When I first started Lead Engines back in 2018 I really only had one goal in mind - I wanted to learn how to be an entrepreneur.
I had attempted several businesses before and none of them were particularly successful; I had raised money and sold a little bit of product but I never built a growing business that had a strong pipeline of customers begging to buy my product.
After a while it dawned on me that every project I attempted failed for the same reason. I didn't have enough customers because I didn't have enough pipeline.
That's when I realized that no matter what I wanted to do with my life, if I wanted to work for myself I needed to learn how to market and sell - and if I wanted to learn to market and sell I needed a lot of leads.
That's why I started offering lead generation services - so I could work directly with business owners, entrepreneurs, and sales professionals and help them bring their products to market and glean their knowledge and experience along the way while also getting a couple badly needed bucks in my pocket to pay bills and avoid the 9-5.
I didn't have much to work with either. I wasn't a social media influencer, I didn't know how to run ads, and I couldn't even design a logo let alone a visually appealing advertisement. That's when my mentor introduced me to the entrepreneur's secret weapon for quick leads that doesn't require artistic skills or breaking the bank - cold email.
Think about it - you can spend months making landing pages and writing ad copy and spend a zillion dollars on Google ads just to chase down the leads that sign up off of your ads. Or you can spend 5 minutes writing a thoughtful, well crafted cold email and send it to a narrowly targeted list of your 1,000 best prospects and start getting warm leads directly to your email. Even if you've never done cold email before it's possible to start a campaign in less than an hour and get warm leads by the very next day. If you don't already have the landing pages or thousands of dollars to dump into Google ads there's no reason to waste your time building all of that when you can simply email your ideal customers.
That being said, if you don't do cold email right things can start to fall apart pretty quickly - but if you know what you're doing it's easy to set up a new campaign and launch it within a few hours - and that's exactly why businesses pay a premium for someone who knows exactly what they're doing.
Let me break down the business model for you - and these numbers are just an example of what I did when I couldn't sell a cheeseburger to the Donner Party.
I charged my clients $1,600 per month to manage their cold email campaigns and contact 3,000 people per month through them. I spent about $100/month on email addresses, lemlist accounts, outbound domains (so I wouldn't get my clients spam listed) and email services and about $500/month on highly targeted email lists. That meant I got $1,000 profit just for setting up the campaigns and letting them run - and remember how I said you can set them up in a day and you're done?
For the first time in my life I had a service that most businesses in the country could benefit from and would pay me $1,000 per month of profit every time I closed a deal - onboarding clients took less than a day and refilling their campaigns with new leads each month was totally automated. I spent less than 1 day per month per client and made $1,000 each.
The best part was I could get leads by eating my own dogfood and doing cold email for myself. They'd book a meeting directly from my calendar and ask "Can I see a demo? How do I know it works?" and I'd respond "You're in the demo! It worked on you!"
Then not only did I get the best hourly paycheck I've ever gotten in my life (when I could get it), I was getting the valuable experience that I had set out specifically to get. I got to talk to SaaS founders that had been in the business for years and learn exactly how they market and sell their products. It was like getting paid to go to school and learn exactly what I wanted to know.
After about a year of doing this my growth was undeniable. When I wanted to launch new projects, I knew exactly how to reach out to prospective customers to generate interest and close pre-sales. What had previously been an insurmountable hurdle that crippled all of my startups had become something I could knock out between breakfast and lunch.
Anyway, the moral of this story is that if you want to work for yourself you have to learn how to market and sell - and the best way to learn to market and sell is to get paid to generate leads for other businesses and learn the in's and out's of how they identify and pitch customers.
If you're curious to know exactly how to get started offering lead generation services, I put together a guide you can read here. If you're worried that you don't know how to generate leads, don't be. By generating your first leads for your own lead generation service, you'll learn the basics of lead generation technology which is the same for every business - and your clients can teach you everything you need to know about their business and their customers!
So if you want to be an entrepreneur but have always struggled with marketing and sales, lead generation is the best place to start. If you agree, check out my guide and jump right in!