- Throughout Pat’s career, he’s only had 1 business loan
- He used small budgets and smart tactics to grow them
- To build quickly, you must have lots of leads
- Level one of lead generation is utilizing your current contacts
- Everyone has at least 250 acquaintances
- Factoring in social media, most people have a great number more
- If you aren’t, you’re stepping over dollars to pick up nickels
- If someone doesn’t seem like your ideal client, they may know someone who is
- Everyone needs to know what you do
- Organic marketing is spending time and effort instead of money
- Do what you can to get your message in front of as many people as possible
- Pat’s business was into 7 figure before he focused on paid advertising
- Dial in your target, refine your methods, get more and better leads
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Hey, Pat Rigsby here. And in today’s episode, I want to talk with you about the three levels of lead generation. So many people really kind of put lead generation into one bucket, but I’m going to give you a kind of systematic or layered approach to start growing your business with the leads that are available to you today.
Welcome to the fitness business school with Pat Rigsby, the podcast for fitness entrepreneurs who want to make more income, have greater impact, and enjoy more freedom in their ideal business. If you’d like an accelerated route to these goals, email me at [email protected] and put BGA in the subject line and I’ll get you all the details about our business growth accelerator program.
One of the things that I’ve gotten great joy out of during the time that I have coached business owners is really helping people kind of grow in a bootstrapped fashion. That’s really how I grew almost all my businesses of all the businesses that I’ve owned or co-own. There’s been one bank loan throughout that process with over 30 businesses. They’ve all kind of been started out of pocket. Many of them were bootstrapped on absurdly, small budgets, and, you know, in that case, a lot of times you’re making up for a lack of money available to spend with an investment of time and effort and consistency. And, you know, I think because of that, I learned a lot of business growth strategies and tactics that didn’t require big advertising budgets. They didn’t require a lot of the flash or you know, the, the things that get talked about so often by agencies or in social media. So I wanted to give you kind of my three levels of lead generation, if you will. And not only will it help, you know, kind of where to start, but no matter where you are in your business, you may look back and say, wait a minute, I didn’t capitalize on this level well enough, I jumped ahead and I missed a few opportunities. So no matter where you are in business, I think this is going to be useful to you.
So the first level of lead generation that I’ve always used and I’ve coached people to use from day one is your current contacts. And you know, we’ve called it a connection database. We’ve called it. Your your, your personal network. A couple of times, I’ve used different terminology to describe it, but really it’s always boiled down to the people that you do know. There was a gentleman named Joe Gerard who is in the Guinness book of world’s records as a, as the world’s greatest salesman. And he was a car salesman. And his premise was that everybody basically has a network of about 250 people, not people that they would call friends, but a network of acquaintances, people who you know, might be considered if they were going to invite somebody to a wedding or a funeral, if you will. And the, the way that he always thought right about it was okay, how do I get the people who buy cars from me to introduce me to those other 250 people in their lives. And I really, when I learned that I took it to heart and we used it in our own businesses. And then I taught it from really day, one of my time business coaching. And it would be the foundation of new franchisee training. When I when I was coaching marketing with our franchises, the, that I owned a few years back. So let’s face it. We all have that kind of network.
Now in the past, when I taught this people weren’t maybe is is tied to social media. So maybe that network wasn’t as visible to them, but if you just open up your cell phone and you look at the connections that you have there, many people have well over a hundred names and phone numbers in their cell phone. Some people don’t, and that’s fine, we’ll move past that bit. But plenty of people do when I’ve had workshops. When we’ve had mastermind meetings, we’d ask people to pull out their phone. And the average was all was over a hundred. And then taking that a step further. If you look on your social media profiles and the people you actually know, not, not people that are friends of a friend, but people that you actually know, most of us have more than that many contacts there, but we can take it a step further, right? We can look in, you know, if you’re using Gmail or Outlook or something like that, you can look in your contacts in your email account. You can think about the people in your neighborhood, the people who live down the street that you have as loose acquaintances, you can think about your, your family doctor, your dentist, people that may be, you know, from from your, your kids, sporting events, people that you might know from church, people that you know, who are parents of other kids in, in your children’s class.
There are plenty of people you know. And the first thing that we should do as business owners is list out these people go open up something. It, you know, a spreadsheet in Google drive, open up an Excel document. Yeah. Pull out a notebook and list out all of these people and then just invite them to experience what you have to offer, whether you want to experience them to come in and train in person free, whether you want them, whether you want to invite them to experience your online program that you may be offering, or it can be as simple as inviting them to be on your email newsletter so you can help them stay abreast of what’s going on. If you have a private Facebook group, you can invite them there, but it’s always astounded me that you would jump to marketing to people who have no idea who we are that have no affinity to, to us have no predisposed, no like, and trust involved in the relationship. And we’d ignore these people who might just feel more comfortable doing business with us might be even if they don’t know you that well, there are probably common relationships there. So they would feel more comfortable in that environment than they might feel going somewhere cold. So reaching out to current contact should always be our first level of lead generation.
