Today we’re going to talk about something that’s really important because it involves generating qualified leads, AKA marketing. Now, a lot of us who have been in business for a while tend to get stuck in a certain rut when it comes to generating qualified leads. Sure, sometimes we do need to stay in that zone, but other times we need to think outside of the box and step away from our comfort zone.
I want to take you through a little process where the end goal is to determine the top marketing activities you can focus on. This 5-step exercise will get you there.
Step 1: The first thing we want to do is brainstorm. Make a list of the top 20 possible marketing activities that you can think of. Some examples include joining a networking group, offering referral incentives, taking on public speaking gigs, leveraging social media, blogging, SEO, and so on. The possibilities are endless. If you end up with more than 20, that’s fine. But it’s important to not limit yourself based on the amount of investment or time necessary for these activities. Similarly, don’t worry if you don’t know anything about how to perform an activity, for now.
Step 2: Once you have that list created, go through and identify the top 4-6 activities that would best fit your target market and give you the best projected return on investment. We won’t have time to cover target market today, but hopefully you know who you’re going after. So choose the top 4-6 from your list.
Step 3: This is the step that almost everybody forgets about. Here, you want to estimate how much time it’ll take to complete each activity, whether you’re doing it yourself, leveraging another person on your team, or using an outside resource. Then, figure out how much the cost will be for each marketing activity.
For example, let’s say that you join a weekly networking group that meets every week for one hour, and the cost is $150/month. Now, you must figure out how much your time is worth. To keep it simple, we’ll assume that you value your time at $100 an hour. Your monthly time investment of four hours would come out to be $400. Or, maybe you’re paying someone $20/hour to attend the meetings. Then your cost in terms of time would be $80/month. It’s important to know the monetary value of time, be it yours or your employee’s.
So overall, if you attend meetings yourself, your total investment would be $400 (cost of your time) plus $150 (cost of the networking group itself) per month. With this information, you can clearly understand what you need to get out of the networking group to make it worthwhile.
Step 4: This step involves estimating the return on investment for each activity. Going back to our earlier example of joining a networking group, we’ve calculated that you’ll incur $550 in expenses per month if you attend the meetings yourself. What does the return need to be? $5,000? $3,000? Or do you just want to double your investment at least? Think carefully about what your goal is. Also, be sure to look at both the short-term as well as the long-term value for each client.
For example, if you own an accounting firm and you get a new client, how many years on average will they stay with you? If it’s say, 10 years, then it doesn’t make much sense to only think about what fees you’ll earn from them in the first year. So, depending on your industry, you may choose to use either short-term client value or lifetime client value to calculate your ROI.
Step 5: Once you go through this process, there will invariably be some activities you don’t want to do, and you might have to go back to your list and decide on which activities actually make sense for you. Finalize those top activities, eliminate the ones that aren’t a good fit, and add new ones that are. Moving forward in the short term, these activities will be your focus.
Obviously, there’s a lot more that goes on with the entire lead generation process, but I just wanted to look at the marketing activities specifically. What I’d encourage you to do now is go out and start making that list of possible marketing activities. Go through this blog post as many times as you need, until you have a real clarity on what you need to do to help generate qualified leads for your business. More leads will translate into more sales, which means you’ll have more clients who will benefit from your products or services. You’ll be able to help more people and make more money in the process.