There are 5 main lead generation strategies which work in 2023 if you are a small business owner, a B2B SaaS company or a freelancer. This is basically for anyone who sells a product or service which is of $2,000 or more in its Life Time Value and generally a sales-led business rather than product led.
These are the 5 lead generation channels i would consider in order of which i would run them:
- Cold Email
- LinkedIn Outreach
- LinkedIn Organic
- SEO Content (youtube and blogging)
- Paid media (paid social + paid search)
If you’re a small business owner, you’re probably always looking for ways to attract new clients. I’ll share some practical strategies to help you do that in this article. I’ll cover five approaches: cold emailing, LinkedIn outreach, organic methods, SEO content, and paid advertising. Each technique has its benefits and challenges (see also Table 1), which we’ll explore in detail. So, let’s dive in and get started!
- Cold emailing is a cost-effective and fast method for securing clients
- LinkedIn can be used to expand your network and organically increase your customer base.
- SEO content and paid media strategies are more scalable yet require an investment in time and money.
1) Cold Emailing Strategy for Getting Clients
One of my preferred methods for getting clients is cold emailing. It is cost-effective with a good return on investment, and can yield fast, efficient results. There have been instances where I launched a cold email campaign and had meetings scheduled in my calendar within a day or two.
The Top 2 Advantages of Cold Emailing:
- Best ROI: Cold email is cheap to set up and run. In fact, according to research, it offers the best return on investment compared to any other channel.
- It Is Quick To Get Results: You can get fast results. Often I can send out some cold emails one day, and the next be getting replies and bookings in my calendar.
Challenges of Cold Emailing:
- Hard To Scale: While cold emailing can be powerful, it might reach fewer people than paid ads, especially in enormous advertising efforts.
To summarise, cold emailing is an effective and affordable way to get new clients. It’s quick to get results and offers us the best return on your investment. The downside is that it takes a lot of time and effort, and it is hard to scale as a channel
I’d like to invite you to come along and learn more about advanced cold email strategies on my YouTube channel. Additionally, you can discover the secrets of becoming a cold email expert by signing up for my free 6-Day Cold Email Crash Course. You’ll receive helpful tips in your email inbox every day.
2) LinkedIn Outreach Strategy for Getting Clients
LinkedIn outreach is an active and effective way to get clients. As a small business owner, I use LinkedIn a lot to connect and reach out to potential clients.
Benefits of LinkedIn Outbound:
- Long-Term Relationship Building: The key to making LinkedIn outreach work is building relationships slowly over time. My method is to connect, chat, and contact potential clients step by step over a more extended period of time, creating strong connections that bring good outcomes.
- Efficiency Through Automation: Automation tools like Expandi and Dux-Soup greatly help with LinkedIn outreach. They make the process smoother and more manageable. By integrating these tools, it can increase efficiency and consistency.
- Quick To Get Results: LinkedIn outbound can get results fast, like cold email. If you grind it out every day and connect and message people all day, every day, over time this effort compounds and starts bringing in enquiries.
Challenges of LinkedIn Outbound:
- Being Seen As A Spammer: There are multiple ways to Linkedin outbound messaging, and many do it completely wrong. They send long direct sales messages to completely cold audiences who have no idea who they are. This can make you be perceived as a spammer. There are good ways to balance quality connections of quality.
- Hard To Scale: LinkedIn has created a lot of limitations to the number of outbound messages and connection requests one can make, which limits the scalability of this lead generation channel.
Linkedin outbound is very similar to cold email outbound in that its benefits are that it is quick to get results and cheap to set up and launch. The downsides are that it is hard to scale out. All in all, my recommendation is to start with a cold email or LinkedIn outbound to refine your messages and start getting cashflow and then move to more scalable channels like the ones I will mention below.
3) LinkedIn Posting Strategy for Getting Clients
Using a LinkedIn Posting Strategy is a powerful way to build your personal brand, authority and recognition as a professional in your field. This can be used for SaaS companies, consultants and agencies (marketing agencies). The strategy revolves around posting regularly on LinkedIn about what you are a professional at. So if you are a SEO professional and you run a SEO agency for example, then you would post on Linkedin about SEO. Your daily wins and lessons are a great topic. I like to balance my posts between specific B2B marketing topics with a sprinkle of personal posts. The idea is to build a personal brand around a topic so that when someone needs that person, they reach out to you.
Benefits of LinkedIn Organic Strategy:
- A Great Way To Build A Personal Brand: If you are a b2b company or consultant, it is one of the best ways to build up your expertise around a topic and get people to come inbound to you when they need the service you provide.
- Reach A New Audience: Some posts will get delivered widely to 10’s of thousands of people, which builds your network and more people who start to follow you daily. Many of my LinkedIn posts bring in inbound enquiries on a daily and weekly basis.
