When it comes to lead generation, a lot of marketers do it just to “do it”.
And just like anything else with marketing, doing something just to check off a box to say you “did it” is NEVER a good idea.
I believe lead generation is an essential component of your overall marketing strategy and can result in so many more sales for your business – so long as you’re intentional and strategic about it.
The amazing thing about your email list is that it’s an asset that you OWN. So no matter what happens with Facebook ads, or any other advertising platform, if you’ve got a list of true believers that you own, you’ll still be able to sell.
In today’s episode, I’m sharing the four main components of lead generation that actually result in sales when done right.
It’s not enough to just generate those leads to brag about your list size and leave them hanging – that’s NOT how to turn your list into an invaluable asset. Grab your ear buds and your favorite notebook and pen, because I’m going to share exactly what WILL.
Share your biggest takeaway from today’s episode and how you’re going to uplevel your lead gen strategy with me on Instagram (@emilyhirsh)!
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Hello, my friends. I hope everybody is doing amazing. It has been a while since I’ve personally recorded a podcast. I know obviously we put out a regular podcast, but it has been a while because I went on a vacation that turned in from a four day vacation to an eight day vacation because we got stuck in Colorado with a snow storm, which is funny because Texas just had the ice storm that I was also stuck in. So I wasn’t complaining about the Colorado one because we had power and it was super fun, but it was just funny because storms must really like me this year or something. We had an amazing time and I’m just so grateful. I’ve been feeling so grateful the last several weeks and days, just immense gratitude for so many different things.
And life is 50, 50, right? Brooke Castillo says that you’re 50/50 happy and other negative emotions, but I feel like right now is a really high time for me. There’s a lot of really exciting things happening. We’re going to be remodeling our house this summer and I’m so excited for it, and just grateful that we can do that, and have this massive remodel. I’m going to go live in Colorado for a month while we do it. Grateful for the vacation. My company has been running without me for a long time, I’ve been building a team, but this last time it truly ran better than ever before, and that’s the same with when my power was out, because when it’s unexpected, it’s one thing to plan for a vacation and be like, I’m going to be out for four days and then do work beforehand to make sure things go smooth. Then it’s another thing to be like, I can’t come in. I’m still in Colorado. I don’t have my laptop. Are you guys good? And then be like, yeah, we’re great and get sales and everything, the delivery for our clients working.
So it was just really rewarding. I said this to my team and my husband, and I was like, that experience, that trip was the result and the outcome of years of work. I want to say that here, because if you’re in the thick of it, and when it’s feeling hard growing a team, growing a business, getting it to a place where you can step away and the business still not only runs, but grows, is the most rewarding thing. But it takes a lot of time, and it takes a lot of effort, and it takes a lot of perseverance through the hard times to get there. I felt like that most recent trip was the result of honestly years of my efforts to get there. So it was just super rewarding to be in that position.
I also believe having a company that can do that, that can run itself when I’m gone, is, to me, more valuable than any money amount, because well, obviously sustaining my family with it growing, but to be able to step away and have a life like that, it’s just super rewarding and gives me that freedom. So with that, I have a new idea that I’m going to be working on, and so, of course, I’m like, all right, everything’s running, where can I put my time? I’m going to be focused, but I have some very, very exciting things I can’t talk about yet.
Anyways, today’s podcast episode is about strategic lead generation, and I’m actually doing a webinar that is going to focus in on lead generation. And the reason is a little while back I did a podcast about how your email list is really critical right now because of all the volatility in the online world, and just what’s happened in the last year, I really believe that you need to have a very intentional strategic effort on growing your list because it’s the one thing that you own. It’s an asset to your business. You own that asset. And so no matter what happens with social media, or the economy, if you have these true followers, true believers, and you are growing your email list, then you’re going to be okay. Your business will be okay. And so there’s a lot of influencers and people out there that teach lead generation, and I think it’s been talked about since I got into the game for five plus years, but I think there are some ways that you should do it, and ways that you shouldn’t, and a lot of people just do it because they think they have to, which is never a good idea with marketing.
Today I want to just walk through a high level strategic lead generation. And the reason I also added that actually results in sales because, again, we’re not just growing our list for fun, or to brag about our list size, or to feel like we’re doing something, we’re growing our list to get sales at the end of the day. And growing your list is a method, is a medium in getting those sales and connecting those sales. I have four main components to lead generation that are important for you to keep in mind.
The first, most important thing is that lead generation is going to look different for every business. And basically what you have to weigh is am I consistently growing my email list or not? And it should also be connected to your big picture. So just throwing out a lead magnet, or something to grow your list, may not be the right strategy. You need to have a lead generation strategy that’s leading those leads to the right place. So for some of you guys, it might be a lead magnet that then leads to something else. For some of you it might be a webinar, and that is a lead generation strategy. It’s a little bit more expensive of one, but it’s not a bad one because you’re still growing your email list. So the number one thing is you need to be consistently growing your email list, and then we need to make sure that what you create and what you’re consistently growing your list with, is connected to your big picture.
