How to hire an outsourcer (Upwork, Freelancer, etc.) for lead generation for a design and branding firm?

I am trying to figure out how to deal with our need to develop leads for our logo design/branding company. What is the best way to hire, train and/or lead a lead generation virtual assistant to develop leads like this? We have three main packages that we are pitching, $595, $795, and $995. So the basic idea is that our lowest priced job is $595, but we are aiming for the $800 mark for the most part. The $595 package is just the branding and logo development. We offer an up-front phone consultation for all packages. The $995 includes the website. Target markets: > IT start-ups > New companies > Entrepreneurs > Consultants > Small business > Brand overhaul clients How should we approach the listed markets? Should we be focusing more on just one clear market?


I've been using UW for a few years. It is very useful but you have to be careful. Lot of unreliable people out there. Over the years, I've narrowed a couple of people I keep using. And have excluded others. Few things:
1- It's best to give clear instruction. I tend to build GSheet on what I need, interact a lot of Skype at the beginning
2- If you are searching for mails, do use email verification services. I find that people I work with tend to have a 95% success rate but, at the start, best to be on the safe side rather than burn your mail server (bounce rate need to be low)
3- Focus helps but if you are testing things out, you could use a platform like to test out a few verticals and see what works or what doesn't work.
4- It feels your target markets are a bit too generic. Using UW, you'd have too wide a net. There are various ways to narrowing things down, from geos to title to company size or even keyword in company profile. Again, what is possible is to set a filter and share it with UW.

Hope it helps, UW etc... are useful and best in my experience than the products out there. But it is a bit of work (no pain no gain). Happy to set up a call if you see value (am rather new to Clarity so not too sure how it works!). Best, H

Answered 6 years ago

I would not advise outsourcing your lead generation. Over the years I have found that most small business owners started a business believing they would focus on the work or idea that sparked the business. However, your job is to bring in the business. You can always outsource the actual work. This does not mean it never makes sense to hire a salesperson but for your business, at this stage, you should handle this internally. There are a number of ways that you can generate leads from thought leadership to inbound marketing. Happy to help you formulate a plan that you can implement.

Answered 6 years ago

My Dad always told me... Outsource everything, except you're marking.

The idea being, that you (and other principles) know your company better than anyone you can hire.

If I came in as a consultant to your firm + you asked me the question above, I'd have your get rid of all your other daily activities + you become the expert on...

1) Paid traffic sources.

2) Content page design, where to drive page traffic.

3) Also how to do mass networking, which equates to speaking to live groups... which is hands down, the best way to sell high ticket services you're selling.

You're services fit into the high ticket category with me, because you'll be competing with Fiverr + 99Designs, so you have to compete on quality + then reach people who understand the difference between you + the $5 alternatives.

My suggestion... comb through Clarity + find people who seem to deeply understand marketing + have a speak in a voice (style) which seems to match your style.

Hire several people for conversations + find someone you get along with to service as your guide through this process.

Likely this person will become a permanent fixture working with you. Also likely they will charge a fairly significant fee for their assistance.

Answered 6 years ago

You're asking three questions:

1. How to hire an outsourcer to generate leads: If you want someone to do your cold calls for you, you need to be very specific as to the script you provide, and the actions taken before, during and after the call to record and maintain records of all communication. That will probably involve software you'll need to train your VA on. The script depends on the outcome you want from each call. That brings us to the second question.

2. How to approach your market: You'll need at least one call script for each market, and you'll need a clear desired outcome for every one of those markets. A conversion from one of those markets is not going to be the same as a conversion from another, and the average value of a conversion from each market will vary, too. This is something you'll learn as you go, so don't set and forget.

3. Whether your market is the right market: You don't have to narrow it down, but if you feel the need to call so many different types of people about your services, it means you don't feel confident you could make enough money from just one or two. That's an internal issue that needs addressing at some point.

Another tip: make some calls yourself, first. Live what your contractor will be living, hear the objections, the tones of voice. After the contractor starts, listen to some of the calls, and keep making some of those calls regularly. It will help you adjust your script more quickly, and decide more quickly whether your contractor needs to further training or an upgrade.

Answered 6 years ago

I've done this for 10 years so I speak from experience.
1. Hire a firm not an individual (overseas) - firms have controls and tools that you ensure your work is done. Workers can "disappear" unexpectedly.
2. Use a screen recorder to narrate and screen share your process.
3. Document in Google that you share with them
4. Establish daily deliverables.
5. Start basic - like find emails before getting into more advanced skills.
6. If you've never done it - don't expect an outsourcer to immediately know or outperform you.
7. Have a daily task sheet for them.
8. Always ask them to check in after doing a % of the project - so it doesn't go off task.
9. Buy great tools for them to use to accomplish the tasks. Don't give them cheap tools and expect them to be an all star.
10. Test any assignment with 2 different outsourcers to establish quality and timing comparisons.

If you want to do this long term, hire a firm not a single outsourcer. It is rule #1 for a reason.

Answered 6 years ago

I've done lead gen for branding entities such as yourself.

I would recommend working with multiple lead generation entities, whether that be a firm or an individual, on small scale lead gen projects to test the waters.

Those who do lead gen will be able to hand you a sample of internet mined leads as per your requirements. The lead gen consultant should provide their own lead gen methods and techniques.

Personally, I teach the lead gen technique I use with my clients so they have it for future endeavors. They have other work to do, that's why they outsourced to me in the first place, so this doesn't bother me. If they like my work the first time they will come back.

