When people think of sales leads, they automatically imagine an untapped reserve of customers, but sales leads are more than that.
What you may not know is that a single sales lead can send massive leads to your business.
A single sales lead can provide that much-needed feedback that will enable you to improve your product (or service) and provide high-quality support.
A single qualified sales lead can connect you with industry influencers and partners that will boost your business even further.
Leads are the lifeblood of any business.
Any business that finds it difficult to generate regular leads will stagnate, and may eventually collapse.
After reading this article, and using the powerful tips you’ll learn from it, I foresee that your business will thrive even in the face of tough competition.
Let me introduce you to 17 smart ways to drive massive sales leads to your business.
1. Interview Influencers
An important marketing strategy is beginning to emerge in the age of ad-blocking technology:
It’s called Influencer Marketing.
Just take a look at Google Trends and see it for yourself:
Influencer marketing is exploding at a fast pace.
Influencer marketing is the quickest way to prove your business credibility and increases your chance of attracting a lot of new leads.
Interviewing a big name could do wonders for your business.
When you interview an influencer, you introduce yourself to a larger audience and the doors of leads begin to open to you.
Your interview could be a blog post, a SlideShare presentation or a video.
Most big names are more accessible than you think.
You can connect with influencers through their favorite social platforms. You can also reach them through their emails or contact form which can be found on their websites.
Make sure the topic of your interview is based on a common problem most of your prospects have.
2. Write, Publish And Sell Books
It’s widely believed that only people who want to pursue careers as authors could write and sell books, but that is a wrong notion.
Book publishing is another way to get your name and business out there in front of prospects.
In today’s world of content marketing, marketers must start thinking and acting like book publishers to get attention.
His book earned the world’s attention and got him featured on ABC News, CNN and WSJ.
For example, let’s say you run a pool construction business in California.
How can you use book publishing to get leads?
You could write a book about the lifestyle of pool owners in California where you interview pool owners in the state and ask them to share their wealth secrets and some wonderful life lessons.
This may not sound like the nicest book idea, but someone who’s looking to build a pool in the state would definitely want to read a book like this. That exposes your name and business to potential customers.
You could write a book about various pool exercises.
You could write a swimming guide.
You could write a guide on how to throw an amazing pool party.
You could also write a book about related topics like home cleaning and decoration.
Note that your purpose of writing a book isn’t to promote your business, but to educate potential customers.
People don’t want to be sold. They want to be informed.
So write your book from a neutral perspective and give actionable insights.
Then use your author’s bio to promote your business.
Karen Brody is a relationship coach for men, who has also self-published her book through the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing Platform. She uses her book to promote her coaching service.
Before you know it, you’ll start getting calls from prospects asking you about your products and services.
3. Speak At Conferences, Trade Shows, And Industry Events
Neil Patel revealed that he was able to lock PokerStrategy.com into a $1.2 million contract when he spoke about online marketing at an online gambling event.
To Neil, speaking at conferences is the best way to land highly qualified clients.
But here’s something important you may not know about Neil:
“To gain exposure for Crazy Egg, I would apply to speak at conferences and discuss whatever topic the conference organizer wanted me to talk about… even if it wasn’t related to analytics.
Instead of asking the organizer to pay for my travel expenses or to provide me with a speaking fee, I would kindly ask them to make Crazy Egg a sponsor of their event.
Sponsorships didn’t cost the conference a dime, and it provided us with an additional exposure that we wouldn’t have had otherwise.”—Neil Patel
Web celebrities like Chris Brogan, Mari Smith, Neil Patel, and Gary Vaynerchuk are able to further enhance their personal brands and businesses because they speak at a number of events every year.
You’re probably thinking that you suck at public speaking and you know nothing special to talk about.
Everyone once sucks at public speaking. Everyone once doesn’t have a clue about what to say or how to say it.
In his book “How To Talk To Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere: The Secrets of Good Communication,” Larry King said he messed up in his first speaking engagement.
Speaking is a great way to build buzz for your business and get high-quality leads even your biggest competitors can’t get.
Depending on the industry you are in, you could be picking up $10,000 per speaking engagement (though it takes time before you can start earning that much).