The actual method of lead generation, what people are signing up for, needs to be connected to your big picture and relevant to your ideal customer. A lot of people make this mistake because lead generation is typically, you do an opt-in, or you do a basic registration for something. Webinars count in my opinion, as lead generation. Some people wouldn’t qualify them as that, but you’re getting leads. So to me, it does count. For some of you I don’t want you to think, Oh, I need to add an opt-in into my strategy because that’s not what I’m saying that a 100% of people should have that. For some of you, it’s a good strategy, for some of you, you don’t have the bandwidth, resources, and money, and ad spend, to spread across multiple ways of getting leads. So you need to put all your effort into one, such as a webinar. The method needs to be relevant to that big picture that you’re creating, that experience you’re creating, but also to your ideal customer.
So what I was saying is people tend to, I think, create very basic lead generation resource courses that people sign up for, which then results in sometimes attracting the wrong person. So an example would be this, it would be pretty easy for me to put together a lead generation opt-in that was like, you’re setting up a Facebook ad from A to Z, step-by-step guide, right? But that really isn’t going to necessarily attract an agency client because my clients are not setting up their ads. They don’t want to, right? They want someone to solve their bigger picture, marketing and strategy, the time that has to go into it, and the resources that have to go into building your marketing strategy, they want someone to solve that for them, and they’re not going to sit there and walk through the technical pieces of setting up an ad.
So that would be an example of, I could create that lead magnet. It’s valuable, but it’s not aligned with my ideal agency customer if that was my goal. Maybe it would work for Ignite, but it still probably isn’t the one that I would choose if I was trying to find my students who are definitely at a little bit more beginner level of their business, because they’re not ready for agency yet. So, that would be an example. And so thinking about, I’ve seen people do like basic PDFs, or even quizzes, things like that, that there’s a disconnect when they go to actually attract their ideal customer because they created this simplified thing that is so simplified it’s attracting either beginner business owners, or people who are at a different level or stage than their ideal customer.
So first thing’s first, you’ve got to have consistent lead generation, whatever that looks like for your business. And I’m also telling you, it could be a webinar, it could be a video series, it could be something as long, it still counts as long as you’re getting email leads consistently every day, ideally. Then you have to make sure those are connected to your big picture. Are those leads making sense, how they’re coming in to guide them to whatever that next step. Okay. So that’s the first thing.
Now, growing your leads one way or another. So we talked about this. I tied this into the last one, but basically that you are growing your leads no matter what. So the reason I put this is because some of you might have a business where you live launch, and then some of you might have something that you run consistently, or you run once a month, but you don’t have consistency in terms of lead generation. So, if you’re live launching that can’t be the only time that you grow your list. You need to have a strategy that in-between those live launches you’re growing your list. Now, if you are a physical product business, or you are running an automated webinar, you’re most likely growing your list every single day, and that’s perfect, but if you’re not, if you’re in the category that’s live launching, you need to check the box off of I am growing my leads every week, every month, I can see that number going up. That’s very important.
And if you don’t have that strategy in place, you’ve got to figure out in the in-betweens of your bigger events and promotions, what are you doing to make sure you’re still growing your list, because that is honestly going to make or break the success of your actual live launches and promotions. I have several podcasts where I’m like, don’t go silent in-between launches, and people do that, and what happens is you just bring your audience out and it really impacts your results. I have been fortunate to be behind the scenes of eight figure live launches and lead generation is a huge, huge priority of theirs in-between live launches. Okay.
Now the number of leads, this is my third point, the number of leads doesn’t matter as much as knowing the customer journey and experience you’re creating. So sometimes when I say you’ve got to be growing your list people will be like, well, by how much? How many leads do I need every month? Like there’s a blanket number of everybody should have 1000 leads every month. And, of course, with marketing that is not how it works. That number is going to be unique for your business. What matters more is knowing, okay, if I’m getting leads through this medium, now what’s happening with those leads and how many do I need to reach my sales goals, your unique sales goals. So the actual number of leads doesn’t matter, the consistency matters, but the actual number is going to be relevant to your bigger picture goals.
So, for example, webinar funnel would be easy here to say, if I want one sale every day, and I know that I sell 1% of my leads, well, I need a hundred leads a day. So that’s an easy way to come up with that. Now, if you have a multi-step strategy where you have opt-ins and then they’re coming to webinars. So, one thing like an example is we run a tiny bit of budget every month to our Hirsh Marketing Report lead generation strategy. Then we also have an automated webinar, and I also do live quarterly, either podcast series or webinars.
So that Hirsh Marketing Report, we have a budget that we’ve chosen that’s pretty much a percentage of our total budget, but I’m also very intentional with what is happening with those leads, and they are being invited to my webinars. So I’m tying it in and connecting it. You don’t want these strategies that are floating out in space all over where you’ve got one opt-in strategy over here and there, just leads gathering. Then you’ve got another automated webinar over here. And then sometimes you do live launches and nothing’s connected. The real magic happens in your lead generation when you can successfully connect everything, because at the end of the day, we all know this if we are into marketing, and if not, here’s a reminder, because we need to hear it a lot of times. People need multiple touch points with your brand before they buy most of the time. And on average, that’s five.
