BUSINESS & MARKETING

How to create a lead generation system (that drums up business on autopilot)

Mahmud Ahmed, CEO, New York

13 August 2019

Getting clients doesn’t have to be hard, you just need a simple system that handles everything for you.

Lead generation is no longer an one and done thing.

Photo by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash

In retrospect, I had to learn A LOT of things in the beginning stages of business — so I can’t really say there was “one” certain area that was holding me back…

But at the same time, I will admit, the one topic that I really underestimated — was how difficult it was to land clients.

Guess I’m not exactly sure why I thought it was going to be easier, but if I had to guess, I’d say it’s because before taking the leap…

I’d read all sorts of blogs, telling me all I needed to do was:

  • Write for SEO, then have thousands of visitors come onto my website every month
  • Put up a Facebook ad, and get clients for pennies on the dollar
  • Or even cold email prospects, getting leads that way…

But no matter what I did, or how hard I worked, I couldn’t get the results I was looking for…

And after going through this hell for the first 12 months of business, I finally had to realize I didn’t know what I was doing, which in turn — made me swallow my pride…

And go ask for help.

Not going to bore you with the entire story now, as I went through a lot of things during this time — including:

  • Coaches
  • Courses
  • Books
  • Etc…

And even though I learned a lot of information along the way, the big “aha” moment for me — was when I realized:

Marketing is a series of steps, not a “one-time” event

Now this was actually something a coach had to explain to me in a few different ways, as I wasn’t 100% sure what he meant at first, so I’ll do the same for you in a second — that way you can understand all this as well…

But for now let’s just say, that before taking this course — I guess I was under the impression of how marketing was always a “one-step” process.

Whether it was putting up a simple Facebook Ad that gets people to sign-up for a free consultation:

Or whether it was writing one blog, then hoping people would sign-up for a call right after that:

I thought everything was a one-time event, mainly because that’s what everybody else was doing, and even though this setup does “work” sometimes…

At the same time, you lose a lot of time (and money) when you do this, because the main goal of your ad (or blog post) shouldn’t be getting people to sign-up for a free consultation right away — but instead…

It should be driving them to an automated system, that takes care of the entire sales process for you.

Few reasons why you should do this, like:

  • How it explains everything to them upfront, that way they’re a good client by the time they start working with you (the “edu-marketing” angle)
  • How most clients need multiple touches before they’ll work with you, which is something the automated system handles on autopilot (via the rule of 7)
  • How using these systems allows you to build an email list of hot leads you can always follow-up with later on, instead of just wasting your time/money on traffic that you’ll never talk to again…
  • Etc…

There’s a lot of different ways to look at it, but for me personally — the way I’ve always understood this best over the years…

Is that it’s really an “automated version” of yourself.

In other words, there’s always an on boarding process every client has to go through — where you:

  • Introduce yourself
  • Explain how you can help
  • Follow-up
  • Tell pricing
  • Etc…

And the process is inevitable, as in, something that has to be done…

But at the same time, if you try to do all this manually, then you’ll get burnout — as there’s not enough time in the day…

And that’s why creating these automated journeys are so important.

With that said, again, I’ll be explaining this in more detail throughout the rest of this article — but let’s just say…

That even though it took me a little bit to fully understand this topic, and I actually had to hire my friend (who’s a copywriter) to help tie everything together — but after I did…

Things took off right away.

Not only were we able to create an automated system that consistently landed us clients, but at the same time — it “pre-sold” them for us as well…

Which made business easier all around, and even though I’m currently focusing on the content marketing side of things right now, as business is going good — and we really don’t need clients at this point…

At the same time, it’s a nice safety blanket to have in place, just in case we ever do need clients in the near future…

Which is just one of the many reasons why I believe every service-provider needs one of these systems for their business as well, which is exactly what I’m going to show you how to do throughout the rest of this article…

Starting with:

Step #1 — Focus on the main problem your audience is having, create a case study that shows how you can solve this problem

Okay, so as I mentioned earlier, I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a lot of entrepreneurs over the years — and learn a lot of things along the way…

But if there’s one common thread I’ve noticed between every failed marketing campaign, it’s how:

They focus on their skill, not the solution

In other words, they’ll usually put up an ad that says something along the lines of:

And even though that sounds good to them, as they know what they can do for clients, at the same time…

Clients see things in a completely different way, because they don’t care about your skill — they care about one thing and one thing only…

What that skill does for them.

