Leveling Up Your Lead Generation with Scott Wyden Kivowitz
Episode 55 on the Business Bites Podcast
The Gist Of This Episode: Lead generation is one of the oldest marketing techniques but is overlooked by many. Join Scott Wyden Kivowitz and Rachel Brenke as they discuss modern forms of inbound and outbound lead generation marketing.
Rachel Brenke: Hey, guys. Welcome to this episode of The Business Bites Podcast. My name is Rachel Brenke and I am joined today by Scott Wyden Kivowitz. I am excited to bring him on as a guest. He is the Chief Community Officer over at Imagely. He’s also a blogger, photographer, a friend and an awesome educator. As a fellow author of numerous books and a regular YouTuber, he really is a storyteller with a camera. He lives just north of me up in New Jersey and you can find him teaching photographers about WordPress on the Imagely website. In fact, he has saved my skin a few times when I have messed with my own website. He laughs because it’s so true. You can also find him on his website and other venues like Digital Photography School. Scott, thank you so much for coming today.
Scott Wyden K.: Hey, thanks for having me. It’s been a while, so it’s nice to catch up even if it’s on the air, so to speak.
Rachel Brenke: I love talking with you and I always love that we get to catch up. We’re talking today about one of my favorite topics, lead generation. I know that you have a course coming out soon and you also have some freebies available. I’m going to stick all of that into the show notes, and I will give the link for you guys at the end of the podcast. But let’s talk a bit about lead generation and how that’s important to entrepreneurs.
Scott Wyden K.: Yeah. A lot of us call our websites our storefront, our business cards, things like that. Back in the day and even still some to this day, handing a physical business card or getting a physical business card from somebody is like getting a lead for your business. Now, it’s more you have to think of different ways to do this where you have to think outside the box to get a digital form of a lead. You can tell how well your business will be based on, first, how many customers you’re getting of course, but also how many leads you’re getting through your website which can then in turn turn into sales. Lead generation is basically just getting people’s contact information so that you can do something with their contact information to then turn that person into a customer and in turn enhance and improve your business.
Rachel Brenke: What is your recommendation on figuring out what platforms to try to gain lead generation or to get these leads from? You mentioned the website. Are you focusing a lot of your lead gen course and information freebies on websites, or are we looking at all platforms totally, just social media in general as well?
Scott Wyden K.: Right. Sort of everything but everything leads back to the website. The gist of it is this approach that I’m teaching people is creating content on your site which is going to attract organic traffic from search engines. Taking that content, repurposing it into a document that you can then give to somebody, to a potential lead and that document is then used in promotion in what I like to call one-offs which is in videos or in other forms of email and social media, in advertisements. This lead generation system is not just 100% inbound marketing. It’s a combination of outbound and inbound marketing. You are doing some outbound things like posting on social media, like advertising on Google and social media, on Facebook and so on. You’re doing things like Facebook bots and push notifications and things like that, podcasting, webinars, stuff like that, everything that is repurposing this content that you already created in various forms.
Rachel Brenke: I love that because actually I’m probably one of those that are sitting in this camp like many of those listening thinking that lead generation and capturing these emails or the contact information whether it’s by pixel or physical email form, I was only thinking of it from a inbound sense: posting about it on Facebook, getting people to come to my website and capturing their emails from there or using Facebook pixels and being able to capture their data and being able to retarget to them. I love that you put the spin on it and give the whole picture of lead gen of how it comes in and you have to go back out with it as well. But before you go out, what do you recommend maybe for some people, imagine those listening have never done lead gen before, this is the very first time they’ve heard this phrase, what would you recommend to them to get someone to come inbound to them? How would they get that information? How would they attract a potential customer or client in order to give their information to you?
Scott Wyden K.: The first thing is to have some sort of landing page that you can send people to and/or the blog content that is related to it which will get somebody to opt-in to whatever this document is. You got to have that in place. If you don’t have it in place, you have nowhere to send anybody to to get that lead. You have that in place. You then go to, for example, Facebook and you create a post on your Facebook page or in a group or wherever and you tell people, “Hey, I have this new resource available and this is what it’s about. Go check it out. It’s 100% free,” and that’s it. You’re just sharing that. It’s free. It does so well on social media, especially on Facebook.
If you were to go, and you know this, if you go and you were to share one of your contracts on Facebook and it’s a paid product versus sharing a free contract, which organic post and which paid advertisement of those posts, which would do better? The free one of course.
