How to Start a Lead Generation Business | Complete Guide

If you are thinking of starting a lead generation business in 2024 from scratch (with or without prior experience),  this guide is for you

This goes without saying that B2B lead generation is a lucrative business, especially in the post-covid landscape where companies continue to fire their permanent workforces, struggle to raise funds for expansion and a lot of solopreneurs are arising in the B2B SaaS scene worldwide. 

Both me and you can clearly spot an market opportunity here. (Thus, you searched for this article and I wrote it!)

But what nobody tells you is that B2B lead generation business is also highly saturated. 

You need high ticket sized deals, solid products and correct targeting to reach a sustainable MRR in order to survive as a business. 

And even if you manage to get all these things in order, there are hundreds of others like you currently in the market. So, it’s a fiercely competitive space already.

  • How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors and build a lead generation system on automation? 
  • How do you set up your lead generation system that still works in 2024? 
  • How much money will you need upfront for starting up a lead generation business?

I am going to cover all these questions in this article. I will try to break them down in minute details. 

At times, I will provide some additional resources that you can use to learn more about a particular topic/point of the article to get the complete understanding.

So, stick to the end for the complete guide on how to start a lead generation business from scratch.

Let’s start with the most basic question.

What Is a Lead Generation Business?

A lead generation business specialises in collecting information of potential customers (a.k.a ‘leads’) interested in various products or services. 

lead generation business illustration

Pic credit

While running a lead gen business, you’d be identifying and ‘generating’ sales leads—individuals or organizations likely to become paying customers of your client businesses

You will gather, analyze, and qualify data to create a bridge between companies and their target market. You can do the same for an agency too!.

Why Start a Lead Generation Business?

Starting a lead generation business is viable at present because the industry is booming with lots of opportunities for the entry of new players. 

  • The global lead generation solutions market is projected to soar from $3.1 billion in 2021 to over $15 billion by 2031, representing a staggering 17.48% compound annual growth. This expansion points out the future demand of good qualifty leads for companies to achieve their revenue goals.
  •  Apart from that, the average B2B lead costsing around $200 across various industries, there exists a considerable potential for businesses that can provide more economical alternatives to the medium and large enterprises.
  •  The lead gen industry is shifting from traditional lead gen methods to the latest inventions like AI, which you can leverage and curb a niche for yourself. 

Apart from all the statistical advantages discussed above, there are several other levers that helps you start a lead generation business easily. For example,

  • Low entry barriers: Using various free or low-cost tools, Anyone with internet access and the right strategies to start a lead generation business.
  • Scalability: Lead generation businesses can start small and scale quickly. Digital tools and platforms make it easy to expand your reach without a proportional increase in hiring numbers. The best thing is that you can pretty much automate everything to scale your business, alone!
  • Easy idea validation: The abundance of data and analytics tools means you can quickly gauge interest in your services. With a few google searches you can gauge the demand of your lead generation services.
  • High demand for quality B2B leads: I have already highlighted this part in the above statistics. Companies are constantly seeking high-quality B2B leads, making lead generation services more valuable than ever.

By starting a lead generation business now, you place yourself at the cutting edge of a profitable and dynamic industry.

What Are The Challenges of Starting A Lead Generation Business?

So far, we have seen the market potential for starting a lead gen business. 

Now, let’s see what are some challenges that you will face (or that every business faces) while starting a lead generation business from scratch. 

Please note that these are also some of the most evident causes that most lead gen businesses fail within the first 6 months of its inception

Challenge #1) Finding your first 10 customers

The initial hurdle for you is building a client base. This involves not only identifying potential leads but also convincing them of the value of your services amidst intense competition. This gets even harder if you don’t have a working experience with a lead generation client in past. 

Challenge #2) Being unaware of the privacy laws

Most businesses make these mistakes while setting up a lead generation system. 

With regulations like GDPR and CCPA in place, being unaware of privacy laws can lead to hefty fines and legal issues. You must ensure that your lead generation practices comply with these laws, which often means staying updated with legal changes and implementing processes to protect personal data as well as the data of your clients.

Challenge #3) Generating high-quality leads that convert

Generating and supplying high-quality leads constantly is a big challenge. Your clients will evaluate your lead quality as well as lead volume to retain your lead gen services. 

