get Tickets” buttons.
Create clickable leads/content
If your content is not fresh and crisply packaged, you will not catch the attention of browsers. Once you have such content, you have specific means to promote it on different social media channels – for example, you can tag products in your Facebook Shop; Create and Swipe up on Instagram Stories and/or Create Instagram Posts; Shop the Look Pins on Pinterest and Create YouTube Cards and End Screens.
Use Social Lead Ads
Different social media platforms offer specific means of placing social lead ads. Facebook offers a specific lead ad format, download Facebook pixel on your website to track leads and measure their cost. Instagram offers similar lead ad formats that can be partially pre-filled. LinkedIn offers Lead Gen forms that allow you to place Message Ads and Sponsored In-Mail on the Platform. You can also utilize LinkedIn Dynamic Ads, which feature direct call-to-actions that can help generate leads. Check out YouTube TrueView for Action Ads to place Lead Ads on the media.
Outreach through LinkedIn
You can join chat groups and industry forums to send out relevant information to a targeted audience. You can also work with LinkedIn to narrowly profile customers and have a hundred reach outs a day. LinkedIn can then use other tools such as Dux-Soup to find other target audiences and lead them to you. The other tool you can use is Long Form Updates, where a message goes out to your audience with a short hook, which could just be “Wow!” to catch their attention.
Join Social Media Groups
Join social listening groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram to find like-minded people – share your thoughts and content to create brand awareness. **Another great prospecting method!
Being Visible (Part 2): Appearing as an Expert In Forums & Hosting Your Own
In conjunction with the efforts above, create a brand image as an expert.
A recent 'Demand Gen Report' asked US marketers to rate tactics that produced positive results in terms of lead nurturing.
The breakdown was as follows:
Email Newsletters (29%),
Thought Leadership Articles (29%),
Consumer Content (Case Studies, Reviews, etc.) 26% and
Sales Emails (21%)
The channels below explore some options in more detail.
Answer Questions on Forums like Quora
Knowledge forums like Quora may be an ideal investment of time to write a 500-1,000-word answer to a question in the niche area that you are trying to promote. It may consume 30-60 minutes of your time, but dozens (or hundreds) of Upvotes and tens of thousands of views can help establish your brand out in the market. You should try to (tastefully) link your website for the Quora audience to click through.
Host Webinars (Jointly or By Yourself)
Webinars are a great way to establish branding for yourself and gain traction from hundreds, even thousands, of viewers who register for the webinar. One additional strategy might be to jointly host webinars with non-competing firms in your space and share each other’s attendee lists. The material doesn’t need to be long, intensive, and boring – keep it conversational while sharing topical material.
Host a Virtual Summit
This is a more time-intensive effort since you must get partners who will present and/or promote your summit. However, those efforts will likely be rewarded with an extended engagement with your target audience over a course of days and weeks. Try to structure interactions with the attendees, such as the ability to receive queries and get them answered before, during, and even past the summit. You can offer your partners a 1-to-1 list share on the back end, to incentivize them to join.
Offer Online Courses
An online course should be (a) focused on understanding what your target audience wants, and (b) offer a list of knowledge objects and/or tools to help them learn about the topic. By definition, the format requires interactions between you and the audience, helping to initiate and sustain a long-term relationship with you as the subject matter expert.
Leverage Niche Online Communities
Whatever the product or service you wish to promote, there will usually be multiple online communities (going beyond the LinkedIn type of industry groups) where you can join, present, upvote, like, comment, or share a competitor’s offering. Communities like Product Hunt, Hacker News, and Indie Hackers can help you uncover targeted prospects who have expressed interest in what you have to offer, establish yourself as a branded provider in the forums where they can clearly view your expertise.
Speak at Industry Events and Conferences
Strive to appear regularly at key industry events in your space. Appearing at such forums a dozen or more times a year could help establish your brand greatly as an expert. Keep your presentations topical, make sure that your contact information always appears on the end slide. Such snippets also provide content for videos posted subsequently on your website, through social media or YouTube.
Publish in Industry Journals, Be Featured in Major Publications
Getting published in CFO Magazine or Fast Track may not be easy but be aware that they are always looking for fresh content. Network with journalists and editors, so they will contact you when there’s an opportunity to submit an article or be interviewed. A mention, or byline, in an industry journal will provide critical branding and establish you as a go-to expert. Your contact information is always included, so it can create a substantial feedback loop from readers.
Go on Local (or National) Television
While it may seem hard to find your way into a local or national TV broadcast, the same principle applies as with Industry Journals – they are looking for fresh content for features and knowledge forums. Sometimes a Pay-for-Play situation may arise, but over time, a well-timed TV segment could give you tremendous exposure.
Be Interviewed on Relevant Podcasts and Radio Shows
This is a combination of seeking exposure through TV or Journals and hosting your own podcasts. Contact well-known radio shows and podcasts in your industry/product space and offer to appear as a guest. Offer incentives such as a 1-to-1 list share, but hopefully, your subject matter expertise or a fresh take on a relevant topic will be sufficient to get you on. It’s an excellent marketing tool that will expose new audiences to your brand.
Host Meetup Events
If you are able to, invite your favorite/targeted customers to meetup events, as often as you can within reason. Keep the topics fresh, invite guest speakers and collaborators, have giveaways if possible. It’s a great way to make your clients feel special and have a chance to meet them and answer their queries. In small meet-up groups, you get the perfect opportunity to display and experience the power of network marketing.
