How Unknown Agencies Are Driving Inbound Leads

Today, I want to discuss how to generate massive inbound leads and sales even if you are a nobody.

I will show you how it’s done based on an example I used the last few days. This is a step-by-step process that you should also be able to follow.

So one of the questions is how do you establish yourself and stand out?

And most people will approach it where they think, you know what? I need to take pictures in front of a Lamborghini. I need to show people how much money I have. But there’s a more powerful way than I want you to see this technique.

So I was at a mastermind, and the guy sitting next to me was a plumber. I was polite to him because I didn’t know if he was anybody.

It was a social media mastermind. I looked him up. It was this guy, Roger Wakefield. You can see he’s got almost 600,000 subscribers on YouTube and millions of followers across all the other networks. If you search on YouTube for plumbing, you’ll see videos all about him.

Rodger Wakefield’s YouTube channel

If you just do a Google search for plumbing, you’ll see a bunch of stuff related to him. Because he’s made, as a master plumber, you can see all these ads for plumbers. As a master plumber, this guy has run a Texas Green Plumbing business for 30 years.

And he’s become such a successful plumber that if you want to become a plumber, you probably learned how to become a plumber from him. He started a whole program to help people become plumbers and make $80,000 yearly in the trades.

He’s coaching other people who are influencers in other areas on how to become the Roger Wakefield. So, at this mastermind, he says, Hey, I need some help with SEO.

Can you help me? And I said, why? sure.

Of course, before this, he had paid for other people to do SEO. I showed him what SEO was. We spent a few days together in Dallas. If we look at my photos, I just returned from Dallas a couple of days ago.


So here we are, having chicken and steak with Roger. We categorized his knowledge and some of my knowledge and put it into a book. We just wrote this using material we already have with ChatGPT and wrote this book.

We decided, you know what? This is so cool. Let’s go live on his channel, which has a lot of people. Let’s make this video: Are you Googleable?

Dennis Yu and Roger Wakefield discussing about SEO

We talk about SEO from the perspective of a home service tradesperson, someone certified to do what they do. How would you tell if you hired a mechanic to fix your car and they weren’t quite so honest? Or if you got on a flight, how would you know if that pilot wouldn’t crash the plane? 

It’s because they’re certified. It’s because they have a license. It’s because they had to go through training. It’s because there’s a clear standard that everyone can understand and respect. But in the world of SEO, there’s not one.  So Roger came up with this idea in the middle of the night. And he texted me and said, ” I got this idea, Dennis.”

Are you Googleable? And I said that’s fantastic because that’s so much better than SEO. After all, the minute you mention SEO, it implies you’re about to get scammed. It implies that the person trying to sell you services is a guru and isn’t going to tell you their secret, proprietary methods. 

So I met Roger for the second time. The first time was at Social Media Marketing World in San Diego. And I knew he was a LIGHTHOUSE, which I’ll explain in a moment, which is what you want to do for yourself.

You’ll want to find a Roger, and I’ll explain those steps in a second. I thought this guy was so cool. I want to speak at this conference in Dallas, and he’s in Dallas. I pulled him up on stage and interviewed him about how he could scale his plumbing business.

And then, for fun, I asked ChatGPT the following;

If I were here with Roger Wakefield on stage at Digimarcon, you know a lot about me. You know who Roger is. If we were to write a book together, what would the title be, and what would it be about? And ChatGPT said, given that you’re an expert in digital plumbing and Roger is an actual plumber, let’s call it mastery, mastery for plumbers from pipes to clicks or something like that.

It was something that blended this stuff. And Roger and I looked at each other and said, this is live on stage. We said that’s an incredible idea. Let’s do that. And so we did, and he bought the domain We created a certification, the Googlealist. 

To summarize, Roger Wakefield is a LIGHTHOUSE among plumbers, meaning he is super well-known among plumbers. All the plumbers know who he is.

I provided services to Roger Wakefield, showing him SEO, fixing things on his site, and fixing all sorts of Google-ish things like his knowledge panel. We did all these things, and he was so impressed. With the stuff we did, he wanted to go live with his audience, which we talked about here.

And what he says is he got burned for $47,000 from his last three marketing agencies. 

He’s very successful but didn’t have a nickel to rub together before. This was because he put his dollars in the hands of some SEO expert who promised all this stuff. I won’t give you the whole story, but he overcame all this. And just by being a good plumber, he could build a successful business by turning wrenches and cleaning pipes.

And we opened his eyes to what it means.

One part of this is holding up a scale and imagining that I’m a bathroom scale optimizer. And you step on the scale in the morning, you look down at your feet, and it says some horrible number that shows that you’re obese. And you get mad at the scale and say, I need to hire a bathroom scale optimizer.

So, instead of saying 300 pounds, it says 190 pounds. So you come to me, and I’ll tell you that I’m a bathroom scale optimizer. You pay me $3,000 a month.

If you give me three months, because bathroom scale optimization takes time, you’ll lose much weight. What do you say? Pretty good. Pay me to be a bathroom scale optimizer. Why is that ridiculous? Why can’t I just pay someone to be a bathroom scale optimizer? 