Generating leads that have little chance of conversion is a common pitfall that can drain both your resources and time. On top of that, companies and agencies may not pay you as well for those low quality leads that had no fitment for purchase. 

This is often a case with hiring a freelancer lead generation specialist from platforms such as Upwork & Fiverr. Thus, B2B lead gen services are losing its relevancy on these aggregator platforms.

Challenge #4) Managing finances and ROI

A lot of newly set-up lead gen businesses struggle to keep track of their expenses. Some of them even invest in the expensive tools and tech stack and marketing efforts that doesn’t even deliver any ROI. 

Apart from the above primary challenges, there are couple of other challenges too such as –

  • Struggling to get a growing a website traffic on website.
  • Scaling up marketing camapigns on budget .
  • Tacking and alalyzing conversions from lead gen activities etc.

Now that you are aware of both the pros and cons starting a lead gen business, let’s move on to the steps that you can follow to start a lead generation business from scratch.

7 Steps to Start A Lead Generation Business from Scratch

Here are the steps you should follow to get started with a lead generation business from scratch.

Step 1: Get familiar with the privacy laws and regulations ✅
Step 2: Pick a niche/industry
Step 3: Set-up your revenue model
Step 4: Develop your ICP and buyer personas
Step 5: Develop your lead generation strategies
Step 6: Start your client outreach process
Step 7: Monitor, analyze and improve your lead generation efforts

Step 1 ➡ Get familiar with the privacy laws and regulations 

This is an important step if you want to avoid paying hefty fees and getting lawsuits from people. 

Understanding the privacy laws and regulations on local and global level is essential to ensure your business operates ethically, protects customer privacy, and keeps you moving ahead of the competition. 

Here are 4 laws you should abide by:

  • California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) grants Californians control over their personal information, requiring businesses to disclose data practices and offer opt-out options. 

  • CAN-SPAM Act

The CAN-SPAM Act regulates commercial emails in the US, mandating clear sender info, unsubscribe methods, and truthful subject lines to prevent deceptive marketing tactics.

  • Canada, the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) mirrors the CAN-SPAM Act, regulating commercial electronic messages with a focus on consent, clear identification, and easy unsubscribe options.

  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) safeguards personal information within the EU, mandating user consent, data security, and individual rights regarding their data.

In summary, data privacy laws will not  kill your cold outreach, but they do demand a smarter approach. Forget blasting generic emails to a thousand random LinkedIn contacts. This isn’t about quantity anymore; it’s about quality connections.

Note: I have only provided overview of these laws. Make sure you read about them in details. 

Step 2 ➡ Pick a niche/industry

You need to find a segment of audience, industry or specific cohorts  that you can cater to. A lot of success in B2B lead generation directly relies on targeting the right people at the right time. 

You will be selling your lead generation services to these group of people. Now it can be companies from a particular industry or agencies that provides some services. 

For example, your niche can be —-

  • Tech companies with revenue less than $1M, 
  • Real estate companies based in NYC or
  • Digital marketing agencies with less than 5 member teams.

It totally depends on you what your targeting should be.

Always opt for an industry that isn’t flooded with competition yet, where you can carve out a unique space.

Focus on niches that offer higher payouts per lead and evaluate the market size and the potential to engage these leads effectively, keeping in mind their Lifetime Value (LTV)

Typically, Industries that shell out big bucks for Google Ads are likely the same ones willing to pay a premium for high-quality leads. After all, a qualified lead is a potential customer much closer to the finish line, making them a valuable investment. 

Here’s a list of the most expensive keywords based on industries that you can target 👇🏻

Most expensive keywords per industry for lead gen niche

Step 3 ➡ Set up your revenue model

As the owner of lead generation business, you can make money by different ways. Here are the 3 most common revenue models, most lead generation businesses adopt:

  • Front End Model: This model focuses on upfront payments for leads. You can charge a flat fee per lead or for commission for a percentage of leads converted.. It’s straightforward and easy to manage.

Example: You charge $50 per lead for a list of 100 potential customers, totaling $5000 upfront or you can charge 10% commission for the number of conversions out of those 1000 potential customers.

  • Back End Model: Here, you earn a commission based on the leads’ conversion or the sales they generate. For instance, you could receive a percentage of the first purchase a lead makes with your client.

