I have a confession: you know the cliché about the cobbler’s kids? I’ve been there and done that. And you can see proof of it back in April 2009, when I blogged about how to best leverage LinkedIn as a lead generation tool. Step five was “create your own LinkedIn group and share relevant content.”
The problem was that my company at the time, InTouch, which became a part of MECLABS this year, didn’t have its own LinkedIn Group. My message to my blog readers should have been, “Do as I say, not as I do.”
Having advised my readers to start a LinkedIn group, I knew that I should at least consider doing the same. But I wanted to make sure that whatever I created would contribute value that couldn’t be found anywhere else. Why add to the noise?
So I began perusing groups in earnest. Surprisingly, I couldn’t find anyone who was completely dedicated to lead generation at the time. Okay, let me qualify that – one that was completely dedicated to lead generation without self-promotion drowning out discussions that addressed real issues. That was the gap that needed to be filled, so three weeks later, I launched the B2B Lead Roundtable.
Today, we’re celebrating its second birthday, and I am proud to say we are on the verge of 8,500 members. In fact, I expect that we will reach and exceed that milestone this week.
I am also glad that the B2B Lead Roundtable became what I had hoped: a forum where professionals can share their questions and insights without being inundated with people trying to sell them something. Instead, they’re given legitimate, compelling feedback from professionals who genuinely know what they’re talking about. That’s probably because the vast majority are seasoned executives.
This is evident in the responses to this question I posed six months ago: “How do you plan to generate better leads in 2011?” From business leaders across the globe, the answers are a snapshot of the challenges B2B marketers and sales professionals are dealing with right now. As I perused their comments, it became clear that while we have more tools than ever to engage customers – websites, content, telemarketing, direct mail, and the gamut of social media – we are challenged with investing and scaling resources to achieve the highest return. We may have more tools than ever before, but that also forces us to be more focused because what we need to cultivate always remains the same.
I encourage you to read the discussion (and, if you’re not already a member, to join the group) to find out how your fellow professionals create more demand this year and add your voice. After all, that’s what the B2B Lead Roundtable is all about, and as I contemplate how people are using it to support and educate each other, all I can say is that it’s probably not a bad idea to take your own advice once in a while.