There’s another distinction to be made via the lead generation methodologies we’ve been exploring.
And that’s one of risk versus return (very much similar to how one might think of an investment portfolio).
Simply put: we want to maximize return while minimizing risk.
And not just the risk of any one particular campaign or strategic initiative.
But also the risk inherent to the system as a whole.
And when I get messages like this one:
I see risk for days that might otherwise be hidden from view from this particular principal.
What if a software partner decides they don’t like you anymore?
What if your prospective clients stop using your preferred software platforms?
What if the market you serve starts solving the problem in an entirely different way than the software platforms they currently rely on?
I spoke to a firm a few months back who used to receive an abundance of local leads for their training workshops on the back of a few first-page SERP results. Then they hired a developer to give them a “website refresh,” the traffic disappeared overnight, and they were scrambling to fill the void.
I spoke to an author last week who was frustrated that she didn’t have direct access to her readers and was entirely dependent on Amazon for her book sales. Her nervousness with this setup was palpable.
Hell, I’m writing this email to you right now because I saw risk in my own setup and needed to diversify away from dependence on mostly one platform and one type of engagement.
When things are going well it’s tempting to feel like the world is working in your favor.
But just as Taleb writes about the risky addiction that is a monthly salary:
“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.”
The same could be said about your Golden Goose lead generation channel.
It hasn’t let you down yet…
But it also hasn’t required you to dedicate much of your time or resources to understanding how you might make your business work if it wasn’t there.
Think of it this way.
When you have a stock that delivers outsized returns, from a risk management perspective you wouldn’t:
- Liquidate your other assets and double down on that position.
- Assume that you now don’t have to worry about managing your portfolio.
- Sit back and sip a pina colada on a vacation you took on the capital gains you lopped off the top of that brokerage account as you log in to continue to admire the stock ticker on your phone.
(Well, actually… you might make an argument for that last one.)
Instead, the typical portfolio risk management advice would have you rebalancing: taking the gains from that outsized performance and investing it into other capital deployment opportunities.
Some less risky, so that you “lock in” some of the benefit.
Some more risky, but with a chance for even more exceptional rewards.
And some left right where it came from, under the tentative assumption that if it worked before, it’ll probably work again.
So yes, part of getting the marketing and lead generation puzzle right is choosing the most effective strategy to pursue.
But part of the equation is also figuring out how to diversify against the natural ebb and flow of the effectiveness of any one methodology.