Example: You agree on a 10% commission for every sale made from your leads. If a lead purchases a $1000 service, you earn $100.

  • Hybrid Model: Combining both front end and back end models, you might charge a smaller upfront fee plus a commission on conversions. This balances immediate revenue with long-term earnings.

Example: You charge a reduced fee of $25 per lead plus a 5% commission on sales. For 100 leads, you get $2500 upfront, plus commissions on conversions.

I would personally recommend going for the hybrid model. It provides you some upfront revenue to sustain your business. Plus, this model aligns your success with the client’s, creating long-term partnerships but may require a track record to convince more clients.

Apart from choosing the right revenue models, keep these points in mind while setting up your fees and costs:

  • Consider lead quality: Higher quality leads can command higher prices. If you’re confident in your leads’ conversion potential, you can justify higher fees or commissions.
  • Volume discounts: Offer discounts for bulk subscription to encourage larger orders and increase client loyalty.
  • Performance-based increments: Consider increasing your rates or commission percentage based on the performance of the leads over time.
  • Market demand: Stay adaptable to market changes. If demand for leads in your niche rises, you may have the leverage to increase your rates.

By providing clear examples and aligning your pricing strategy with the value you deliver, you can establish a revenue model that supports the growth of your lead generation business. 

Step 4 ➡ Develop your ICP and buyer personas

Now that you have picked a right and relevant niche for generating leads, it’s time to focus on developing the ICPs that you will target via your marketing and sales efforts.

We have got a fantastic guide on the Framework for Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) Creation . Make sure to check that article to learn more about building your business ICP from scratch.

ICP v/s Buyer persona

Pic credit

Apart from ICP, you also need to focus on building specific, objective and relevant buyer personas.

Studying the ICP and buyer personas thoroughly will give you detailed insights on pain points your target customers have, achievements they are looking for in the business, goals they are trying to achieve etc

All these information will help you tailor your messaging to each group and pitch them your services effectively. It will connect and resonate with them.

Step 5 ➡ Develop your lead generation strategies

In this step, we will see how you can develop a viable lead generation strategy that can provide you unlimited sales qualified leads and marketing qualified leads.

Whatever niche and industry you pick, SEO, PPC (a.k.a Ads), Content marketing, social media and outbound sales shall has to be a part of your lead generation strategy.

Here’s the explanation:

  • SEO: It is a long-term game. SEO is cheaper and takes more time to deliver results. The early you start investing in building solid SEO foundations for your business, the faster you get leads organically. Plus, you get organic brand building opportunities in the long-term.
  • PPC (Online Ads): PPC will help you acquire your early customers even before your outbound activities start showing results. It’s one of the fastest Go-to-market strategies you can adopt to acquire customers and you can scale it in the long-run as your revenue grows. 

Suggested: How to Get Quality Leads with PPC Leads Generation

  • Content marketing: Just like SEO, you can try content marketing to educate and nurture your leads for future conversion. B2B sales largely depends on educational content. You can start with blog articles or podcasting to help your leads educate on different topics. 
  • Social media marketing: You can leverage creating and posting content on social media channels such as Instagram, Meta, LinkedIn and Youtube to generate leads. A lot creators based in the SaaS category are booking sales appointments purely just by posting on instagram reels and stories every week. 
  • Outbound outreach: This is the most important lever in your lead gen strategy. If done right, your outbound strategy will bring your customers and be flexible enough to scale in future. Here you can do cold email, cold calling, LinkedIn outreach etc. to reach your leads via all channels possible.

The rule of thumb most modern lead gen businesses follow for customer acquisition is simple:

For acquiring the 1st 10 customers ➡️ Outbound outreach 
For the 1st 100 customers  ➡️ Outbound Outreach + Ads
For acquiring the 1st 1000 customers ➡️ Outbound Outreach + Ads + Content 

Now, these steps usually go up and down for each business depending on their level of experience for a particular lever, their niche,  budget and team capacity.

The idea here is to try a particular combination of channels for at least 2 months to see if it works for your target audience or not. You have to experiment with it time to time as you grow your customer base.

You may take some ideas from my article “B2B Lead Generation Strategies For Sales Teams In 2024” to add in top of this. 

