What is a Lead?
A lead is a person who has indicated interest in your company’s product or service in some way, shape, or form.
In other words, they are a person who has either signed up for a newsletter, filled out a contact form, asked a question in a forum about a product, or has in some way opened the door to being eventually interested in your product or service.
For example, maybe you have a problem with your website generating leads and so you googled a guide to building a lead generating website, or you downloaded my amazing e-book. You would then not be surprised if I then contacted you later offering my expertise to help you get the most out of your website (Spoiler: I will do this!).
Lead generation is the process of attracting and converting strangers into becoming those leads we just talked about. Basically, it is the way in which we warm up potential customers to trust in your brand/business and get them on the path of eventually purchasing.
What is Lead Generation?
With lead generation, it is those strangers who are initiating the relationship with you, rather than the other way around. This is important as it puts you the business in a position of strength, and it is also more natural and probable that they might want to buy from you somewhere down the line.
Lead generation is the second stage of a company’s larger inbound marketing strategy. In the case of your website, you must first attract an audience (using tactics like SEO, social media, etc.). Once you have an audience, then you can begin to convert those visitors into leads. As you can see in the diagram below, generating leads is a fundamental point in the sales process: