The Ultimate Massive Lead Gen 101 Guide For Agencies & Freelancers

hey reliable - Mary Marnell by Mary Marnell
January 29, 2017
The Ultimate Massive Lead Gen 101 Guide For Agencies & Freelancers

Picture it: A puppy sits in the store window.

Hundreds of people pass her by. Many stop and stare and say, “We need a puppy one of these days! I want one so bad!”

But only one person will actually enter the store and get that puppy.

Now, most businesses (agencies & freelancers included) focus all of their advertising energy into getting that one person who’s at the right place in their life to buy the puppy NOW.

But what about the hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands who want one – just not today?

a dog

Here’s the 5-step process we’ve taken literally every month since Reliable PSD was born. We’ve used it for every problem, mistake, and stress-inducing situation we’ve faced.

As a result, things keep getting better, more joyful, and more full of peace.

What if you could get a list of those people…

And send them cool stuff about puppies every now and then…

And build a cool relationship with them so your store stays front of mind when they are ready to buy?

How many more sales would you get?

(Hint: It’s a lot.)

That’s why lead gen is so powerful and important. But if you’ve never done it before, it can feel pretty overwhelming.

Especially when your Facebook feed is flooded with words like “lead magnet” and “tripwire” and “bait” and many, many more.

So let’s break it down and define all these terms you see and give you a simple game plan to get started.


First: Let’s make ourselves a little “glossary” of terms so we’re speaking the same language.

Lead magnet / bait:

A powerful piece of content that helps your market solve a burning problem. It’s something that’s relevant and important enough that they would give you their email address to get it.

Squeeze page / landing page / opt-in page:

While landing page can mean a lot – when used in the lead get context, it means the same as those other 2 terms. Basically, that’ the actual page you send people to where they enter their email to get the free gift.


Someone who enters their email into your opt-in page.


The successful transition of getting a visitor to your squeeze page to becoming a lead. So when an opt-in page has 100 conversions, that means it generated 100 leads.

A conversion can also be converting a lead into a customer, or a visitor into a customer.

Conversion rate:

How many conversions you got compared to how many people visited your landing page. If you got 10 conversions from 30 visitors, then your conversion rate is (10 / 30)*100 which equals 33%.

(Multiplying by 100 converts the decimal into a percentage.)

Thank you page:

The page someone lands on after entering their email address.

Autoresponder / lead nurturing sequence:

A series of emails which are automatically sent by an email software (i.e. MailChimp) once someone enters their email address into your landing page.

OTO / Tripwire:

One Time Offer. Often, on a thank you page, marketers will place a ridiculously awesome, low-priced offer that inspires someone to make a purchase right then and there.

Depending on the offer, it can be as low as $7 or up to $19 (typically).

The idea is if you get someone to buy once, it’s much, much easier to get them to buy again.

A/B Testing or Split-Testing:

Creating an alternate version of your squeeze page, email sequence, or anything else in order to compare and improve results. If you split-test headlines, for example, that means you craft two headlines, and drive 50% of your traffic to each headline to decide which generates stronger results.

CTA / Call to Action:

Any element on your landing page that asks someone to take a direct action. This is what all the copy / design on your landing page builds up to. If you want an email address, your call to action is “Enter your email now!” + a button.

CPA / CPL (Cost Per Acquisition / Lead):

This is how much money you spend to generate a single lead. If you spent $100 to generate 50 leads, then your CPA is $100 / 50, which is $2 / lead. Your CPA / CPL is $2.

Marketing Funnel:

This is the blueprint of your entire lead generation sequence from top to bottom. For example:

Facebook ad > Landing page > Thank you page with CTA to schedule a strategy call > Website client

Social Proof:

In a nutshell, other people besides you saying that your stuff is awesome. This can come in the form of testimonials, media appearances, expert endorsements, logos of credible publications that have featured you, how many users / clients you have, etc.

Scarcity / Urgency:

Even if someone really wants something, they’re bogged down by a million and one other things competing for their attention. Scarcity / urgency is where you put a limit on your offer in order to focus your visitor and get them to take action now.

For example, maybe you’re only giving away 100 free strategy calls. Or maybe after 100 people download your free video you’re going to start charging for it.


