In this article, I'm going to review what I believe is the very best online business model out today in 2020, lead generation digital marketing.
Which is creating organically ranked lead generation websites that act as virtual billboards, generating phone calls for local, small businesses.
Here's the very first tree service site I build in 2014, stilling making me $2000 per month. I haven't touched this site in years.
I own over 60 of these sites out there generating leads & making me money everyday.
My life transformed thanks to this business.
There's a reason why we're calling this business the Uber of digital marketing.
Because just like Uber we connect buyer to a local service provider.
The reason why its so powerful is the scalability.
Lead Generation is all digital, no physical products to deal with like in eCom.
I have not had a job since May of 2015, thanks to this business model and this local lead generation course that taught me everything I know today.
(Including being able to rank this blog article so that you're reading this)
However when starting out local is key, because its so much faster to rank locally than trying to rank a blog globally.
Today I became one of the top student of the program and my mentor, Dan and I started working together.
I owe my success to him, because he took me from making $2000 per month working at a cubicle job with no business background to running my very own lead generation business doing 6 figures per month.
Why would I promote the coaching? As you will soon find out, there's 35 million small businesses in the US alone, we only have 5000 students.
Every business needs leads to survive.
When you go local, the opportunities are endless.
Lead gen is not going anywhere anytime soon. Its a ever-green business.
Let me take you over the 5 steps of building this local seo lead generation business that has been proven to work time & time again since 2014, responsible for creating multiple 6 figure earners & millionaires to date.
Step 1: Survey The Land
"Riches are in the Niches"
is our motto.
Its true. There's over 50 niches we can go into and thousands of cities to choose from. That means there's so many markets out there that's so easy to dominate that its like taking candy from a baby.
Finding a market with good search volume and weak competition is the key.
Some niche ideas
- carpet cleaning
- junk removal
- window cleaning
- event rentals
- wedding videographer
You can click here for even more niche ideas...
Every single one of these businesses need leads everyday.
We like targeting cities with population of 75K to 250K
Remember: You only begin getting good volume of leads when you crack the top 3 spots in Google.
Now couple things we are gonna wanna look into to approximate the power levels of our competition
- Backlink power & relevance
- keyword optimization
- homeadvisor lead value
- Site layout (On-page optimization)
This is a really important part of the process.
I've been doing it since 2014 so I've become really good at analyzing my competition and finding low hanging fruit markets that I can easily dominate...
There's probably 15 things we look at but I'll just share 2 of them right now.
You usually google the main keyword + city like above.
If there's a listing in the top 3 map pack with no website, that's an example of low hanging fruit.
Now these opportunities might be rare, but at any case, when you build superior ranking skills specifically for local, you're not worried about 95% of the companies out there.
For example if there's 2 listings in the top 3 map pack with 15 reviews of less, I'm confident I can outrank them although the # of reviews isn't the only factor for ranking.
If all top 3 map listing has huge amount of reviews like you see above, then I'd rather just go find another niche or market.
Here's what I mean. I looked up the top company: "Lake Orion Plumbing Heating & Cooling" their site is lophc.com and I pulled them up on Ahrefs.
Referring domains 43
This shows that this site has 43 other websites pointing a backlink to the site, each of those links are votes that's helping that site rank.
You can also use ahrefs toolbar to quickly find the amount of backlinks...
These are what I don't wanna see..
I'd much rather find markets with a lot lower RD ("Refferring Domains") like these...
So the # of RD, is one indicator to see how competitive it is. But not every link was created equal.
Some links carry more power & worth. I can beat a site with 43 links with 10 powerful links if his links are weak.
Once you know how to look at 15 different factors that Google takes into account when it comes to local rankings, you become like a sniper that knows exactly what needs to be done to take out 95% of the competition & get the top ranks all day 'err day.
Step 2: Build Out Assets
First we must buy a domain. I picked grlimos.com (gr short for Grand Rapids)
In 2020, exact match domains are working very well still. These are domains with our main keywords in the domain & for local lead gen that would be "service" + "city" for example:
- These sites tend to rank easier because Google is going to look at you like the go-to brand for that city
- you're limiting yourself to 1 city per site, if you want 1 site to target multiple cities then you might want to use brand name only instead like (legacyplumbingservice.com)
If the city is over 150,000 population I do think its worth targeting that city specifically with a city in the domain as I do think it helps with dominating the search engine when you have the city & service in domain.