Step 6 ➡ Start your client outreach process

Now that we are dialled in with lead gen strategies and a target group of customers, it’s time to start client outreach. 

Client outreach is essential in a lead generation business, as it targets potential buyers for your leads. Start by pinpointing businesses that align with your niche and leads. Utilize LinkedIn to connect with key sales and marketing decision-makers within these companies.

Expand your outreach by engaging in industry-specific social media groups and discussions to enhance visibility. Personalized email outreach campaigns can effectively communicate the value of your leads to potential clients.

Attend networking events to meet prospects in person, building relationships and directly presenting your services. 

Step 7 ➡ Monitor, analyze and improve your lead generation efforts

In the final step of establishing your lead generation business, you need continuous monitoring, analysing, and refining of your lead generation strategies

This will clearly show what works and what doesn’t, allowing you to optimize your processes for better results.

Begin by tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) such as conversion rates, cost per lead, lead source efficiency, and return on investment (ROI). These metrics provide insight into the effectiveness of your lead generation tactics and financial performance.

Analyzing these KPIs helps identify trends and patterns in your lead gen system.

For instance, if certain content types or channels yield higher conversion rates, you can allocate more resources to them. Conversely, underperforming areas may require a strategic overhaul or discontinuation.

Use the data from your analysis to test new approaches, such as A/B testing different marketing copies or experimenting with various content formats. Stay abreast of industry best practices and incorporate them into your strategy.

Engage with your leads and clients for feedback. Their insights can reveal gaps in your process and highlight areas for enhancement. Implementing their suggestions can improve satisfaction and increase the likelihood of repeat business.

All these measures ensure that your lead generation business remains dynamic and successful in the competitive B2B landscape.

Complete Tech Stack for Starting Your Lead Gen Business

Now let’s build the tech stack of necessary tools and software that you will need to start and scale your lead generation business.

What we will need:

  1. Domain names
  2. Email service providers
  3. Sales engagement tool
  4. LinkedIn
  5. Contact Database Providers
  6. Business Intelligence Software
  7. Landing page creation tool

1. Domain name

Pic credit

A domain name is your online identity and the first step in establishing an online presence. It should be memorable, relevant to your business, and easy to spell.

Your website will be hosted on this domain. So, your clients can see what you are upto. 

You can use platforms like Google domains, GoDaddy and NameCheap to buy domains.  

While buying domains you will need two different types of domains – one that would be used to host your site and the other ones will be used for setting up your cold email infrastructure on. (More about it later)

Tip: Along with your website, set up your LinkedIn page, Social media pages professionally keeping your brand name into it.

2. Email service providers (ESPs)

Pic credit

ESPs are crucial for managing and automating your email campaigns. Your cold email infrastructure will be based on the ESPs you choose. 

You can try Outlook, Google workspace, Zoho Mail, Yahoo etc. for email service. 

I’d personally recommend going for Outlook as it has been giving better email deliverability with a comparatively lower price than most other email services.

I have compared the top ESPs for cold email outreach based on their features, pricing and more factors in a recent article. Make sure you check out the below article for more detailed information on ESPs for cold email.

Suggested: 8 Best FREE Email Service Providers | Create Free Emails

By the way, while setting up your emai service, don’t forget to authenticate the SPF, DKIM and DMARC protocols. These settings will ensure your emails are authentic, genuine and legit, thus they will help you from landing in SPAM.

Read more 👉🏼 How to authenticate SPF, DKIM and DMARC for Microsoft 365?

Also, set-up your SMTP, IMP & POP properly to get the best email deliverability out of your email campaigns.

3. Sales Engagement Software:

SmartReach as a sales engagement software for lead generation businesses stack is an AI-enabled sales engagement platform will help you in your lead generation process from start to finish. It allows you to personalize outreach at scale, automate follow-ups, and integrate with various CRMs. 

It is particularly helpful for lead generation businesses with its suite of features such as —

Apart from the features mentioned above, SmartReach supports API & integration with various CRMs for automating your entire workflow and saving lead information. eliminates your entire cost of buying an email outreach tool + email finder tool + email verification tool with comprehensive suite of features. pricing starts at $29/month making it ideal for  newly set-up businesses looking to try email Outbound. 

