Lead Generation 101: Proven Strategies to Boost Your Business

Learn how to generate leads with proven strategies to boost your business. From online tactics to offline methods, master lead generation now!

Published on
July 7, 2024
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How to generate leads is a question that every business owner grapples with, especially those looking to grow and scale their operations. Here’s a quick answer:

  • Offer something valuable
  • Optimize your website
  • Use landing pages and forms
  • Follow up with a CRM system
  • Track everything

Generating leads is critical for any business aiming for success. It's about capturing customer interest and converting it into potential sales.

Lead generation involves building trust and providing valuable content until potential customers are ready to make a purchase. This process is essential for attracting and nurturing prospects, driving growth and ensuring long-term success.

My name is Mason Boroff, and I've spent over eight years helping businesses like yours master how to generate leads. At Dancing Chicken Media, we specialize in creating tailored digital strategies that resonate with your unique brand and audience.

How to generate leads infographic - how to generate leads infographic infographic-line-5-steps

What is Lead Generation?

Lead generation is the process of attracting and converting strangers and prospects into someone who has indicated interest in your company's product or service. This is typically done by providing valuable content or offers in exchange for their contact information, such as a name, email address, or phone number.

Why Lead Generation Matters

Effective lead generation is crucial for any business aiming to grow. It allows you to:

  • Stand out in a crowded market: By offering valuable content, you can attract potential customers who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer.
  • Build meaningful relationships: Lead generation helps you nurture potential customers, guiding them through their buying journey.
  • Drive sales: By converting leads into customers, you ensure a steady stream of revenue and growth for your business.

How Lead Generation Works

The process typically involves several key steps:

  1. Attracting Visitors: Use various marketing tactics like SEO, content marketing, and social media to draw potential customers to your website.
  2. Capturing Information: Offer something valuable (like an e-book or webinar) in exchange for the visitor's contact information.
  3. Nurturing Leads: Follow up with the leads through email marketing, personalized content, and other methods to keep them engaged.
  4. Converting Leads: Once the lead is ready to buy, they are passed on to the sales team for conversion into a paying customer.

Different Types of Leads

There are various types of leads, depending on their level of interest and engagement:

  • Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL): These leads have shown interest through marketing efforts like downloading a whitepaper or attending a webinar.
  • Sales Qualified Lead (SQL): These leads are vetted by the sales team and are ready for direct sales engagement.
  • Product Qualified Lead (PQL): These leads have used a product, often through a free trial, and show behaviors indicating readiness to convert to paying customers.
  • Service Qualified Lead: These leads express interest in a company's service offerings through initial consultations or requests for additional information.

The Importance of Follow-Up

Once you have captured a lead's contact information, follow-up is crucial. This can be done through:

  • Email Marketing: Send personalized emails that provide value and keep the lead engaged.
  • Automated Reminders: Use automation tools to remind you when to check in with leads.
  • Content Updates: Regularly update your leads with new content that addresses their pain points and interests.

By effectively following up, you ensure that your leads stay engaged and move closer to making a purchase.

Lead generation is the first step in building a meaningful relationship with a potential customer. It’s about attracting the right people and nurturing them until they are ready to buy.

Ready to dive deeper? Let's explore some proven strategies to boost your lead generation efforts.

How to Generate Leads: 10 Proven Strategies

Generating leads is essential for business growth. Here are 10 proven strategies to help you boost your lead generation efforts.

Ask for Referrals

Happy customers are your best advocates. When you close a sale, ask your satisfied customers if they know anyone who might benefit from your product or service. Referrals not only boost your credibility but also bring in quick leads. Daniel Nyquist, CMO at Crosslist, found that within six months, referrals accounted for over 40% of new business.

Conduct Regular Customer Care Calls

Don't drop your customers after the sale. Regular customer care calls help maintain a relationship and can lead to repeat business. It's cheaper to sell to an existing customer than to acquire a new one. These calls also provide an opportunity to ask for referrals. Sometimes, your best leads are your current customers.

Lead Nurturing

Not all leads are ready to buy immediately. Lead nurturing is crucial for keeping undecided prospects engaged. Send them helpful information based on their interests and set up automated reminders to check in periodically. This ensures you stay top of mind when they are ready to make a decision.

Be a Trusted Source of Information

Become a product expert in your field. Customers often do extensive research before talking to a sales representative. By speaking at trade shows or conferences, you can position yourself as a trusted advisor. This builds trust and makes you the go-to source when they need information.

Use the Internet to Highlight Your Expertise

A strong web presence is essential. Use search engine optimization (SEO) to improve your site’s rankings and attract potential clients. Add targeted content regularly and use calls to action (CTAs) to capture leads. For example, BlueRidge Company saw a significant increase in traffic and leads after a website redesign and targeted ad campaigns.

