If your business is a boat, then leads — or rather, a consistent and predictable flow of leads — is the surface upon which your skiff glides.
Your B2B business needs leads like a boat needs water — not just to keep afloat but also to gain momentum.
But how do you find high-quality leads?
More importantly, what strategies can you use to consistently generate leads for your business?
In this article, we’re sharing 17 awesome ideas you can use — ideas that have been tried and tested by other entrepreneurs — to generate leads and find your dream customers.
Click the link below to get a headstart 😉
1. Sales Funnels
If we’re going to talk about creating a consistent and predictable flow of high-quality leads for your business — say, hundreds or thousands of leads every single month — then the key is to create consistent and predictable systems to generate those leads.
And we call those systems sales funnels.
A sales funnel is an experience that’s built to turn visitors into leads and/or leads into customers.
One page at a time, the sales funnel creates a compelling narrative, builds trust, and persuades the right people to take action — for our purposes here, “taking action” means the visitor provides their contact information and becomes a lead (phone number, email, name, and so on).
Now there are a lot of different types of lead-gen sales funnels with a lot of different offers. At ClickFunnels, we use tons of different funnels in different areas of our website.
On our homepage, we have the start of our 14-day free trial sales funnel…
On the sidebar of this page, we have multiple free offers intended to provide value and generate leads…
And we also have an exit-intent popup…
To be clear, these are the starts of our sales funnels, not the experiences themselves. To learn more about how to create compelling lead-gen sales funnels like we’ve done at ClickFunnels, check out our detailed sales funnels guide.
Then get yourself a free 14 day ClickFunnels trial, choose from one of our 20+ proven-to-work sales funnels templates, and start building!
2. The Dream 100
The Dream 100 is the process that Russell Brunson used to grow ClickFunnels into a multi-million dollar brand.
Check out the video below!
Here’s how it works…
- you identify, with mind-blowing clarity, who your dreams customers are.
- You find the places where those dream customers congregate online (blogs, podcasts, forums, Facebook groups, YouTube channels, and so on).
- You either work your way in or buy your way in to spread your message and promote your products/services to those audiences.
We recommend making a list of at least 50+ different places (or to honor the semantics, 100) where your dream customers congregate as follows…
- 10 YouTube Channels
- 10 Email Newsletters
- 10 Blog
- 10 Podcasts
- 10 YouTube Channels
Once you’ve got a list, the next step is to reach out to those places and slowly work to build a relationship with the influencer so that you can get free publicity or ask about their promotion pricing. You can learn more about this process in Russell Brunson’s bestselling book, Traffic Secrets (click that link to get a free copy).
3. Product Hunt
Product Hunt describes itself as a “website to share and discover new products.” Entrepreneurs can share or “launch” their brands, receive upvotes and comments, and even generate leads via a simple CTA — since it’s an entrepreneur community, it’s particularly effective for B2B businesses.
Here’s an example from Email Mastery’s Product Launch page…
I happen to be close friends with the founder of Email Mastery and I happen to know its launch on Product Hunt generated over 1,000 high-quality email subscribers!
My business partner and I also launched The Tonic on Product Hunt and, while not quite as successful as Email Mastery’s launch, it generated over 200 subscribers.
And doing so was 100% free… so why not give it a try?
Here are a few tips to make your launch on Product Hunt a success…
- Take time to write clear and compelling copy.
- Post at the start of the day to get more upvotes.
- Post a comment right after launch encouraging people to engage and offer feedback.
Unsurprisingly, LinkedIn is one of the best platforms for generating leads for a B2B business — probably because it’s jam-packed with business-minded users.
And there are a few different lead-gen avenues to pursue.
- Cold outreach users.
- Build an organic following.
- Run advertisements
What you do will depend on exactly what you’re trying to accomplish. If you’ve got a big budget and a high-converting sales funnel, advertisements will probably do well. If you’ve got a small budget and need to find high-ticket clients, then you might be better served by cold outreach or by slowly building an organic following.
To learn more about LinkedIn marketing, check out our detailed guide over here — you’ll learn how to create a LinkedIn marketing plan from A-Z.
At ClickFunnels, webinars are one of our favorite ways to generate leads.
If you don’t know what a webinar is, it’s just a live or recorded free video training about something that your target market really wants to learn. It usually ends with a pitch toward one of your products or services — something that’s related to the topic of the webinar.
We use webinars all the time.
For example, this…
The funnel we use usually looks something like this — it starts with the webinar registration page, which leads to the confirmation page, and then follow-up emails guide people toward the webinar recording.
The best part is that you generate leads when people sign up for the webinar (you get their email address) and then you have a chance to convert those leads into customers during the webinar.
So it’s a two-birds-with-one-stone sort of strategy — generate leads and make sales.