Then, we use Weebly to build out our sites.
It's a very simple click & drag type of builder...no coding necessary. Just drag different elements you want on the page...easy money.
Slap a tracking phone number (we have our own proprietary software) that records every call and attaches a whisper message so that everytime our clients pick up the phone they'll hear...
"This lead was sent to you by Ippei"
at the beginning of every call.
This is important because it lets the business owner know right away who's sending them the leads.
Make sure the phone number is big & easy to see at the top of the site.
We also like to include a quote form somewhere near the top of the homepage as well.
We must also build:
- Google Map listing
- Key citations & directories
Step 3: Optimizing Our Assets
A website doesn't bring in traffic unless you rank it.
What people call SEO.
There's on-page optimization and off-page optimization.
Off-page optimization is where real skill is involved. This is where investing in some high-level coaching becomes paramount because I've yet to see any top level SEO's share their secrets for free.
To make it simple to understand here's how SEO works in general.
Getting to the top of Google's search is a popularity contest.
Imagine you're that brand new kid at High School.
No one knows who you are.
You have no credibility.
But then imagine the most popular kid at the high school, the star quarterback vouches for you.
Tells everyone "Hey this is my boy, he's cool"
Now your credibility went up and all your peers at high school will think highly of you now.
That's an example of receiving a highly authoritative back-link from another quality site.
Now imagine another scenario: instead of the star quarterback kid, another brand new kid at the school tries to vouch for you.
Shouting at the top of his lungs "HEYYYY This is my friend!!! He's legit!!!"
But since he's new as well, no one knows who he is. Everyone's like "Who are those two idiots?"
That's an example of a low quality backlink.
If you want to consistently outrank your competition in the lead generation business, you better have a process & know how of generating powerful, high-quality relevant backlinks to your site.
The star quarterbacks, and yes we know how to get 'em.
No need to re-invent the wheel. Just model after what's already working.
Types of link we like:
- Links from relevant sites (the main way we do this is we have a private Facebook group of 6000 students, if you're trying to rank a towing site in Detroit for example, you can form link circles with 5 other students with their own towing sites in other cities and create a link among each other, basically you scratch their back and they scratch yours. This is just one of the ways we use the community inside our program to give us an edge over the competition)
- Relevant guest post links
- Links from influential sites (we have access to a large network of sites that have a lot of authority behind them, this is what gives our site "ranking juice".)
- Links from highly relevant directories (not just any directory links, but links from specific directories for each niche, we have a list of over 100 places to get these links from)
Types of link we don't like(aka these are the links to stay away from):
- Low quality spammy links from overseas (we never outsource link building to India or anywhere where we have no control over the quality)
- Fiverr.com links (very low quality)
- Over use of wrong kind of links that have no relevance
The biggest problem I see with people that are trying to rank their sites in Google is that they're trying to do it with bad info and building links that are doing more damage to their site than helping.
There's a lot of ways you can get yourself in trouble as Google has a lot of different parameters built into their algorithm to prevent people from gaming their system.
However once you understand what Google likes, and build sites & do SEO in accordance to that, the good news is, you can have a formula that creates repeatable success to the page 1 of Google.
Once you do, the world is your oyster. You can build a real sustainable business on the internet.
The reason why everyone should start with local lead generation is that it's literally 10 times easier than trying to rank for a global keyword like you would with blogging or affiliate marketing.
Step 4: Prospecting & Closing the Deal
Once the site has been properly optimized or ranked in Google.
You WILL start generating phone calls.
You are now going to send these leads to a local business owner for free.
I don't even tell them that I'm sending the leads.
Their phone is going to start to ring and they'll keep hearing "This lead was sent to you by Ippei" everytime they pick up the phone.
Now there's couple of deals you can make but once the biz owner has already seen that you got the leads, you're talking to someone that already believes in you and wants to work with you asap.
