$0 Lead Generation Process for small B2B online businesses

I got introduced to an owner of a photography business earlier and he was trying to get consultation from me about marketing his business. In a nutshell, he was overwhelmed. He was lurking through a marketing forum day in, day out, taking in the tactical information around Facebook advertising, Google Adwords, and Instagram. Engagement Rate, Impressions, CTR, CPC, CPA, the ‘right hashtag’s, bleh. When he came to me, he has already budgeted $1000 to execute a Facebook ad.

You know what I said?

Please. NO. Don’t,

Noise around tactics doesn’t mean that they’re the right ones. Different types of businesses require different types of tactics (however, you can frame yourself by asking the right questions here). Now for B2B lead generation, none of the tactics that he has seen so far won’t work at all. Facebook, Google, and Instagram are best for B2C companies, not for B2B.

That said, what I advise is to leverage Linkedin + Cold Emails. Here’s the 5 step process on how:

  1. go to linkedin, and search for marketing managers (for ‘videos with websites’) or human resource managers (for everything else)
  2. connect with them
  3. once you’re connected, export their email (it’s in contact info in their profile page)
  4. cold email them about your services (but be casual! being too formal tends to turn people off for some reason)
  5. reply rates are about 5%-15% so aim to get 20 connections per day

Voila! And that’s your lead prospecting process :) Best of all, it’s free and the results are predictable.

I’ve used this methodology in a consulting capacity in a friend’s startup and my results (using replyapp software) were just great. We had 60% opens and 45% response rates. Apart from seeing who I was given my Linkedin profile, I think being a former peer (ie. my targets are also marketing managers) has also helped my response rate as well.

If you used a Facebook ad, you’d be lucky to get a 2% conversion rate.  In Adwords, the rates are much worse (a range of 0.5% – 2%). Cold email feels sleazy, but it converts.