Having Concrete Next Steps Planned for Visitors – Using CTAs and Other Means
Initiate a Call to Action
After your visitor has browsed your site, what are some next steps that you want them to take? Initiate a Call to Action (CTA) – it could be directing them towards a gated content offer (see above), like an eBook, webinar, template or tool; to sign up for a newsletter or ask for their contact information so you can send new material. Use strong language, outline the value they will receive from this action (e.g. Download content delivering deeper content).
Host Promotions and Giveaways, Offer Incentives
A promotion or giveaway (maybe a contest or a sweepstake, or Discount Offers on a Product, maybe some “prime” content not normally available to all) could be an ideal tactic to occupy the mindshare of your targeted audience. Make the offer sound “exclusive” – who doesn’t like free stuff? It could be a white paper, an invitation to a future event or even a free ticket giveaway if you have the means. Be careful, however, that the giveaway is carefully crafted to the audience you seek – if it’s too general, you risk inviting a lot of traffic that will not translate into actual productive leads.
Make Your Visitors Feel Special
As an extension to the point above, make your visitors and special customers feel special. Create gated content first, holding back some special insights or data that you can then share with specific visitors. If you are launching a new product or writing an opinion piece, you could ask for feedback from a select group. One way or another, make your repeat visitors and customers feel that they have a specific connection with you.
Generating Leads through Special Means
Send an Attention-Grabbing Direct Mail
This may seem like an old-school method of marketing, but it could be effective with a couple of tweaks. First, don’t blast to all and sundry; instead, send topical mails to a select group that you know shares a keen interest. Second, include something (embedded video link featuring clips from speakers at an event being promoted by the email), an offer, etc.) that would hold their interest.
Utilize E-mail Marketing
After channeling customers to your website and gaining their contact information, create a subscriber list segmented into target groups. Have an opt-in strategy to ensure that subscribers on your list are happy to receive emails from you. Send them topical emails with embedded content, information on upcoming events, offers, etc. Email is also an effective means to follow up with prospective customers past initial contact.
Use Copy & Paste Templates Judiciously
Everyone uses cold call templates. Create the ability to personalize initial and follow-up emails by cutting and pasting content to create a more customized approach to targeted customers.
Appear in B2B Directories
Having your name listed in B2B directories that are specific to your industry, whether through your industry contacts or through active solicitation, can pay dividends, especially if you can include an eye-catching advertisement or banner.
Network within the Industry
Networking with other consultants, publications, forums, and/or industry experts could be hugely important in terms of providing you channels and outlets through which to market your products and services. Networking should be focused so that the leads generated have a decent chance of converting to business. Make sure you leave your contact and follow-up information clearly visible to those with who you network.
Find Unique Cross Promotion Opportunities
If you network consistently and are known to be a good speaker/presenter/content provider, you may come across unique cross-promotion opportunities with branded companies that are not your competitors. Jump on them if the industry and audience are right.
Refreshing Content And Providing Twists that Educate and Entertain
Once you have established multiple means to entice visitors to your new look site, make sure that you produce new content – including side projects, quizzes, and other interesting items.
Create an Interesting/Creative Side Project
There have been many instances where a company creates a side project where fellow consultants, vendors, and clients (maybe even outside experts) can join to produce content and see the results of their efforts. Such a collaborative effort will not only attract interested parties, but the results they receive from a community-based effort also create both a connection and a desire to engage with you further.
Publish a Surprising Quiz or Knowledge Challenge
This is another common trick to establish yourself as a subject matter expert and also to impart valuable knowledge. The quiz could be run in a way that certain results are shared immediately, while other/deeper analyses would be available to the responder upon sharing contact information. At the very least, you can get survey responses that become knowledge objects.
Personalize Your Approach/Content
In addition to mass marketing through the venues described above, identify specific customers from who you want repeat business or targets that you consider to be great prospects. Customize material that you send them by addressing them directly or creating content that you know will strike a chord.
Create an Interactive Tool
Instead of merely stating viewpoints in an opinion piece, invest in creating an interactive tool where clients can enter criteria to filter results. You can then offer higher-level results promptly but if they get very specific (hint: you want them to), they have to register and give you an email address. You’ve just generated a lead!
Setting Up Metrics to Track Success from Your Efforts
As in all endeavors, ROI is key. Whenever you undertake a lead generation initiative, track success by time period (first 30 days, first-quarter, etc.) to see if you are getting the returns that you expect.
If the results are disappointing, go back and tweak things to see if you could be doing better in terms of content, channel, or client capture methods.
Lead generation is a necessity for any entrepreneur, business, company, or association. Whether you're in product sales, services, or fundraising, the ability to have a steady stream of prospects is crucial.
Success takes people. Indeed, some call it 'the people business'.
I highly recommend starting with foundational exercises before getting started with prospecting/lead generation.
Draw up your 'dream customer'.
- What are their wants, needs, desires, challenges, roadblocks, questions?
- What are their pains and pleasures?
Answering these questions will help you enter the conversation in their head.
Figure out their 'Deep Desire'.
- People want solutions, not products.
- They don't buy features, they buy benefits.
- People buy to move away from pain, or towards pleasure.
When we can do that, we can anticipate what language or 'copy' to use to connect. We also have a better idea of types of lead magnets to use in exchange for their information (lead generation).
And there you have it; 44 answers to the question of 'how to generate leads'. Obviously, some are easier to execute than others given your unique situation. Personally, I always go for the lowest-hanging fruit first.
Which of these lead generation strategies resonated with you most?
Let me know below, or add your current fave.
If you're interested in MLM lead generation specifically, I recommend clicking HERE.