Also, you can check out the 14-Day FREE trial. (No credit card required).

4. LinkedIn (or LinkedIn Sales Navigator)

Pic credit

LinkedIn is a great platform to find B2B leads and to build relationships with them. Depending on your budget, you can either start with a free linkedin account or subscribe to LinkedIn sales navigator.

With its advanced search filters and Sales Navigator tool, you can pinpoint your ideal prospects based on filtering such as industry, employee count, location, fund raising etc. 

Also, with LinkedIn you can reach out to your prospects directly by sending them InMails, Connection request notes and even personalized messages. 

5. B2B Contact Database Provider

B2B lead database providers will help you get pre-qualified contact information of B2B decision-makers. 

These information generally include the phone numbers, email addresses, company headquarters, industry and many other factors which you can leverage to personalize your messages to the prospects. 

B2B Business data types

Pic credit

These dynamic personalizations will help your messages to be relatable to them helping you pitch your lead generation services better.

Imagine you’re targeting software companies in Chicago with a workforce of about 10 employees. B2B contact database provides will help you to execute a targeted search yielding a curated list of businesses fitting your parameters. 

This list becomes the starting point for your outreach campaigns, allowing you to connect with potential clients who might benefit from your services.

There are popular tools like, etc. providing these B2B contact databases, that you may check out. 

We have covered in details about more B2B contact database software in our article “How To Buy Leads for Sales | SmartReach Guide”.  Check it out!

6. Business Intelligence Tool: BuiltWith

Builtwith business intelligence tool

BuiltWith offers technology lookup services that can help you understand what tech stacks your prospects are using. This insight can be leveraged to tailor your outreach strategy.

7. Landing Page Creation Tool: Unbounce

This is a great tool to catch inbound leads. You can use Unbounce’s landing pages for conversions. Its a  drag-and-drop builder and its A/B testing capabilities make it user-friendly. 

You can use Unbounce with lead capturing forms to capture the contact information of your prospects who visited these landing pages. You can later reach out to these prospects with a customized messaging.

Note: Based on your budget and team capabilities, you can use a combination of the tools mentioned above to get started in the lead generation process. As you grow your revenue and increase your team size, you can use all of them later.

For a more detailed and comprehensive list of B2B lead generation tools for various use-cases, check out the article “Top Lead Generation Tools for Inbound + Outbound Tech Stack

How to Acquire Clients for Your Lead Generation Business?

We have set up our necessary tech stack and with various the lead generation strategies we will be using.  Now, let’s take a look at the various methods you can use to acquire your 1st 10 customers for the lead gen business.

The first step is prospecting.

#1. Cold emailing

Cold emailing is still effective as an outbound process to acquire B2B clients. It provides the highest ROI among the different outreach channels. 

Let’s set-up a cold email campaign from scratch using. 

I will be using for this cold email set-up. You can follow the same steps manually or using any other software as well. 

First thing you will need to do set-up an effective cold email outreach system is couple of secondary domains. 

Your entire email infrastructure will be hosted on these domains to save your website’s primary domain. Keep your primary domain reserved for your website only.

Now you will need to set up Email service providers such as Google Workspace, Outlook, Zoho mail (FREE) on these domains. 

Once done, it will look like this this 👇

Secondary v/s primary domains

Pic credit

To start your cold email campaign, first build a targeted prospect list. 

Use tools such as LinkedIn Sales Navigator (if you have subscribed), ProspectDaddy (FREE) or use some B2B lead database providers such as, etc. to find the contact information of your ICP.

Check out the article on “Strategy to Build Targeted Prospect List for Multichannelfor more detailed information on prospect list building.

Once your prospect list is ready, upload it to your account. 

SmartReach will automatically check the email validation for FREE to safeguard your emails from bounces. (Which unfortunately  other cold email softwares doesn’t offer for FREE

SmartReach email valdation for free

Now, create super personalized email copies to be sent to the email addresses.

Use SmartReach’s features like Spintax, AI-content generator, custom fields, merge tags etc. to write personalized email copies that your prospects can connect with. 

Alternatively, instead of creating email copies from scratch, you can use these cold email templates and customize them according to your use case. 

We have dedicated a FREE dedicated cold masterclass on how to write cold emails, what to include and what not to include in it and more.  Make sure to check it for setting up your cold email framework.

