Generating Leads Is Hard: Are You Prepared?

Generating leads is hard. There’s no denying that. Now, it’s only getting harder.

There’s lot more noise out there, customers have more choice than ever, more businesses launch their campaigns (or blogs or whatever) to add to the noise, and the cost of advertising goes up as you read this.

SEO agencies, Facebook advertisers, and all marketers will only tell you that they are willing to put in the work that they need to put in.

No one guarantees you anything (and they don’t have to). They exist only to do the actual work involved because you just don’t get it, you won’t do what it takes or you can’t or don’t want to do what it takes.

SEO companies or freelancers will help you develop content, set you out on a path for sustained organic marketing strategy, help you build links with proper outreach and publishing, and optimise your site for SEO.

They can get you traffic over a period of time.

Facebook advertisers will help develop a strategy, create and launch campaigns, help you marketing automation, and ensure that the whole Facebook marketing machine is set up for you.

They’ll make you ready to generate leads (and even bring in some sales).

Yet, there’s no escaping the fact that it’s getting harder to get a customer through the door. It’s even harder to keep them for long.

Nothing is going to change that. The question is: are you prepared?

Here’s how to prepare yourself:

Expect the long haul

Just because generating leads is hard doesn’t mean we don’t do it. We just need to tweak expectations right and commit to the long haul.

If you are just starting out today, don’t expect your blogging efforts to generate leads for you just yet. You’d be disappointed if you had over expectations when it comes to results.

With the wrong expectations, you’d be frustrated with your blogging efforts even if you could hire a Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuck, or a Brian Gardner to write for your blog.

If you are blogging for your business, expect to spend years before your efforts lead to results. Anything else you expect gives you a heartache.

While PPC efforts provide you with results sooner, it won’t be perfect the moment you launch. You’d have to test, optimize, make tweaks, and be absolutely sure that you have winning campaigns on your hands.

None of all that work is going to happen in a day, so stop asking for it. You’d have a healthy heart and a healthy business to show for it at the end of it all.

What’s your USP again?

Most entrepreneurs are too quick to launch their businesses. How do I know that? I am one of them and I still struggle find a unique selling proposition for my own agency (still working on it)

The reason I am still working on it and my motivation to keep that effort going is because I know that it’s easier to get customers and also easier to run your business in a particular way when you work with a certain types of clients or when you have something very specific to offer or when what you offer is unique.

Being a generic business is alright (I lasted for 18 years without nothing special really, except that I do kickass work — and that’s expected from my clients anyway so that’s not unique).

Being unique, however, gives you an edge over your competition, makes it easier for you to align your campaigns and all the work you do in line with your USP, and also helps you scale easily.

More importantly, in our context here, it’s easier to attract clients with your USP firmly in place.

It’s profitable to be nice

Being nice? To get leads? You’ll be surprised just how much this matters.

I walked out of banks, refuse to visit a few restaurants, deny working with clients, ignored multiple solicitations — all because they weren’t nice to me. Those are big, International brands. Some were small vendors too.

Either way, they won’t get my money if they aren’t nice to me. I also don’t work with anyone if they aren’t nice.

I am sure you are like that too.

You are in business. You are not here for romance. You don’t have to put up with bullshit. As a business, you always have a right to deny service to anyone if they aren’t a good fit.

None of that means that you have a right to abuse anyone.

Be courteous when you are working with your customers, be exceptionally polite to them (even when you have to ask them to leave), provide customer service like your life — and certainly your business — depends on it.

Hire employees, vendors, freelancers, remote staff, and partners knowing their value and knowing that your business depends on them.

No one cares about how frustrated you are that you have so many problems everyday as an entrepreneur.

All that people care about is how much you care about them, how you treat them, and how nice you are — at that moment, on this day, right now.

Treat people like shit and shit is exactly what you get.

Getting leads is now more expensive, and calls for a lot more than just a fancy logo and a name.

Given that, generating leads is hard. Yes. But, why do you want to make it harder than it should be?

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