In this article, I'm going to review what I believe is one of the smartest business models today in 2023, lead generation, using the internet.
Even if you're completely new to entrepreneurship.
Generating leads by ranking websites in Google.
This is what I do for a living since 2014, working from home on my laptop.
& I'm gonna show you how you can too.
Dan Klein has been coaching this lead generation business model since 2014. I was one of the original students that became a top student. Today, I work with Dan to help people quit their 9 to 5 jobs by teaching them this great skill of generating leads for small businesses using online properties that generate free traffic. We now have 7000 students and counting. Click here for more info.
What is a Lead Generation Business?
You're getting paid for generating a lead which is a customer & then handing it off to another company that services that customer.
You're the middleman.
The cool thing about the lead gen biz is that you don't have to deal with the hassle & the headaches of providing the service.
You simply take a sliver to deliver.
How is Lead Generation Different from Advertising?
An advertiser relies on another platform to simply show a brand or company to as many eye balls as possible.
They get paid for generating the reach or impression, not the actual customers generated.
Business owner takes more risks here, because whatever the biz spends on an advertising campaign there's no guarantee that they'll produce a ROI (Return on Investment)
It might even produce zero customers.
With a lead generation service, at least the business gets to talk to a customer that they can potentially close.
Why the lead gen business is so sexy to be in?
No headaches of having to deal with staff, equipment, rent, insurance, manual labor, liabilities.
that's a lot of overhead...
But with lead gen, especially if you know how to generate leads using websites, you virtually have no overhead.
Which makes lead gen infinitely more scalable.
A lot of big companies today are simply lead gen companies.
Ok so where do I go to generate leads?
In order to have a legit lead generation business.
You have to go where customers are at.
Today people no longer use the phone book.
When you need a dentist, a plumber, house cleaning...
Where do you go?
Most people will go to Google and type in a search.
You're most likely gonna click on the search results near the top.
Either an Ad, Map Listing or a Website below.
This is where you want to place yourself.
Generating Leads with Paid Ads?
When you generate a lead with a Facebook ad you're interrupting someone and trying to convince them to buy something, something that they weren't even seeking. (interruption marketing)
It is much harder to convert these types of customers.
Of course there's a time & place for paid ads, but if you want to generate the highest value leads for a business.
Google's organic traffic is king. It is customers that are seeking you out. (Attraction marketing)
The Power of Being Able to Generate Organic Leads from Google
I simply learned a skill of creating various digital properties and ranking them in Google's search engine.
Here's one of my tree service site I built back in 2015 stilling making me $2000 per month. I haven't touched this site in years.
The only on-going expense on this site is $15 per month for the tracking phone number, $10 per month for hosting, & $15 per year for the domain.
To initially rank the site, I probably put in about $500 over 6 months.
These profit margins are unheard of in most other biz.
I own over 60 of these sites out there generating leads & making me money everyday.
These websites are essentially virtual bill boards, to have a top ranked site is the same as having a billboard in the most busiest part of town, which is worth a lot of money to local businesses.
This business is extremely scalable because the process is repeatable.
My income continues to grow as I build more and more of these virtual billboards.
Step 1: Survey The Land (Niche Selection)
"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:
There's over 50 local lead generation niches we can get into.
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
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...
I use tools like SEO Quake and Ahrefs to see what kind of SEO will be required to outrank my opponents
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 every day.
Step 2: Build Out Assets
First we must buy a domain. I picked grlimos.com (gr short for Grand Rapids)
In 2021, 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:
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 every time 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 Your 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 high quality links (what you want):
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. Another great opportunity to collaborate with professionals in the Lead Gen group.
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 low quality links (avoid):
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. Inexpensive, but ineffective links that do more harm than good.
Over-use of spammy links that have no relevance to the content.
Listen, there are good shortcuts and bad shortcuts. Most of the obvious shortcuts are bad news.
The biggest issue I most often see? Folks try to rank with low quality content, bad information, and then building links that are doing more harm than good.
Google is a corporate behemoth - and you can bet they have ways of sniffing out sites that are trying to cheat their system. If your sites gets tagged, it can be very hard to recover.
The good news is that to rank a site effectively, you just have to understand what Google likes; what they define as "quality content."
All Google wants is that the highest quality and most relevant content rises to the top. They simply want the best search engine experience they can offer for their users.
This is the essence of SEO, which you use to build out sites that Google's algorithm deems as being quality, and therefore worthy of a top page rank.
It's a formula that allows for repeated ranking success, which equates to a real, sustainable internet business.
The reason Local Lead Gen focuses on "local" is that the ranking process is way easier than trying to rank for global keywords (like you would with blogging or affiliate marketing).
Once you master the local SEO ranking factors, you can scale this business predictably.
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" every time they pick up the phone.
The goal is to establish the value of your service with the businesses owner - and the best way, as I've stated, is to do this is by giving free leads. You gotta give before you receive.
- 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.
Too 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 are the keys to local lead gen.
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.
What My Operation Looks Like:
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
SEO / Site Ranking (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.