Social media lead generation

The social media lead progression model

Social media lead generationHow do you turn a potential client, who has never heard about you before, into a lead?

Without a doubt, one of the best ways to do this is to begin the journey with free content.

Of course, not just any content will work. It must be content that is relevant to your target audience and content that provides immense value.

This could be a free guide, a webinar, a video, or anything that provides immense value to those in your target audience. The format is not as important as the message: you want to ensure that you are sharing content that hits the spot with your prospect and causes them to say “That’s me! That’s my issue, and this is helpful and relevant for me.”

But what determines who, from your potential clients, will snap up your offer and become one of your leads? Why do some prospects become leads and others don’t? How can you get more leads from those in your target audience?

Enter the Social Media Lead Gen Progression Model.

Social media lead generation

As you can see from the progression model, before a prospect becomes a lead, they will fall into one of the 5 categories below:

  1. Vaguely interested
  2. Not sure
  3. Sort of interested
  4. Pretty sure
  5. Certain

In this article, I want to help you take your potential clients from “Vaguely interested” to “Certain”!

By doing so, not only will you be able to generate more leads, but you will also be able to build more trust with your existing leads and convert more of those leads into paying clients.

To do this, you need to ask yourself four primary questions.

Question 1: Do your prospects know you?

One of the first things you need to think about with your lead generation offer is “how well do those in my target audience know me?”

This will determine whether someone is “Vaguely interested” (never heard about you before) or “Certain” (heard about you many times before).

If you’re well known in your industry or niche, it will be much easier to generate leads.

This is what we call a “warm audience”.

If you want to get some quick wins on social media, then targeting your warm audience, is a great place to start.

How can you target those in your warm audience?

First, you need to be out there and actually have a warm audience in the first place. For example, if you generate some traffic to your website, you have quite a few followers on social media, you have an email list, etc, then you have a warm audience.

If you don’t have many of those things yet, you will have to start off by building a warm audience first.

Create content, post on your social media channels, engage with your potential customers and running paid advertising campaigns to a cold audience – are all great ways to build a warm audience.

The more you get out there, the more active you are on social media and the more content you create; the higher the chances are that when someone sees your lead gen offer they will be “certain” it’s something they are interested in!

Once you have a warm audience, here are some of the ways you can target them:

  • Website retargeting

If people visit your website, read your blogs, look at your pricing page, etc, you can retarget them on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. The more traffic your website gets, the bigger your warm audience will be and the more leads you can generate.

  • Email list retargeting

If you have an email database then you can upload those contacts into Facebook and LinkedIn and retarget them on those channels. In your accountancy firm, if you have work emails rather than personal emails on your email list, then email retargeting on LinkedIn is a potential goldmine. Why? Because most people use their work email on LinkedIn, which means LinkedIn can match and find them, much more accurately than Facebook can.

  • Social media engagement retargeting

Are there potential clients that are engaging with your content? Maybe they’re sharing your posts or watching the videos you upload. You can retarget people on Facebook and Instagram who “like”, “comment”, “share” or “watch” your content.

Retargeting people is usually more cost-effective than targeting cold-prospects. So if you already have some engagement on social media, an email list and some website traffic, it might well be worth your time running a simple retargeting campaign. If you’re not sure how, check out The Social Marketer, as I’ve recorded videos that show you step-by-step how to do this.

To give you an idea of how powerful being well known is: one of our most recent clients has been generating hundreds of leads each week. How? Because they are super-well known in their niche. The more people that know and trust you, the easier it is to generate leads. It’s also worth noting it took them years to get to where they are now through a lot of content creation. It didn’t happen overnight!

Another client, a smaller and not as well-known accountancy firm, started out by generating only a few leads each month. Is that bad? No, not at all. It’s a great start and it just means they need to keep building their audience to keep growing the amount of leads they can generate.

Question 2: Do your potential clients trust you?

Building trust is crucial to getting potential clients to be “certain” they will be interested in your lead gen offer.

How can you build up trust?

There are so many big and small things that build up trust. To get you started, you will want to think about your website, branding, social media presence and especially your content!

Here are some questions to help you think about how well you’re building trust in your accountancy firm:

  • Does your website have a message that sets you apart from all the other accountants? If your site says “we are modern professional accountants who use cloud accounting”, you’re not standing out. You can have the most beautiful website, but if the message isn’t unique, that slows down the building of trust.


  • Do you have clear, consistent branding that gives a powerful impression of an amazing accounting firm?  Prospects will be more likely to trust a firm who looks like they’ve invested in their marketing (not simply scrabbled things together themselves using Word or Microsoft Paint, if it still exists).


