Below is an article that I published on Inc.com, which you can also read here
If you want to start a new business or revenue stream, research lead flipping — also known as lead brokering. Leads are in high demand across industries. Think about companies in the following verticals: mortgage, insurance, home improvement, solar, personal, business, auto loans — the list goes on. Each one of these companies requires a steady flow of leads to survive and grow.
As a lead broker, your role is to find lead buyers and lead sellers and broker a deal between them. Here are some of the most popular types of leads that can be sold:
- Inbound online forms: Someone sees an ad online, clicks on it, goes to a landing page and fills out a form.
- Live transfers: A call center calls a potential lead and asks questions to confirm they’re a qualified lead. If they are, the lead is transferred to the lead buyer’s call center.
- Data lists and aged leads: You can use data to compile lists of individuals or companies to sell. Aged leads are leads that, after being generated, are sold at a later date.
Set up a website and landing page
To start, you need a website. If you already have one, create a landing page to generate leads. The page should be specific to the leads you are selling. Create one landing page for each vertical. On the landing page, provide enough information to interest a potential client but not enough to make a decision. For example, do not provide pricing — simply include your background and information on the types of leads you sell.
To increase your conversion rate, create videos explaining what you sell. It’s best to be physically present in the video. Beyond having a form for your lead to fill out, add live chat to the page and a calendar link so they can schedule a call with you.
Choose a vertical
There are over 100 verticals that you can choose from, but I recommend choosing a service that is in demand nationwide. Local services are harder to sell. If you choose a vertical like mortgage or insurance, you have more nationwide lead buyers and a higher volume of leads that can be sold. To compare, trying to sell home improvement leads to a local company is more difficult and volume will consequently be low.
Find lead sellers
Lead sellers are easy to find because they are already marketing their services. Search for lists of lead sellers in Google or attend industry trade shows to meet them. You can also go to trade show websites to find lists of exhibitors and sponsors. This is an easy way to find potential lead sellers.
Affiliate networks are another great place to start. Most affiliate networks are in multiple verticals. They typically have buyers and sellers in their network. It’s a great way to see which verticals are hot and potentially find a lead buyer or seller.
Generate leads to find clients
To find lead buyers, you can go the free or paid marketing route. For paid marketing, use Google AdWords or LinkedIn. In AdWords, place ads based on search terms like mortgage leads, business loan leads, etc. On LinkedIn, you can target specific types of companies and titles.
If you’re going the free marketing route, search Google as if you are a customer. For example, say you sell mortgage leads. Act as if you are trying to get a mortgage for yourself to find the companies that are paying for marketing. Those companies are perfect to contact and sell leads to. You can do this for any vertical. Lead buyers purchase leads from multiple companies, so it’s easier to get them to test your leads. If you sell website design, on the other hand, there is more pressure to close the deal because companies only buy one website from one company.
The best part about this business is the lifetime value of a client. Because lead buyers typically buy leads daily, the lifetime value can be in the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of months or years. As well, there are minimal moving parts and no barriers to entry. The price you charge for leads depends on the vertical and type of lead. But as long as you provide great service, your clients will keep coming back.