Getting 100 leads a day might sound impossible. Yet, with our proven methodology and your expertise, it can be done.
For any serious B2B professional services firm, a strong lead generation plan is going to be key to your growing success in a business field that is typically dominated by referral sales. Those firms that can embrace strong lead generation plans in their marketing can open a new possibility with uncapped potential for their growth.
It’s a Numbers Game
Have you heard the old sales adage, “it’s a numbers game?” Well, it’s true, and with an inbound marketing methodology, the number of leads you receive from your website will equate to the number of sales opportunities, and the number of opportunities equate to the number of new customers you earn for your business. The challenge most professional services firms face is in understanding what those numbers are.
We’ll get to that shortly – yet, understanding the numbers game will help you understand that your expertise is a precious commodity that must be used correctly and efficiently to increase the number of leads and opportunities you receive each month. The right way to use your expertise to pursue 100 leads a day is to build value for the customer and create a destination for your expertise.
Your Biggest Ticket
We believe your expertise is highly valuable. It’s how you make a living, and you need companies and individuals to pay you for what you know, as well as what you can do. Many professional services firms get their value offerings flipped upside down when they give away their high-value expertise in exchange for the low-value execution of nominal tasks, such as tax returns, consulting documents, and labor. This is a disastrous trade off for many reasons, but we want you to simply understand that the highest profit service you offer is your expertise. So, getting people to buy more of your expertise needs to be the primary focus of your marketing.
The question is how to use your expertise to increase the traffic to your website and the leads to your business? Let’s find out.
Step 1: Acquisition
The very first step of the marketing process is the acquisition of new visitors to your expertise. In this numbers game, the sheer number of visitors to your website is going to relate to how much business you bring in during any quarter. The first important step is creating traffic to your website from your blog through SEO, from your social pages, and email campaigns to increase your overall reach. The follow is not an exhaustive list, but one that features the core pieces we execute for many of our clients to increase that reach.
The genesis of all traffic generation to your website needs to be the direct application of your expertise. For professional services buyers, a majority of their research is done online before they contact us for a consultation.
85% of all buying decisions are done before the customer contacts you.
In order for them to connect with your business as a professional service, your website must display your expertise in such a way that they can evaluate your potential before they connect. The flip side is that most firms use their site to list their low-margin services in the hopes of being tactical vendors. If your website simply highlights the services you render, your potential customer will only see those services, not the deep expertise you carry. The critical guidance the customer needs is missing, and they will go to another site to find it.
The approach of getting your expertise online is called content marketing. Our unique process uses a journalism-style interview to access your expertise directly. In a series of monthly meetings, we record your expertise through insightful questions and scenarios that common customers might ask.
Throughout the course of the entire engagement, which is usually 6, 12, or 18 months, we develop an understanding of your expertise that can speak to many of the initial questions a potential customer might ask. This new content will be the bridge between the customer’s need and your expertise.
Most experts don’t have time to write, and our unique process allows us to tap into your expertise and get it on the web for your customers, who are looking online.
Social Media Marketing
The second area we use is social media. Every business can use at least one or two social media channels to increase the reach of their marketing efforts. We find you can be the most effective as a professional services firm on LinkedIn, yet Facebook and Twitter can be very relevant if you have correctly identified your overall goals with social media marketing. Increasing your reach and driving traffic back to your website, are the main goals of social media. Yet, social media can also be a path to engaging new and existing customers with relevant expertise and information about your company, culture, and news.
Videos are high engagement – they’re highly shareable pieces of content that allow you to showcase your expertise with new visitors. People love to watch videos, and when you use dimensions of sight and sound to connect you can often reach a deeper levels with your customers. There’s definitely room for ad hoc iPhone videos, as well as high-quality marketing videos that make a bigger impact and last longer in value. Video also allows you to put a face (and body language) to your expertise, so that your potential customer can see what to expect when working with you.
One of the benefits of expertise writing is the SEO value that it provides to your business. A strong article with well-placed keywords can easily double your website traffic in just a few months. The process of identifying your keywords can be tedious, but, once done, it can help to bring a large amount of traffic to your website. Focusing on high-value niche keywords around your areas of expertise allows you to rank higher faster, getting more focused traffic to your site.
Step 2: Converting
When we talk about conversion, there are three main elements we must discuss: value exchange, conversion points, and conversion content. We must have a strong definition of what conversion means, and how we rate its value.
Conversion: When an unknown website visitor becomes known.
Our definition of conversion is when any website user who is anonymous becomes known. It can be through the giving of an email address or any other personal information that makes the user identifiable. This can take multiple dimensions, from a simple email sign-up to a complete contact form with a business name and phone number. How you acquire the different levels of information is through the concept we call value exchange.
Value exchange is the concept that a user will give you personal information of a value that equates to the value that your content provides them. For example, your email newsletter, which may or may not have very relevant information, might be valuable enough for the user to give their email address. Yet even inside of that conversion, their business email address versus their personal Gmail address may indicate the value they place on your information.