SmartReach cold email masterclass

Add at least  4 step follow-ups to your campaign.

In cold email success, follow-up is essential. In most cases, your prospects reply only after 4 follow-ups

So, make sure to add some solid follow-up email sequences to get the best email engagement. Use significant gap in between the messages. (At least for 2 days)

email automation campaign smartreach

Use SmartReach’s A/B testing features to check how different email subject lines and body copies are working in the campaign. 

Keep tracking your campaigns

Once your email campaign is up and running, keep a track of it every day. 

Monitor the crucial email analytics such as open rates, spam rate, replies, unsubscribes, bounces deliverability percentage etc. 

SmartReach provides FREE cheat sheets that will help you improve your critical email metrics and deliver better campaign performance. 

I am adding them below. Check them out.

🎁 Cheat Sheet 1 ➡️  Reply Rate Cheat Sheet
🎁 Cheat Sheet 2 ➡️ Cheat Sheet: Avoid Cold Emails Going To Spam
🎁 Cheat Sheet 3 ➡️ Open Rate Cheat Sheet
🎁 Cheat Sheet 4 ➡️ Bounce Rate Cheat Sheet

The best thing about using cold emailing for B2B lead generation is that you can completely set-up the process in 5-10 mins and scale up your outbound efforts single handedly on automation.

Just give yourself some time for at least 4 weeks for a particular ICP to show results. If it’s not, no. of replies and unsubscribe rates of  will go higher in the campaign.

To get even better results from outbound, use a multichannel engagement approach to reach out to the prospects via other effective channels such as LinkedIn, Text messaging, calling, Whatsapp etc

For example, this is how a multichannel outbound sequence looks like in SmartReach 👇

Multichannel sequence using SmartReach

Check out the FREE “SmartReach Multichannel Masterclass” to know more about seting up a multichannel outbound strategy for B2B lead generation. 

#2. Cold Calling

Cold calling is not dead yet.

It’s still effective and relevant for B2B lead generation. In fact, 82% buyers accept meeting with sales reps after being contacted via cold sales calls.

Apart from email, It’s just another great channel for an effective GTM motion. 

You can use cold calling to generate leads for your business and your client’s business at the same time. 

You can use these cold calling scripts and a cold calling software to get started. (I’d recommend not using your personal number for cold calling)

SmartReach provides PowerCaller for you to manage your cold calling campaigns from one platform. 

PowerCaller streamlines your calling outreach with features like auto-dialing, call scripts, and call forwarding, all while giving you valuable insights with call sentiment tracking and recordings. This allows you to connect with more decision-makers, close deals faster, and ultimately generate a pipeline overflowing with qualified leads.

You can use cold calling in sync with emails. 

The thumb rule is if your prospects have not replied in the 1st 3 email sequences, you can call them to stay in top of their mind.

Please be patient with cold calling, rehearse your scripts before every call, research about the prospect’s company and problem in detail before ringing them.

#3. LinkedIn

LinkedIn the third channel that you will be using for your outbound efforts to generate leads. You can use a LinkedIn Sales Navigator account here if your budget allows.

The first step here is to connect with the decision makers of your your target comapanies 

For example, if it’s a B2B Software company, send connection requests to their SDRs, AEs first and then to the higher-ups such as VP of Marketing, CMO or CEO.

Following this approach will ensure that your buyer personas (e,g., CMO, VP of Sales) will accept your request invites since you are already a mutual contact with their team members.

Now, extract their email addresses and other relevant information for outreach

This information will be as triggers for sending them personalized emails, LinkedIn InMails or even LinkedIn messages. They will find it engaging, relevant and relatable, thus higher chance of getting replies.

Some helpful triggers ➡️ recent promotion, recent company fund-raising, company achievement, any recent LinkedIn post etc

Use these information to write super personalized communications to them.

Engage with their posts at least 4 weeks to build some sort of rapport 

Yes, this is a required step to stay on top of their minds before you even send them a message. 

Developing a some sort of relationship with the B2B decision-makers will help you in the long-run.

I have covered more on how to set-up a proeper LinkedIn sales sequences in detail in my article “6-Step LinkedIn Sales Sequence to Book Meetings in 2024”.  

