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  • Writer's pictureMichael Marshall

Lead generation marketing explained

Updated: May 11, 2023

For most businesses outside of typical online shops, lead generation is crucial. If you're a business you probably hear about the need to generate leads all the time, but you might not be sure on where to start or just how lead generation works in a digital marketing context.

Leading a potential customer to a business solution
Lead generation is the act of leading a prospective customer to a solution

In the old days consulting firms or agencies that offer professional services could generate business leads by going to door to door or cold calling prospects to see if they were interested in learning more about the service that was on offer, but these days we have a whole online world that is absolutely brimming with potential business leads, if you know how to extract them.

So in this article I am going to discuss some of the basic points about how to generate leads online and what a good business lead actually looks like.

Lead generation marketing in a nutshell:

Lead generation marketing is a way to identify and attract potential customers who are interested in the services you offer. If you are a financial advisor then it involves finding people who may be looking for a financial advisor, planner or services, and engaging with them to generate interest and eventually, sales.

The process of lead generation can involve various strategies, including advertising on digital platforms, optimizing your website for search engines, attending events and seminars, networking with other professionals, and creating targeted content that addresses the specific needs and concerns of your ideal customers.

By using lead generation marketing, you can build a list of potential customers who have shown interest in your services, allowing you to follow up with them and provide personalized solutions that meet their needs. This can help you build a loyal customer base and increase revenue over time.

In the professional services sector, building trust and establishing credibility is critical, so it is important to focus on providing valuable information, being transparent, and offering excellent customer service throughout the lead generation process. By doing so, you can create a positive reputation that attracts more customers to your business.

How to create leads for your business:

While there are many ways to generate leads the 10 examples I provide below are by far the most common and generally are the most effective "all-round" methods:

  1. Identify your target audience: Clearly define your ideal customer and their needs to develop a more targeted approach for generating leads.

  2. Leverage social media: Utilize platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to build your brand and generate leads by posting informative content and engaging with potential clients.

  3. Develop compelling content: Create valuable and informative content that can showcase your expertise and attract potential clients. This content can include blog posts, whitepapers, case studies, and other types of thought leadership.

  4. Attend events and conferences: Attend industry events, seminars, and conferences to network with potential clients and showcase your skills and knowledge.

  5. Use email marketing: Send out newsletters and email campaigns to keep your audience engaged and informed, and also provide opportunities for them to engage with you.

  6. Leverage paid advertising: Use platforms such as Google Adwords, LinkedIn Ads, and Facebook Ads to target specific audiences and generate leads.

  7. Offer free consultations: Offer a free consultation to potential clients to showcase your skills and expertise, and provide value upfront.

  8. Collaborate with other businesses: Collaborate with other businesses in your industry to cross-promote each other’s services and generate leads.

  9. Implement referral programs: Offer referral incentives to current and past clients for any new leads they bring in.

  10. Optimize your website: Ensure your website is well-designed, easy to navigate, and optimized for search engines to attract and convert potential clients.

How to market to your leads:

Of course, once you have a list of business leads you need to engage with them to market your services and hopefully convert a lead into a client. Here is a list of six ways you can market to the leads you have generated:

  1. Email Marketing: Send personalized and targeted emails to leads who have provided their email address. Provide valuable content and information that addresses their specific needs and interests, and include a call-to-action that encourages them to take the next step.

  2. Social Media Marketing: Use social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook to engage with leads, share informative content, and offer promotions or special offers. This can help you build a relationship with your leads and create a community of engaged customers.

  3. Webinars: Host webinars or online events that address the challenges and concerns of your target audience. These events can help build brand awareness, establish your expertise, and provide a platform for leads to interact with your business and learn more about your services.

  4. Personalized Content: Create personalized content that addresses the specific needs of your leads. This can include blog posts, whitepapers, case studies, or videos that showcase how your services can solve their pain points.

  5. Direct Mail: Use direct mail to send targeted offers or promotions to leads who have provided their postal address. This can be a highly effective way to reach your audience and stand out from competitors.

  6. Retargeting Ads: Use retargeting ads to show relevant ads to leads who have visited your website or interacted with your business in the past. This can help remind them of your services and encourage them to take action.

Are there companies that can generate leads for my business?

