Lead Generation 101

Over the next couple of weeks I am going to explain the steps and processes that I put in place to generate sales and leads for a couple of companies. One in particular is called Ydraw. We started Ydraw from scratch. We had zero investors, zero capital and zero video skills. I am not lying when I say zero video skills. I come from the financial industry and Curtis came from laying concrete and took an occasional bellman job at a hotel. We had endeavored to take on a daunting task, which was not easy. It took a lot of education and sleepless nights, but the results have been amazing.

Whiteboard Animation Explainer Videos

Ydraw began with a simple Idea. I saw a YouTube video that was created by RSA animate (cognitive media). Immediately, I fell in love with Whiteboard Animation and decided that I wanted one for my company. After searching for video production companies I came to the realization that Animation Explainer Videos, especially whiteboard videos, were lacking in quality and the niche was open for the taking. I immediately called Curtis Pace, my best friend growing up, and the journey began. Our demo video hit YouTube and within 2 days, and we were rocking.

After that initial video, we immediately realized that we were on to something. Our next step was to put in place a marketing system that would generate more customers, more leads and more sales. We wanted a system that not only would generate more customers, but one that would be consistent and predictable.

Lead Generation 101: Sowing and Reaping

The Sower is a simple parable that I like to use whenever I think about marketing. I also use it whenever I do speaking gigs. It’s the perfect story to illustrate what it takes to win in the lead generation business.

The story of sowing and reaping actually comes from the Bible. Jesus taught in parables and presented this great story to the multitude. Originally, this was used for preaching the gospel, but Jim Rohn a big mentor of mine applied this great story to business and marketing. Jim died a little bit ago, but I love to use his ideas when speaking. Since he is now dead I have adopted it as my own and want to make sure the message continues on. I know what you are thinking, “Who rips off a dead guy?” I do! So here is the short and condensed version:

“A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured them. And some fell upon stony places; and as soon as it was sprung up, they were scorched because of no root. And some fell among
thorns; and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold”

I can’t tell you how important this simple parable is to marketing. Once you learn the lesson of Sowing and Reaping you will learn the first lesson of creating a successful company. It is the path to a successful business and riches- if you want them.

Mini Lesson 1: The Seed Is Good.

Your product or service has to be good.

Don’t sell crap! I can’t tell you how many times I see people selling a terrible product or service. It’s pretty hard to get any momentum if your seed is no good. Evaluate your product and make sure it is as good as it can be.

Mini Lesson 2: The Sower Was Ambitious.

Business is a lot of hard work. It takes ambition and determination to see things through. Whether you are an owner or a simple employee. Results take a lot of effort. Once the seed is planted and the lead it captured you then have to nurture that lead into a qualified customer. You will be tested and tried to see if you are worthy of an entrepreneur lifestyle. Don’t quit or leave the field, just keep sowing.

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The Process of Sowing: Driving Traffic, Networking and Capturing Leads.

There are so many options to capturing leads and different things will work for different companies. I’m not about to tell you that one size fits all. For some, internet leads are going to work best, but for others direct mail could be the main source of revenue. You don’t know, nor can you assume that one way is going to outperform another. Your facts and actions need to be driven by testing. It’s all in the numbers. If you see results, meaning you get an ROI, then continue perfecting the method.

With Ydraw, I decided to go the Internet route first. I needed to get lots of qualified traffic to my site. We didn’t even have a website at the time, but that only takes a couple of hours to produce. I used WordPress and a simple template to get us started. I spent a total of $50 dollars on creating our first website which generated hundreds of leads.

Take note that our site was cheap and simple. It took a day to create. I’m all about getting things done quickly and making adjustments as you go. Good is good enough and a website is never done. Do not fret about perfection! It doesn’t do you any good to spend the planting season fixing tools. You will miss the harvest. Use what you have and what is available. It is far better to get out into the field and start planting then it is to work on the drill. I hope you are catching my drift. Better said, a website, a brochure, a graphic, takes a back seat to marketing your product.

Our product was a niche product that was just coming online. We didn’t have a huge amount of competition because not a lot of people knew about the product. There were only 3 of us in the industry, so my first approach was to educate. We call this “marketing by education.” It works and can bring in huge results- especially if you find yourself in industries like finance, health, technology and consulting.

My focus became Google and I needed to make sure my site popped up on the first page. Google is a pain in the butt and they are always changing so beware. I have a love hate relationship with them because they Google is always changing the rules. You can read more about my battle with google on a former post.

You have two choices. Beat everyone out on organic search or run pay per click ads. I decided to beat everyone out because I had enough knowledge to do so. (This may or may not be the best approach for your company.) The reasoning behind my decision to go after organic search was my level of competition. Whiteboard animation was new to the market and the competition was very limited at the time. It was a new product that people weren’t using. This is rare so most of you will have to compete in the Pay-Per-Click side at the beginning until you build up enough organic traffic. Or you may decide to forget the whole online business and use direct mail. It doesn’t really matter. The whole idea is to get out there and start planting the seeds. Here is a list of things that I used to create leads:

1. Organic Search and Video Marketing (SEO, Social Media, Links, Blogging, Articles, etc.)
2. Outbound Leads (I have appointment setters who are creating, leading, and setting up appointments for closers)
3. Pay-Per-Click (I will use All Search Engines)
4. Facebook Ads (you can read about Facebook ads here)
5. Retargeting (Google and Facebook retargeting)
6. Tradeshows
7. Customer Referrals
8. Email Campaigns

Over the coming weeks, I am going to be posting a step-by-step guide on each one of these steps, starting with Facebook. The list above can be a great source of qualified leads and I would recommend putting them in place. The more ways you have to produce leads the better.

I would love it if you would take the time to share this article.

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It has been a pleasure. Remember that marketing is all about sowing the seed. Don’t leave the field; success is in the numbers.