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CASE STUDY: $2.67M. 1 Client. 19 months.

Strategies on acquiring, onboarding and retaining $1M+/year clients
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Written by (Entrepreneur & Investor)

$140,728 per month on average. From 1 client.

In this case study we cover the process and high level details on how to get similar results for yourself.*

Quickbooks Invoices Proof - $2.67M - 1 Client
Quickbooks Invoices Proof - $2.67M - 1 Client

There are 4 stages you'll go through when scaling your lead generation business.

4 stages of growth
4 stages of growth

Each stage has it's specific challenges and focus areas in order to grow to the next level.

Stage 1: $0-$25k/m

Stage 1: $0-$25k/m

If you're below $25k/m you need to solve 2 things:
Finding scalable and well-capitalized vertical with high demand for leads
Getting high value lead buyers

How to find scalable and well-capitalized vertical with high demand for leads?

Where most people make a mistake is they try to sell to tiny and hyper-competitive local niches ​(e.g. chiropractors, gyms, restaurants, dental clinics, car dealers and similar)
If you pick a small market where you have ton of competition you'll be lucky if you charge $2.5k retainers per month. That's 10 clients just to get to $25k.
Poker face emoji
But, If you pick the right market you can charge $25k lead budget per week per 1 client!*
I did over $2.67m with just ONE client in 19 months. That's $140,728 per month on average → $35k per week.
And I didn't have just one client :)

Criteria to find the right vertical:

The product or service is applicable to a large segment of the population in a specific country
High volume of leads/purchases on a daily basis
​There are existing companies that need leads
Not limited by geo - e.g. not operating only in a single state or city
​The industry is compliant to run ads on Google or Meta​​
​The product sale price or LTV is above $500, ideally above $1,000

Acquiring high value $1M/year clients

Before you start getting high value lead buyers you need to understand the players in the market.

Types of lead buyers

Networks and lead aggregators
Direct lead buyer - end product seller
Direct lead buyer - middlemen
Digital players - 100% online sale
Click buyers
Inbound call buyers

Every type of the buyer has different motivations.
Each of these types can be $1M/year client.

We found that the best lead buyers have already working operations and infrastructure to handle volume of leads.
They also have experience and are active buyers of leads. (you don't need to educate them on the process - you just integrate and start sending them leads)

Ways to acquire lead buyers

If you want high value partners these works best:
Outbound → reaching out to Partnership roles, Affiliate managers, Marketing Directors and similar
Mass outreach won't work - you are better reaching out just to few selected partners personally
Marketing Partners of your competitors
Check hyperlinks in TCPA language under the phone form input (US only) to see who they are working with
Industry and lead gen events
Most qualified and biggest lead buyers are typically acquired through industry events

If you want smaller business and mid market:
Paid ads works really well ​(Ad → Intake Form Quiz → Call → Call → Lead Trial)

What if I am unsure if I will be able to deliver the leads?

Before you have a proof of concept in your market you can form a partnership where you setup the lead gen infrastructure for your client for free.
How does that work?
You setup the infrastructure
They cover the ad spend (not paying you for leads or any retainers)
You start delivering leads for them to see what works and what doesn't
You get Proof of concept in your vertical that you can replicate for others
Bonus: Negotiate back-end deal where you get paid % of every sale your leads bring

Stage 2: $25k-$100k/m

Stage 2: $25k-$100k/m

Once you cross $25k+ your next focus should be solving the:
Client retention and delivering quality leads

To retain high value clients you need to:
Provide service that directly affects their revenue → in this case these - Qualified leads
Their business will lose decent portion of revenue and profit if they stop working with you

Most lead gen companies get a client → deliver the leads → then the client churns due to low lead quality.
This can be due to your fault (e.g. running low quality ads, lead forms) or client internal operations (slow contact rate, no backend nurturing, low skill sales people...)
To win and be the #1 in the market we solve for every problem our client faces.
We build the whole infrastructure that helps them convert more leads.
More leads converted = more leads bought from you = more profit and LTV