While speaking would attract wealth and valuable connections into your life, your business would benefit the most from your speaking engagements.
People will associate your name with your company. And if the organizers are charging at least $1,000 per ticket, you can expect to meet clients who could offer you multi-million dollar business deals.
4. Create And Distribute Infographics
Top brands like Google, Wimdu, MoveHub, and Samuel Windsor are masters when it comes to infographics.
These companies have been able to generate a lot of buzz around their businesses using the power of infographics.
There’s a reason why people love sharing infographics:
They are easily digestible visual contents.
Infographics are more engaging, accessible, persuasive, fun and easier to recall than any other content type.
No wonder infographic is the most shared content type on the web:
Infographics are also 30 times more likely to get read than a text article which is the top reason why you should be using them to generate leads for your business.
5. Create A Free Software Tool
This could be one of the most powerful, yet under-used lead generation strategies for getting thousands of high-quality leads per month.
The good thing about this strategy is that you only have to create that special tool once and keep promoting it (and watch as other people start promoting it for you).
And then sit back and relax as thousands of leads start coming to you.
Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool is a perfect example of what I’m talking about here.
Screaming Frog is a digital marketing agency based in Oxfordshire, United Kingdom.
Their digital marketing services range from search engine marketing, SEO, link building, pay per click (PPC) management, content marketing, social media etc.
The agency offers a free tool called SEO Spider which does a host of things like finding broken links, discovering duplicate contents, analyzing page titles and metadata and more.
The Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool receives hundreds of mentions and backlinks every month from authority websites. That sends thousands of monthly visitors to the Screaming Frog website and some of those visitors would definitely become clients of Screaming Frog.
HubSpot also has a free tool called Website Grader which helps you analyze how strong your website is.
You’ll have to enter your website address along with your email address if you want to receive the Website Grader analysis – that automatically turns you into a lead, of course.
Go Smart Solar created a tiny app that helps potential customers get estimates of the cost of installing solar panels, the amount of solar power they’ll generate, and the how much money they’ll save in the long run. The tool will only increase the number of leads the business gets on its website.
6. Get Highly Dedicated Leads With Webinars
The success of every marketing strategy you implement is not only measured by the number of visits it attracts but also the quality of the leads the campaign generates.
Webinars are hard to beat when it comes to lead generation.
Webinars represent a “live” content that is both dynamic and interactive.
Webinars provide a richer and more memorable experience for your audience.
With webinars, you teach, you inform, which would surely delight most of your webinar attendees.
You’re like a live presenter answering real questions during your presentations.
Webinars offer you a better opportunity to influence your audience in a unique way, which increases your chances of capturing and turning them into highly qualified leads.
According to Neil Patel, he was able to generate 518,399 visitors and 16,394 leads from 77 webinars!
7. Hack The Press
The most talented marketers are those who can get into the press at will.
Getting press coverage could spark a major positive turnaround for your business.
For example, Allen Burt was able to land his startup in big publications like WIRED, NY Times Travel, and the Huffington Post Travel.
And guess what happened next?
Allen’s startup was able to generate its first few thousands in revenue. In fact, their landing page has a sign-up rate of 30%. That should tell you that traffic from relevant big publications are willing to convert if you 0ffer the right product or service that solves their problem.
Here’s one of the emails Allen sent to get press coverage:
PR is just one of the few lead generation techniques that don’t scale because they are only so many angles you can pitch a journalist. But PR can give you that big boost you need when you’re just starting out, or still small.
“One of the most common types of advice we give at Y Combinator is to do things that don’t scale . . . startups take off because the founders make them take off. There may be a handful that just grew by themselves, but usually it takes some sort of push to get them going.”—Paul Graham
San Antonio based startup, MedCognition hacked the press when its product was still being developed. MedCognition was able to gain some mentions on Spectrum News Austin, a local channel based in Austin, Texas.
8. Guest Blogging
No, I’m not talking about spammy guest blogging.
I’m not talking about guest blogging to get backlinks for the purpose of ranking high on search engines.
I’m talking about doing strategic guest blogging to grow your business leads. Yes, guest blogging is very effective for that.
For example, Buffer used it to get their first 100,000 users within 9 months.