I have to do the work. No, but I don’t want to. I’m whatever it is that I do. I don’t know anything about bathroom scale optimization. Instead, leave it to the experts. You can have the best coach, technology, and bathroom scale optimizer, but you must still exercise.

You still have to lose weight, sleep properly, maintain a proper lifestyle, and all that kind of stuff. The same is true for SEO. So, in the same way, it’s ridiculous to hire someone to do SEO.

Only you can do things like creating content and trust. I’m doing this with Roger, or you’re doing this with your clients. But then, if you look at the four-stage Content Factory, which is what we teach, the first stage is that you must produce all this content.

So that’s what I was teaching. The content comes from your clients who love you as well. That’s social proof, reputation management, and good reviews. My buddy Dan posted that he generated nearly a million dollars in merit-based scholarships this year and last year, and another one came in for $125,000 if I’m not mistaken.

And that’s all the proof that shows you’re good at what you do, and it attracts more of the kinds of Judy Browns you want to get. So, if you’ve got this proof that you’re doing good stuff because you share your expertise, you’re around a LIGHTHOUSE.

If you have a post that does well, meaning it gets more than 10% engagement, meaning one in 10 people like it or stay to watch for more than 15 seconds, like comments, and share that kind of thing, then that’s a good sign that it resonates with your audience. If you’ve niched down the audience, you can hire people to do it.

You can do stages two, three, and four with virtual assistance, but stage one is yours.

Now, let’s go back to what this means with the LIGHTHOUSE. You could see Roger, and I go on and on for two and a half hours.

Dennis Yu and Roger Wakefield 2.5 hours Livestream

He holds up the book a few times. I hold it up, and we say, are you Googleable? And we’ve already pre-written the book because it’s through ChatGPT. We took all my knowledge about marketing as it applies to plumbers, all these videos, and transcripts. 

And now, because he’s promoting it to his audience of plumbers who all respect who he is, these plumbers are coming in and want to know if they are Googleable. And our tool isn’t quite ready. So we’re doing it manually. We’re using Vendasta to score people, but they’re getting a report card on how they rank on maps.

How are their reviews? How fast is their site load? How many keywords do they rank on? How do they do versus their competitors? How are they doing on local service ads? What is their average cost per click? What are all these things? And it’s helpful. We’re just white-labeling Vendasta for now while we try to get our tool ready.

When you have a LIGHTHOUSE, someone who is well-known in the industry, and you convince them that you are the real deal, they will sell to their audience.

When you have the LIGHTHOUSE in the niche that you serve, talk about you; you have now won the lottery. This is why you can generate massive leads using this LIGHTHOUSE strategy.

Now, you never need to market again. You never need to get on these calls. You never need to deal with these tire kickers or people who waste your time and make you mad because they know who you are. So I don’t have this issue of people that are no-shows, or they say, “Oh, that’s too expensive” or “No” because they know that we’re the best and even to get my time personally or someone else on the team, they view that as a big plus.

So, that’s why I wanted to share the idea of a LIGHTHOUSE. So what do you think about this? How does this apply to you? Do you have a LIGHTHOUSE?

Maybe you’re thinking like, “I don’t have my niche focused down enough,” “I don’t have a clear offer,” or “I don’t have a clear X.”

Where are you at this stage? And what do you think about what I just showed you? This was literally from the last few days, and we have built a whole business just around serving plumbers. Roger is so well known that roofers, pest control companies, garage door companies, and all these other guys in residential services also follow him.

And then he knows the Rogers of all the other industries. So we were hanging out eating steak at this fancy steakhouse. And he says, “Dennis, I had this idea, the stuff we’re doing for plumbers and HVAC companies. I know Tommy Mello. I’m like, yeah, I know Tommy. Tommy’s great. Tommy Mello is the number one garage door guy.

He does 300 million a year and has a whole conference. What do you think about licensing this tool? Are you Googleable for the quiz and the training? So, someone can be a certified Googealist. What do you think? We share that with Tommy, and then he can do it, too. And I know Tommy would say yes to that.

We can take it multiple steps further because we started with the LIGHTHOUSE. So that’s my answer for you. That’s the best I have on how you make a lot of money when you’re not well known.

Do you see how this is an entirely different way of thinking about marketing and sales than the traditional approach which goes like this: I need to create a landing page with an offer and then spend all this money on ads to drive people to book a 15-minute discovery call with me. From there, I will qualify them and try to sell them in my package.

Then, a certain percentage of people will click on my ad. I may get a lead, like an email address or whatever, for $10. One in four will book a call, so it’s $40 per call. One in five will sign up for my $5,000 package. So now my cost is whatever the number is: $200.

Do you see what I just explained about using the LIGHTHOUSE to co-create high-authority content that people can follow step by step transparently?

It’s cleaner and much classier than the “I’m just trying to sell my services. I will hop on anyone who wants to have a call with me.”

I was in Pakistan a month ago, and they gave me this considerable plaque, the Excellence Award. I don’t even know what I did to earn this award, or maybe they just did it for anyone who was American because they love Americans who come over. But when someone gives you an award, you want to share it. So, we had this crazy success with Ashley Furniture.

