How to Create a Red-Hot List of Leads and Convert Them into Sales Opportunities 

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I'm PUMPED right now...

Because yesterday, I wrapped up an incredible live workshop. One where I showed hundreds of entrepreneurs how to use a 99%-automated system to:

  • Effortlessly stand out to their ideal prospects…   

  • Make those prospects ecstatic to work with them… 

  • Sign more lucrative clients than ever before… 

…and all in as little as one hour per month.

Ever since the training, my inbox has been flooded with awesome feedback.


I’ve also seen a handful of messages from business owners who wanted to join, but couldn’t squeeze the workshop into their schedules. 

They’re really disappointed they missed it, and they want to know if (and when) they'll have the chance to get this game-changing info again. 

Well, in response to this, I decided to do something special.

Which is, to recap all of the KEY ideas from yesterday’s workshop HERE. 🙂

That way, anyone who couldn’t make it can get a quick, high-level overview of the content. 

(Plus, it also allows me to get this cutting-edge info out to as many entrepreneurs as possible. So it’s a win-win!)

Alright, let’s dive into the recap… 

Yesterday we held our latest workshop on how to use ‘Human Intelligence’ (and LinkedIn) to generate a lead per day…while automating 99% of the work.

The session was incredible - big audience, lots of questions and engagement - and after wrapping up the session I got the inevitable question of… ‘Will you be sending out a replay?’

And after hosting these kinds of events over the last decade, here’s what I’ve learned about replays…

The truth is…almost nobody engages with them.

Everyone has the best intentions, but watching a 2-hour live event recording just doesn’t have the same energy and follow-through as being there live does.

So I decided to do something different this year…rather than just sharing a link to a 2-hour recording…I wanted to break down the biggest takeaways in this blog post.

So that you can move through it a bit quicker and gain many of the insights we shared live.

The Digital Marketing Landscape for Small Businesses

Things are tough for small business owners. And while the internet and online marketing presents a big opportunity, it also leads to more competition and difficulty to actually stand out.

Most business owners view their online marketing as following a megaphone approach.

That is…yelling the loudest about their products and services and the revenue will follow.

Unfortunately, they soon find out it’s hard to actually get the attention of your target audience. It created a ‘Noise Surplus’ in the marketplace.

The average person sees between 4,000 and 10,000 ads per day. (Zippia)

And this has only been increased by the rise of AI for content creation.

Why write an email telling you about my products and services when ChatGPT can do it immediately.

Now, I’m not some Luddite who is opposed to AI. But the key is you need to incorporate social psychology into what your AI tool is doing for you.

AI still doesn’t understand how to differentiate the content it’s putting out from all the other content it’s sharing with all your competitors. And it certainly doesn’t understand what ultimately makes a connection with your audience. It’s basing it off its best guess of everything else it’s seeing online.

All of this competition and noise only leads to overwhelm for your target audience. And an overwhelmed audience tends to not be able to make decisions.

But beyond all that fundamentally the world has changed. The New York Times Sunday Magazine referred to this as ‘The Decade of Distrust’.

Our trust in institutions, government, and media has fallen off a cliff. And if you include salespeople or businesses, that distrust is sown in.

But this lack of trust should open up an opportunity. Because so many of your competitors are going about things in the wrong way…there is an opportunity to stand out by being different.

By putting relationships at the forefront of your lead generation efforts.

We know most salespeople try and win by being as loud as possible. On LinkedIn for example that tends to look something like this.

New person contacts you on LinkedIn.

And within minutes you have a note like this in your LinkedIn inbox…

And you quickly delete the message. And/or remove the connection. And get back to your life.

We call these people ‘leghumpers’ and they tend to give LinkedIn a bad name.

They are quick to their pitch and to tell you about all the amazing work they do.

And I can tell you from experience that this type of approach will only lead to burned bridges, ignored messages, and a feeling like your wheels are constantly spinning but you are getting nowhere.

So the question is…

What type of marketing (and lead generation) actually works?...

For the small business owners we work with, it’s always been marketing that directly generates leads and clients.

If you are overleveraged on ‘wait-and-see’ strategies and not prioritizing building relationships directly with people in your market, you are missing out.

The studies have shown over the years that the most successful businesses are proactive with lead generation.

You can no longer rely solely on passive marketing, word of mouth or referrals.

