How to start a Lead Generation Agency
So, you want to start a lead generation agency but you don't know where to start.
That's okay - everyone who has ever started a business has been in your shoes before, even Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk (results not guaranteed).
It turns out you really only need a few things - I'll list them in order starting at the point of sale and then moving backwards to generating your first leads.
I can't even begin to tell you how many terrible proposals I've gotten from freelancers and new agencies. Nothing gives away that you have never actually sold your service quite like hideous sales documents and contracts loaded up with legalese. I personally do all of my proposals through a software called "BetterProposals" which does exactly what it claims to do - it helps you send better proposals.
The secret to a good proposal is that it's all about the value - it's usually the last document a customer looks at before they decide to buy. How will it help you close the deal if you send them some rocketlawyer contract with docusign loaded up with language about noncompete clauses, monthly terms, indemnification, so on and so forth? It won't. It'll help you close the deal if your proposal is loaded up with language about goals, outcomes, and timelines - and it doesn't hurt to make sure it's visaully appealing.
BetterProposals is great for making beautiful proposals that "Wow!" your customer and make them think "This person has sold this before and knows exactly what they are doing." I personally saw my conversion rate double after I started using BetterProposals instead of overly legal contract services like docusign or rocketlawyer.
If you're worried about setting up the perfect proposal - don't be. You can use mine by signing up for BetterProposals through my partner link here.
Proposals are great but you need leads to send them to. In order to get warm leads you'll need either a website or social media presence and some way of getting in front of customers.
Website/Social Media Profile
If you're trying to make a website in a pinch I recommend Clickfunnels. It's a little pricey at $99/month but it's great for making high converting landing pages that you can A/B test and its easy to integrate with most CRM's and email marketing systems. It also has a 14 day trial so if you're really just here to swing the bat and not spend money Clickfunnels is a good choice for a first website builder.
Alternatively, if you have a social media presence such as a linkedin or a facebook, you can simply purchase a new domain and redirect it to your social media profiles and then send email from that domain. Then when people look up your domain, they'll be taken straight to your social media profile. This is great for freelancers and armies-of-one but it's less than ideal for companies because it screams "I'm just one person" - which isn't necessarily a bad thing if you're just one person but it's something you'd want to avoid as a complete team.
A way to get in front of customers:
There's a couple different ways to do this.
A) Paid ads. If you don't have $5,000 you're comfortable spending and getting 0% return on then this isn't for you.
B) SEO. If you don't want to wait a year to start getting customers, this isn't for you either.
C) Social Media. If you don't want to post daily for months before you start getting customers, this isn't for you either.
D) Cold outreach. If you want leads now and don't want to break the bank, this is the way to go.
Maybe I'm biased (because I live and breathe cold outreach) but if you're going for a paid ads/social/seo strategy without having proven your business model, you're going to have a bad time. These approaches are expensive (either in money or time) and come without guarantees. Cold outreach isn't guaranteed either but it's the cheapest, fastest to tweak and iterate, and can get leads with hours of starting if you hit the nail on the head with your targeting and messaging.
And it turns out, that's all you need! A way to get in front of customers, a website to give them the big picture of your offer, and a proposal to close the deal. You don't need a CRM or some crazy inbound marketing funnel with dozens of emails and text messages to get your first client. You just need a solid cold email, a well targeted cold email list, a basic website, and a proposal.
The best part is you can set all of this up in a day and try most of the tools for free. Does that sound easier than what you had in mind? If so, give it a shot! There's no reason to do things the hard way when you don't have to.
If you have any questions about how to get your first clients, shoot me an email or message me through our site and I'll be happy to help you out!
Good luck out there!