If you run a service business and you need to generate more leads for that business, then listen up. Over the last few years I’ve seen over 1,600 businesses looking to hire a marketing provider to help them grow their business. Yes, I generate leads for others, professionally.
Over the last few years I have learned a TON about lead generation. I’ve done many things right, I’ve done many things wrong, and I’ve learned a process that works well for me and my business.
And, I believe it can work well for your services business as well.
So how do you do it?
You need three things
- Something of value that people want.
- Traffic to your website
- A way to convert them that doesn’t turn them off or scare them away
Something people want and need
First you need an offering that people want to buy from you.
Whether you’re offering real estate services for buyers (or sellers) or digital marketing services, you need to offer them a) something that they want because they need it and b) help them see that it’s for them and that you’re different from “those other guys”.
Finding a service offering that others want doesn’t have to be hard! In fact, if it’s hard then I would argue that you haven’t found the right thing to offer yet.
Finding what people want and that you can serve boils down to researching the problems that people have, building the solution, getting them to buy, and then growing it.
One could argue that ideas are cheap but the real value and success comes in the execution. I would agree.
If you’re an expert in a field, then you probably have an idea about the problem you can solve. Maybe you’re fantastic at finding real estate deals and helping people who struggle to increase their income buy a house that they can afford and will grow over time.
This is fantastic. Not only do you have a skill (and maybe a gift!) that you’ve honed over time but you have also defined who it is for.
To launch a successful service that people both want and need, you need to:
- Research what the need is
- Validate the service by getting someone to pay for it
- Build out that service and deliver on it
- Find the next 5 people who need it also
- Define the specific niche that you can serve best with this service.
Traffic to your website
Now, once you have your idea and the service validated, you need to grow it. You might be able to rely on your own name or one specific channel for a while, and I would actually recommend that you do just focus on one channel for a while to get your business to get it to a good level of revenue and profitability. Focus is your friend.
But once you’ve pushed on that one channel to the point of diminishing returns, it’s time to scale your traffic acquisition efforts so that you can drive that traffic and then work to convert them into leads that become marketing qualified leads and finally sales qualified leads.
Here’s my video on the topic:
We have 48 ways to drive traffic to your site over here, and you should absolutely read that post, but to help you focus on the ones that will likely give you the highest and longest terms returns you should focus on:
- SEO – to drive consistent and qualified traffic
- Referrals – from similar sites in your industry that have a bigger audience than you
- Referrals – from sites like Quora where your audience hangs out and is seeking advice
- Social media – a long play that over time can result in a large engaged audience who will buy anything you put out
- Creating new products or offerings to elongate your funnel and make more money from your existing audience as well as to get new audience at that stage in the funnel.
Getting traffic to your website is something the providers on Credo specialize in, and if you just want someone to help you with it then contact us today.
Generating more traffic to your website is not just about
Finally, all the traffic in the world won’t grow your service business (and in fact may charge you more money depending on your hosting provider) if you don’t convert those visitors into leads and contacts.
What do I mean by a lead?
At it’s most basic level, it is someone’s contact information which is usually a first name and an email address.
A marketing qualified lead is someone who has expressed interest in your services through contacting you via your contact form or through taking specific actions on your site that let you know that they are potentially qualified (such as visiting specific pages and your lead scoring software notifying you).
And finally, a sales qualified lead is someone that you (or your sales team) has spoken with who is qualified (whatever that means for your business, usually budget and needs) and thus you can try to turn into a customer or client.
Conversion is hard and is a whole skillset in and of itself. There are two parts to conversion:
- Getting their contact information;
- Turning them into a paying customer.
When it comes to converting someone into a contact about your services, there are a few rules to remember.
First, remember that the real budgets come from those who contact you after you have provided outsized value to them and built a trust with them that you can deliver on it. This means teaching them the things that you are doing for others, as when you teach people how to do what you do they will want to hire you instead of doing it for themselves.
Second, make it clear what happens when someone contacts you. Don’t mix messages to “get a proposal” with your CTA but then talk about “scheduling a call” when they go to fill out the form. You don’t want them saying “Wait I thought I was going to get a proposal but now you want me to have a call with you?”
Third, only require the most important information you need to vet out if they are potentially a good lead or not. In the marketing space, I always recommend that the following fields be used on forms and no more:
- Name and contact information (email)
- Monthly marketing budget (as a dropdown)
- Services they are looking for (if you offer multiple)
- An optional field to provide you more information about what they need
You can experiment with the field configurations and multi-step vs one form, but at the end of the day I have found that these are the fields that really matter. You can get all the other information you might need on a discovery call.
The real conversion
Getting that marketing qualified lead is only the first step in conversion. Once they submit the information on the site, you need a solid sales process to take them from “I’m interested” to “Here are my dollars so you can do the thing”.
That’s a topic for another day, but it’s one I have spent a lot of time on. If you’re a marketer then I can consult with you on your sales process, and if you’re a services business looking for a marketing provider to help you improve your lead generation then let’s chat.