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How do you generate leads for your business?

Do you buy them? Let them come to you?

Kidnap them? (Free tip: no!)

Or do you approach lead generation with a thoughtful and proven strategy?

If you have been struggling to generate leads for your business, don’t worry. I have been there. I know the struggle.

I know how hard it can be to build up a list of potential customers who actually want and need your product.

Which is why I am uniquely suited to help you overcome this problem.

While there are a ton of methods you can use to generate leads, one of my favorites is through LinkedIn.

Everyone and their cousin uses email, Facebook, and Google Adwords. But very few entrepreneurs have tapped into the limitless lead generating power that is LinkedIn.

In this article, I am going to show you a simple 5-step process for generating more leads than you can imagine.

Step 1: Optimize your profile

If you are using LinkedIn to connect with people that you do not know, your profile needs to be optimized.

Think about it.

If you have never met someone before and they try and connect with you through LinkedIn, what are you going to be looking for?

If you see an unprofessional selfie and a simple word or two describing what you do, they will be immediately turned off and unlikely to accept your invitation.

However, if they see a professional, high quality picture showcasing a handsome/beautiful businessperson and an intriguing biography, they are going to want to know more.

This means that optimizing your profile is pretty simple.

Completely fill out your profile.

Get a professional picture taken.

Then write an informative description/title, and you are off to the races.

Step 2: Create your own group

Creating your own LinkedIn group is a powerful way to generate new leads and build up your authority within your niche.

Luckily starting a LinkedIn group is easy to do. (Maintaining and growing your group however, is not)

Simply hover over the “interests” menu on LinkedIn, pick “groups”, select “my groups”, and then click “create”.

Follow the remaining steps you will see on screen and you are off to the races.

Once you have created your LinkedIn group, you will want to start adding content, even before you start adding new members.

A great way to do this is to use Buzzsumo to find trending content within your niche and then rewrite that content offering even more value to your audience.

Once this is accomplished, it is time to start targeting leads.

Step 3: Create your “potential customers” list

Now that you have your group started and you have some content rolling in, it’s time to start bringing in the leads.

Your goal should be to create a list of 500-1,000 potential leads.

I know this seems like a lot.

But it really isn’t, especially with LinkedIn’s built-in search function.

If you think about it, LinkedIn has over 400 million users.

This means that you could easily generate tens of thousands of potential leads if you had the time to reach out to them.

Use the filters on LinkedIn’s built-in search to find the best potential leads for your business.

You want to focus on people within your industry who are roughly at the same level as you. (CEOs if you are a CEO, managers if you are manager)

Once you have accomplished this and built up a large enough list of potential leads, it’s time to get the gloves on and start connecting.

Step 4: Start connecting with members on your list

This step is by far the most time consuming aspect of the entire process.

Your list of thousands of potential leads will not be built in a single afternoon.

Make sure that your profile is optimized for the industry that you are reaching out to.

Once you have done this, you need to start reaching out to each member by sending out messages requesting to connect.

Don’t overdo it. Just send a simple message and you will be fine.

Step 5: Engage with your members and then close

The final step in this process is to start engaging with your audience and then close the sale.

You want to make sure that you pace this step.

Spend a couple of months building up rapport with the members of your group.

Become known as an industry leader and influencer by regularly blogging and publishing relevant content.

Offer massive value to every member. Connect anytime that they reach out to you. Try and genuinely solve their problems.

Then, after you have laid the groundwork, host a webinar and invite your entire group.

If you have been able to successfully engage with your audience, you will have a high turnout rate and will be able to easily convert a large portion of your group with little effort.

Once this is done, keep the group going, start another one, and do it all over again.

Conclusion

Generating sales through LinkedIn is a time consuming process. It can take months before you will see results.

But because of the rapport that you can build and the advanced targeting options within LinkedIn, it is well worth it.

By using the above strategy, you will be able to generate more conversions than you can imagine.

If you can execute these steps properly, this is possible the most effective strategy in online marketing for generating leads.