If you're thinking "wow, that sounds like a lot of work!", then take a deep breathe and know that there is an entire industry of people out there who specialise in this work. Digital marketing agencies are there to do the lead generation and marketing for you, so that you can focus on actually doing the thing that you do best - your professional service. If you are financial planner, you do not want to have to spend all your time finding prospective clients, you would much rather spend your time planning for nd advising the list of clients you already have and converting new leads into customers by talking to them directly. Typically a marketing agency does the work of finding potential leads, filtering out the "cold" leads and sending the "hot" leads right to you so that you can engage with people who are actually looking to engage with a professional in your sector. Ffor example, Joe and Beth might both have an interest in financial planning as they are both starting a family soon and are both in 30's, but actually only Beth is looking at investing in financial advice and has set aside a a portion of her budget to pay a financial advisor. If you are the financial advisor you would only want to speak to Beth as the chances of her becoming a client are far greater than the chances of converting Joe.

Using a digital marketing agency can help you filter out the cold leads so that you can focus on converting the leads that really count.

Here are 10 hallmark traits that I believe a good digital marketing agency should possess:

  1. Proven Track Record: A good digital marketing agency should have a proven track record of success, with case studies and testimonials that demonstrate their ability to drive results for their clients.

  2. Strategic Thinking: A good agency should be able to think strategically and develop a customized marketing plan that aligns with the client's business goals and objectives.

  3. Expertise: A good digital marketing agency should have a team of experts in various areas of digital marketing, such as SEO, PPC, social media, content marketing, and email marketing. They should have the skills and knowledge to implement the latest techniques and tactics to drive results.

  4. Communication: A good digital marketing agency should have clear and open communication with their clients, keeping them informed about the progress of their campaigns and any changes in strategy. They should also be responsive to client requests and feedback.

  5. Analytics and Reporting: A good digital marketing agency should be able to track and analyze the performance of their campaigns and provide regular reports that show the impact of their efforts on the client's business.

  6. Creativity: A good digital marketing agency should be creative and innovative, able to develop unique campaigns and content that stand out from the competition.

  7. Transparency: A good digital marketing agency should be transparent about their pricing, fees, and services, providing clients with clear and concise contracts and agreements.

  8. Collaboration: A good digital marketing agency should work collaboratively with their clients, taking the time to understand their business and their needs, and providing ongoing support and guidance to help them achieve their goals.

By looking for these hallmarks, you can find a digital marketing agency that can help you drive results, build your brand, and achieve your business goals.

Example of a lead generation website:

Here is an example of a site we built for an American Company that sells essential oils. For two years Tony got his business leads through this site by running Facebook ads that linked users to this website. Once the user arrived at the website they provided Tony with their email address and immediately received an automated email to help the user begin the process of becoming an affiliate in the business.

What this campaign included:

  1. A solid call to action - "Start your own business today"

  2. Google ads to place that call to action in front of people who are interested in starting a business

  3. A clean and simple landing page where the leads could insert their email

  4. An email marketing strategy to engage with those leads.

With just those four key ingredients Tony was able to generate thousands of dollars worth of business. They key was having a simple message, a simple ad, a simple action for the lead to complete and then a comprehensive email marketing strategy to convert the lead into a customer.

Screenshots of the Young Living Website designed by Marshall Arts
Young Living created their website to capture email addresses of people who wanted to start their own business

View the site here:

In conclusion: Lead Generation using Digital Platforms can be extremely effective but also labour intensive

I hope this article has helped develop your understanding of lead generation and how it plays a vital role in expanding a professional services business. In a business like mine, having good quality leads is literally the difference between my company soaring or sinking. Spending endless time following up on cold leads is a huge waste of time and can be extremely demotivating for my sales team. This is why we are extremely cautious with our approach to our own digital marketing and that of our clients.

If you are looking to start lead generation marketing, take your time to learn exactly what type of people you want to attract to your business as potential clients. Once you know your target audience, take care in crafting a marketing strategy that will speak to their needs and land you the best possible leads. If you are going to hire a marketing agency to do the heavy lifting for you, make sure to have an in-depth conversation with them so that you are 100% sure that they understand your needs and the types of leads you are looking to generate.

Marshall Arts is a digital agency that focus on providing out of the box thinking and smart solutions for businesses who want to solve problems online. We have clients that range from big enterprises to mom and pop stores. I have been providing digital consulting for the better part of a decade and in my time I have learned a thing or two about how to do business online. If you would like to set up a call with a member of our team to learn about how we can boost your online business, get in touch with us by leaving your details.


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