Network Online

Online networking platforms like LinkedIn are invaluable. Engage with your audience through personalized messages and posts. Join industry-specific groups and participate in discussions. This helps you connect with potential leads and establish your expertise.

Be Social

Social selling involves using social media to engage with potential customers. Share valuable content, write LinkedIn articles, and include call-to-action buttons in your posts. This approach helps you build relationships and generate leads organically.

Do Some Good, Old-Fashioned Networking

In-person networking is still effective. Attend conferences, join industry organizations, and listen to the challenges people face. This helps you build genuine connections and uncover potential leads.

Be Creative

Think outside the box to create new interactions. Host charity drives or educational luncheons to engage with your community. Creative approaches can make your business stand out and attract new leads.

Don’t Give Up

Lead generation requires perseverance. Use a variety of sources and keep nurturing your leads. Consistent follow-up and engagement will eventually convert leads into customers.

By implementing these strategies, you'll create a robust lead generation process that drives growth and success.

How to Generate Leads Online

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is a powerful way to attract visitors to your website without paying for ads. By optimizing your site for search engines, you can increase the quantity and quality of visitors you receive from organic search results.

Keyword research is the first step. Tools like Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush help you find the phrases your target audience searches for. Once you have a list of keywords, you can optimize your page content around them.

Page optimization includes using keywords in your titles, meta descriptions, and headers. Make sure your content is valuable and relevant to keep visitors engaged.

Backlinks from reputable sites can boost your SEO. These are links from other websites that point to your site, signaling to search engines that your content is trustworthy.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is about creating and distributing valuable content to attract and engage your target audience. This could be blog posts, videos, infographics, or e-books.

The key is to provide valuable content that solves your audience's problems. For example, if you offer HVAC services, you could write a blog post on "How to Maintain Your Air Conditioner."

Targeted content helps you reach the right audience. Use tools like HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator to find topics that both search engines and your audience will love.

Engagement is crucial. Include calls to action (CTAs) in your content to guide readers to your landing page.


Blogging is a simple way to start with content marketing. Regular posts on relevant topics can attract organic traffic from search engines.

Regular posts keep your audience engaged and coming back for more. Aim to publish at least once a week.

Choose relevant topics that your audience cares about. Use keyword research to find out what they’re searching for.

Audience engagement can be boosted by adding CTAs in your blog posts. Encourage readers to subscribe to your newsletter or download a free guide.

Social Media Marketing

Social media platforms are excellent for reaching potential leads. You can share useful content, run ads, and engage with your audience.

Social proof like customer testimonials can build credibility. Share positive reviews and success stories on your social media channels.

Targeted ads allow you to reach a specific audience. Platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn let you target users based on their interests, location, and behavior.

Lead magnets can be promoted on social media. Offer something valuable, like a free e-book, in exchange for contact information.

Lead Magnets

Lead magnets are valuable offers you give away for free in exchange for contact information. They help you attract high-quality leads.

Valuable offers could be e-books, webinars, or free trials. Make sure the offer is relevant to your audience’s needs.

The goal is to exchange for contact information. Use a simple form to collect names and email addresses.

Quality leads are more likely to convert into customers. Ensure your lead magnet aligns with your business goals.

Landing Pages

A landing page is a standalone web page designed to capture leads. It should be optimized to convert visitors into leads.

Optimized pages focus on a single offer. Remove distractions and keep the design simple.

Form fields should be easy to fill out. Only ask for essential information to reduce friction.

Thank you pages are crucial. After a visitor submits their information, redirect them to a thank you page that confirms their submission and provides the next steps.

Lead Scoring

Lead scoring helps you prioritize your leads based on their likelihood to convert. This ensures you focus your efforts on the most promising leads.

Tracking is essential. Use tools like Google Analytics to monitor lead behavior on your website.

A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system can help you manage and score your leads. Assign points based on actions like downloading an e-book or visiting your pricing page.

Personalized communication increases the chances of conversion. Use the data from your CRM to tailor your messages to each lead’s interests and behaviors.

By implementing these online strategies, you'll be well on your way to generating quality leads and driving business growth.

Offline Lead Generation Strategies

While online strategies are vital, don't overlook offline lead generation. Here are some proven methods to boost your business.

Direct Engagement

Direct engagement means reaching out to potential customers through various channels like social media, email, and phone.

  • Social Media: Use platforms like Facebook and Instagram to directly interact with potential leads. Post engaging content and respond to comments and messages promptly.
  • Email: Send personalized emails to your existing customer base, offering special deals or updates about new products.
  • Phone: Sometimes a direct phone call can make all the difference. This approach is more personal and can help build stronger relationships.