Challenges of LinkedIn Organic Strategy:
- Takes A Ton Of Time: This method needs hard work and commitment to create and share helpful content regularly. Getting good results takes a long-term commitment. I recommend posting 20 posts a month or 5 LinkedIn posts a week (Monday to Friday)
- It Takes Time Before You See Results: Unlike outbound, Linkedin posting takes time before you start seeing inbound enquiries. You need to commit to this for at least 3 months to see results and judge if it worth your time or not.
In summary, LinkedIn Organic (posting) Strategy is a powerful way to attract clients by building trust, authority, and brand recognition. Finding the right balance between its advantages and the time you invest can lead to lasting benefits and increased chances to connect with clients.
4) SEO Content Strategy for Getting Clients
This approach utilizes platforms like YouTube and blogging to develop trust and expertise in your field. Youtube is one of the best client acquisition initiatives I have ever done. Many people find my content on youtube, watch me talk about the topic for 10 minutes or more, and then reach out to me via email or Linkedin. The trust and authority built on youtube is incredible. One of the main benefits of SEO content is that Google, Bing, Youtube etc finds you new audiences and much of the content you produce works for you for years to come. Many of my videos on articles bring in traffic every single day, some of which convert into sales. This is because it is search-based, so if your content ranks, people will find what you are talking about.
Benefits of SEO Content Strategy
- A Great Way To Build Trust: Using YouTube and blogging builds trust and authority. YouTube, the second-largest global search engine, uniquely creates credibility through video content, allowing you to develop strong connections with potential clients.
- Evergreen Content: The SEO content strategy has significant long-term rewards despite requiring upfront investment. As your content climbs search rankings, it attracts high-quality inbound leads. These potential clients, already valuing your expertise, align naturally with your offerings, increasing conversions compared to cold outreach.
Difficulties of SEO Content Strategy
- Takes A Lot Of Effort: The SEO content approach requires a lot of resources. Whether writing blogs or making YouTube videos, you need about 50 to 100 pieces to start feeling the impact. To tackle this challenge, you’ll need commitment and determination.
- Takes a lot of time: Investing in a solid SEO content strategy is vital to achieving lasting online success. Consistent effort is required to maintain a high search ranking, but the eventual benefits, such as acquiring clients and constant organic traffic, are well worth it.
How To Be Successful With A SEO Content Strategy
- Sticking to Consistency and Quality: A vital part of a successful SEO content strategy is making a solid commitment to regularly creating valuable and engaging content. By consistently sharing informative and entertaining material with your intended audience, you increase your chances of achieving higher search rankings and strengthening your online presence.
- Investing in Valuable Resources: Following a path of client-focused content requires dedicating time and energy to produce exceptional videos, blog posts, and other valuable materials. Creating content that suits your audience enhances their involvement and makes it easier for client conversion.
In summary, an SEO content strategy can attract valuable clients, even though it requires work. The lasting benefits, like trust, good leads, and easy conversions, outweigh the initial difficulties. Remember, consistency, quality, and commitment are crucial to building a successful group of clients.
5) Paid Media Strategy for Getting Clients
Investing in paid media is an amazing way to jumpstart your lead generation efforts as well as to scale them. Once you’ve optimized your messaging, position, and sales processes, advertising on platforms like Meta (formerly Facebook) for small businesses or LinkedIn/Google for medium-sized businesses and higher-level professionals can be a highly effective way to get leads.
Benefits of Paid Media Strategy
- Great Way To Scale: The best part about paid media is that it can scale more quickly. If your ads work well and you can crack a good paid media campaign, scaling out these campaigns significantly and quickly is possible. For instance, if it costs £100 for each phone call and 1 out of 5 calls turns into a customer, making it cost £500 to get a customer, you can go from spending a few thousand pounds to tens of thousands with the platforms, and scale the number of phone calls substantially in a short space of time.
Challenges of Paid Media Strategy
- It Is Risky: When it comes to paid media, the biggest issue is cost. If something goes wrong with your campaign, you could lose money. You lose money when your business isn’t positioned right, you’re not targeting the right customers, or your sales process isn’t working well. There are risks involved and no guarantees your paid media strategy will work.
Critical Points for Successful Paid Media Strategy
- Get Your Business Positioned Correctly: Many people blame the channel when their marketing is not working, but more often than not, it is to do with their business positioning and processes. If there are not clearly defined Unique Selling Points (USP) as well you are not positioned in a way which clearly defines you vs the rest of your market, then no matter how much money you pour into paid media, you will be working against the grain.
- Get Your Messaging Right: Test your messaging on cheaper marketing channels like outbound (cold email and Linkedin). Testing how you communicate your message and who specifically are the best people within an organisation to communicate your message to will make a huge difference when you invest in paid media.
In summary, paid media is a great way to scale out your business and get leads quickly. In fact it is a fantastic way to grow a business, but only if you have the right pieces in place (mostly your positioning and messaging). I would recommend starting with cold email, testing your messaging and targeting, then once you crack that channel and have revenue coming in, only then invest in paid media.