Lead Generation – Users can scrape leads from the internet in two ways. One approach involves using a directory, which can either be done manually by a team of employees copying and pasting directory contacts into Excel/Google Sheets or through a licensed data extraction tool. Acquiring a directory membership is relatively inexpensive, whereas purchasing a directory can be costly. However, with a large team of skilled data scraping contractors, manual extraction can be ten times more cost-effective. This process requires an experienced project manager with exceptional leadership skills and the ability to effectively manage global teams. The project manager is responsible for task delegation through well-written instruction manuals on directory scraping and for routinely performing quality assurance checks to ensure contact information is accurate and up-to-date.
The second lead generation method is more complex and non-traditional, as it applies when discovering a new market with no available directory for lead scraping. For instance, Hype Socks initially attracted customers who were youth athletic team coaches, such as those for wrestling clubs, youth football, and AAU basketball. By examining closed sales deals, I recognized the potential for building a youth market database. After extensive research, I discovered no centralized directory for youth coach emails, so I took on the challenge of building a youth coaches directory for Hype Socks. This database would later be sold to multi-billion dollar sporting apparel companies for data sales. Hype Socks amassed over 1.2 million youth athletic industry contacts across 12 markets, creating North America’s largest youth database. In 2020, the CEO established a new company that leveraged the youth database I built to foster B2B relationships in the athletic industry for data sales.
The second process for database building requires hiring a team skilled in keyword searches, SEO, and deep web research. To create a new database without a centralized directory, I first had to test lead-finding processes. I spent hours each day scraping contacts using Google keyword searches like “Youth Football,” “Youth Baseball,” and “Youth Soccer.” I timed myself in sixty-minute intervals to determine the most effective keywords for optimal results. Cold web searches for data are more challenging than directory scraping, often requiring social media searches to find contact information. After a month of self-experimenting, I compiled an instruction manual and hired Upwork contractors to automate the keyword search-based data scraping process.
I further refined the process by having the team organize the database by state, starting with the highest populated cities and moving to the least populated. They would exhaust all search results for terms like “Columbus, Ohio Youth Football” before moving to the next city. I also hired additional contractors for quality checking and database organization. This vetting process became even more stringent in 2016 when Hype Socks partnered with the largest football coaching clinic for a six-figure data partnership. After three years of effort, Hype Socks quadrupled its database size, generating millions of dollars in net profit from custom sock sales and partnering with multi-billion dollar athletic apparel companies for email marketing campaigns using our database.