We started working on building out our system to create a sales system and pipeline from scratch for our clients back in 2011.

And once we started getting traction in our agency, our clients soon began generating millions in new sales, and as a result we grew that agency to be featured as Inc. Magazine’s list of 500 fastest-growing private companies.

It all stems from a straightforward way to grow your list of leads in a more personal way, and then nurture and convert those leads into booked appointments by focusing on tapping into what we know about human psychology that leads us to seek connection.

This works because the truth is it’s the complete opposite at what so many people try to do with proactive lead generation.

They tend to lead with their features and benefits and hope it’s enough.

But it all feels faceless and cold.

The 3-step process we’re going to share is to simply:

  1. Find your prospects.

  2. Warm them up and eventually invite them to a call (using social media & email).

  3. Ongoing nurture and follow-up.

The power of combining (and automating) each of these steps generates momentum that is impossible to replicate from any one-off strategy.

Through our approach to prospecting, social media and email that we’ll lay out in the rest of this post, you begin to diversify the channels by which appointments get booked.

Some appointments will come through your list-building efforts on LinkedIn. Others based on your leads see a relevant LinkedIn post. And more from your direct outreach and ongoing nurture.

Having multiple spots along your process for leads to take a next step with you greatly improves the percentage of leads you turn into appointments.

Let’s take a look at each of these core steps in the process and share some ideas on how to best put it on autopilot.


LinkedIn is THE place to prospect.

It has a massive audience. And beyond that you can easily filter and find your ideal audience with the filters they provide in Sales Navigator.

Now building out a search is only the first step, you then need to develop a system to connect with as many of these prospects as possible.

Why Is a Connection So Valuable?

Once you are connected with a lead on LinkedIn there are a number of benefits but the 3 biggest are:

  • You have a way to communicate directly with them on LinkedIn

  • Your posts are shared in their feed

  • LinkedIn provides contact information (for ongoing email follow-up)

Those three items are key to continually driving these leads (connections) into new conversations and appointments.

How Do I Turn Them into a Connection?

When it comes to prospecting on LinkedIn, it’s important to know the benchmarks. Not every prospect I reach out to will connect.

In general, we aim for a 30-35% acceptance rate on connection requests sent.

So it’s critical to move quickly…and even better to automate the process (more on that here).

Once you have a strong search, the next step is connecting.

The process is pretty simple.

Step 1: Click the ‘Connect’ option.

Step 2: Add a ‘Personal Message. (We recommend something like the image below.)

Step 3: Move onto the next one.

Now if you are using a premium LinkedIn account they’ll often let you send out between 75-150 a week. If you’re doing the match on the above…you can very quickly build up a list of a few hundred (or thousand) leads at a fraction of the cost of what most paid ad options will be.

The great part about this process is that it really starts to snowball once you build the rhythm and momentum. Like Heather Kollar recently wrote in to tell us about.

And a key element of this entire Lead Generation process we’re writing about in this post is that each of the main parts of this process have the ability to convert your leads into appointments.

Glen Rothquel, a marketing consultant in Australia, breaks down a small sample size of a recent day’s results from just following step 1 of the process we’re teaching.

This approach to adding connections and leads through LinkedIn is something we’ve been teaching for years!

And have helped hundreds of business owners put in place systems to continually drive new leads into their LinkedIn accounts in the right way without becoming one of those leg humpers we mentioned earlier.

If you want to get a better look at my 90-Day LinkedIn Automation Pipeline system then you should attend a live demo that I’m hosting for the system this week! I’ll be breaking down the full system AND how to automate it using simple tools. 

Okay, so now that you’ve got leads rolling in, how do we start warming them up?

LinkedIn Posting Strategy

A key part of any sales process is building awareness and name recognition.

It might go without saying…but the more your audience knows you, the more likely they are to be receptive to a conversation.

The best way to build up more recognition with your new leads is to be regularly posting on LinkedIn.

Your leads won’t see every post (that’s just how social media works)...but by increasing your visibility on the platform you can greatly improve the chances they start to recognize you.

In fact the #1 reason why recipients open an email, isn’t because of the flashy subject line or the award winning copy…it’s that they recognize the sender’s name.

* SuperOffice

So by not increasing your presence on LinkedIn, you are greatly missing out on a lot of your opportunities.

