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The Encore Entrepreneur

FEMALE ONLINE BUSINESS OWNERS OVER 40

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Organic lead generation is an integral part of any successful business. Whether you attract new prospects when you’re out networking, on social media, by speaking, or in any other non-paid manner, you are performing organic lead generation. When you learn to be intentional and focus your efforts, you’ll recognize a return on your investment of time.

[01:05] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: What if generating leads was fun? What if there were seven surefire strategies you could use to build an inbound lead generation system that runs on autopilot? There are. So let's dive in. 


#1 Host Events


The first strategy is to host events. The number one tip for successful organic lead generation is to host events continuously. Your goal is to always have something to invite people to. To do this, you need to always have events on your calendar. 

We built Encore Empire by hosting weekly live learning in our Facebook group and by hosting a workshop every eight weeks. We've since added virtual roundtable discussions every month, and this gives people a variety of things to choose from and means there's something for anyone who is in our target audience. 

Note that I said there's something for anyone who is in our target audience. This is key. Your events need to address the needs and desires of your target audience, whatever those are. If they don't, they won't attract the right people. 

If you're unsure how to know what the needs and desires of your target audience are, you can learn more in our Get Clients to Come to You episode

So to take event hosting a step further, you'll want to offer a mix of events. Some provide value only, such as our weekly live learning and virtual roundtable discussions. And some are conversion events, such as our workshops. We believe that hosting live events trumps anything else because it's the quickest way for your audience to get to know, like, and trust you.


#2 Engage in Groups

[02:48] Deirdre Harter: So here's the second tip engage in groups. If you want people to engage with you, you need to engage with others. That sounds pretty simple, and we all know it, but how often do we do it? We want people to engage on our posts, right? We're always looking for comments and likes, but how many people are you going out there and engaging with their posts? 

Identifying a handful of quality groups or forums to engage with will ensure that when you engage, you're doing so with the right people. The goal of inbound lead generation is to attract the right people, not just any people. When you're engaging in someone else's group, you need to keep etiquette in mind. So if you follow these steps, you'll be golden:

  1. Number one, read the group rules and follow them. You need to know what a group allows you to post before you begin posting. And if you skip this step, it's the surest way to waste your time and potentially get kicked out of the group. One way that I like to do this, I have to be organized about it because, let's face it, it's really hard to remember what days you can post. So either you can put a note on your calendar, so maybe it's for example, in our group that we host, it's the Empire of Unstoppable Women Facebook Group. We have Wow Us Wednesday. And so every Wednesday, you can post a valuable tip and then a link of your choosing. So when you find a group like that, just put it on your calendar and that way you can remember just kind of like let it hang out at the top. You know, that every Wednesday that's where you can go post something. And once you get several groups together, you can see that you can have a different group for almost every day of the week. So that way, you can take one post or a couple of posts, and then you can reuse those same posts. You can repurpose them, and you can put them in different groups. 

  2. When you're new to a group, you want to allow people to get to know you slowly. You don't want to rush in like a bull in a china shop and start posting and being hyper-engaged. So start off by liking some comments and posts that resonate with you. And again, we're using authenticity in everything that we're doing here. We're trying to build relationships. So keep that in mind. Like liking for the sake of liking isn't going to do you any good. Just like you don't want people liking your posts for the sake of liking when they aren't your ideal prospects, right? It's just not doing anybody any good. So start this liking comments and posts and do this for a few days to a week. When you like a post or comment, people will notice, and that allows them to know that you're there and you're participating. 

  3. Number three is after you've spent a few days liking only, start replying to a few comments or commenting on posts and just a few at a time. Again, we're not trying to overwhelm and look like we're trying to come in and do a coup and take over the group. So you do this for a few days to a week. 

  4. Your next step is to begin engaging freely. So then comment and post in accordance with the rules, and people will begin to engage more frequently with you. They're going to see notifications. A lot of this, too, is an algorithm thing on Facebook, especially. When you're engaging with people, the system is learning what kind of people you're engaging with, and they're going to show you more of those people's posts and things that they're putting online. This is why it's really important that you are only engaging with the right people so that that's what you're seeing and the right people are seeing what you are putting out there as well. And number five, once you're having some positive interactions with other group members, feel free to reach out to them and continue the conversation outside of the group. And that's one thing I love to do is I'll comment a couple of times, and then I'll say I've sent you a message so we can take this conversation to the next level or so that we can continue the conversation over in direct messenger. And I think people appreciate it because you can always say I like to get off of commenting and into direct messaging because that way, we can talk more freely because people might be hesitant to put certain things in the comments, right? Like it's going to be some basic things, but they may or may not go deeper in this conversation with you. And if you say it in that way, then it doesn't come across as any kind of spam or being inauthentic. They'll actually appreciate the fact that you did that. Your goal is to find potential prospects, collaboration partners, and referral partners and build relationships with them.

#3 Engage With Your Connections


[07:48] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: Tip number three is to engage with those connections. Social media engagement is a two-way street, and too many people treat social platforms as a place to post and run. 

When we're talking about scheduling on your calendar, the days that you're allowed to post in certain groups, make sure that's not all you're doing. Because, again, the algorithm is not going to reward you if you're only posting once a week. When you find the right group, this comes down to narrowing down your list. What is the right group of the right people, and engage more in that group. And social media platforms are where we need to be social. That's what they're about. So instead of only posting your content, spend a portion of your time simply commenting and engaging with other people's posts. They will appreciate that so much. 

