t

This guide will show you how to generate (at least) 10-20 B2B leads every month.

Leads that convert into $5,000, $10,000, and $100,000+ deals, every month.

And turn that into a repeatable system.

(btw I’m hosting a free workshop soon – “How to Win Clients the Easy Way in 2018” – would love to see you there!)

Click Here to Register for the Free Workshop!

 

How do I know this works?

It’s the exact system we’ve used to grow two of our own agencies (Content Kite, and this one, Growth Assembly).

b2b lead generation

We also use this exact system for our done-for-you lead generation clients, who are also agencies, consultants, and freelancers.

To date, it has not failed.

If you read to the end and implement everything in this guide, you won’t have to worry about not having opportunities again.

It’s a system that eventually runs on autopilot.

We refer to this system as the “lead tap”. You can turn it up or down as much as you like, depending on how much work you’re able to take on.

And then you can “drink” straight from that lead tap.

giphy 4

By implementing this system, you too can be like this cat

We still use this system and it continues to work. It’s transformed our business. It’s amazing.

But it wasn’t always amazing – far from it.

It’s taken time to get it right. We’ve tried a lot, struggled a lot, and have come out the other end with a working system.

Kinda like how Andy Dufresne crawled out of that tunnel in The Shawshank Redemption. It was unpleasant for quite some time, but he got to freedom in the end.

(I am by no means comparing running a struggling business, to spending 19 years in jail for a crime you didn’t commit – just drawing an analogy)

When we first started out, we didn’t have the luxury of a personal network or referrals.

No startup capital or spare money to advertise.

Just an offering we knew had value, and a naive view of how easy it would be to generate new business whenever we wanted.

How wrong we were! (if you’re an agency, consultant, or freelancer – I know you get me on this one)

But the agency had to succeed – it was our only income, and we weren’t funded.

So we tried every lead generation strategy under the sun, and most of them didn’t work (or were very ineffective to say the least).

There is a ton of crap information out there, and we fell for most of it.

But, some of it did work. After trying it all, we found three things in particular that worked time after time.

These three lead generation strategies took us from nearly going broke, to running a thriving agency that never has to worry about lack of opportunities.

So we developed it into a system. A tap that we could turn up or down whenever we pleased.

And I’m now convinced that this system will work for any business that meets a certain set of criteria.

So what are the three strategies?

I’ll get to that.

First of all, and real quick, why does all this matter?

 

The importance of more leads

 

You probably already know the importance of having more leads.

To drive the point home, though, here’s a very big call:

Every problem for agencies, consultants and freelancers can be solved by more leads.

giphy 2

Let me explain.

In general, more leads means more profit. And more profit tends to fix problems, whatever they may be.

Yes, lead quality is a factor, and you’ll need to be selective of them to ensure your margins are where they need to be (among other things).

But more leads allows you to be more selective. Without leads you need to take on projects purely because you need the money.

With more leads, you can take on the projects that will benefit you the most. Whether from a profit perspective, or otherwise.

Do you have any of these problems (like we did)?

  • Crappy clients
  • Cash crunches
  • Talent shortages
  • Feast/famine cycles
  • Debt

All solved by more leads.

If you have dozens of options, you don’t have to take on crappy clients. If your pipeline is always full, you make more money, so you can afford to pay your people, and pay them well.

Not to mention paying yourself a better salary.

Think of any problem (business problem), and ask yourself if more leads will fix it. I would hazard a guess that it will.

At the very least indirectly, but most likely, a direct effect.

So who does this work for?

I’ve developed this for agencies, consultants, and freelancers – because I’ve been those things, and I know the system works for us.

 

The criteria: what kind of business does this work for?

 

Here are the criteria. If this is you, read on. If this is not you, still read on – this has my best stuff and it took me agesssss 😉

 

MANDATORY

  • B2B service or software – this will not work for B2C

 

PREFERABLE

  • High-value services will yield greater returns – ideally at least $1000/month. But, since this system requires very little investment, to begin with, you can still be profitable with a lower priced offering. There’s just more leverage with a higher priced product or service.
  • People already want/need what you offer – there is already a market for your service. Acid test: you have competitors.
  • Virtual – you can deliver your service outside of your local area. The wonders of technology make this easier every day.
  • Large-ish market. This will vary, but a market size of at least 1,000 businesses who could use your product or service. Preferably 5000 or more.

 

So who does that leave us with? In our experience, it’s these guys:

 

  • Digital agencies – could be any one of, or a combination of:
    • Full-service agencies
    • FB ads
    • PPC
    • Content marketing (like us)
    • SEO
    • Web design/development
    • App design/development
    • Graphic design
    • Direct mail
    • Etc.
  • Consultants (or freelancers)
    • As above, but as an individual
    • Financial consultants
    • IT consultants
    • Recruitment consultants
    • Etc.
  • Coaches
    • Personal coaches
    • Executive coaches
    • Etc.
  • B2B SaaS (various)

And there are almost certainly businesses I haven’t thought of.

Let’s just say if you’re B2B, and you offer something that you know has value, this should work for you.

Ok. So if you’re still reading, I’m assuming you hit the criteria.

Let’s get into the meat of the guide, and how you create a lead tap for yourself.

 

YOU THERE – ARTICLE SKIMMER – STOP HERE.

THIS IS WHERE THE MEAT OF GUIDE STARTS

 

Cold email, borrowed audiences, and Linkedin automation

 

(btw I’m hosting a free workshop soon – “How to Win Clients the Easy Way in 2018” – would love to see you there!)

Click Here to Register for the Free Workshop!

 

Yes, they all still work in late 2018. They’ll continue to work through 2019 (unless there is a major disruption with any of them – I’ll update the post if so).

 

Linkedin automation is the fastest way to generate new business. If you’re running Linkedin automation in 2018, you’re doing the equivalent of running Google Adwords in 2001. Incredible opportunity, but you have to get it right.

 

Cold email is not dead, is very scalable, and very automatable. If you think it doesn’t work for you, it’s most likely due to one of two things that are simple to fix.

 

Borrowed audiences (being featured to someone else’s audience) generate super high-quality quality leads. It’s also a completely free method, and not hard to do. There are just a few key things you need to know before getting started.

 

Using these methods, we were able to grow quickly.

Once we cracked the code, that is. Remember, we struggled for a while.

But once we figured out this system, and actually implemented it consistently, all of that went away.

If your business fits the criteria, and you implement this system, you can grow really quickly.

It’s the guide I wish I had.

And I know this works, because I use it every day, and it works. Every time (assuming you hit the criteria).

It’s also free, so what do you have to lose?

By the way: this all assumes you can provide value and “sell” your offering.

This system gets you to a position where you will never have to worry about not having opportunities to pitch. It won’t pitch for you, and it won’t deliver your offering for you. That’s on you.