With that said, that’s the main logic, and something most people struggle with — but here’s the good news…

With a little bit of practice, it’s not that hard to do either.

As with everything, this will differ depending on your business, but just to give you a brief overview of what I’m saying…

For starters, what I always begin with, is WHY clients would hire me for my skill — or better yet…

What outcome they want when we’re done with the project.

In other words, if you’re a tax consultant — what end result would clients want after they hire you?

Are they in trouble with the IRS, and need somebody to help them get out of that rut?

Great, there’s your solution (i.e. we help you got out of trouble with the IRS).

On the other hand, maybe they’re not in trouble with the IRS, but instead…

They feel like they’re paying way too much in tax, and want somebody to look at this for them.

In that case the outcome they’re looking for is saving money, so knowing this, that’d be your main “selling point” (i.e. we save you money on taxes, not “we have a lot of experience in tax”)…

As that’d be what catches your audience’s attention right away.

Anyway, that’s the first thing you want to consider, and just remember — even though you want to focus on “one outcome” per campaign…

There’s always going to be multiple outcomes you could offer, so something to keep in mind, as I know that confuses a lot of people…

Because there’s multiple outcomes they could provide, so they don’t think this would “work” for them (which is the worst mindset you can have, because instead, it just means you need to run multiple campaigns).

With that said, now that we have a list of outcomes we can use, the next step you want to do is just pick one…

Then create a vehicle that shows your audience how you can help them.

Again, a lot of ways to do this, but for the most part…

Case studies seem to work best.

Reason for this is because if you can prove that you’ve been able to reach the outcome they’re looking for, then working with you is a no-brainer…

And well, that’s really the gist of it.

From there, it really doesn’t matter “how” you deliver the case study — because it could be:

  • Video
  • E-book
  • Whitepaper
  • Etc…

The format doesn’t matter, because contrary to popular belief, the “messaging” is the most important part…

So if you can find a solution your market is looking for, then show them how you’ve achieved this, then that’s all you really need — as everything else will take care of itself.

Alright, that’s it for this step, and if it’s not making 100% sense yet…

Don’t worry, it’ll all come together at the end — but before reaching that point…

Let’s jump into:

Step #2 — Identify obstacles, create follow-up emails that overcome them

Alright, so in step 1 we created a case study that shows your audience how we can help them achieve the outcome they’re looking for, and ideally — this would be everything that’s needed for them to move forward…

Which does happen in some situations, but for the most part, 95% of your prospects will need more time to “think about it”.

This ties back to my mention earlier, where I said how most people simply need multiple “touches” before they’ll move forward — and even though that’s the primary reason these follow-ups work so well…

At the same time, if somebody isn’t moving forward right away, there’s usually obstacles that are preventing them from doing so as well.

Now before I show you how to get around this, the one thing I do like to mention quick — mainly because I receive questions about this all the time…

Is that even though you COULD try to address all the obstacles in your initial case study, for the most part — that usually doesn’t work too well.

Main reason for this is because you’re simply providing too much information at once, which in turn — creates a confused prospect…

And as I’m sure you’re aware, confused prospects never move forward with anything, so instead over trying to jam everything down their throat at once — you’re a lot better off covering main points over different days.

This is the same reason why it’s important to start with a simple case study, as that’ll “plant the seed”…

Then after that, now that you have them thinking about the outcome, you want to have a follow-up system in place

The helps them overcome all the obstacles they’ve come up with afterwards.

With that said, again, this will differ depending on your market/offer — but at the same time…

Every client always has 3 main obstacles to overcome, and those are:

  • Vehicle obstacles (i.e. obstacles they have in regards to your offer)
  • Internal obstacles (i.e. personal shortfalls they have, that’ll prevent them from reaching the goal)
  • External obstacles (i.e. things that are “out of their control”, such as time, money, clients, etc.).

Anyway, this subject can actually get pretty complex, so not going to get into a lot of detail now…

But just so you have a decent understanding of what I’m saying before we move forward, let’s do a quick exercise with our current example — where we’re assuming you’re a tax consultant.

For this example, we’ll assume the main outcome you’re providing is how you can save a company $3K on taxes every year…

And to make things even simpler, we’ll assume you’re doing this for heavy equipment companies.

