Follow 5 Simple Steps To Generate Business Leads Online Today

If you need to generate new small business leads online for any business whether they operate online or offline, you are going to love what I have to share with you today.

I am going to show you precisely  how to generate small business leads over my shoulder step by step with real-life examples.

Although this tutorial focuses on generating leads for a wedding piano player…

I’m also going to show you the results of the exact same strategy when applied to:

  • A photographer
  • A baker

What You Will Learn

  • How to generate business leads online easily
  • How to target your audience
  • How to attract high quality leads
  • How to setup a high converting landing page
  • How to convert leads into sales
  • How to apply this strategy to any online or offline business

Case Study Results

Before I show you the ‘how’ I want to show you the results of this strategy for our wedding pianist.

Here you can see an overview of the campaign from Facebook-

small business leads for my piano client

And here you can see the performance data on the landing page that I sent the traffic from Facebook to-

leadpages stats piano client

Essentially I spent £116.28 on 63 clicks from Facebook, then 18 of those people filled out the lead form.

This works out at a cost per lead of £6.46!

Those 18 leads turned into 7 immediate jobs for my client at an average profit of £300 each making for a total of £2,100.

6 more leads also booked for the coming months but at the time of writing no payment has been made yet.

5 Simple Steps To Generate Small Business Leads Today

The best way to go about this is just to show you the steps I followed, this took me a total of around 3 hours and has generated over £2,000 for the client at a total cost to him of £316.28-

  • £200 for my fee
  • £116.28 in ad costs

I am going to show you at the end of this article how that £200 fee turns into £1,000 monthly revenue for me.

Ok so 5 steps… READY… SET… GO…

Step #1 – Create Facebook Adverts

We are going to take advantage of Facebook Adverts to generate business leads. If you need a primer, Matthew has an awesome guide about how to advertise on Facebook.

If you already know the basics of advertising on Facebook then please continue.

I created 2 simple image ads that were both 1200×628 pixels, one is simply a picture of the guys face smiling, the other is him playing piano.

Then I wrote 2 very simple headlines (25 characters) and 2 basic bits of text (90 characters), the only aim of this part is to get people to click the ad, don’t worry about anything else.

I then mix the 2 images with the 2 headlines and 2 pieces of text for 6 total ads.

Here are 2 example of the ads

Here are 2 example of the ads

Why Create 6 Adverts?

I created 6 adverts for 2 reasons-

  1. People react differently to different ads. For example 1 of the ads had a click through rate of 3.2% (which is very good) but an ad with the same image and different text had a click through rate of 0.3% (which is very bad).
  2. The price it costs to run different ads is wildly different. Click prices between these 6 ads (that were targeting the same exact audience) were averaged between $0.18 and $1.98. Obviously we don’t want to pay $1.98 when we can get the same result for $0.18.

So I like to get 6 ads up, let them run for 3-5 days until Facebook has run it’s algorithms through everything and optimised your ads and then ditch the dead weight.

(Read as “pause anything with a CTR below 1% and a cost above $1 per click”).

 That allows you to drive costs down and get more clicks for your money easily.

Step #2 – Targeting The Right Audience

Next we need to make sure we are targeting the right audience for our adverts. We don’t want to advertise wedding pianist services to someone who just got married right?

People often over complicate this, but Facebook allows you to be extremely specific.

For this client I simply wanted to attract people who wanted a musician for their wedding.

Facebook makes that easy for me and I setup my targeting as follows-

  • People in a relationship
  • People who were engaged within the last 12, 6 and 3 months (you can find this in the life events section of the “more demographics tab”) SUPER HINT: this tab is an absolute goldmine in these small markets, it even lets you target friends of people who have an anniversary soon or people who are currently in a location that isn’t their home town.
  • People in the location of the clients business area, eg his city +20km

Facebook more demographics tab

I have toyed with people who are interested in wedding stuff too, but this didn’t make a difference to conversion rates.

You can just type “wedding” into interests and all of the available interests concerning weddings will be listed.

Step #3 – Create High Converting Landing Page

I use LeadPages to create my landing pages, I absolutely love it!

You don’t have to use LeadPages, you can do this with any number of options like OptimizePress but I like LeadPages, it’s easy and it tracks everything I need it to perfectly.

