44 Lead Generation Business Ideas You Can Start Today [2021]

44 Lead Generation Business Ideas You Can Start Today [2021]

Interested in starting a lead generation business in 2021?

We put together 44 of the best lead generation businesses you can start in today.

For each business idea, we’ll show you real-world examples of other lead generation businesses to help you see what it really takes.

Here's the full list:

1. Start an online form builder ($240K/year)

Joris de Ruiter from Rotterdam, South Holland, The Netherlands started ConvertCalculator almost 5 years ago, a online form builder.

  • Revenue: $20,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Rotterdam, South Holland, The Netherlands

I started my first business together with my roommate when I was at university; a creative agency. We started out doing social media and online marketing campaigns. We pivoted to web design when we were one year in. We mostly build simple marketing websites for small businesses, also doing SEO and online marketing.

So instead of quoting my client, I suggested they pay $30,- per month for it. They said yes. This was my first validation for the product.

Besides client projects, I started over 10 projects to get out of the “money for hour” trap. All of them failed.

how-i-turned-a-client-request-into-my-own-5k-month-saas-product

2. Start a landing page builder ($86K/year)

Alexander Isora from Saint Petersburg, Saint Petersburg, Russia started Unicorn Platform over 3 years ago, a landing page builder.

  • Revenue: $7,165/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Saint Petersburg, Saint Petersburg, Russia

The most common question I’m asked is “how did you come up with the idea?”. Or the more expressive version: “are you crazy to dive into such a competitive area?!”.

That was actually an easy choice! 😁

I’m a startup folk. I launched over 15 tech projects: big and small, successful and not, profitable and fun-only. This gave me a huge experience in prototyping, designing and coding a landing page.

how-i-launched-a-2-5k-month-landing-page-builder

3. Start a mobile app development business ($696K/year)

Tim Bornholdt from Minneapolis, MN, USA started The Jed Mahonis Group over 9 years ago, a mobile app development business.

  • Revenue: $58,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 7
  • Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA

Growing up, I’ve always been into technology. I built my first website when I was in first grade, I built my first graphing calculator app when I was in sixth grade, and I used to run the internet’s largest website dedicated to Ralph Wiggum from The Simpsons.

I waited in line for the iPhone the day it launched in 2007, and I was instantly hooked. I knew I had to learn how to build software for this device. Eventually, I learned how to jailbreak my device which allowed me to run custom apps on it (this being before the launch of the App Store).

Even though I had a passion for technology, I never really wanted a career in it. My dream job was to work as a technical director for live television broadcasts, and the only class that was close to that at my school was the capstone course for the Professional Journalism program. I ended up switching my major from Computer Engineering to that and abandoned any dreams of professionally writing software.

how-we-started-a-82k-month-custom-ios-and-android-apps-development-agency

4. Start a web design & online marketing business ($900K/year)

Francesc LTW from Barcelona started La Teva Web about 19 years ago, a web design & online marketing business.

  • Revenue: $75,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 19
  • Location: Barcelona

My academic background has always been focused on management and strategy, I did economics, a PGDip in European Companies Management, and an MBA in England. Once I finished these studies, I started to work in Barcelona as a product manager for a couple of large companies. These were very well-known and large companies and, although I was in my twenties and I had achieved a relevant position in both companies but, for me, it was a waste of time.

At that time you could not expect to have a minimum influence in companies where all marketing decisions are always made in central offices, always abroad. Unfortunately, Spanish companies produced few goods and they merely buy and sell products manufactured in other countries.

I wanted to see all processes and, above all, feel that my efforts were worth something real and touchable. That’s why I decided that if I wanted to put into action everything I had learned, I should build my own company.

on-starting-a-web-development-agency-in-the-early-00s-and-growing-it-to-75k-month-and-20-employees

5. Start an affiliate marketing business ($6M/year)

Jan Kovac from Bratislava started Casino Guru over 6 years ago, a affiliate marketing business.

