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Lead Generation Site - Getting Started

Anything considered a "hustle" and not necessarily a CENTS-based Fastlane

Rekkesque

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Hello All, I've just read TMF and I've already taken a huge chunk out of Unscripted as well. Love the books so far and the fact there's this resource is great. I'm going to push myself and MJ called me out directly. I've had a lot of ideas and very little action. So here goes...

I've found a pretty awesome sector that doesn't seem to be serviced and is on the rise for sure. I'm just having trouble with some of the logic in the start of this.

With a lead generation site, you're selling the connection between the customers and the businesses. However, at the start you have neither the product or the people. I'm finding it hard to convince Businesses to sign up with no product or to justify sinking some money into building it, without some more concrete evidence it's a valid business model...

I'm just looking for some overall advice if others have experience in this area, or just a kick in a$$ to say F*ck it and get started with the website.

I've emailed a fair amount of companies this morning so waiting for some responses, created a bootstrap portal for businesses to go to if they want to sign up.
 
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Hello All, I've just read TMF and I've already taken a huge chunk out of Unscripted as well. Love the books so far and the fact there's this resource is great. I'm going to push myself and MJ called me out directly. I've had a lot of ideas and very little action. So here goes...

I've found a pretty awesome sector that doesn't seem to be serviced and is on the rise for sure. I'm just having trouble with some of the logic in the start of this.

With a lead generation site, you're selling the connection between the customers and the businesses. However, at the start you have neither the product or the people. I'm finding it hard to convince Businesses to sign up with no product or to justify sinking some money into building it, without some more concrete evidence it's a valid business model...

I'm just looking for some overall advice if others have experience in this area, or just a kick in a$$ to say F*ck it and get started with the website.

I've emailed a fair amount of companies this morning so waiting for some responses, created a bootstrap portal for businesses to go to if they want to sign up.

Here's two ways to get started:
  1. Get a lead of a consumer looking for a service provider and try and fulfil it, then take it from there.
  2. Get a service provider as a client and try and generate leads for them, then take it from there.
Both of these strategies involve talking to either side of the market asap.


There's another recent progress thread by @Fred Chevry who's only a step or two ahead of you:

... and I have a lead gen for local service businesses thread linked to in my signature:



Maybe listen to the two calls I had with @Scot:

... and/or the call I had with @Contrarian:

... and/or the call I had with @Random_0:

... and/or the call I had with @JoeyF :




EDIT: Some related threads from doing a quick search:
 

MJ DeMarco

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I don't mean to be a dick, but...

full


If you have leads, try giving them away. Few companies will refuse, "Hey, I have a customer that wants a pool, can you contact him?"

If they convert, you can start selling them.
That's how I got started.
 

Rekkesque

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Great to hear some feedback, especially from you MJ. I've been gone for a while, creating the website and trying to absorb as much information as I possibly can. I'm at the point where we can launch the website, but I'm having a hard time, mostly with how to approach the problem I cited above.

Right now, my plan is to reach out to all the retailers in the US that could be a good fit for my generation website, and offer them, risk free our premium level service for a month. Then at that point, I'm really going to on my end start marketing mostly through social media channels, such as FB/Instagram and some in Google AdWords.

I'd love to hear more feedback, but I wanted to let you know this wasn't just some bullshit empty post that someone made. I read your book and others and it's truly motivated me and your comment above continues to do the same!
 
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RahKnee

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You'll need something that adds value for your clients on both sides. Screen the service providers to make sure they're of high quality, and pre-qualify your leads to make sure your service providers don't waste time and money.
 

Rekkesque

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Adding value in that space is pretty self-explanatory. Clients for businesses and services that directly match what they are looking for, which is what my SAAS site provides for them, matching them on product and company fit as well.

My options as I see it is to create company profiles and just send customers to them for free, similarly to what MJ said, or try and get companies to try and sign up for the site, which will involving some process.
 

Late Bloomer

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I've been listening to Andy's recorded calls. He has a lot of great material about this. One remark that stayed with me is, "Nobody wants to pay to get listed in a directory. But if you show you can get customers to show up for them, they'll be willing to talk with you about how to continue that flow."

Captain, we're being hailed by the Ferengi. They claim to have the coordinates of four civilizations that would like to join the Federation. They offer to begin the negotiations at one hundred bars of gold pressed latinum...
 
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IGP

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Adding value in that space is pretty self-explanatory. Clients for businesses and services that directly match what they are looking for, which is what my SAAS site provides for them, matching them on product and company fit as well.

My options as I see it is to create company profiles and just send customers to them for free, similarly to what MJ said, or try and get companies to try and sign up for the site, which will involving some process.

Do you have leads currently that need to placed or is this just a pipe dream?

