17 Lead Generation Tactics Every Marketer Should Try

lead generation tactics

By Brooke B. Sellas, {grow} Contributing Columnist

2018 will be the year marketers focus on lead generation and ROI.

Sure, that’s a strong statement, but in uncertain times, results will ensure accountability (and job security).

With our volatile economy and technological impacts forcing cuts to marketing and PR departments, marketers need to entrench their efforts in growing sales.

Here are more than 17 ideas for you to execute on in 2018.

Lead Generation Tactics For Leads

I shopped for a customer relationship management tool for the better part of four months.

Can I tell you my favorite part of CRMs? The “deals” section.

This is where you build out your leads pipeline and move opportunities through each state until the close.

I literally do a happy dance when I close deals. And as the only person on my “sales team” it’s critical that I close!

There are three main ways I get the majority of my leads

  • Inbound marketing
  • Referrals
  • Networking efforts

Let’s dive into each area to see where lead captures should be happening.

Seven Inbound Marketing Lead Generation Ideas

Content is the hub of inbound marketing.

True story: I’ve gotten closed business from writing for {grow} and other top-notch publications.

When requests for guest posts hit your inbox, don’t automatically ignore them. They can lead to relationships, a bigger network, and again, leads & closed business.

Here are seven places you should use content for capturing leads in 2018.

  1. Company website
  2. Your blog
  3. Guest posting on relevant blogs and authoritative sites
  4. Using product or service videos (and offer a free demo if you can)
  5. Creating white papers, case studies, or reports
  6. Building a free tool, like Hubspot’s Free CRM
  7. There are also live-stream videos, podcasts, and webinars

The “secret” to content is that it has to be seen in many places, many times for you to start to become recognized, or Known, as Mark’s book states it.

When considering #4 above — white papers, case studies, or reports — take the Firebrand Group approach.

Jeremy does a GREAT job of creatively using his email list; instead of sending sale-y emails, they get your email and ask you to take a marketing survey — and if you do, they send you the results for free.

We use case studies on our site as a way to show what we’ve done for clients. In other words, we show versus tell and prove how we were able to garner a return on investment for our clients.

Consistency is key with content.

It must be valuable/solve pain points, you need enough of it to become recognizable, and it needs to ask potential leads to take the next step by filling out a form, submitting their email, etc.

One sporadic blog post here and there just won’t cut it.

Five Referral Lead Generation Ideas

Referrals make up more than 50% of our revenue. It’s huge.

Referrals aren’t something you can get into overnight because you require a solid network and trust. Oh, and do I need to point out quality work??

If you don’t have those yet I suggest skipping to the next section, 5 Networking Lead Generation Ideas.

The most fruitful lead generation wins came for me when I partnered with other agencies or service providers.

For example, a friend of mine runs a marketing consulting business but he doesn’t “do” social media marketing tasks. When his clients ask him if he does this, he refers them to me.

In turn, we pay a referral fee based on the income we receive.

It makes sense for him to pass the leads to me because

  • He’s worked with me directly and understands the quality of our work
  • Our team and processes ensure he still maintains the trust of the client by referring someone who produces quality work
  • The referral fee ensures he thinks of us first when he has leads to give

I’m happy to pay for referrals because it makes my job as the “sales team” a thousand times easier if I’m not out there pounding the pavement.

I liken it to trying to hit a pitch from a pro baseball player to gitting a ball off a t-ball stand. Which sounds easier to you?

We have several of these relationships going, securing me several “t-ball hits” a month.

Here are five places you should use referral relationships to capture leads in 2018.

  1. Give to receive (this is like, so totally DUH!)
  2. Create an asset that you and your referral partner can share (this is one of the main ways KlientBoost grew from 0 to 1M)
  3. Work on a joint project with your partner to see how you work together
  4. Solidify several “preferred partner” deals where you partner with complimentary service providers and ink a deal to be their preferred vendor for your type of services
  5. Close at least one “white labeled” deal where a same-industry (but non-competitive) agency white labels your service as their own

I wouldn’t call this type of lead generation 101 or basic, but if you’re looking for a steady stream of leads, this is an excellent path to take.

5 Networking Lead Generation Ideas

I think the biggest hurdle marketers have to overcome with generating leads and supporting sales growth is this … IT DOESN’T HAPPEN FROM BEHIND A DESK.

Think of it like this: we create a business plan, we create a finance plan, we create a marketing plan, but few of us plan for leveraging our network.

I love using my CRM, Nimble, to keep in touch with important people in my network.

Here’s an example of what Mark’s contact card looks like in Nimble; I’ve marked him as important by turning on his “star” and asked the CRM to help me stay in touch with him monthly.

nimble-stay-in-touch

Additionally, I’m able to use Nimble to discover prospects and their contact details, target businesses or companies, and track & measure my email outreach.

But you don’t need a CRM to keep in touch with your network! Just make a plan and stick to it … and, get out from behind your desk to enrich your network.

Here are five ideas for leveraging your network for LeadGen in 2018.

  1. Keep in touch with important and new players in your sphere of influence (but don’t be sales-y, Mark gives a cautionary tale in this post)
  2. Connect with qualified/relevant LinkedIn lurkers (those who view your profile but don’t connect — send a personalized message and don’t be shy! Ask why they ended up on your profile)
  3. Attend a local Meetup
  4. Join a networking group, like BNI
  5. Attend industry conferences

In October, Sprout Social invited its Sprout Social Partners to an event at their headquarters in Chicago.

I was lucky enough to speak at the event, but I would have gone regardless. You may be thinking, “what leads can you get from other marketing business owners?”

And I’d tell you to reread the section above on referral lead generation. I’m currently in talks with three agencies that offer complimentary services on possible preferred partnerships.

In some cases, it’s me giving out the work/leads, but that’s okay because I have a giving spirit and understand that giving leads to receiving.

I know that keeping in touch with, and leveraging, my network is key to continued business growth.

Getting More Leads In 2018

An abundance mentality is needed when it comes to lead generation.

And if marketers want to keep their seat at the table, they need to show support for sales growth and LeadGen.

Perhaps I’m an outlier, loving and being entrenched in sales when what I “do” is marketing, but I truly believe that marketing and sales fit together beautifully.

Curious, how do you tend to lead generation where you are? Are any of these tactics new to you? Let me know in the comments section below!

Brooke Ballard for {grow}Brooke B. Sellas is an in-the-trenches digital marketer & Owner at B Squared Media, blossoming blogger, and a purveyor of psychographics. Her mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout on Twitter.

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