If you REALLY want to find great clients through B2B lead generation then buy their products, use them, deconstruct them, find what’s wrong or what can be improved, and approach the owners with your findings.
If your findings are actionable and useful, only crazy people would say no. And If they do say no, you always have the competitor to go to and at the same time, a great case study that you can showcase on your website.
Here’s the story of how I did the exact same thing with Blogely, a top-rated Appsumo deal. (didn’t go to the competitor).
Table Of Content (To Skip Valuable Backstories)
- Table Of Content (To Skip Valuable Backstories)
- Backstory: The Marketplace
- The Old Way Of B2B Lead Generation
- B2B Lead Generation: The Conversation
- Short Version
- Full Transcript
- Comment: As you can see I approached him asking for something very specific because it would help us learn the app much faster.
- Comment: Gennady is super fast and super helpful, sharing everything they have on his app. But it’s not enough for me.
- Comment: This is where I shared a specific example. I shared the react js one because I knew the technical background of Gennady and knew that he would understand this kind of a getting started page.
- Comment: Boom. A simple, mutually beneficial conversation turns into something more.
- Comment: The salesman in me kicked in, and I politely asked him if he would be interested to take things on a call. As you can see, the tone and conversation are completely normal as if two friends talking.
- Comment: As you can see I’m genuinely interested in working with this app and can’t give him any out-of-the-pocket ideas that usually people give out until we use Blogely. Meeting booked. Gennady is amazingly helpful as always. The following part is pure value-giving.
- Comment: More value. Notice the flow of conversation and how I and Gennady talk about his future plans to rule the world.
- The Structure Of This Alternative B2B Lead Generation Approach
- B2B Lead Generation: Deconstructing The Conversation
- Key Lessons From The Conversation
- The Lesson For SaaS Owners
- The Downside Of This B2B Lead Generation
- Few Words About Blogely
- Last Words about This B2B Lead Generation Approach
- BONUS: The Follow Up Email
Backstory: The Marketplace
I got this habit of waking up at around 6 in the morning. It’s been there for the past 7 years. Regardless of when I went to bed, I’d wake up at 6 sharp.
Do my 45 min bike+ stretching session, shower, breakfast, coffee – off to work in my home office.
To clear out my head after a long stretch of deep work, what I love doing is visiting the market and buy stuff for my home.
Sometimes it’s the local market, 5 min away from my home, sometimes it’s the online market, few clicks away from my home.
That day I visited the latter.
Upgrading A Content Production System
AppSumo – the best software deals on the market.
I’ve been upgrading our content production system and was looking for ways to improve its efficiency and quality of each article.
We just finished a small 100 article order, around 400k words in total and we want to see if we can double that in the same time period.
My mind was already set on a few things:
- Implementing zaps between coda, Gmail, Slack, calendar booker, and checkout
- Streamlining the Coda doc by removing specific substeps along with the production system that are useless, and upgrading some steps. Delete some views that we thought we were going to use. Also, clean up the Coda process and refurbish the look
- Improve the outlines we use to instruct our writers
- Shorten the content production time – a big one
- Improve the writer qualification process – an ever bigger one
- Quality assurance and consistency in quality – maybe the most important one
While window shopping, Blogely came up. A sight for sore eyes.
Blogely in a way is the app version of our current content production process made in Coda.
Perfect I thought – we don’t have to build it for ourselves.
Second, it was a steal at only 79$ – lifetime access.
Blogely would solve a few things:
- Faster upload to any website
- Improve the research and shorten the content harvest time by 50%
Bought it. Logged in. Started to look around and get to know the ropes. Full Stop.
Learning Curves And Video Games
When I was young, a was a hardcore gamer and loved playing strategy games. What I realized is that one of the things that made a game great was how easy it was to learn the basics and start playing.
I was drawn to the tutorials, step-by-step guides, and how the makers of the game provided a great knowledge base for new users to learn the game fast and easily.
In short, the learning curve was flat and short.
Blogely is an amazing software.
