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How to build a lead generation system: The 9 step process to leads on repeat

After starting, scaling and selling two education companies, as well as coaching dozens of edtech entrepreneurs and education startups, I know a thing or two about building successful companies and the number one thing I see people struggling with is how to make sales and get more clients. 

And the most important thing for a business to be able to grow, is to have a steady flow of high-quality and high-converting leads coming into your business. 

But most education startups struggle with this, because while they have a great product or service, they’re not sales people. And they don’t have a system to generate leads on repeat.

Very often when they get started, they will reach out to their network and get their first few clients that way. But how far does that take you? You may get 2 or 3 clients that way, but can you get 30, 60? How about 600? If you want to grow and scale your business successfully, you need a lead generation system.

Building one is not easy, but with the right strategies and tools, it can be done. And it can set your business up for long lasting success. Instead of wondering where the next sale is going to come from, you’ll know. And when you set it up right, you’ll be able to keep those sales coming in on autopilot while you focus on running your business and serving your clients. So if you’re wondering HOW to do this, I’m breaking down my 9 step EdSales Elevation process that I use with all my one on one coaching clients to get them leads on repeat. Let’s dive in. 

Step 1: Client Clarity Blueprint:  “From Everyone to The One”  

This might sound easier than it actually is. We have these tremendous ideas that are bound to change the world, and we usually have some idea of who can use the idea. But are they the right client?

When I started Flex Academies (an after school enrichment program), I didn’t do what I should have done to find out who my ideal client was, so I chose the wrong client. I decided to reach out to PTA’s and schools that DIDN’T have an after-school enrichment program. On paper it made sense. I thought that I would bring in my services and everything would be great! BUT it didn’t work out that way. The schools were eager to sign up with us (awesome!) but the families didn’t sign up for the activities. Why? Because they already had their own providers. They were already used to taking the kids elsewhere for Karate and music lessons, and why would they change now just because it was offered at school? It would have taken forever to really get the programs going, and we didn’t have time for that. 

Instead we shifted to the schools that already had a large after-school program. I got to know them, got to know their pain points and their challenges in what they were offering and how we could better it and solve some of those challenges for them.

Getting that clarity on who my ideal client really was and what they actually needed was a game changer! I call this “The Power of One” Getting clear on who your ONE ideal client is. And I see this with my clients all the time. As soon as they get clarity here, they go from stuck to selling in no time. It’s why I'm a big believer in the power of one, and in my case, it was schools that had large enrichment programs. 

Step 2: Instant Credibility Booster: “from Hidden to Authority”

I am a believer in Credibility! I had to do this for myself because I was a “nobody” when I came into the education space. I didn’t have any experience, no contacts, and no sales skills. I had to learn how to stand out online and become an authority in the space, and I didn’t want to wait years to do it. A LinkedIn profile set up as a sales page is a great way to instantly boost your credibility, because it is usually the first place people turn to look you up and see if you are professional, and learn how exactly you would be able to help them. When people go to search for you, they find your LinkedIn Profile. But if you’re like most people, your profile is set up like a resume. It simply lists your job title and your previous work experience. When you transform that to a sales page, that’s when things change and you start to stand out online and be the authority. That’s when you will start having people reach out to you and ask how they can work with you. 

One of my client’s Rose, said updating her LinkedIn profile gave her so much confidence and increased her brand positioning so she could make more sales (without feeling salesy or pushy!) You can hear more about Rose’s story here.

Step 3: Raise Your Hand : “Prospect to Relationship”

This is the Raise your hand campaign! It's a system that we have created where we listen and chart and score potential ideal clients for our clients, and I've been honing this process since October of 2007. In this step we begin to validate what you think about your ideal client and what their pain points are. And then you go to market and you confirm that. And you see if your offer and your message is a match to what your clients are saying they need and want. Based on that feedback you can then make some tweaks to really optimize your offer for conversion which makes it so easy to sell without feeling like you’re selling because you’re giving people exactly what they’re looking for! Or if you find you’re hearing something different than you expected, you can shift your messaging, so that you are positioning your offer to speak to your ideal clients and what they really want. That’s when you go from struggling to selling with a whole lot more ease.

