“A steady flow of new leads is the life-blood of every business.”
~ Debra Hilton
In an earlier blog, I talked about creating lead magnets that irresistibly attract your ideal clients and mentioned the idea of having specific lead magnets for specific types of prospects https://hiltoncopy.com/create-magnetic-lead-magnet-quickly-easily/. After publishing that blog, I was slightly surprised by some of the questions I received from prospects who signed up for a Strategy Session so I decided to address a foundational principle here.
Your Business’s Prosperity Depends on Steady Lead Flow
I heard a lot of variations on the theme of, “I can only work with a limited number of clients so why do I need to keep feeding the pipeline;” from service business owners.
I totally get that. My own business provides direct-response copywriting and business book ghostwriting services which demand time-consuming attention to both research and message-crafting. At any time, the number of clients I am actively working with is strictly limited. However, I follow the advice I give to all my clients and keep my pipeline filled with qualified leads.
As a result, although my deadlines are tight I am not dependent on one client following through on their project which also gives my clients some flexibility for emergencies (not to be confused with disorganisation). For example, recently I was working on the first draft of a manuscript for a client (let’s call him John for simplicity). John’s previous book was a New York Times Bestseller and we are planning that this one will be similarly successful, so quality and uniqueness are paramount. A few days before I sent the draft to John, he contacted me to ask if we could postpone his turnaround for a couple of of months because of his parents’ health problems. This worked for both of us because I had other projects lined up waiting to start even though I only work on one first draft project at a time: I scheduled my next interview and first draft with a client who was delighted to move forward earlier than anticipated, completed John’s draft, and was able to work on a new project without interruption while John had the time he needed to take care of his parents’ needs. If I had not had a pipeline this would have been more frustrating.
Creating Lead Flow Effortlessly
Once you know who your ideal customer is, what they are interested in, and where they hang out creating a system that generates a steady stream of qualified leads is quite a simple process:-
- Create ‘bait’ that will whet their appetite
- Drive prospects to your bait
- Follow up with those who demonstrate interest
- Offer opportunities for prospects to dive deeper
- Keep following up until they die or ask to be removed
Most of this can be automated with appropriate triggers that will suggest you reach out to highly interested prospects.
Don’t Give Up Just Because a Prospect Isn’t Ready Yet
One of the advantages of automating your follow up is that you can stay in communication with a prospect forever (theoretically, at least).
“No,” very rarely means, “Never.” It usually means “I’m not ready yet,” and, statistically, the business that stays in communication longest is the one who is most likely to get the business.
Even if you are mailing physical communications (letters, postcards, brochures, etc) – which you should be doing – the cost is rarely greater than the benefit you gain when that person responds to your offer.
Your follow up should last for years. It should certainly last for many months. Many of my clients tell about prospects who call them 8-9-12 months after the initial contact ready to (finally) start work. Some of my best clients have been in my pipeline for nearly 18 months before we talk, but by that time they are ready to take the next slot I have open. If I didn’t keep them in my pipeline I doubt if we would work together – they would have been searching the Internet for a ghostwriter or book marketing specialist.
Segment Your Audience For Maximum Interest
The most effective direct response marketing is extremely targeted. That’s why it is important to have different lead magnets for different parts of your audience and to have a system that tags people appropriately based on how they enter your ecosystem.
If you rely on a single lead magnet and a single stream of automation you lose prospects whose key preoccupation is a different aspect of your service. While this may seem to involved more work to attract and nurture your prospects, it quickly pays off in ease and number of conversions.
If you’re interested in a simple way of thinking about your lead generation and creating a system that irresistibly attracts ideal clients then you’ll find my book “Dynamic Direct Response Copywriting” a valuable resource. https://hiltoncopywriting.mykajabi.com/offers/vLy6oYgm