What is lead generation?
Imagine yourself having dinner at your favorite pizza place. You’ve ordered pepperoni as always and it just got served to you fresh out of the oven. The smell is intoxicating so you waste no time getting yourself your first slice. Just when you’re about to put that heavenly slice inside your mouth, the phone suddenly rings.
“Hello sir, this is Adam from Company X. I just wanted you to know that you are qualified to purchase our phone’s newest model at a discounted price. Would you be interested?” says the voice on the other end of the line.
We’ve all experienced receiving phone calls out of nowhere. People urging us to buy something though we have no idea how they got our information is one of the most annoying. What just happened was that you were identified as a “lead” by that company. Now they are now trying to get you to make a purchase. The only problem is that this kind of conversion tactic is intrusive in so many ways. They came out of nowhere, calling you at the worst time, and you were left clueless as to how they learned about you.
There is a better way to convert leads. Instead of going straight to the customer, which is a bit disrespectful, you can make your customers come to you instead, through lead generation. Lead generation is the process of attracting people by getting them interested and eventually converting them to buyers of your products. This can be done through several methods where the ultimate goal is to capture the potential customers’ information. A couple of examples are getting them to sign up for a blog or service or getting them to download a free product in exchange for their names and email addresses.
Why outsource lead generation?
You know that potential customers somewhere have expressed interest one of your products or services. You need to find them and reach out to them by sending them emails persuading them to make a purchase. Generating leads isn’t as easy as it looks, though. It requires time and effort that, as a business owner, you’re better off spending on more important activities. You’ll want to have fresh leads and potential customers for your business all the time. Instead of performing the many tasks involved yourself, it would be better to outsource lead generation to a freelancer.
Below are the steps to outsourcing these very important tasks.
1. Identify your potential customer
While it can be tempting to just consider everyone as a potential customer to reach out to, identifying a specific segment or group of people is more efficient. Since you’ll be outsourcing lead generation to another person, it is vital for you to acquaint the freelancer with the profile of who the right customers are so they would know who to contact. The key here is to be able to set the parameters in place before letting another person take over the task. As soon as you’ve done this, the freelancer should be able to perform his task like clockwork.
If you haven’t targeted yet, there are a number of ways to determine who the right customers are. You can do this via surveys, knowing your competitors’ customers, and responding to customer comments, among others. Ask yourself some questions, too. Are they supposed to be of a certain demographic? A specific age group perhaps? Do they need to belong to a specific industry?
2. Create an email template
Once you have determined your potential customer, you can create email templates that the freelancer will send to your leads. Though you are going to outsource lead generation, this task shouldn’t be one of them. You need to maintain brand consistency and no new hire will know your voice as well as you do. To achieve consistency, you need to create templates for the emails they will send.
As with any other online endeavor these days, a single email won’t cut it. With the use of services like MailChimp, Aweber or GetResponse, you can create a more effective campaign using autoresponders.
Keep in mind that email is still considered one of the most efficient digital marketing tactics which is why it is very important not to mess this up. There is an art involved in crafting a profitable email campaign. It should carry effective subject lines, a simple yet attractive design, it should show brevity, a well-presented offer, and a clear call-to-action. You can’t leave all this up to the freelancer. If you’re going to make this work, you should do the research and draft the templates yourself.
3. Create a system that states where leads are recorded and how emails are sent
After identifying your potential customers and setting up your templates, the next step is to determine where you’ll be saving or storing your leads and how the campaign emails are to be sent. Are you going to save them to an Excel spreadsheet or notepad? Will they be stored in the mail service you use, or will you be making copies on the server? Will the emails be sent in one-day or two-day intervals? Are they going to be sent in batches?
The answers to all these questions should all be in place and properly documented before you outsource lead generation to another person. Lead generation by itself cannot be classified as a single task. It’s a process or a system that needs to run smoothly with all tasks going hand-in-hand to achieve the end goal.
4. Hire a lead generation freelancer
With the system in place, it is now time to hire a lead generation freelancer. You have to take note that lead generation is a unique skill that not all freelancers possess, so make sure your requirements are specific.
You can hire freelancers through one of the freelancing platforms that you can find on the internet. Look for a freelancer who has experience and demonstrates an understanding of lead generation so the transition won’t be difficult.
5. Walk them through the process and test them
Once you’ve found the right match, you can then walk them through your system. Give them a rundown of the things they need to do and make them understand the importance of each step. Tell them about your lead generation objectives so they know what to expect and what their targets are.
Since beginning something is always difficult, don’t be afraid to test them to see if they understand what needs to be done and why they need to do it. You have to make sure that they are up to the task before you leave them to their own devices.
6. Setup daily check-ins and weekly meetings
When you outsource lead generation, it doesn’t end with you hiring a freelancer to do it for you. It’s a continuous process until you and the freelancer are in sync in terms of how the system works and if it’s meeting your goals. This is why it’s important to check in every day at the beginning to see if they are doing the task the way you expected. More importantly, you need to do this because you want to make sure that they are actually producing results.
You should also setup weekly meetings and give the freelancer a roundup of what happened over the past week. Tell them what they’re doing right and what needs improvement. Show them how many leads were generated against the actual expected number. Sharing the statistics will be an encouragement to the worker. A weekly meeting is a good way of pushing them to perform at a higher level. It will also give them the impression that you want them to succeed in what they’re doing. You’re not just leaving them on their own after hiring them and passing over the lead generation tasks.
Setting everything up before you outsource lead generation could prove to be a worthy investment if done right. You have to get everything ready for the freelancer. Make sure to check on them regularly until they get familiar with the process and everything becomes automatic.
Keep in mind that the main reason why you outsource lead generation is to free up your schedule. The other reason is to give you time to focus on the more important aspects of your business. It is also a way of getting things done more efficiently when you hire someone who specializes in lead generation itself.
If you’re a new business owner or if you’re struggling to generate leads, we encourage you to re-evaluate your lead generation tactics. Take out a pen and a piece of paper right now and go over each of the steps we outlined above. Plan and follow these steps so you can get the right person who will collect leads for your business every day. If the freelancer converts one or two leads everyday, you’ll be getting back more than what you invested, which is absolutely great for business.
If you are looking for a good lead generation freelancer to kick things off, we can help you find the right person by signing up as a client.
Noel Rosos is a personal development writer, motivational speaker, entrepreneur and founder of Life’s How You Live It, a personal development blog dedicated to helping people live the life they’ve always dreamed of. He is also a writer/contributor for Arianna Huffington’s wellness site, Thrive Global. He is an affiliate marketer, a full-time husband and father, and a self-proclaimed FAILUROLOGIST.