5 Easy Ideas for Lead Generators That Will Accelerate Your Sales Growth

If you want to grow your business, you need more sales.

And to do that, you need quality leads — and plenty of them.

Of course, it’s tempting to put together another Facebook ad or buy more space in your local circular. But those strategies run on little more than hope and your hard-earned marketing dollars.

There’s a better (and more cost-effective) way to get leads for your business.

It’s a lead generator, and the idea behind this strategy is simple. You offer a piece of valuable content in exchange for an email address. The simplest format for this content is a downloadable PDF, but videos work, too. Then, with a series of emails, you can build a relationship with your potential customers. They’ll see your authority and your empathy for their struggles, and making that sale will become a lot easier.

If you don’t have a lead generator, you need one. But sitting down to actually create one can feel daunting. Too easily it becomes that task that you just never get around to doing. To make it easier to get started, here are five kinds of lead generating PDFs you can create with less effort and time than you imagine.

The Value List

Ideal for: Pretty much anybody

Every company should have a value list PDF of some kind. You’ve probably seen them yourself. They might be:

8 Common Mistakes First-Time Car Buyers Always Make
10 Tips for Giving the Best Talk of Your Life
5 Negotiation Secrets for Getting Everything You Want Without Being a Jerk

The trick to creating a standout value list? Knowing what’s valuable to your customers. You’ve got to understand their struggles (as it relates to your business) and make sure your content speaks to those struggles in some way. Start by making a list of the common questions you hear from “beginners,” and let it inspire you to develop your list.

Your lead generator should create interest and trust in your products and services, but it shouldn’t replace them.

Then, build out your content so that it serves your audience, but don’t give everything away. Your lead generator should create interest and trust in your products and services, but it shouldn’t replace them. As the artist and author Austin Kleon says, “If you’re worried about giving your secrets away, you can share your dots without connecting them.”

The Magazine Article

Ideal if: you have a lot of existing content

Chances are, your company may already have created some content for an article or a whitepaper. While whitepapers have their place, they won’t attract a wide swath of potential customers.

Instead, turn the white paper into a magazine-style article. Use callouts, images, infographics, and charts to liven up the content and make it scannable. Give it an irresistible title and a well-designed cover, and you’re good to go.

Get creative about leveraging your old content, you’ll have an amazing lead generator without really doing much writing.

You could do the same thing with a series of popular (but related) blog posts. Knit them together around a common theme, and then add sharp, scannable design elements. For example, a gardening center might compile all their posts on edibles gardening and turn it into a PDF on “5 Simple Steps to Building a Family Garden that Will Get Your Kids Excited About Vegetables.”

Get creative about leveraging your old content, you’ll have an amazing lead generator without really doing much writing.

The Interview

Ideal if: you’re short on content

If writing original content isn’t feasible, simply interview one of your company’s experts on a topic that is a struggle for your potential customers.

When you’re preparing your questions and your interviewer, focus on information that will be valuable to your potential customer.

Don’t spend too much time with “small talk” questions getting to know the person you’re interviewing. Simply establish their authority in the subject and then dig right into the questions your audience really wants answers to.

For example, a pet shelter might sit down with their head of adoption and ask: “What are the 7 things every should every family know before adopting a puppy?” If you do marketing for a tax firm, interview a CPA and ask: “Tell me the 5 biggest mistakes people make when they do their own taxes.”

This information will seem like second nature to your expert, but to your potential customer, it’s incredibly valuable. Set your phone to record the conversation, and you’ll have all the insight you need to write a compelling lead generator.

The Checklist

Ideal if: you need to create something quickly

A checklist is a great place to start if you want to try a lead generating content strategy but you don’t have a lot of time or resources.

A checklist is simple. It walks your reader through a list of ideas to consider.

Say you run a health clinic. Your checklist could ask a series of health questions, such as:

“Do you get winded walking up the stairs?”
“Do you feel tired every day around 3 pm?”
“Do you ever have trouble sleeping at night?”

With each question, you can highlight the ways that your clinic can help them solve the problem they’ve identified.

Craft your checklist in such a way that an unchecked box helps you open a door to sales down the road.

If you sell cookware and kitchen supplies, your checklist might be built around the 50 Items Every Well Stocked Pantry Needs. For your potential customer, it’s a valuable way to make sure they have everything they need on hand. And for you, it’s an easy way to make customers aware of what they’re lacking — and how you can help.

In any case, craft your checklist in such a way that an unchecked box helps you open a door to sales down the road — while still being helpful to your lead even if they never buy from you.

The Sampler

Ideal if: your product sells better when it’s experienced

Depending on the kind of products and services you offer, you may be able to give away a sample to your potential customers. This not only provides value. It also gives you a chance to showcase your products.

For example, if you’re selling a annual planner, you could feature a PDF about effective time management along with seven days of worksheets to fill out. This way, your lead receives something of value, but you’ve also created an opportunity to sell them on the annual planner.

As a business leader, you probably know what aspect of your product really draws people in. Is it the feel of the material? Is it the paradigm shifts you teach? Is it how well it works? Make sure your sample communicates that key aspect of your product.

Then, as you make the sale down the road, you can use a promo code or a special landing page to make sure you track how well your sample is converting those leads into customers.

Need Some Inspiration? Check Out These Examples.

These are some sample lead generators I’ve seen that work incredibly well.

5 Mistakes People Make With Their First Million Dollars
A downloadable PDF guide offered by a financial advisor who wanted to find young, newly wealthy clients to help them with their financial planning.

Building Your Dream Home: 10 Things to Get Right Before You Build
A free eBook offered by an architect who wanted to establish herself as a guide to families looking to build a custom home.

Cocktail Club: Learn to Make One New Cocktail Each Month
This was a monthly event put on (surprisingly) by a garden center. They taught attendees how to infuse alcohol with herbs. The objective for the promotion was to create community. Business is booming — or should I say blooming! — all the same.

Becoming a Professional Speaker
A free online course offered by a business coach for those who wanted to become professional speakers. This generated leads for long-term subscriptions to his coaching service.

The ideas go on and on. I hope I’ve inspired you to think about the kind of content that will serve your audience. With a lead generating PDF, you’ll attract the kind of customers who really need and want the service you have to offer. You’ll dramatically grow your email list. And you’ll be able to close sales in a natural, non-sleazy way.

What’s been your experience with lead generating content? Need help with a concept? Leave a comment and let’s learn from each other.

Do Your Own Marketing Makeover
(For Free)

Sign up for my free video series, 5 Minute Marketing Makeover, and I’ll show you what you can do this week to clarify your message and grow your business.

Subscribe to the Building a Story Brand Podcast