Get PAID per Lead: Reversing the Traditional Marketing Model

Today’s post is for: Intermediate to Advanced Marketers, but only the ones that want to get PAID per lead instead of the other way around.

Ahem… that’s YOU 🙂

How to Get Paid Per Lead Instead of PayING for Leads

With a blog named Shoestring101, you can believe I like to deliver my readers cheap and simple ways to market their businesses.

Whether your biz is strictly online, or offline, or a mix of BOTH… of course it’s valuable to know how to get new customers for cheap.

But what about if there was a way… or several ways… to actually get PAID to get new business?

Up to now, how many customers you could acquire was limited by your ad budget. But with a principle like getting PAID per lead… there is no limit to how many customers you can acquire except how many you are set up to handle at one time.

Welcome to the “holy” GRAIL of marketing, dear Reader 😉

These principles will work for any kind of business. Whether yours is internet marketing… a “sticks and bricks” local store… a service business… or other…  you’ll want to pay attention. Read on for a mental blast of money-making awesomeness!

How I Got Paid $270 to Market My Local Business

The first time I realized I had used one of the principles laid out for you in this post was a couple years ago.

My sticks-and-bricks business, The Freedom School of Martial Arts is mainly composed of kids aged 4-12. Now, we are a serious martial arts outfit, training adults in the art of self-defense as well as entering Mixed Martial Arts (MMA-cagefighting) competitions. But the majority of our Students are children.

So how many four-year-olds do you know that manage household expenses? Ha. Of course. My “target market” Student is widdle bitty… so my actual CUSTOMER is Mom.

Watch this one:

My wife and I put up an Events page on Facebook. The event was titled, “Fight Like A Girl: a Self-Defense Class for Busy Ladies”.

kim and kurt vid<== watch me get my butt kicked on YouTube We included a few pics of me dressed like a thug, getting my @ss whomped by women. One of those women was my friend Kim Lyons, who you might recognize from Seasons 3 and 4 of “Biggest Loser”. This was Great stuff for “liking” and “sharing”.

Anyhoo, the Event page spelled out the particulars: $45 per person for a three-hour clinic in self defense that guaranteed you would actually be fighting by the end.

We posted pics for friends to like and share in our regular timelines, with a link back to the events page. We also updated the Event Page several times to create buzz and excitement about the upcoming class. We mentioned that if you bring a FRIEND, your entry was free. That way we could nearly double attendance to the event.

Some folks took us up on that; others just paid for themselves. We ended up with over a dozen Students for the Fight Like A Girl class, but only 12 paid full price so it was $270 in revenue. Not a bad way to start, but wait!

It gets better.

After an empowering three hours (and a teeny amount of bruises on yers truly, even though I literally had a bulletproof vest on 😉 ), we had a wonderful group of ladies that had PROOF of how confident and positive one can be with a little martial arts training.

And some of those ladies were moms.

See where this is going?

“Hey ladies, if you thought it was empowering to learn to defend yourself… just think how this training could help a CHILD to grow up confident and strong. We’re having an enrollment special this week if you’d like to schedule and intro class for your little ones.”

Bada boom.

I don’t like to speak about my Students in terms of just dollars and cents… the relationship we have with our Students over years, even decades amounts to more than just money… but in strictly business terms I’ll spell out that the combined tuition of new enrollments from that one event have so far totaled in the thousands, with several hundred per month, every month still set to come in over the next several years.

Cost of putting a Facebook page together: $0 Updating and posting pics to like and share:$0 Having a happy roomful of your target market together at once: PRICELESS.

This is one example of getting paid per lead.

Four Powerful Ways to Get Paid Per Lead, Instead of Paying for Leads

When I first got involved in internet marketing in 2002, I learned quickly that I could do very well by reverse-engineering my marketing funnel.

That is, by keeping and analyzing metrics for my online biz:

  • How many buyers per webinar attendee…
  • how many webinar attendees per email…
  • how many email subscribers per click to my squeeze page…
  • how many clicks per dollar(s) I spent on pay-per-click..!

…by doing the math I could come up with a pretty reliable figure of what I would need to spend on advertising in order to get $1,000, $10,000, or $50,000 in sales.

This information helped me to “roll out” products with very little risk. For example, in 2008 I re-launched an information product that netted over $57,800 in about six weeks, and went on to make over a million more (you can get the detailed the report on that by leaving a thoughtful comment today) but I wouldn’t have sunk any time, effort, or money into it if I didn’t already have a proven winner.