So enough chit-chat. Let’s get down to brass tacks. The system. Starting with a channel that most get horribly wrong.

 

Cold Email

 

Most cold emails suck and don’t work.

They look something like this:

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If you follow the steps in this section, you will send cold email campaigns that generate you high-quality leads.

And get responses like these:

Email response 1

Email response 2Email response 3

Email response 4

Email response 5

A lot of people have tried and failed at cold email. For that reason, they say it doesn’t work. That cold email is dead.

Let me tell you: cold email is not dead. From experience, I can tell you it is not dead.

But it it’s as good as dead if you don’t do it right.

Here’s why most suck:

  1. Crap list
  2. Crap copy

Wrapped up in these two overarching factors are some other little sub factors. Here are just a few:

  • Wrong tone
  • Sent to the wrong person at the company (bad list)
  • Non “human”
  • No humor (more important than you think)
  • Not writing in the recipient’s terms
  • Sequence of follow ups is off
  • Bad/too many calls to action
  • Not personalized (at scale)
  • Etc.

It’s also important how you combine your list and copy. Let me explain:

If you write “good copy” for accountants but send it to the manufacturing industry, it won’t be effective.

This is where the principle of “personalization at scale” comes into play.

It’s probably the biggest factor in turning a poor cold email campaign into a fruitful one. But I’ll get back to that.

So what are the exact things you need to do to create a successful cold email campaign?

Here is the strategy we use (simplified):

  1. Build a good list
  2. Write good copy
  3. Send 50-100 initial emails/day + follow-ups with Mailshake
  4. Skip Mondays and Fridays

Before that though, I’m going to talk about something incredibly boring, but very important:

 

Cold Email Compliance

 

Oh yeah!!! Compliance!! WOOOOO!!

giphy

This is a must read despite how much you don’t want to. FYI this is relevant for the US. For other countries, I’m afraid you’ll have to do your own research.

One thing I can tell you is that you can’t cold email (legally) in Australia or Canada. So if you’re Aussie like me, or Canadian, you’ll have to target another country if you want to use this method.

Anyway, I’ll be brief:

 

Opt-out

You have to provide a way for recipients to stop hearing from you. It’s the law. You can do this with an “unsubscribe” link, but that shatters the illusion that this is a personalized email.

We simply include a line that says something like “If you’d rather I not follow up again, just let me know”.

If someone does let you know, then stop emailing them. Simple, really.

 

Business address

Must include your physical address in the email. Self-explanatory.

 

You can’t be misleading in the subject line or otherwise

Don’t lie, basically. You can create intrigue, but you can’t straight up lie about what’s in the email just to get someone to open it. Even if there wasn’t a legal repercussion, you shouldn’t do this anyway – it annoys people.

That’s the legal stuff, and then there are some best practices:

(btw I’m hosting a free workshop soon – “How to Win Clients the Easy Way in 2018” – would love to see you there!)

Click Here to Register for the Free Workshop!

 

Cold Email Best Practices

 

I use Gsuite as my email provider, and recommend them. I can only speak for Gsuite, but this will all apply to other email providers such as Microsoft Exchange, Zoho etc.

 

Set up a separate domain for sending cold email

Whenever you send cold emails en masse, it’s always a good idea to set up a separate sending domain and separate Gsuite account for it. This way, if anyone does flag you as spam, your main email address doesn’t go down the drain with it.

If you have a yourdomain.com, use  yourdomain.co or .biz. Whatever works for you, just as long as it’s recognizable that it’s the same company.

Create the secondary domain in your hosting account (e.g. Bluehost, GoDaddy), and then create an entirely new Gsuite account for that domain only.

 

Sending limits

With Gsuite, you can technically send up to 2000 emails per day. I wouldn’t recommend it though.

If Google/Outlook etc. start to notice that you’re sending cold email en masse, they will start putting you in the spam folder.

I tend to lean towards not going over 100 initial emails/day. When you start to layer follow ups on top of this, you can potentially be getting up to 500+ total emails/day, which is pushing it.

With a good list and good copy, this is more than enough to generate a good amount of leads each month on autopilot.

Bored yet? Here’s a funny cat gif to break it up:

giphy 3

 

Variation in subject lines

Put a text replacement in the subject line, so it doesn’t look like you’re sending the same email over and over. This will increase your deliverability.

 

Set up SPF and DKIM for your email account/s

“Signs” your emails with your own domain. Signals to the email police that your emails are legit coming from your domain. For Gsuite users there is a guide for SPF here, and for DKIM here.

 

“Warm up” your email accounts

When you first open new email account, email providers watch it like a hawk – you are much more likely to go to spam. That means you need to show the email police that you’re a normal email account.

There are varying opinions on this, but in general, you should warm up the account for 2-4 weeks though.

Do things such as:

  • Send just a few emails a day to other email accounts you own, and reply to them. This signals that people read and reply to your emails
  • Sign up to email newsletters so that your ratio of incoming emails to outgoing emails looks normal
  • Build up slowly to 50 emails/day – don’t start a new account and send 50 cold emails on day one

 

Space out your emails

Have at least a 30-second gap in between each email. That’s how “people” send emails, and you’re trying to look like a person – not a tech platform.

Most cold email tools should handle this for you, or allow you to change it with a setting.

Let’s get into that – the technology.

 

Cold Email Technology

 

The easiest bit to get right, but there are some important things to be aware of.

For the beginners, there is a big difference between a cold email tool (like Mailshake or Quickmail), and an email marketing tool (like MailChimp or Aweber).

An email marketing tool is for sending email newsletters to users who have opted in to your list. The emails don’t technically come from your account, and they look like “marketing emails”.

A cold email tool, on the other hand, hooks directly into your actual email account. It tells your real account to send emails, from you, in an automated way.

From the recipient’s perspective, it looks exactly like an email you’ve personally sent (if you write good copy).

We use Mailshake, and it’s awesome. It’s the easiest tool to use, and it also happens to be the cheapest (that we know of – and we’ve tried a bunch).

At the time of writing this, Mailshake only connects with Gmail/Gsuite – so you will need to be using Google as your email provider.

There are other tools that accommodate other email providers and can achieve the same effect as Mailshake, but for this post, I’m going to focus on Mailshake only.

The Mailshake interface looks like this:

pasted image 0 30

 

It will track how many of your emails have been sent, open rate, reply rate and bounce rate. It can also track clicks of links, but we turn this off as we don’t use links in our emails (I’ll explain why later on in the guide).

From here you can easily add campaigns, turn them on or off, add recipients to current campaigns, tweak your messaging etc.

It is also has a neat feature called the “Sending Calendar”, and this is important.

It basically lets you set the parameters that all of your campaigns follow.

pasted image 0

 

In this example, I can say that emails are only sent Monday to Thursday, between 8am and 3pm.

