How To Generate Inbound Leads For Your Agency
A good number of inbound leads indicates that your agency has built a reputation. That is because inbound leads are the ones that reach out to you for patronage.
It speaks a lot of the trust and expertise you have come to create for your agency. One significant thing about inbound leads is that after working with you, they are always quick to recommend you to others.
If you must know, words of recommendation help secure leads faster than adverts. An inbound lead could even go further to leave a review on your website.
That is why most agencies try as much as possible to generate inbound leads. But it does not just come as easily as it sounds. A lead that will reach out to you must have seen something of value in your business.
So in this article, I will share some tips to help you generate inbound leads for your agency faster.
But before I show you these tips, let's compare Inbound leads with outbound leads.
Inbound vs Outbound Leads
As we proceed in this article, you will learn the difference or similarities between Inbound and Outbound leads.
In simple terms, an inbound lead reaches out to you, while for Outbound leads, you reach out to them.
This is more like a case where a prospective client finds what you do to be valuable and contacts you of his own volition. You did not have to pitch yourself to such a lead. It could also be through recommendations.
In outbound leads, you reach out. Reaching out could be via paid ads or direct or cold emails.
To give a more solid framework to what inbound and outbound leads are, Inbound leads are the types of leads where you are not actively pursuing clients or prospective clients. The activeness is more from the lead's end.
However, some structures must have been on the ground before an inbound lead reached out. They must have seen something attractive about your agency or brand.
Some of these structures could be social media marketing, where your target audience gets to see your activities.
It could also be a way of organically pulling traffic to your websites through Search Engine Optimisation.
On the other hand, outbound leads are the leads you actively pursue and reach out to prospective clients. At this point, you do research, find out how to reach them, and then pursue.
Let's examine their similarities and differences.
Similarities between Inbound and Outbound Differences
Looking at the above explanation, do the two forms of lead have anything in common? Well, of course. Here are some of them.
Require a detailed understanding of the market you are dealing in.
In as much as inbound leads look relatively easy, it needs a good strategic understanding of the market.
As I said earlier, these leads must have seen something that would make them reach out to you. Using social media as an example, you need to understand your target audience.
This will help determine the kinds of content to churn out during your content marketing. When your content resonates with your target audience, you retain them.
But when everything you put out seems to strike a deep chord in their heart, you have won them over. They cannot but reach out to you.
The same thing applies to outbound leads.
It would help if you studied your audience to save time contacting the wrong leads.
To a certain extent, you must be sure that the leads you are reaching out to are most likely to patronise your agency. An automated lead generation tool might come in handy in situations like this.
To Generate Leads.
Either Inbound leads or outbound leads are aimed at generating leads. So, they are simply two different means to one end.
That is why most agencies leverage the two. While some inbound leads are reaching out to you, you are reaching out to other outbound leads.
At the end of it all, the goal is to retain these leads. Nothing beats having your leads become loyal customers.
Differences between Inbound and Outbound leads
Here are some of the differences between Inbound and Outbound leads.
Inbound leads have a better time of approach compared to outbound leads. Before an inbound lead reaches out, it simply means that the person is ready.
It could be to sign up for your agency's package or purchase. You don't have to coerce them into taking action.
On the other hand, you need to predict if your timing is right for outbound leads. You could have sent that cold email when your prospective lead was not ready to make any purchases.
That could lead to an un-replied email or a rather cold response.
Therefore, in outbound leads, you must have done thorough background research to be sure that your efforts will not bounce.
When you look at the process of generating inbound leads, it has better quality than outbound leads. As mentioned earlier, for inbound leads, you must create valuable content that interests your audience and keeps them coming back.
The content remains after a few people have read them. It is there for as long as the platform is up.
That means you can keep generating inbound leads from content you wrote years ago. The market pattern is highly sustainable.
For outbound leads, the marketing strategy has a short lifespan. If you decide to create an ad, there will be an expiry date for the ad.
Probably you used the cold email method. The person could choose not to open the email or unintentionally omit it.
We also have situations where the person opens it but is still being prepared at that moment. The lead could forget about you when he eventually needs your service.