Example of funnel infrastructure
Example of funnel infrastructure

We solve lead quality and client retention by:
Creating a backend infrastructure for warming up leads before the call, reactivating old leads and booking appointments
Having systems and automation do the work for them
Creating a sales training or partnering with a sales training company to have their agents follow best sales practices
Building a demographic and vertical specific brand → this alone can 3x your lead conversion rate
Charging premium for your leads → getting paid more allows you to run higher quality traffic to higher intent prospects → which leads to higher conversion rate and happier client

If you're not the cheapest in the market - be the most expensive

Here's the simple math:
If they buy leads for $10 and convert 5% of them that's $200 CPA
If you sell the lead for $30 and they convert 15% you have the same CPA, but for less work for their sales team

For the whole infrastructure and backend help you can charge extra — in addition to the leads — or if you want to really have irresistible offer you offer it FREE as long as they are buying the leads.

Stage 3: $100k-$500k/m

Stage 3: $100k-$500k/m

At $100k/m-$500k/m you will be solving the following:
Monetization of unsold leads and profitable lead delivery at scale
Building “A-team”

Monetization of unsold leads + profitability at scale is solved by:

Having “click partners” on your results pagethese can be digital players where the prospect clicks and purchases product or service online
Example of providers list
Example of results page providers list
Working with networks or lead aggregators to sell the excess or aged leads to maximize profit
Selling “shared” leads → you re-sell the same lead to multiple providers for lower price (not recommended but there are large businesses doing this and buying these leads)

Building “A-Team”

If you want to grow to 8-figures and more you'll need a team.
My personal preference is having a small team with only a few people who are smart (A-players) than having bigger team of average players.
I was able to get to $2.1M/year in revenue without team.
Then, these were the roles I initially hired for:

Team roles (I started with)

Chief of Staff → Generalist who is capable of executing any task that needs to be done - your right hand
I found this role to be more useful than having executive assistants
Media Buyer / Marketing Executive → Person running campaigns to your lead gen brands - generating leads
Creative Editor / Graphic designer → for editing and creating ads for paid campaigns daily
Partnership Director / Sales rep → Getting new lead buyers, forming partnerships, attending events, having partnership and sales calls
+ other roles as you scale

Hiring process

Create a scorecard of KPIs and jobs to be done for the role you're hiring for
Use job posting platforms for startups (e.g. )
Wait for candidates to apply — filter out bad fit candidates and any candidate that didn't mention why they are interested
Schedule quick interviews with the best fit candidates
After the call send them a task to complete + personality tests
You can use
Schedule 2nd interview if you're happy with the task and test
Schedule 3rd interview and make a job offer

Note: The best candidates will reach out to you outside of the platform on LinkedIn or email - they will be proactive
Note 2: To minimize the risk and costs, offer the first 1-3 months working for you as contractor and then offer Full time (for the same pay)

Stage 4: $500k/m+

Stage 4: $500k/m+

After you get to this stage, you'll be pretty skilled and have several options
Building a sellable company OR cash flow producing asset that doesn't depend on you
End to end product/service selling

Building a sellable company or cash flowing asset

This is how you increase the chances and position yourself for exit:
Building your own vertical brand
Having high-value partners
Profitable cash flowing business
Skilled team that can execute without you
The nice thing about this business model is that you're not a face of it.
Therefore if you leave — the business will not collapse (if it has the right foundations) — making it more attractive target for acquisition.
If you're focusing on a specific vertical, you have lot of potential buyers that might be interested in getting a new customer acquisition engine (your brand).
This happened to me → I've received multiple offers to sell the business just this year.
OR ​If you want you can keep the cash flowing business and remove yourself from the driving seat.
Owner VS Operator

End-to-End Product/Service Selling

Once you scale and understand your market well, you can build your own sales and service team. Then you will be selling the product end-to-end collecting full sale amount, not just selling the lead.
This is one of the ways how to scale past 8 figures/year.
→ primarily lead generation company → then hired agents selling insurance on their behalf → sold for $2.35B to large carrier ​
AssuranceIQ acquisition

What's next?

If you want to go in more depth and get access to all the assets we use internally — make sure to get on the 1:1 call and share your background.
If you're fit you will be invited to Strategy Circle and get access to in depth materials to implement.
I want to build a high-performer group of top marketers who can execute on this. That means not everyone will be allowed to get in and have access.

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— Jakub Jablonsky (Entrepreneur & Investor)

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