Be intentional about the people you engage with, and by doing so, you will help the algorithms know who to show more of your content to. Just as Deirdre just mentioned, the more engaged you are with other people, the more those people will see your content, and the more the algorithm will reward you with more views. This boosts our organic lead generation activities, which is exactly what we want.


#4 Relationships Are The Key To A Successful Business


[09:01] Deirdre Harter: Here's the fourth way relationships are the key to a successful business, and networking is a great way to meet quality people to build those relationships. All networking groups are not created equal, however, so you have to choose wisely, and finding the right networking groups, takes some trial and error for sure. 

You'll want to identify two or three that look like the right fit and then attend some of their networking events. And then, you'll need to commit to attending at least three events for each to get a good read on whether it's the right group for you or not. A lot of times, we can go to a networking event. It's our first one. And it may not be the best networking event you've ever been to, but we need to give it some time because it could have been a week where there were fewer people that show up than normal. It could have structured a little bit differently. And we just want to make sure that we don't go to one, and think “Oh, that didn't seem like a good one,” and then off we go again. We want to give everything that we are testing and trying the time to prove if it's right or not. 

Now, when you're networking, you're looking for three types of connections. You are looking for prospects, collaboration partners, and referral partners. And if you are only interested in finding new clients at networking events, then you're really missing out on collaboration and referral partners. They can be even more valuable than finding a client because they're a source of clients. Now collaboration partners and referral partners, when nurtured properly, can create automated lead generation for your business.


#5 Collaborate!


[10:44] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: That's right. Now tip number five is to collaborate, and this is why. So a key to attracting new leads is getting in front of other people's audiences. And if we don't have any collaboration partners, we can't do that. So we need to create visibility opportunities for ourselves in order to grow our list of potential prospects. Collaborating with people who serve the same audience as you do but in a different non-competitive way will allow you to create more events to invite people to while expanding your visibility at the same time. Additionally, collaboration partners can turn into referral partners, and referrals are gold.


#6 Refer And Get Referrals


[11:23] Deirdre Harter: So that leads us to number six which is refer and get referrals. Now, you might meet someone who isn't a good fit for collaboration, you may have met them at a networking event, you might have started a conversation on social media and then gotten onto a connection call, and you realize that there really just isn't anything there for us to collaborate on. But, maybe they do something that aligns nicely with what you do. Maybe what they do is the next step for the clients that you work with. Or, maybe it's the first step that your ideal clients need to take before they come and work with you. 

If this is the case, you can build a referral relationship with these people and refer clients to each other. Also, make a list of what other service providers or coaches, or consultants could be. That other piece to what you're doing. Sometimes there's a symbiotic relationship that we can find with others. So maybe you work with your clients in a certain way, but you don't cover this one piece, and it's a piece that they could use and they might need. And so if you find someone who can fill that need for them, then you guys can refer back and forth to one another. 

You always want to go into any relationship looking for ways to bring value to the other person, no matter what the relationship turns out to be, right? If we are always value-minded, we cannot go wrong. And don't get distracted by keeping track of who refers more to who this is. First of all, it's busy work, and second of all, it doesn't really matter, right? As long as we are giving value, what we put out, we will get back. It's a law of the Universe, it's a law of relationships, it's a law of reciprocity. Just keep giving value, and you're going to get that value back. And as a CEO, you don't have time for busyness or pettiness, right? So just don't fall into that trap. Just keep building relationships and do your best to give the way you want others to give to you. And you'll be building a multifaceted and powerful organic lead generation system and a network that will serve you well.


#7 Bring Consistent Value To Your Audience


[13:41] Carmen Reed-Gilkison: And our final tip for successful organic lead gen is to bring consistent value to your audience. This goes without saying, but you need to bring value to your audience as well as your connection partners. 

Attracting leads and failing to nurture them is like sailing a boat full of holes. You need to know your ideal audience very well so that you can create content that is valuable to them, that will blow them away, and that will keep them coming back for more. And when I say blow them away, we don't have to hit it out of the park every single time. The point is to try to understand through market research what it is they want and to deliver on that consistently. That's what's going to blow them away. So it's not like every single thing you post has to be Grammy-worthy. 

We often hear people worrying about giving away too much for free, and we don't believe that's possible. Most people need guidance as well as content. Very few people will be able to take what you post and achieve the same success they would if they worked with you. You could literally share all of your secrets to success and still have people pay to work with you because they need accountability, guidance, and support. Now, we're not saying you should share all of your secrets, but what we are saying is if you find yourself holding back, you're focusing on the wrong thing. 

Bring all the value, and your audience will want more and more. I think when we cover this topic of not counting who is referring more to who, and if you're focused on holding yourself back instead of delivering all the value, that's kind of scarcity mindset, and you're getting into turbulent waters there. 

You're focusing on the wrong thing if those are the things that come top of mind to you. Really it's all about bringing value and being the best that you can be to others so that they will repay you in kind. So organic lead generation is an integral part of any successful business's marketing strategy. 

There is so much that you can do to develop your organic lead generation plan, and we will guide you through building out your marketing plan for the next twelve months. When you join us for our next marketing methodology workshop, head over to encoreempire.com/mmw to join us.

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