Here is the page I’ve used, I also have a different page set up to split test against but this is the winner. I have removed any blatant personal info from the image but the idea is based on building trust and authority-

sales page for pianist client

You can see a live version of this page HERE.

P.S Find some other useful tools to generate business leads.

Step #4 – Controlling Lead Quality

The amount of information people give you when filling out a form directly corresponds with the quality of the lead (read quality lead as “easy to close” lead).

It is basic psychology that when people spend more time or effort on something they become more dependent on the outcome.

This makes sense that having somebody fill in a more detailed form, will mean that they are more interested in hearing from the client (and therefore easier to close).

This may mean that you get less leads coming through, as it simply takes more time/effort for people to fill out the form. However it filters out any of the “tyre kickers” and results in a much higher quality lead.

So essentially you always have a choice between two types of leads-

  1. High number of leads (with a short, quick, easy to fill in form)
  2. Higher quality leads (with a longer, more involved, detailed form)

I know it can be tempting to simply go for the higher number of leads but I know which option I would choose every single time.

If somebody is willing to fill out the form I’m about to show you, they are going to be very easy to close, it’s that simple.

Here is the exact form I use and he closes around 80% of the leads-

piano lead form

Again you can see this lead box by clicking through to the sales page and using the send enquiry button at the bottom.

Step #5 – Setup Retargeting

If you don’t know what retargeting is, basically it is a method of adveritsing to people on Facebook that visited your site but didn’t take the action you wanted them to.

In this example I used retargeting to display adverts to people that visited the landing page but didn’t convert into a lead.

To do this simply install a Facebook pixel, create a new audience and show them the exact same ads for the next 180 days.

If they are going to hire my client at any time, they will have access to his ad.

Installing A Facebook Custom Audience Pixel

Go into your Facebook ads manager and find your audiences option.

Click “create audience” and then “custom audience“.

You will then be met with these 3 options, select “website traffic

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 03.45.55

This brings up the options for exactly how you will target your visitors. you don’t have to do right now.

So long as you add the pixel code to your site, you can set up these audiences at any point. BUT INSTALL THE PIXEL ASAP

These are the options:

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 03.49.28

Anyone who visits your website – will simply target anybody who visits any page on the site where you have installed the custom audience pixel, you will be asked to select a site from a list if you choose this option.

People who visit specific web pages – this option is for if you have a very specific page that attracts people that you want to retarget. For example a sales page or a specific product on an ecommerce store.

People who visit specific web pages but not others – the option that I use the most. It lets you target people who have seen a specific page but not progressed to a page that you want them to.

For example if you have a sales page and a thank you page for when they buy your product, you would target people who have seen the sales page but not the thank you page.

This allows you to only target people who were interested in your product but haven’t bought yet.

People who haven’t visited in a certain amount of time – pretty self explanatory.

You can then set your time frame. I generally use the maximum 180 days but you may have a specific need to target people who have visited more recently.

Then name it something memorable. I use a simple “Retargeting | name of site | type of audience targeted” system and write anything specific in the description section.

Then just click on the little gear symbol in the bottom left corner and make a copy of your pixel code. You will need to paste this code onto every page you want to retarget.

This is where things get interesting…

For example, on my blog I target every single person who visits any of my pages on creating an agency (simply by typing the word “agency” in the “People who visit specific web pages but not others” section).

Whilst making sure that all of my URL’s that are about this topic contain the word agency.

I then exclude any people who visit the thank you pages that are displayed when somebody buys any of my products.

This allows me to stop showing the people who have already bought from me the same ads over and over again, which would be a huge waste of everybody’s time as they aren’t going to buy again and would likely annoy my visitors.

It also allows me to segregate them into a new buyer audience (by targeting people who viewed the product purchased thank you pages) and put them into a new funnel for a different product.

So essentially I am using retargeting for 2 reasons-

1. Pull people back into a funnel if they visit a page and don’t purchase or send an enquiry
2. Segregate people into a new funnel to allow future sales and not annoy them with ads for stuff they already own>

This ensures that you are giving people the maximum amount of opportunity to convert into a customer/client/sign up or whatever else your aims and goals are for your paid Facebook traffic.

This type of setup isn’t always necessary as in this case study as we only have the 1 service to sell.

However I wanted to use a more complex example so that you can see the potential in using retargeting to move people either down a sales funnel or to segregate them into another.