So, with this simple concept, we can construct conversion points throughout our site and allow for this conversion from anonymous users to known users in various degrees. Let’s walk through a scenario to better understand this concept and how it might work.
Bill, who is an engineer at a civil engineering firm, searches online for some help with a particular issue. After locating your site from a keyword search, he sees that you have some expertise on the issue. He values your information and he also notices that you have an email newsletter. He may view this with some interest, so he gives you his personal Gmail address, but not his business address. For him, this newsletter is on the outside of the value exchange. He is willing to give you access to some of his world, but not all of it.
Fast forward to when Bill gets your email newsletter a few days later. In that newsletter, you sent some compelling content, such as an ebook on the exact issue in which he was once interested. When he goes to the page for the ebook, he is asked to give his full name, email address, phone number, and company name to access this content. The higher value of this content requires an equal value exchange of his contact information. This idea of value exchange is at the very core of conversion. So, Bill puts in his personal information, converts, and gets the ebook. Now, your sales team has a lead who is vetted, since you understand more of his personal information, and the system is able to be scored using lead scoring technology.
Bill makes the journey from unknown to known, using your content and inbound marketing technology. Now your sales team has a validated lead using this methodology.
Let’s unpack the various pieces in this methodology so you can better be prepared in your website
The first step is setting up your site for various points of conversion. The biggest failure most professional services firms make is in having one conversion point on their site, typically the contact us page. If you follow our value exchange model, this approach implies that the user is ready to do business or at least get a quote from your business, since the implied nature of this form is that they’ve acquired all the information they need and they’re interested now in contacting you to do business.
This passive mode of selling may be good for referral business, but most professional services buyers are interested in firms that nurture and share their expertise, not for firms that wait on the sidelines like the pretty girl at the dance waiting to be asked to tango. You must be active in the selling process.
But in all seriousness, your site should contain multiple points of conversion, from the simplest point conversion which is asking for am email address for your email newsletter, to a more advanced whitepaper or thought leadership offering that would require more information, to finally a professional diagnosis or contact us form to secure explicit engagement. Getting these three levels of conversions on you site will allow you to attract more users earlier, and allow you to engage with more leads earlier in the process where the decision to buy is made.
The most engaging part of this whole process is the conversion content. We would consider good conversion content to be focused, high-value content that compels a user to become known to gain access to the information. For example, if you were a legal consultant in the HR field, you may have a thought leadership piece on the five best practices for safely firing employees. This content is high-value, as someone surely has been faced with this situation. This person is a high-value potential client, or someone who can use your services very soon. The alignment between your content and your services is critical for the lead to see the value of your business. In the same scenario, if you were the HR lawyer and had an email on the six funniest or worst law cases in history, this email may convert well, yet it has no bearing on your services and thus no impact on your revenue.
The expectations for conversion content are generally based on name. Whitepapers should be anywhere between three to 10 pages, be more technically dense, and have more of the statistics and detail in the approach. An ebook at the very minimum would be 20 pages, yet 30 – 40 would be ideal, with more of a narrative feel as you would almost expect in a regular book.
Note on Video: You can also use videos for your high-value conversion content which may stand between 3 to 10 minutes, where your videos on your website blog may only be 1-2 minutes. The value and length are somewhat related, but not always directly correlated. For the users, view length of content does have an apparent value.
The amount of conversion content on your site is directly related to how many conversions you can make. Depending on your traffic, you should aim to be publishing at least one new piece of high-value conversion content a month. This would give you a better idea of knowing your users are coming from various aspects of your services’ new content, which can be reviewed and be converted. Don’t be afraid to get really focused on finding out what works well with your customers. Rename materials that don’t convert well.
In our work, conversion content converts 2-3 times the amount of conversions that a standard contact form page would. Some of our clients have even foregone general contact forms and moved toward specific, narrated conversions, such as free consultation or diagnostic services as the deep conversion point.
Step 3: Closing
The last step of the process is closing those leads we’ve attracted with our content. This is where the sales team gets more active in the process, and can do more face-to-face work. Yet your marketing and marketing automation software can assist you in this process, making this a much more active overall process for your business. If we follow the same line of thinking as before, and get our website and marketing automation tools engaged in the selling process, the closing phase is moved from a passive presence to an active presence in our prospects lives.
Closing usually requires direct communication with the prospect. It’s going to involve you reaching out many times via email, phone, and in-person to close the deal. Yet, if you leverage your marketing automation platform, you can move leads toward the sale faster. Marketing automation can supplement a majority of this communication through education, awareness, and product information and services through email.
