B2B founders are often mistakenly convinced that online marketing is effective immediately after you start doing it.
Our minds have been kind of depraved from watching huge corporation’s viral online campaigns and the enormous wins they achieve along with the biggest online marketing agencies.
Then we have one-person side-projects that turn to few-hundred people companies within months, that prove online marketing provides an endless pool of leads for startups.
Somewhere in between are B2B service companies whose founders for instance do software, websites, UX, graphics or SEM. A lot of them are scratching their heads right now – thinking they should be able to quickly achieve the same effects as businesses above. But everything takes time.
Leads won’t come without you understanding your clients first
In this case, I specifically mean cold emailing because RightHello did a campaign for Mezzolab. But this applies to all other marketing tactics without fault.
Let me give you something to think about – every team in your company generates a physical (digital) representation of your final work.
Sales close deals and generate cash. Developers build your product, which might be the core of your company that people really recommending when referring someone towards your company.
Marketing generates leads.
And startup founders often know what results to expect from sales and development teams. But leads also have to be generated with a deliberate strategy:
approach your customers directly, using easily accessible communication channels first
learn about them fast, understanding your clients takes a lot of talking (asking for feedback)
the more you know – the better leads you’ll be able to generate
and you’ll know which channels to expand to next
Understanding your clients and building bridges
Lead generation requires learning about your customers and approaching them – the right people with personalised messages.
Put a decent amount of work into your strategy – it’ll pay off even if it doesn’t happen right off the bat.
Most lead generation strategies start working only after you discover key information about your customers:
how do they communicate? (style, language, channels, tools)
what problems do they deal with?
This information is fundamental if you want to generate leads regularly, with a degree of predictability. You’ll always need to go to your potential clients first before you build a real strategy.
To learn about your clientele faster, you need to eliminate the distance between you and your customers. In other words, don’t be afraid to go up close to talk to them.
Because afterwards, when you’re precisely targeting the recipients of your cold emails (or ads, or content), you’ll see that
kicking the door in is much easier when you know where to kick (and what technique to use… which is a metaphor for personalisation I guess).
Don’t expect leads tommorrow, when you’re starting today
Just like you wouldn’t expect your developers to build a perfect product in 24 hours.
You have to fight for your leads, just like you would’ve fought to close a deal that’s near fruition.
Assume that you’re going to be learning about your customers first – a lot. It will pay off soon, and it will keep paying off in the future – in the mistakes you avoid, money you save and good decision you’ll be able to make.
Ultimately it’ll pay off and you’ll be splashing in a sea of leads, just have patience and keep working on it.