It’s been a rough 12 months. When 2020 began, every agency on earth was slammed—and then March rolled around. While some have barely survived, some have thrived. But we all have something in common: it’s time to figure out a way to adjust to the new way of doing business.
One of the questions that continually comes up is, “How do you do lead generation for your agency right now?”
Chip Griffin and I have discussed this topic on the Agency Leadership podcast. And he, Drew McLellan, and I discussed it during a panel discussion for the RSW/US virtual conference last week.
It’s definitely a topic that bears repeating—and it came up again in the Spin Sucks Community last week.
The question was, “What are your best tips for lead generation? For those of you who are running an agency, do you use your personal and professional network i.e. past co-workers, friends, and family in need of services or do you have a business development rep (either commission or salary)?”
I will start off by saying this: I have tried all of those things and nothing works as well as doing your own marketing.
Think about what you would recommend your clients do. Would you recommend they use their personal and professional networks? Would you recommend they hire a business development rep? Or would you recommend they hire you to do their marketing?
This is the time you should take your own advice.
I know it’s a real challenge because our own businesses always take a backseat, but business development—or lead generation—is one of the most important things you can do as a business owner. Some would argue it should even be 90% of what you do.
I’m personally more in the 50-60% range because I still really love to do some client work.
There are several things to think through for your agency’s lead generation program. They include:
- Website reorganization and funnel creation (or tweaking)
- Content development
- List development
- Email marketing
- Lead nurturing
This is a beast of a topic, so let’s talk through the first three this week—and how they’ll help you with lead generation, business growth, and eventual global domination.
Check back a week from today (February 25) for part two.
Website Tweaks to Prepare for Lead Generation
For nearly every business, the homepage receives the most visits. This means your homepage should have one simple call-to-action that makes it incredibly easy for a visitor to take action so you can begin to nurture them into a client.
For some of your clients, that might mean “request a quote” or “request a demo” or a simple “contact us.” For your agency, though, it could be “schedule a meeting” or “request a proposal.”
We are in the process of redoing the Spin Sucks site (finally!) and the ONE call-to-action is to join the community. From there, we can segment people and nurture the leads who fit one of our business categories (PESO Model certification, coaching, or agency services).
But you’ll note we aren’t going to have all of those options as CTAs on the homepage. We’ll have just the one that will lead a person through a specific customer journey.
This is super challenging to do when you run the joint. When the web firm asked me to choose one CTA, I couldn’t do it. Thankfully, they asked me really smart questions to get where we needed to be.
If you don’t hire someone to help you, find a friend or mentor (or ask in the Spin Sucks Community) to help. It’s lots easier to do this for someone else.
Content Development In a Lead Generation Program
When we begin a lead generation campaign for a client, we spend at least 90 days creating content.
In some cases, we publish as we go and, in others, we create the content and hold it until we’re ready to begin.
How you do it is completely up to you. I prefer to publish as I go because it forces me to stay on a timeline and establish deadlines. Otherwise, I’d create 90 days of content the week before launch and be a complete mess.
But if you’re more disciplined than I am, you can certainly create and hold.
The point is to develop content that your target audience will find useful.
Andy Crestodina always says the goal is to create the best content on the internet for your topic.
If you use that advice and you create content for your prospects that is the best they’ll find when doing a Google search, you’ll win.
Also…you cannot do email marketing, lead nurturing, or conversion without great content.
So start there first.
One more thing to keep in mind: you want to create content around the terms your prospects search. For instance, “best PR firms in Chicago” or “best digital marketing firms”. This will allow you to be found (assuming the content is great and well-optimized) when someone searches.
We have a client who wants to keep developing content around stuff they care about, but their prospects don’t search. That’s a fun weekly topic—as we show them how the people they want to buy from them don’t search what the client cares about.
Don’t be that client. If you do that, no one will find your site and your lead generation efforts will be for naught.
List Development For Your Lead Generation
The next thing you want to think about is who you are targeting with your content and your eventual lead generation program.
We have another client who has created a list of 200 prospects. They know exactly who they want to target. They built a list of the 200 in a spreadsheet and then we uploaded it to HubSpot with a tag that they are not to be marketed to until they subscribe on their own.
The reason we did this, though, is to track how many of those 200 prospects we’re attracting through our content marketing turned lead generation program.
Now, when someone hits the site and fills out a form (subscribe to the blog, request a demo, download content, contact us), they not only go into our lead nurturing program, they are then tagged as a marketing qualified lead.
What Questions Do You Have?
We’ll be back next week to talk you through how to use the call-to-action, the content, and your list for the most effective lead generation that works while you sleep.
In the meantime, you’re always welcome to join the free Spin Sucks Community to discuss in deeper detail with other smart marketers.
The comments are yours…