17 (Ethical) Lead Generation Ideas

So you have heard somewhere that you should be focusing on Lead Generation for your coaching or consulting business? Yes, getting leads is part of any successful marketing strategy. But there’s lead generation for big businesses, and then there’s lead generation for coaches and consultants. In this blog, we’ll provide an introduction to lead generation, from understanding what leads are to how this applies to your small business. We’ll end with 17 ethical lead generation ideas. But most importantly, we’d like to help you humanize those leads and. Because guess what? Leads are humans! And we know that as a coach or consultant you care about the humans you want to serve.

Lead Generation Ideas

Introduction to Lead Generation

What Are Leads?

So, let’s talk about leads. These are the wonderful individuals who have shown an interest in your business by sharing their contact details, like email addresses or phone numbers. When you obtain this information through ethical means, it’s your opportunity to build a genuine connection with them and, hopefully, guide them towards becoming valued clients.

Leads play a crucial role in your business journey, serving as the initial step in transforming potential prospects into satisfied clients. They can come from various sources, such as networking events, online forms, email campaigns, webinars, and social media interactions. However, it’s important to remember that not all leads will make the transition to becoming clients. It’s your task to nurture them and encourage them along their journey through the Gentle Sales Path.

Exploring Types of Leads

In the world of marketing, we often categorize ideal clients into three distinct types:

  • Cold Leads:
    These are individuals who are relatively unfamiliar with your services or offerings. They might have stumbled upon your website but lack a deep connection to your business. Converting chilly ideal clients into actual clients can be challenging, as they don’t have an existing relationship with your brand.
  • Warm Leads:
    Warm leads, on the other hand, possess some prior knowledge of your company or product. They might have visited your website, subscribed to your email list, or engaged with your social media channels. Warm ideal clients are typically more inclined to become clients, thanks to their preexisting connection with your business.
  • Hot Leads:
    These are the individuals who are ready to make a purchase. They’ve already expressed a strong interest in your product or service and are eager to take the next step. Hot ideal clients are incredibly valuable because they are on the verge of becoming clients.

From Lead Conversion Funnel to The Gentle Sales Path

Now, let’s dive into what we often refer to as the “Gentle Sales Path,” which is an alternative to the conventional lead conversion funnel. The aim of the Gentle Sales Path is to identify and engage with potential clients, gather their information, and nurture them into becoming qualified ideal clients who are ready to make a purchase.

Lead Generation for Coaches

This journey typically comprises several stages, forming the shape of a path rather than a funnel:

  • Starting Point & Entry into your Gentle Sales Path (Cold Leads):
    At the beginning of the path, you focus on attracting a wide array of potential ideal clients through various marketing strategies such as social media ads, search engine optimization, content marketing, and email marketing. As these potential ideal clients engage with your brand and provide their contact details, they take the first steps along the Gentle Sales Path.
  • Middle of the Path (Warm Leads):
    In the middle of the path, you employ nurturing techniques like the ones I explain at the end of this article, to nurture and deepen the relationship with your ideal clients. These strategies help build relationships with ideal clients and educate them about your product or service. As ideal clients become more interested and engaged, they progress further along the path.
  • A Conversation with you in Your Serene Garden (Hot Leads):
    At the endpoint of the path, your ideal clients are considered qualified and ready to make a purchase. This is when you implement sales techniques, such as one-on-one consultations or Discovery Calls to close the deal and convert the ideal client into a satisfied client.

The overarching goal of the Gentle Sales Path is to attract more leads or potential ideal clients, nurture them into qualified ideal clients, and ultimately convert them into clients through a series of targeted and considerate marketing and sales efforts.

In the realm of humane marketing, we strive for a different approach—one that resonates with those who care, not only for their businesses but also for themselves, their clients, and our planet. So, instead of referring to these wonderful human beings as “leads,” we prefer to call them “ideal clients” (read our blog post on ‘Humanizing Leads‘), ‘paint points’ become challenges and the traditional “Lead Conversion Funnel” transforms into our “Gentle Sales Path.”

Doesn’t it feel different already? A Gentle Sales Path is unique for each ideal client, and it’s all about empowerment rather than forcefulness. It allows clients to make their own informed buying decisions, following personalized signposts along the way.