Commitment & Consistency:

The idea that the more steps you get someone to take, the more steps they’ll be willing to take in the future, and the easier it will be to get them to do so.

For example: If you enter your email for a great AT&T deal, then drive all the way to an AT&T store to redeem it or learn more about it, since you’ve already done all that, you’re much more likely to wait 1 hour to see someone if there’s a long wait at the store.

Compare that to this: You’re walking through the mall, and happen to see an AT&T store. “I wonder if they have any deals,” you think. You enter the store, and a rep says they’d love to speak with you, but all those people came first as she points to a group of 20 people sitting angrily in the waiting area.

“Eh… maybe another day,” you think and walk away.

Since you didn’t take all those initial actions, you’re much less likely to take further actions. You’re not committed to the process.

Step 1: Now that we’re speaking the same language, the next step is to figure out what your market needs so bad they’d give up their email address for it.

First, who is your market?

Is it industry-specific, like “dentists”?

Is it more broad, like “start-ups”?

Think about who you attract and what unites them as a market. Maybe you have a psycho-graphic instead of a demographic.

That’s where your market isn’t united by an industry or income level or gender or age, but by how they think / feel.

Spend some time thinking about who you serve, and narrow it down as tightly as possible.

Step 2: What keeps them up at night?

If you’re in marketing, the answer for your market is almost always going to be: “I need more customers while spending less money.”

That’s the burning problem that troubles their sleep.

But it’s important to understand the lingo they use to describe it. To do that, you’ll have to interview your clients and dig into these problems and desires.

For example, a dentist needs more “patients.”

A personal trainer needs more “clients.”

An e-commerce store needs more “sales.”

But there’s always a “but”.

Your clients have beliefs about what’s giving them this problem. And if you don’t address and negate those beliefs – they’ll never listen to you.

If I’ve tried Facebook ads 10 times and failed, and you offer me a guide to Facebook ads, I’ll write it off, thinking, “Psht, tried that. Doesn’t work!”

But if you address that head on – and instead, tell me: “Have you tried and failed at Facebook ads? Here’s the missing link that’s helped hundreds of businesses finally ‘get it’.”

See the difference?

**Again, you have to speak to your market to find out what those objections / beliefs are. **

(A simple, “Why do you think you have [this burning problem]?” and follow-up questions can usually suffice.)

Maybe they believe there’s too much competition in their area.

Maybe they don’t believe enough people simply don’t want to pay $X for what they have.

Maybe they blame Obama. (Can you imagine the headline? “How to make Facebook ads finally work for your business – even while Obama still exists.” LOL)

Another example just to drive the point home:

Let’s say we’ve got a personal trainer who believes his area has too much competition…

And we put out a “free cheat sheet” that says:

“10 ways to get more clients today – even if your area is packed with other trainers”…

Can you see how that’s almost irresistible to him?

Tap into the desire / problem, negate the objection. Boom.

Step 3: Create a super easy-to-digest, no-risk lead magnet.

Dealing with “hot” leads is easy.

They’re looking for YOU. So as long as you have what they need and communicate that clearly – they’ll reach out.

But when we’re building lists of “cold” leads who don’t need you right now, or don’t know that they need you right now, it’s different.

You can’t get them to do anything that feels “hard” or like it requires some kind of “commitment.”

With that said, here are some things that generally fail when generating cold leads (if you do them right off the bat without warming the leads up at all):

  • Strategy calls
  • Free quotes / estimates
  • Hour-long videos (the exception is webinars – people sit through those for some reason!)
  • Massive reports

Why would I get on a strategy call for something I don’t (think I) need? Same logic applies for a free estimate.

Why would I sit through an hour-long video? Or read a 100-page document?

These kinds of offers are great for people who know they need what you’ve got. They’re ready and willing to do what it takes to get the results they need.

But for the personal trainer who just knows he doesn’t have enough clients — but knows nothing about Facebook or Instagram marketing, website marketing, email marketing, etc. — he’s not going to commit so heavily to learning about that solution… yet.

What will he commit to?

Well, his burning problem is he needs more clients..

His burning objection is there’s too much competition…

So maybe he’d click on:

  • Personal trainer? This 7-minute video reveals 3 awesome tactics for getting more new clients – even if your area is packed with competition.
  • Hey Fitness Pro, need more clients? Check this 15-point “cheat sheet” that’s helping trainers nationwide get 5-10 new clients per week.