Edited - Quoted the wrong post
 

Sydney

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Hi
I am trying the same thing, still working on the website. I have read somewhere that it might be worthwhile listing for free for some time just to build traffic to your site. People will list on your site if you have good traffic. I plan on giving free listings for a year and see how it goes. I will share any info or experience that falls in my hands. Good luck
 

ZeroTo100

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Here's two ways to get started:
  1. Get a lead of a consumer looking for a service provider and try and fulfil it, then take it from there.
  2. Get a service provider as a client and try and generate leads for them, then take it from there.
Both of these strategies involve talking to either side of the market asap.


There's another recent progress thread by @Fred Chevry who's only a step or two ahead of you:

... and I have a lead gen for local service businesses thread linked to in my signature:



Maybe listen to the two calls I had with @Scot:

... and/or the call I had with @Contrarian:

... and/or the call I had with @Random_0:

... and/or the call I had with @JoeyF :




EDIT: Some related threads from doing a quick search:

Wow...we need more Andy’s around here.
 
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Rekkesque

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Do you have leads currently that need to placed or is this just a pipe dream?

Edited - Quoted the wrong post

It's a pretty diverse market. As I said, at this time I'm focusing on having the companies sign up to my website for a risk-free trial base period. The magic of my SAAS is that we are pairing you to companies that cannot only match your order, but are a size, order, timing, etc fit for you. Hopefully building relationships and making the process easy for beginners.

Hi
I am trying the same thing, still working on the website. I have read somewhere that it might be worthwhile listing for free for some time just to build traffic to your site. People will list on your site if you have good traffic. I plan on giving free listings for a year and see how it goes. I will share any info or experience that falls in my hands. Good luck

This was also my idea as well. I'm trying my other approach now, which is to schedule calls with various retailers and explain to them what my goal is and how they'd fit in to it. I offer two types of plans for retailers, a per quote format or a monthly fee. So the per quote is completely risk free if the traffic has no traffic yet.

Once my network is properly developed, I'll begin to advertise to the general public to bring consumers -> firms. However, if this process doesn't get enough retailers, I will most likely REWARD those who signed up with me and fill in the difference in desired volume of retailers myself. However this scares me, because filling in their information based on just browsing their website and sending them the business without a real guarantee the business will even respond to just a general email, means a potential bad experience for the user.

Let me know how your develops.
 

Coalission

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without some more concrete evidence it's a valid business model...

You're talking about one of the oldest business models out there, connecting customer and provider, buyer and seller, client and vendor, etc. There's no question it's a valid business model, whether you call it lead-gen, affiliate marketing, performance marketing, middle-man, sales facilitator, etc.

Your focus shouldn't be on finding vendors, it's finding leads. If you have a way of getting a steady flow of valid leads, businesses will be at your door begging for a piece. No business owner says no to free money, and you're in essence removing their usual acquisition cost, so they'll give you a cut of that, or even more than what they usually pay per acquisition if you can get them higher volume, assuming you're getting paid per sale or sharing revenue. If you're selling the leads themselves then that's another story, and lead quality will become a priority.

Just worry about the hard part, which is getting the leads. Businesses looking for more customers are out there, with publicly available contact information, and will receive you with open arms when it's time.
 

Rekkesque

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You're talking about one of the oldest business models out there, connecting customer and provider, buyer and seller, client and vendor, etc. There's no question it's a valid business model, whether you call it lead-gen, affiliate marketing, performance marketing, middle-man, sales facilitator, etc.

Your focus shouldn't be on finding vendors, it's finding leads. If you have a way of getting a steady flow of valid leads, businesses will be at your door begging for a piece. No business owner says no to free money, and you're in essence removing their usual acquisition cost, so they'll give you a cut of that, or even more than what they usually pay per acquisition if you can get them higher volume, assuming you're getting paid per sale or sharing revenue. If you're selling the leads themselves then that's another story, and lead quality will become a priority.

Just worry about the hard part, which is getting the leads. Businesses looking for more customers are out there, with publicly available contact information, and will receive you with open arms when it's time.

I don't doubt the business model, just businesses trusting my company being so new. But thanks for your advice, if the way I'm thinking about it doesn't work well enough or doesn't get me the volume I think I will take it the way you are suggesting. The SAAS won't be at its peak performance until we get more vendors in the network, but I will have something.

Thanks.
 
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Silverhawk851

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our focus shouldn't be on finding vendors, it's finding leads.

This. @Coalission knows.

This is the hardest part.

Love this topic...let's get into it :)

Every business in the world needs sales and customers.

If I'm running a law firm, and I know each closed client will pay me $10,000 in profit, and some guy walks up and offers me $10 per customer lead, and I can close 1 in 10 of those leads, I have an effective Cost Per Acquisition of $100.

His lifetime value on the product is $10,000. CPA is $10 ÷ (1/10) = $100 . Effective Profit = $9,900.

Do you think he will say no? Do you think anyone will say no?
He will call you 30 times a day and send you the flowers he bought for his wife and give you his first born.

