How to Create a Successful Lead-Generation Process
In my previous article in this series on funnels for financial advisors, I talked about what is a lead and why they are important. Now you need the actionable steps to start gathering the information you need.
There are two primary ways for lead generation. One is through referrals and/or centers-of-influence (COIs); these are based on word-of-mouth recommendations. But I am going to focus on your website and social media traffic, as these are things over which you have more control.
There are several opportunities on your website to capture leads. Here are a few guidelines to follow for each one.
Call to Action
A call to action (CTA) is a place on your website where you ask the visitor to do something. It may be as simple as a clickable button to find out more, schedule an appointment, or download a checklist. This is a way to provoke an immediate response and get visitors to complete the desired course of action (i.e., share their information with you).
To be successful, there are a few guidelines to follow:
- CTAs need to be clear, engaging, and nurturing. Give visitors a reason to keep coming back.
- Simple is always better! This is not the time to overcomplicate things and make it hard for the person to understand what it is that you want them to do.
- Integrate CTAs into your website pages, blog posts, and present them on their own on a landing page.
- A landing page is designed for a specific marketing campaign. It is not tied to your website in the traditional sense, but you can direct people to it by providing a link – on your website or in an email or social media post.
- Have a lead magnet that offers valuable information for just the cost of sharing their email address:
- White paper
- Free report
- Portfolio review
- Introductory call
Ways to present CTAs to prospects
You can have more than one CTA on your website. They are called primary and secondary CTAs.
Primary – this is the ideal action you would want them to take – like signing up for your service or scheduling an appointment.
Secondary –some people may not be ready to “call now.” This is where a secondary CTA comes into play. Use the secondary to give them some additional information – like watching a video or downloading a checklist. This hopefully would encourage them to eventually go back and take the primary step.
A/B testing can help you optimize your CTAs. This is where you have two different variations for your CTA and you can set them up so that each one randomly shows on your website. By tracking your metrics (see my article for more about metrics) you can see which variation performs better. It could be a small difference between asking someone to get in touch versus sign up for a newsletter. Both of these have the same outcome – you capture their information. But they are very different requests, therefore they will have different results.
Capture the information
Now that you have set up your CTAs on your website you need a way to capture the information. This is most commonly done with forms. The most common and the most useful piece of data you can collect is an email address.
By using CTAs like “Contact Us” or newsletter sign-ups, you will be asking for their email address. You will then have a way to reach out to prospects and start to build the know, like, trust factor and nurture the relationship.
A few other website tips
- Focus on the visitor more than yourself. But keep it personal. Tell stories. Be unique (as much as possible).
- Design a user-friendly experience so visitors clearly see what you do, how you help them, and what the steps are for contacting you.
- The financial industry has a lot of technical jargon. Simplify text so the average prospect will understand what you are saying – this is called your “readability score.”
- Use keywords for search engine optimization (SEO).
- Know to whom you are talking. Define your audience and target them. Not everyone is an ideal client.
Over the last few years the use of social media to promote businesses has grown exponentially. More and more people are expanding their use of social media from just keeping up with friends to following businesses and using it to make purchasing decisions. There are several ways you can use this to your advantage and get more content in front of potential clients, making your firm more visible to the right people.
In your social media posts be sure to point to your website by sharing blog posts articles and any other valuable information that links back to your website. You have already spent the time creating and optimizing the CTAs on your website; now you need to direct people there.
Your website is your best and most important tool for generating and capturing leads. Everything else is used to bring visitors to your site. Always include your website links to your home page, blogs, and resources. <tweetable>
Social media is a relationship-building tool – not a sales tool. Make sure that you are sharing things that are interesting and useful to people. If you are not sure if you are using social media to its full capacity you can check out this article: A 10 Step Plan to Manage Social Media.
- Lead generation is all about collecting the information. You have to determine what is the best, most accurate source of potential clients.
- Marketing is not an “if you build it they will come” process. It takes time to create a campaign and to see results. In the financial industry, it takes months or longer to nurture prospects.
- Point as much traffic to your website as this should be the hub of where people get to know your business and how you can help them. Social media and other platforms are just tools to point them back to your website.
- Evaluate, review, and optimize your process. Monitor traffic and tweak as you see fit. The good thing about online marketing is that items can be updated in a few clicks.
- Trust the system and process.
What to do next?
Now that you know all of the ins and outs of CTAs and capturing prospect information you are probably asking “How do I convert leads into clients?” and “What do I do with all of this information?”
That is the next step. You need to set up a lead-nurturing process. You have set up places where people indicated they were interested enough to give you their information – don’t drop the ball.
In the next part of this series, I will explain the process of lead nurturing.
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