Rachel Brenke: Hands down the free one, especially the people that have never been introduced to me before or they’ve never read, what you’re talking about, having blog content, they don’t even know the education or the qualifications that I have to teach that sort of stuff. Hands down free.
Scott Wyden K.: Because this course is really designed for photographers specifically, one of the things I talk about in the course and I direct it towards wedding photographers because I find it just so easy to talk about in this concept is directing it specifically to wedding photographers is …
Rachel Brenke: You know what’s interesting? Hold on. Before you go into that, I feel like since I work with photographers for so long … The audience of The Business Bites is all sorts of creative entrepreneurs. If you’re not a wedding photographer, don’t blink out on this. Keep listening. It will apply to you guys.
Scott Wyden K.: Oh, yeah, yeah.
Rachel Brenke: I find that wedding photographers, you guys are in a really specific unique position because you have a client or potential client who’s primed to opt-in. They’re primed to buy. There is a timeline. There is a need. It’s not like they’re trying to decide should they or should they not have wedding photography necessarily, they’re choosing who. You already have a leg in the door. I feel like it just makes it even easier for the lead gen. Yeah, sure there’s a lot of voices out there. There’s a lot of noise that you have to cut through. If you’re a wedding photographer or anybody in the wedding field and you’re not capitalizing on lead gen, definitely need to share this episode with your friends and keep it for yourself to relisten to, again, because you’re missing out huge. Anyway, sorry, go ahead.
Scott Wyden K.: No, you’re exactly right and it’s funny because not only do wedding photographers have such a time constraint to which enhances the quality of a lead, but you have the opportunity as a business owner or as a wedding photographer who owns a business to create a document that really, really educates your potential lead to the highest possible extent. My recommendation, and this is what I say in the course for wedding photographers specifically, is your document is going to have your recommended vendors for gowns, for suits, for tuxes, for florists, for venues, for photographers, if you’re not a photographer, if you’re a wedding planner, you would recommend photographers, for videographers if you don’t also offer videography and so on. You’re going to be recommending everything that your potential wedding client would need to plan their wedding in your area. I’m talking from top to bottom.
This has an extra benefit besides just giving your client these valuable resources which, by the way, you’re also sharing your own photographs in these examples, not only are you sharing that for your client, but you’re now potentially networking with those vendors. You’re doing some business development at the same time so you can get those people, those vendors to link back to you or to recommend you as well.
Rachel Brenke: Let’s recap on that real quick and I also want to apply this to outside wedding photographers as well who are looking at having a lead magnet. This is the item that is given to the person who’s giving up their personal contact information to you. It’s an incentivized tool in order for them to give up that email address as an example since that is the most common one available that you see on majority of websites and most creatives will end up using. Your potential client is going to come visit your website. They’re going to be attracted by this lead magnet. It could be like an eBook style like Scott just mentioned having pictures and recommendations, and it’s going to be reinforcing your brand, your messaging.
I think on top of the recommendations, on top of showing your work, you also are going to include an educational element in there that shows you know what you’re talking about. You’re not only just providing these people a guide. In this case, it’s going to be, more than likely, it’s going to be a bride that comes to you. You’re providing them in that education not even just … How do I say this? Not even just the education itself but the element of having education speaks to the client psychology that you know what you’re doing and it gives this added level of buyer’s confidence in you. They’re receiving all of this in one free download and you’re getting their email address for you to be able to deliver even more content, more education, more recommendations.
I parallel that, too, to other different industries. For example, I do the same thing with my legal education on the different niche sites. They get a freebie when they come in and then the education that goes out is quality education to help people, but I also put recommendations which, like you talked about, builds business development, but it also is partnering a name or a business or a brand that your potential customer or client is already familiar with and it imputes familiarity and trust on you. It all circles back around. I hope that made sense. I’m looking at it as a deeper level of adding not just the practicality of getting the lead and then giving something. But it’s increasing this client psychology to make it easier for them to buy into you.
Scott Wyden K.: Yup. Yeah, you got it.
Rachel Brenke: I know. I went a little deeper than I think we intended to on that. But I wanted to flesh out a little bit for those that may not be wedding photographers. I love what you said. I would even take it a step further on the including of the recommendations of other vendors and such. Don’t just slap the vendors in there. Reach out and use it as an opportunity to start talking to these other vendors if you don’t already know them on a really personal level.
Scott Wyden K.: Totally.
Rachel Brenke: I would only include ones that you really, really are willing to put your name on as well.