So stop reading this article, and go start your group -- now!

Drop me a line in a couple of months when you are converting leads in numbers you had never thought possible.

Source: This article was published forbes.com By Neil Patel

Categorized in How to

 

With the rise of new online social networks in recent years, lead generation has been undergoing some significant changes.

Your potential buyers are overwhelmed with all the noise, and as a result, they ignore the messages that do not appeal or engage them.

You need to find new ways and techniques to reach them.

Having different ways to target your market allows you to cut through the noise and get your messages and content seen by your leads more frequently.

Here are 3 surprising lead generation techniques that you can apply for your business -

1. Turn Helpful Calls Into Leads With SoHelpful:

You have probably heard the term 'Sell Without Selling' many times.

Question is...how can you do that?

The answer is very simple - by helping your prospects!

That’s right.

You can help them in many different ways, but one of the best ways is to connect with them 1 on 1 over Skype, Hangouts, or phone calls and answer their questions, hence solving their problems.

This is also known as Helpful Marketing.

SoHelpful actually makes it easier for you to implement this technique.

According to SoHelpful, “being helpful is one of the most effective ways to build our reputations and grow our businesses.”

SoHelpful is a platform where your potential customers can easily schedule a call with you, which also integrates with your Google calendar.

You have a profile page with testimonials. You send potential customers to your page so they can view your testimonials and expertise and then pick a time according to your availability.

 

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You can promote your profile on your blog’s sidebar, have the link pinned to your social media pages, or add the link to your email signature.

This is like getting inbound calls from your target audience who have questions or problems related to your niche.

The technique here is to -

  • Build trust and be a friend with the person over the call by listening, understanding and providing suggestions that are actionable.
  • Ask if you can send some emails that elaborate on what you just discussed.
  • If the person agrees, then add him/her to your email list.
  • Send a series of emails that tell him “what to do” to solve a problem.
  • At the end, insert a friendly, natural sales pitch based on what you are selling (a service or a product).

In our case, we’ve found that customers who schedule a help session with us are almost twice as likely to convert - surprise!

2. Use Quora For Lead Generation

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Quora is one of the most active Question & Answer sites on the web.

Anyone can ask and answer questions about anything here. However, you would like to focus on a specific angle based on your niche.

In case you are new to Quora, checkout this guide to creating your Quora profile and set it up so you can submit questions and answers the right way.

Target Questions That Are Specific To Your Niche

First, you should figure out what your potential customers might be looking for. So knowing your ideal customers is very important before you start using Quora for lead generation.

Say you are a small digital marketing agency that offers PPC ads and Done-for-you content marketing services. What are the questions your potential customers might be asking?

Things like -

  • How to get positive ROI with PPC ads?
  • What are the most common mistakes companies make with PPC advertising?
  • Which is better, content marketing or traditional marketing?

You get the point.

Once you find those niche related topics and questions, your next step is to answer those questions.

Make sure you add value through your answers and not just self-promote.

Write detailed answers maintaining a good format and structure so it's easily readable. When appropriate, add relevant reference links, images, and videos.

This is a good example of an answer that provides value: What are the most common mistakes companies make with PPC advertising?

Quality answers will result in more views and eventually get shared across different channels and social media networks. When people find value in your answers they will follow or subscribe to your Quora profile or visit your website/blog and sign up to read more of your content.

Sharing your answers on your social media pages will give you more exposure. There is also a good chance for Google to index your answers when you acquire social proof.

Mentioning Other Quora Writers And Users

Mention and tag other Quora contributors and users who are expert and have covered similar topics. They receive a notification when you tag or mention them on your answers. This will help you to connect with the experts in your niche and also build a powerful network of influencers.

Track Your Results

Pay close attention to the Quora's 'Stats' analytics tool. You can see all the questions, answers and posts you have contributed, profiles of people who followed your question, views, upvotes, and shares etc.

Track ROI coming from the answers on Quora in Google Analytics. For more info on that check out this post.