Knowing your Closing Cycle
In every industry there is a time cycle to close, and for most businesses, knowing that time cycle can help you when it comes to qualifying a prospect. Once you know that it’s time to close, your sales team can implement various workflows and campaigns set up for a particular close date. For example, if you have a new lead and your sales team reaches out to them to find that they’re simply not at the point of buying – but could be in the next 6 to 12 months – you can put them through a nurturing awareness campaign that can help them understand more about your business: who you are, what you do, why you do it, and then set the stage for the follow up in four months. All the time in between, your prospect has been nurtured through email, keeping your sales team focused on closing opportunities.
Make 100 Leads A Day Happen
So, lets take a look at where you need to be to get 100 leads a day. In this table below, we use some very basic industry benchmarks. Obviously a change in your conversion rates can dramatically increase your lead rates. So, take it with a grain of salt, yet do compare it to your current numbers to see where you need to act.
|Visitors||Visitor-to-Lead Rate||Lead-to-Prospects||Prospects-to-Close||Customer LTV||New Revenue|
|150K||2% (3000 Leads)||3% (90)||50% (45)||$25,000||$1,125,000|
|Average Site Conversion Rate||Average bottom funnel rate||Depends on your industry||Industry Dependent||Kabam…|
What does 150K in traffic look like?
150K visitors to your website is nothing short of fantastic for most businesses, but still within the realm of reality. To bring some perspective, at the time of writing, Amazon.com has around 80M visitors a day. So, a mere 150K for your site in a month should be no problem right? It’s a lot of work, but here is what that might look like.
Traffic By Channel
|Search (Organic)||Referral Traffic||Social (Organic)||Direct||Paid Media|
What Does Creating That Much Traffic Cost?
This is the moment you’ve been waiting for, or the place most of you are scrolling to: the cost of creating the amount of sustained traffic that will generate 100 leads in a day.
The best way to think of this is by pulling some average numbers, and then working backward to understand how you are going to get there. Again, the following are following some benchmarks that we’ll try to be clear about so that you can understand how to get to this level.
To achieve 97,500 organic visitors each month, we need to think about how much traffic on average we can receive per page. In most sites, the 80/20 rule will be in play, where many of the posts will create a small amount of traffic, like 10 views a month, while a small few will create a large amount – even in the 1,000s per month. So, for the point of the illustration, let’s go with 50 views per page.
Based on that metric, to get 97,500 views, we’d need to have 1,950 pages. That might mean about 40-50 pages of your site, with the rest being landing pages, blogs, or other traffic SEO-focused pages. That’s a lot of pages.
With the cost of each blog post being around 150 dollars a post, you’ll be looking at a $292,500 investment in your site content. Not to mention the SEO cost, which at the macro level, might add 20 dollars to each post, bringing the total up to $331,500.
The best news is that referral traffic is generally earned. So, all the blogs you’ve paid for that were great content earned you much of the traffic from referral over time. This is an earned play because people found that your content was worth linking to, and did so. Way to go!
But, you would also spend some time finding affiliates, link partners, guest posting, and engaging in other tactics that helped build to that, at a cost of around $15,000.
This category presents traffic that comes from a deeper follower base. To drive that much traffic, means that you have a big following on social media. If you are converting 3% of your followers to traffic and you post twice daily, that means you have around 8,335 followers. That’s a lot of followers in B2B, and it’s some really good engagement.
If you drop to 1% on every post, that means you’d need 25K followers to make that happen.
To keep something like that consistently creating content would cost around 48K, and it’s probably been built up over about a year or two to build that true follower base. You can build a fast base, but quality and quantity are not the same in social media.
Direct traffic means that you’re a name in the industry. That means you might be doing trade shows, sponsorships, or just that people know you. It’s impossible to calculate the cost of that knowledge, but its a true Investment in B2B branding to make that happen.
Paid Media Traffic
Paid media is a big bucket here, and it can mean paid social, paid search, or something else. What we are saying is we are paying for traffic.
To put an estimate on this, you’d look at your average cost per click. Based on your industry, to gain 12,ooo visitors, you’d be looking to find a cost that kept you at 2-3 dollars per click to keep your cost around $36,000 or less.
Yet many keywords are much more competitive than that, and cost 30, even 50 per click. So your costs can be extravagant if paid ads are a competitive space for your industry.
This might be a strategic moment to not focus on paid media as a major channel, but as a secondary channel; one where you can bid on secondary keywords that are less expensive that drive good traffic.
The Total Cost Please…
So, all in all, if you put it together, you are looking at $430,000 to create 1.25M in revenue. Depending on how you calculate ROI, that could mean a 200% return on investment, or an 85% return on investment if your margin is roughly 30% on your product or service.
Now, the take away for all companies that don’t have 430K to drop on content marketing.
You can still achieve good, high ROI results from getting good content and marketing in place to grow in your industry. The scale is really the metric to understand and evaluate. Start where you can, with enough budget to get some results so that you can find a positive ROI.
Want to talk more about this article, or your marketing? Contact us for a free marketing review, where we can talk about your marketing and how we can help you achieve good results on your marketing.