Here's how you can structure your deals
- 10% of closed business
- pay per lead (we have lead value calculator)
- flat fee
- hybrid: combination of flat fee plus 10% or pay per lead
Here is the key with this.
To send enough free leads to a local business until they close jobs and you help them make money FIRST before you ask for anything in return.
To many digital marketers are too quick to try to take value from people, instead of giving value first.
The only reason a business owner wouldn't want to invest in marketing is because there hasn't been enough trust built yet.
But if they believe 100% that spending money with you is going to make them more money, who would say no to that?
In this lead-gen model, because we can send people FREE leads, we can create that trust very easily and effectively. This is the real game changer.
You can hear Dan describe this in the video below:
Results in Advance is the key to this business
Step 5: Scale the Business to the Moon
Once you get 1 successful lead gen site paying you every month.
You realize that you now have the power of creating passive income streams that pays more than single family real estate.
All you have to do now is scale.
If you can do it once, you can do it 10 times over & beyond.
Hire content writers from places like Upwork or even Craigslist.
Hire some Virtual Assistants, I like onlinejobs.ph
I pay my VA's $5 per hour.
You can use timedoctor (shown above) to keep track of the time that VA's are working. It'll stop recording time if the VA has been inactive for over 1 min, and it's taking a screenshot every 4-5 sec so you know that you're not paying for them to goof off on social media.
Set certain goals of continually getting more and more lead gen sites out there.
Once you train your team, they can handle most of the grunt work for you.
Here's what my operation looks like.
- Content Writer -> Responsible for research of a niche & writing content
- Web Developer (VA) -> Responsible for taking the content and putting the site together with either Weebly or WordPress
- Ranking the site (VA) -> Handles all the optimization, from building high quality backlinks, citations, & more
- Once the site is ranked & generating leads -> I still handle speaking to the business owner and closing the deal. (although you could hire a sales person as well if you want)
8-15 lead gen sites ranked & generating leads everyday should already put you at 6 figure income.
I know students in the program that have outsourced 95% of this business to their team.
How About Generating Leads with Facebook Ads or Adwords?
Some people are doing lead gen with Facebook ads or Adwords PPC and I've also done those things plenty of times.
The advantage is you can get traffic right away.
But I'm here to tell you that today in 2020, my entire online business runs on free traffic from Google, it is by far the most superior method of lead generation.
When I rank in Google its hands-free passive income.
When I run Facebook ads, it requires daily spending, daily monitoring of ad performance. (Cost per click can get really expensive. Some days you can even loose money.)
Also its difference of: Attraction Marketing vs. Interruption Marketing
When someone finds you in Google they were already seeking you out, instead of an ad interrupting someone on social media. So its much higher quality leads, with Facebook ads you can get a lot of low quality leads. There was always a noticeable difference for me.
The issue with Facebook Ads & Adwords
- Costs fluctuate daily (gets expensive)
- lead quality is lower because its interruption marketing
- You don't own any of your own asset, your client can fire you anytime they want
- Doesn't always work in every niche out there because of ad cost versus reward may not work out, whereas ranking in Google & getting free traffic means that the numbers will always work out
- Barrier of entry is too low, anyone can put a credit card on file and begin competing with you, which increases the cost & lowers profit margin overtime, getting #1 rankings organically in Google is a lot more difficult to do which means its much higher barrier of entry, & that's good because it keeps competitors out. In business "easy & fast" is overrated, you want to develop a high-level skill that not too many people can do. That's how you get paid top dollars for your time.
Once I learned how to rank sites in Google with the high level SEO knowledge we have in our training, I know that 95% of other marketers can not outrank in Google. This is why I have stability & longevity in my income.
How I landed my first $750 per month lead gen client
I had no prior online experience.
I simply followed the training of Dan's lead gen program to the T...
And I built this super simple limousine rental site in Lansing, MI.
And it looks pretty darn nice! Check it out- lansinglimoservices.com
The training laid everything out so even the most internet illiterate person could understand it, heck we have Helen (65 year old Grandma) that built this business from zero to $15K per month.
if she can do it, what's your excuse? Anyway back to my limo site...
