What takes even more time than creating content, is creating intentional content.
Thinking through an intentional content approach that's designed to connect with your audience is one of the most time-consuming tasks of all.
And it's a task that generating high quality leads depends on.
Want Quality Leads? We’ve Got So Much in Common...
We all want to generate leads. But if most people are rarely satisfied with the quality, who’s at fault? The unqualified lead, or you?
If we're honest, we know poor leads are our own fault. And it’s usually because of our content. We’ve talked a lot about buyer personas (our persona template is one of our most successful articles). And, since you’re a talented CEO or marketing director, I don’t need to wax lyrical to you about positioning.
Something I find helpful though, is to remember that high value online prospects mirror off-line high value prospects.
Here are a few traits.
I'll reiterate this list here to keep Google happy, since their AI has a long way to go before it can read my handwriting.
The definition of a high-quality lead may vary from business to business, though these traits are pretty much ubiquitous.
But I know from experience that most businesses don’t even have a clear company-wide definition of a qualified, high-value lead.
And it’s tough to create thought leadership content for an audience you haven’t clearly defined.
So, once defined, let’s see how to capture the attention of those quality leads.
How Do You Know if Your Content Repels Leads?
This brings us back to our intro: In order to attract and convert high quality prospects to your site, you need high-quality content.
Sounds obvious, but it actually goes against how most businesses operate.
The craziest part?
You probably don’t know for sure if your website is repelling quality leads or not.
I’ve spoken with hundreds of (honest) small and medium-sized business owners over the last 10+ years. If you’re anything like them, you don’t know for sure if your site is performing as well as it could be.
Eventually, I started to notice a trend. So I created this list of possible signs your site may be repelling quality leads.
4 Signs Your Website Repels the Leads You Want to Attract
Take a moment to see if you or your team have said one of these things...
1. You don't want to give too much away on your site
Sign to watch for: You're concerned about slathering too much of your company’s secret sauce onto your content in case prospects steal it and don’t hire you. If you've ever hesitated to share that extra insight, detail or process, this could be you.
Why to watch for it: I'd urge you to think about if those are the prospects you really want to sign up. For me personally, they're exactly the people I want to filter out, because I know they’ll never be good clients anyway. Great leads know that trying to do it themselves isn't worth their time when they could have someone they trust take care of it.
2. You don't have time to create high value content
Sign to watch for: Your site has become like the cobbler's shoes. If you're so busy helping others solve their own problems that you don't have time to grow your own business, this may be you.
Why to watch for it: First, No judgment here - I too have trouble making consistent time to create content. But making time is a matter of priority. Expecting your website to be a source of leads without putting effort into it is like a salesperson expecting the phone to ring without even prospecting.
3. You try to appeal to everyone
Sign to watch for: You don't want to alienate a potential lead so you fall into the trap of broad topics, avoiding specific examples for your target audience in case you offend someone, so you fail to take a stance in your content.
Why to watch for it: This is like the days when people gave away iPods to generate leads. If you give away something anyone can use, expect your list to be full of freebie-finders. Give away something that’s only useful to only your audience, and your list will be targeted.
Our Early, Middle and Late Stage Content Cheat Sheet is insanely specific, for example. But it ensures that we only attract people who are interested in content strategy. Not coincidentally, those people are also our best prospects : )
4. You don't have a complete content strategy
Why to watch for it: Creating content by itself isn't enough. It's a great start but if you don't guide your prospects through the decision-making process to finally contact you, you'll educate them just enough to hop on over to your competitor site and contact them.
What I find works great is writing out each stage of your sales process and ways that your prospects can contact you, so your team’s on the same page. Then, you can continually improve that funnel.
Go Get Those High-Value Leads
A part of me would love to give you the news that you can improve the quality of your leads, saving a ton of time AND effort in the process.
But the truth is, poor quality content will get poor quality leads.
It IS possible to save time generating leads by, for example, following solid marketing fundamentals, and investing time in solid processes to keep you on track even when you’re busy. If you follow the tips above, I promise you'll be happier with what you've captured in your CRM.