It’s the one thing that every business needs to survive.

It’s not a location. It’s not the corporate structure.  It’s not even the product or the service.

As vital as all of those things are to a business, they’re nothing without this one thing.

So, what is this ever so vital one thing?


What I would like to share with you today is why leads are so important, how you can differentiate different groups of people and help move them from strangers to customers, where can you find these people, how to group your marketing to best reach these people, and how should you treat them once you have them.



Why are leads so important?

This one is actually pretty short and simple. Leads are the lifeblood of your business and your business growth. If unknown people don’t become your leads then they can’t become your customers. If they cannot become your customers your business doesn’t make any money and you have to close the doors. So, if you want to keep the doors of your business open, growing, and help the greatest amount of people possible you need leads!



Who are leads?

This is a great question and it actually starts before a person becomes the lead.

You see first a person is unknown to you and you are unknown to them. You could say that this person is part of a cold audience. And, since they don’t know who you are, telling them you have something cool for them to buy probably isn’t going to attract much attention.

But, they do know if they have a problem, which is a good thing for you, me, and all business owners; because we can advertise about the problem.

By advertising about a problem we can gain attention and by gaining attention we get the person to look at our content. Once they begin looking at our content they start to warm up to us. They start to see our faces or our messages and start realizing that we have solutions for them. But, at this point they are not yet leads, it’s probably better to refer to them as prospects.

A prospect is somebody who could potentially become a lead and a lead potentially becomes a customer. Now, as a prospect looks at more and more of our content they move into an audience that we refer to as warm, as I said a moment ago, and by the time they make a purchase from us, we can call them a hot audience or an actual customer. You may very well know that it’s much easier to make additional sales to people who have already bought products and services from you then it is to go out and sell for the first time.


Where can you find these leads?

When you consider the fact that leads are people, technically leads are literally everywhere. The trick is getting them to raise their hand and say that they’re interested in you and what you have to offer them.

According to a Blog on HootSuite 3.48 billion people in the world are now using social media. Or you could say almost half of the entire planet uses some form of social media. With so many people gathered in one place, which is online, that’s where I choose to start looking for my potential leads.

And, going back to what I said earlier about advertising the solution to a problem, you can get people’s attention and they will raise their hand about being interested in your content by viewing, reading, watching, or going to your website.



They raised their hand, now what?

If you set up your website and your social media correctly, you will be able to track the actions people take with your content. Once you track their actions, you can create customized audiences, so that you can begin to personalize your messages and advertisements toward certain segments. You can create these custom segments or audiences by using the Facebook pixel on your website and defining certain social media actions such as video views, post engagement, and downloaded content; just to name a few.

Even with all of this social media engagement, they’re still just prospects. A person doesn’t become a lead until you gain their contact information, whether it be an email, phone number or even a mailing address;  preferably all of the above.

You can acquire this contact information by offering a deeper level solution than just what you put out in your free content. This deeper level solution could be in the form of an e-book, video series, white paper, cheat sheets or even physical book. Essentially, they are purchasing item by providing you their contact information.

Owning access to their contact information now makes them truly a lead. Because you can reach out to them with specialized products and services that truly focus on solving their problems or fulfilling desires.



A final thought 

Now that you’ve taken a person from a complete stranger to an official lead there’s one more very important thing to keep in mind. This important thing is: How do you treat them now that they are lead?

The answer is truly simple, you treat them with compassion and respect. You see, I believe the ultimate goal should be to help people and by helping people they will, in turn, be happy to pay you for your information and services because they know, like, and trust you. Which, you may have heard, is the key to ethical selling and long term business growth.

Tell me in the comments below, which of these ideas you found most helpful and I look forward to hearing about your growth and success.