Jeff Goins managed to get 10,000 subscribers within 18 months through guest blogging.
Your guest post has to be great if you really want to get high-quality leads through it.
Many website owners publish low-value guest posts on low-value blogs and expect to get some leads from that. Guest blogging doesn’t work that way.
Your guest post has to be very high in quality.
The primary purpose of your guest post should also be to generate emails, not tweets.
Which one is more valuable to you?
100 tweets or 100 emails?
I’m sure you’ll go with emails because that’s what matters.
People who are subscribed to your email list are more likely to become customers than people who just tweeted your blog post.
9. Answer Questions On Quora
Recently, I contacted Leonard Kim to ask if Quora is still effective for driving traffic and leads.
His short answer got me hooked!
In a recent article Leonard published on Medium, I could see that he still regards Quora highly.
Here’s how Quora changed Leonard Kim’s life in his own words:
“Before Quora: Leonard was a joke who failed at everything in life. He had a reputation that made women run for the woods, because no one wanted to be seen around him.
After Quora: Leonard rebuilt his reputation and changed out his network with graduates of Ivy League colleges, business professionals, Angel Investors, startup founders, and the most brilliant people in the world. Oh, he ended up raising money and paid gigs too.”—Leonard Kim
Now I strongly believe that Quora is not only a great place to drive high-quality leads, but also to connect with people who could connect me with the right people.
Here are some Quora discussions I want to jump into right now:
Answer questions that are relevant to your business on Quora. For example, if you’re an insurance broker, you could answer questions about insurance plans and other related topics.
Recently, there was a news that my favorite soccer club was about to fire its manager. Then I saw this on my Twitter Timeline while watching the trend unfold:
Ryanair got my attention. It even got my mention here just because it took advantage of a developing trend – that’s what newsjacking is all.
Newsjacking means taking a related or unrelated developing trend and making it relevant to your business.
Newsjacking is not always on Twitter. It also works if your business has a blog.
You could submit your blog to Google News and be one of the first sites to write about developing trends while connecting it with your business.
Google News always favors sites that are first to break a major news. Your site would receive thousands of visitors from Google News as a result.
How you tie the traffic back to your business is now up to you.
Here’s a bad example of newsjacking:
Here’s a good example of newsjacking:
11. Video Marketing
Video is not the next big thing. Video is the now.
You’re missing out if video marketing is currently not part of your marketing plan.
Most social media sites have now fully integrated video into their platforms.
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and others.
The amazing thing about this development is that these social sites let you share short videos which get a lot of attention on social media.
Even a big brand like Walmart is using short videos to keep consumers interested in their products.
Here’s a work of genius on Facebook from HubSpot, a marketing software company I really admire:
Videos like this attract attention on social media, and people are ready to share stuff like this when you ask them.
And you know the result of that?
It draws more eyes back to your website which means more leads!
12. Email Marketing
Research from Experian states that $1 invested in email marketing yields roughly $44.25 return for marketers.
The answer is none!
Email marketing should be integrated with every marketing tactic on this page.
I believe lead generation and email marketing are intertwined.
Actually, someone becomes a lead only after they give you their email address in exchange for something beneficial like an ebook download, an e-course access, or a webinar registration.
Your job as a marketer is to continue developing your relationship with that lead (someone who has given you his or her email address) and keep selling to them as long as they are interested in the products and services you offer.
13. Participate In Forums
Forums are the first place many smart people look when they want to find someone competent.
Even during the early months of his personal marketing blog, Matthew Woodward was able to generate above $6,000 each month just by posting on the TrafficPlanet, WarriorForum, and BlackHatWorld forums.
He even got banned from WarriorForum because of excessive promotion.
Marketing his blog on forums and actively collecting leads from his blog gives him the luxury to work from anywhere and travel the world.
Blogs are natural lead generators.
After you’ve given a visitor an amazing content they want, it is important that you collect their contact information like their email addresses to connect further and deeper with them.
It’s highly recommended that you combine blogging with some lead generation tactics that I’ve listed on this page.
According to a study conducted by HubSpot, marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI.
There are a variety of ways you can collect leads from your blog.
You could offer free guides or personalized reports through your blog.