Check this out to know more about B2B lead generation via LinkedIn.

#4. Digital Ads

Ads can be a great way to generate Inbound leads. It will help you scale up your client acquisition on budget. You can any format of ads (display, search ads etc.) to generate leads. 

For ads, we will be using two platforms here – Google ads and Meta ads (formerly “Facebook’). 

Case-1: Using Google Ads to generate B2B leads 

Here are the steps you can follow to generate B2B leads via Google ads

Step 1) Created highly targeted landing pages

Using any no-code drag and drop tool, create dedicated landing pages with lead capture forms. (Find the the tool here). 

Make sure to tailor these landing pages to your specific buyer personas to maximize relevance

Create lead magnets, such as eBooks, Cheat Sheet or even 15 mins free consultaion, in exchange for contact information (emails, phone numbers, company information).  Promote these landing pages using ads.

Step 2) Keyword Research 

Identify valuable keywords related to your ICP. Bid on these keywords to reach relevant audiences actively searching for solutions

Step 3) Put the lead information into your outreach system

As soon as you get the contact information of your prospects via the lead capture forms, send them a personalized email or call them directly. (Whichever outbound channel you are using)

Case-2: Using Meta Ads to generate B2B leads

Meta ads are cheaper than Google and when executed properly they can help you scale up your lead gen process quickly. 

Just like Google ads, pull your leads to your specifically targeted landing pages with clear CTAs

Also, don’t forget to spy on your competitors and industry peers using the Meta Ads Library.  Analyze successful ad campaigns related to B2B services. Learn from their strategies, ad copy, and creative elements to enhance your own campaigns.

Be aware that ad costs can accumulate quickly. Regularly monitor performance, adjust budgets, and optimize ad delivery. Allocate time for ongoing management to achieve optimal results. 

Most importantly, don’t heavily rely on ads for lead generation.

As you scale your business and customer acquisition increases your cost per lead will increase proportionately if you only use ads to generate leads. Take more time to set-up and perfect your outbound and content system to generate leads sustainably.

#5 SEO & Content

By ‘SEO and Content” I mean SEO + content marketing + social media marketing

This is a lever that will help you with the next level growth in your client acquisition, almost without spending any money. 

Follow the best SEO practices to create your website pages keeping in mind the search intent behind them. 

Remember, your SEO efforts will take months if not years to give you positive results. So, you should plan it accordingly and start asap

Once your pages start ranking, you will automatically get a lot of traffic to those pages, a percentage of these traffic will be your inbound leads. This is a sustainable system.

You can take a look at the best best SEO tools (I have added some great FREE alternatives to paid tools)  to get started in building  the SEO foundation of your business.

Use SEO and content marketing together to create helpful blog articles, lead magnets that will both educate and nurture your leads as a B2B demand generation levers.

The sales enablement articles especially if you can successfully create quality BOFU (Bottom Of the Funnel) articles, they will provide you great pre-qualified leads.

Last thing – social media.

Social media is still an underutilized resource that most B2B businesses fail to crack.  Use social media content to educate and drive traffic to your site. 

A lot of social media creator driven businesses are generating thousands of leads every month with a conversion rate upto 45%

Pick a social media platform such as Instagram and start creating reels. Now syndicate those reels to other platforms such as Youtube, LinkedIn and facebook.  The CTA could be as simple as “click on bio” that redirects them to your target landing page.

For the optimum results, use these channels in combination for your lead gen business. 

Start with Outbound.  If it fails or takes time, start the ads.  If you have a good social media following, you can directly start with content part and slowly move to Ads and Outbound.

What Are The Costs of Starting a Lead Gen Business from Scratch?

As you are going to start a lead generation business from scratch, you must be having this question already in your mind.

The cost of starting a lead generation business will vary depending on a number of such as:

  • Business scale: Consider whether you’ll be a solo founder using tools to automate processes or if you’ll hire a team. 
  • Tech stack: Consider what tools you are going to use in your starter toolkit for lead generation. As your business grows, investing in more advanced lead generation tools become necessary. So, you might keep aside a budget for these tools.
  • Website: Building a website doesn’t have to break the bank. Platforms like WordPress offer cost-effective solutions, and hiring a freelance web designer from sites like Upwork could save on costs compared to an agency.
  • Operational expenditures: Business registration fees, licenses etc. can vary by location. In some places, you might be able to bootstrap these expenses for under $500.