Events are a great way to connect with potential customers face-to-face.

  • Sponsorships: Sponsor local events that align with your business. For example, a bike shop could sponsor a local race. Include your contact information on signage and swag.
  • Industry Events: Attend trade shows and networking events. These are excellent opportunities to meet potential leads and other industry professionals.
  • Hosting Events: Host your own events, like tutorials, seminars, or family fun nights. Have a signup sheet or a way to collect contact information from attendees.

Print Ads

Print ads can still be effective, especially in local markets.

  • Local Newspapers: Place ads in local newspapers to reach a broader audience. Consider the volume and frequency of distribution, and the cost.
  • Targeted Publications: Choose publications that cater to your target audience. This ensures your ads are seen by people who are more likely to be interested in your products or services.

Direct Mail

Direct mail can be a powerful tool if done right.

  • Postcards: Send well-designed postcards with a clear call-to-action (CTA). For example, offer a discount code that can be used on your website.
  • Care Packages: Send care packages with branded items like pens, notepads, or drink koozies. Make sure to include a specific CTA, such as visiting a landing page or using a promo code.

Local Media

Local media can help you reach a wider audience in your community.

  • Radio Ads: Run ads on local radio stations. You can target specific audiences and even choose the time of day your ads air.
  • TV Features: Local TV news often features small businesses for free. Reach out to local TV stations to find out how to get featured.
  • Local Press: If you have a story-worthy event or unique business angle, pitch it to local newspapers and magazines. A feature story can provide significant exposure.

By incorporating these offline strategies, you can generate high-quality leads and create a well-rounded lead generation plan.

Frequently Asked Questions about Lead Generation

What is lead generation in marketing?

Lead generation is the process of attracting potential customers to your business and nurturing their interest, with the goal of converting them into paying customers. It's all about creating a marketing experience that encourages people to provide their contact information or engage with your business in some way.

For example, a law firm might generate leads through:- A form submission from a potential client inquiring about services.- A phone call to set up a consultation.- A direct message on social media asking about rates.

Essentially, lead generation involves structuring your marketing efforts to make it easy for customers to engage with your company and provide their contact information.

How can I generate leads for free?

Generating leads doesn't always require a big budget. Here are some free strategies to get started:

  1. Ask for Referrals: Happy customers are often willing to refer friends and family. Simply ask them!
  2. Conduct Regular Customer Care Calls: Keep in touch with existing customers. They may have new needs or know someone who does.
  3. Lead Nurturing: Stay in contact with past referrals and undecided prospects. Send them helpful information periodically.
  4. Be a Trusted Source of Information: Share your expertise through blog posts, webinars, or speaking at industry events.
  5. Use Social Media: Engage with your audience on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Share valuable content and respond to comments and messages.
  6. SEO and Content Marketing: Optimize your website for search engines and regularly publish valuable content to attract organic traffic.

By using these strategies, you can generate leads without spending a dime.

What are the best tools for lead generation?

There are many tools available to help streamline your lead generation efforts. Here are some top picks:

  • CTA Templates: Create clickable buttons for your blog and landing pages to capture leads.
  • Lead Generation Software: Tools like HubSpot can help you capture and manage leads efficiently. They offer features like lead capture forms, pop-ups, and visitor tracking.
  • Visitor Tracking: Tools like Hotjar create heatmaps to show how users navigate your site, helping you understand what they care about.
  • Live Chat: Implement live chat or chatbots to engage visitors and capture their contact details.
  • Form-Scraping Tools: These tools collect submissions from your website’s forms and consolidate them into your contact database.

Using these tools can significantly enhance your ability to generate and manage leads effectively.

Lead Generation Tools - how to generate leads

With these FAQs answered, you're well on your way to mastering lead generation. Next, let's dive into how to generate leads online, covering SEO, content marketing, and more.


To wrap things up, lead generation is the lifeblood of any successful business. It's all about attracting and converting potential customers into loyal ones. Whether you're leveraging online strategies like SEO, content marketing, and social media, or offline tactics such as direct engagement and local media, the goal remains the same: to generate high-quality leads that drive business growth.

At Dancing Chicken Media, we understand the complexities of lead generation. Our customized solutions are designed to fit your unique business needs, ensuring that you not only attract leads but also convert and retain them. From creating compelling content to executing targeted ad campaigns, we cover all bases to help you succeed.

Generating leads is not a one-time effort but a continuous process. Stay persistent, be creative, and always strive to provide value. With the right strategies and a reliable partner like us, your business will be well on its way to achieving remarkable success.