Do this, because your main “skill” is leveraging depreciation benefits, so now that we have that out of the way…

You want to start off by creating a case study that shows how you’ve done this in the past, then from there — you’d begin thinking about all the obstacles that’d prevent business owners from moving forward with your service (after seeing the case study).

Few ways to do this, but I usually do it in blocks — so I’d start with the “vehicle” obstacle…

Then write down everything I could think of after that, such as:

  • Tax laws always change, they think it won’t benefit them next year
  • They think the “administrative” effort of these changes are more expensive than their savings
  • Etc…

And I could go on for days, but that’s the gist of it.

With that said, hopefully you’re starting to see what I’m saying by now, but just to make sure we’re on the same page…

After this, you’d move onto “internal” obstacles — which would look something like:

  • They’re not big enough to capitalize on these tax breaks
  • They don’t have enough profit to mitigate
  • Etc…

And after that’s done, you’d then move onto “external” obstacles — which would look something like:

  • They don’t have enough time to do all this
  • They don’t have enough staff to handle changes
  • Etc..

Then after you’ve identified all their obstacles, the next step is simply writing follow-up emails that help them overcome these.

To give you an example of this, it usually works best when you do a sequence of:

  • Email 1 — First “vehicle” obstacle
  • Email 2 — First “internal” obstacle
  • Email 3 — First “external” obstacle
  • Email 4 — Second “vehicle” obstacle
  • Etc…

So in our case, since the first vehicle obstacle is:

“They think tax law changes all the time, wouldn’t benefit them next year”…

Then what you’d really want to do, is show them how depreciation has been around for decades, and on top of that…

Recent tax bills have shown that accelerated depreciation is around to stay.

From there, you usually want to give them a “reason” for this as well — so they can fully understand what you’re saying…

Which could be done by telling them how it boosts economy, helps small business owners — etc…

It really doesn’t matter exactly what you say, as long as you achieve the main goal — which is helping them overcome the obstacle.

With that said, that’s the logic of it, and the last thing I always like to mention…

Is that you want to make sure you have a call-to-action at the end of each email, that takes them to your next step (i.e. free consultation).

This is very important, because overcoming that one obstacle might be the only thing that’s needed for people to move forward, so you want to make sure you give them an option to do so after that — which would look something like:

And ideally, they’d sign-up then — but if not…

You’d have another email sent out the next day, that helps them overcome the next obstacle.

With that said, that’s the gist of it, and the last question I usually get with this…

Is how long the email funnel should be, which is actually a pretty simple answer, and what I mean by that…

Is that you really just want it to be long enough to overcome the necessary obstacles.

In other words, if you can think of 9 main obstacles they have — then your funnel needs to be 9 emails long…

Or on the other hand, if you can only think of 3, then that’s all it’d need to be.

Anyway, that’s really I wanted to mention with this, which now takes us to:

Step #3 — Drive traffic to a landing page (that has them enter your system)

Okay, so now that we’ve officially created your case study, and better yet — crafted an email funnel that helps them overcome all remaining obstacles…

It’s time to tie everything together, and finally launch your system.

Now the first thing I want to mention with this, is the concept of a landing page…

And if you’re not familiar with this term, it’s really a “one-page” website that has one goal — and that’s to get opt-ins.

This setup works best because when you create a landing page you eliminate all other options for visitors to take (i.e. clicking around on navigation bar, forgetting why they visited) — and in turn…

Increasing conversions that way.

With that said, that’s really all I wanted to mention with this, as it’ll all make sense here in a second — when we tie everything together…

But before reaching that point, let’s go over the final step of this entire process — driving traffic.

Now over the years I’ve heard a lot of different “struggles” entrepreneurs go through, and that’d be a different book in itself…

But out of everything I’ve heard, the main thing seems to be driving traffic, and that’s always funny to hear…

Because when you really think about it, driving traffic isn’t that hard.

In other words, anybody could setup a Facebook Ad and drive traffic to their website — so “traffic” is never the hard part…

But instead, it’s simply getting conversions (i.e. turning traffic into sales), as nobody wants to waste money on ads that won’t turn into sales…

And here’s the good news, now that we have a system in place, this part is already taken care of — so when done correctly…

This is actually the easiest step.

With that said, I’ll show you HOW to drive traffic in a second, but the last thing I wanted to mention before reaching that point…

Is what platform you should use.