The problem was, as always, I expected that it would have the same learning curve as games did.
Most SaaS we use, can’t reach that same level of a learning curve because they’re not games – they are real software that solve real problems and it’s natural for them to have a certain learning curve attached.
They’d lack specific tutorials, structured learning material, easily accessible and following the user each step of the way.
Some companies minimize the learning curve by:
- Creating a very detailed knowledge base – SOP
- Getting started guides and pages where they outline what should be done first, then second, and so on
- A guide in the form of a chat bot and pop up that shows up at every step along the way to show you exactly what you’re looking at and how that step helps you become a master of the app
The great thing about Blogely, it had most of them.
The owner was always there for the users (he personally ran the chat and responded crazily fast).
So, I approached him with my pain, and what happened was one of the finest pitches I’ve ever done in my life.
The Old Way Of B2B Lead Generation
I used to send out a lot of cold emails. A LOT.
In the process, I’d miss out on some great clients, just because:
- They’re sick and tired of getting approached cold and treated like one of the masses
- I’d treat them as one of the many
- My emails wouldn’t even get in their inbox
- I used emails only, as a means to communicate
Nowadays, me and my team, we aim to do everything opposite.
Particularly when it comes to clients that seem to be classifiable as “high ticket”.
What Is A High Ticket Client?
They spend a lot but require a lot as well. They can be your best friends and allies or your worst enemies (some might recognize their wives here).
You need to have the A-game for these clients. Which means your:
- Service must be flawless
- Customer support must be top-notch
- Relationship must be highly beneficial for both of you
To us, Blogely fit those criteria.
Initially, I didn’t plan on pitching the owner. I really needed help.
B2B Lead Generation: The Conversation
I approached Gennady and asked if he had a getting start page with step-by-step guides. It’s what I expect of any saas, including Coda, and the rest to have, in order for me and my team to learn the tool fast.
What he had were youtube videos, several guides, and his superb customer support.
I never planned on pitching him, and it shows in the transcript below.
Here’s what happened.
Me: Hi, Do you have a getting started page with step-by-step guides on how to use Blogely?
I have this: https://portfolio.blogely.com/@KB/articles
but it’s not structured enough.
I wanted to see the architecture (the skeleton) of the app so that I can see where to start. I know the research doc is the first step, but what comes next?
Me: Thanks for getting back to me Gennady
Gennady: I think you need to understand that what can do… This short video about core features of Blogely: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aw-p_OIRjCE&
I will need to add a few more updates in this video because since its release we’ve added a number of features already.
Explore our YouTube channel for videos to get started. We placed quite a few videos covering many functionalities (in-depth) that we offer: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmxnpa2fW5lWAkRPRJgJUKQ/videos
You can start from this “Quick Start” video: https://youtu.be/F3KLzTO4KPg
You can also watch this video covering Research functionality: https://youtu.be/wnH5gtieZRE
Once you review that – you will have a good idea how you can benefit using Blogely.
Watch videos starting with first one … You will have a good idea.
Me: Gotcha. Do you have a getting started page?
Gennady: Click on the LOGO. I am working on a complete tutorial – blogging course using Blogely.
Gennady: It will take some time. For now – you can use help in-app
Me: All good things take time.
Gennady: Click on “?”
on the upper bar on the right side
Me: Ok thanks Gennady! I was thinking more of a getting started page like this one: https://reactjs.org/docs/getting-started.html
Gennady: Well, I need to create one doc … Sorry, do not have it in this format.
Have this KB portfolio :
But it is not exactly the same. I get it. A future task for us.. 🙂
Me: All good no worries, what you have is plenty already!
The reason I asked for a similar page is because, I want to teach my team to use blogely, and a page like that would help. I will create it for us in a google doc anyways, so that we can use it. Would you want to see it after it’s done?
Gennady: Aha, of course. It is interesting. You know that we will have TEAM functionality released soon.
Comment: I explained why we needed that specific page and the value that it would bring to us as a team.