I can also set the maximum limits for the day, and how they are sent (spaced out or all at once).

Incredibly important that you don’t send too many emails per day, unless you know what you’re doing from a technical standpoint.

The platform itself is really easy to use:

  1. Create a campaign
  2. Add your list/recipients
  3. Write your copy for a 3-4 email sequence
  4. Schedule the send

 

(btw I’m hosting a free workshop soon – “How to Win Clients the Easy Way in 2018” – would love to see you there!)

Click Here to Register for the Free Workshop!

 

So that’s the tech – most of these tools are simple enough to get your head around. It’s the list and copy that will get you results.

For now, let’s build a list.

 

Building a cold email list

 

Arguably the most important part of the cold email process.

Based on the sending limits I outlined at the top of the section, you’ll need a list size of 500 – 3000 people per month.

You can, of course, send less than 500/month, but you may find the results are less than you desire. You’ll still get leads, but it will take longer.

Don’t go more than 3000/month, unless you know what you’re doing from a tech standpoint (SMTP, multiple accounts, and other jargon).

3000/month is plenty – for perspective, we never go over 1000 in a month and that generates more than enough leads.

There are three main ways to build a list of recipients:

 

Buy from a vendor

Not recommended. You’ll get a lot of bad data, out of date data, high bounce rates, spam traps etc. It can kill your email deliverability.

 

Use a prospecting/scraping tool

A tool that goes out and searches public databases for business emails. Good for scalability and value for money. But you will get some irrelevant data.

We have had success using this kind of list, and you will be able get emails for about 0.02 cents each.

Examples:

Most of them work in the same way. You set your parameters, and the tool spits out a list.

The parameters are somewhat limited, but for what you pay, it’s a good place to start.

 

Build your own list from scratch with a VA

The best way to build a list, and the only method we use these days.

Have someone visit actual websites, find the decision maker on Linkedin, use an email finding tool, and add them to a list manually.

I’m going to dive deeper into this method because it requires it, and it’s where we’ve had the most success.

Your cost per email address will be higher (0.10 – 0.20 cents), but it will be great data and produce a better cost per lead in the end.

You can set the exact parameters of who you want on your list.

You can say things like “don’t add them to the list if their website looks a bit scrappy”.

Or “only add companies that look hip and trendy”

Try telling that to a software tool.

For Content Kite, one of our targets was app development companies.

We found an online directory of them – Appfutura.com

Your target industry will almost certainly have something similar.

Here’s a quick search I did for “directory of accountants in the US”:

pasted image 0 15

If for whatever reason you can’t find a directory in your target industry, just use Google to go through businesses in the search rankings one by one.

Note: if you don’t have a niche industry, don’t go for a directory of “small businesses”. If you must go broad, it’s much better to pick multiple niches or industries, because then you can tailor your messaging. I’ll get to the importance of this in the “Personalization at Scale” section of this guide.

Anyway.

We asked our VA to go to Appfutura, set a few targeting parameters (US based, works in iOS and Android etc.). This gave them a list of thousands of app developers to collect emails from.

They then visited the website to determine if it’s a good fit (based on our criteria), found the decision maker’s name and email address, and we had a list.

Here’s a screenshot:

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If you find a specialist lead generation VA to gather the contact information, they’ll know how to visit a site and find the decision maker.

Just for context though, here’s the easy way to do it. To find the decision makers, just type the company name into Google, followed by “CEO linkedin” (or whoever the decision maker is).

You can then click through to their profile, and use a tool like Contact Out to find their email address.

pasted image 0 33

Not sure why I’m blurring this – it’s all public anyway…

There are plenty of resources for finding email addresses, so I won’t get into that here. Google it!

At a base level, you’ll need the following details to send an effective cold email:

  • Email (obviously)
  • First name
  • Revised company name
  • Personalization variable (I’ll get to this)

As for the “revised company name”:

When writing your emails, you’ll be using the company name as a “text replacement”.

E.g. I was looking at [company] = I was looking at Appinventiv

A lot of companies are called something like: Content Kite Marketing Solutions Inc.

If you were writing to someone individually, you would never write that name in full.

You’d shorten it. You’d just call it Content Kite.

Think about it – imagine you receive an email that says something like:

“Hey Simon, I was taking a look at the Content Kite Marketing Solutions Inc. website”

You would switch off. It’s clearly been scraped. What would sound more natural is:

“Hey Simon, I was taking a look at the Content Kite website”

This is how normal people speak. Conversationally.

So when you’re building a list, ask your VA to create a new column called “Company Revised”, and alter the company name to be a natural, conversational version of the company name.

Like how you would say in a casual email.

And this leads into our next topic – personalization at scale.

This is what will separate crap cold emails from good ones. The thing that makes your email seem individualized, when they’re actually automated.

 

Personalization at Scale

 

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I’ll say it again. This principle is what will take your cold emails from not-working to working.

To actually personalize hundreds of emails every week, would take up your entire week. And you end up sending most of the same copy to everyone anyway.

Thankfully though, there is a way to personalize your emails, at scale.

You can make it seem as though you have written a one-to-one email, and send it out to hundreds, or thousands of people.

And it’s pretty straightforward.

 

Here’s how we do it for our content agency:

For context, we offer content marketing services. Specifically, blog content services.

Our clients range from businesses who have a really good blog already, to those that have a mediocre blog, or have no blog at all.

We decided this would be our “personalization variable” (let’s call it PV from now on).

So, when our VA was building a list, we asked them to look at the blog of every app development company they were adding to the list, and “rank” it.

Here’s what the ranking criteria looked like:

  • 0 – None. Site did not have a blog, resource center, news section etc. of any kind.
  • 1 – Poor. One post per quarter or less.
  • 2 – Mediocre. Between one and three posts per quarter.
  • 3 – Good. Between one and three posts per month.
  • 4 – Great. One post per week or more (research shows this to be the ideal posting frequency).

This was a column in our excel doc. We then made separate .csv files for every contact with the same blog rating. This way we could create a unique messaging sequence, and load the relevant list into that sequence.

pasted image 0 16

Everyone who had a blog rating of 3, got a message that was different to those that, say, didn’t have a blog.

So for the 3’s, this is what we know:

  1. They’re app development companies
  2. They have a pretty good blog already

Here’s what this enables us to use in our messaging:

“I noticed you have a fairly consistent blogging schedule, and I was wondering if you find it difficult to keep up on a regular basis?

I run Content Kite, and we help app development companies generate inbound inquiries by automating their content marketing.”

That sounds like a message from someone who’s done their homework. Like a one to one email.

This message went to thousands.

And for the companies that didn’t have a blog, they received different messaging.

They received messaging around the benefits of creating a blog from the ground up. Because that’s relevant to them.