This seems to be another problem for most people, as they get so stuck on a specific platform, thinking they need to use Facebook Ads — because everybody else is doing it…

And even though Facebook Ads MIGHT be the best platform you could use for your business, there’s never a “one-size-fits-all” answer…

So the first thing you want to consider, is what platform makes it easiest for you to target your ideal audience?

For example, if you were a “get rich quick” guru selling people a Shopify course, then yeah — Facebook would be your best bet…

As you’d simply want to target people who are interested in Shopify, and Facebook has a targeting option that’d allow you to easily put an ad in front of them.

On the other hand, if you’re a tax consultant who’s targeting business owners in the “heavy equipment” field, then you wouldn’t want to use Facebook — as they really don’t give you a good targeting option for this…

And instead, your best bet — would be to use LinkedIn ads.

This works great because they not only allow you to target business owners specifically, but on top of that, they allow you to target business owners in a specific field…

Meaning your ads are only getting shown to people who you’d want to work with, and in turn — not wasting any money along the way.

Alright, that’s the platform, and for the actual ad…

So there’s a few ways to do this, but from my experience, the most effective method…

Is by using the “PAS” method, then delivering your message with an explainer video (via ad).

If you’re not familiar with PAS, it stands for:

  • Problem
  • Agitate
  • Solution

And this works best because when done correctly, anybody will gladly pay to have a problem solved — which is exactly what this formula does (i.e. introduces a problem, then shows the solution).

With that said, few ways you could do this, but going back to our example from earlier…

Where we were tax consultants helping heavy equipment owners save money on tax, in this case — you’d write a script that says something along the lines of:

  • Jim was the owner of a construction company, profits were great, but he hated how much money he was paying in tax
  • To make things even worse, everyday he flipped on Fox News, he couldn’t help but see how his hard earned tax dollars were getting spent
  • Whether it was being used to pay for useless wars, or even worse, to provide help to foreign countries who’ve tried to terrorize us in the past
  • Jim absolutely hated this, but he didn’t feel like there was anything he could do — until he got in touch with XYZ accounting firm
  • After doing a deep audit, we realized Jim was missing out on a lot of tax strategies that’d help him save money
  • 6 months later, he had an additional $3K being added to his bottom line every month, that way he could use this money for good — like providing jobs…
  • Instead of letting the government waste it on worthless things that don’t matter
  • Interested in receiving your deep audit to see if you can save money on tax as well? If so, please click on the link below — we’ll take care of everything from there

And even though you’d want to elaborate on this a little further, as you’d have to get the complete message across…

As I hope you can see, even though this formula is simple — it’s extremely effective as well.

In the outline above, this takes place by introducing the problem (i.e. paying too much in tax) — and even though we could probably go from there to solution…

As everybody hates paying tax, at the same time, it never hurts to really elaborate on the problem as well — and that’s why it’s so effective when you “dig-in” afterwards…

Saying things like:

  • Hates seeing how his money is wasted on junk
  • Sees this every morning
  • Etc…

Because when you do this, then it really irritates them — and makes them want to take action right away (which, in this case, is the free audit).

Anyway, that’s the script side of things, and for the delivery of this message…

You could do this in a few ways, but as I mentioned earlier, the “best” option seems to be an explainer video…

And if you’re not familiar with explainer videos, they’re really 60 second videos — that look like this:

These work great as they get the point across, while doing so in an engaging way…

And after you create the video, you’d simply put it into an “ad” format — which looks something like this:

Then let the results come flying in after that.

Alright, that’s all I wanted to mention with this step — which now brings us to the most important part…

Tying everything together

Okay, so as I hope you’re starting to see by now, the most important part of advertising isn’t:

  • Budget
  • Platform
  • Design
  • Etc…

But instead, it’s just understanding the underlying fundamentals — then using today’s tools to deliver them.

Obviously a lot of different ways to do this, but from my experience — when you:

  1. Start with an explainer video ad
  2. Drive traffic to a landing page
  3. Have them watch a case study
  4. Follow-up with emails (that overcome their objections)
  5. Then have a “next step” they actually want to take…

Then that’s pretty much a bulletproof formula for success, because when done correctly — these systems will always land your ideal client…

As it includes everything you need to turn a cold prospect, into a paying client.

Want new articles before they get published?
Subscribe to our Awesome Newsletter.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This