How to generate leads in 2019 using the farmer's method

Lead Generation is the ‘initiation of consumer interest’ which means it’s the first step to acquiring new customers.

The internet is evolving and so is lead generation, social media platforms hate promotional messages, communities kick you out the moment you try to share any link. So how do you generate leads anymore? Let’s try to find a solution with the help of farmers.

Human History

Historians divide human history into large chunks of time - the first of those chunks starts from the “stone age” and evolves into the “new stone age”. In around 10,000BC, we learnt how to use advanced tools which lead to the discovery of agriculture. There was no need for our ancestors to be nomads anymore. The dependance on hunting wild animals reduced and husbandry became the norm.

Human History Image Source: Food vector created by macrovector - www.freepik.com

Marketing History

Before technology, the salesman went door to door, advertised products or services, prying on a customer’s need or greed to make a sale. That was it. You would never call an Encyclopedia company for support, neither would you put hoardings of bad reviews. Technology changed everything, now the customer was much more educated. Selling something wasn’t that straight forward anymore, you had to make sure the customer loved the product and provide service for almost forever. You could advertise all you want, but post-sales service became as important as sales itself. Social media changed everything again, now before buying something a customer would first search the product or service for reviews, research about the company, see if their friends are using it and then make a purchase. Pre-sales also became as important as post-sales. Platforms like Facebook allowed you to “target” (hunt for) customers, you showed them great reviews and case studies and they signed up for your service.

What’s changing

This was all the “hunter” approach to marketing. All businesses wanted to hunt down customers and get them to buy their product/services. Very similar to someone out in a forest with a gun trying to shoot a deer, as soon as they hit the animal they would be like “Yeah! We got it!”. It has worked really well in the past, but now, the “hunting” approach is slowly failing. Although we’re doing everything right, still we’re not getting enough leads or clients. Let’s find out why is this happening and what’s the solution.

Where is the problem

Because hunting had such instant results, people forgot their human side and began spamming, buying followers, and pumping money into ads like never before. The online space was filled with people trying to sell stuff, so much that you could not read your friend’s posts without ten ads trying to sell everything from insurance to houses. Now, these platforms are evolving. In Facebook’s F8 2019 Mark Zuckerberg stressed on how Facebook is concentrating more on tightly administered groups now than ever, and that the “Future is Private.”. Instagram itself is experimenting removing the like count altogether and restructuring the app to give less emphasis to vanity metrics like follower count. These platforms want to stop hunters as much as possible. By promoting groups, Facebook is making sure that people moderate their own content. Without hiring hundreds of workers to make sure the social network stays free from hunters, group admins will kick out hunters themselves. One of the main policy of all these groups is that you are not allowed to self-promote your business.

So how do you generate leads anymore?

You need to change the way you think and work. Instead of thinking from a “hunter’s” mentality you need to now approach this as a farmer. A farmer tills the soil, plants the seeds, protects the saplings, gives it water, nurtures them, and waits patiently for the fruit. Here are the differences between a hunter and farmer, try to associate them with your marketing strategies:

  1. A hunter waits in the forest for the right moment, a farmer works hard to prepare the field.
  2. A hunter’s main weapon is his gun, a farmer’s main weapon is his knowledge about the plants & animals.
  3. A hunter’s goal is short term, a farmer’s goal is long term
  4. A hunter kills things while a farmer grows things.

You need to start approaching your marketing as a farmer instead of a hunter. To do this, You need to start concentrating on building relationships instead of generating leads. First see what the other person needs and understand their problem, try to guide them to self-help solutions and win their trust. Instead of thinking of how can you make them spend money, think about how can you help your audience first and you’ll reap the fruits sooner or later.


At Smooper, we help digital marketers approach lead generation as farmer’s. We connect them with small businesses looking for help in digital marketing. If you are a digital marketer, we urge you to become a farmer now and sign up for Smooper.


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