Lead Generation From the Ground Up
How do you start generating leads as a brand new business? Great question. Our resident Brand Junkies Dave and Kenn stepped into the recording studio to address this issue in our latest podcast. There’s truly too much to say about this topic (it’s kind of our whole schtick) so in this post, we’ll be focusing on lead generation when your business is just getting off the ground.
Dave dives right in saying, “How do you generate leads when you’re starting at zero? How do you generate leads as you grow?... Lead gen and doing sales for your company is like tending a garden. When you first open your doors, your garden is empty. There's nothing growing. You have to go out, plant the seeds, and water them. Some are going to grow, some aren't. You’ll face disappointments and triumphs and you’ll adapt. You’ll learn what grows best in your garden and how to cultivate it.”
Kenn lays out an overview of Lead Generation for startups saying that first, “If you're just starting out, you have to get out in the community and network. Make sure your presence is good and you have all your collateral material, but start networking.”
Why is networking so important? Kenn says, “People want to do business with somebody they like and trust. You need credibility out there. If you just come out of the gates and throw billboards up, no one will know who you are. If people have no idea who you are or where you come from, the chances that they're to do business with you are slim.”
Here are a few things to consider as you begin networking:
You should be genuinely interested in the person you’re trying to connect with.
You need to build a relationship and not just start trying to sell your product or service when you first meet someone.
That contact may not become a client but they may connect you to a client in the future.
So where do you start networking? Dave suggests, “Join the local Chamber of Commerce. If the annual fee is more than you can swing as you’re starting up, there are also lots of free, or relatively free events that you can attend locally. You can Google entrepreneur groups in your city and find a few groups that seem like a good fit for you. Another great place to look for those events is Eventbrite or MeetUp.com.”
Another “sweat tactic” is cold email outreach. Dave explains, “Depending on what your niche is, you can use software to do cold email outreach. One that I would recommend is hunter.io. You can type in a URL and it will help you find key decision makers from that URL via their email. If you're looking for leads, this is a good way to go generate some leads for free.”
How you use those leads matters. Kenn explains that instead of approaching someone asking for a sale out of the box, it’s better to ask to gain some wisdom or mentorship from them, “Because everybody wants to feel respected. Everybody wants to feel like they're looked up to in some way. You're basically appealing to that person’s ego.”
Account Based Marketing
Kenn continues, “Once you start networking, you can begin to pick and choose people that you want to go after. You can target them through account based marketing, or ABM.” Dave explains that ABM is, “All about understanding who the key value targets are and going after them specifically. It's not stopping your networking efforts and it's not stopping your cold email outreach. It's doing account based marketing on top of those tactics.”
With ABM it’s key to be consistent and to create a presence for yourself. Dave explains that after identifying an ABM target, “We're going to hit him up all the time. We're going to make sure that we’re top of mind for them." These are clients that either have a big enough name or a big enough organization that working with them would be a game changer for your business. Being able to show your work with their logo on it would set you miles ahead. They’re worth the investment and the pursuit because they could be your breakthrough.
To the Internet and Beyond
Kenn says, “Once you get into account based marketing and you're working in that space, you can step out and expand your online offerings. Start to create dynamic new content. Build authority and credibility through your blogs, podcasts, and advertising. Your goal is to become top of mind with people through smart, strategic online tactics.”
We’ll be doing a deeper dive into the internet (and beyond!) in our next blog post, Lead Gen Tactics Round 2! Until then, and as always, if lead generation is a concern for your business, get in touch with us. We’re always happy to help.