“I noticed you don’t have a blog – is this something you’ve considered before? In our experience, content marketing is really effective for helping app development companies generate inbound inquiries.”

I don’t need to tell someone who already has a blog, why they should have a blog. If they have one, they know. Their problem is different. They find it difficult to do consistently. So I press on that pain point instead.

And that’s the gist of it.

So when you think about sending your next set of cold emails, break out the audiences first. Even if you start by just segmenting the types of companies – that’s a start and will get you positive results.

For example, sending eCommerce stores a different message to law firms. Or accountants a different message to gyms.

Adding an additional personalization variable will really ramp up your results.

E.g. eCommerce stores vs eCommerce stores that sell fashion accessories. Every extra detail you can add makes it more convincing you’ve done your homework and reached out personally.

 

(btw I’m hosting a free workshop soon – “How to Win Clients the Easy Way in 2018” – would love to see you there!)

Click Here to Register for the Free Workshop!

 

Do this, and you’ll be in a much better position than the majority of cold emailers out there.

 

Side note: that research of all of those app development company websites gave us a ton of data. We had the blog posting frequency of thousands of app developers.

That’s interesting to app developers (our audience), so we made a blog post about it.

It’s our highest traffic post to date, and the only people reading it are app developers who are interested in content marketing. Just who we’re looking for.

Here’s the blog post.

Data is valuable. Think of a few ways you can use it once you have it.

 

Cold Email Copy

 

If I had to give a formula for good cold email copy, it would probably be something like this:

  • Personalize at scale
  • Use humor
  • Communicate your value (cliche, but for good reason)
  • Don’t be arrogant (you’d be surprised how often this is ignored)
  • Add a P.S.
  • Aim for a reply – nothing more (at first)

We’ve covered personalization at scale.

Next:

 

Use Humor

 

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Humor gives you exclusivity in your prospect’s inbox.

I learnt this from Jon Buchan – he got drunk one night and wrote a cold email he shouldn’t have, and it worked wonders.

There are a few reasons humor works.

Most cold emails are dry. They don’t make the recipient want to read it.

Most “cold email experts” repeat the same advice. Keep it short. Communicate benefits succinctly. Be direct.

It’s not the worst advice, but it’s overdone. And this is exactly why those emails are ineffective. They’re all the same, and people switch off the second they catch wind of same-old, same-old.

Below is an excerpt from one my best cold emails in terms of the conversion rate to a call.

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Who says “Salutations”? No one.

Who makes light of the fact you basically stalked them on the internet? No one.

And that’s the point. I’ve opened with something that they have never received before. This interrupts the pattern.

The email then goes on to communicate how Content Kite could benefit him, while adding in lines of humor throughout.

The trick is to subtly weave between your pitch and humor. It’s a tricky balance to strike, but when done well, it’s extremely effective.

Here is Adam’s response:

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For those of you thinking “I write to C-Level executives, and they would never go for this” – here’s what I would say:

**People do not stop liking humor when they become a CEO.**

As Jon Buchan puts it:

When someone achieves success, they don’t decide “I don’t like to laugh anymore.”

“Smiling is something I used to do – before I became successful”

Think how absurd that sounds!

The data backs up the effectiveness, too.

Response rates on our campaigns at least double when we use humor in the right way. And yes, this includes C-Suites.

pasted image 0 23

Even the Queen and Crown Prince of England like to have a laugh

In addition, it sets the tone for a more relaxed sales conversation when you do eventually talk to them.

And no, you don’t have to continue to be funny for the remainder of the conversation.

I’m not generally a funny guy. I don’t continue to be a funny guy on the call/meeting. I “talk business”. But in a relaxed way. A conversational way. A way that humans communicate.

If you’re not a “born copywriter”, that’s cool. Take some humor lines from our PDF, and use them near the opening.

You don’t need to have your prospect in fits of laughter – aim for a wry smirk. Be “somewhat funny”.

(btw I’m hosting a free workshop soon – “How to Win Clients the Easy Way in 2018” – would love to see you there!)

Click Here to Register for the Free Workshop!

 

If you use just one line of humor in your emails, that’s better than most. If you can continue to weave it in subtly throughout your email, even better.

But do something to stand out, without being offensive.

 

Don’t be arrogant

 

Seriously, just don’t.

There’s explaining how you can provide a benefit, and there’s being arrogant. If you feel like you may be coming across as arrogant, you probably are. Take it out.

It’s one of the biggest turn offs you can include in a cold email.

If you need to be a bit “braggy”, call it out that you’re doing so. Here’ a line I’ve used before as an example:

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If anything, be self-deprecating.

Also, signing off with “when shall we have a call?”, is being arrogant. It’s presumptuous, and it’s a turn off. And yes, we’ve A/B tested it and it does not perform as well.

If you’re wondering whether or not you sound arrogant, you probably do.

Remember, when you send a cold email, you’re interrupting someone’s day. Respect that.

 

Communicate your value effectively

 

The best way to do this is via a case study of a similar company.

You can do this without case studies (like we did at first), but it helps if you have one.

For example, if you’re a conversion rate optimization consultant, and you’re emailing online fashion stores, you could use something like this:

We recently helped another online fashion store, Xyz Co, increase their conversion rate by 22%. This lead to an increase in sales of over $11k/month from the same level of traffic.

I think we could do the same for you, would you be interested in hearing how we do this?

That’s compelling.

You know how most people phrase that? Something along the lines of “We can increase your conversion rate.”

There’s no reason to believe you. You’re a stranger.

But if you give concrete stats, about a business similar to theirs, you have a lot more credibility.

Whatever your value is (save time, save money, increase employee engagement, whatever) – show the results you achieved for a similar business.

If you don’t have case studies or testimonials (like we didn’t at first), that’s cool. You can still create the impression of expertise by personalizing the message to the industry.

E.g. “We help online fashion stores increase their conversion rate by factors of 10-20%”

You will still get good results if you tailor the message perfectly to your audience.

 

Call to action – aim for a reply

 

Most people ask for a call. Or worse, insert their Calendly link.

That’s presumptuous.

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Remember, this person doesn’t know you and you’re interrupting their day.

The aim is to get a call, but let them be the one to suggest it.

Aim for a reply at first.

“Are you interested in knowing how we could this for [company]?”

“Would you like some more information?”

A lot of cold email experts will say this is soft. That people respect when you are direct.

That maybe true, but I’m much more interested in my conversion-to-lead data.

For that, the softer ask (a reply) always wins.

All that is required from them is an “ok”. Mentally, that is a much less arduous task than committing to a 15-20 minute phone call from you.

But here’s the funny thing.

They will end up suggesting a call themselves, the majority of the time.

It’s going to be the easiest way for them to get the information they need, and they’ll realize that as they reply to you (most of the time).