To learn more about how to create a high-converting webinar, click below to get our Perfect Webinar Secrets training for just $7…
6. Free Book + Shipping
If you’re a follower or fan of ClickFunnel (or Russell Brunson), then you know that the “free book + shipping” offer is one of our favorites for generating leads and drawing our dream customers into our ecosystem of products and services.
The idea is really simple…
You offer your target market a book that teaches them something they want to learn for free, but you just ask them to cover the shipping and handling.
That’s exactly what we do with our Traffic Secrets funnel…
What’s awesome about this sales funnel is that your target market feels like they’re getting a free book, but since they’re paying a little for shipping and handling, they also…
- Have the experience of actually paying for something and buying from you.
- Cover your advertising costs!
The hardest part of this funnel, of course, is actually writing a book… but it doesn’t need to be anything groundbreaking or obnoxiously long. It just needs to be a book that provides value to your specific target market.
Then you can use ClickFunnels to create a free book + shipping sales funnel and drive ad traffic to it. You might even include an upsell in the sales funnel to increase average order value.
There are essentially just two high-level steps to generating high-quality leads…
- Create a super compelling offer that your target market can’t resist.
- Drive the right people to that sales funnel.
As long as you get those two steps right, you’ll generate leads (and even customers) like clockwork.
SEO — Search Engine Optimization — will help you with the second step.
The idea is that you research what keyword phrases your dream customers are already typing into Google and then you try to create content that ranks on the first page for those terms (the higher, the better).
We do this at ClickFunnels.
If you search for “Sales Funnels”, for instance, here’s a snippet of what comes up…
Our result is the 3rd organic result… and believe it or not, that one article is driving about 1,400 visits per month purely through SEO traffic…
More importantly, since that traffic is related to what we offer at ClickFunnels — sales funnels — those people often opt-in to our other free resources and become leads and/or customers.
That’s the power of SEO — and the more rankings you hold, the more traffic you’ll drive and leads you’ll generate.
So… how do you snag high-value rankings?
Check out our free SEO guide over here!
8. Hook, Story, Offer
We’ve talked a lot about different strategies — sales funnels, webinars, and SEO — you can use to drive traffic, generate leads, and make sales.
But all of these tactics depend upon something that we haven’t talked about…
We’re talking about the words you use to persuade your target market (i.e. the copy).
Whether you’re writing Facebook ads, sales pages, or emails, how do you craft compelling copy that gets your target market to take action?
We call our copywriting process “Hook, Story, Offer” — check out the video!
Here’s the gist (with an example)…
Hook — You hook the person with an irresistible headline that builds curiosity and makes them want to keep reading.
Story — Then you tell a story that relates to the challenges and struggles your target market is going through. You show them that you understand where they’re coming from.
Offer — Finally, you reveal the solution you discovered (your products or services) and offer it to the visitor for an irresistible deal.
You can use this formula to write sales copy for ads, sales pages, emails, video scripts, webinars, and just about any other marketing materials.
And if you want to become a true copywriting ninja, then pick up Jim Edward’s book, Copywriting Secrets, for free!
Imagine that you take action on some of the previous ideas — you create a compelling offer and sales funnel, you drive traffic through SEO and the Dream 100 — but then when the rubber hits the road… your conversion rate isn’t what you want it to be.
But we’re entrepreneurs and so it’s also just a part of the process — something we’ve got to learn from and move on from.
In fact, even if our conversion rate is good, we should create a habit of running tests — A/B tests, heatmaps, scroll maps, click maps, and so on — to determine how we can improve our marketing assets.
This could mean testing the copy, the visuals, the offer, or something else.
This is an important part of being a successful marketer — you learn, you iterate, and you keep learning. And it’s why, at ClickFunnels, we give all our members the ability to split test any part of a sales funnel or sales page.
Because the more you test, the more you learn and the more leads you’ll generate and sales you’ll make.
It might be uncomfortable.
But it’s critical for your growth.
10. Host an Event
At ClickFunnels, we’re well-known for our annual online marketing event, Funnel Hacking Live — in fact, what started as a way to build brand awareness and generate leads has become a product all of its own, one that our members happily pay for.
At FHL, we talk about marketing, entrepreneurship, sales funnels, and lots of other things we love.
Why not host an event of your own?
Doing so can help you establish your business as a thought leader in the industry as well as generate leads and make high-ticket sales.
If you don’t want to host an in-person event, you can just start by doing an online event.
11. Soap Opera Sequence
You’ve probably heard us — or some other marketer — say that building an email list is a critical part of the lead-gen and sales process.
Your email list represents traffic that you control.
There’s no gatekeeper who can kick you out on a whim (like there is on Facebook and Twitter) if they don’t like what you’re saying or talking about.
It’s the only platform where you can reach your target market on your terms.
That’s why building an email list is important.
And a lot of this article so far has talked about how to build your email list. Now we want to ask this question: What should you send to new subscribers?
The answer is what we call the “Soap Opera Sequence” — it consists of 5-7 emails that build credibility and trust, create suspense, and then draw people into purchasing their first product or service from your business.
