Lead generation is key in the digital age we live in.
It is how businesses who want more customers get qualified sales leads.
If you’re new to lead generation, here’s a quick sentence to explain: The lead generation business serves as the broker between the business using the service and the business’s ideal customer.
Lead generation companies are wildly popular because many business owners don’t have the time to focus their efforts on finding and securing clients, but still need a way to generate new leads.
There is clearly a need for this type of business, so we love that you are considering starting one. However, before you get ahead of yourself, know that there is more to starting a lead generation company than simply taking advantage of the demand for it.
Starting a lead generation business is no easy feat. You must go through the motions that are required to start any new business, but with a lead generation business specifically, you have to add onto that the challenges that may come your way in the form of competition, long sales processes, security issues, and more.
However, getting into the lead generation space can prove to be very profitable, as more and more companies are finding they don’t have the time or bandwidth to search for these leads on their own.
Read on to learn more about starting your own lead generation business and whether it’s the right fit for you.
The Easy Parts of Starting a Lead Generation Business
Let’s start with the parts of starting a lead generation business that won’t bog you down. These are the processes of getting the business going that you should be able to handle without too many issues.
Picking an Industry
You want to narrow down your lead generation into a specific niche or category. This will help you to be more successful in your business, as your focus will be on one area.
Start with a general industry, and then get more specific. For example, if you’re interested in a lead generation business for the fitness industry, get more specific with what sectors of the fitness industry you want to get involved in. These could include fitness studios, gyms, trainers, and more.
You may want to pick an industry that isn’t highly competitive and that isn’t oversaturated. This increases your chances of getting more in commissions and having better success.
The more specific you get in your niche, the better.
Creating a Website
Having a website that showcases your work is key to finding success in your lead generation business.
It doesn’t have to be a complex website but certainly needs to be one with a custom domain that shows the basics of what you do, along with client testimonials.
To help you in building a website for your lead generation business, you may want to turn to WordPress.
As you can see, WordPress is the most popular website builder online today, and for good reason. It is one of the most customizable website builders, which means it allows for scalability, which will be key as your lead generation business continues to grow.
This open-source application allows developers and creatives to customize as much as they want. If you are looking for something more simple and ready-to-use, WordPress also offers templates that can get you started in almost no time.
With a WordPress website, you can show potential clients your offerings and how working with you will benefit them.
The Difficult Parts of Starting a Lead Generation Business
If only all the parts of starting a lead generation business were easy.
But then, everyone would be doing it.
Thus, to find success in your lead generation business, you’ve got to push through the difficult parts. To help you with that, we are sharing here the things you can expect to struggle with so that you can get help in tackling them.
Since this is the heart of your lead generation business, you must do it right.
However, it is not as simple as people may think. There are numerous different ways in which you can acquire leads, and you may have to try your hand at all of them to determine which ones work best for you and your clients.
- Cold email. This is typically reserved for B2B clients who are looking for a forward and powerful way to get in contact with potential leads. You’ll first need to come up with a list of prospects and then start creating an email template. However, it is important to note that the template serves as a starting place. You should always personalize the emails.
- Cold call. This is a highly effective way of acquiring leads but does take some time. You may want to attempt emailing people first, and then turning to calls if your emails go unanswered.
- Google Ads. This is best for those who have a budget that allows them to create targeted landing pages with a lead capture form such as sharing an email to download a free eBook. Then promote those pages through Google Ads.
- Facebook Ads. This requires some upfront money to pay for the ads as well as some trial and error. Facebook Ad success requires you to test out different formulas to see what works best in generating leads. However, once you find that formula, you will be able to easily identify your audience and target them.
- SEO. This requires taking time to invest in creating a good website with quality content. However, when done correctly, it can do wonders for generating leads, especially local ones.
- LinkedIn. A Sales Navigator account in LinkedIn will give you access to improve the criteria you use to target potential leads. LinkedIn is best for B2B clients that sell to someone who uses the platform.
So you’ve sorted out how to get leads for your clients, but now you’re faced with how to deliver those leads you’ve gotten.
This part may require you to try out a few different options to see what works best for your business.