This is especially true for the three markets you mention that I feel are your best bets - entreprenuers, consultants, and small businesses. I would add to your list internet marketers. So many people out there trying to make money on the 'net.

But remember, there are different ways to segment to a target market on the internet - other ways of defining who and where your target is. You can do this with location and time-based mining techniques.

As far as focus is concerned, I would focus on knowing the type of lead you want - how current you want the lead to be for instance.

If you would like to know more I take calls for questions and I will give you lead gen techniques pertinent to a branding botique such as yours.

Answered 6 years ago

Like selecting new software, choosing a new business partner, or even recruiting a new employee, hiring an outsourced lead generation provider requires diligence. In each scenario, credentials need to be validated, references should be checked, and the actual experience of working together should be heavily considered before making a commitment. But outsourced lead generation has unique requirements. Unlike software or even a new employee, if the leads are not converting, then it is not as simple as putting in a support ticket or scheduling a meeting.
When you choose a lead generation provider, you are essentially trusting someone to help your business find new customers. That means you inherit the acquisition process these companies use, so choosing one that meets your standards is paramount for the reputation of your brand, as well as for your chances of succeeding with this form of lead generation.
Here is a step-by-step process on how to hire an outsourced Lead Generation provider:
1. Define Your Lead Needs.
Unfortunately, the term “lead” has gone the way of “literally,” which is to say that people carelessly throw the word around without much regard for what it means. A certain stripe of lead generation provider would like you to believe that all leads are the same — but this simply is not true. The type of contacts offered in the lead gen vertical range from unqualified, cold lists; to people who have opted-in to receive more information about a business, product, or industry; to leads who have been nurtured to the point of developing a consideration set that includes your company. As you can imagine, each of these “leads” is in a different stage of the buying process — some qualify as leads, while others are merely names on a spreadsheet. To get the most out of your relationship with a lead provider, you will need to evaluate which kind will be of most use to your organization. This means evaluating your marketing maturity — specifically your lead nurturing capabilities and alignment with sales. Are you able to nurture large numbers of leads at the top of the funnel? Do you have business development reps (BDRs) who vet leads sent over from marketing? Then many leads would be good for you. Conversely, is your lead nurturing program in its infancy? Do you have a small sales team? Then seek out providers who offer lead nurturing services and can supply leads at the lower end of the funnel. These distinctions are particularly important, because your in-house capabilities inform the relationship you should develop with a service provider. So, look for a provider that offers leads tailored to your unique targeting requirements.
2. Develop Realistic ROI Expectations.
Creating an ROI calculation for buying leads is not terribly difficult, but you need to adjust that framework based on the type of leads you pursue. Lower cost leads may seem appealing because you can buy a greater volume, but these leads are nowhere near ready to purchase from your company, so your return on investment date will be much farther out. Time is a resource like any other, so remember to factor it in when weighing the cost of purchasing leads. This will better position expectations within your organization and help you more easily integrate your outsourced leads into your in-house goals.
3. Single Out Reputable Organizations.
There is no shortage of companies looking to sell “leads” to B2B companies, but there is a substantial difference between a quality provider and a newcomer that may or may not value longevity. To find a reputable lead generation specialist, use their social media, website, and blog to ensure they have well-developed marketing on multiple channels. Is their content quality? Do they interact with thought leaders and like-minded B2B marketers? These are both important indications of a business’s dedication to engendering a sustainable, long term business. Finally, look for customer testimonials and lead generation case studies on their site. This type of social proof is a hallmark of successful companies with loyal customers.
4. Test Quality Assurance.
Data quality is the single most important factor for any B2B marketing program. And make no mistake — when you purchase leads, you are purchasing data. Upstanding lead providers will have processes in place to clean their data and supply you with validated lead information. Consider that some 40 percent of all B2B leads contain some type of inaccuracy and you begin to understand exactly how important data quality is when working with outsourced lead generation providers. Like a software vendor that fixes bugs in their product, worthwhile lead providers will replace any leads who have inaccurate data in their profiles. This is huge because despite the best attempts of trained professionals, human error is unavoidable and even email validation software is imperfect. The important part is that the company rectifies the situation. Good companies will without hesitation.
5. Explore Program Customization.
Cross-channel marketing is standard for inbound lead generation and it should be no different for the outbound version. A solid provider will be able to offer you a variety of programs across a range of mediums, from telemarketing to email nurturing, to content syndication. And these programs should all adjust to your targeting requirements, i.e., job title, industry, company size, etc. Complying with your targeting requirements ensures that a lead generation service can fulfil your expectations for lead quality, rather than just lead quantity.
6. Seek Out In-House Programs.
The lead generation industry has layers, and transparency is not always a priority. Many marketing agencies will focus on the creative portion of a campaign and outsource the lead generation aspect to a third party. This can result in discrepancies regarding lead source and lead quality, and in the worst cases, it can lead to your company purchasing leads who never opted-in to receiving more information. This scenario is not much different than simply buying a list of names, because your lead provider is working through a proxy, moving the control farther away from you, the customer. Therefore, make it a priority to seek out firms that run their programs in-house. You will maintain greater control over the lead quality as well as your brand’s reputation.
7. Look for Extra Support.
Like any business partner, you want your lead generation provider to go the extra mile to support your company. That means you need to explore the type of support a provider offers their clients — like sales training for your team to help close leads more effectively or content creation services if you need to outsource some of your creative needs.
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call:

Answered 4 years ago

These services are 99% made up of bottom feeders -- both vendors and clients. Remember, in life and in business, you get what you paid for. Caveat Emptor.

Answered 6 years ago

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