In this post I uncover transparent, actionable insights on what worked (and is working) for us as a lead generation and lead nurturing technique that we use to generate customers for our marketing agency. Gary Vaynerchuk once said that there’s no reason to not share work methods and info. Eighty percent of the people won’t do anything with the information, and the 20% that will are winners that are going to win with or without your help. So might as well add value to all 100% of the bunch, position yourself as an expert and join forces with the readers who will crush it with or without you.
So on that note, here goes
First things first - the high level thinking behind the strategy -
Know the person, to get the customer. If I ever needed a mantra to go by, I'd go with something along these lines. The best way to make sure you sell whatever you're offering is to really get to know the person you're trying to sell to – what their goals are, what their pain points are, what they consider challenging and what they're lacking in tools, infrastructure, ideas, brains...
That way you will be able to custom-tailor your own offering to what the potential customer is looking for. You'll be targeting their pain points with laserlike precision and you can be damn sure your prospects will love you for it.
Technically we use HubSpot, we find it works best. There are of course other solutions out there.
Strategically - Hook them with value – keep them with more value
Our agency’s main buyer persona is a marketing manager at a b2b startup. Other buyer personas of ours are startup founders, and general c-levels at startups. We’ve researched all of their goals, challenges and dilemmas and created a series of blog posts that helps each of them and educates them on how to reach their goals and overcome their challenges.
The idea is to touch upon the topics that are of interest to your potential customers. That can be anything from raising awareness of a specific problem they may be having, to drawing attention to various solutions that may work for those problems. Whatever helps draw these people to the blog and hopefully solves (or raises?) a few questions along the way.
For first time visitors to our blog our goal is to turn them into subscribers. They can turn into subscribers by filling out a form with a direct call to action. Once they turn into subscribers they’re in fact a lead. Now our goal is to learn more about them in order to send them content relevant to them and in the process position ourselves as authorities in their eyes. How do we do that? By creating a subscriber workflow.
What’s a subscriber workflow?
It’s simple. People who sign up to the blog receive a sequence of emails inviting them to read blog posts from the series of blog posts we’ve created based on what we know their challenges are. Here’s an example of an email a new blog subscriber receives:
We try to uncover what buyer persona they are by including calls to action inside the blog posts inviting them to download a content offer. Here’s an example of such a call to action:
In order to download the eBook the lead is requested to fill out a form and to provide info about themselves - in this case to let us know what buyer persona they are. Pro tip: we’re using smart call to action so that once a lead downloads a content offer, the next time they enter the blog they’ll see a different call to action, inviting them to take further action and tell us more about themselves. More on that very soon.
Nurturing and progressing the leads
At this stage our email sequence branches out a bit. On one side, we have subscribers that have opted to download the content offer and those that haven’t done it yet. For the latter, the email sequence continues, sharing more valuable information with them and inviting them to download the content offer.
For the other branch, those who have downloaded an offer, the game continues. They’ve now progressed to a more advanced email sequence, inviting them to take a free marketing assessment (we’ve used a tool called Typeform to set up the assessment). When entering our blog these leads will see a smart CTA, which will invite them to take the assessment (those who didn't download the content offer will still see a CTA inviting them to do so).
The goal of the assessment is to ask questions that cover things we provide services on. It grants us a much clearer picture of what our buyer persona is actually looking for and what kind of problem they’re trying to solve.
An example of a question from the assessment:
After taking the assessment our leads are progressed to a new email sequence, inviting them to take a ‘Crash Course’ in marketing. Based on their answers we further educate them on the things that it appears they know less about. The course uses smart content so that the emails sent to them differ based on what they've answered. This creates a personalized experience that enables us to provide upmost value.
The final stage - sealing the deal
Once the course is over, our leads are progressed to an email sequence inviting them to to schedule a free consult with yours truly.
At the end of it all, what we’ve done is traded some of the knowledge we have, for a highly valuable, one-on-one with a potential customer, someone we already know a lot about, someone we know has a challenge to deal with, and someone we know is considering us to overcome that challenge.
So far hundreds of marketers and startup founders have taken the assessment and course, and the feedback and results are even above what we’ve set as internal goals.
So how do you implement this? Take these five steps to action
Let’s go back to the beginning a bit. If you want to get the customer, you need to get to know the person behind the customer. The general idea is to trade whatever valuable info you have, for info on your potential customer you may find valuable – their goals and challenges. Here are the five steps to action:
- Your blog is your gateway. Inviting potential customers to subscribe to the blog will let you create your first email sequence, which should lead them to the content offer.
- The content offer is the second step, where your potential customers share a bit more about themselves (for extra value).
- The third step is to create an assessment or any other content offer that provides further value and helps you further segment your leads and learn more about them. This is the stage to get in-depth intel about your potential customers, by asking questions about things you provide services on.
- The fourth step is to further educate your potential customers on relevant topics they may be lacking in.
- Inviting your qualified leads to a one-on-one meeting.
Once you’re one-on-one with a potential customer, of which you know plenty, closing the deal shouldn’t be too much of a challenge and it becomes a matter of whether or not they’re actually a good fit for your business (as not all leads are such you can actually help!) And of course, in order to make it all of it come together (blogs, content offers, email sequence copy, etc), you’ll need super talented content writers (can’t have Sead or Damir though, they’re an integral part of the magic we call Bold).
I hope this guide will help you generate relevant leads and turn them into customers. If you have any insights or feedback about this post I’d love to know, don’t hesitate to reach out to me!