By starting out small and tweaking the marketing funnel first so that you know that X amount of pay-per-click will result in Y amount of sales, you get to the place where you can set up a self-funding loop for your marketing.

But that is SOOOO last decade.


What I’m talking about today is instead of buying leads… you should be getting paid to get leads.


Yesterday my wife and I got new phones, with a special plan. The young gal selling us the phones said that as a part of a new promotion, we could listen to music “unlimitedly”, with none of it being counted against our data usage.

Heh… I don’t know if “unlimitedly” is a real word, but if it is then it’s my new very favorite adverb. “Unlimitedly” describes the Because if I’m getting PAID per lead instead of the other way around, that makes b00-koo sense. There is no limit to the amount of business you or I can attract with a setup like that.

Here are the powerful “Four Horsemen” of getting leads for your offline OR online business, “UNLIMITEDLY”:

The Power of Leverage: Increasing Returns I’ve recently been using Fiverr in my quest to prove that business opportunities ABOUND. The main, most important thing that I use Fiverr for is to “validate”; that is, you can use Fiverr (or eBay, or Craiglist, or any number of other cheap or free platforms) to TEST whether or not there is actually anyone out there that will pay for your services. It’s not the amount that matters; yes, it appears that you can only earn one “Fiverr” at a time, but that is only the beginning. And remember that we are learning to get PAID to get leads for our business. So I put up a couple of “gigs”, jobs that pay a Fiverr, or $5 a pop. One was for copywriting services, the other promised that I would teach them 7 hacks to get on the front page of local Google results for free. This last is essentially a PDF of my post on this blog, Seven Ways to Hack Local SEO for a Free Front Page Listing. In the last two months I’ve gotten scads of $5 copywriting jobs for all kinds of people and companies. Here’s the ticket: rather than shrugging and saying, “Ah, it’s only $5. I’ll give ’em a minimal effort”… INSTEAD I pulled out all the stops and over-delivered. Essentially, I treated $5 jobs like they were $50 jobs, or $500 jobs. Napoleon Hill called this the principle of increasing returns. He said that if you consistently give more and better service than is expected, you will set in motion a principle that absolutely guarantees you a promotion in life. So some of what I did was piddly-widdly, like improving a leadpages ad for a total newbie at internet marketing, or tweaking a multi-level marketing page for a distributor of nutritional supplements. for these I earned EVERY PENNY of my $5 and worked my butt off like it was nobody’s business. And I may never hear from some of those guys again. But along the way, I also got:

  • A public speaker that asked me to do all of her PR work
  • A company that custom-designs computer apps that made me their lead copywriter
  • A travel firm that has me write all of their promotions now
  • A contact in India that makes amazing sites and programs and, like “Joe”, has given me loads of other contacts
  • A business consulting firm that again, has made me their lead copywriter and given me piles of high paying projects
  • A writer and lecturer in the Netherlands that paid me mucho cashola to help her rewrite huge sections of her website

…and a whole lot more. I should mention that I broke the Fiverr rules for NONE of these contacts; each of them sought me out by my Twitter handle @shoestring101 or they found my email by coming to my blog. They all started paying me directly for services related to what they found me for on Fiverr, but Fiverr is none the worse for it. Again, rather than PAYING for these leads, they paid ME. $5 a pop, or $4 if you count Fiverr’s commish. So that is another way of getting paid per lead: offer your own services cheaply and let that be the front door to your other paid projects.

The Power of Partnering

It’s not what you know, it’s WHO you know.

Oftentimes there are people in your life that are “connectors”… folks that will shout your name from the rooftops given the chance.

One such connector is my blogging friend, Ana Hoffman of Traffic Generation Cafe. Ana has an enormous following that digs in weekly to her “Marketing Skinny” emails and blog posts, as well as THE authoritative manual (that she gives away FREE) on generating free traffic to websites.

Besides being herself an expert on marketing, Ana brings in specialists to help her audience. One such specialist recently was Ryan Levesque, an expert on using surveys to radically multiply sales and conversions.

Get this:

I was on a webinar with Ana and Ryan where the latter was explaining how his “survey sales funnel” approach has gotten 175,000 customers (no, I didn’t say leads, or even dollars… that’s 175K paying customers, HELLO…) across 17 different markets in only 23 months. Whew!

During the webinar Ryan wryly answered an objection to an attendee’s question: “If you are doing so well with this ‘survey funnel’ thing, why are you selling the training for only $XXX dollars?”