  • Revenue: $500,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 54
  • Location: Bratislava

Our product is a website. The process of designing and developing it was very similar to designing and developing any website or an information system. As both I and the other main founder were software developers, this part was pretty straightforward for us. However, we still did some things pretty right and some things pretty wrong.

The funny part about any SEO-based business is that you can’t really make decent planning. Do you plan to improve some parts of your website and grow? Well, good luck with that, almighty G can have completely different plans for you.

What we made right was a decision to create a system that models all the relations and information about online casinos as structured data. As an example: almost every online casino has a list of countries from which it doesn’t allow residents to play. To capture this information we have created a database table casino_restricted_country and fill it with 1 record for every casino and every country that is on its restricted list.

how-i-started-a-500k-month-website-about-online-casinos

6. Start a referral marketing platform ($216K/year)

Manuel Frigerio from Bristol, England, United Kingdom started ReferralHero almost 6 years ago, a referral marketing platform.

  • Revenue: $18,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Bristol, England, United Kingdom

ReferralHero is my 3rd company but when I launched it I actually didn’t think it’d be a company one day. The back story is actually kinda funny; I was working in London at my previous startup called EventNinja, an analytics tool for Eventbrite (today you’d call it “Baremetrics for Eventbrite”).

One day, one of our customers (and friend) suggested we could do something to help him get more attendees to his event. Around the same time, a startup in a pre-launch phase called Monzo, a “challenger” bank in the UK, was making headlines for their hyper-viral waiting list; in short, people could sign up and get in the queue but they could also “jump” the queue by inviting their friends. The more people they invited, the higher up they’d get in the queue and the sooner they’d get their invitation to download the app.

However, at the time we brushed off the suggestion since it wasn’t relevant for EventNinja and I wasn’t exactly sure how it’d work, especially inside a product like EventNinja. A couple of months later, exactly on Boxing Day’s morning, I woke up with the idea I had been waiting for months. Instead of adding this feature to EventNinja, I made it a stand-alone widget that could be added to any website in minutes. I jumped straight into building the same day and the MVP was completed four days later.

how-i-created-a-18k-month-referral-marketing-software

7. Start a video marketing business ($384K/year)

Tim Sumer from Arlington, VA, USA started Video Jaguar over 2 years ago, a video marketing business.

  • Revenue: $32,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 5
  • Location: Arlington, VA, USA

I have been in the internet marketing space since 2007 and have done everything from affiliate marketing to dropshipping. I must have created hundreds of online businesses and most of them failed. Along the way, I became very skilled in designing websites, writing copy, SEO, social media, and all other facets of digital marketing.

In 2012, I launched a digital marketing firm called the USA Marketing Pros and steadily grew my client base one project at a time. My clients ranged from startups, law firms, and all the way up to enterprise-level brands that are globally known. One thing I noticed that was similar between all my clients, is that no matter how much revenue they brought in every month, every single one of them was always looking for digital solutions at the lowest possible cost; and not wanting to spend money on new emerging marketing trends. A good example of this, that many people can still remember, is that when Facebook first came on the scene many businesses thought it was a joke to have their company actively on the platform.

If you really want to grow quickly you need to reach out to others in your niche and create partnerships. Sure, you won’t get 100% of the revenue from every sale, but you will get upwards of 100x more sales with every partner you sign up for.

how-i-launched-a-400k-year-all-in-one-video-marketing-software

8. Become a facebook ads consultant ($600K/year)

Brian Meert from Los Angeles started Advertisemint almost 8 years ago, a Facebook ads consultant.

  • Revenue: $50,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 10
  • Location: Los Angeles

I never really viewed myself as an entrepreneur. If you asked me as a young man the difference between me and Steve Jobs, I would have told you that he had a special ability or gift that I did not have. It wasn't until I got to MBA school that I realized how talented I was in the world of marketing.

When it comes to advertising and marketing, everyone wants the same thing: results. You have to be able to get results or else you'll just lose your clients when they see you can't perform.

