How To Start a Lead Generation Business (And Get Results)

If you want to make money but don’t have a product to sell, why not generate leads for brands? This blog post will show you how to start a lead generation business in just a few simple steps.

We’re also going to show you a tool that generates qualified leads in less time.💎

What Is A Lead Generation Business and Why Start One?

Let’s start with the basics. A lead generation business works this way: You acquire prospects for a brand (your client). Instead of your client doing all the hard work of getting potential customers into their business, you do it on their behalf.

Imagine this: If your client sells roofing materials, you’re going to help them get customers who are looking for roofing materials. Or if your client sells toddler products, you’re going to find parents who might buy from them. You get the idea.

Customers are the lifeblood of every business. Without customers, no business would ever exist, which is why lead generation services will always be in demand.

Is lead generation worth it?

Absolutely. Here are the reasons why a company may choose to outsource lead generation to you instead of doing it themselves:

1. Save time on energy-intensive work

Business owners have many areas of responsibility. They’re responsible for planning, managing their team, hiring new people, staying on top of expenses, and more. These tasks take time and can leave a business owner exhausted.

Lead generation takes time and effort especially for those who are new to it. Outsourcing allows business owners to focus on other priorities.

2. Take advantage of fresh perspectives

Some businesses have marketing teams that are already generating leads for them. However, these teams may be stuck in a rut. Their current lead generation strategies aren’t working well. Your services might help them overcome this growth plateau!

3. Reduce training costs

Training new employees to do lead generation will take up a part of a business owner’s budget. But by having you, as someone who’s more experienced, drive leads for them, they can save on costs and get results sooner than expected. This leads us to the next benefit below.

4. Achieve results in less time

What matters most to a business owner at the end of the day are the results they’re getting. To avoid delays as a result of trial and error (especially with the lack of experience), they would rather outsource to someone with a good track record in lead generation.

How To Start A Lead Generation Business: 5 Steps

Now that you have an idea of how a lead generation business works and why your services are needed by various businesses, this time we’re going to show you how to do it.

Important: If you’re totally new to this kind of business or you’ve never tried generating leads, be patient. Selling leads is a lucrative venture; however, the competition can be fierce. It may take some time before you can start generating highly qualified leads properly. But it’s going to be worth it.

Here’s how to start a lead generation business. Follow these steps.

Step 1 – Choose a niche.

Ask yourself, “What’s a niche market with lots of potential customers? 🤔” This is key to getting more leads and clients who are willing to buy those leads. You may have some ideas already.

Perhaps you want to get involved in the personal finance niche where you attract prospects who need help with debt relief. Then you connect these people with a debt relief company. Or maybe you’re interested in the plumbing niche. In that case, you’d be attracting homeowners and connecting them with local plumbers in your area.

Consider the following factors below while thinking of possible niches. These may help you make the right choice:

  • Knowledge – How well do you know the niche? This will help you have a constant supply of content ideas for your audience.
  • Problems you can solve – Listen to what a niche audience is complaining about. Real problems create opportunities for sales.
  • Competition – Just because there’s competition within a niche doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go for it. However, you need to figure out how to effectively cut through the noise.
  • Profitability – How much can your clients possibly make from each sale? Are they likely to get repeat purchases? This leads us to the next step. 👇

Step 2 – Decide how much you should charge.

There are different options when it comes to charging for your services. Some lead generation businesses charge 10% of a sale.

For example, if you’ve sent a lead to a plumbing company who availed their service which cost $400, you earn $40.

Certain industries or niches are known to encourage repeat customers. These include salons, food delivery services, and pet care. If you’re working with such clients, you may want to charge as much as 50% of each sale. This is because they’re more likely to gain long-term value from your lead.

So, for example, if your client owns a barbershop and you sent them a lead who had a haircut for $50, you get $25. You get paid only once — not anymore on the same customer’s next visit.

However, if you’re charging based on the average cost per lead by industry, Linchpin’s data might come in handy. We compiled them here:

  • Travel and Tourism – $29 to $182 per lead
  • Telecom – $24 to $64 per lead
  • Retail – $25 to $41 per lead
  • Non-Profit – $16 to $43 per lead
  • Media and Publishing – $21 to $191 per lead
  • Marketing Agency – $22 to $173 per lead
  • IT, Computer, and Technical Services – $39 to $370 per lead
  • Industrial and Manufacturing – $33 to $235 per lead
  • Healthcare – $36 to $286 per lead
  • Financial Services – $44 to $272 per lead
  • Education – $37 to $66 per lead
  • Consumer Products – $24 to $182 per lead
  • Business Services – $39 to $225 per lead

We hope this helps!

Step 3 – Plan and execute your marketing strategies.

The success of your lead generation campaign depends on your marketing strategies. This is where you need to learn and master generating leads properly.