The question is how do you get acquire leads at the lowest cost, and your lifetime value at the highest amount WHILE maintaining quality.

Some basic math:

All businesses follow this formula: CLV - CPA = Profit

Here is some basic metrics for lead gen:

Traffic ($) x conversion (%) = Cost Per Lead (CPL)
Total Leads x CPL = Total Cost
Total Leads x CLV = Total Revenue

Total Revenue (CLV) - Total Cost (CPA) = Total Profit :)

Basic math! The real questions are:

What is your traffic source?
  • Is it quality traffic?
  • Will it backout for the advertiser?
  • What is the CPM you're paying to advertise there?
  • Is it low enough to have a decent CPA?
How low can your get your CPA?
  • How well does you funnel convert?
  • Can you convert high enough to get a decent CPA?
  • How many steps is your funnel?
  • What does it look like? Video/advertorial/listicle/survey/etc
  • What are your conversion metrics?
  • How long do you have to nurture leads/traffic?
  • How do you optimize them?
Can you SCALE?
  • Is the traffic source scalable?
  • Is there enough traffic/leads?
  • Can your advertiser handle enough leads?
  • How many advertisers do you need on board to scale?
  • Do you need a call center?
  • Can you scale to internationally to different countries?

Can you increase your CLV?

  • Can you increase your payouts from advertisers if quality is good?
  • Can you add email on the backend?
  • Can you cross sell?
  • Can you upsell other products?
  • Can you repurpose the leads for something else?
  • Can you create recurring sign ups?

These are your important questions.
METRICS AND SCALE!

We run xx,xxx/day in lead gen, and now it's to a point we know within the first hour of launching if it's going to be profitable. We will kill campaigns before the first sale because we know our benchmark metrics.

Shoot me a PM if you need help :)
 

Coalission

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I don't doubt the business model, just businesses trusting my company being so new. But thanks for your advice, if the way I'm thinking about it doesn't work well enough or doesn't get me the volume I think I will take it the way you are suggesting. The SAAS won't be at its peak performance until we get more vendors in the network, but I will have something.

Thanks.

Ah, ok I understand what you're building now. I thought it was basically a lead-gen agency, but really you're building a two-sided marketplace, something like HomeAdvisor.com, and you're running into the "chicken and egg" problem. Vendors don't want to waste time onboarding when you don't have leads, and potential leads don't want to sign up when you don't have vendors.

I still think the point stands, with two-sided marketplaces your emphasis should be on mostly populating one side at first, and I think focusing on the leads is the way to go. Once you have some sort of mailing list or something, it will be much easier to sell vendors by saying:

"Hey, we're about to launch very soon and we already have 5,000 leads on our mailing list (and growing by the day) that we will be presenting our first group of companies to. These are people starving for the service you provide. Your company seems like a good fit, and I want to present our community with the highest quality companies available. Do you want to be a part of the group of companies we launch with?"

vs.

"Hey, we're building a new site, we don't have any value to provide to you yet, but we promise we will eventually. Can we use your company info to fill our empty site?"

Here's some good reading material on the subject that should help:
two-sided marketplace chicken egg - Google Search
 

Andy Black

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Ah, ok I understand what you're building now. I thought it was basically a lead-gen agency, but really you're building a two-sided marketplace, something like HomeAdvisor.com, and you're running into the "chicken and egg" problem. Vendors don't want to waste time onboarding when you don't have leads, and potential leads don't want to sign up when you don't have vendors.

I still think the point stands, with two-sided marketplaces your emphasis should be on mostly populating one side at first, and I think focusing on the leads is the way to go. Once you have some sort of mailing list or something, it will be much easier to sell vendors by saying:

"Hey, we're about to launch very soon and we already have 5,000 leads on our mailing list (and growing by the day) that we will be presenting our first group of companies to. These are people starving for the service you provide. Your company seems like a good fit, and I want to present our community with the highest quality companies available. Do you want to be a part of the group of companies we launch with?"

vs.

"Hey, we're building a new site, we don't have any value to provide to you yet, but we promise we will eventually. Can we use your company info to fill our empty site?"

Here's some good reading material on the subject that should help:
two-sided marketplace chicken egg - Google Search
Exactly.

Start by getting the side who are running around with money in hand looking to give it to someone. I.e. the service-seekers not the service-providers.

You can of course signup service-providers and generate leads for them, as many a freelancer or agency does. (Raises hand here.)
 
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Sydney

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It's a pretty diverse market. As I said, at this time I'm focusing on having the companies sign up to my website for a risk-free trial base period. The magic of my SAAS is that we are pairing you to companies that cannot only match your order, but are a size, order, timing, etc fit for you. Hopefully building relationships and making the process easy for beginners.



