8 Lead Generation Mistakes To Avoid At All Costs

Plus Easy Fixes to Generate Qualified Leads On Tap

If you want high value clients, you need a consistent flow of qualified leads. And if you want to grow, the better they should flow.


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When I was a recruiter many years ago, we had five ways to generate job leads. Advertising, direct mail, networking, cold calling and email. This is how most businesses generated leads back then.

These days we’re lucky to have tons of new ways to generate and nurture leads. New ways come with new problems though. The biggest is attention. Grabbing attention and holding it is harder than ever due to information overload. If you become skilled at this you will hold the keys to quality leads.

The Problem With Lead Generation Today & How To Fix It Click To Tweet

Over the last seven years I've dedicated myself to learning the best strategies and techniques to do this. If you grab their attention you’ll generate leads. If you hold it you will generate qualified leads. The more qualified, the easier they are to convert into ideal clients.

Through trial and error I've learned what works, what doesn't and how to improve my approach. One thing I've noticed is that when small businesses mess up, we tend to do it in similar ways.

Here are the 8 biggest mistakes I often see. If you want to build a pipeline of warm leads and attract high value clients, you need to avoid these errors at all costs:

  1. Don't know your audience. If you don't know your audience wants and needs then it's difficult to craft the right message and offer. Without this you cannot grab their attention or hold their attention. You also cannot compel them to take the next step and so any marketing efforts will be wasted.

    Research your audience. Along with their interests and demographics, identify their pains, pleasures & curiosities. Then speak to these emotional hot buttons and engage. There are some great free tools to do this. I’ve created a free special report with five of the best here.

  2. You're too general. People aren't looking to solve ‘general problems’, they're looking to solve ‘specific problems’. If you’re seen as ‘Jack Of All Trades – Master Of None’, you’ll blend into the background.

  3. If you’re too general, look at where you can specialise. You'll get referred more often and people will look you up when you specialise. You’ll also achieve higher fees as a specialist.

  4. You're positioned badly or blandly. Along with knowing your audience, you also need to know yourself and your business. This needs to be expressed in your message. Without it you will lose your true essence and you’ll be just another ‘Me Too Business’.

    Let your audience know what you stand for and what you stand against. Let them see the personality behind your business. What do you have, how is it special and how will it benefit your audience. Also why should they believe you?

  5. You want something for nothing. If you want your prospect to give their email or phone number, you need to give them something of value in return. If you don't, expect nothing.

    Create something of value to give to prospects for free. It can be anything from a hardback book you’ve authored, a special report, white paper or webinar. It should contain valuable information demonstrating your subject expertise, whilst helping your prospects. This is known as a lead magnet. I discuss lead magnets with Andrew Percey in greater detail here.

  6. You ask for too much. You wouldn't ask someone to marry you on the first date, so don't get too personal when you request details on forms. Like a date, the more you ask for early on, the lower the conversion rate.

    Be patient and start by getting the bare essentials. If this is their name and email, start here. Nurture your lead with more content. Once they know, like and trust you, ask for further details.

  7. You don't ask at all. If you don't ask you don't get. If you are giving them something of value, or if your offer is strong, ask for their details in return, whether that's by form or phone.

  8. Whatever your call to action is, make it easy. Put phone numbers, buttons or forms in prominent places.

  9. You don't have a referral system. Don't expect consistent referrals unless you have a system. People get asked for referrals now more than ever. That’s because referrals are warm qualified leads that don’t cost anything up front.

  10. If you want referrals you have to make it easy for people to refer. I discuss this and how to create a simple three-step referral system in an earlier post.

  11. You try to be everywhere. With so many marketers promising a pot of gold at the end of their rainbow it can be easy to follow the hype. Don't waste your time on Linkedin if your target audience is on Facebook, no matter what the Gurus tell you.

    Take a step back and research. Identify which platforms your prospects are on and focus your attention there. Then test, measure and adjust.

Avoid These 8 Mistakes To Generate Better Leads #LeadGeneration Click To Tweet

Start tying up the loose ends on these mistakes and you’ll notice a better lead flow. You will also notice how much easier they are to convert into clients.

Question: Ever struggled with any of these mistakes? Share your answer on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin.

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