How to generate quality leads to your service-based business

How branding will help you generate quality leads who are more likely to be a great fit for your services and convert into clients.

Generating leads for your business is a great way for you to develop stronger connections with those who has identified themselves as people who are interested in what you do. By sending an email, booking a consultation or opting into your newsletter, they give you a way to directly get in touch with them. You’re then able to nurture relationships with these leads and position your brand more effectively in their minds. (Building relationships is what branding is all about.)

But this is assuming that you’re generating the right kind of leads. This is important because not all leads are created equal. Not only do you want a way to bring in more leads, but you want to be sure you’re bringing in high-quality leads. So, what does that mean? What makes a lead “high-quality”? Let’s take a look into exactly that.

What is a lead?

A lead is someone who has demonstrated that they have an interest in the services you offer. A common way for this to happen in many online businesses, is for them to join an email list in exchange for some sort of opt-in incentive.

Leads are frequently described as either cold, warm or hot. Cold leads are those that don’t yet know about your brand. Warm leads have had the opportunity to learn about what your business is all about and are in the process of building a relationship with you. Hot leads are ready to become clients. Lead generation is an early step you can take to start turning cold leads into warm leads.

What is lead generation?

Lead generation is the process through which someone can demonstrate their interest in your services and business. Like I mentioned above, a typical way to generate leads is to offer an incentive that gets people to join your email list. Opt-in incentives, often called lead magnets, can take a number of different forms.

Lead magnet examples:

  • guides
  • workbooks and worksheets
  • ebooks
  • checklists
  • quiz/questionnaire results
  • printables
  • templates
  • swipe files
  • case studies

When you offer something your target audience desires, they’ll happily exchange their email for it. From that point, you can start sending content straight to their inboxes, sharing more value and marketing your offers directly to your leads.

The next step (or first step, depending on the lead generation system in place) is to encourage people to book a call or reach out to you directly in order to enquire about using your services. It’s all about getting closer to gaining them as clients.

Lead generation is more than a numbers game

At this point, lead generation might sound like a simple matter of getting as many people as you can onto your email list or booking calls. The more leads, the more clients, right? Well, it’s not wrong to think that… but it’s also not the most effective or efficient way to look at lead generation.

Consider these two scenarios:

  • Your lead magnet brings in 1000 people onto your email list but only 1% of them ever become clients.
  • Your lead magnet only brings in 100 people, but 10% become clients.

In both scenarios, you end up with 10 clients. However, in scenario 2, it only took one tenth the number of leads of scenario 1 to get those clients. That’s a much more efficient use of resources. Generating leads takes time and effort (and money in the case of paid traffic, like Facebook ads). So, the more leads you can convert into clients the better.

And the difference between scenarios like the above? The quality of those leads. And how can you improve the quality of the leads you bring in? Well, that’s where on-point branding can give you a big helping hand.

Branding & lead generation: Understanding your ideal clients needs

The first and most important part of generating quality leads to your business comes from a well-defined understanding of your ideal client. Defining your ideal client is, of course, one of the most critical steps of establishing your brand in general. Read more defining your ideal client here.

Many of the leads you generate won’t ever become clients, but you should still set up your generation process with the aim of only attracting people who would be a good fit for your services. This means offering lead magnets that are directly related to what you do, and to help your audience understand how you can help them. The lead magnets should address the specific problem you focus on in your business and demonstrate how you approach and understand the pain points of your target market.

Branding & lead generation: Allowing your audience to self-quality

A great thing about branding is how it’s a two-way conversation. Not only does a clear understanding of your brand allow you to offer content that is most relevant to your target audience, but your audience can also see from your branding whether they’re in the right place or not.

From the words on your opt-in page, to the way you address your target market, to the visuals you use, everything sets an expectation of what your business exists to do and who it’s for. From your branding alone, your audience can quickly assess whether a lead magnet they’ve stumbled upon is right for them and, by extension, whether or not they should look to you as someone who can help them solve their problem.

When your branding is well-defined and well-executed, you’re able to communicate the value of what you offer for the right person and each person who comes into contact with your brand can tell immediately whether it’s a good fit for them or not — all before you’ve even spoken to them directly.

Branding & lead generation: Communicating your value

It’s so important to remember that the point of lead generation is not just collecting names on an email list. High opt-in rates and big lists look great, but unless these leads become paying clients, you’re going to get stuck. After all, you’re running a business and a business needs clients to sustain itself.

Good branding not only catches the attention of your target market, it also very clearly communicates the value you offer, through a strong brand message. Your lead generation system should always put this message front and centre.

Whether you’re using paid ads, posting on social networks or blogging, any form of marketing you’re pushing out to bring in traffic should give your audience value and that value should be directly related to what you offer as a service. This way, right from the outset, you’re letting people know what kind of help you provide. Before a lead even becomes a lead, you’re setting the right tone and building relationships.

The second step after bringing in an audience in the form of web traffic is attracting those people to your lead magnet. Again, your opt-in page and the lead magnet itself has to give your audience value. The quality of the lead magnet itself should also reflect the level of quality you provide in your services. Whenever I create a lead magnet, I want it to be so amazing and full of value that my audience can’t believe I’m giving it away for free.

Also read: Why you need to design a great brand experience

Measuring the quality of your leads

A simple method you can use to measure the quality of the leads you’re generating is the BANT approach. The acronym comes from four important considerations when it comes to lead generation:

  • Budget — You want to attract leads who are able to afford your services.
  • Authority — You want to be in touch with the decision-makers, rather than people who may need to get someone else’s permission before they could move forward with your services.
  • Needs — You only want to attract leads who have an actual need for your services. Taking it a little further, you want this need to be urgent enough for these leads to take action (and use your services).
  • Timing — Urgency (from the last point) is great, but of course their needs must also fit into a realistic timeframe that matches what you can provide.

As you can probably imagine, communicating these things in a way that attracts leads that match what you’re looking for comes down to a lot more than simply the lead magnet you’re using. It’s going to come down to the language you use on your website and in your marketing. It’s about making sure your branding is communicating the right message and tone that lets your audience to qualify themselves and see whether your services are right for them.

Here's everything you need to know to start generating high quality leads to your service-based business with thoughtful branding.Last thoughts

Branding allows you to set the stage and demonstrate the value you give to your audience. It’s a key part of generating quality leads and, as a result, clients who are the best possible fit for your services. Make sure your offers (including your lead magnets) are aligned with your core brand values and purpose and that you’re clearly communicating who those offers will benefit.

Want help with your branding so you can generating high-quality leads and gain more amazing clients for your business? Learn more about working with me.

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