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Starting a lead generation business is tricky if you don't know where to start. But with the right knowledge, skills and equipment at your disposal, you can increase your chances of success.
In this guide, we'll take you through the key steps you need to take to start a lead generation business, from choosing a business name right through to finding customers.
Lead generation is a form of digital marketing. A lead generation business acquires leads, or potential customers, for other businesses. Those other businesses can then sell their services or products to those new customers and the lead generation business earns a commission.
Lead generation is an important part of creating new opportunities for business growth. Leads are often generated through marketing, such as via social media advertising or email marketing, and the purpose of generating these leads is to help drive sales.
Common lead generation strategies include obtaining the contact details of potential customers via:
So you want to build a lead generation business, but you don't know where to start? Here's a breakdown of the key steps you need to take to get your business off the ground:
From unique skills to specialist software, you'll need some key tools to run a lead generation business. We've broken them down into separate categories:
You need to be proficient and well-informed about sales and marketing, particularly online marketing strategies and tactics. In addition to understanding buyer personas, you should have networking skills, top-notch communication skills and analytical skills.
You'll also need to have an in-depth understanding of how lead generation works and the most effective marketing strategies to help you acquire leads. It's a good idea to choose a niche that needs leads and has a high demand, and then know how to automate as much of the process as possible and monetise leads for businesses that pay for them.
While you don't need certification to start a lead generation business, you can take advantage of free courses like HubSpot's Lead Management course and paid online courses on platforms like Udemy.
These courses will generally teach you how you can manage sales and organise them. They will also equip you with the knowledge you need to understand how to generate and qualify leads.
From a more general point of view, many Australian universities offer a range of courses that teach essential digital marketing and social media marketing skills. These can help you gain a broader knowledge of online marketing that could, in turn, help you build your business.
There are several software products that can help you offer more effective lead generation services. Some of your options include:
It's worth mentioning that many software platforms combine multiple features into one package. For example, HubSpot is a CRM platform that offers tools for lead generation, marketing, sales, website SEO and more. It's worth doing an in-depth comparison of a range of leading providers to find the right software for your needs.
You'll also need some basic office equipment to help you run your business. This includes:
One of the key decisions you'll need to make when starting out is choosing a business structure.
The easiest and most affordable option is to set yourself up as a Sole Trader. This means you assume sole responsibility for the business, including any debts.
If you're going into business with one or more people, you may decide to set up a Partnership. Partnerships are cheap and reasonably easy to establish, but this means you'll have to share control of the business (including income and debts) with your partners.
The two other main business structures in Australia are Companies and Trusts. However, these are more complicated and expensive to run, so be sure to seek legal and financial advice before deciding whether either of these options is right for you. You can also learn more in our guide to choosing a business structure.
As the owner of a lead generation business, it's essential that you understand and comply with the Privacy Act and the Australian Privacy Principles. These govern the collection of personal information and how you'll use that information, so you may want to seek online legal advice to make sure you satisfy all requirements.
Another piece of legislation you'll need to be aware of is the Spam Act. Under the Act, you must obtain permission from someone before you can send them marketing messages, while marketing emails you send must also contain your contact details and make it easy for recipients to unsubscribe.
A business lawyer can help you understand key regulations and draw up the important legal documents your business needs. Alternatively, you may want to take advantage of free online document templates. Some of the documents you might need include:
You'll need to report any income your business generates to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). However, keep in mind that the tax you're required to pay may vary depending on the business structure you choose, so you may need to seek help from a tax or legal adviser.
Registration requirements also vary. For example, Sole Traders can use their individual tax file number (TFN), while Partnerships, Companies and Trusts require separate TFNs.
Another factor to consider is whether you need to register for goods and services tax (GST). This is a mandatory requirement if you have an annual turnover of more than $75,000 and in certain other cases, so you may want to speak to an accountant or registered tax agent to get a clear picture of your requirements.
One of the key steps for any new business is setting up a search engine friendly website. This means that it should have a responsive design which is optimised for mobile users and have content targeting valuable keywords.
Before creating your website, you have to register a new domain name and find a web host service provider to publish your website so that it can be available online for your clients to find you.
Your website allows customers to find you and there are a number of ways you can find clients. One way to build your customer base is by using cold calling and email campaigns – find local businesses you'll be able to help and show them how you can help them find leads.
Paid marketing channels like Google and Facebook can also help you to generate leads. With Facebook, you can target specific audiences based on a wide range of factors to ensure that you're getting your brand in front of the right people.
Online marketplaces give you a platform to sell your services on the Internet without establishing online stores. Upwork and Fiverr are examples of popular marketplaces where you can advertise your services.
There are a few different options when pricing your lead generation services. Many larger firms offer their services for an ongoing monthly fee, while other lead generation businesses work on commissions. You may also want to consider a hybrid fee structure that combines a flat fee with a commission on each lead or confirmed sale.
When deciding on your pricing structure, research the market to find out what your competitors are charging. You'll also need to consider your own expenses, including all the costs of setting up and running your business, to find a price point that suits you and your customers.
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