Results In Other Niches

Earlier I promised to show you what happens when I apply this strategy in the baking and photography niches.

So I approached a wedding photographer and a cupcake baker in the same city as the wedding pianist.

I told them what I had done for my piano client, except this time my fee was £500 per month and I can generate business leads on demand, they both signed up.

To fulfil the business leads for this client I simply tweaked the Facebook adverts and the landing page, kept everything else exactly the same aaaaaaaand…… BOOOM!

Wedding Photographer Results

I spent a total of £97.58 to generate 25 leads at a cost of £3.90 each-

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 02.13.28

From LeadPages we can see the page had a 36% conversion rate which could be improved on with split tests to lower overall lead costs.

leadpages photography stats

Out of the 25 leads my client only closed 2 of them. However wedding photography commands a higher price and he made a total of £3,000 across the 2 leads he did close.

Once you take out my fee of £500 and the advert costs of £97.58 the client made a total profit of £2,402 / $3,744.

Wedding Bakery Results

In this example we spent a total of £39.81 to generate 12 business leads at a cost of £3.31 each-

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 02.16.29

In LeadPages you can see exactly how the landing page performed-

leadpages bakery stats

Out of those 12 business leads my client did an outstanding job closing 10 of them to provide everything from wedding cakes to cup cakes for a total of £1,400.

After my costs and the advert costs that leaves a total profit of £860 / $1,340!

Wrapping It Up

I hope you can see how simple and effective this strategy is to apply to any business, I’ve shown you 3 related but very different examples but you can apply this to any business.

Improvements can be made to every campaign by tweaking/testing the landing page and adverts which would lower costs over time for clients that choose to keep me on.

Generating small business leads is a results driven business and once you prove yourself with a simple campaign it’s very easy to turn that into a long term relationship.

At the end of the day all you have to do is  create a few adverts and a landing page which most people can do in an hour.

Above all keep things simple, concentrate on each individual action-

  • Make people click an ad
  • Make them fill in your lead form
  • Close the sale
  • Use retargeting so that you are there when they decide they need you

If you have any questions or comments then please feel free to ask below and I will answer them all or feel free to check out my blog at www.danray.me!

59 Responses

  1. Buy Lead

    Excellent! Informative!! I am glad while searching i found the post, all the information is qualitative and helpful to grow my business. Top Tips!!

    • Matthew Woodward
      September 3rd, 2019 at 2:29 am

      Great news, thanks very much.

  2. Nadia younis

    Great strategy. thanks for sharing such a nice information.

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 19th, 2019 at 7:08 am

      No probs Nadia!

  3. Digital Bond Marketing

    Nice work, Love the article, Keep it up

    • Matthew Woodward
      September 13th, 2018 at 9:32 am

      Thanks very much, I will do.

  4. Pradyumna

    But how to sell and where to sell all of generated leads.

    • Matthew Woodward
      July 13th, 2017 at 10:45 am

      To any relevant business

  5. Iain Thompson

    When you are initially setting up your campaigns, do you allow facebook to automatically set the bid amount or do you manually set a bid amount.

    • Matthew Woodward
      December 13th, 2016 at 8:53 am

      I set it to auto now

  6. Steffen

    Thank you for this tutorial,
    until now, we only did our leadgen with free traffic.
    But this seems to be like the perfect strategy to get some leads even before any good rankings. We will get into this soon

    • Matthew Woodward
      September 5th, 2016 at 9:14 am

      Let us know how you get on Steffen!

  7. Marvin Talaro

    Wow! Nice strategy. I’ll consider this for future plans.

    Thank you for letting us know.

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 9th, 2016 at 10:42 am

      No problem Marvin :)

  8. Kareim

    This post is ridiculously value packed – people charge good money for this info! Great blog that keeps delivering

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 19th, 2016 at 3:31 pm

      No problem Kareim, glad you enjoyed it =D

  9. Jenny

    Hi Dan

    Thanks for the tutorial. I think that this 5-step enough for businesses to take the lead.

    • Matthew Woodward
      December 17th, 2015 at 3:03 pm

      Good pun :)

    • Dan Ray
      January 27th, 2016 at 2:21 pm

      OH DEAR!!!!

  10. Gianluca

    Hi this article is amazing. Only one question about Lead Magnet.

