Old school, outbound methods have fallen out of favor. That’s not to say they don’t have their place.1It’s not to say they do have their place either. I certainly don’t use them, but your mileage may vary. But people are turning to inbound and demand generation tactics (or at least the people in my LinkedIn feed are), and I think that’s a good idea.
Make the Leads Come to You
Why spend all day calling people who don’t want to talk to you when you could have the people who need your help come to you instead?
I feel sorry for those poor folks in the call centers. Every time I buy a new domain name I set off a wave of hundreds of phone calls from people trying to sell me web design services. I can recognize them because I don’t know the phone number and they don’t answer right away.
Now when they call and say, “Hello, Mr. Roy. How are you today?” I say, “I’m fine. I was just calling to see if you would be interested in my web design services.” I’ve had some pretty long chats with these folks about various aspects of my life, and that’s the only thing I’ve found that actually gets them to hang up on me.
OK, So… What’s the Best Way to Generate Leads?
Yes! The best way to generate leads! That’s what we were talking about.
The best way to generate leads is to put yourself out there. Some people will say it has to be a podcast. Some people will say it has to be LinkedIn. People will say it’s got to be a lot of different things, and the thing they recommend usually depends on the thing they sell.
But it doesn’t matter what it is. You just need to establish a solid line of communication between yourself and your target market. What does that mean?
Establishing a Solid Line of Communication with Your Target Market
When you communicate with your target on a regular basis, they begin to know, like, and trust you. If you provide value in a way that demonstrates the benefits of your product or service, they’ll come to you when the time is right.
So, how do you establish a solid line of communication between your business and your target market? With a unique point of view delivered consistently at an adequate volume on the right channel.
Again, the key ingredients are:
- Point of View
Point of View
If your company is going to be truly successful, you need a unique selling proposition. Why should people buy from you instead of the competition? If you don’t know, they won’t know either. You should assume that your competitors do know and that they’re making sure that everyone in your target market knows too.
Your unique selling proposition will inform your point of view.
How? Here are some examples:
- Stripe offers “[p]ayments infrastructure for the internet.” Stripe focuses on providing developers with a way to accept payments through their projects. Its point of view should be related to empowering developers.
- Robinhood offers “[i]nvesting for everyone.” Its point of view should be related to empowering everyday investors.
- Canva “empower[s] the world to design.” Its point of view should be related to designers without graphic design training.
- Death Wish Coffee is “the world’s strongest coffee.” Their point of view should be related to extremes.
- Patagonia is “in business to save our home planet.” Its point of view should be related to the importance of our planet and what we can do to save it.
Here are some more specific examples:
- Stripe could build its strategy around covering topics that relate to new tools and technologies that empower developers.
- Robinhood could talk about how it empower everyday investors, why that’s important, and it could call out anyone in the world of finance making things difficult for the little guy.
- Canva could highlight small business owners using the platform to elevate their brand without hiring a graphic designer.
It’s a solid line, not a dotted line.
That means whatever channel you choose, you need to plan to spend six months on it. You can pivot as you go (e.g., you might change up the format of your podcast), but don’t give up!
Posting to LinkedIn six times over six months isn’t going to cut it. What should you do instead?
In pharmacology, there’s something called a dose-response relationship. It means that increasing the dosage increases the response until a certain point. Then things level off. It looks like this:
In other words, it’s a point of diminishing returns. You need to find the sweet spot where you’re getting the maximum return for the resources you’re investing.
For most channels, it’s better to err on the side of overdoing it – as long as you’re not annoying anybody (e.g., hourly email newsletters). Of course, you can only realistically do so much, so that’s a factor as well.
This is one of the most crucial elements to test. But make sure you give each channel enough time to bear fruit. Six months should do it.
Here are just a few of your options:
- Podcasts. Just about everyone listens to podcasts these days, but you’ll have to promote it. Do you have the resources to do that?
- LinkedIn. LinkedIn is good if your target market is on the platform regularly. You should use your personal profile and a company page.
- Newsletter. Newsletters are having a renaissance right now, but, like podcasts, require promotion.
Put Yourself Out There to Generate Leads
By getting in touch with your target market and delivering your unique point of view on a regular basis, you’ll build your brand without tired outbound marketing tactics. The keys are to know your point of view, know your market, and know how to reach them.
- 1It’s not to say they do have their place either. I certainly don’t use them, but your mileage may vary.