No matter if you work in insurance, real estate or media – do you also sometimes ask yourself “How
did I end up in this industry?”. Well, you are definitely not alone. Sometimes – or maybe most of the time – our career path leads us somewhere unexpected. This phenomenon seems to be accelerated through rapid evolution of technologies that increasingly change the way we live and work.

Many jobs that existed twenty years ago simply disappeared. Or when did you ever meet a typesetter recently?

On the other hand technology created jobs that – 20 years ago – we could not even imagine would exist in our life-time. One of those jobs can be described as “Online Lead Generation Marketer”.

But what does that mean exactly? What does it take to become a qualified Online Lead Generation Marketer? And last but not least: How can I start off a career in Online Lead Generation?

Let´s clarify a couple of things first: Online Lead Generation is not (only) online marketing. With the rise of digital marketing more and more sub-segments evolved. One of those segments is Online Lead Generation. To me it is one of the most interesting and the essence of what marketing is all about:

Generating revenues. Not fluffy pictures or emotional branding campaigns – but direct return-on-investment.

The core of what a business is all about is matching demand with supply. As an Online Lead Generation Marketer you are the B-Guy. The B-Guy who connects demand (A) with supply (C).

Here comes a (simplified) example:

A potential buyer (A) is looking to for a home loan to finance an apartment in Dubai Marina. He then starts to look out for potential suppliers (C) on the internet. This is where online lead generation companies (B), such as Heroleads, come into play and help suppliers not only to be found but also contacted by potential buyers.

Although Online Lead Generation might still be in its infancy in certain parts of the world (such as the Middle East) it becomes more and more prominent as the following numbers underline:

  • “937,322” people who have added Lead Generation on their profile (LinkedIn)
  • “12,091” companies added lead generation in their services list worldwide (LinkedIn)
  • 34% of all leads generated by marketers in 2013 come from inbound marketing sources (Hubspot)
  • 54% more leads are generated by inbound than by outbound (Hubspot)
  • Inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional outbound marketing (Mashable)

The longer I work in online lead generation the more I discover the amazing potential and impact of this growing industry. But if I had to pick my top 5 reasons why to start a career in online lead generation I would name the following:

  1. What is fascinating about online lead generation is that it requires strategic and entrepreneurial thinking that goes beyond the ecosystem of the internet.
    Only if you understand your clients business, their customers and offering you can deliver well-performing online lead generation campaigns.
  2. No day is like the other: Each client segment and each campaign has its own objectives, strategy and it is always exciting to see an idea turned into a plan which ultimately converts in results.
  3. As online lead generation marketers we can never forget that despite of all the technology, tracking and targeting we deal with people. Online Lead Generation is a people business not a technological business. Technology is just a means to an end. Dealing with all kind of different people every day enriches your life.
  4. Out of our Dubai office we run lead generation campaigns all over the world. There are no such limits as time or space. You can reach the world with a click.
  1. The strongest business models are always based on win-win scenarios: Helping clients to grow their business is rewarding: Both, in an emotional as well as in a financial way.

So, when to start your career in online lead generation? Seth Godin said:

“The best time to start was last year. The second best time to start is right now”

We asked a couple of Online Lead Generation Experts how they started their career in Online Lead Generation. This is what they said:

Josh Haynam, CEO at Interact


For me it started sophomore year of college. I put together a blog where I interviewed successful entrepreneurs, and had a newsletter for that blog.

I think it took me six months to get my first 60 subscribers. Now my business gets more than that every day.

I’d say the first step is to get your first ten leads, sure you’ll waste a lot of time on things that don’t work, but you’ll also discover something that does.

That feeling of finally finding one method that works will drive you to keep going.

Justin Gray, CEO at LeadMD


I founded LeadMD in 2009 because I saw an opportunity in marketing automation for businesses to transform traditional marketing efforts through the use of cloud-based marketing solutions. Prior to launching LeadMD, I had spent 12 years helping companies of varying sizes overhaul and optimize their marketing and sales departments, so I’ve been in this game for a while — since about 1997. My advice to those starting out would to be adaptable. Especially within marketing, tools and technology are constantly evolving on a near-daily basis. If you don’t keep learning and growing, you’ll be snuffed out of any business you’re in. Listen, learn and never be afraid of trying something new – as long as the fundamentals are always covered.

Dayna Rothman, Director of Content Marketing at Captora


I got started in online lead generation by way of sales. When I first started my career after undergrad I had a few jobs as an Account Executive. When I moved out to California from Connecticut I got a hybrid role–Account Executive/Marketing Operations. The more I worked with marketing the more I realized how much I enjoyed being creative. Luckily, I did have a writing background as my undergrad degree was in Business Writing and I had my MBA, so content marketing came naturally to me.

There aren’t many college programs today that teach marketers what they really need to know in order to be successful with online lead generation and digital marketing. Here is my advice to get you up to speed:

  • Do as much research on your own as you can–subscribe to industry blogs, get to know who is an influencer in your industry, and learn on your own
  • Learn marketing automation. Today’s marketers need to be technologically savvy and data driven, take a marketing automation training course and get certified on the technology
  • Build your personal brand. Spend some time on social media and start to blog. Building your personal brand goes a long way in marketing. It helps you get noticed and helps you get jobs
  • Get a mentor! Hopefully your manager is a great mentor. But if not, seek out a mentor via LinkedIn or another online channel. Look for someone whose marketing style you admire

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