What Should I Be Posting?

The two biggest mistakes I see with many businesses social media strategies are:

  1. A lack of consistency.
  2. The wrong strategy.

Consistency is the name of the game on social media and LinkedIn is no different.

So your first step needs to be finding ways to ensure you have a regular (ideally daily) post going out.

This can inform your strategy because the truth is not every post you write needs to be pointing to your custom content.

A killer of consistency for small businesses tends to be this thought that everything they share needs to be done by them.

In fact 45% of consumers will unfollow a brand if their activity is dominated by self-promotion.

This is a key lesson in what you should be doing with your daily post. Don’t dominate your lead’s feed with post after post about the specifics of what you do. 

Look to share relevant information and 3rd-party articles they actually care about.

For example I run a marketing automation company. But if the only thing I shared on social media was inside information on how to technically create email marketing campaigns or the ins and outs of api calls on social ... my audience of small business owners would tune out faster than a rat up a drain pipe.

Instead I’m regularly posting about the topics that small business owners care about.

Yes, marketing information is one part of that. But I’m also linking to articles I find on Leadership, Sales Strategy, Hiring, even Small Business Finance.

Because these are the variety of things my audience ultimately cares about and I want to introduce them to relevant material on all of it to increase the likelihood they find something they like and thereby remember me.

I often like to share our client HMS Insurance as an example. In the post below they are sharing a 3rd-party article on Why Gas Costs More in the Summer. 

It’s not exactly an ‘insurance’ topic. But it’s of interest to their audience (car owners and price conscious).

And again you want to include some posts on your area of focus, but don’t make the strategic mistake of ignoring your prospects' areas of interest.

Now I know it can sound like a lot to find, write and post something every day. And most options out there to outsource this are hundreds or thousands of dollars each month.

With The 90-Day LinkedIn Automation Pipeline, we take of this all for you. And our team of writers will write you a post for each day in the program - and send for your approval. From there you just need to approve it and schedule it to post out directly in our tools.

If you want to lock in your spot before we close registration you can do so here!

Similar to the Prospecting section, regular LinkedIn posting can lead to call opportunities. Just by being in front of the right leads allows them to reach out to you when the need arises.

Just like Mike Hansen, Myles and so many other clients of ours have seen over the years.

But you don’t want to stop there. To unlock the full potential of this system, direct outreach will dial everything in.

Follow-Up & Converting Your Leads into Calls

The final element of the process is to enter your leads into direct outreach to drive them into call opportunities.

It’s important with your direct outreach to not come across like the leghumpers we described at the start of this post.

That means both in the format of your outreach and the call to action.

With these new leads from LinkedIn, just dumping them into an automated sequence that looks like this isn’t going to fly.

And going straight to a sales pitch is tacky and yields very low results.

You need to make the ask easy. And a way to build the relationship up.

This is exactly what we teach in our 90 Day LinkedIn Automation Pipeline.

We have dozens of templates to help our members transition these leads into conversations.

Both in the short-term with icebreaker email campaigns that look and feel extremely personal and unique.

Or this…

Or for longer-term nurture which is more and more critical these days.

We’ve got campaigns and sequences whether you have items like a group mentioned above OR even if you don’t that’s no problem at all.

Our most commonly used outreach sequence we call our ‘Social Media Boomerang’ and it’s perfect for just reaching out to your LinkedIn connections to book an initial discovery call.

By following our strategy and using our software to deliver this type of outreach our clients see an average open rate of 42% across all their campaigns!

That’s about 2-3x most average open rates you see with large crm tools.

And you can access our full array of templates and the software that will let you:

  1. Automate your ongoing LinkedIn connections (and find the emails for you).
  2. Get a daily LinkedIn post custom-written for your business and audience.
  3. Put your direct message and email follow-up on autopilot.

Plus get the coaching and training to build out a sustainable lead generation system over the coming weeks and months in The 90 Day LinkedIn Automation Pipeline.

You can check out all the details including our double guarantee (ROI Guarantee and our Lead-a-Day Guarantee) where we promise you’ll at a minimum make back your investment in the program over the next 12 months AND that you’ll generate at least 1 lead per day. Sign up for this week’s demo to learn about the entire system and to see if you’re a fit for the 90-Day LinkedIn Automation Pipeline below.

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