Here’s the truth — There are plenty of ways to attract leads. You can:

  • Start a website and write valuable blog posts that solve your audience’s problems.
  • Optimize your website to rank in a search engine like Google.
  • Create a podcast and establish yourself as an authority.
  • Publish content on social media platforms that work well for your niche. For example, LinkedIn for B2B industries and Instagram for B2C.
  • Establish yourself on YouTube.
  • Run Facebook ads that target specific interests.

Want to know a secret to scaling your lead generation efforts? Create a viral referral contest. Keep reading below…

How to Create a Viral Referral Contest

1 – Pick an incentive. Give away something that your target audience really wants. It should be something they can use right away. An example would be an ebook or a top-selling item from Amazon that’s specific to your niche.

2 – Build a landing page. Feature your prize on that landing page. Write a headline and copy that explains the mechanics of your contest. Include images or a video of your prize.

3 – Leverage the “viral loop”. This is your ticket to getting more and more leads. When someone signs up for your contest using their email address, you’re going to require them to invite X of their friends to sign up as well. When they do, that person gets to unlock the reward. This structure motivates them to work harder to keep on sharing your contest!

UpViral’s viral referral system makes this entirely possible. Our system has everything you need, from landing page design templates to email notifications that remind your participants to take action. Watch the demo right here.

A lot of businesses have succeeded with lead generation using UpViral’s system. Check out some of our best lead generation examples across different industries:

  • Music industry: Gabe Schillinger got over 41K leads and earned $200,000 in sales (in one week!)
  • Financial industry: Check City generated a total of 21,296 leads and attracted a constant stream of traffic to its website.
  • Children’s toys industry: Rachel Ollen collected a total of 4,552 leads and grew her private Facebook group after a 2-week giveaway.

These real-life results are just a glimpse of what you can achieve with UpViral to grow your lead generation business in no time.

Step 4 – Nurture your captured leads.

Let’s assume that you’ve already gotten several qualified leads. Before passing them off to a prospective client, you’ll want to make sure that your leads are ready to purchase your client’s product or service.

This is where lead nurturing comes in. Lead nurturing entails paying close attention to their needs and increasing their trust by meeting their expectations. By nurturing them, they will come to a point at which they’re ready to buy.

You can use various channels for nurturing your leads. One of the most effective ones is email. Here’s a solid game plan:

FIRST: Figure out where your prospect is in the sales or conversion funnel.

Some prospects are in the Awareness stage where they’ve just learned about you. In this stage, don’t try to bombard them with emails regarding specific client products or services.

Instead, send educational content that shares free tips and strategies to help them overcome their problem. Doing this will make them more receptive to your future content.

Meanwhile, other prospects are in the Consideration stage of the funnel. These leads are more eager to learn. In this case, you can send them case studies of clients who’ve helped customers succeed. This is most applicable if you already have clients who are looking for leads.

Image credit: Sprout Social

SECOND – Use segmentation and personalization.

After figuring out where your leads are in the sales funnel, the next step is to leverage email segmentation. Segmentation means that you divide or “slice” your subscriber list based on certain criteria. For example, gender, job, age group, niche (if you’re handling different niches), and interest.

By segmenting your leads, you can write personalized emails that are tailored to them. This way, you don’t just blast off random emails and hope they work.

THIRD – Add a call-to-action.

This is where you’re ready to hand off your leads to your clients. Whatever you want them to do, be clear about it. At the end of your email, include a call-to-action where you invite them to check out your client’s product or service.

For example, if your client offers tax relief services, invite them to avail of your client’s free tax consultation.

Step 5 – Reach out to potential clients.

You may have started building relationships with clients already. In case you haven’t yet and need ideas, check these out:

  • Build a website where you feature your services.
  • Optimize your website for SEO or run Google/Facebook ads.
  • Promote your services on Upwork.
  • Network with people on LinkedIn.
  • Research prospective clients and send cold emails (Yes, they still work!)
  • Leverage referrals. Ask your first successful clients to spread the word about your business.

The Pros And Cons Of A Lead Gen Business Model

Generating leads is profitable for both parties (you and your client) if you’re able to build a list of highly targeted leads. Once you’ve established a process that works, especially with running viral referral contests, you get a constant flow of new leads. This can save you a lot of time, effort, and money with other strategies. Advertising, for example.

A drawback (and this applies only to beginners) is that lead generation has a high learning curve. This is why a lot of companies and brands would rather outsource this task. If you’re serious about this venture, be sure to study the market well. Experiment with various strategies. The more you test, the more you’ll know!

Over to You

By now, you should have a good idea of how to start a lead generation business. The opportunity that you gain from this business model is amazing. Follow the steps in this guide to make it easier for you to attract the right leads (and paying clients).

Need a tool to boost your results? Try UpViral. Gain full access and run unlimited campaigns for only $1. 🔥Click here to learn more.