In the previous client training, we covered the overview of the sales process, and one way of generating leads – lumpy mail. Today, we are going to cover a few alternative lead generation strategies that can be done without even leaving your computer.
One warning for you though – you still need to be willing to communicate with people. You can sell without ever physically meeting someone, and even without getting on the phone – although that is significantly more difficult. A phone call is more than sufficient though, and you can even do them through Skype (that’s what I do), no need for in-person meetings.
So how we are going to generate leads?
- Facebook Ads
- LinkedIn Ads
- Media Buying
- Free marketing methods
But more importantly – funnel creation.
Funnels were the big things in the IM industry last year, and the reason for that is simple, they just work.
We could just go through a few ways to target Facebook Ads, which would get you in front of your idea clients. But what next? You need to know what hook to use, what lander to use, should you build a list or sell, how to nurture a list, etc.
Not to mention that Facebook is only ONE way of getting in front of your ideal prospects. There are many others that I’ve personally found to be even more effective.
So let me show you the exact lead generation I am using in my business, and how you can build it yourself.
We will be focusing on providing value for free, no “tripwires” or low cost samples to get people started. I have no doubt those methods will work also, this is just how I am personally doing things.
Let’s start with the basics to this…
- 1 Choosing and Creating a Lead Magnet
- 2 Creating Landing Pages
- 3 Creating a Follow Up Sequence
- 4 Prospecting
- 5 Start Taking Action.
Choosing and Creating a Lead Magnet
When advertising our websites we are not going to be selling SEO. That is one of the first mistakes people are making when advertising their agencies.
Instead we are going to be providing value. Teaching people for free, how they can grow their business by leveraging the internet.
There are two types of lead magnets I suggest you test:
Don’t get too hung up on writing this. You want it to be good in the case that someone does read it, but you’ll usually find that most people won’t bother.
My thoughts on this are, if someone does read it, you want them to be curious enough to speak to you. Then you can begin selling.
You can easily find some good articles and videos, then outsource this on sites like oDesk and Freelance. Do not cheap out on this though, spun or badly written text will reflect badly on your business. Remember you are trying to get the readers of this to spend $1,000+ per month with you.
How long should your report be? Focus on adding value, not length. If you can give them something that will double their revenue in 10 words, then that is sufficient. To give you an example, my current one is 18 pages, with one of those pages being a contents, and another being an offer.
Remember to keep it basic. And don’t worry about giving away too much information, if they read it and think “wow, I need this”, who do you think they are going to ask to help them?
Final note, include a free offer at the end for a consultation call or strategy session. If they read through the whole thing, it’s highly likely they will be interested in talking with you about it.
Webinars are cool because you can start advertise them before even creating the slides. They are also very effective for quickly establishing your expertise and authority.
Realistically, if the right prospect attends your webinar and listens all the way through it – they should become a client. If not, you need to improve your sales process.
How long should your webinar be? Again, focus on value. The one I am currently doing is 29 slides long, and the last time it took me around 1 hour and 15 mins to do, including Q&A and offer.
Once again, do not sell your services on the webinar, instead offer them a free consultation call or strategy session.
Creating Landing Pages
You need to setup landing pages to promote your free report or webinar. Don’t think too much about this, we’re not getting huge traffic numbers. Get a good design, and test some different headlines/offers to find out what works best to your audience.
In terms of tools, I recommend LeadPages or OptimizePress 2. I chose OP2 because of the additional control it gives you over the design, but I’d recommend LeadPages as the better choice – it’s significantly easier and faster to get setup with.
Once in, pick a template from the included ones for either a free report or webinar. You can also check out their marketplaces (LeadPages Marketplace / OptimizePress Marketplace) for additional templates at an extra cost.
Test, test, test, test, and then test again. And again. LeadPages have a cool way of sorting templates by conversion, which should be helpful for you. Ultimately though, you need to test and see what performs best with your audience.
Creating a Follow Up Sequence
Once you start running ads, people are going to be visiting your landing page and giving you their information. What are you going to do with that info?
I first started out with a simple autoresponder sequence. A few days after downloading the report/book, I’d hit them with a personal email like…
Hope you’re enjoying the niche marketing book.
Are you available next week for a quick chat about how you can apply these strategies to your business?
There is no charge for this, I just noticed a couple opportunities whilst looking over your website, that will be beneficial to you.