Let me share an example of this. Toi is the director of Entre Ed ( Consortium for entrepreneurship companies in the United States). Toi was talking to principals and superintendents about her professional development program but they weren’t really interested. They kept talking about how to retain teachers and engage their students. She kept hearing this over and over again. So after hearing their pain points Toi worked with us to reverse engineer her offer and change her positioning. When she went back to them, she offered them a professional development program that had a strong focus on helping them to retain their teachers and engage their students. And because she had heard their pain points, and could now address them, they were interested in what she had to say and they started investing in her program.

Step 4: Signature Solution: Ordinary to Irresistible”

Most entrepreneurs really struggle to clearly communicate their value. They either just say what they do: E.g. I’m a lead generation coach. Or they share a bunch of waffle and have long boring powerpoint presentation decks that no one pays attention to. When I started using the “Signature Solution” Method to share my offer with potential clients, it became an absolute game changer for my business. It helped me package and position my offer in a way that didn’t feel salesy or pushy, and so at the end of my chat with potential clients, they end up asking me how they can work with me. They already WANT to say YES! And that makes selling so much simpler. Instead of using all these pushy closing tactics that most people teach, I’m focusing on building relationships and sharing my value in a way that has clients saying, yes, I need that. 

The biggest benefit of a signature solution is that it helps you show your unique value proposition to your ideal clients while differentiating you from your competition. You are the clear answer to the problems your ideal client is experiencing.

Let me tell you about one of my clients David. David runs Hire Cause, and he had a conference in Arizona where everyone was presenting their businesses to the superintendents and principals. When it came to David’s  presentation he had just four slides. An introduction slide, his signature solution, some testimonials, and his contact information. Contrast that against everyone else who had hundreds of boring slides. When David got to his signature solution slide, he had everyone's attention, he showed them his unique method that no one else was doing. The superintendents and principals started sitting up and asking if they could take pictures of that signature solution. They flocked to him after the presentation to tell him that that was exactly what their schools needed. He signed his largest client (and first outside of the New York City area!) by using his signature solution at that conference!

Step 5: Lazer-Targeting: “Scarcity to Abundance”

Most people think it takes forever to find leads, and actually it can be pretty simple, especially to start. Something that we do for a lot of our clients is help them to discover how to target high quality, high growth clients. We help them to create and curate that first list of leads. One of the ways that we do that is we teach our clients how to leverage the power of LinkedIn Sales Navigator, we help them to get in front of more high quality clients. LinkedIn isn’t like other social media platforms where you’re there to be entertained and you’re sharing what you ate for breakfast or pictures of your dog. LinkedIn is a powerful place for connecting and for networking and there are over 129 000 schools there. So when you know how to leverage it using our Laser targeting methods, this becomes a core piece of your lead generation system. And to me it is one of the most important parts of the nine step process!

When you target the right people with the right offer and the right message, that’s when you get high-quality, high-converting leads. 

Step 6: Magnetic Messaging: “Confusion to Confidence”

I often speak to people who have tried to make more sales by just buying a huge list of leads. And while that may give them people to reach out to, if those people aren’t the right people (aka lazer targeted) and you don’t share the right offer and the right message with them, then you won’t make sales. If anything, you’ll just annoy people and may even be marked as spam - which you DON’T want.

This is why we spend so much time making sure we’re targeting the right people AND that we have a powerful message to capture their attention, build rapport and then move them from interested to paying clients. 

Some of the most common mistakes that people make when it comes to messaging are that they either talk only about themselves (boring!), or they go straight for the kill (just trying to sell - ugh!), or they waffle on about the features of their product (always focus on the benefits before the features). 

If you can’t clearly and confidently communicate your value to your potential clients, they are going to lose interest and get confused, and they aren’t going to buy and you won’t know why.

Confused minds never buy.

When you focus on creating a powerful messaging that shows confidence, builds trust and shows how you can help them (it’s about them, not you!) you will be able to get more sales without coming across as salesy.