Control and Targeting
Inbound leads grant you little or no control over those who reach out to you. They are the ones that carry out the contacting, unlike outbound leads which are the other way around.
It does not mean you have to grant access to every tom, dick and harry that contact you. You are allowed not to work with a lead that will not benefit your agency.
In outbound leads, you can decide who you want to pursue. It requires a more detailed level of targeting.
You research and then control the category of leads you want to target.
With inbound leads, there has to be a good level of trust before any of the leads can contact you. While strategising for this type of lead, you must pay attention to the KLT (Know, Like and Trust) factor.
This will go a long way to help you generate more inbound leads. In the following subheading, we will discuss how you can generate inbound leads for your agency.
On the other hand, for outbound leads, the trust factor comes after you have contacted the lead and a working relationship has begun.
Six Ways To Generate Inbound Leads For Your Agency
If you carefully follow all we have discussed, you will realise that having more inbound leads is way better. However, only a few people understand the cheat code behind amassing a lot of inbound leads. The summary of what we will discuss here is the KLT factor.
What are the ways by which you can generate these inbound leads quickly? Let's look at six of them.
1 – Interview
No one patronises an invisible person. You have to create a good level of visibility for yourself. One of them is to interview and be interviewed.
Get on podcasts where your target clients hang out. You often see many people channelling the right energy to the wrong place. They are doing a whole lot but to the wrong audience.
Research those podcasts that your target audience listens to. Find a way to be on those podcasts. Let them listen to you talk as well. By that, they begin to know you.
Also, interview prospective clients on your podcast. Here is what happens when you do this. The prospective client builds a relationship with you and becomes more comfortable working with you.
Not only that, he has other colleagues who are your prospective clients. He would most likely tell them about the interview, and then they listen to it. More visibility. They also, in turn, find you comfortable to be around. Remember the KLT factor. It always works!
2 – Get active on Twitter.
You may have wondered why I chose to spot Twitter out of the different social media platforms. According to Twitter's data scientist, Douglas Mason, over 2 million tweets are sent monthly.
When you look at Twitter, it's is a social media platform that allows a free form of communication. Twitter's interface supports easy engagement and interaction. The more active you are on Twitter, create more visibility for yourself.
You can quickly determine from a few tweets if you should engage with an individual.
That is why you should pay attention to the kind of tweets you make. You want to create tweets that will attract people to you and your brand.
Create valuable content on Twitter and watch your business grow.
Here are a few tips to help you boost visibility and increase engagement on Twitter.
- Add photos to your tweets.
- Include videos where necessary.
- Use relevant and trending hashtags. You could synergise a particular trending hashtag with a short tweet about your business. Once people search for that hashtag, your tweet comes up as well.
- Include numbers or digits in your tweets.
- More importantly, add links. This is an excellent place to add your website links for organic traffic.
- Research shows that adding photos to your tweets grants you a 35% boost, videos grant you a 28% boost, Hashtags grant you a 16% boost, and digits and numbers grant you a 17% boost.
- Also, know the right time to tweet. After actively being on Twitter, you would have noticed a particular time of the day when you have more engagement. Stick to that time and be consistent at it.
3 – Start a blog
Ever heard of the statement that says, ‘money flows in the direction of value”? That is precisely how it is.
Remember that we said there is always a pulling force that attracts an inbound lead to you.
When you write blog articles that answer your prospective clients' questions, they begin to see you as an authority and an expert in that niche. Who wouldn't love to work with an expert?
Most likely, as an agency, you already have a website. From there, you can begin the blog page. If you do not have it already, you need to get a domain name and host your site.
The most accessible blogging platform is WordPress. It is easy to navigate, and the interface is user-friendly.
Before creating any content, research what people are asking about the topics, you have in mind.
List out all the relevant keywords that the content will rank for. This is because you want your content to rank well on Google. That is one of the ways to generate steady organic traffic to your blog. That will also bring in more inbound leads to your agency.
4 – Speak at Events
This is another easy way to generate inbound leads for your agency. Public speaking is like a magnetic force. It attracts your target audience to you.
Let's look at this illustration. You owned a digital marketing agency and were invited to speak to a group of business owners (who are part of your target audience).