Let me know and we can schedule a call.
If they bothered to read through the report (I like to position it as a book), they are more than likely going to say, yes. If they have not read it yet, some will still say yes out of curiosity.
And many people will say no or completely ignore your email. That’s cool. At this point you can continue building value through an automated sequence of emails, and make the offer again later.
Other follow up emails:
- Free videos
- Training posts
- Quick tip in the email itself
- Client testimonials
- Other value offers i.e. webinar
With your email list, you should constantly be focusing on adding value. Then very occasionally, you can make an offer. If every email you send is an offer, you’ll kill the list.
Webinars and other free content, even if it requires signing up to receive, is adding value – not an offer.
Email Marketing Tools:
- Aweber (I use these guys for Lion Zeal – double opt in is required though)
Taking this to a whole new level
The above strategy will get you on the phone with your prospects. But I want to cover some ways you can really take this to the next level, and get even more from your leads.
- Get on the damn phone – most of you are probably going to hate this, but hear me out!
- Facebook custom audiences – yeah baby
- Retargeting – you cannot escape my wrath
Most of you will probably be more excited about the Facebook custom audiences, so let’s cover that first.
Facebook Custom Audiences
One thing you can do with these lists, once it reaches 20+ leads, is target them again on Facebook.
(If you set this up from the start, which I didn’t, you can actually put a tracking code on your confirmation page and retarget them on FB instantly)
Yes, this is going to cost you even more money, but it is seriously worth it. Now these sign ups have got your book to read, they are receiving emails from you that build trust & value, and they are seeing you every time they go on Facebook.
Here is how to set this up…
From the Facebook Ads Dashboard, click Campaigns in the left navigation.
Then hit the green ‘Create Audience’ button in the top right.
And for this example we’re going to use ‘Custom Audience’. Though Lookalike audiences are something to look at later.
Once this little dialog pops up, click on the top option – Customer List. This allows us to import a list of email address.
You’ll need to export your email list from whichever email marketing platform you use (Aweber, GetResponse, ConstantContact, iContact, MailChimp, etc). Then just drag and drop the list as a CSV or text file into the blue box. Hit the I agree to whatever their terms actually say, then ‘Create Audience’.
Done. You should get a confirmation of how many email lists you imported. For this example, I imported a list of 131.
Now you can create an ad targeting this audience, expand it with that “lookalike” feature, or just go back to it later. If you wait up to around 30 mins, you’ll be able to see the exact amount of users they matched with your email list.
Some people will not sign up for your free report or webinar. Probably most people. As long as you are targeting the right people though, you still want to continue reaching them.
That is where retargeting comes in. Use a platform like AdRoll and create an audience out of every one that visits your landing page. Now when they’re browsing Facebook, or the rest of the web, they’ll see your adverts everywhere.
You can try promoting the same offer again, or you can test something else. Did they not sign up for the webinar? Try offering them a free report.
Here is how to set this up with AdRoll…
Sign up for an account and create a new campaign.
For this example, I’m going to target General Websites. You can also do Facebook if you like.
Name your campaign, I tend to name it by the niche I’m targeting. Set a weekly budget, my volume isn’t huge so I tend to set the minimum, at least at first. Set when it should start, and the location you want to target.
You can set location by country, state, or city.
Now we need to add a segment – which is who we will be retargeting to:
Next you can set which page you want to retarget the visitors of.
In this example I set “/free-report-fb/”, so if someone landed on this page, they would be retargeted by ads we create for this segment.
You can also set URLs to exclude. And the duration to retarget them before.
Once you have created all of your segments, you can click Next Step. You can add as many or few segments as you like.
Next you need to upload the ads that target these segments. I personally make a banner ad for each size.
You can very easily make your own banner (that would be a whole new training). Try uploading all the different recommended sizes, that will get you more impressions.
Once an image has been uploaded, you’ll be able to set a name and URL that will link to. Before doing this you should have already decided your funnel and what offer you will be promoting via AdRoll.
Once you have all your ads uploaded, click the blue ‘Next Step’ button.
After this all you need to do is confirm everything is correct, click the ‘Launch Campaign’ button – and you’re done. You’ll be given a code afterwards to put in your website footer.
Get on the damn phone
I can’t cover much on this since I’m only starting to test it myself now.