Scott Wyden K.: I would go even a step further. Instead of just calling them, actually go to these vendors, bring a printed copy of it and say, “Look, this is what I’m doing. I’m recommending you because I have seen your work firsthand. I would love it if you would take a look at my portfolio of work. Here’s some examples of whatever or here’s some products. I’d love it if you would consider recommending me or us or whatever at the same time.”
Rachel Brenke: Very cool. That’s a little crash course on inbound of lead gen and I know Scott has got plenty more information to help you actually create and do all of that, especially on the tech side. Let’s switch gears to the outbound a little bit here. You mentioned it before about having bots. I bring this up because I feel like this is a very … I know that they work but I also have seen consumer pushback on the use of automated bots. What is your opinion on using that as an outbound lead gen?
Scott Wyden K.: It’s tricky. I’ve seen the same thing. I am personally just starting to experiment with bots. I’ve seen the effects of it and I’ve seen how good they can be and so I don’t have any firsthand success on it yet. But I know that it can be successful. It’s just a matter of trial and error. I know this, like I said, because I’ve seen it be successful. Me, as a consumer, I don’t mind a bot when I know it’s a bot. I don’t want a bot when I’m expecting a human.
Rachel Brenke: I also don’t mind it when it’s providing me what it’s to provide me. When PayPal has a bot that sends me to my Facebook Messenger my receipt or an update on my shipment notification or even I’ve subscribed to some people’s bots so that I’ll be notified when a new post is live or a new podcast episode. I’m with you. As long as I know that it’s a bot, like you said, and that it’s also giving me what I expected it to give me.
Scott Wyden K.: Here’s an example outside of photography. Let’s say you were boxed.com. You were this massive wholesaler like a Costco type company only online, and you’re offering a free PDF for people to take a box, any box. By the way, they do this … They throw these in into their actual mailers sometimes. That’s why I know they have this available. You have this PDF where it shows you how to take any box and turn it into a fun clubhouse for a kid or into a rocket ship or whatever.
Rachel Brenke: That’s cool.
Scott Wyden K.: Their thing is let’s not waste these boxes. Let’s use it for education and for enjoyment, some krafts. Imagine you have this that you could do with any box, any sized box you can turn into whatever it is. It’s a beautiful guide.
Now, think about wholesalers, something like an Amazon where majority of the shipment at fulfillment center is automated. There are humans working there but mostly it’s machines grabbing things from shelves and putting it to boxes and sending it through a machine. Boxed is going to be doing a lot of the similar stuff. They’re going to have some automation in there. Imagine that you see an advertisement from Boxed who says something like, “Don’t waste your boxes whether they’re from Amazon or from any competitor. Do you want access to our free PDF which our free document that shows you how to turn your boxes, your empty boxes into useful and educational fun for kids? Let our [Zorbot 00:16:41] whatever deliver this to you. Just comment and say, ‘Yes.'”
You’re putting a name on your bot and getting somebody to comment to get this document but they’re doing it knowing it’s going to be a bot. It’s not going to be a human being sending them this document. Then using a tool like ManyChat, you can actually automate that. You can actually send the document to somebody who comments on a specific post with a specific word that you tell them to comment with. They have some-
Rachel Brenke: I struggle with this. This is probably a little bit outside of maybe the discussion for today. No, I guess it is inline. how do you make sure that people know that it’s a bot? I think this is so new. Maybe I’m just behind the times but I feel like this is so new in the online marketing sphere the use of the bots. We’re talking maybe a year or so. I guess it’s prevalent as it has been thus far. I don’t know. I guess I don’t know what the point I’m trying to get at. I think there’s plenty of people out there that don’t recognize and understand truly what a bot is and does. It’s really an autoresponder via messenger on a social media platform. Namely here we’re talking about Facebook. How do you combat that to be able to say …
I probably will put something fun like my little call to actions, they comment with “checklist” for me to send you my free legal checklist. Then I would put, “PS: my little bot Sally is going to do this for me.” I would lay it out there without being super rigid. I would make it more fun.
Scott Wyden K.: Exactly.
Rachel Brenke: Is that how I could do it? Okay. Cool.
Scott Wyden K.: Yeah, yeah. That’s why I was even saying to put a name on the bot. You could even say- [crosstalk 00:18:23]
Rachel Brenke: [crosstalk 00:18:23].
Scott Wyden K.: If I was Boxed, I would say like, “Our automated task monkey named Zorbot will … ”
Rachel Brenke: I love that. I got you.