See how those offers feel easy?

For the first one, the biggest thing I’m risking is 7 minutes.

That’s not too bad – especially given that it promises to solve my biggest problem.

For the 2nd one, all I’m risking is a few minutes to glance over a “cheat sheet”. I can spare a few minutes to read over a single page.

Step 4: The bait / lead magnet secret that turns cold leads into warm prospects

Okay, so now we’ve established what it takes to generate leads: an irresistible, EASY-to-grab offer that makes the prospect risk nothing at all, aside from a few minutes of her time.

Here’s where the “voodoo magic” comes in that educates people about the solution you offer:

Your lead magnet is all about your solution.

If you’re an email marketing pro, then your 15-point cheat sheet is about how email marketing generates clients.

If you’re an Instagram pro, it’s about how to use Instagram to get more clients.

So on and so forth.

What this does: It takes someone who only knows “I need more clients”… and turns them into someone who now knows: “I need more clients… and to get that, I need [your solution].”

Basically, you’ve taken a cold lead, and turned them into a warm prospect.

Not bad, right?

Step 5: If you’re not willing to add this to your lead magnet, don’t even bother.

What is it?


You need to deliver a TON of VALUE in your video or cheat sheet or whatever you choose for your magnet.


  1. It generates goodwill and gratitude. “Holy sh*t, this gal just really helped me out. She rocks.” That’s the response you want your free info to provoke.
  2. It generates a sense of, “If she gave me this for FREE… holy cow, what would I get if I paid her?”

Think of people as empty cups, and the goodwill you generate is wine that fills those cups.

In order to get people to reach out to you – you have to make their cup overflow.

If you only pour a little wine – because you “don’t want to give away your best secrets” – then the cup hardly fills up, and no one wants to get served a wine glass with only a few drops, right?

On the other hand, if someone isn’t expecting very much (because they’ve been disappointed by similar free offers)…

And you surprise them by filling their cup to the top, and then some…

Well, they’re pretty appreciative at that point.

And from that state of mind, they’re much, much more likely to want to keep heading down your funnel and do business with you.

Now that we’ve got that covered…

Step 6: Placing your call to action to generate customers

So you’re generating leads, you’re overfilling them with gratitude and good will, and they’re sold on the idea that your solution just might solve their burning problem.

Now, it’s time to channel all that energy into one thing:

Your call to action.

Remember – we’re still not dealing with “hot” prospects here. These are cold leads we’ve only now just warmed up a bit.

That means we still need to make the next step EASY and LOW-RISK.

But – we’ve earned their trust and interest – so we can ask them to do a bit more.

For example:

  • Now a free strategy call works great
  • Or a free quote / estimate
  • Or a longer video that you can even charge a small fee for (a “tripwire” – see glossary above if you’re not sure what that means)
  • Or a more detailed report that you can charge a small fee for

As a service-based agency / freelance business, I suggest the strategy call.

If you can get someone on the phone, and deliver even more value, you can likely sell them on a trial-run of your services while you’re at it.

If you’re a pro on the phone, then this is where you shine.

And I find that most agency owners are great at selling once someone is at this stage.

If you’re not great at it – leave a comment and let me know. Maybe we’ll do another post on how to do your strategy call to earn more sales ?

So let’s review and give you an easy-to-reference checklist for how this all works:

  1. Figure out your market
  2. Figure out their most burning problem, and the belief that’s holding them back
  3. Create a super low-barrier, free lead magnet that addresses the info from #2
  4. Deliver massive VALUE in your free info
  5. End your video / cheat sheet in a call to action for another super low barrier offer that takes a little more commitment
  6. Boom! All done

That’s lead gen 101 for you. Here are a few more advanced steps we’ll cover in another post:

  • Facebook ads (copy / image / targeting / etc.)
  • Email nurturing series
  • Facebook remarketing for people who visited your landing page, but didn’t subscribe
  • Landing page copy / imagery / etc.

But! This is a great start, and everything you need to get your feet wet.

Your turn: Did you enjoy this post? Was it helpful? Do you have questions? Comments? Etc.?

Tell me!

Leave a comment below and let me know what’s on your mind. I’d love to hear it. Let’s get a convo going.


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