How to have over 1000 leads before you even start your business.
Imagine this, you decide to start a business. You have a passion and know exactly how you want to serve the world. It doesn’t even have to be a big grandiose thing, maybe you just want to be a photographer.
Now imagine before you even open the doors, you have over 1,000 new red hot leads, just waiting to hear from you, before you even have a website complete!
Yep, it is possible, and I will show you the exact strategy you need to put into place to achieve this.
Now I have to inform you, this is going to take a little elbow grease and some ingenuity. But, if you put the work in I feel confident that you can achieve success.
This does take time, and a ton of up front writing, outreach and promotion. But… if you could have the leads before you even open up your doors—why wouldn’t you!?
What qualifies as a lead?
In this instance, a lead is someone interested in hearing what you have to say. This doesn’t mean they are ready to buy. This is a potential relationship that can be cultivated over time. You don’t get to make a sale without building a relationship first.
Most successful businesses and brands focus on building deep relationships with their customers. Their goal is to understand their audience and serve them. The business becomes a central hub that the clients use to overcome obstacles.
The way we are going to achieve this lofty task is through email marketing. That means the first thing you need to do is sign up for an email marketing service provider.
I am an affiliate of Getresponse and in love with them. They work fantastically well for my business needs. That being said, I can’t stress enough how awesome Mailchimp is when you are first starting out. They are free to start and that is the perfect price to pay at this level.
We used them when we started.
Once you sign up for MailChimp (or whatever provider you desire), create a new list. This is where all your new leads are going to hang out and party together.
After you create your new list, you should customize the copy for your brand. Do this by clicking the drop-down menu on the right hand side and click “sign up form.” You should see this page, below.
Click “general form,” go through and design to your hearts content.
Next you are going to need to grab your Mailchimp API key. This article by Mailchimp will show you exactly where to get it. After you find it, save this someplace or open up a new tab. We will need this later.
There are two more steps before we can create our first 1000 leads. Creating an ethical bribe and create a landing page.
Create an ethical bribe.
I am sure you have seen an ethical bribe before. This can be in the form of an ebook, a video, an audio, or anything else. An ethical bribe can help build deep relationships with your new leads. It’s also known as an opt-in offer.
The offer is simply something you can give away in exchange for a name and email address. When creating an ethical bribe, think about what your audience really wants to achieve.
Imagine your ideal customer as a runner on a track. They are in the blocks ready to sprint to the finish line. Before they can make it to the finish line they have 3 big hurdles to overcome.
The ethical bribe you make has to help them overcome the first hurdle.
Using the example of a photographer whose ideal client is entrepreneurs—a great ethical bribe might be: “10 awesome tricks to create a professional headshot with your iPhone.”
You might think “Hey, that is making me lose work! I charge for headshots.”
Don’t worry, what you actually did is create value for your ideal client. Professionals know that an iPhone headshot will never replace a professional one. But if you are just starting out, knowing how to take a nice headshot with you phone saves you a few hundred bucks.
If you need more help trying to figure out what to create for an ethical bribe, download this free workbook. It will help you define your audience, and how to create value for them.
If you’re doing an ebook, you can layout a quick design in Microsoft Word, or try your hand at Canva to design your masterpiece. Other options for creating your ethical bribe are powerpoint, Google slides, or Keynote.
After you ethical bribe is created, we can move on to the next part…
Create a landing page.
Instead of paying a website designer a few thousand dollars to create you a branded website. I suggest creating a landing page for a small fee of $40-$80 a month with Leadpages.net. While $80 bucks might be expensive for a program, we need to look at a comparison.
A new website can cost you on average of $2,000-$6,000 bucks. So yea, $80 is very little. Plus it buys you time as you decide on what you’re doing for your business and attract clients.
If you didn’t grab “pro,” your landing page URL will look like http://Brandname.leadpages.net. If you go for the higher version, the URL link will look like http://brandname.com
While having a Leadpages branded URL isn’t terrible, you only get 1 first impression so you want to consider forking over the extra dollars and do it right. It is still way more economical than buying a website.
After you sign-up to Leadpages and log-in, head over to the right-hand section.
Go over to where it says your name and click on integration. Input your Mailchimp API key, it’s on your other tab. Your MailChimp API allows you to sync your email list to leadpages.net and collect those amazing leads.
Next head over to the section that says “lead magnet delivery.”
Here you can upload your free offer (ethical bribe), and Leadpages will send it to your subscribers automatically. This is one less thing you have to worry about.
After you click save, head over to the “templates” section on the left. Then click on the “launch” tab underneath it.
Pick the template called “Coming Soon by Pat Flynn.”
From there we need to design this a little bit. Unless you are opening a food truck, then you are all set :).
Let your potential leads know that you will be opening soon and what you are going to be all about. If you have an opt-in bribe let them know. But you don’t need it, especially if you are creating a blog.
From there click on the call to action. The big green button that says “notify me!” and on the left-hand side click the integrations section. Make sure MailChimp is hooked up, and the list is set. Save your work before you leave the page.
A quick recap.
If you have followed my advice so far, you should be doing awesome! You will have…
- An email marketing provider
- An ethical bribe created for your audience
- A branded landing page
- and have it all synced up ready to go!
Now you just need traffic.
How to get the first 1000 leads before your business is even started.
You have your marketing funnel all set up. You have MailChimp and Leadpages all good to go.
The final part is getting that sweet sweet traffic.
There are two ways you can do this, invest time or invest money.
The simplest way to get traffic to your landing page is to advertise. If you have the know-how and the budget, it is faster and easier.
Most people who are just starting their businesses don’t have the cash flow for advertising. That is more than ok—I have a solution for you. It’s called hard work.
Find blogs where your audience hangs out and become a guest contributor.
You are going to write some kick-butt pieces of content for those websites.
For instance, let’s say you want to target entrepreneurs. dscience.co has a large following of entrepreneurs. You would find the page labeled guest contribute, this is usually on the sidebar or at the footer.
Talk to the owners and submit a guest post that would do well for the audience.
Most blogs want you to pitch headlines to them that are relevant to their material and audience.
For example, if you were a photographer, you could pitch:
- “How to create professional looking photos for your brand with an iPhone”
- “How to use natural lighting to enhance your Instagram photos.”
- “16 tips to the perfect portrait photo”
- “How to take share-worthy blog post photos in under 5 minutes”
This creates a ton of value for the audience, shows your expertise, and makes you an expert.
In the bio they give you, tell a little about yourself and link to the new landing page.
Every article is going to give you new subscribers and new leads.
In no time whatsoever you will have 1000 leads before you even start your business.
Top blogger Jon Morrow had over 13,000 new subscribers before he even launched his blog.
What happens if you can’t write?
Get creative. If you are an awesome photographer, donate 25 free stock photos to the blog. Create a video walking through the basics of photography. The key here is to create the “BEST” content possible.
If you work with the owner of the sites, I am sure you can come up with something amazing. The more you contribute, the more business you will have.
How to have over 1000 leads before you even start your business
- Collect emails using Mailchimp
- Give away an ethical bribe using leadpages
- Guest contribute to drive traffic to your landing page
Continue guest contributing on a regular basis. You will rapidly become an authority in your field, generate tons of red hot leads for your business.
Are you just starting a business? Let us know in the comments!