You were probably asked to speak on the importance of digital marketing to businesses.
A short bio about you and what you do will be read at the beginning of your speech. After speaking and delivering a lot of value, what do you think will happen?
Many business owners will walk up to you after the event to sign up for your digital marketing agency.
That is because you have proven to know your onions with your speech. What is more interesting about it is that you get to address a large number of your target audience at once.
Therefore, speak at virtual and physical industry events.
There are different ways to get speaking engagements. You can identify events with your target audience and contact the convener to pitch yourself. Sometimes, it could be a result of your social media activities. You are seen and then invited to speak at related events.
Most importantly, you can create your event. Be a speaker alongside other invited speakers. With that, you are generating a pathway to having more inbound leads for your agency.
Also, note that speaking does not necessarily have to be physically alone. It could also be virtual speaking.
5 – Post more on LinkedIn
If you are looking for one of the best B2B platforms, LinkedIn is one. It is a good place for business owners and those looking for inbound leads.
According to research, LinkedIn currently has over 830 million users. That is why most professionals prefer to leverage it. It has more detailed analytics.
What makes it more interesting is that LinkedIn shows your content to the connections of those who react to it. This means that the more engagement, the more expansive reach.
However, LinkedIn is one of the platforms with the strictest algorithm. If you do not play your cards well, you might be on a wild goose chase for an extended period.
One of the tips that can help you is to post consistently. Not just any posts, valuable ones.
Get active on LinkedIn.
When your content is valuable and relevant to your target audience, they are drawn to you. From there, they check out your profile, and once you offer any service they need, they reach out to you.
Here are a few tips that can help improve your visibility on LinkedIn
- Use a professional headshot as your profile picture.
- Let your headline consist of the services you offer
- Create a professional bio section. While writing your bio, ensure you write it in the third-person singular.
- Always share reviews and testimonials from your clients on any of your past works. It builds more of the Know, Like and Trust factor.
6 – Start a YouTube channel.
YouTube is known as the second largest Search Engine after Google.
Like a blog, having a YouTube channel is another suitable medium for generating inbound leads for your agency.
Videos are known to rank higher on Google than texts. When you enter a query on Google, if there are video results, it will display them before the texts.
An excellent way to create more awareness for your agency is by starting a YouTube channel.
Therefore, start a YouTube channel that is targeted at your prospects.
An advantage of having a YouTube channel over a blog is that you don't need to buy any domain or hosting site on YouTube.
Just sign up with your email, enter the name you would love YouTube to be called, and that's all.
However, like the blog, you must use relevant keywords for your headlines and description box.
When you consistently create video content that enlightens, educates or entertains your prospective leads, they get attracted to you.
Remember that a deeper level of trust is built since they can see your face.
But the challenge with most people regarding starting a YouTube channel is the idea of constantly putting out their faces all the time.
As an Agency, you must never be afraid of going all out to do what you need to do.
However, an alternative form of YouTube channel that does not require your face is the cash cow YouTube channel—also known as the faceless YouTube channel.
It operates like the conventional YouTube channel; in this case, you are not using your face. You can create videos with video editing tools and upload them on your channel.
As I mentioned earlier said, money flows in the direction of value. So also, inbound leads flow in the direction of value.
Having a majority of your leads as inbound leads saves you from a lot of overhead costs. You are spending less on running ads now and then.
If you can pay close attention to the six ways I have highlighted above, you will begin to see results in no long time. The most important thing beyond starting all of that is the consistency you put into it.
Being consistent is more than just enough to start a blog or a YouTube channel. Wait to create content today and leave the space for another month to come back and begin again.
Value + consistency= Massive results. After generating inbound leads, ensure that you do not just leave them. Keep nurturing them till you successfully retain them as loyal customers.
It might be challenging to merge nurturing the new leads you have generated with maintaining consistent content marketing.
That is why most agencies leverage digital marketing platforms to ease this process.
Which of these ways are you starting with today?
Author Bio: Olusola David is the founder and CEO of Torchbankz.com, an eCommerce entrepreneur and blogger with a keen interest in Digital Marketing for eCommerce. Connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.