This was also my idea as well. I'm trying my other approach now, which is to schedule calls with various retailers and explain to them what my goal is and how they'd fit in to it. I offer two types of plans for retailers, a per quote format or a monthly fee. So the per quote is completely risk free if the traffic has no traffic yet.

Once my network is properly developed, I'll begin to advertise to the general public to bring consumers -> firms. However, if this process doesn't get enough retailers, I will most likely REWARD those who signed up with me and fill in the difference in desired volume of retailers myself. However this scares me, because filling in their information based on just browsing their website and sending them the business without a real guarantee the business will even respond to just a general email, means a potential bad experience for the user.

Let me know how your develops.
Hi

How about just blind listing providers on your site - info readily available on the web, advise them of this fact with the options of delisting if they wish. Maybe within the specified free listing time, you might generate enough leads for them to convert them into paying for the listing or another monetization route.
 

Rekkesque

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Ah, ok I understand what you're building now. I thought it was basically a lead-gen agency, but really you're building a two-sided marketplace, something like HomeAdvisor.com, and you're running into the "chicken and egg" problem. Vendors don't want to waste time onboarding when you don't have leads, and potential leads don't want to sign up when you don't have vendors.

I still think the point stands, with two-sided marketplaces your emphasis should be on mostly populating one side at first, and I think focusing on the leads is the way to go. Once you have some sort of mailing list or something, it will be much easier to sell vendors by saying:

"Hey, we're about to launch very soon and we already have 5,000 leads on our mailing list (and growing by the day) that we will be presenting our first group of companies to. These are people starving for the service you provide. Your company seems like a good fit, and I want to present our community with the highest quality companies available. Do you want to be a part of the group of companies we launch with?"

vs.

"Hey, we're building a new site, we don't have any value to provide to you yet, but we promise we will eventually. Can we use your company info to fill our empty site?"

Here's some good reading material on the subject that should help:
two-sided marketplace chicken egg - Google Search

Yes yes! Exactly. Sorry, I don't think I was super clear about it in my initial posting, because that was prior to the fact of me actually creating the website. Now that it is done, that's the biggest issue I am running into conceptually. What you said defines it well, it's the Chicken and Egg:

- Convincing Companies you're legitimate and won't just run away with their credit card information once they sign up, or something similar to that.

+

- Having the quality service that makes users want to use your website.

It's hard to visualize how you get one without the other, but at this point my approach is this:

1: I'm going to call up retailers and try and get as many appointments as possible to sit down and talk through the situation and sign up, and offer them free Premium membership for 1-3 months if they sign up with me now.

2: Hopefully, I gain some real information provided by them and have some quality in the network. At this point I'm going to be doing what I said earlier, based on feedback here. Fill in other retailers that I wasn't able to convert over the phone with just offerings for their website, knowing that the information might be slightly incomplete and take the approach that "I provided you with $x,xxx of referrals as a second approach.



Hi

How about just blind listing providers on your site - info readily available on the web, advise them of this fact with the options of delisting if they wish. Maybe within the specified free listing time, you might generate enough leads for them to convert them into paying for the listing or another monetization route.

Could you elaborate? I"m not sure what you mean by the blind listing aspect, but it sounds interesting!
 

Rekkesque

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Wanted to update:

I've finished my calling cycle to drum up initial interest from Companies to sign up to the site before launching, to have the most accurate information for the end user.

Overall, the process was slow and often companies were skeptical or unsure of the actual product and the site. I had a fair amount of interest with not as much follow through, thanks to everyone here I've been since moving to a more lead first, business second approach. I've built my site to send the quotes through to their sites and at that time I'll give them 3 free leads before taking them off the search results. At that point I'm hoping to say I generated "$xxxx" in revenue or at least potential revenue and my cost options are not that high, would you consider signing up?

So we'll see, love to hear the feedback as it inspires me to keep thinking of innovation on this.

- D
 
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mtnman

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The most powerful thing you can do, is lead with results.

A simple call tracking line with voice whisper will change everything for you, if you're willing to frontload the work to prove yourself. People will literally be falling over each other to signup if you build reputation for delivering consistently.
 

orcasea

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Well, This is all Really good information!
(hope this is the right place to post this)
I have built my funnel & all the relevant pages, (privacy policy, terms, landing page, etc) as well as a video ad & Facebook campaign, I'm ready to go out and start contacting potential clients under my "brand" name.

Question - Do you guys think I need to complete my "Brand" website first? (I'll be sending emails to potential clients using that email) or should (could) I get away with just putting up a logo placeholder?

I've spent a lot of time getting this setup & just don't want to muck it up at this stage.

Any suggestions would be awesome!
 

Dmorr

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What MJ said. If you build a site that generates the customers you can find a service provider that will take them. I wouldn’t say anyone would take them but most will. If you can generate potential customers consistently the service provider will pay handsomely. If you are really good you can almost own his business in some cases.
 
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