    I noticed that you didn’t enter any lead magnet on the landing page to encourage to fill out the form … consider this it a wrong technique? For example, a discount, a downloadable freebie free etc.

    Thank you so much

    • Dan Ray
      January 27th, 2016 at 2:21 pm

      Hi Gianluca,

      The point of this article is to show that it doesn’t always have to be complex.

      Some businesses require the lead magnet, tripwire, core offer, profit maximiser type set up, but not all.

  11. Paul Graham

    I’ve come across Adespresso before, but didn’t know about that tool Matthew, so thanks for that. It’s very useful indeed.

    And thanks for the detailed article Dan. Your wedding piano player was a great example of what can be done, and also how the numbers stack up when they’re paying you to run campaigns for them!!

    My mate and I have been working with estate agents and car dealers almost exclusively over the last year – all stuff that pays quite well, just in case anyone is looking for good local markets to target – and our main car dealer has sold over 200 second hand cars in the last year or so just off FB ads. That’s quite a good thing to get into, again just in case anyone is interested, because Autotrader and the like charge an absolute fortune in comparison. For a “FB management service” there’s a constant source of work from these companies too – just from one car dealer we’ve been running campaigns for upwards of 100 cars a month. Properties aren’t quite as high, but there’s a constant flow of work and you only really need a couple of clients to keep you in business.

    Anyway, great stuff, once again!

    ~ Paul

    • Paul
      November 30th, 2015 at 7:49 am

      What sort of FB targeting do you use to sell used cars?

    • Dan Ray
      January 27th, 2016 at 2:19 pm

      Cheers Paul,

      Would be decent if we could touch base, I have some car salesman type clients too, pretty big business and always looking for people in the same business to chat about things.

      Email me if you’re interested.

  12. Kim Willis

    Hi Matthew and Dan

    Thanks so much for this tutorial

    It certainly filled in a couple of gaps for me (eg prepare multiple ads). I’ve had a bit of an up and down ride with FB ads And then a month ago they shut me down for (as far as I can see) no good reason. (Although for the last campaign I sent people straight to a capture page rather than to a rich content blog post, which I’d done previously. Do you think that might have been the problem?)

    But when I get a new account set up I will try a different approach.

    In reality I think most small businesses shouldn’t even bother trying to do it themselves – they should outsource to agencies like yours!

  13. Carl

    This is a great post!

    I love the look over my shoulder stuff so that i can just follow along, should do more of it.

    Have any tips on how to attract local fb leads for a bouncy castle hire company? i.e. is there a way to target who has children and if their birthdays/events are coming up etc?

    • Matthew Woodward
      November 12th, 2015 at 9:18 am

      Yes – you should just jump into the Facebook Ad editor and have a play without launching any campaigns to see what you can target (you can target anything)

    • Dan Ray
      November 16th, 2015 at 10:42 pm

      Haha yes!

      You can target people with children, but I’m not sure you can target the childrens birthdays, it wouldn’t surprise me though, as Matt said you can find some really cool stuff in FB.

      Make sure you take a look in “more demographics” tab, it lets you target parents.

  14. M.Mairaj

    Hi Mathhew,

    Whats an amazing an detailed post which help us a lot. Your step by step guidance and providing lucid information make it easy for us to go through. All the point which you have shared regarding Make money with lead generation for business and applying different strategies are awesome.

    Thanks for sharing such a fantastic post :)



    • Matthew Woodward
      November 10th, 2015 at 1:23 pm

      Thanks but I can’t take credit for this one :)

    • Dan Ray
      November 16th, 2015 at 10:39 pm

      I’ll take all of the credit then ;)

      Thanks mairaj.

      let me know if you need any further info.

  15. Stephen McIntosh


    Great article – Thank you. Do you have an example of any letting agents / property management companies using this locally i.e. The town they are based in?


    • Dan Ray
      November 16th, 2015 at 10:38 pm

      Nope, sorry.

      This isn’t an area that I have worked in.

      I would imagine this type of target would be a little harder to get in front of. Facebook might not be the way to target these people either.

      You’d have to look at any local organisations and see if they come up in interests, or figure out another way to get them to your site and retarget them.

      The key thing is to get them into your funnel, however you do that, from there you have to test your way to getting them to sign up to your management or whatever services.

  16. Mike

    So if I understand correctly – you first ran your ads without narrow targeting ? Like only city ? Then you had your winners and narrowed your target in Custom Audience, right ?