(please do not call that number though & bug my client)
This site didn't take me long to build.
Maybe 4 hours to build and another 10 hrs to rank it.
Ya wanna know what's crazy?
I haven't even so much as logged into this site since 2014 and it's still been dropping golden $750 eggs in my bank account every. Single. Month.
Every phone call that I generate, my client gets emailed the recording of the call so every lead is tracked.
My clients know exactly how much money they're making from my leads.
This is very important.
Because when my clients can see that my leads are helping him hustle up an easy $10K to $20K more in business, they practically beg me to take their money. All they care about is that the leads keep coming in.
The key is knowing that you aren’t hoping to make a hundred million bucks off a single client.
All we want to do is take a small piece of the pie from each of these niches / markets.
Insert ourselves in the mix, and take a lil' sliver to deliver. Just to put this whole thing into perspective, I have 55 clients today.
And they’ve all stayed with me since the beginning. They’d be crazy not to.
Some pay me a flat monthly rate, some pay me a price per lead, and some pay me a percentage of what they sell. That’s my favorite route to take for industries that sell really high ticket services.
I’ve actually got an asphalt guy that pays me ten percent of all jobs under $100k. If the job actually ends up being over that amount, he gives me five percent. But don’t let that fool you. I got a $6,000 paycheck off of one stinking job he closed for a commercial contract.
Here's one of the lead gen sites I have for this Asphalt client in the Bay Area, California.
Owning these sites all across US, collecting monthly payments is like owning real estate properties. Stable passive income.
Why is Lead Generation the Best Model for Local Marketing? And What Makes It Better Than SEO?
Great question. To put it in the simplest terms possible, it's because you control the assets AKA websites.
If you do SEO on a client's site, once they're "shootin' and scootin," what happens 9 out of 10 times is that once you get them the rankings, they feel like they don't need you anymore.
"Thanks Ippei... you did a great job at ranking my site. But we don't really know what you're doing to the site anymore. We think paying you $2000 per month is kinda expensive so we're gonna stop for now, but we can call you when we need you again."
And poof, like a magical spell that just ran out of power... The gig is up. No mana potion. No autosave. You have to start all over from the first level again with no special powers.
This is why, even though it's 2020, I'm living in the year 2050. That's right, I'm from the future. And I've come with an incredibly important message about your future.
The only way you should be building local lead generation client is to own your own assets!
If you watch near the end of the above video, you can hear Cory say the same thing I'm preaching, when you own that asset, those are the clients that stuck with him longterm.
Let's think of them as digital rental homes.
I know that as long as I own the house and don't sell it, I can always find someone that wants to rent it. And that means passive income for me.
Because I own the asset, if I get a bad business owner I can easily replace him with somebody else. No eviction notice necessary.
Kinda like kicking out a bad tenant.
The important thing is that I have all the control.
I can decide who I work with. Who I send the leads to.
So that I know that I'll always get paid.
This is how I've kept the same clients since 2014 when I started, and they've paid me month after month, and year after year.
Because they know that if they don't pay me. I can send the leads to their competitor.
This solves the #1 issue plaguing most SEO companies.
There's nothing worse than landing an SEO client and then having that client back out of the agreed-upon contract just a few months later, after you put all this work in.
The opportunity we have now with the internet is just mindblowing.
A lawyer or doctor needs to go to school for 8 years, get into $100K to $200K student loan debt, which they have to pay off over 10-20 years with interest and after they graduate make $100K to $200K a year.
Its insane that in 2020, I'm now making $52K per month with my lead generation business.
None of this would of have been possible without my mentor and his lead gen biz model that he taught me.
I actually consider myself mentor-made not self-made.
Having access to a community where I can ask questions at anytime, Dan doing live coaching calls twice a week made all the difference in the world.
We were not all born entrepreneurs, including me. So when I first started this journey, I owe my success to all the hand holding that mentors like Dan and other successful students in the program provided.
Also finding the right business model was the key.
Just like a jockey & his horse, the horse is at least 10x more important, similarly much of my success is due to the vehicle.
For me, my vehicle was doing lead generation for local businesses using free traffic, that I was mentored through with this coaching program.