🚩 If you’re new to Humane Marketing, you’ll find great value in our Humane Marketing Words Glossary. It contains a collection of words we cherish, along with alternative phrases to replace pushy marketing language, such as “leads” and “lead magnets.”

Sales Funnel Template alternative

17 Ethical Lead Generation Ideas

Here are 17 ethical and effective strategies to foster genuine connections, elevate your humane brand, and attract ideal clients who resonate with your values. From client referrals to strategic partnerships, each method aligns with your commitment to building relationships over transactions in the realm of Humane Marketing.

  1. Client Referrals:
  2. Value-Packed Webinars:
    • Host webinars sharing valuable insights in your niche, positioning yourself as an expert and building trust.
  3. Thoughtful Email Campaigns:
  4. Social Media Engagement:
  5. Strategic Partnerships:
    • Collaborate with ethical businesses in your niche, amplifying your reach and credibility through trusted partnerships.
  6. Host Virtual Summits:
    • Organize online summits with industry experts, providing a platform for collaboration and lead generation.
  7. Community Engagement:
    • Engage in forums and relevant online communities, establishing yourself as a valuable contributor.
      >> Check out our community, the Humane Marketing Circle
  8. Case Studies and Success Stories:
    • Share authentic success stories on your website, demonstrating the real impact of your humane services.
      >> Read an example case study from one of my Marketing Like We’re Human participants.
  9. Ethical SEO Practices:
    • Optimize your website for search engines, ensuring your content reaches those actively seeking ethical solutions.
      >> Listen to this episode of the Humane Marketing Podcast: Attract the right clients with SEO
  10. Refine Your Gentle Sales Path:
  11. Host Free Workshops:
    • Offer free, value-packed workshops, showcasing your expertise and creating a platform for connection.
  12. Networking Events:
  13. Create Valuable Resources:
    • Develop informative ebooks, guides, or templates, positioning your brand as a valuable resource.
  14. Loyalty Programs:
    • Implement loyalty programs for existing clients, turning them into loyal advocates for your humane business.
  15. Ask for Feedback:
    • Seek feedback from your audience, demonstrating your commitment to continuous improvement.
  16. LinkedIn Outreach:
    • Connect with potential clients on LinkedIn, initiating conversations with a personalized and empathetic touch.
  17. Host Local Events:
    • Organize or participate in local community events, fostering connections with potential clients in your region.
Ready for an ethical marketing strategy that aligns with you ?Get the 1-Page Humane Marketing Plan Today!

The 7Ps of Human(e) Marketing as a Roadmap to Ethical Lead Generation

The 7Ps of Humane Marketing and its 1-Page Humane Marketing Plan is a roadmap for Changemakers who want market their business ethically.
Rooted in reflection, they start with the P of Passion to think about our bigger WHY and then continue to help us figure our very own Personal Power: what’s your Human Design type? what’s our story?, how are we wired?, what are our values and our worldview? Picture this journey as an exploration of our vision, mission, values and the unique strengths we bring to the table. By intertwining Passion, Personal Power, People and Partnership with traditional elements like Product, Price, and Promotion, the 7Ps of Humane Marketing carve a path that not only resonates with our ideal clients but also amplifies the impact of our business.

It’s a holistic approach, where every marketing decision reflects the depth of our commitment, echoing the principles of a truly ethical and conscious business.

>> Read more about the 7Ps of Humane Marketing.
>> Read more about Marketing for Changemakers
>> Find out about the Marketing Like We’re Human aka The Client Resonator Program

The One Page Marketing Plan

Other Resources You Might Enjoy

Blog post: Empathy in Sales: How to Sell with Heart & Mind 

Blog post: Discovery Call: Sell without a Script

Blog post: What Makes People Buy?

Blog post: Customer-Centric Selling: a Reframe for Heart-Centered Entrepreneurs

Blog post: The Humane Marketing Glossary: Humane Marketing Words we love




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Get the Fill In the Blank One-Page Marketing Plan

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Your contact information is safe, and will not be used in ways
other than stated on this page.