Lead generation falls within the second stage of the inbound marketing methodology. It occurs after you've attracted an audience and are ready to convert those visitors into leads for your sales team (namely sales-qualified leads). As you can see in the diagram below, generating leads is a fundamental point in an individual's journey to becoming a delighted customer.
One of my favorite approaches to get my pipeline going is attend a bunch of meetups or local events in my area. I teach what I do on this blog – How to network at events. I love this approach as only people who want something MORE in their life will bother attending events and that is a lot easier type of person to talk to than someone who is NOT motivated to network or build their business.
Tracking the website traffic can also help you recognize trends and patterns. For example, a particular time of the day, your website has more visitors than usual or after going through your home page, one particular web page attracts more viewers. This can also help you identify the weak spots on which you can work on to improve the website’s performance.
The truth is there are a lot of ways to generate leads. While the internet is good, nothing will ever beat face to face. Even if you do meet someone online, you can’t expect them to just go to your website and sign up. In most cases, you want to get on the phone or on SKYPE with them and have a conversation to build the relationship. That’s where most online people mess up. Anyone can generate thousands of leads online, but it takes the talented person to convert them into customers and distributors. I build my business 100% by blogging and do very well with it, but I spend a lot of time on the phone and SKYPE with my leads.
Getting leads is just one step in the sales cycle. Next, you need to qualify them to determine if they're a good fit, then make your pitch, and finally, follow up. Many network marketers don't like the sales process, but it doesn't have to be hard or scary, especially if you start with leads who've come to you specifically to know about what you offer.
One surefire method of finding leads through content is to create something that you think will be really valuable to your industry or potential customers – like a whitepaper, research study, guide, or book – and placing it behind a form on a landing page. Those who want to access this content will need to enter their email address to access it. From there, you can begin a lead nurturing email program (which you’ll read about below), or even send a quick "thank you" message. If they enjoy your content, your lead might return your email, and could eventually convert.
Build an email list. There is a system for working with leads. The first step is getting them to be aware of and take an interest in what you have—by visiting your website, for example. The next best step is to ask your leads to sign up for your email list. You can get them to sign up by offering something for free, such as a report or something useful, from your website. For instance, if you're selling wellness products, then you might offer a guide to good-for-you ingredients or recipes. This will allow you to communicate with your prospects and provide valuable information related to your business and the general field that it's in, such as special sales, events, news, and research—and stay top-of-mind to your past, current, and possible future customers. Just be sure that you're following the laws and regulations regarding email marketing.
Online surveys: Consumers are asked to complete a survey, including their demographic information and product and lifestyle interests. This information is used as a sales lead for advertisers, who purchase the consumer's information if provided. The consumer may 'opt-in' to receive correspondence from the advertiser and is therefore considered a qualified lead.