You could offer the visitors of your blog exclusive access to a piece of content you have.
You could use your blog to promote your upcoming webinars just like KISSmetrics is doing on their blog:
You could also use your blog to conduct surveys or quizzes and release the report to gain valuable backlinks and traffic from authority websites.
There are too many ways blogging can be useful to your business.
Blogging is more than just a lead generation channel – you can use it for anything.
Larry Kim, the founder of WordStream published an article on Inc. where he talks about how his company gets thousands of B2B customers.
It comes to me as no surprise that blogging is the key secrets to Larry Kim’s company success.
It’s hard for me to talk about marketing and not mention LinkedIn especially when your business is B2B.
I can’t recall how many times I’ve met marketers who told me LinkedIn is a life saver.
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:
My LinkedIn profile is far from perfect, but if you’re interested in getting leads on LinkedIn, you should have an attractive profile that makes people want to connect with you on the platform.
You have to be very active on LinkedIn if you intend to get something out of it.
For example, you should connect with anyone that might be a perfect client you’re looking for.
As you grow your connections on LinkedIn, you’ll automatically start driving leads to your profile instead of the other way round.
LinkedIn Groups are my favorite.
Join active groups where most of your prospects hang out.
Make unique and valuable contributions to the groups and people would start noticing you on the platform.
If you’re in the marketing niche, for example, you might want to join this interesting discussion:
The more you take part in discussions like this, the more people will start noticing your profile and want to connect with you.
The more connections you make, the higher the leads you get from LinkedIn.
I like this co-marketing definition from Webopedia:
A partnership between two or more companies where both companies jointly market each other’s products. For example, a company who manufacturers video cards may partner with a game software company, and both companies will market each other’s related product.
Many new marketers struggle to get leads and they forget one of the most powerful marketing strategies ever:
Think about it:
What is that one thing you have that businesses in complementary niches want right now?
It could be a skill.
It could be some valuable contacts you have access to.
It could be anything, but it should be something you think someone in one industry or niche wants so bad right now.
You could reach out to these people and give them what they want while asking for something you need so bad right now: leads.
For example, if you’re a web designer, it could be that a non-profit organization has a website that’s poorly designed.
What if you help them create an attractive web design, and then ask for a credit and link to your website, and some referrals?
As you can see, it’s a win-win deal for both parties.
For example, I stumbled upon the site of Take A Kid Fishing (TAKF) Foundation based in North Carolina.
The non-profit organization supports disadvantaged youth and children with special needs throughout Eastern North Carolina, by hosting an annual day-long coastal fishing adventure.
Scrolling down to the site’s footer, I can see that the website was designed by Ian Cartwright.
Who knows, Ian may have designed the website for free in hopes of getting free marketing from the footer.
I’ve witnessed many other co-marketing campaigns like HubSpot partnering with the LinkedIn Sales Solutions team to create an ebook about social selling.
Maybe I saved the best for the last.
Networking is my favorite lead generation technique.
When you’re just starting out, leveraging your current network is the best thing to do.
I’m a big believer in the below idiom:
A known devil is better than an unknown angel.
Whether you’re starting a new business or finding a new job, your current connections are the best place to start from. It doesn’t matter whether people in your current network are good or bad.
I rate Bryan Harris as one of the most talented lead generation experts I have ever known. He’s pretty good at building a massive email list.
Bryan always advises his students that their first goal should be to acquire their first 100 email subscribers.
Guess how he asks them to achieve that?
He tells his students to contact their friends and family and simply asks for their emails.
It could be through a text, a phone call, or an email message.
Maybe you know 100 people in the real world. Those people should be your first email subscribers.
Those people could be your mom, dad, siblings, high-school friends, neighbors, ex etc.
You can even ask those 100 people to invite 2 more friends to join your email list.
Before you know it, you’ve acquired 300 strong email subscribers.
Yes, it was through a Facebook post and only 26 people joined his email list.
He asked them to pre-order his course on making explainer videos.
Guess how much he made from those pre-orders alone?
As you can see, Bryan generated his first sales from his network.
Today, Bryan could make $10,000 within 24 hours because of his big email list.
But he started from somewhere, right?