Pay attention to this reply…

“Heh…” Ryan wryly answers, “I’ll tell you a secret. MOST folks will just buy the training and learn to set up a survey sales funnel for themselves. But a good number of people that know how effective this method is will be happier to have me set it up for them… and for that I charge a lot.”

Woo-hoo. The power of partnering: Ana invites her audience of dedicated followers that know her as a go-to gal for marketing. She hosts a program for Ryan to strut his stuff… gets paid I’m sure in the form of affiliate commish… but!

Ryan does VERY well because not only does he sell a boatload of courses… but those that want the benefit of a survey funnel but NOT the work, hire him to do the work. Win-win-win; Ana, Ryan, and their customers all do well from this arrangement.

What is Ryan’s biz? Setting up survey funnels. But by offering to share his training and share commissions Ryan is able to prospect for customers that want his services, while getting paid.

Getting paid per lead instead of the other way around. Well done, Ryan and Ana.

The Power of the Back End

My book, Get Paid TODAY! How to Structure Your Small Business Startup to be Profitable from Day ONE is also a get-paid-per-lead tool.

Folks that buy the book are paying for the info about how to properly “bootstrap”; that is, to take a business idea and get paid from the beginning.

But sprinkled all throughout the book are assignments and freebies that I give to folks that complete them.

A LOT of these assignments have resulted in people starting their own businesses and becoming their own boss… some on a small scale, some larger. But once a fella or a lady has begun to put simple marketing principles to work and seen them put real, actual, SPENDABLE CASH in their pockets…

…guess who they come to for advice on improving or expanding their already-profitable business?

Yup. Yers truly 😉

One fella was able (and just in time, too!) to completely replace his income by becoming his own boss weeks after getting laid off. He asked me how to bump up his income, which I told him I would do and he could pay my consulting fee of $101 AFTER he had upped his income by a thousand bucks per month.

Now let’s examine what has happened here: my book, Get Paid TODAY! is sold on Amazon for about six bucks. Of that, I see about $4, or a little less if somebody borrows it or reads it as part of their Kindle Unlimited plan.

(which I recommend, BTW– I’ve been able to fully round out my collection of Steve Scott books and a few other guys and gals that I follow with Kindle Unlimited)

So I get paid $4… then I get a new follower on my blog and email list… that also wants advice on quickly expanding his fledgling biz… that I earn another $101 for doing.

If you were to get paid $4 to tell someone about your consulting biz and pull in another $101 wouldja do it? All together now, say it with me:

“Yeah! Every day and twice on Sunday.”


The Power of Giving it Away

Finally, one of the best ways that I’ve found to Get PAID for getting leads instead of the other way around is to simply give away things for free.

Before you discount the validity of giving things away free and eventually getting paid… think of some of the biggest success stories in the world.

Microsoft… gave away hotmail, free. Ever hear of ’em?

Lifechurch, a ministry based in Edmond, OK grows quickly to 25 locations after developing and giving away “YouVersion” Bible app, as well as complete teaching resources for pastors. Free.

Google is based on making scads and scads and SCADS of useful programs, apps, and information available to everyone FREE… and now they are the second biggest company in North America, tipping the scales at $400 BILLION.

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube. All grew by giving away a free, useful service.

Try this: give away something genuinely useful, and do it in a way that doesn’t add “strings” or “conditions”.

Eventually, someone is going to actually ASK to pay you for more… no kidding.

That’s the way one the most successful information products I’ve ever put together got started.

I was giving away free info on a new way of stock and options trading that I had developed, when I did a particularly cool move on EBAY that put money in my pocket, but allowed me to stay in a stock without risk of losing, even if the sotck’s price went down.

One of my free subscribers wrote in saying, “That’s probably the coolest thing I have ever seen. Have you written a book? I would buy that book.”


Again, I would LOVE to give you a PDF that tells my story on that. It’s the story of how giving something away FREE got leveraged into an information product that has grossed nearly $2 million in sales and related subscriptions.

My story is a leeedle bit long for a blog post, tipping the scales at 5000 words. So I want to give it away only to the folks that really, really wanna know how to get paid for what’s in their head. Just ask for it in the comments section (your email is automatically logged so I can send it to you) and you’ll get ‘er in the mail in two shakes!

Until then, dear Reader (you’re my favorite! 😉 )

Keep Stepping!



  1. Charlene says:

    Hello Frank,

    I stumbled over your blog. If the offer is still good, please send me a copy of your story. Thanks.

  2. ola says:

    Hi Frank,I’d also love a copy of the report. Thanks much.

  3. Greetings! I’d love a copy of the report. Thanks much!

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