Lead Generation Tactics for Side Gig Startups

A Great Product is Worthless Without Marketing

Author: Zach Dilworth Friday July 15, 2022
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Not all great products are great at generating demand. Most products are just widgets until they are marketed to the target audience. They could be great products at great prices, but it doesn’t matter because no one has heard of them or knows why they need them. 

Marketing is extremely important to the success of your business, service, or products. There are 4 P’s in marketing: Product, Placement, Pricing, Promotion. Can you guess which of these focuses on demand generation? For this article, we will focus on Promotion.

When it comes to digital marketing, there are so many channels to choose from. While some channels like organic SEO take time to rise in the rankings while others like PPC, generate demand immediately through digital advertising. Check out our digital advertising basics article to learn more. 

Tricks of the trade for cash-strapped entrepreneurs

  • Lead Gen Tactic #1: LinkedIn Awareness Campaigns

      • What’s the first thing you do when you go on LinkedIn? Check your notifications and see who’s viewed your profile. While on that screen, it’s common to view the profiles of the people who visited your page, right? This is a great opportunity to use your profile as a brochure to subtly sell your product or services.
      • So, wondering how you can get more people to visit your profile? Check out Dux-Soup which is a program that visits LinkedIn profiles based on the criteria you provide. For example, if you are selling to real estate agents and you want them to visit your profile, you would simply set up your search criteria to match your target personas, and the Dux-Soup program will visit the profiles of the agents in your target criteria on your behalf. When those people log into their account, they’ll see that you visited their profiles and then they might visit yours. This methodology works best on a premium account where you can get very specific to your target audience. Make sure your settings on LinkedIn are set to allow others to see that you have viewed their profiles. Also, there’s a limit to the number of profile visits you can do per day so be sure to use caution as you don’t want to get your profile banned for any period of time. 
  • Lead Gen Tactic #2: Email List Generator

      • Not only does Dux-Soup create a bit of a subtle interest on social, but it also generates a list of the people’s LinkedIn profiles that you have visited. This list contains the following: first name, last name, company name, job title, company website, email (if it’s public), phone number (if it’s public). This list can be enriched using a variety of other tools to generate email addresses based on this information. Check out Hunter.io. This tool takes a list of first names, last names, and company domains and spits out email addresses based on publicly known email address syntax for each of the companies. It’s not foolproof, but there’s a way to get more accurate results. With Email Hunter’s Email Validator, you can take the list you had generated and process it through the email validator to see which emails are valid email addresses. In our experience, we had targeted mid-sized companies and obtained about 30% valid email addresses from the original list built to the final processing of valid emails. This really only works for B2B companies, and shouldn’t be used for sending spam to consumers. 
  • Lead Gen Tactic #3: LinkedIn Paid Advertising

    • Lead Gen Ads – Paid

      • These can be pricey but also when executed right, well worth it. Imagine showing an advertisement only to people who match your exact specifications based on a person’s profile and filtered by specific company criteria. When someone clicks on your ad, a form appears and their information is pre-populated in the form. All they need to do is press submit and they can access the promotional item you’re pitching while you obtain high-quality information. Not only that, depending on your marketing automation platform, you may be able to integrate the LinkedIn form submission as a trigger that launches an automation journey. 
    • Hashtags – Organic

      • According to Hootsuite, “Using hashtags on LinkedIn will make your content more discoverable and help you connect with members that may be interested in your company.” Think of the hashtags that your target persona would follow. For all of our side gig audiences, we often use popular tags related to entrepreneurship, side hustle, and opportunities. For more info on this topic, check out Hootsuite’s Complete Guide to Using Hashtags. Hootsuite is a great tool for social media marketing which allows you to manage multiple social media accounts from a single dashboard. 
  • Lead Gen Tactic #3: Facebook Paid Advertising

    • Facebook has an incredible reach across the globe making it easier than ever to place ads directly in front of users matching specific targeting criteria. Facebook’s ad manager platform is robust and enables advertisements to support specific needs such as building awareness, driving website visits, or obtaining leads. Facebook’s platform makes it easy to navigate as the advertising process is simple to use. 
  • Paid Ad Networks (Non-Social)

    • Google Adwords is probably the most popular followed by lesser-used search platforms such as Bing and Yahoo. These platforms offer display ads as well as search ads. These ad networks will enable you to drive immediate traffic to your website; however, performance depends on several factors including how relevant your ad is to the targeted market, the visual appeal of the ad, the value of the offer, the landing page user experience, the form, and more. Check out our article on how to Generate Immediate Demand for your Side Gig
  • Telemarketing

    • If you’re considering telemarketing, make sure you’re compliant with the FTC’s regulations around Telemarketing Sales and the Do Not Call Registry. This is very important and extends to other countries that are calling the US. To streamline your operations and make the most of your calls, consider using the following:
      • Phone Scripts

        • Scripts help your call center agents stay on track and carry a consistent message for your company. Just as important, it gives the agent important rebuttals to overcome objections. At first, it may seem “scripted” but after a few months, the agents will know it well and be able to make it seem a lot more conversational. Make sure to split up the script by talking points, objections, and include emphasis points for tonality. 
      • Sales training videos

        • We love Jordan Belford’s (the actual Wolf of Wallstreet) sales training seminars, but there are plenty of great training videos out there. Other greats include Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, and more. 
      • Onshore vs Offshore

        • Onshore agents are more expensive, but often understand American culture, contextual references, and are smoother with their slang. Offshore agents may not get all of the cultural and contextual references, they are often cost-effective. We found that agents in the Philippines stick to their script and continue reading the rebuttals after hearing multiple “No’s” – this is a difficult feat for many seasons sales agents in the US. Check out our Outsourcing Services section for details on agencies we’ve worked with in the past.
  • Meetup Groups

    • This is a great tactic for building an exclusive audience. You can build a group on most social media platforms and create a descriptive title that would resonate with your target market, for example, “Tech Startup CEO’s in Austin.” Now, you’ll need to engage users in the group with topics that are relevant to Tech Startup CEO’s so they see value in joining the group. Host a meetup and bring in guest speakers whose speeches would benefit your audience. Make sure it’s not too salesy or your audience could quickly vanish. 
  • Tradeshows

    • Tradeshows are a great place to meet and greet your target personas. If the registration is not exclusive to industry professionals, you may need to purchase booth space, but if the requirements are open to people interested in the industry, then you are in a prime position to go to the event and meet professionals from your target industry. It’s much better to focus your attention on tradeshows that your target personas attend rather than shows that are related to your industry, aka shark-infested waters.
  • Marketing Automation

    • Nurture prospects until they’re ready to buy or have an initial discussion. Automation is a great way to maximize the usage of your time while nurturing prospects who are interested in your product. The trick is to drive users to your site to obtain some kind of offer. The offer obtains their email addresses and starts their journeys as leads. Once you have their email address and an opt-in box checked, you can add them to your journey. Journeys do not have to be exclusive to email, but it’s one of the easier automation funnels to set up. Check out our Master Marketing Automation Gameplan. We love ActiveCampaign’s marketing automation platform. It’s robust like an entreprise tool, yet affordable for side gig entrepreneurs.