Scott Wyden K.: Yeah, yeah. Just be silly with it but make it also clever to match your brand.
Rachel Brenke: Really cool. All right. We had inbound and outbound. Do you have any tips if people are just getting into lead gen of how they can learn a bit more? Obviously you have your course coming. I’m stumbling over my words because I’m struggling with this idea of even myself, if my audience would be open to bots, if they would be interested in this automated type marketing. What tips would you have for those listening who want to try to do lead gen? Where should they start? I feel like bots are like a level two.
Scott Wyden K.: It’s funny. I have three lessons left to record for the course before I can officially launch it. Bots is the last one I’m doing because it’s the most complicated and most difficult to explain as you can see.
Rachel Brenke: Maybe start with just a simple website style opt-in to get an email address and then maybe next level Facebook pixels. What kind is the path of progression that you would recommend?
Scott Wyden K.: Always have a Facebook pixel and a Google remarketing pixel and Pinterest pixel if you’re going to do Pinterest, whatever, have it on your site before you do anything. That should be step number one. Before you even get to lead generation, you need to have the pixels there so that you can remarket to people when the time comes to remarket to people. Really, the first thing that I would say to do is to map out what content, just on a pen and paper or in a Word document, Google document, whatever it is, map out exactly what content you think that your potential leads would find extremely valuable. You can do this by just thinking back to your work with previous customers or ask previous customers what kind of questions they have and whatnot that’s related to your business. Map it all out.
Once you have it mapped out, start writing blog content that will be used publicly, that will be optimized for search engines because that’s all part of this process. Everything you’re going to do from there out is going to be repurposing the content that you create in those blog posts.
Rachel Brenke: Let’s clarify that a bit because when I was in the very beginning, I was so intent on this idea of I have to create absolutely brand new content on every platform on my website all the time, and it wasn’t until I embraced this repurposing concept of taking existing content and maybe just changing it up a little bit. When we say “repurposing,” we’re not talking take one blog post, change a couple of words and then post it again. You don’t want to do that. We maybe take a blog post on your website and then you can go to a Facebook live of it over here with the same type of material and the same points, just more in a conversational format or turn it into a video for your YouTube channel. That’s more inline with what we’re talking about with repurposing.
I know that once I embraced repurposing, it allowed me to create more content for education. It allowed me to create more content for lead generation and it took a huge monkey of this whole idea of, “Oh, I have to have original content every single day off my back.” One of the benefits that I found with this is that you may have dug in, like Scott was just saying a second ago, finding out from your past customers and clients what they’re interested in and who they are. I also talk about the magic of the client avatar in episode 12 extensively. I refer to that episode all the time because it is the foundation for all of this.
By knowing the psychology and everything of that avatar, your list of the amount of content, the information that you need to create to put into this lead magnet, to create this lead generation, to do this outbound marketing, once you’re crystal clear on that client avatar, that consumer avatar, it makes it so easy. Just sit back and then listen to them. Once you’ve identified who they are, listen to the questions and pain points and thoughts that they have and then you can create the content and repurpose and rinse and repeat. To me I feel that makes lead generation … I just share that as an encouragement because I know in the beginning I was so super stressed trying to lead gen but also pair it with original content all the time and it made me so stressed.
Scott Wyden K.: Yup, yup. Yeah. I’m often struggling in my own photography business because there’s not a lot of people, not a lot of photographers doing this in the industry so I’ve always struggled to figure out what is the ideal content for me to create for my own leads.
I think the last thing I want to say is that it’s important for everybody who’s going to attempt this with a lead magnet or whatever lead generation techniques they’re going to use is to not make it complicated. Don’t overthink it. If you’re having trouble with design, outsource the design work or use a free tool. There’s a lot of free tools out there that can help you with a design. Don’t overthink any of the process. There’s tools both free and paid for every step of the way, for the websites, for the landing pages or the opt-ins, for the design, everything.
Rachel Brenke: Honestly, what I would recommend starting with just in my path of progression, I would start with just a simple MailChimp style opt-in. It doesn’t have to be MailChimp. That’s just one of the most common and popular and easy to use ones. Get your PDF created with this educational guide or it can be videos, whatever it is that floats your boat and that your ideal customer is going to buy into and like. When I say “buy,” obviously they’re not buying. The is a free lead magnet for you to get your information and hopefully they’re going to buy into you later. But I would recommend starting very simply, like you said. Don’t over complicate it. Go very simply with maybe just a landing page or a single page on your website and put your images if you’re a photographer or anybody selling any products. Put the images on there. Talk about the qualifications and education and what you can do for that client or that customer and then … What’s the word I’m looking for? Not massage.