If you guys followed the lumpy mail training, you should know how powerful a follow up is. I’m currently in the process of hiring someone that will do the follow up calls for me, to better position my company – not just a one man band.
Along with this I decided it’s worth testing it with people that sign up to webinars and download our reports.
This is probably going to ruin our conversion rate, but if they have entered their name, phone number and business name into a form, not just an email address – they have qualified themselves as highly interested.
At which point my assistant can give them a call. Another way of reaching them.
Putting this together
Here is my funnel, and just one possible funnel you can try:
You could also try promoting webinars initially, or immediately retargeting with a consultation. Or adding extra elements like creating a Facebook Custom Audience for everyone that signed up to the webinar, once it is over, to offer them a free consultation.
There are a lot of variations but it always come down to the same result. You want to get them on the phone to learn about their problems, aspirations, and so you can start putting together a proposal for them of how they can fix their problems, and how they can reach their goals.
Before you can begin running ads, or implementing anything we have covered yet, you need to decide who your prospects are.
The basic principle is to pick an industry with a lifetime customer value exceeding $1,000.
There are still bad clients within this though. Plumbers for example, tend to make much more than $1,000 per client. If you are working with a company that employs a team or uses multiple contractors, perfect. If it is a one man company though, you are wasting your time. Ask them yourself, they will tell you the last thing they need is more work.
Start with one industry and expand later.
Let’s use the classic example of targeting lawyers. It fits within the qualifications, and is a niche I’m currently not competing in 🙂
How to Target with Facebook Ads
Before we go through it, the screenshot below shows how you can target your custom audiences with ads. You can also see that out of the 131 email addresses I imported earlier, it matched with 80 people that can be targeted now.
So with the Facebook Ad targeting, we are going to be using this “More Demographics” button. This allows us to target much better, by Work and Education:
What I’ve done for you guys is put together a few examples of how you could target different business owners. I am personally not in any of these industries, so I do not know if my targeting was perfect. With a little bit of niche research, you could make it much better.
In this example, you can see that there is a potential reach of 146,000 people that work in the “construction and extraction” industry that are also small business owners. The location is set to the whole US, and the age is 30+.
One easy way to target an industry that many of you may know about, is targeting associations. Take this example, 260,000 people in the US can be reached by targeting the “American Dental Association”.
Most dental practice owners probably don’t set their job title as owner, but seemingly 2,600 people can be targeted that like the American Dental Association page and are an “Owner”.
Another way of targeting is by field of study. These may not all be business owners, but it’s likely most of them will be in the industry. By targeting people that studied “criminal law”, and are 30+ (so not still students), it came up with a reach of 22,000 people in the US.
Not only can you target people that studied a particular field, you can also target people that attended certain schools. I have no idea about this niche or American schools for that matter, but for example purposes, Harvard Law School attendees that are 30+ years old, resulted in a reach of 15,600 people.
Does that give you some more ideas for how to target your adverts? These were examples so I didn’t need to expose my own niches. If you are doing this for your business though, you would want to do a bit more research into who your ideal clients would be.
In terms of bidding, I’m no FB ads expert, but I choose “optimize for clicks”, and set a max bid usually at what they auto-suggest. Then I’ll test increasing and lowering the bids after it is running to see what happens
How to Target with LinkedIn Ads
As with Facebook Ads, I am not going to show you how to create LinkedIn ads, but we will go through a few examples of how to get your targeting down.
The most basic way is with industry and job title targeting. By targeting people that have their job title as either the owner, partner, or director of a law practice – we are able to reach 242,437 people.
As with Facebook, you can also target by school. The good thing about LinkedIn is every sets their job title. In this example, targeting the “New York University School of Law” and positions of “Owner, Partner, or Director”, we could target 6,292 members. Again, I have no idea if this is a good school to target or not, just showing examples of how this works.
The final method I want to introduce you guys to is group targeting. There are many groups in LinkedIn for business owners to network, refer business to each other, etc. Unlike with Facebook, LinkedIn lets anyone target these groups with ads, you don’t need to be the owner.
I targeted a couple dental groups that came up, again only targeting people that are the “owner, partner, or director”, and it found 5,171 people.
Other Paid Traffic Opportunities
I wasn’t sure about sharing this method, but oh well, lets go all in.
There are lots and lots of niche specific websites out there that you can pay to run ads on. I’m talking about websites that your ideal prospects are visiting – regularly.