So lead generation, and then what happens after that, can become those touch points. So the most important piece, more than the number of leads that you’re getting in, is what is happening in your customer journey in that experience you create for those leads after they come on your list? And then that should drive how many leads you need, or how much money you should spend on lead generation, because it should be driven by your sales, and by that experience that’s happening. If you live launch, then what you know is, okay, if I live launch I need this many leads on my list because this is my sales goal, and I sell about this percentage of my list. That means, if a live launch is in three months and I need to get 3000 leads, I need to get a thousand leads a month. That’s how you’d figure that out for your business.
So there’s no blanket number, as long as you’re being consistent with growing new leads on your list, that means your business is moving forward and it’s growing. And then your numbers should be driven by the backend experience that you’re creating, the customer journey that you have, making sure that it’s all connected to each other, that’s very important, don’t just put out random, people do this all the time, just random lead generation strategies. And, Oh, I have a new idea for an opt-in, they’ll be so great, and they just throw it out there, and then in a month later, okay, I have another one and they throw that out there. They need to be connected to your core strategy because ultimately we want all of these leads to become sales. So if you sit down and ask yourself, how do I make it so that these leads are going to become sales? What does that journey need to look like? That’s your lead generation strategy. And then you can figure out the numbers ideally based on a sales goal. All right.
My final point with strategic lead generation is making sure that you create an experience for leads once they’re on your list so you can convert them into buyers. So I’m touching on this in the previous point where I say, make sure everything’s connected, but this also extends into your email nurture sequences, the regular content that you send out to your list, the retargeting that you do to your list. You do not want people to join your list and then just sit there for months with no touch points, then it was basically a waste because they probably will forget your business and the next time you email them, they’re going to be like, what is this? And either unsubscribe, not read it, or totally ignore it, whatever.
So, first of all, when someone joins your list, there should absolutely be an email nurture sequence for them, and not a templated so-and-so says they have to have five emails and this is the structure that they should go. What’s the experience? Remove yourself from those templated things whenever you get in there, because yes, there’s core foundational marketing strategies that work around this, but also just look at it as an experience, connect yourself to that lead. If I sign up for XYZ guide, or I opt-in for this webinar, and then I don’t take action on that webinar, what is the experience you want to create for that lead? What is the content you want to serve them with? What are the additional ways that you can add value and nurture, and build the trust with them?
And if you go about it from that point, you’re going to come up with, Oh, I have this content, I have this podcast episode, or I can write this email about this, and then maybe send them to more content and then loop them back into whatever you want them to do, go to sign up for the webinar, or purchase your product, whatever it is. So this will really help you. If you look at it from an experience, remove yourself because the worst are those templated emails that look like you took someone’s nurture sequence and plugged in your own stuff, because it’s just so obvious. So each email, just like I say with social media posts, don’t post it if it’s not going to provide value and make an impact, don’t send the email if it’s not going to. If that means you only have the capacity to write three really good emails in your nurture sequence, write three.
As long as they have a purpose, they provide value, because each one is an opportunity for that touch point, for that connection with your brand, and for that additional nurturing. And if you miss that opportunity, it actually is negative points, right? If they didn’t get something from it and they ignored it, it’s just, they’re going to more likely become, that’s what they’re going to start doing with your brand, because there’s a lot of competition out there. All Right? And so that means the nurture sequence, and then what are you doing with all those leads that are on your list? Are you sending them something weekly? Are you putting out regular content, such as a podcast, and how are you continuing those touch points? I’ve shared this many times, but I have done multiple launches, And the last one, the average number of times somebody was on my list before they bought was a 150 days.
So during that 150 days, we email our list at least twice a week. We have value through my podcast. We retarget them in all of our ads, sometimes even our content ads such as my podcast. So we are looking at it from, okay, this person is slightly interested in my business and what I provide in the content and the value I can give them, and how do I increase that value for them? How do I serve them more? And so the way you do that is through nurture sequences, regular emails to your list, and then retargeting ads. You can spend a tiny amount of budget and retarget content ads to your email list so that they are seeing your content, so that they’re consuming that podcast, so that they are reading that post that you put that time and effort into. I think at the end of the day with marketing, a lot of people put a lot of effort into a lot of things, but then they are unintentionally, or not doing it at 80%.
So they’re writing emails, or they’re posting on social media, but they’re not maximizing let’s get the most out of everything we do. And so if you go into it with those leads and you look at, okay, I’ve done the hard part. They said they’re interested in what I have to offer. They signed up for the opt-in. They sign up for the webinar. They opted-in now it’s my chance to prove to them that my business is the answer to their problems. And so you have all these opportunities, but people are like, because marketing is so much work, I think people start to do those things 80%. So they’ll do social media posts just to do them, and then most of their audience doesn’t even see the social media posts, or they’ll write emails just to fill the space, but they’re not really able to give it a hundred percent because you’re doing 50 other things over here. So if you stopped doing all those other things and you focus in on how do I create the best experience for these leads? How do I maximize every single touch point and opportunity I have with them? You will get more sales, And at the end of the day, that is your goal.
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