And of course, check how Quora performs in your Google Analytics. For us, it was one of the top 5 traffic sources and converted at a whopping 8.5%!

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3. Optimizing Twitter For Lead Gen

Many people look at Twitter at just a social network for updating people on your status.

However, we’ve found that some people tend to be particularly receptive on Twitter, even more so than email, especially in the marketing niche (where people are bombarded by email offers daily).

Here are 5 advanced strategies to help you get more leads on Twitter.

I) Include A Call To Action (Cta)

What is the first thing that grabs the attention of a visitor on your Twitter profile?

Probably, it's your background photo and your bio. So it only makes sense if we put our call to action (CTA) on those places.

Also, having a pinned tweet with your CTA is very effective.

These simple techniques can be very effective to get more leads on Twitter.

Using the same call to action in each location can make it easier for your visitors or followers to know what to do next when they visit your profile.

Check the examples below:

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You can see that Yaro Starak uses his Twitter bio combined with a pinned tweet to invite his followers to grab his free blueprint, in exchange for their email address.

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Here you can see how Ian Brodie uses his CTA in his Twitter background photo and bio.

You can create these Twitter backgrounds very easily using tools like Canva and Snappa.

Ii) Build A Targeted Twitter Following

Getting leads through Twitter requires you to build a targeted list of Twitter followers who have the potential to turn into clients in the long run.

Follow people who are interested in your niche, products, or services. They are likely to follow you back since they can relate to your industry or topics you talk about.

It’s all about who you follow and who follows you back.

Also, consider searching for hashtags, keywords, or company mentions when you search through tweets related to your industry.

Iii) Share Click-worthy Content

Tweet quotes, questions and trivia along with usual industry content as they are some of the most shared content on Twitter.

You can use pieces of your own content as quotes.

Ask questions and share links to yours or others’ blog posts that answer those questions. Asking the right questions will help you get more retweets and shares.

Iv) Educate And Engage Before You Sell

Understand what your followers need and give it to them. Share content that educates and engages with them.

There is no exact formula that says how many times you should be tweeting every day.

According to Buffer, "Post as often as you have engaging, entertaining, or useful content to share."

If you decide to tweet 7-10 times a day - split that between your own content, other people's content and promotional content that promotes your services or products.

But do not over-promote.

According to Rallyverse, a good rule of thumb is a 30/60/10 ratio.

That is - 30% Owned, 60% Curated, and 10% Promotional content.

V) Use Twitter Landing Pages To Move People Into Your Funnel

What better way to generate leads than through a landing page?

You can generate leads from Twitter and move them into your sales funnel.

Create super valuable actionable content for your followers that solves one of their major problems or answers a very important question in a strategic way.

It can be a short ebook, mini blog/video series, step by step infographic, white paper, checklist that can be offered to your followers through a landing page.

Keep your landing page short and simple with one clear CTA.

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Its very easy to create landing pages with Leadpages or Unbounce.

A/B test elements of your landing page in case you don't see much conversions from it.

Are you already using these techniques for generating leads? Let me know in the comments below.

Source: searchenginepeople

Categorized in Research Methods

What tools do you have in your toolkit to help you find prospects? LinkedInTwitter,Facebook, an email subscription list, etc.?

All of these are great, but wouldn’t it be good to automate the process, and bring in more targets?

Of course it would!

Basic tips to increase leads

Before investing into tools, make sure you have some basic things in order:

  • Make sure your pages are super fast. A slowly loading page is one of the most frequent reasons for a bounce. Use Page Speed tool to find what’s slowing your site down.
  • Make sure your pages are hosted reliably. Downtime means your site will not even have a chance to convert. Use Uptime Report that monitors uptime on major hosting platforms
  • Make sure your site is mobile-friendly. Most of your visitors are likely to load your pages from a mobile device. Use Mobile-Friendly Test tool from Google.

Tools to generate more leads

These are the 10 tools that will help you do it (and know what to do with those leads when you find them).

ClickMeeting

ClickMeeting

Webinars have been found to be one of the most effective ways to collect leads.

