Is it worth it? What automation tool should I use?
If you are a B2B consultant or agency owner who is currently using LinkedIn and cold email as a lead generation method, then you know that:
manually researching leads,
adding connections on LinkedIn,
finding and validating email addresses,
sending and replying to messages,
nurturing relationships and following up leads
…..can be VERY time-consuming.
A more cost-effective option is to use automation or tools designed to automate various tasks and cut down the time-consuming heavy lifting parts of the job.
The types of automation tools that I have experimented with include:
AI generated personalised lines [$99 USD/ month]
Personalised image or GIF creator [$99 USD/ month]
Email cleaning and validation [$30-$50 USD/ month]
Email sending [$30-$50 USD/ month per inbox]
LinkedIn connecting, liking and commenting, follow up messaging [$15 - $99 USD/ month]
Zaps such as logging leads into the CRM or triggering workflows [$10 USD/ month]
That’s between $200 USD - $500 USD per month [or more].
However, automation is limited.
While automation can radically shorten some tasks, pieces of work still need to be connected and coordinated by a human.
What automation CAN NOT do includes:
Create lists of target prospects
Research leads and create in-depth personalised outreach messages
Set up LinkedIn and email campaigns
Reply to messages
Follow up leads
Moreover, automation tools are flawed and can create errors such as inserting the wrong name into a dynamic placeholder or they are limited in judgment to filter leads in a given list.
A human is still required to set up automation workflows and combine steps to handle anything unexpected or remotely intuitive or emotional.
So while automation is helpful, like any tool or software, it can never replace a human and require humans to steer and guide them.
Enter virtual assistants or VAs.
A VA is a junior staff member or offshore contractor who can handle large pieces of repetitive and manual tasks required to generate leads while maintaining a human touch.
A virtual assistant can:
Replace or manage an automated tool
Combine the automated steps and fulfil the tasks that automation cannot do [such as building lists or researching leads]
Humanise outreach and responses, catching errors before they occur
Moreover, an offshore VA costs similar to or marginally higher than automation tools, around $3/hr or $500 per month.
Having a full-time VA can help you streamline and systemise much of your processes and genuinely free you up to lead your team, focus on client delivery, handle sales calls and be the CEO of your company.
If you want help hiring and managing a VA, I can help you. Comment below or reply to this thread, and we can set up a short chat.