Lead generation is sometimes thought of as a dirty word.
The two words are very formal, and formal isn’t necessarily the way to think about generating leads. The same can be said for lead acquisition.
That’s why in this article we are going to be discussing lead generation from a modern thought process. One that helps you connect with your new prospective clients.
But before we do, we should clarify what we mean by lead generation. It is the act of receiving contact information for a prospective client.
One way to have website visitors give you their email address and/or phone number is to give them something in return. That’s called a lead magnet. The magnet is the thing you are giving in exchange for contact information. Commonly, people use PDF files of some sort. Sometimes, it’s a checklist or a guide. Sometimes, it’s just access to a page or video not public.
This is a very important part of a modern lead generation system. After delivering the lead magnet, you want to nurture your leads. The task can be done manually, but you likely do not have time for that. So you might want to consider an email marketing service, or a CRM, that can automate the nurturing process.
Here are a few recommendations
An automated campaign for nurturing should be a week to three weeks of emails. Timing and frequency of those emails depend on your specific audience, so testing might be warranted.
When you have leads in your funnel, it’s important to not sell to them. Education sells, so by providing them with quality content that teaches them a bunch of useful things or prepares them for what a session with you might be like, you’re selling without selling.
At the end of your nurturing campaign, it’s time to sell. If you only collect an email address, then try to book a call. If you have a phone number, then maybe send an email that you will be calling in a couple of days. Or if you offer online booking, send them to the booking system. Consider sending them pricing and always ask if they have questions.
Tracking and testing
Like anything in business, you need to track and test every part of your lead generation process. By using software and services that offer the ability to monitor, you can ensure you are always optimizing and improving.
Another suggestion is to have an unbiased person to go through your process. Use a service line Fiverr or UserTesting to find suitable people. Don’t just ask mom or dad, although that’s always a confidence booster.
By tracking and testing, you can find out things like:
- What time of day is best?
- Is the button color ok?
- Do the font pairings go well?
- Is the PDF attractive?
- Do I sell too much?
- Is the popup working better than the landing page?
- Is the popup working better than the slide up?
- Do people really hate popups?
- Are the emails being read?
There are so many more questions that can be answered, of course. Track and test. I can’t stress that enough.
I’m a big fan of MailChimp, and it’s slowly moving from an email marketing platform to a full blown CRM. However, it’s still not a real CRM.
If your photography business is larger, whether you’re booking a lot of weddings or any other high volume niche, you might want to consider something that integrates well with others.
For example, MailChimp integrates with many CRMs and project management services. Sticky Emails, while simple to use, only really integrates with its own Sticky services, like Sticky Folios. However, Sprout Studio is an all in one platform. So it can handle the rest of the business tasks that you’ll need. I say this because depending on your technical experience, how busy you are, and how flexible you want or need your lead generation system to be, you’ll want it deeply connected throughout your business. So if you already have a business tool like Honeybook, Iris, 17Hats, ShootZilla, and so on, check if they can also offer you lead generation integration or built-in tools.
Wrapping it up
What makes lead generation a dirty word is when it’s done in an ugly, distasteful way; when it’s abused and taken advantage of. But when you treat the process and the leads itself as you would as if they are already clients, it changes everything.
Treat them right, and engage with them beyond your list, like on social media. Do this, and it removes dirty from the equation.
If you’d like to learn more about creating a future thinking lead generation system for your photography business, then please consider my course, More Leads More Clients. I would love to help you build a system that has the potential for ten new leads a week.
Written by Scott Wyden Kivowitz
A Storyteller with a Camera