You may end up having a few back and forth emails, but in the end, either you’ll get to the phone, or you’ll discover they aren’t a right fit, very soon.

 

Add a P.S. – the most read part of any email

 

Seriously, it’s the most read part. Eye tracking studies have shown it to be so. For some weird reason, our brains are just wired to go to it.

So use that. Here are a few things to include:

  • Reiterate your call to action
  • Add a testimonial or mention another result you achieved for a similar client

 

Sequence – how many follow-ups?

 

The gurus will tell you to use eight.

It’s backed up in data that you’ll get the most replies by sending an eight email sequence.

But I mean, eight emails?? I’m all for maximizing results, but that just seems a little over the top IMO. So we don’t send eight, purely for personal preference reasons.

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We’re probably leaving some money on the table, but I’m ok with that.

We use three. You can use however many you like, but I can only outline what we have done, and has worked.

We generally use the following structure for our sequences.

(btw I’m hosting a free workshop soon – “How to Win Clients the Easy Way in 2018” – would love to see you there!)

Click Here to Register for the Free Workshop!

 

Initial

As above – the pitch. Use humor, don’t be arrogant, be conversational, communicate value etc. etc.

 

First follow-up

Short, use humor, aim to pique their interest. Don’t go overboard.

 

Final follow-up/the breakup

Short, use humor, let them know this is the last email. If they are interested in what you’re offering, let them know you’re going to be “off the table” after this email.

We actually see the highest response rates from the last email. If someone is curious, the fear of missing out can be quite motivating, thus warranting a reply then and there.

 

Summary

 

I’m not going to say this is the be all, end all guide to cold email. But this works for us, and we’ve tried a lot.

It’s a scalable, and highly automatable lead generation source for you business. All that’s required is a good list, good copy, and a smart combining of the two.

For those who are apprehensive about using humor, that’s completely fine (I was too). We didn’t use it for a long time and still got positive results.

But know this: humor is powerful because most people are apprehensive to use it.

It makes your emails stand out from all of the other boring, self centered emails your prospects receive every day.

Your results will improve if you use it wisely.

To recap the strategy:

  • Use a really good list of verified decision makers
  • Use good copy – humor, personalized at scale, conversational
  • Send 50-100 initial emails/day (but build up to it) – skip Mondays and Fridays if you want
  • Send a 3 or 4 email sequence – the last email must state that it will be your last

 

Linkedin Automation

 

Linkedin automation is the fastest way to generate high-quality B2B leads in 2018.

There I said it.

LI response 1LI response 2

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Think of it like this:

If you were sending cold emails in 1999, you’d have a 100% open rate.

If you were on Google Adwords in 2001, you could get $0.01 clicks.

Linkedin automation in 2018, is like cold email in 1999.

I go pretty deep on Linkedin in a free workshop I’m hosting – “How to Win Clients the Easy Way in 2018” – would love to see you there!

Click Here to Register for the Free Workshop!

 

You’d be a little late to the table, but way ahead of 99% of B2B marketers. You will get very close to 100% open rates.

Currently, the tools available for Linkedin automation are a little clunky at best. But in a way, this is a good thing. It adds a higher barrier to entry. Less people will be taking advantage of it. Whichever tool you use, you should be able to figure it out with some practice.

So. On with the guide.

There are three main ways you can automate Linkedin for lead generation. Some are more aggressive than others, and your choice will depend on your hunger to scale vs your time allocation for business development.

All of them will generate leads though. That much is certain.

Note: Linkedin Sales Navigator (premium account), which will cost $79/month, is a must for this to work properly. I know it seems expensive-ish as far as software goes. But when used correctly, it will pay for itself many, many times over.

So before we get started, we need to clear up a few things.

Firstly:

 

How are we defining a lead in this context? Do they actually convert?

 

In short, yes they convert. We break down the definition of “lead” into two stages:

 

Stage 1:

You have someone saying something like: “Yes I would like to know more about your solution and how it can help my business” – for the purpose of this guide, this is what we’ll call a “lead”

 

Stage 2:

Get to the call/meeting. 50% or so of leads in stage 1, should get to stage 2 – the call/meeting

Depending on your offering, your ability to “sell”, your previous success etc. – your conversion rate will vary.

But if you’re not converting at least 20% of leads that get to stage 2 (the call/meeting), you are doing something wrong.

If you have something that’s super valuable, a good track record, and some sales ability, there is potential to close 70-80% of stage 2 leads.

What I’m getting at is, yes – the leads you generate via this method will convert.

Let’s get into it then. Starting with:

 

Your Linkedin Profile

 

First of all, your profile needs to be optimized for lead generation.

You could have a great profile in terms of your accomplishments, background etc., but if it doesn’t speak to your target audience, it falls down.

This is how I approach it, and it works.

There are a million ways to do this, but the most important thing is that you write in terms of the problem you solve.

It’s not about you, it’s about your customer.

This is one example.

 

Linkedin Headline

 

Plenty of leads will see only your headline, and nothing else. It’s got to explain how you can benefit your prospect.

Instead of “CEO at Content Kite”, I’ve got “Helping B2B companies engage new business”.

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It says what I do (help you engage new business), and who I do it for (B2B companies).

If possible, get as specific as you possibly can. If content marketing were the only thing we offered, I would say:

“Helping B2B companies engage new business with content marketing”

 

If you’re an SEO:

“I boost organic traffic and leads for XYZ businesses”

 

Web designer/developer:

“Helping businesses in the XYZ industry build an online presence that customers can’t forget”

 

Facebook ad consultant:

“Driving positive ROI campaigns with Facebook ads”

 

Mention the problem you solve, and if possible, who you solve it for.

 

Linkedin Profile Summary

 

Again, the principle here is to write in terms of your customer. Not you.

The first 30 words or so will be surfaced before a user has to click “See More”. Your first sentence or two should explain your solution in slightly more detail.

Next, bullet five points of specific results you have achieved. If you don’t have results yet (no one does at first), then bullet the results you are capable of achieving.

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Next, I break it down into five more sections:

  • Who we serve
  • How we’re different
  • My experience/background
  • What I’ve learned (about the problem you solve)
  • How it works – this is your call to action

Here’s what I put:

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After that, you can just put your work experience as you normally would, with the exception of your current business.

For your current business, keep it short and sharp, reiterate the problem/solution, and include a website link.

Like so:

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Play around with it. Make it your own.

The important thing is to write in terms of your customer, their problem, and how you can provide a solution.

With that, let’s get into running the campaigns.

 

Linkedin campaign types

 

There are three main types, each with their own pros and cons.

It’s entirely up to you as to which you decide to run. They are:

  1. Auto visit
  2. Auto connect
  3. Auto connect + message

Each level will produce more leads than the last. Simple. It just depends on how “aggressive” you want to get, and how much time you have for business development.