And if you’ve not done this exercise, you are stepping over dollars to pick up nickels. You’re avoiding what I consider maybe the greatest untapped gold mine we have at our disposal to go out and try to build new relationships from scratch. And the push back that I occasionally get from this is, well, I don’t want to bug my friends. I don’t want to bug the people that I’m close to. They’re not my ideal client. And I would tell you that a, if you don’t feel like you’re the best solution available to the people in your lives, if they do want to reach the goals that you focus on, helping people reach, then you’ve got some work to do. You need to find a way to be better. You need to find a way to be the best solution. And if you are, then you should feel like, you know what I mean? I want my friends to be in good hands. I want my friends to be taken care of. I want the people that I care about to succeed, to reach their goals. And so it should be a no-brainer.
And then the second level of this is that if you may not see somebody as your target market, that’s okay. They need to be aware of who you are in case they encounter somebody who is part of your target market. So they can be an advocate for you. And a lot of times we get to be really assumptive. We think, Hey, you know what? These people are thinking of me. If they run into somebody who knows what I do, they’re going to mention me at the drop of a hat. Well, that’s not how it works, because people are busy. People get caught up doing so many different things, and maybe they, they have the best of intentions, but maybe they forget. But if we’re staying in front of them with a newsletter two or three days a week, or if they’re in our private Facebook group, or if they’re just hearing from us periodically and they know who we help and what we help people do when they run into that person, it’s going to be so much more likely that they’re going to introduce them to you.
So level one of lead generation, current contacts level two is what we would call organic marketing. Now that that phrase gets thrown around a lot in the online world. Hey, organic means I’m just going to do free posts, but organic marketing is really the way that I think I think of it is us going out and doing marketing in a bootstrapped way in a, in a kind of idling to invest time and effort instead of money fashion. So yes, it could be you putting videos on YouTube. It could be you doing Facebook lives or you making posts on Instagram. Are you writing out long form posts and sharing it on social media somewhere, or even making posts on a blog, right? It could be you doing a podcast, but it’s not only that organic could be you going and networking in your local area. Organic could be you going and doing public speaking for local groups or businesses. Organic could be you going out and making sure that everybody in your local area that might be a fit for what you do that you haven’t met is now aware of who you are and how you can help. Because the idea is we want to get our message in front of people that we don’t already have a relationship with because it just doesn’t make a whole lot of logical sense to spend money, to test our message. And we’ve not tested it for free because if you were messaged succeeds, if your offer succeeds in this organic fashion, then it makes all the sense in the world. Let’s pay to expose this offer to more people, right?
But let’s not reverse those things. Let’s not say, Hey, I’m going to test by spending money. When you know what I can go test by actually having a conversation and engaging with people and maybe that conversations online, maybe people reply to your post and they, they help you refine this message because they ask questions. And then you think of ways that you could expound on what you said, or you could clarify what you said. If you’re doing it in a networking fashion, people are going to talk with you. And you’re going to say, you know, what, how could I have clarify this message better? How could I have dialed it in what kind of questions did I leave on answered? What kind of questions did people have? And so it allows you to kind of have what I would consider almost like a minimum viable product that you’re putting out to market. You’re getting feedback. And what’s great is potentially you’re getting paid to get feedback. You’re putting things out there and you’re connecting with new people. And if you’re doing it in kind of a live way, you can adapt as you go. You can kind of course correct in if somebody has a question, you can answer it on the spot and not just trust that your message was answering everything on its own without you being present in the moment. And, you know, honestly, I would tell you that my my business career really was built off of these first two.
You know, my business, my business interests were well into the seven figures before there was ever much of any focus on paid advertising, but that is number three, that third level of lead generation, because if you want to scale and you want to essentially kind of save some time and you’re in a position where you know, that your message is proven, then paying for advertising makes plenty of sense, because basically you’re paying for that message to be seen without you personally investing the time one by one, to get that message in front of people, to connect with people, you can get that message in front of hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of people without having to be the carrier of it individually every hour of the day to reach that many people. So, you know, a lot of people want to dive straight into paid lead generation and make no mistake. I, I use paid lead generation every day I, I use Scott Rawcliffe to, to operate my paid paid traffic, and he does a great job, but he’s kind of doing a great job built on the shoulders of the things that I’ve done that were free for years and the things that have come before, because, you know, I kind of know who my person is at this point. I kinda know what’s important to them and the problems that they’re trying to solve and the goals they’re trying to achieve and the dreams that they have. And so we can use that information to craft more effective, paid marketing. So I’m not wasting a ton of money with my ad spend.
So my suggestion is start with those current context, really dial that in. And if something that you’ve overlooked and you’ve jumped ahead, then now’s a great time to go back. I mean, think about that. That’s what referrals basically are. But we think a lot of times of referrals as only being the people who are active clients, that we’re going to ask to spread the word about us, but there are plenty of other people in our lives that know you, that like you, that want to see you succeed and believe in you that they’re, they’re going to be willing to spread the word as well. And they may be clients themselves. If you make an offer. And then second, we want to jump into organic. We want to make sure that we’re kind of stress testing our message. We’re refining it. And we’re connecting with people without having to spend a ton of money. Because if you’re like me and you bootstrap your business, then you just don’t have a ton of money to spend. And then finally we will scale with that proven message with paid lead generation. So that’s the three levels, put them into practice, use them in that sequence, go back and make sure you don’t skip, or, or really under-appreciate either of those first two. And you’re going to see your business grow.
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