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Lead generation is the lifeblood of any business. This may not be a sexy or innovative thing to say, but it’s true. Whatever you sell or offer as an entrepreneur, your success depends on the sort of leads you bring into your business.
And the rules keep changing!
I’ve built my reputation on lead generation and marketing funnels in recent years, and I’ve seen firsthand what does and does not work by working with thousands of entrepreneurs.
In 2018 this change will reach new levels, so if you want to jump ahead of your competitors and create an unfair advantage, take note because these 11 things are what you need to know about lead generation in 2018.
1: There Are No Rules (everything is great)
You need to realise that every one of your ideas is a good idea. This is what makes online marketing so great, because it’s easy to test, experiment, and iterate quickly.
When it comes to lead generation, there is no right or wrong answer. What works for me may not work for you. It’s about YOU testing your ideas and figuring out what works for your audience.
2: There Are Two Types of Lead Generation (buckets & awareness)
Inside your lead generation, there are buckets and awareness levels. When it comes to awareness levels, I created the SSF Method:
- Sidewalk: those who don’t understand the pain or problem…
- Slow Lane: those who don’t understand the methodology / process…
- Fast Lane: those who don’t understand the solution…
Having a single lead magnet or funnel no longer works. You need to communicate with each of these awareness levels differently, which allows you to educate and inform your audience to YOUR solution (the process you use for your own customers).
Beyond this, there are also buckets. For instance, inside my business I have three buckets:
- Those who have never used online marketing…
- Those who have but not done so successfully…
- Those who are looking for the ‘edge’ and next big thing…
Inside your own business there are 3-4 buckets that describe the nature of your audience. By understanding both these awareness levels and buckets, you can effectively tailor your message, products, and lead generation so they’re relevant to the right people at the right time.
3: If You Aren’t Relevant, You’re Annoying!
Your customers get bombarded with messages, products, and offers all day, every day. If you aren’t relevant to them at the right time, you are part of this background noise.
Your job is to give your audience what they need, when they need it. You need to illuminate their pain, alleviate their vision, and show them that what you offer fills the gap. You need to become omnipresent and top of mind, and show up in a way nobody else does.
4: Funnel Hacking DOES NOT Work!
Copying another person’s funnel or process does not work, because you have no idea what their business model looks like. You don’t what their situation is, and you don’t even know if it makes them money. You only know what you see, and you only see what they show you.
5: Targeting is Everything.
When it comes to lead generation, it’s all about targeting-targeting-targeting. But what most people get wrong is, they focus on their Facebook Targeting and the segments you create. This is only part of the process, because you need to target your copy, emails, and design.
Everything you create needs to target your ideal audience. It’s not just about the ads you create and who you share them with, it’s about the copy that comes with it (and everything in-between). If it isn’t relevant to them, it’s annoying them.
6: Anything Under a 10X Return is Not Good Enough
Too many entrepreneurs settle for a 2-3 return on their investment, especially when it comes to their online advertising. Unless your Coca Cola or Disney, this will not cut it.
You need to aim for a 10x ROI, meaning for every $1 you put in at the front, $10 must come out in the backend. The reason for this is, people underestimate how much it costs to run a business. There are a lot of moving parts, so it isn’t just about getting a return on your ad spend; it’s about bringing in enough revenue so you can significantly grow your business.
7: Create a Waterfall of Lead Generation
When you utilise the SSF Method and target each awareness level effectively, you create a waterfall effect where you nurture your audience and build trust, as well as educating and informing them.
Over time, a single person will go from sidewalk >> slow lane >> fast lane, not only becoming a customer, but a loyal, trusted, and engaged one at that. Over time you save a lot of money, as this waterfall effect makes your lead generation more effective, while transforming you into the “go to” expert within your niche.
8: Play The Long Game
Online marketing isn’t about selling, it’s about building an audience. This takes time, and this means you may not get the ROI you desire straight away.
Personally, I aim to break even when starting a new campaign because I know the real return comes later. By playing the long game, people will come to you and knock on your door, because you are the person who has built their trust.
This isn’t to say you won’t get a return straight away, but the game-changing ROI comes further down the line (after the first 60 days).
9: Be a Big Fish in a Small Pond
Assuming you don’t have the budget of Coca Cola, you need to niche down and become a big fish in a small pond. This is easier than ever, and almost any business has the ability to become omnipresent and ‘top of mind’.
2018 is your year to finally embrace this ‘less is more’ approach. Don’t target everyone. Define your niche and dominate their newsfeed.
10: Attention is The New Currency
If you pattern interrupt and capture your audience’s attention, you own their wallet.
On the one hand, your audience is overwhelmed with content, but on the other they’re starved of significance. They’re on autopilot, so the moment you interrupt their daydreams and capture their attention, you win.
11: Distribution is King
Too many people assume content is king, but it isn’t what you create that matters, it’s where you distribute it. Everyone obsesses over more-more-more, but the only way to achieve more these days is to create less — so long as you distribute it in the right place, at the right time, to the right people.
These are the 11 things you need to know about lead generation in 2018.
As an entrepreneur, you need work smart so your lead generation does the hard work for you. It isn’t about creating more, it’s about building greater relevance and becoming omnipresent and top of mind.