Think of your Inbound Marketing efforts in terms of an incubator.  It takes times for an egg to fully develop and hatch.  The same can be said for your leads.  You need to nurture and make them feel comfortable about you!

During these times of economic uncertainty, companies need to use highly targeted marking techniques to invigorate your lifes blood: consumer relationships.  Using the broken system of the "spray and pray" approach and expecting sales to be pulled out of a hat is a farce

Keep in mind, the term social media is being abused.  Getting a large presence online is a great way to establish credibility; however, you need a long-term monetization plan.   Being involved in social media means nothing unless you are paying attention to attracting self-qualified leads.  More than ever you need to justify your marketing investment.  Consumers are more savvy and selective than at  any time in history.  Directing visitors to squeeze/landing pages and offering free Whitepaper or eBook downloads is the right way to work in a long sales cycle and consumers market.  Being successful means you must always rise above the herd and dive into the mind of your consumer - whats in it for them?

Using the analogy of dating, successful lead generation is not a one night stand.  Does the concept earn your respect?

Many companies still want the quick fix. They think that going online for a short time is like going to the singles bar. Business isnt built from one night stands but by building relationships.  Provide people with added value (eBooks/Whitepapers) first before sales generation.

For instance, there are companies that will try Twitter for a week, not get immediate sales and then move on.  Like a one night stand where they are looking for the quick hit or score.  Lead generation doesnt work like that and requires nurturing.  You have to be seen repeatedly, but with an appropriate frequency.

That is how your awareness spreads and your word of mouth grows.  If people get to know you then they trust you and become more engaged. That is how you earn respect " through thought leadership.