Lead generation 101: How to get qualified leads for free.
Generating leads for your offerings can be hard work. Sometimes, even when you get them, they turn out to be unqualified. So how do you get qualified leads?
Before we start looking into specific lead generation techniques, let's first define what a lead is? Is it just a visitor on your website? Or someone who is asking you about more details? Or maybe something else?
Think about that for a second! What is the ultimate goal of you even searching for leads? It's the eventual conversion and returns on investment you can get from that person, correct? You have a business, you have your offerings, and you want to get customers. There's nothing wrong with that.
With this in mind, how could we describe a qualified lead? It's a person or business who has some sort of a problem, is looking for a solution, and their problem is something your product or service directly solves.
We know that turning leads into customers is a lot of work. We know that it's pointless to spend a lot of time on someone who doesn't have an even remote chance of becoming a customer of yours.
That's why we want to show you how to generate qualified leads for your business. And what's even more important, how to to it with just your hard work. And as a reward, this approach will continue providing you with qualified leads long after you stop actively working on it. And without any costs associated with it, unlike traditional advertising.
Content marketing for lead generation.
Content marketing is probably the most powerful tool you can leverage to get qualified leads for your website. The general idea here is that you write really valuable content. Something really helpful that reduces a pain point for someone. Something that gives a valuable perspective from a new angle.
How does this fit into the qualified lead definition we spelled out before? Remember, qualified leads are persons or businesses that have a problem. They know that they have it and they are actively looking for a solution.
Now, if you have content that provides value from a solution-to-the-problem perspective, they will find you when they search for a solution. And if your content is really valuable, you have a chance to come across as an expert in that niche. An authority in the reader's eyes.
This brings you to a position where you stand as someone influential who provides solutions to a problem, with a potential customer standing in front of you. And not just any customer, but a customer looking for exact help that you have to offer.
Writing quality content for your business.
Great content always starts with a great topic. But what is a great topic? We at Postbag would say that a great topic is something that your target audience is actively looking for in the course of their day to day business activities.
Think about an industry that your product targets. Think about their pain points. Put yourself in your customers' shoes. Start seeing the world through their eyes. And think what would you search for if you were them. Think along the lines of tutorials and guides that would be useful for them.
For example, if you were targeting car mechanic shops, think along the lines of "How to change timing belt in half the usual time?". Your target audience needs to be looking for you, they need to find you, and you need to provide value to them without asking for anything in return.
If they find you this way, and they find your content helpful, you are just increased your loyal audience by one. However, there would be a lot more pieces of content that you could write to address their problems.
If you do that, they'll find you again when they search for a solution to another problem from within their industry. And then again after for something else. But the point here is, the more they read your content, the more helpful they find it, you are starting to get imprinted in their eyes as a subject matter expert.
When you bring them to this point, you can say you have a completely qualified lead. You have people who are following you, taking your advice, are subscribed to your newsletter, and what's even more important, people who are first looking at you when they have a subject matter problem.
Just keep in mind - to get here you need to find what they're looking for and provide value via content to them for free.
Promoting your content.
When you have great content surgically targetting your ideal audience, that's only half the work done. You need to get the initial audience to read it. Even if it's the best content in the world, if no one knows about it, it serves nothing. So how can you get your readers to come?
The answer is outreach. No content promotes itself. You have to actively promote it. But how can you do that without spending money on expensive advertisements?
Luckily enough, there are loads of outlets on the web, including newspapers and topical websites, who are already writing something about your industry and have loyal following belonging to your target niche.
These outlets have your target audience as their loyal readers and you need to understand their bread and butter is providing value to these readers. Even if that value comes from outside sources. And that source should be you.
Back to the initial example on the "timing belt" article, if you started looking, you would see there are so many newspapers covering topics about the car engines, so many websites writing about DIY car servicing, so many topical articles that would be writing something similar.
Now, if you reach out to them, show them you're a real human who took the time to look at their work and themselves, comment on main points in their article and let them know about your relevant content, they will check it out.
And when they do, if your content was relevant, was helpful, and it would naturally provide value to their readers, they will include you on their website or article. And when they do, their audience, which is your target audience as well, will get to know about you through a subject matter expert that they trust.
The more you do this process, the more outlets will write about you. And this will start bringing more and more targeted traffic to your website which means you are generating targeted leads for your business. And you did it without spending any money. Just through your hard work and persistence.
Now when you know how to do it, one last thing remains. An answer on how to find relevant people, owning relevant content, for you to reach out? The Internet is a big place and finding just relevant content can be a daunting task. Let alone its owner and their contact information.
To do so, you can signup for Postbag, login, and type in a search phrase that best describes your niche. When you do this, Postbag will search through its web index, find relevant outreach opportunities for you, and then run it through its artificial intelligence to find content owners and their contact information.
With this approach, you'll get a fully personalized interactive outreach list you can use immediately to do your content outreach campaign. It will save you days in finding content, scoring contacts, and writing personalized emails.
If you want to get qualified leads for free, there is a way as described in this article. You'll just have to put enough effort into content production and content outreach.
It will take a lot of work on your end, and the results won't come immediately. This is rather a long terms strategy that you can implement for your business.
However, if done properly, when things kick-off, you'll start generating leads for a long time to come, without having to spend a dime on advertising.