Effective lead generation takes many forms, depending on what resources you want to apply to it. Here are some agency new business lead generation ideas to keep in mind.
Create a Repeatable Lead Generation Process
Whatever you decide to do, your business lead generation process needs to be something you can repeat. [Tweet this!] That might mean keeping it simple (but good luck with that), but more likely it’s going to mean a documented operating procedure so anyone jumping into the task can do it in a way that’s consistent with how your agency does business. Lead generation, marketing and sales/agency new business need to work together to make sure the right kinds of leads are being sourced, and that they’re qualifiable and, ultimately, closeable.
Define Your Target Clients
The best way to make sure you’re on the right track with your goal of getting qualifiable leads is to define your ideal target clients. You might want to be working with bigger clients, or brands in a specific industry, or that demand certain kinds of work. They might be in a specific geographic location or have a specific budget for media (and if you’re not a media shop, that probably means they’re allocating some budget to promote the creative work you’ll be doing).
On a very superficial level there are a few questions you should ask to eliminate prospects:
- Do they have the financial means to work with us?
- Are they in a vertical we want our agency to be known for (like healthcare or CPG)?
- Are our abilities and specialties a good match for their needs?
Any brand that you can say “no” to any of these questions for is a brand you can check off your contact list.
Gated Content and Lead Magnets
A lead magnet is simply a landing page with a lead capture form you can use to build your lead database.
Gated content has been a source of contention for years, with some marketers saying that a truly customer-centric company wouldn’t demand an email address in exchange for content, while others say if your content is really valuable you shouldn’t give it away. The simple truth for our purposes is if you want to build an email list you have to ask for email addresses, and the trade-off for that is high-value content.
Be a Presenter at Conferences
Aside from establishing and promoting your company’s chops as thought leaders, conferences give you an opportunity to snag the contact information for every attendee. While not every attendee will be qualifiable, you should feel confident that they’re at least going to be in your addressable market. If you have a booth at a conference or at a trade show, the visitors to your corner of the floor are among the highest quality leads you’re going to find, though you might have to wait until the next budget year to get their business.
Like conferences, hosting or co-hosting a webinar lets you show an engaged and qualifiable audience that you know the space you (and more importantly: they) operate in. With a built-in opportunity to reach out to all the attendees (and non-attendees) with the recording or materials, webinars should be a part of your lead generation strategy.
Promote Your Content Where Your Prospects Are
If you want to be seen as the go-to agency for a specific service in a specific vertical (let’s say direct response mail for auto sales), you should focus on getting your name in front of auto sales decision makers in the publications and websites they consume. This doesn’t have to be linear, either: just because someone works in auto sales doesn’t mean they only consume automotive publications. In fact, if they’re running a business, they might well be looking at sites addressing business management in general (though for auto sales you know they’ve got to stay current on trends and what’s coming to the showroom in the next season, too).
Engage on Social
Actively being a part of a community in the vertical you’re going after can help you better understand the pain points your agency can address. But more than this, being a trusted face in that crowd can make a big difference when RFPs are released, or when referrals are requested. Give your expertise without expecting anything in return and you’ll be amazed at what you get in return.
Lead Generation and Prospecting Software
If you need a lot of leads in a hurry, a product like Winmo can do that for you. Not all sales intelligence tools are created equal, and Winmo was named the #1 prospecting and list building tool for agencies in the Mirren/RSW New Business Tools Report.
How it works is you use the filters in the platform to select things like geography, budgets and verticals, and Winmo returns a list of brands, agencies and contacts that meet your criteria. But more than just a list of names, Winmo will provide you with the name, title, email and direct dial for the decision makers you choose.