Lead Generation - Performativeness

Philip Morgan

A long time ago I ranked lead generation techniques by how rapidly they could build trust. This was an expert opinion, not a large sample-size study. Still, it seemed useful at the time.

Since then, I've realized that some lead generation techniques require you to perform in some way.

The center of gravity of the kind of lead generation techniques that we indie consultants use is pure education, which is demonstrating our expertise through some form of teaching whether it be a useful blog post, book, podcast guest appearing, or other form of teaching.

This isn't meant to be legible, but you'll notice one category has the most items in this screenshot of a mindmap:

That's the category of pure education. The other categories are:

  1. Performative education (speaking or other forms of performative education that are expected to hold a group/audience's interest; you're not just demonstrating expertise, you're also having to do something else: be interesting, be funny, be easy to listen to, be surprising, etc.)
  2. Penumbra of authority (amplifying existing authority through press mentions, etc.)
  3. Digital billboards
  4. Money-powered outreach (ads, basically)
  5. Emotional labor-powered outreach
  6. Presence with, or service to, a community that includes buyers
  7. Marketplace-based

The performative education category contains lead generation techniques that probably build trust faster, but they have a cost: you need to perform in some way.

The Lead Generation Operating System (http://leadgenerationoperatingsystem.com) is meant to be equally useful to 3 very different aspirations: seeking to level up, seeking to de-risk (a sole reliance on referrals, perhaps), and seeking to regain.

If you're seeking to regain (lost revenue, a lost whale client, etc.) then you're on a reduced resource budget. You're short on time, and you're probably short on the emotional energy needed to learn to perform.

That's why I think it's important to think about how much performativeness is involved in any given lead generation technique.