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Spend any amount of time in entrepreneurial social media groups and you’ll get a glimpse into the things that are happening in entrepreneurship.
You’ll see entrepreneurs posting screenshots of five- and six-figure months. You’ll see leaders talking about experiencing their highest-revenue months. You’ll see experts left and right offering advice. You’ll even see a few entrepreneurs posting about their struggles.
While looking successful on social media can feel good for a while, it’s not the path to building a business that creates financial security and options for an entrepreneur. One-hit wonder months aren’t sustainable and will have an entrepreneur frustrated by the lack of return for the effort they’re putting into building their business.
While entrepreneurship isn’t the same as having a traditional job, there are strategies an entrepreneur can use to create consistent revenue.
Related: 4 Expert Tips for Creating a More Repeatable Sales Process for Your Startup
We live in the Digital Information Age. With more than 4.5 billion daily Internet users, the opportunity for an entrepreneur to reach their target clients has never been better. Creating consistent revenue is possible with a plan and an understanding of modern business development principles.
Lead generation and pipeline
The number one reason entrepreneurs aren’t experiencing consistent revenue months is that they don’t have a plan for lead generation that fills their pipeline with potential customers who want what their business offers.
Randomly posting on social media is not lead generation. Even consistently posting on social media is only one part of a solid lead generation strategy.
The issue is that you don’t own social media platforms. If any social media platforms decide to make a change that affects the reach of your content, it will have an impact on sales. That’s why social media is just one piece of a bigger lead generation pie.
Messaging people on messenger, sending prospects on social media to a funnel, or adding the names of people that didn’t give you consent to your email list is not lead generation.
Ways to create a lead generation system
Businesses thrive or close based on the systems they create for growth. Winging it only works in the movies and often leads to inconsistency. Clarity is one of the most under-utilized strategies to know what actions to take and how it all fits together.
Here are some ways to create a system that generates leads consistently and fills your pipeline with clients who help you grow your business and that you enjoy working with.
1. Use content to convince
There’s a lot of noise online. There is no shortage of entrepreneurs who post consistently trying to convince consumers of their expertise. What separates the noise from the real is seeing an entrepreneur demonstrate expertise through content.
Your content speaks before you ever do. If you’re publishing content on your topic on social media, your blog, newsletter or other mediums, your ideal target client can consume that content, get value and want to know more.
Content that hits on the pain points of your target demographic tends to get shared and engages online consumers of content. It builds your email list and those who want to follow what else you do.
It adds people to your pipeline because the consumer wants more. It’s a way to nurture prospects and turn followers into customers. It’s one of the strongest parts of any lead generation system.
Related: Why Sales Copywriting Is Crucial for Your Business
2. Leverage other audiences
In the digital age, the ability to be present has increased. While you can add value through content to your own audience, you can also be an expert on other outlets.
Podcasts are one of the premier audio means to deliver content today. They’re so powerful, entrepreneur Joe Rogan signed a reported $100 million dollar deal with Spotify because of the podcast he’s built. Imagine what being on Rogan’s podcast would do for your business? While you may not have the opportunity to be a guest on his podcast, there are many others you could be a guest on.
You can also host joint webinars, train in Facebook groups, get on TV and leverage other media opportunities. One of the best ways to generate leads is by showing cold consumers who you are, what you know and how what you offer can help solve their pain points.
3. Demonstrate expertise
One under-utilized way to use social media platforms — and to those who causally follow you — is by offering the chance to win training with you, then doing that training live.
It creates engagement because consumers want to win the session and more engagement because people want to see live training. It’s an incredible way to demonstrate the expertise of what you do and starts the “buying” process in your consumer’s mind. Consumers buy from someone they know, like and trust. They buy from entrepreneurs and businesses that have demonstrated an ability and a knowledge base of the topic your business is built around.
You can also upload the recording training session to your website. It creates an additional piece of content on your online real estate. Tell your social media audience they can get the reply on your website, which brings them to an opportunity to sign up for your email list. It increases website traffic dramatically because your consumer wants to see how your cookies are made, for example.
Showcasing your expertise in a variety of ways helps you generate leads and fill your pipeline because you’re visually demonstrating you know what you’re talking about and can offer practical value for the consumer.
Related: Online Content Monetization 101: How to Make Money From Content
A better way
Inconsistent months don’t have to be common in your business. Use content more strategically, leverage other audiences that are filled with your ideal prospects, and demonstrate your expertise by doing more than talk about it.
You can create the kind of lead generation that keeps your pipeline full and leads to increased sales. Don’t rely on old school tactics that don’t translate to a digital world.