  • When was the last time you posted anything on your social media channels? Hint: if it was more than a week ago, you’re already falling behind.


  • How many followers do you have on your social media channels? Trust is built when your prospects see that people want to engage with you. If you have 4 followers, work on that first.


  • How often do you post content to your blog? Most accountants tell us that “writing a blog post” is one of the actions they never get around to, but know they need to. We agree. The more often you post content, the more reliable you are, because your prospects know they will hear from you often on what matters.


  • What is the quality of the content on your blog? If you share generic content, or dull tax blog posts that have no personality, your prospect is not going to feel that you know and understand them and your issues. Build trust by sharing content that only you can share.


  • Do you have any videos, so people can see and hear you? This is absolutely critical. Get recording videos – even if they’re not perfect. It’s better than nothing, which is what most accountants have.


  • Do you organise any events (either live or online events such as webinars)? This gives your prospect a risk-free way to see if they like you, gauge whether you are truly an authority in your area, whether you know what you’re talking about.

I could go on forever, but needless to say, the more trust you build, the more leads you will be able to generate.

Question 3: Is this something they really need?

Another factor to consider whether a lead is “sort of interested” or “certain” they are interested, is if there is a need for what you’re actually offering them.

The most common reason a lead generation offer doesn’t work is because either the targeting or offer isn’t quite right.

What do I mean by that?

I mean that either who you’re targeting is too broad and most importantly what you’re offering isn’t interesting enough to your target audience.

For example, things like “a free consultation” to someone who has never heard about you before means absolutely nothing.

To create a truly amazing lead gen offer you really need to get inside your prospect’s head and think, “what are the most common frustrations they are facing right now? What do they desire in their business right now?”

How can you get inside your prospect’s head and know their frustrations and desires?

Admittedly, it isn’t an easy task. But it is possible. Here are a few tips you can do to get started:

  • Talk and listen.

Chances are you already have clients, in your niche, that have told you or would at least be willing to tell you their frustrations and desires. Make a note of these and listen carefully to what they say. Ask follow up questions try to dig deeper into what they want help with.

For example, do your clients need help with getting paid on time? Do they have cash flow problems? Are they worried about how to hire employees? Do they want to learn how to grow and scale their business?

Figuring out your potential clients’ frustrations and desires can be best achieved by talking and listening to them.

  • Test and see if it works.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how much talking or listening you do, if you don’t actually get your offer in front of people and test how it performs.

Sometimes you can hold yourself back from doing any kind of lead generation campaign because of a fear that you might get it wrong.

What if you create an offer and no one’s interested? That’s okay! Test something else. If something’s working, great, keep it. If something isn’t working, try a different offer (or maybe a different picture, different title, etc). Keep testing until you find something that works. Whatever you do, don’t try something only once, and then if it doesn’t work stop trying altogether!

Question 4: Is this the right time?

Timing is the final factor I want to talk about. Timing really does influence how your prospect will feel about your lead generation offers.

For example, if you’re lead gen offer is a guide on “How to sell your business in the most tax efficient way”, you will logically find that any business owner thinking of selling their business right now will want to read this straight away. They would “certainly” be interested.

On the other hand, there will be some business owners who are not immediately thinking of selling their business, so they are not going to be as interested. They still might be a little bit interested but not as much as someone who wants to sell their business now.

So, for your own lead gen offers, if someone says “no” right now, it doesn’t mean “no” in the future.

The easiest way to make sure your lead gen offer appeals to as many people as possible, at all the right times, is to have multiple lead gen offers and run them on a regular basis.

You can even create multiple lead gen offers to the same people in your target audience.

Remember, the more people that become your leads and consume your content, the more they will trust you and then the more likely they will be to buy from you.

How can the social media lead gen progression model help you

It’s important for you to understand what influences a prospect to become a lead. In summary, you need to be known, build trust, offer something they really need and wait for the right time for them to become a lead.

The more you do those 4 things, on a regular basis, the more the chances are that your potential clients will “certainly” be interested in your lead gen offer and say “Yes please!” when you present it to them.

Now that we’ve shared this helpful information, would you like to join us for our upcoming webinar on how your accountancy firm can rank higher on Google? See what we did there? Helpful information…free webinar…it flows from one to the next because it’s relevant to your needs.

About the Author

Ashley Davis is the Social Media Director at The Profitable Firm and also works with small to medium sized businesses at Skyline Social.