Gennady: You will be able to invite and share tasks for any step in the Workflow. What do you think of that? Have you tried our Workflow? Are you are writer, blogger? Educator?
Me: I think it’s a very useful feature. Right now, we use Coda and we’ve build a custom content production system within coda where we do share a lot of the segments with our team. So looking forward to seeing the team feature.
I work with companies and help them build content to rank their websites higher. So I work with writers and bloggers.
Gennady: Nice.. I am looking for someone to help me to write complete tutorials.
If the cost is reasonable I will pay to write tutorials for Blogely. I just do not have this time to do it myself. Too busy. I can pay with codes or Team seats 😉😄
Comment: Boom. A simple, mutually beneficial conversation turns into something more.
Me: Interesting. That person(s) would have to be a heavy user of Blogely to know how to write the tutorial.
Gennady: Yes. Must be diligent, thorough, and technical.
Me: Ok. I was thinking of a few of my writers but, I’d love to do a quick call with you early next week to chat briefly if you’re not too slammed with work. I’m currently going through the knowledge base and creating our own SOP: How to use Blogely. A step-by-step guide.
Gennady: Interesting.. So, you are setting up your team seriously.
SOP… 🙂 the word I quite often used when I worked for Intel.
Me: We are already creating about 50+ articles for clients per month and we are using Coda as our content production system. We used Frase and Surfer Seo for the research but, Blogely seems to offer the best of both worlds
Me: Standardize it and scale it🙂
Gennady: Oh, excellent. Maybe you can tell me what I should improve for you? If you can talk – I would love to talk over Zoom.
Me: Not quite sure yet because, right now I’m doing an overview of the Blogely app – visualizing the structure so that we can see how it looks. This helps us in then building a step-by-step approach to implement Blogely in our production system.
Me: We can definitely talk over zoom next week? I can share what I got until then
Gennady: Let’s book the meeting. By that time – you will be a Pro in Blogely. 😉 Is it OK to book the meeting for Tuesday next week at about this time?
Me: Sure sounds good. viktor@********* is my email
Gennady: Done. The meeting is booked.
Me: Awesome, just accepted it. Looking forward to our call Gennady! I’ll start with the videos you shared and go from there
Gennady: In the meantime – please explore our videos on YT. I know there are quite a few..
Start here: a short video about core features of Blogely: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aw-p_OIRjCE
Research functionality + SEO heatmaps: https://youtu.be/wnH5gtieZRE
Me: I found you on Appsumo btw – was looking for something to switch from Frase and SS so you’re on the spot. I’ll definitely use those videos to start.
What is “SS”?
Me: Surfer SEO
Gennady: We compete with Frase, Storychief, SurferSEO, MarketMuse.
Me: I know
Gennady: And I would love to take a shot at Fiverr… 🤯 Owner of the workflow can post a job for any step of the Workflow. It can turn to a job marketplace.
Team functionality is the basis for that. We are almost there and release is pending for April 12. 3 days before we leave AppSumo. Mid of April I want to stop LTD.
Have you watched our Workflow video?
Me: Not just Fivver but Upwork as well. Have you thought of white labeling blogely as a content production system?
Gennady: Ah.. interesting name. I was thinking about Content ALL-IN-ONE toolset … something like this…
Me: Mid and big-size companies are looking for these all-in-one solutions for content production.
so that they can set up their content production on autopilot and forget it.
Gennady: We built a truly all-in-one system. I know it is a marketing sin. Difficult path.
Me: haha it’s a sin not to have a tool like this.
Gennady: There is no such tool right now that covering all aspects of content production.
Nicely said 😄
Me: Later on if you manage to add on some automation to cut some of the repeating tasks, within Blogely, that would be amazing too.
Gennady: Yes, we are going to do that.. Actually, we will add it in the form of applets. Similar to IFTTT style.
Gennady: We already have a design for it. Pending. Need more resources. People. I have a small team.
Me: Need more people to build it or more money 🙂
Gennady: Both 😀
I can manage it as is.