One way that you can deliver leads to your clients is via Google Sheets. Here you can plug into a spreadsheet all the details you gathered about potential leads.
Another way is with a tool called Zapier.
This tool allows you to send an automatic email to your client that has all the information on the potential leads you’ve gathered.
Once you get busier with your clients, this can be huge in automating some of your processes.
Step 1: Choose an Industry
As mentioned above, the first step in the process of starting a lead generation business is deciding what industry to get involved in.
It is smart to go with an industry that is in high demand, but that may not have a lot of competition.
The key to this step is getting very specific in your niche. Rather than choosing something general such as restaurants, get more specific about what type of restaurants you want to target.
Step 2: Develop Client Relationships
Now that you have settled on a niche to focus your attention on, it is time to start building relationships with clients.
Build Your Website
One of the best ways to start this is by building a website using WordPress.
Your website will serve as a way to show your clients that you have experience in lead generation and that they will greatly benefit from working with you.
On your website you want to highlight the following information:
- Your niche
- Your services
- Client testimonials
- Contact information
- Base pricing
WordPress lets you determine the level of customization you want in your website. If you want to build it from the ground up on your own, you can do so. Or, if you don’t have the time or skill set to do that, and don’t want to hire a website builder, then you can take advantage of WordPress hundreds of templates to get the skeleton of the website started for you.
There are a few different pricing packages that WordPress offers, but for your lead generation business, you will likely want to opt for the Business package.
The Business package is best for small businesses and is priced at $25/month when billed annually. Included with this you will get:
- Free domain for 1 year
- Best-in-class hosting
- Ability to remove WordPress.com ads
- Payment collection
- Unlimited email support
- Live chat support
- Earn ad revenue
- Premium themes
- Upload videos
- Google analytics integration
- Access to over 50,000 WordPress plugins
- Advanced SEO tools
- Automated site backups
- One-click restore
- SSH File Transfer Protocol and Database Access
Make a Prospect List
Once you’ve got your website up and running, you can start making a list of companies that work in the industry you’ve decided to focus on. This will require some research on your part to see what local and national companies fit the bill.
Once you’ve done this, turn to LinkedIn to find the people at the companies who are in charge of sales, or that are the right contact to approach regarding selling leads.
You can also reach out to these companies via cold emails or cold calls if you can find their contact information online.
Step 3: Determine Your Commissions and Fees
This is one of the more tricky yet most important steps in your lead generation business. There are a few different ways that you can charge your clients.
This approach is the way to go if you are well-experienced in the industry.
The front-end model means that you determine with a new client how many leads you can generate, and what quality those leads are. These two things will determine the price per lead.
The risk for this model is lower, which means it is the better option for you as you start your lead generation business.
The hybrid model allows the client to determine what their advertising spend is, and with that amount of money you generate as many quality leads as you can with that budget.
For every lead that your client’s team converts, you get a commission.
This model is quite risky, as you are paying for the advertising spend out of your own pocket. If something goes wrong and your leads don’t convert, you could be out a lot of money.
However, if done correctly you have the potential to make a chunk of money, since this model also offers you the largest commissions.
The model that you opt to go with depends largely on your experience. The more confident you feel in your lead generation abilities, the more you can risk putting money upfront for a client that will result in a higher return. You may find that you start out with one model and then switch to another once you become more comfortable and confident in your work.
Step 4: Nurture Leads
A lead generation business is about more than just getting leads.
Once you’ve secured leads for a client, you want to gauge how likely they are to convert before handing them off to your client.
Leads that don’t convert will harm your reputation with your client. You can’t win them all, but you want to make sure that the likelihood of the majority of your leads converting is high.
One way to build a strong relationship with leads is by sending emails that track engagement.
Step 5: Analyze Results
You mustn’t stop caring about your work once you pass quality leads off to your clients.
To maintain strong relationships with your clients, you must request conversion funnel metrics from them. Having this information will allow you to optimize your strategies and see what works versus what doesn’t work.
This is also a way for you to potentially increase prices with your clients if your leads have resulted in high conversion rates. With this information, you can scale your business and ensure that you are being as efficient as possible.