Here’s a great overview of how this email sequence works…
We recommend having this sequence get triggered immediately after someone signs up for your email list.
Doing so will ensure you’re giving every new lead a fair chance to become not just a lead… but a paying customer.
12. Daily Seinfeld Emails
In the last tip, we talked about what you should send new subscribers to your email list — specifically, a 5-7 part email sequence that builds trust and guides them toward their version purchase.
But once that sequence has ended… What should you send those people?
Obviously, you don’t want to just stop marketing to them… and so we recommend sending “Daily Seinfeld Emails”.
The famous sitcom, Seinfeld was a self-proclaimed “show about nothing” — and so these daily emails are about nothing.
That is to say, they’re about whatever you want them to be about that day. You could tell a story, share some value, or mention a funny anecdote. The only rule is that the thing you’re sharing must point toward one of your products or services… and you must have a CTA toward that product or service at the end of the email.
These emails work like magic for us at ClickFunnels — in fact, Russell has found that the more emails he sends every month, the more money he makes!
If you want to learn more about how to write these emails, then check out the video below…
13. Referral Program
Referral programs are an increasingly common method for generating B2B (and B2C) leads — existing customers get rewarded for referring new customers to your business.
This is definitely a lead-gen strategy that’s worth considering.
Just figure out what you could offer your existing customers that would make them want to share your business’ products and services with their friends.
Another variation of this lead-gen method — and what we do at ClickFunnels — is creating an affiliate army.
Instead of giving rewards to people for referring their friends, you pay people to promote and sell your products and services.
That’s what we do at ClickFunnels…
And it’s resulted in thousands of people we don’t even know personally working to sell our products and services for us.
Pretty cool, right?
Whether you create an affiliate program or a referral program, there’s always a way to work with and reward your brands’ biggest fans… to their benefit and to yours.
14. Google Ads
Earlier we talked about SEO and how powerful it can be for driving traffic to your sales funnels.
Of course, SEO takes a lot of time. One of the main factors that determine if your page ranks for a high-value keyword phrase is time. The longer that a page has existed, the more likely Google is to place it on page 1.
So while SEO is 100% worth your investment, it’s not going to be an overnight game-changer.
What if you want results more quickly?
That’s where Google Ads come in.
You can pop to the top of the page for high-value phrases by paying Google, just like this…
Since you don’t have to wait to get to the top of the rankings, these ads can get you overnight results.
So it’s worth your consideration.
Run some Google ads to your sales funnels for high-value relevant phrases and see what happens. The ROI might be well worth it!
If you want to learn more, check out our detailed guide to Google ads over here.
15. Free Gift
How do you get a new person’s email address?
Unfortunately, your dream customers aren’t going to just flock to your website, give you all their contact information, and patiently wait for you to get ahold of them.
They need to be persuaded.
And one of the best ways to get contact information from your dream customers is to offer them something that they really want — a free gift if you will.
Webinars and free books (+shipping) are two examples of free gift that we’ve already discussed.
But there are a lot of other options, including…
- Product sample
- Free trial
Of course, the free gift you offer should be relevant and naturally lead toward your paid offers (otherwise you’ll generate the wrong leads).
Here’s an example of an effective lead magnet…
To learn more about creating and promoting a free gift — also known as a “lead magnet” — check out our detailed guide to lead magnets over here.
16. Facebook Retargeting
What if you could follow up with people who visit your website… but don’t give you their contact information?
Wouldn’t that be great?
After all, not everyone who visits your websites and is interested in your products or services is going to opt-in to your lead magnets.
And the Facebook Pixel allows you to retarget these “browse abandoners” with Facebook Advertisements without having their contact information.
Check out the video below to learn how to set up a Facebook pixel on your sales funnels!
17. Cold Outreach
Cold outreach has been a part of B2B sales for as long as businesses have existed.
You reach out to people — via email or phone call — to ask questions and determine if they’re a fit for your products or services (i.e. qualify) and then, if they respond favorably, to point them toward the next step they should take if they want to work with you.
This is especially effective for high-ticket sales.
However, cold outreach is hard — there are no two ways about it.
So how do you make a phone call or send an email that actually gets a response?
As inspiration, check out this email that Nutshell calls “one cold email that actually gets everything right”…
And here are three other emails they point out that “almost” got everything right…
Take notes and craft your own cold email.
Another option is to call these potential leads — that method is certainly more apt for building trust.
Either way, cold outreach can work… you just need to put some work into crafting a compelling email or call script and then create a consistent flow of potential leads you can qualify.
Creating a consistent and predictable lead flow is critical for any B2B business that’s going to grow and thrive.
And you can pick and choose from the above 17 lead-gen ideas outlined above.
Ask yourself which strategies you think will work best for your specific business and then implement and execute.
You’ve got the knowledge — now it’s time for action.
Click the link below to take the next step!