Lead Generation for Professional Services - Reed Iredale

Lead Generation for Professional Services

Written by Reed

Lead Generation for Professional Services

Lead generation is the form of b2b marketing to get to a sale. Our goal in lead generation should be to get closer to the sale by creating need.

What is Lead Generation?

Lead generation is the act of getting clients to your expert firm and translating expert insight into revenue.

Modern Marketing: Traffic, Conversion and Economics

Traffic

We get traffic to our business to become a customer down the track, choosing the type of traffic depends on your positioning.

Conversion

The act of a customer signing off on a deal or purchasing a productised offering. You need to show your the right option to solve their expensive problem.

Economics

The cost to acquire a customer is usually through showing up in places your clients will buy, the fastest form of conversion is through paid ads.

We have revenue models, not cost models, so pricing is your highest lever in an expert firm. Everyday we should be moving towards a price premium, you MUST position yourself for a price premium.

Albeit having a 1 in 400 chance of selling your firm, what’s good for a buyer of a firm is often good for you, so recurring revenue is looked at the holy grail. It comes with some buyer bewares from me, because in recurring revenue model, you’re on the hook for value, and if it’s no longer valuable than it goes away.

Dependent on type of firm, you might never want to sell, so a profitable life will do you just fine, then I’d say maximise your fee wherever you can, ethically.

Why Do You Need Lead Generation?

Without lead generation we are confused generalists. Bumping around in the dark with our marketing. Nothing feels correct until you know your customer. This means taking a market position, buying a list and casting the net to the right area.

Should I Specialise? Or Position My Business?

Positioning isn’t a hotly guarded topic. It does require you to be courageous and brave and say no to customers so that you can command a price premium in the market.

You showing up as an expert in a vertical or horizontal position when a customer comes to buy, immediately shows you as the relevant expert. If you’re out in the market and they come back to your website with an array of services and brands, you’ll look like you’re for everyone. And everyone means no one.

Positioning is the discipline of saying no. Get used to it. If you can’t help someone with complete competence, you’re taking a victim. This is indecent and unethical.

The best place to start: Focus on a What or a Who. Just set some parameters and move. Having constraints is a must.

Can We Buy a List?

Buying a list is the enablement of your expertise in a market. Somebody selling a list, means that the people on the list deem worthy to be sold to.

A list helps us know surface patterns quickly by looking around the internet. And we can reverse engineer our website copy to speak to those customers.

D7 Leadfinder is a great list search tool.

Why We Don’t Cast a Wide Net

Fishermen don’t go out and buy the biggest boat. They buy the boat that will give them the opportunity to catch the type of fish they need and have buyers lined up for when they return from their trip.

They are true experts, they know where the fish are, the type of fish they are after and improve their pattern recognition in the fastest possible times, to then go back out the next day and fish effectively and sustainably.

How Do You Do Lead Generation?

Lowering the Barrier to Entry

Selling expertise is expensive. So it makes sense to keep someone in your sphere of influence at a cheap price. We need to be like Amazon and have loss-leader products or what Alan Weiss calls it, ‘non-conformist innovation’.

Now you can rewrite your business model to focus on 3 separate types of products, all moving in the direction of cheapest to most expensive: do it yourself, done with you and done for you.

The goal of this is to remove ourselves from labour and maximise the income from our thinking.

Getting Traffic – Lead Generation Techniques

We don’t want to go into the market and make huge asks. Be bold by all means, but just don’t think someone is coming to you on day one, selling services works different to high-margin ecommerce products. We’re usually a highly risky purchase. So we get clients to know, like and trust us before we actually show them an offer.

Types of Marketing Labour for Traffic

You don’t want to run in 25 different directions. You want the most effective types for what type of positioning you have.

So let me show you the 3 types of marketing labour you can use to gain the visibility you require: Attraction, Presence and Outreach.

