Find leads with no audience or ads (part 3) | STFO 🤘


Bonjour bonjour Reader,

This is Part 3 of my simple, no-nonsense guide to finding customers when you have no audience, no money to spend on ads, and no social media presence.

In Part 1​, I explained how to locate where your ideal customers spend their time when they're in the zone for your products or services. You should now have a rough list of channels - websites, podcasts, events, social media accounts, and more. In Part 2, instead of cold-emailing hundreds of names from a spreadsheet, I suggested identifying individuals connected to platforms your people (e.g., podcast producers, journalists, event attendees).

Step 3: Find a good angle

Now it's time for step 3: finding a good angle to contact individuals of interest.

First, let's face it...

Let's face it: nobody cares about you.

The individuals you want to reach out to care about one person mainly, and it's themselves. It's how humans are built, and that's how it is. You can't change that; I can't change that; no one can.

Stop trying to make people care about you and what you have to offer. Start finding things they care about, and then think about how you can help.

What's an angle?

The angle is the intersection of what people care about and what you want them to do. What would you offer them that would be genuinely of interest? Once you have a list of people before you, think about what they care about in their role.

For example, if you want to reach out to a podcast host, what do they care about? They probably want interesting guests who don't need much hand-holding and stories they've never heard that their audience would find interesting. Thinking one step further, they probably wouldn't mind getting brands to sponsor their podcast, either.

Let's say you're trying to attract clients in the hard luxury space, and you've established that many of your ideal customers are using an event software tool called Bizzabo.

In Part 2, I found a contractor producing Bizzabo's podcast. They don't have a massive following, only around 4,000 people (which is still a lot!), and I'm sure we can find a good angle.

What do they care about?

That's the one question you must obsess over. What do they care about? Not what you care about, remember? Going back to our podcast host and producer. Their responsibilities include:

  • Production/Post-production
  • Guest outreach
  • Interviewing
  • Preparing questions
  • Editing

If I were to reverse-engineer this list to find out what they really care about:

  • Making sure the episodes are of good quality
  • Finding interesting guests
  • Knowing how to contact those potential guests
  • Coming up with great questions that would elicit great answers

I know, I know, it sounds super simple. Almost child-like. But, how many times have you reached out to someone only to give them what they want — with no ask, no agenda? Exactly.

Here's a list of things we all care about one way or another:

Ok, once you have an idea of what they care about, let's think about what we can offer them.

What can you offer them?

Looking at what they care about — and only what they care about — what can you offer them?

Returning to our podcast producer and what they care about, we could say we're available to guest on their podcast. After all, finding interesting guests is something they're on the lookout for. But it's too self-centered. And they get requests like this all the time.

Instead, let's think about what we can offer them. You could suggest three potential guests who are experts in luxury events — people you already know and whose stories you could vouch for. Offer these names as a helpful suggestion, NOT as a sales pitch.

Why not reach out with something like, "I know finding guests can be a lot of work. Have you ever had [Guest 1], [Guest 2], or [Guest 3] on the show? They're doing cool stuff in the luxury event space." The key is to give, give, and give — before you ask for anything in return.

The most important thing is to focus on them, not you. What are their needs and interests? How can you help them achieve their goals? Once you understand that, the right angle will present itself.

Three types of angles

What can you offer when you have no audience, no money to spend on ads, and no social media presence?

Your time, your knowledge, and/or your network.

  • Time: Take time out of your day to help them reach their goal. For example, this could be helping an event organizer to set the venue for them since you live five minutes away.
  • Knowledge: Use your brain matter to give them what they care about. For example, if you're a pro at organizing events in the luxury sector, offer specific advice when a brand manager plans to organize one.
  • Network: Lean on the people you know to provide value to others. For example, offering guest suggestions to podcast hosts, as mentioned above.

I'm being vague on purpose because I don't want to turn this guide into a series of mindless hacks to follow blindly. It's up to you to figure out what works best in your specific situation. Common sense is your friend.

To sum up

In the first two parts of this guide, I mentioned that you should start this process before you're desperate for leads.

I've had the privilege of having time to spare in my career — no chasing leads or scrambling for clients. For example, I worked full-time for Hotjar for four years while running my podcast on the side. I've built so many genuine relationships in those years simply because I was giving, giving, giving without expecting anything in return. I was just keeping in touch with people I liked.

This is the approach I'm advocating here. Be genuinely helpful to others, and you will get a ton in return — including being invited to speak on podcasts, give a masterclass in a private community, co-organize an event with someone with a huge list of clients, etc.

It's a long game, but it starts with a simple mindset shift: How can I help this person without expecting anything in return? That genuine desire to give is what will make you stand the f*ck out.

Next time, I'll write about building long-term relationships with people of interest.

Louis Grenier

A recovering Frenchman who helps marketers stand the f*ck out.

This was the Stand The F*ck Out (STFO) Daily Newsletter. One bite-size email [Mon-Fri] to learn to stand the f*ck out.

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