Let me tell you about Brent. Brent is the co-founder of My Owl (his co-founder is an impressive young lady who has not yet finished middle school). Brent had seen first hand his daughter’s struggles with homework. Kids today have to complete assignments in over 100 apps. So he and his daughter came up with an idea to have one centralized dashboard that kids, parents and teachers all sign into that have a one click through to the different apps for homework. The parents he spoke to loved the concept, but he was really struggling to get the app companies on board. They didn’t get it. After working on his messaging and showing the apps the benefit to them, he went from zero integrations to 20 almost overnight. And the schools started lining up.  That’s what powerful messaging does for your business. It turns no’s into YES!

Step 7: The Engine: “Manual to Automation”

This is the really exciting part of the process where you already have all of the puzzle pieces in place. By this stage you already know who your ideal client is, how to target them, you have your signature solution, your message is great. But now you have to get everything working together to get those sales calls going. This is when we begin to automate processes, and things begin to pick up and get easier.

Sometimes you will get that instant sale, because you and your client just know that you are the right fit. And that is amazing! Sometimes it takes a bit longer and you have to nurture your client to get to that point.

This is all about testing and tweaking the system to get it working like a well oiled machine and booking sales calls on repeat.

Step 8: Success Amplifiers: “Trickle of leads to steady flow”

It is now time for your potential clients to see you everywhere. We need to boost your authority with success amplifiers! But what does this mean? What are success amplifiers? Success amplifiers are the things that most people start with. But they don’t work very well when you don’t already have your lead generation process dialed in. Once you have your ideal client, your validated offer, your packaging and positioning, your signature solution, and your call booking process in place, then, these success amplifiers start to amplify your success. They help you to stand out even more and get even more leads. 

E.g. Posting on social media. If you just post random stuff on Linkedin before going through this process, chances are you won’t get much out of it and you’ll just feel like you’re a 24/7 content creator and not making any sales. But once you’ve dialed in all the pieces of your engine and you’re getting results, now you can post strategic content that calls in more of your ideal clients and nurtures some of your prospects that weren’t quite ready to buy yet and has them reaching out again to work with you.

Another example is conferences. Without going through this process, going to conferences often just means wasting a lot of time and handing out business cards that end up in the trash.

So often these conferences do nothing but waste your time and money.

However, after you have been through our program you know how to clearly communicate your value with people. You aren’t waffling through who you are and how you can help them. You are confident. Your message is right and you can clearly communicate your solution. So not only do they take a business card, but they actually reach out. And you get clients. And that makes the conference a success.

Just like one of our clients Kathryn who now sends people she meets at conferences straight to her signature solution hosted on her website. She gives them a business card with a QR code linking to her signature solution and gets them reaching out to work with her. They go straight into her sales system and when she follows up with them, they are already excited and want to know how to work with her. This makes selling so much easier because you’re not trying to convince anyone of anything, they already know they want to work with you!

Success amplifiers help you to get noticed everywhere. They help you to stand out as THE person that they want to work with! And you go from “just another…” to being “the one.”

Step 9: Scale: “Leads 24/7/365”

The final step in the EdSales Elevation System is to look at your scaling roadmap.

By now your foundations have been set up and you have tested everything and you are consistently booking leads. Now it’s time to scale.

But if you’re anything like the CEO’s and founders that we work with then time is a precious commodity. You don’t have the time to keep generating a massive amount of leads each and every week. Which is why we now shift our focus to scaling strategies that don’t rely on you. 

This stage is all about leveraging the right team, systems and support to create a “hands off” lead generation engine so you can focus on serving clients and growing your business.

Without the systems it would be almost impossible for you to scale, grow and be the business that you want it to be. I set up this nine step process to help you set the foundations for you to start getting high high quality, high converting leads on repeat. To help you build a predictable stable and scalable business where you are not stressing over where your next client is coming from. This process helps you to achieve all of that without being salesy or pushy. This is the roadmap that I use with my clients. This is the roadmap that I have developed and used to start and scale two businesses in the education space. 

But because I know every business is different (especially in the education space!) I’m inviting you to book a FREE 30 min strategy call with me to map out your own lead generation engine. Together we’ll use my 9 step process to get clear on what’s keeping you stuck and what you need to be focusing on to start bringing in high-quality, high-converting leads so you can make more sales and grow your business! You can book that call here.**

**These calls are very limited and book out fast. 

And you can get your FREE copy of my 9 step blueprint to getting leads on repeat here.

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