Attraction Lead Generation (Best for Horizontal, Vertical and Specialists)

  • Content marketing
  • SEO
  • Blogging
  • Podcasting

Presence Lead Generation (Best for Horizontal, Vertical and Specialists)

  • Networking
  • Community
  • Social Media

Outreach Lead Generation (Best for Vertical and Specialists)

  • Paid Ads
  • LinkedIn Messaging/Cold Email Outreach
  • Physical Mail

Edge cases:

  • The fastest will always be paid ads OR already having a strong brand/network.
  • If you want to do cold calls you’ll need volumes of up to 100/per day.
  • You don’t need to show up everywhere, if you’re a ‘marketer for mining’, network! They only deal with procurement (in the Australian market).

Conversions – The Fruits of Your Lead Generation

How deep our expertise or how good our brand is determines how much we as experts have to give up early in the sale.

Website Funnel Technique

Content awaits — What’s a funnel?

The Freebie Offering – The Place to Build a Long Term Sales Cycle

The Freebie Offering’s goal is to get somebody onto your newsletter. I treat the newsletter as your relationship management tool. You can periodically yell for sales, you can tag customers based on purchase types and you can store segmentation information to improve your content strategy.

This offering should be an unequal trade in value. You can use one of the following: checklists, quizzes, free teardowns, reports, whitepapers or reports.

Never simply say ‘Join my newsletter’…This is a missed opportunity to give value. And no one is keen to join your sphere of expertise only to be spoken at.

If you take on a quiz, you can store a greater amount of segmentation information. The more data you store in your trade for the offering, the better patterns start to emerge in your email automation platform.

Bridging Free to Fee

The goal here is to step up to a new product offering or service. What makes sense from a small freebie offering to handing over cash.

We want to give the customer a load of value early in the piece to move them through to us giving them paid help. Our expertise should never be ‘cheap’ but we should be able to do small pieces of work that are scaleable.

The Paid/Service Offering

You need to have a way to tell someone you can help. This will give you more opportunity to use your value conversation.

Lead Nurture Lead Generation

Use one of these lead nurture strategies, mastering them all on day one isn’t likely to happen and leave you disappointed in the results.

Email Automation

You want to do asks to your subscribers. If somebody looks interested in a category of your solutions, use this to your advantage and offer up help. You can classify this potential lead anyway you like, and if they go through all the hoops they’re likely to get it at the exact right time.

Facebook Groups or Discord/Slack Channels

Having a place where people casually walk past is ideal in retail world. So if someone’s scrolling on Facebook or looking in their app collections to see what’s going on at the water cooler by all means show up and provide value. This is just another touch point.

If you have a number of kicking the tyre interactions, this person might just show up again with money or referrals, be giving but hold back on the big pieces and let them know they’re behind a paywall too.

Remarketing Lead Generation

Setting up remarketing to be in the face of your customers on Facebook and Google is a good way to stay top of mind. If you need my face everywhere, it’s likely you’ll think of me when the time is right to buy.

Optimising for Conversations

Economics – How Much Does a Client Cost?

What does my funnel look like? You want to see how many people are at each stage in your funnel. This helps us track our future revenue and how much potential revenue we have banked.

If You Don’t Do Lead Generation?

You’ll Fallback to Referrals

They’re the best form of marketing to get customers, but it leaves us open to sucking our network depleted. Most consultants run out referral leads in 18 months. And having a few other methods to get customers picking up the phone is my advised path.

You Won’t Have a Healthy Pipeline, the True Lead Generation Test

If you have a healthy funnel you’re likely measuring your sales based on leads coming in automatically. You can see the freebie offer, see how many bridge the gap to payment, and then project, and then advisory retainer.

You Won’t Get the Easy Second or Third Sale

The second or third sale is in regards to ongoing work beyond the project. These are usually retainers. They are based on your smarts and access to you. And then referral business beyond that. So when I say referrals are bad, I mean ONLY doing referrals is bad.