ClickMeeting is the webinar hosting platform which is simple to use and has API for just about any other lead management software you are using.

ClickMeeting is surprisingly affordable and truly reliable. You can also use polls and surveys during your webinar to better engage your audience.

Leadformly

Leadformly

We all know one of the best forms of lead generation: information from the target themselves. Forms have been a staple for marketers for ages, but they took a bit of a sag online when they became too cumbersome, and were asking too many questions.

Leadformly creates sharp, well made forms that actually convert. No more struggling to come up with questions that can actually help you make a sale; this tool will guide you through the process, and use their expertise to generate questions that work for you. They start at just $49 per month, which has 250 leads per month.

But if you’re willing to pay a little more, you can get more than 100,000 leads per month with their Team package. Be sure to check out their webinar.

Found.ly

Found.ly

There is a serious lack of useful, easy to use B2B prospecting platforms out there. This one on the top of the list as one of the best. Found.ly is simple, has a ton of features, and it generates a lot of leads between businesses that you might have missed with other tools.

Don’t let the 12 minute explainer video fool you, anyone can use this tool without any fuss. Right now it is in beta release, so it will probably have a couple of bugs and issues.

But the foundation for the service is solid, and there will be future feature releases to come in later versions. It is worth requesting an invite and becoming an early adopter.

LeadGenius

LeadGenius

LeadGenius isn’t about generating a lot of leads, it is about generating better ones. It targets the best possible prospects, and gets accurate, up to date contact information for them.

Then it helps you best engage with each one, so you are using a more snappy, effective form of interaction that leads to better results.

I see this as a great tool for influencer marketing in particular, since it helps you to gauge the best targets out of the millions of people floating around cyberspace.

Ringostat

Ringostat

While emails, forms, chatbots and social media are all important sales and customer engagement tools, phone calls still remain the number one point of contact.

Many people would prefer to make a call than speak to someone in a chatroom, because it allows them to interact more freely. Likewise, sales agents can upsell or snag initial signups better over the phone than they can online.

Ringostat works to get more people calling from your website. They claim this can improve conversions from your site by up to 50%.

Unbounce

Unbounce

You have probably heard about this tool before, but if you have never used it I cannot recommend it enough. Landing pages are an important lead generator, especially pre-launch as you are in the hyping stage.

Unbounce is a landing page creation platform that helps you to make gorgeous, professional tier pages, even if you have never made one in your life. You don’t need to be a graphic or web designer; they lead you through the process step by step, and give you everything you need. All with a focus to convert, not just inform.

Engageform

Engageform

This is another form generator, but with a twist. It’s specialty is online quizzes, surveys, and polls. Have you ever seen those quizzes on Facebook that ask what member of FRIENDS you are, for example?

Given the common aesthetic of those tools these days, it was probably made using Engageform.

It is super quick and easy to use, attractive, and effective. Whether you are making something fun to engage your customers and connect to their social media profile, or you are asking them for valuable feedback, you can do it with this tool.

Turnstile

Turnstile is super basic, and that is its strength. You select your email provider, and it will generate contact information for people you want to connect with. That is it, no frills, but all the data you want.

Still need more? They allow you to create custom HTML protocols that can mine for more. But they point out that the most important details are already included.

Marketo

Marketo

Marketo is a five-part platform. It covers lead generation, email marketing, mobile marketing, customer based marketing, and consumer marketing. All five of these tasks are automated, and that is a big plus.

Manual prospect mining is among the most tedious, exhausting tasks in sales. Anything that makes it easier and faster is going to be a must have for anyone in the business sector.

When you look at the happy customer list, which includes MyFitnessPal, Glassdoor, and Curves, you see how their features can really be put into practice.

Segment.io

Segment.io

Do you have a multi faceted employee team, such as separate departments for sales, help desk, and social?

If so, Segment.io is the perfect tool to get them all on board and operating together. It captures customer data at every set point, and send it to everyone who needs it.

Have a tool you think should be on this list? Let us know in the comments!

Categorized in Others

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