How to Generate B2B Leads (& Why Networking Sucks)

Today, I just wanted to talk about something that is a challenge that I think a lot of you might be experiencing, and that is not getting clients. 

The challenge that you may be experiencing right now is not getting clients. Looking at what you’re probably doing right now in order to get clients for your business, or investors, if that’s who you’re aiming to attract. 

I wanted to talk about why that might not be working for you and quickly look at what you can do instead, in order to start getting clients. Alright, because this is actually a journey that I’ve been through. When I started my business, I was doing all of the things that I thought would get me clients, but none of them were working.

1. NETWORKING

Let’s talk about what most people do, right, especially in property, which is the industry that a lot of you are in, what we tend to do when we want to attract people is we tend to go to a lot of networking events, maybe speak at them, we tend to go on other people’s podcasts, or maybe do lives with them or some other sort of collaboration. Or we just tend to go and speak to other people’s audiences. A lot of it is to do with networking

Recently, all of these online events are happening, right? And that’s exactly what I was doing when I first started freelancing because I was like, right, I need to get clients, what’s the best way. And I think I went to absolutely every single networking event there was on property.

I was absolutely exhausted by the end of that. I’m sure a lot of you are doing that right now. I was just finding that I was spending so much money going networking, but not actually getting clients. I was spending a lot of my time, mostly my evenings, which was like fun time and going to all of these, networking events. 

So if that’s what you’re doing right now, I feel you because, we think that’s the best way to function. But actually, I’ve realised that there’s so many other things that you could be doing to make your time and your efforts go further. 

So let’s think about what you’re actually doing when you go networking or when you go and speak at someone else’s event, right, you’re basically generating traffic. So people are going to see you speak, they might like the vibe with you or resonate with you. And they’re going to want to know more about you. 

2. SOCIAL MEDIA

So the next thing they’re going to do is they’re going to go and look you up on social media, they’re going to take that next step to find out more about you. So that’s exactly what you’re doing when you’re going networking. Now, if your Instagram or your social media profiles aren’t up to scratch, that is just a lot of effort, and a lot of time being wasted because you’re generating all that interest. 

There’s people that want to know more about you. And then they come to your Instagram, for example. And they’re just not really sure what this person is about. Maybe your content isn’t up to scratch. So when we look at your profile, we feel lost and don’t really know what you do or maybe your messaging isn’t spot on. 

So then people don’t want to follow you know, and they just lose interest. Or maybe you’re just not being clear enough about what you offer and you’re just losing people. So think of networking as generating interest and leads, and then they need to go somewhere, right? Otherwise, you’re just wasting that traffic. So that’s the first reason why it might not be working for you. 

3. COLLABORATING

The second reason that it’s not really that effective is because it’s so time consuming, right? Every time that you go on someone’s podcast, or you go to a networking event or you just speak to someone else’s audience. It takes so long not only to do the actual speaking, but also to organise it. So if you’ve ever been on someone’s podcast or arranged a live, a lot of the people that organise them, there’s a lot of back and forth, right unless they have a super streamlined process in place. 

The very act of organising that speaking engagement or that live tape Takes a lot of time. Not only that, but once you do it, that’s it, right? Unless you’ve agreed beforehand where you also own the content, the person with whom you’ve collaborated will a lot of times own the content, and a lot of the time you’ve just spent your hour or two hours creating an asset and creating content for someone else’s brand and audience.

 Those are the three main reasons that I just think collaborating and networking isn’t the best use of your time. It certainly wasn’t for me, and I just didn’t find it very effective.

So let’s talk about what you actually should be doing. And what I’ve found to be really effective in my business, and also working with clients as well. And this is actually gonna go against what a lot of people say. It’s kind of like controversial advice. But yeah, I think this works so much better. So a big part of success in business is networking. So I’m not saying stop networking, because it’s amazing for making connections and like, for actually making friends in business. 

But I’m going to challenge you to actually look and use that time that you are spending networking, and to actually funnel some of that time into actually creating content, right. So switching from a consumer on social media, and going to these events to someone who’s actually creating assets in their business, and creating really good content. 

Any time that you spend networking, you’re, as I said, you’re building someone else’s brand. And you’re not spending that time building your own, versus when you create content. I mean, good content, not just, any sort of content without a strategy. First is when you create content, you’re actually creating a brand asset that is going to stay on your profile. So it’s going to work to nurture people when they follow up with you and want to find out more about you. 

But it’s also an asset that you can reuse on your other social media platforms in any other type of marketing that you do in your business, right. And that’s what makes content so much more scalable, than going and speaking on other people’s podcasts and so on. Right, when you go and do an interview, you’re essentially exchanging your time in order to get exposure. And that’s great. 

You can definitely supplement the way you attract clients with that. But it’s not a scalable way to continue to operate. And if you want to attract more clients, you’re going to have to do more networking, but your time is capped, right. Whereas with content, as I said, you’re creating an asset and you can make that asset go so much further, you can repurpose it, and you can use it again and again, in your business. 

If you’re like, Okay:

  • I’m not really sure if I’m doing the right thing?
  • Am I doing too many networking events? 
  • Should I be creating more content? 

A good way to decide is to just look at your calendar right now, have a look at the last month, and see just how much time you’ve actually devoted to going to networking events. Literally, if you’re spending hours and hours at these events, think about the amount of content and the amount of time you could actually be spending, creating something that’s going to last. 

Go back and look at your calendar right now. Just be really honest with yourself. And in the same way that you’d schedule in the networking events, schedule in content creation time, you need to give it time as well. I’m not saying to completely stop networking at all, I’m just saying that you can use that too. You can use that as a way to supplement what you’re doing online. 

You don’t want to be relying on someone else in order to generate leads for your business. So just like before, COVID or just before COVID happened. A lot of people were like, Aw, crap, where do I get clients now because networking events had just stopped. 

So in my opinion, it’s so much better to own your lead generation and the way you’re attracting clients, social media and online versus being dependent on someone else to be doing events, and then always paying for those events in order to get clients. 

So, have a look at your calendar, make sure you’ve blocked out some time to create content. Some people love it, some people hate it. I actually really love it because it’s like a chat. But it’s emotionally taxing, right? Because you have to be sociable. So it’s a lot of work. All I’m saying is, think about supplementing it with something else. 

If you are doing a lot of networking and generating that traffic:

  • Where is it going? 
  • Are you making the most use out of it possible?

If you do find that you’re procrastinating when you are creating content, I know that might be for a lot of you, then I find that that’s mainly due to two reasons: 

  1. So firstly, you might not know what type of content to create. 
  1. Secondly, you might be trying to be someone that you’re not on social media.

They’re the two main reasons why I see people like procrastinating when they’re creating content, so maybe just have a bit of a journal on that and see whether that’s why you’re procrastinating. 

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