Me: Have you considered a no-code approach to building that part of blogely? https://www.makerpad.co/ – something to look at
Gennady: But, to move faster I am considering a VC .. .buiding a pitch deck
Our app front end – React. I do not think it will work .. “no-code” – no quality.
Me: You’re right there – makerpad is more like the cool brother of IFTTT so I’d definitely go with a proper tech stack for an app like Blogely. You mentioned you’re working on your pitch deck, I might be able to share some thoughts on the content – I’ve been helping startups pitch VC’s. Maybe we can go through this on the call too if you feel you’re ready to share that.
Gennady: Great. We will do that. I will share.
Me: To answer your question – no I haven’t watched the Workflow video yet. But In the next few days definitely.
Gennady (thumbs up)
—————-END OF TRANSCRIPT—————-
The Structure Of This Alternative B2B Lead Generation Approach
What I do with my team is create long-form and short-form content.
The content we create primarily helps users navigate through websites easily and helps them learn the service or tool. Secondly, it helps the site rank higher.
If you were to use this approach for B2B lead generation and generate conversations with high ticket clients this is how the process would look, in 3 simple steps:
Make A List Of Your Dream 100 Clients
Figure out who they are:
- Which industry they’re in.
- What are the pain points that the industry is facing every day.
- How big they are
- Who are the key people that would feel that pain and could easily decide if they would work with you or not
- Build out a persona profile
It’s of crucial importance to develop thorough research before doing any B2B lead generation. I’ve developed a simple analysis framework just for that purpose. It focuses on helping companies figure out their competitor landscape primarily but it’s also a great way to find your ideal clients. Here’s the simple analysis framework.
Make A Plan
- How long will it take you to approach each one. Set a timeframe for yourself to contact all clients by x date
- What would you say to them? What is your one-sentence pitch? Why should they trust you? Why should they work with you?
- Build out a sequence of messages that you would use to communicate with them. Build out a pitch deck that will help you show your client what you got
- Figure out where is the best channel to establish a meaningful conversation with each one
- How do you know what to look for when approaching them? My pain was the lack of gamified tutorial structure and that’s what I was looking for in the first place
There are a few ways you can do this:
- Chatbots (if the SaaS is young because this way there’s a chance that the owners will be running the chat)
- Facebook groups
Combine all channels and get the most out of your outreach.
Track Everything And Everyone.
If you don’t track it, you can’t measure it, which means you won’t know if you’ve made any progress. This goes for every step of this 4 step approach.
Here’s a simple tracking sheet to track your B2B lead generation. It’s originally made for LinkedIn but it can be modified for any social media or comms channel.
B2B Lead Generation: Deconstructing The Conversation
The following points show the conversation from a different perspective and teach you what really happened along the way.
Be specific when approaching.
When you reach out to your potential client, be very specific as to what you’re looking for. It gives the conversation a direction.
Talk less, listen more.
Let the person talk about him and his service and how it helps you solve your problem.
Questions will help you dig, and find something that the client is missing (in our case the getting started page)
Let him know why you’re actually reaching out.
It’s important to share your purpose because it will show the client that you’re actually very interested in his service.
Merge your service with what he is missing in one sentence.
This is where you would tell him what you do, which is what he is missing.
Interested or not, continue asking more about the app and how does it work. In between questions, work your way into a meeting.
Give value all the time even when ending the convo.
Key Lessons From The Conversation
You have your own expertise. You’ve gained that expertise through years of trial and error, working for different companies, developing different approaches, learning industry know-how, and implementing it at the same time.
Give it away. Spend time talking with people, share your expertise, help them. It does not have to be monetized immediately. This habit is what many people fall into, thinking that you have to make instant money from what you know.
The real money comes later.
Give value without expecting anything in return at the beginning (nor later on).
Focus On The Few
Don’t shotgun your way into your clients’ inbox.
The shotgun approach works for a specific way of link building but not for real, long-term relationships that you need to build with future clients.
Really dig deep down into a potential client and really help him by showing a lot of value and a lot of expertise.