Remember, leads require your attention to turn into closed deals. No one will reply with “Yes! Take my money! Let’s work together NOW!”

Doesn’t work like that. You need to be the one moving the conversation forward, and get them to the call or meeting.

The good part is, you should be able to do the message responses in about 5-10 minutes/day. You’re simply responding to the interested parties and aiming to get on the phone with them.

For all of these campaigns, you will need to set your targeting in Sales Navigator to determine who to view/connect/message. It’s fairly straightforward, and Linkedin has a ton of data you can set as your criteria.

 

Targeting in Sales Navigator

 

Regardless of the campaign type you’re running, you will need to identify who you will be viewing, connecting, and/or messaging. Sales navigator is the best way to do that.

The Lead Builder in Sales Nav is extremely powerful. You can set it up to target whoever you like, there are just a few considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Aim for about 1000 results. Linkedin will only show you up to 1000 anyway. Add or remove cities/geography to make minor adjustments.
  2. Relationship: 2nd and 3rd + everyone else connections only. You don’t want to view/connect/message people already in your network (1st connections)

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Everything else is up to you!

Always bear in mind who your ultimate decision maker is, and target them.

For example, if you build websites for chiropractic clinics. Make sure you’re targeting “owners of chiropractic clinics” and not “chiropractors”. A lot of chiropractors have nothing to do with the actual marketing/running a business. Be mindful of this when building your search.

When you have built your search in Sales Navigator, you will use a Linkedin Automation tool to take that data and apply it to your campaign.

This gets a little techy, but perfectly doable.

Now. The campaigns!

 

Level 1: Auto Visit Campaign

 

For anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable connecting with a ton of people you don’t know, this campaign is for you.

The least invasive campaign, and could almost be perceived in a way as “inbound” lead generation. It’s great, but will also yield the least amount of leads (about 1/week).

 

How it works:

  1. You auto-visit 300 profiles per day based on your Sales Navigator search
  2. Your lovely face and headline (which outlines your solution) is featured prominently in your prospect’s “Who Viewed Your Profile” section
  3. About 15% of people you view, will click through to your profile and read your (now optimized) summary
  4. About 5% of the people that view you, will connect with you
  5. When they connect with you, accept, and message them back with a simple message

 

(btw I talk about the most effective way to use Linkedin in a free workshop I’m hosting – “How to Win Clients the Easy Way in 2018” – would love to see you there!)

Click Here to Register for the Free Workshop!

 

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If your profile is good, and explains how you solve their problem, this will start some very fruitful conversations for you. The best part is they’re connecting with you.

You will need an auto visiting tool such as:

  • Linked Helper
  • Dux Soup
  • Elink Pro
  • **MYSTERY TOOL** (I’ll reveal it in the free workshop I’m putting on. It’s the best tool by far – get registered here)

 

So, if you visit 300 profiles/day, that’s 1500 profiles/week.

X 15% lookback = ~200 views of your profile/week

X 5% connect with you = ~10 inbound connections/week

X 10% will be actual leads who need your solution = ~1 lead/week

 

Results will vary. You can easily generate more than 1 lead/week if you have a killer profile and are targeting the right folks.

And they’re essentially inbound leads – they connected with you, remember? This puts you in a better position when it comes to the call.

The downside is the lack of scalability (visiting more than 1500 profiles/week will get you flagged by Linkedin), and filtering the leads from the random connectors.

If you don’t want to go too “aggressive”, and are willing to do the filtering, this is a great strategy that will yield returns.

But it all comes down to your headline and profile. You have to have those nailed, and really specific, as they will determine whether someone becomes intrigued enough to connect with you.

 

The Strategy in a nutshell:

Run an auto visit campaign every day, with a maximum of 300 profile views/day. Accept all incoming connection requests, and write a personalized message asking them why they connected, and if they’ve thought about using a solution like yours before.

Note: There is also an optional, additional step you can take to boost your lead count. Send a connection request to everyone who looks back at your profile. They won’t all accept, but you’ll have a lot more connections/conversations this way.

 

Level Two: Auto Connect Campaign

 

The next step, and our campaign type of choice.

You will need an auto-connect tool. One such tool is Linked Helper.

There is also a better, much more intuitive tool that I’ll be revealing in the free workshop I’m putting on – “How to Win Clients the Easy Way in 2018” – come along to see what it is!

Click Here to Register for the Free Workshop!

 

How it works:

  1. You auto-connect with 100 profiles/day, with a very soft pitch in the P.S. (you’re only allowed 300 characters in this message – use them wisely)
  2. About 20% will accept connection
  3. About 5% of those who accept, will respond positively to your soft pitch (therefore a lead)

 

So the maths:

100 connection requests/day, that’s 500/week

X 20% accept connection = 100 connections/week

X 5% respond positively = 5 leads/week

 

Yep, that’s right. 5 leads per week. Of those, you should be getting 3-4 to the phone/meeting.

Every week that you run this.

 

The strategy in a nutshell:

For the owners, CEOs, founders, consultants etc. reading this: run this week on/week off.

Run it for a week, and spend the next week just handling the replies and taking calls/meetings. When coupled with all of your other duties to do with running a business, honestly, it gets overwhelming – all those leads.

It’s a good problem to have.

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Ignore if you have sales people who’s job is to handle this full time – load them up!

 

Note: most tools require you to actually have your computer on, with Linkedin open, not minimized and not in another tab. It can be running the background, so just open your browser in a separate window.

A way around this is to setup a virtual private server (VPS) and proxy. You essentially “rent” another computer that runs 24/7, and you can access it whenever you like, remotely.

This starts to get technical so I won’t get into the details here. If your computer is on and running most of the day anyway, you shouldn’t have any issues.

 

Level Three: Auto Connect + Message

 

The next level. This will get you the most leads, but it’s also the most time intensive and difficult to setup and monitor.

Honestly, I actually don’t recommend doing this unless you are very comfortable with the first two methods, the software tool you are using, and have time to handle all of the leads i.e. you’re main focus is sales.

This will get you the most leads.

But.

It’s also the most difficult to setup if you don’t have the right tool.

Unless you’re ok with awkwardly auto messaging your pitch to someone you are already in conversation with, you need to manually exclude these people from your message.

This is doable, but can get tricky.

You’ll also need to exclude all of your current connections – friends, close colleagues etc. You don’t want them to receive your pitch, so you need to be careful about excluding them, too.

All possible, but it takes away from the “automation” part of this.

UPDATE: There is finally an intuitive tool that make this campaign type super easy. I’ll be talking about it in the free workshop I’m putting on – “How to Win Clients the Easy Way in 2018” – come along to see what I mean. 

Click Here to Register for the Free Workshop!

 

So what’s a good overall strategy to use?

 

For beginners, I’d recommend level 1 or 2. Auto visit or auto connect.

Auto visit can run on autopilot for as long as you like, and doesn’t require a whole lot of work. Just monitor your connections and start as many conversations as you like. Simple.

If you’re going with auto connect, run the campaign for a week. This will yield you about 150 connections who have seen your soft pitch, and 7-10 replies.

Take the next week to handle those replies and move the conversation forward to the call/meeting, then start it back up the next week. Otherwise you can easily lose track. If you are/have full time sales reps, ignore this and load them up every week!

Leads abound.

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THEN.

If you want to pick it up a notch and move to level 3, do a broadcast message once a month or so to new connections who have not responded.

You will need to manually exclude your old connections, and anyone who has replied already to your auto connect campaign.

It will depend on your automation tool of choice as to how you do this. All completely doable with some tinkering.

Linkedin automation – the cold email of 1999.

The Google Adwords of 2001.

Use it wisely in 2018, and you will dominate with lead generation.

 

Borrowed Audiences

 

What is it? You get yourself in front of someone’s audience, and leverage their authority and audience size. You provide super valuable content, they provide the audience.

What does this mean? You don’t have to spend months and years creating content, building an email list or Facebook group, or whatever. You just “hi-jack” someone else’s audience (in a good way – all parties come out with a win here).

Borrowed audiences come in a number of forms:

  • Guest podcasting (appearing as a guest on someone else’s podcast)
  • Public speaking gigs
  • Co-webinars
  • Email newsletter features
  • Guest posting
  • The list goes on…

 

For the purposes of this guide, I’m going to focus in on just one, guest podcasting, and get really specific on it. But the same mechanics apply to all forms of borrowed audiences.

Here we go:

 

Guest podcasting

Like guest posting, but wayyyy better. You appear as a featured guest on someone else’s podcast.

Here are a few of my appearances on podcasts here, here, here, here, and here.

Here’s another massive call: guest podcasting generates the highest quality leads you can get.

Hear me out – you are appearing as a featured expert about your area of expertise, while a captive, targeted audience listens to you for 30-60 minutes. It’s up there with public speaking in terms of authority building.

The “know, like, and trust” part of the process is taken care of before you even get to the initial call or meeting with a prospect.

They call this “authority hacking”.

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I would bet a lot of money that the “thought leaders” in your space don’t know much more about your area of expertise than you do.

They are known as the thought leaders, because they’re out there talking about these topics publicly, and you’re not.

You can change that today. Talking about the exact same things you talk to your clients about, but on a podcast. It’s extremely powerful in terms of building your authority.

What does this mean? 80-100% conversion rates from lead to closed deal.

Of the leads generated from podcasts, I have never had more than a single phone call with the prospect before they sign on for big projects. The deal is basically done before the call – you’re just talking logistics.

You’ll need a few things to use other people’s podcasts (OPP yeah you know me) as an effective channel.

  1. A target list of podcasts
  2. A specific topic that you can talk about in detail
  3. A solid pitch (you can download our pitch template below)
  4. A lead magnet to give away at the end – something with value

 

Building a target list of podcasts to pitch yourself to

 

The most important thing to remember when choosing podcasts to appear on, is that you go to your audience.

Don’t go to the podcasts about your area of expertise (unless they are also your target audience).

For example, if you build websites for law firms, go for the law podcasts. Talk about how law firms can grow their practice by improving their digital presence (or something like that).

That will generate leads who are lawyers – your customers.

Don’t go to a web design podcast and talk about web design. Web designers don’t need what you have, because they do it themselves. It may position you as an authority, and may even create some beneficial referral partnerships.

But web designers don’t hire other web designers to do their own web design – you won’t generate paying customers.

It’s pointless.

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You’re welcome.

If you don’t have a niche vertical, that’s fine. But you will have to choose a few niche podcasts based on who you want to do more work with. If you must go broad, go with multiple niches, rather than broad industries like “business”.

Go to podcasts in industries you have a good track record in, and that you would like to do more work in.

You don’t need to change anything in your site copy, or any of your other messaging. You don’t need to pigeon hole yourself if you don’t want to. You’re just speaking to a different audience each time, is all.

So, pick 1-3 niches that you want to do more work in, and we’re going to build a list of 30 podcasts in total.

How many appearances will this yield? It depends on your niche.

For context though, at the time of writing this, I’ve reached out to 30 in total, and appeared on 10. About 33%.

Remember, for a podcast host, finding guests is a job in itself. If you take all of the work out of it for them, and actually provide a lot of value to their audience, you’re doing them a favor.

We’ll get to that in the pitch section of this guide. For now, let’s build a list:

 

Building a list

 

Where do you find the podcasts?

Let’s use the example of the web designer for law firms.

You can do this yourself, or have a VA do it for you.

 

iTunes method

Simply go to the iTunes store, and type in the name of your niche.

Note: be mindful of the keywords you choose. Notice in the example below I’ve used “legal practice” rather than “law”. This will bring up shows related to running a legal practice – the business side of the law, as opposed to the law itself.

Take a look through the podcast results, and choose one that sounds like it could be up your alley.

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“Legal Practice Pro: Legal Marketing and Practice Management for the Real World”

Boom. Click on that one.

When we click through to that podcast, we need to check for two main criteria:

  1. The show is currently active (they have published an episode in the last month or so)
  2. The show has an interview format, or at least accepts guests on occasion

For this show in particular, we can see that it is no longer active – they haven’t published an episode in over a year. It’s out.

But, what we do have is a large list of similar podcasts to go through.

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I’m going to choose that one called “Building a Law Firm”.

 

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And this is the one.

A podcast about building a law firm, that is active, that includes interviews, and has a partial focus on marketing/digital presence.

Add this one to the list – usually the description will include the host’s name, which you’ll need.

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(btw I’m hosting a free workshop soon on – “How to Win Clients the Easy Way in 2018” – would love to see you there!)

Click Here to Register for the Free Workshop!

 

And find the host’s website and/or email with Google, Linkedin, and Contact Out.

Check out the section on finding anyone’s email address if you need help with this.

Website and Linkedin profile:

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Email address:

Note: this is an email for a domain that is not the podcast’s domain – it’s probably his work address. But it’s all we can find so we’ll use it. If Contact Out can find it, it’s public information by the way

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And there you have it – one podcast to reach out to!

Christopher Small, if you’re reading this, thanks for being a stand-up guy! I really hope I am not breaching any laws (you being a lawyer and all).

Once you have one podcast that is super relevant, just go through the similar results in iTunes to find others like it, and repeat the process.

This should work for every niche.

If you’re doing this for 30 podcasts, I suggest you have a VA build the list. Just be clear on the criteria that the podcast needs to meet (active, accepts interviews, has a relevant audience). When we were first doing this, I built the list myself. It took a little over an hour, but it was the list I wanted.

The choice is yours.