Scott Wyden K.: Nurture.
Rachel Brenke: Develop. Nurture, that’s the word. Yes, probably it. Nurture that audience for a bit and then after a while then maybe add in the next step. Admittedly I don’t use bots because it is so new and I haven’t found the best way to do it that I feel is going to best serve my audience. Just because we talked about that in here as a lead gen option, don’t feel like you have to do all of these. It can be as simple as email opt-in, maybe Facebook pixels. Definitely, yeah. I love your tip on not over complicating it because I think that people get into even into courses, no offense, but then they see all these tips and they go, “Oh, my gosh. I have to do it all.” You really don’t. You really shouldn’t from the beginning because then you’re going to half ass everything.
Scott Wyden K.: I guess just one last thing is the whole MailChimp thing. Of course that’s another lesson I have to finish up with. MailChimp is definitely my go-to. That’s what I use because of how robust it is, how fine-tune I can make everything. But, a lot of photographers who don’t understand all of it, that don’t want to go through the steps of setting all that up, should use StickyEmails which is coming out really soon. I include StickyEmails in the course. I show people how to use it. It does the same thing that MailChimp is doing to a point and they actually make it so you don’t even to create the content. They create it for you.
Rachel Brenke: What? See, that’s cool. If you can find the tool that works best for your tech level because I know that I struggle with that, so I always look for what’s easiest for me to use and operate, but tech level budget and, like you said, StickyEmails which is part of StickyAlbums, a great company, they create the content for you. That helps to take another thing off your plate. When you guys are looking at choosing lead gen methods, definitely dig into the tech portion before you get married to one specific idea and see if it’s even doable for you or what the options are available out there. All right.
Scott Wyden K.: Yeah, if you-
Rachel Brenke: Go ahead.
Scott Wyden K.: If you start with StickyEmails, for example, if you’re a photographer starting with StickyEmails and you, I’m going to use the word “graduate,” if you graduate past what they offer you, that’s a good problem to have. Then move to something like MailChimp if that’s what works. Definitely go with what is your technical level.
Rachel Brenke: That’s a really good point. In the online marketing sphere and in business strategy, you talk about getting the low-hanging fruit or the minimum viable product. You may just need to get something … Like with MailChimp, you don’t even have to put that sign up form on your website. You can create a landing page with MailChimp and you direct link to it. Whatever is the easiest low-hanging fruit, the minimum viable thing that you need to put out there and then you can graduate, like you said. I started with MailChimp. Then I moved up and now I’m on Ontraport, which is a really robust system, but there’s no way I would’ve recommend that to anyone who’s just dipping their toe into lead gen. That comes with its own drawbacks when you have to change things in the future. By setting up the right … Getting your feet under you and understanding and getting the leads started is what’s going to allow you to graduate and move to the next step because then you’re going to have more knowledge and money to be able to do that.
Scott Wyden K.: Yup.
Rachel Brenke: Awesome. Well, Scott, thank you so much for coming on today. I am going to put all of Scott’s information, including his course and his freebie and all of his great knowledge over on the website. You can find it at rachelbrenke.com/epi55. I’ll have his bio, his social media links, his website links, anything you guys can find and I so appreciate you guys listening today. Scott, thank you for sharing because lead gen is so important for all businesses, not just photographers. We need to be doing it or else who are we going to be selling to? It’s going to make it a lot harder and this will just help us to provide education and gain more sales in the long time.
Scott Wyden Kivowitz is the Chief Community Officer at Imagely, a blogger, photographer, father, and educator. Scott is also the author of numerous books, and a regular YouTuber.
Scott is a storyteller with a camera, commonly offering cake smash sessions, family portraits and headshots for his New Jersey clients, but enjoys traveling and capturing the beauty of the world with his camera.
Scott can be found teaching photographers about WordPress on the Imagely website, on Facebook, on his website and other venues like Digital Photography School. He also has the pleasure of working with photographers on their creativity as an Artisan in Residence at The Photo Frontier.
Scott believes in sharing his knowledge any way possible and educating without fluff, in a straight to the point easy to understand style.
Rachel Brenke is a lawyer, author and business consultant. She is currently helping professionals all over the world initiate, strategize and implement strategic business and marketing plans through various mediums of consulting resources and legal direction.
Hi, I’m Rachel Brenke
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