These can be industry news websites, networking / business discussion forums, or even associations.
And all of them are happy to take your money and put you in front of these prospects.
This is an expensive way of advertising. But think about it in terms of ROI, you’ll make at least $1,000 in the first payment from a client. The worst case scenario should be you’ll get $6,000 from a client.
Not only is it easy for you to get an immediate ROI from advertising on these websites, you can also then use the old “As seen on” thing. How much trust will it build with your audience when you have the associations and biggest industry related websites logos on your own website?
Here is an example:
This is the “Australian Veterinary Association”, your ads will reach 10,000 veterinarians with an open rate of over 30%. That’s a minimum of 3,000 veterinarians looking at your ad. Of course, the price is expensive, but there are two parts to that:
- Never pay list price – Ask them what they can do for you, always negotiate with these things
- How many clients do you need to make a positive ROI? 1 over less than 3 months, 3 for instant ROI.
This a news website for the construction industry. They have a large range of advertising options. Last month they had 227,581 unique visitors to their website. Granted not all of them will be your ideal prospects, what if 10% of them are?
And finally, this is how I found these websites:
That second result there is another example where you can advertise to up to 33,000 legal professionals – through an association.
Try searching things like:
- niche forum “advertise”
- niche news “advertise”
- niche blog “advertise”
- niche association “advertise”
- Then try switching out “advertise” with “sponsor”, and then try “media pack”
What should your ads look like?
I’m not going to show you my ads. Since the last blog post, Armando and I have already had our websites completely cloned by people, lol. I’d rather my ads, landers, etc. weren’t also cloned.
The main idea though, is that you are focusing on offering value.
Do not run an ad that sells SEO.
You shouldn’t even be mentioning SEO in your ads. You can mention a website or online, but don’t bring up the term SEO.
Instead focus on what really matters to these business owners… and why they buy SEO in the first place… getting more clients, making more money.
“Injury Lawyers – Get this free report and learn how to get more clients from your current website”
Then in your ad, have a relevant image to catch their attention. A report cover that you generated – you can even pay someone on Fiverr to do this for you. And with Facebook or banner ads, you can include some big text.
FB have a 20% limit though, use this tool to test yours before uploading.
What to do if you are broke
One of the many attractions to the client SEO business is that you don’t need to have much money to start off. Everything we have covered so far requires investment. Frankly, it is worth every penny and you should be looking into how you can raise those funds.
But if you have not got your first client yet. Or you want to raise those funds. Here is what you do…
Remember those LinkedIn groups we were targeting with ads earlier?
Rather than paying to advertise to them, you can jump in and directly communicate with the business owners.
This is all about building relationships, establishing yourself as an expert, and only ever offering free value in your initial offerings.
Offer to review peoples websites for free, review their SEO situation, etc. Never try and sell in these groups, you’ll get banned and be seen as a spammer.
And in terms of finding these groups, it is simple, search for them…
I searched for lawyers and set Groups as the type of search. Simple.
You can also do the exact same on Facebook. Search for your niche, then click More -> Groups.
We now have groups relevant to Realtors:
And as we covered before, there is more to advertising than social networks.
A quick Google search for “realtor forum” and you can see lots of communities come up where your audience are hanging out:
Not only are these groups and forums great for networking and establishing yourself as the expert. They are also great for learning the secret “lingo” your audience use. Find out what that is and what it comes to running paid ads, you will have a lot more success.
Start Taking Action.
Many people that actually read this blog are my competitors. People that target the exact same areas as me, even the exact same niches. Yet I’m continuing to give away information better than you’ll find in many $1,000+ products.
Why? Most people don’t take action.
You guys loved our last training which covered the main overview of the process, and how to send lumpy mail. How many lumpy mail packages have you sent so far?
If you have not sent at least 50, you are not taking enough action.
We are showing you how we run 6 figure SEO agencies.
(Which is really simple by the way, you only need 9 clients paying $1,000/month)
You just need to take action. Put this free content into place for your business, and watch the results come in.
And let me know in the comments section:
- Was the information valuable to your business?
- How can we better help you with other areas of growing your SEO business? (Affiliate strategies? More client stuff? More link building stuff, like the foundation of a good link profile?)
I’m going to start working on a short guide soon on using a CloudFlare alternative, but I’d love to hear what you need to help you step up your game even more.