Again, as a benchmark, a good pitch to 30 podcasts, should land you 10 interviews.

You can space these out over a year if you like, or do them all in one or two months. It’s entirely up to you.

If you’re wondering why most of my appearances were on podcasts for digital agencies, when we are a digital content agency ourselves, it’s because we worked mainly with other digital agencies. App developers, web developers etc. that didn’t have expertise in content marketing.

 

Specific Topic(s) to Talk About

 

Something specific about your area of expertise, and how the audience can apply it themselves.

Very important: You will not be pitching your service. You are going to give away as much value as possible.

Aim to solve the same problem your offering solves, with education.

Do not hold back. Give away your secret sauce.

Sounds weird? Here’s why you need to do this:

  1. Firstly, your secret sauce is not as secret as you think (I’m sorry, but it’s not. Someone else is giving away the same information for free somewhere, I can almost guarantee it).
  2. You need to position yourself as an authority on a topic. The only way to do that is to teach someone something they didn’t already know.
  3. A lot of people don’t have the time or motivation to implement what you teach them. They will look to outsource it, and can easily afford it. You just need to explain why you’re the person (the expert) to go to.
  4. The people that DO take what you teach and implement it themselves, would never have become your customer anyway – they’d have found the information elsewhere.

 

So what should you talk about on the show? Let’s continue with the web designer for law firms example.

I’ll repeat: aim to solve the same problem your offering solves, with education.

For a web designer, they are often solving a digital presence problem.

Maybe a law firm has a great reputation among their peers and clients, but have struggled to grow outside of that personal network and into the online world.

They know their website needs an overhaul, but don’t know where to start.

What colors should they use? How should they lay out their site? Where should they put the contact form? Do they need a blog? How do they optimize the page to generate the most inquiries?

All of these questions I’ve just asked could be separate topics by themselves.

For mine, I would then lean towards the one or two that sound most appealing, in terms of the benefit it will provide.

Spitballing topics (web designers for law firms, feel free to steal these!):

  • The 3 must-have elements for every law firm’s website
  • Color psychology for law firm websites
  • How to make your legal practice’s website generate more leads

 

Notice how I’m not using “web design for law firms”. That’s too broad, and boring.

The three topics above are specific sub sets or benefits of having a strong website.

And again, don’t hold back. Tell them exactly where they need to place their contact form to generate more leads. Why they need to have a prominently placed phone number.

Why blue makes more sense than red for a corporate law firm.

Chances are, the listener will not implement these things themselves. But they will think of you as the person that can.

They have complete trust that you are the person for the job, because you have been featured on a podcast as an expert on that topic.

There is tremendous power in this.

So now that you have your topics, you’ll need a giveaway for the end of the show. A next step for listeners to take after listening to you.

 

Your Giveaway/Lead Magnet

 

When you finish speaking to your audience, you’ll need them to take another action. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Here’s the thing though: asking them if they’d like to work with you, is too big an action.

It’s just a bit too much to ask for a decision right then and there.

They’ll need some time to consider what you’ve taught them, and whether they’d like to work with you.

When they’re in that phase, give them something extra they can get even more value out of, and get their email address in return. This allows you add more touch points.

And if there’s one really important lesson I’ve learned in my agency/consulting career, it’s this:

Relationships = interactions over time.

The more touch points you create (whether digital, personal, or otherwise), the stronger the relationship will be.

And the more value you give on those touch points, the stronger the relationship will be.

So giveaway something with a lot of value, to create another touch point. This builds the relationship. The “know, like, and trust”.

What should you giveaway? With Content Kite, we give away an email course. It’s seven days of constant value, which means we’re adding another seven touch points.

At the end of that course, we provide some information about working with us, and the benefits that we provide.

But that’s only one example of a lead magnet. It doesn’t need to be this in depth (although I do recommend an email course).

Other lead magnet ideas include:

  • Cheatsheet
  • Checklist
  • Ebook
  • Guide

Whatever it is, just make sure it’s related to what you talked about on the episode, and that it genuinely provides value. People have to get something out of it.

Remember, give away as much as you can for free. It’s powerful. Solve the same problem your solution solves, with education.

 

Podcast Guest Pitch

 

This will determine your conversion rate of appearances to podcasts. It must be done right.

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Here is the structure we have used to get our 33% success rate (and nearly a 100% reply rate):

[INTRO – SOMETHING PERSONAL]

[YOUR BACKGROUND]

[TOPIC SUGGESTIONS]

[LEAD MAGNET FOR THE AUDIENCE]

 

There’s not much more to this. Follow this structure, play around with it, add a little humor (see the cold email section on humor).

Think of it this way: hosts just want to put good content in front of their audience. Make it easy for them to say yes to you, by demonstrating that you will put good content in front of their audience. Simples.

 

(btw I’m hosting a free workshop soon on – “How to Win Clients the Easy Way in 2018” – would love to see you there!)

Click Here to Register for the Free Workshop!

 

So how do you automate this?

I actually recommend only semi-automating it. There just aren’t enough podcasts in your niche/s to risk lowering your success rate.

Here’s what I mean by “semi-automating” it.

 

Semi Automating the Pitch and Follow Ups

 

Most of your email will be exactly the same to each podcast in a given niche. So will your follow-up emails.

So those can be automated.

But how do you automate only a section of an email or sequence?

It turns out Mailshake has a feature to do exactly that.

Here is the template creation section of Mailshake when you create a campaign:

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And here is the next screen, where you have the option to alter each individual email as you see fit:

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It’s the best of both worlds. You write your own pitch which goes to everyone, and then add a line or two to let the guest know you’ve done your homework.

On that note, you should actually do your homework. Listen to at least part of an episode, just so you have some context on the show. Then reference that in the section you personalize.

Follow-ups should be completely automated. For podcast guest pitches, I tend to just send a little nudge 3-4 days later to bring the email back to the top of their inbox.

“Hi {first}, circling back on this, do you think your audience would find value in any of the topics I mentioned?”

Keep it simple, and the follow-ups (2-3 max) can be sent without additional personalization.

This will cut down hours in personally sending 30 long-ish emails, and then tracking who you need to follow up.

 

Conclusion

 

And that’s it! How to generate at least 10-20 leads/month.

You don’t have to use all of these, but you’ll get the best results if you do.

Here’s the quick guide to which strategies are most effective for specific goals:

If you want quick, good leads, use Linkedin.

If you want to build a long-term brand and audience, use guest podcasting.

If you want to have a 100% automated system that requires no input once set up, use cold email.

I’m hosting a free workshop soon on “How to Win Clients the Easy Way in 2018”, where I talk about all of this stuff and more  – would love to see you there!

Click Here to Register for the Free Workshop!

 

Thanks for reading! if you have any questions at all, hit me up!

Email: simon@growthassembly.com

 

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