These guys do the furniture stores, and I printed this poster at my expense. You’re going to unroll it out of the tube. And it said, congratulations to Mike Malaro of Ashley Furniture. It showed these stats, all these beautiful charts, happy pictures of customers, and how their stats were improving. It was colorful, of course.

You can use line charts and bar charts, but make them colorful. And what will he do when he goes to the office and gets this thing? He won’t throw it away like all the junk mail. He’s going to pull it out, unroll it, be like, “Oh, wow. Thank you so much, Dennis.” He will put it on the wall in his office, and everyone who walks into it will say, “Whoa, that’s cool. What’s that? Oh, we kicked some ass last year on our marketing. Look at how many more reviews we got. Look at what our ROAS was. Look at how much revenue we generated from Facebook, probably through the ad system.” And then he can just smile and say, “See.” And so this is what we’re doing with all of our clients.

Maybe you’re so busy focusing on delivery, or worse, focusing on getting more clients, that you don’t celebrate when you succeed. The method I’m telling you about is if you do good work, you shouldn’t be on this call; if you don’t, you shouldn’t be on this call. Then elevate those clients and make these; it’s not that you’re trying to use them as testimonials.

It’s not that you’re trying to get them to say good things about you.

No, you’d be a douchebag for saying that, right? But you’re elevating them.

And you honor them. There are only specific industries where it may be a little more challenging. For example, in the cosmetic surgery where these celebrities, they don’t want anyone to know they had fat sucked out of their butt, or maybe you’re a personal injury or a criminal defense lawyer. You get people out of jail for murder or something.

You don’t want to say, “Oh yeah, my client, so and so, got charged for murder, and I got them off.” No one of us is coaching people in embarrassing situations, right? Where you’re providing a service. 

The LIGHTHOUSE is the exact opposite of outbound, cold email, selling, and hammering as many people as possible. I need clients. Let’s get on the phone. Let me try to close you.

For the LIGHTHOUSE, you’re using the power of a client example to get all the other people who follow that client to want to do the same thing. Monkey see, monkey do. That’s the LIGHTHOUSE. Does that make sense to everybody?

It’s the secret technique for generating inbound leads and sales. When you are a good person, the LIGHTHOUSE strategy is fantastic.

I never want to be a salesperson or douchebag. I can never overcome a No. If someone told me no, I would just run away. I’m like, “I’m sorry.” I just don’t even like the idea of selling. I could sell, but if I had to, I just liked the idea of all these people coming to me.

The founder of Red X came to me, with an emergency problem: his website lost half its traffic because they hired some agency to build it, which turned into a disaster. All these other bad things happened, and they tried to rip him off and charge him a lot of money.

This is an example of a LIGHTHOUSE, also known as word of mouth or reputation.

Remember, I’ve never met this guy. I don’t even know who he is. What’s Red X? I had to look them up. Red X is a huge real estate site for real estate agents who want to use software to generate leads.

We thoroughly analyzed and fixed it, figuring out what was happening. 

Dennis Yu and Curts Fenn (Owner of RedX)

This is an example of a micro LIGHTHOUSE. Why? Because I’ve taken good care of this guy, Connor, a long-time friend of mine. 

Connor built his business years ago. About six or seven years ago, he came to me and said, “Dennis, I know we’ve never met, but I’ve been consuming your content for years. I feel like I stole from you because I’ve generated all this benefit and grown my business.”

He thanked me at an event I was speaking at seven years ago. I told him the best way to thank me was to make a one-minute video about his story, what he’s learned, and what’s happened. So we can elevate him and show other young adults getting into marketing that it’s a trade, like plumbing or electrician work. There’s a set of skills to learn, and he did it. In the last seven years, he’s grown, and I’m proud of him.

He started a SaaS company last year, and one of his contacts is the president of Red X, as you can see. He referred that person to me. Did I pay a commission? No. Maybe I should take him to dinner the next time I see him. 

Curtis, the president of this big company, doesn’t know me, and I don’t know him. But a LIGHTHOUSE is a large-scale referral. It’s an evergreen referral strategy. I’m not counting on customers going out of their way to refer me, because those referrals rarely happen.

A LIGHTHOUSE strategy involves co-creating content with that LIGHTHOUSE, like interviewing them on a podcast and then turning it into a book or other derivative content.

What are your thoughts about using the LIGHTHOUSE strategy to get more sales?

Video source: Shorten The Gap

Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu is co-author of the #1 best-selling book on Amazon in social media, The Definitive Guide to TikTok Ads.  He has spent a billion dollars on Facebook ads across his agencies and agencies he advises. Mr. Yu is the "million jobs" guy-- on a mission to create one million jobs via hands-on social media training, partnering with universities and professional organizations.You can find him quoted in major publications and on television such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and LA Times. Clients have included Nike, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Ashley Furniture, Quiznos-- down to local service businesses like real estate agents and dentists. He's spoken at over 750 conferences in 20 countries, having flown over 6 million miles in the last 30 years to train up young adults and business owners. He speaks for free as long as the organization believes in the job-creation mission and covers business class travel.You can find him hiking tall mountains, eating chicken wings, and taking Kaqun oxygen baths-- likely in a city near you.