Focus Long Term
Short-term gains are vanity metrics. Sure, you’ll land a few clients early on, but don’t get that fool you. Focus on establishing real connections with people that you can work with for at least 5+ years continuously and more. Clients that you can build lifetime relationships with.
Never get into the habit of selling first when communicating with potential clients. It rarely works. People are fed up with other people trying to sell them from the get-go. Only sell when you notice that the other party needs something.
The Lesson For SaaS Owners
Shorten The Learning Curve.
Your app is new in the eyes of the user. It’s uncharted territory and you need to be the guide to safely guide them through the dangers and treacherous paths of those territories.
To give you an idea of that perspective, think of your users, particularly the early ones as colonizers of a land far far away.
Spend Time Analyzing Your Potential Client
If you REALLY want to help your clients then buy their products, use them, deconstruct them, find what’s wrong or what can be improved, and approach the owners with your findings. If your findings are actionable and useful, only crazy people would say no. But, If they do say no:
- You always have the competitor to go to and at the same time, a great fucking case study that you can showcase on your website.
- Just in case: make sure that you need the app otherwise if things go south, what’s the use?
I’m not saying you should go and buy every deal on AppSummo, engage with it and pitch people. What I’m saying is that you need to pick and choose your battles. Ultimately, use the product because you really need it and along the way approach the owner with some ideas on how to improve it.
Embrace Barter Exchange
These are difficult times we live in and most of us are bootstrapping our way into success. Sometimes in order to help each other out, we shouldn’t just look for each other’s money. Sometimes the best value you can get is by using the “goods” that the other side has in abundance and you lack and vice versa. The best value you can get and give is the one you’re both good at creating.
The Downside Of This B2B Lead Generation
It takes time and doesn’t guarantee you will land each client. It requires a lot of patience and understanding, a lot of digging, researching, and finding the best way to reach your ideal client. What works for one doesn’t necessarily mean will work for the other.
You won’t land all 100 clients. But you will land a good portion of them, and they will bring the most value to your business, and vice versa.
Few Words About Blogely
It’s a one in all content production solution for bloggers, content creators, and agencies. It allows you to research, plan, optimize and publish content all from under one roof, easily. One of the best features that really amazed me is the SEO optimization part that works almost as well as going to a site like Ahrefs and doing keyword research, optimize your content and publish it. With Blogely it’s easy to do it from one place.
Here’s the simple Google Doc guide we created for ourselves, to shell out quality, original content with Blogely (copy-paste the doc)
Last Words about This B2B Lead Generation Approach
It is what it is. The most important lesson of all is those good long-term relationships, take time and effort from both sides. Initially, it’s you who needs to put in the hours because you’re the expert who approaches and shows your client what needs to be done in order for him to build a great product or service.
Or is it? Up to you.
BONUS: The Follow Up Email
One important thing to keep in mind is that you need to follow up with your potential client, no matter how the call went.
Thanks for the call yesterday it was a pleasure talking to you!
I hope my feedback was constructive and useful and if you ever need anything else, let me know.
Few things I wanted to mention, one of my team members did notice some typos on a few places around the website.
- A dot is missing at the “Write faster, better, and clearer” heading on this page https://blogely.com/writing-app/
- The formatting (font size) is different in the paragraph under – One-click publishing
- A-lot of small grammar stuff in the following article https://portfolio.blogely.com/@KB/articles/574#importing-content-from-google-docs_4
This is something we can help you out with, besides helping you build out the getting started page and the step-by-step technical guides.
You asked me about the price for a roundup post. I mentioned between 90$ and 250$ depending on how in-depth it needs to be and how big.
One thing we could do, as we’ve done with clients is to create a batch of 25-50-100 articles (on the topic of how Blogely works, guides, features, roundup posts, etc) within 2 months and have them live. When selecting a batch like this, the price per article goes down considerably.
You do have some functionalities that we can use and if you’re interested we can do a partial barter trade – we provide articles at a lower cost, we get access to some functionalities for a year (like the plagiarism check and a set of credits)
Let me know what you think.