To manage and grow a lead gen business, you will have to manage mainly these 3 costs mentioned below.

 Initial Setup Costs

Website Development and Design (one-time costs):  Allocate around $200-$500 for professional website development, domain registration, and hosting.

Lead Generation Software and Tools: Expect to invest $100-$150 per month in lead generation software. These tools help streamline prospecting, data management, and lead tracking.

Legal Fees: Set aside funds for legal services to establish contracts, agreements, and business entity registration.

Office Equipment and Furniture: If you plan to have a physical office, budget for essentials like desks, chairs, and computers.

Recurring Operational Expenses

Marketing and Outreach: Allocate a monthly budget for running ads, content creation, and outreach efforts. This cost can vary significantly based on your strategy and target audience.

Payroll: If you hire employees or contractors, factor in their salaries or fees. Consider commission-based compensation for sales representatives.

Data Management and Storage Infrastructure: Safeguard your leads’ data with secure storage solutions. Cloud-based services are cost-effective and scalable.

Reserve Funds for the Future

Emergency Fund: Unexpected expenses can arise. Maintain a reserve fund equivalent to at least 3-6 months of operational costs.

Scaling and Growth: As your business expands, you’ll need additional resources. Plan for future investments in technology, team expansion, and marketing.

Now, all these estimates can vary based on your location, business size, and specific needs. Adapt them to your unique situation, and always keep a keen eye on cost management. 


Starting your lead generation business is a big move on its own

As a founder, you will be going through a steep learning curve while building sustainable systems to acquire customers for conversion.

Don’t be impatient in the process of trying out different strategies for lead generation. Be creative in your persuit and open to feedback from your prospects.

Now you know the strategies, the necessary tools and the whole ecosystem for your lead gen business. 

Focus on creating leads on automation using a tool such as for managing your outbound activities and campaign responses under a single platform.

All the best for your future venture from team SmartReach ! 

Lead Generation Business: F.A.Q

Q. Why lead generation is important for business?

1. Increased Sales: Targeted lead generation helps convert prospects into paying clients, boosting sales and revenue.
2. Cost-Effective: It’s more budget-friendly than traditional advertising, focusing efforts on conversion-ready leads.
3. Improved ROI: Prioritizing reliable leads maximizes return on investment.
4. Customer Insights: Lead generation provides valuable data on customer needs and behaviors.
5. Brand Awareness: Engaging potential customers enhances brand visibility and credibility. 

Q. What is a lead generation business?

A lead generation business focuses on identifying and attracting potential customers (leads) for other companies. It involves strategies like email marketing, content creation, and social media to generate interest and gather contact information. The goal is to provide qualified leads to clients, helping them grow their customer base and increase sales.

Q. How does a lead generation business work?

A lead generation business operates by gathering consumer and business data, which they then offer to companies seeking new leads. Here’s a concise breakdown:

1. Data Collection: Lead gen companies amass relevant data about potential customers, including contact details and preferences.
2. Segmentation: They categorize leads based on factors like industry, location, and behavior.
3. Lead Scoring: Leads are ranked based on their likelihood to convert into paying customers.
4. Offering Leads: These companies provide lead lists or connections to businesses seeking new clients.

Q. Is a lead generation business profitable in 2024?

Starting a lead generation business in 2024 can be highly profitable due to the huge growth potential and demand in the market.

Q. How to start a local lead generation business?

Here’s a concise guide to starting a local lead generation business:

1. Niche Research: Identify a specific local market or industry where you can provide value. Research the pain points, needs, and challenges faced by businesses in that niche.
2. Build a Website: Create a professional website that highlights your services, expertise, and local focus. Optimize it for local SEO by including relevant keywords, location-specific content, and clear calls-to-action.
3. Local Networking: Attend local business events, join chambers of commerce, and connect with other entrepreneurs. Building relationships with local businesses will help you generate leads through referrals and partnerships.
4. Offer Value: Provide free resources, such as ebooks, webinars, or checklists, in exchange for contact information. Use email marketing and social media to nurture leads and showcase your expertise.

Loved it? Spread it across!
Scroll to Top