Let’s face it: nobody is creating content marketing for their health or just to hear themselves talk; content marketing is supposed to drive leads and sales for your business!

So why is it that so many people struggle to see a direct ROI from their content?

Why you aren’t getting leads from your content

OK, so in general, I see a few reasons why businesses don’t get piles of leads from their content:

  1. Nobody’s actually seeing your offer.
    This could be for a lot of different reasons. Top of the list is the fact that the algorithms of social media platforms are set up in favor of the house, meaning they want you to pay for ads if you’re selling something. But equally as problematic is the fact that many of us don’t talk about our offers nearly enough, in the right places, or to the right people. If only a fraction of your audience sees any given message, that means you need to share that same message exponentially as often to (try to) reach everybody. Plus there’s all that research about people needing to see a message so many times before it sinks in.
  2. You aren’t reaching enough people.
    By this, I mean that you aren’t reaching enough new people every time you make an offer. If you’re preaching to the choir over and over again, you’ll see a high conversion rate maybe the first time — but then that conversion rate declines over time, because it’s the same people seeing the offer. You have to add new people to your audience regularly in order to continue to sell — because the truth is, there are some people in your audience who will never buy from you. They just like you and want to hang out. And that’s OK, but we have to keep filling the funnel with potential buyers or you will eventually run out.
  3. Your message is unclear.
    I’ve been doing some copy coaching lately, and one of the things I find myself repeating over and over is that the students are using “fluffy” language. What I mean by that is that they’re talking in generalities, and there’s no concrete outcome or result. If you offer, the problem you solve, or the results you help people get are unclear, they won’t know whether or not they should work with you or buy your offer — let alone whether they should grab your lead magnet or follow you or get on your list.

WHY Lead generation from content marketing IS VITAL: RUNNING THE NUMBERS

One of the first things I do in a VIP day with a new client is talk about goals — and then we run the numbers.

For many of them, it’s an eye-opening experience.

Let’s say they want to sell 20 spots in their course or group coaching program.

On average, a sales page converts at 1–3%. (If you’re doing sales calls, you can track your close rate, but average is somewhere between 25–50%.)

That means, to be safe, we need 2,000 people to land on the sales page to see the offer. (20 is 1% of 2,000.)

No problem, my client might say, I have 5,000 people on my email list!

Which is awesome and amazing.


Not everybody on their list is going to ever see the sales page.


See, the average click-thru rate is also around 1–3%. (If you know your numbers and they are better than average, that’s awesome! Apply them to these equations.)

So 3% of 5,000 people on your email list is…

150 people.

Even if you could guarantee that a different 150 people would be compelled to click every time you send a sales email, you would need to send 14 sales emails to get 2,000 people to your sales page and to get those 20 sales.

(And, let’s be real: it’s not 150 different people opening and clicking every time no matter how many emails you send…)

Now. These are all just averages, of course (and a highly simplified sales funnel).

The first time you launch something? You might have a WAY higher conversion rate than 3%! Your fans love you and want to buy from you! That is a GOOD thing.

But every subsequent time you launch the same offer to the same people, you’ll get a diminishing rate of returns.

Some business owners take that to mean they need a different offer, when often it just means they need new people to see the offer.

That’s why list building in between launches is so important.

Sales people will say “ABC: Always Be Closing,” but for us, I think it should be “ABLB: Always Be List Building.” (Not as catchy, I’ll grant you…)

But that doesn’t mean you always have to be running a huge event in order to grow your list.

3 Quick ways to get more leads from your content

  1. Optimize your website to collect leads.
    This sounds like a no-brainer, but how many of us have actually done this? In the Leadership Marketer’s Library, there’s a “Grow Your Email List” checklist that lists 7 ways you can optimize your site to collect more leads. When I did all 7, I doubled the number of emails I was collecting every day from existing traffic.
  2. Make content part of your traffic strategy.
    The next best way to increase how many leads you get is to increase how much traffic you’re getting, and a tried-and-true method for increasing traffic is by delivering great content — whether that’s blog articles, videos, or podcasts. The caveat here is that whatever the content is, it needs to live on YOUR website (in addition to wherever else you publish it) to take advantage of that optimization you did. You can absolutely promote all your amazing content on social media and other channels — and you should! But all roads lead to Rome and in this case, that means sending that traffic to your website so it can convert.
  3. Warm up your new leads.
    For most businesses, it’s hard to get a brand new, cold lead to buy from you right away. So before you try to sell to those people in a launch, you’ll want to warm them up with — you guessed it — more content. This could be in the form of a welcome/nurture email sequence or regular content (see No. 2) or both.

It might not happen overnight, but you can create systems that help ensure that you are Always List Building.

But I think that too often we expect this to be automatic before we have set up or tested any of these systems. We have the “Field of Dreams problem” and think I built a website, therefore people should come…

The truth is, it just doesn’t work that way any more, and in reality, you will likely need all three of the above steps plus the occasional big list-building event to keep your list fresh and have the numbers you need to support your business as you grow.


The point I hope to make here is that list building isn’t (always) a big event that has to happen.

Sometimes it is.

You might do a big webinar, or a giveaway, or a challenge, or create some kind of EPIC content like a new training or ebook that you can give away.

These are all awesome strategies — and if you have a BIG launch coming up and you know you need to boost your numbers, they can be an important part of your pre-launch. It’s important to build that into your editorial calendar so that you don’t get focused on launching or delivery and forget to do it!

But if that sounds exhausting…

You can build in more opportunities for mostly automated list building and lead generation into your content marketing plans that will help keep your numbers high and your list fresh without having to create some big, huge thing.

And the more you make list building a regular part of your business that happens automatically, the less exhausting it will be, and the more successful your launches — and business — will be.