    • Dan Ray
      November 16th, 2015 at 10:35 pm

      No, not at all.

      They are 2 separate campaigns.

      Extremely targeted cold traffic ads, and then you retarget the people who visit your site using your custom audience.

  17. Esteban

    This was pretty impressive! Need to read this again when I’m ready for Facebook Ads!


  18. Yordi van Dijk

    Hey Dan

    What an awesome article. Seems Facebook ads are still very powerful. I need to step into this game soon!



    • Matthew Woodward
      November 10th, 2015 at 1:27 pm

      They are indeed :)

    • Dan Ray
      November 16th, 2015 at 10:33 pm

      Yeah Facebook ads are ridiculous at the moment, and now that instagram is involved, in the right industries, leads are just falling in from everywhere.

  19. Heena

    Am setting myself up in this Lead gen business.. As that will be a support to my current one.. I have tried once but haven’t got that success gonna try again with multi ads ..Your link adespresso has cool example which i can test it around. Thanks !!

    • Matthew Woodward
      November 10th, 2015 at 1:28 pm

      No problem :)

  20. Julian

    Dan. Matt.

    I really liked the post.
    I’ve played with FB ads before. But I’m gonna go for it today.

    I have a question, though…

    What kinda image do you think is better…a real-life image (like the one in your example) OR one with more color and animation (like the kind you’d make with Canva)?


    • Matthew Woodward
      November 9th, 2015 at 11:23 am

      Glad you enjoyed it :)

      You should split test your image

    • Dan Ray
      November 9th, 2015 at 4:43 pm

      This completely depends on the subject you are marketing, you should always be testing different image types, for example, ads for my agency show my face because I think people will trust me more if they know I am willing to put my face out there.

      My blog though, simply has a white background, with blue border and text in the center.

      Different type will work for different products and services so its really important to test, the good thing is that you can almost always find out what is working within a couple of hours.

  21. Craig

    Hi Dan, great article!

    Do you have an example of the retargeting ads you used?

    • Dan Ray
      November 9th, 2015 at 4:40 pm

      The retargeting ads are the same images as the cold traffic ads, I change the copy slightly to let them know it isn’t the same exact ad.

      So it now reads “Still haven’t chosen your wedding musician?”

      All the rest is the same.

  22. Bill

    Do you have any examples of a good converting landing page and ad for a SEO/ Internet Marketing Company??

    • Matthew Woodward
      November 9th, 2015 at 11:26 am
      • Mohammad umair
        November 9th, 2015 at 11:26 pm

        Wow Matt. The link you shared is simply one of the best things I have seen.


        • Matthew Woodward
          November 10th, 2015 at 1:29 pm

          No problem =D

    • Dan Ray
      November 9th, 2015 at 4:38 pm

      For my agency I am sending people directly to content, as part of my funnel.

      I have found through a crazy amount of testing that to get and SEO/digital marketing client, the best way using paid traffic is a sort of freemium model.

      So you would create some content “how to generate leads for your small business” for example.

      Then target those people via either email (if you have a sign up offer on the content) or retarget them to a free or low value offer.

      Once they pick up the low value offer you would again use email or retargeting to push them towards your core services.

      So, it looks like…

      How to generate leads for your small business article > Setup adwords express account for £25 > Upsell to your core lead generation service

      There are bajillions of ways to do this, but this is how I’m currently generating inbound clients for my agency.

      • Jens | NT-SEO.de
        February 22nd, 2017 at 2:06 pm

        Thats a good way to convert adwords traffic. I tried it with a content landingpage with a cta button, but the CTR was not very good. I guess building a email-list is still a very effective way.

  23. Pankaj Solanki

    Hey Dan,

    Awesome strategy, already your fan ;)


    • Dan Ray
      November 9th, 2015 at 4:32 pm

      Haha, yeah I probably already gave you this strategy by email.

  24. Joseph

    Damn, Dan Ray.

    Loved reading this. Thanks for putting the time and effort to putting this together. Facebook ads are so powerful.

    • Dan Ray
      November 9th, 2015 at 4:31 pm

      Yeah facebook is the shiz for traffic.

      If you know what you’re doing you can make money in any industry with FB ads, have you seen the new lead gen mobile ads? OH MY!

      Conversion costs are ridiculous.

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