In MBA school, I partnered with two friends to start a business called Pocket Goals, which printed clients’ personal goals onto their credit cards. I was in charge of driving traffic to our website, which is when I got started with Google Adwords. I used my cafeteria money to run ads, and during the days when the business made a lot of money, I thought I was the king of the world, and during the days when the business lost money with no conversions, I was scared that I wouldn't be able to eat anymore. I've always taken that mindset with me when I work with clients, making sure every dollar spent on advertising is essential and needed for the business to succeed. I never waste money, and my team always focuses on performance for the companies that we work with.

how-i-left-my-job-to-start-a-50k-month-digital-advertising-agency-specialized-in-facebook-ads

9. Start a podcasting business ($360K/year)

Marti Sanchez from Charlotte started Influence Podium almost 2 years ago, a podcasting business.

  • Revenue: $30,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 4
  • Location: Charlotte

The idea behind Influence Podium started back in college. I used to play NCAA basketball and we could only work a certain number of hours per week. As an immigrant who had just moved from Barcelona, I would “ghostwrite” my classmates’ papers for $10/page (money back if I got them less than a B, of course).

After I graduated, I had a short stint in finances (I lasted 30 days) until I quit and moved back to Spain. There, I went back to the one skill I knew I had -- writing.

I wrote on Quora for 6 months, got 2 million views, and a few people started reaching out to me to ghostwrite for them. They happened to be B2B CEOs, and that’s when I learned the power of content, personal branding, and inbound marketing.

how-i-started-a-30k-month-personal-branding-content-service-for-b2b-ceos

10. Start a ppc consulting agency ($480K/year)

Daryl Mander from London, England, United Kingdom started Big Flare almost 8 years ago, a PPC consulting agency.

  • Revenue: $40,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: London, England, United Kingdom

It was the summer of 2012 in London, UK. At this point, I’d been working in (other people’s) advertising agencies for the best part of a decade. London was a great city and I enjoyed my career. However, I was getting tired of the stressful lifestyle, the commute, the office politics, and the grey, dreary weather.

I figured I was going to burn out if I kept on at it, so I saved up some money, enough to take a sabbatical from work and fund a year-long travel binge to cure my malaise.

When I started this business my dream was to create a successful location-independent company that I could run from anywhere with an internet connection, and that’s exactly what I have built.

how-i-turned-my-jobs-on-upwork-into-a-full-scale-marketing-agency

11. Start a blogging business ($60K/year)

Chhavi Agarwal from New Delhi, Delhi, India started Mrs Daaku Studio over 3 years ago, a blogging business.

  • Revenue: $5,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: New Delhi, Delhi, India

I am a licensed attorney in India and right after my master’s in law, I started working with a leading company as a lawyer. I worked there for about two years before I quit my job to become more location independent.

Choose a niche in whatever you start. It is critical for streamlining your efforts and make money.

My job paid me well but I worked 12 hours a day, I was exhausted by the end of each day, spent my weekends sleeping and I almost quit the things I liked to do - for example, sketching, yoga, traveling, etc.

how-this-couple-makes-5k-month-generating-content-about-ways-to-make-money-online

12. Start a seo consultant business ($120K/year)

Bruce Jones from Naperville, IL, USA started 1ON1 SEO Training over 2 years ago, a seo consultant business.

  • Revenue: $10,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Naperville, IL, USA

Before starting 1ON1 SEO Training, I had worked for 15 years in the SEO industry, where I successfully ran my own SEO and digital marketing agency, Design & Promote, for over 10 years. I built that business from the ground up, starting as the sole employee until it became a prominent business in the area with a full staff and multiple offices. Eventually, I got an offer I couldn’t pass up and decided to sell the business.

Sometimes people think that SEO is about broad strokes and taking general actions when in reality the situation needs to be looked at with a microscope to really pay off. Many times it is the smallest details that make the biggest difference.

With that business off my plate, it was time to take on a new project. I realized while running my agency that what I loved to do most about my job was teach others how to do SEO. In the past, I had become known for my “free services”, where I gave free consultations to clients that other companies normally charged for, and my free monthly seminars where other business people were invited to come and gain knowledge about search engine optimization. However, those moments had always been my way of giving back next to my business endeavors.

Ironically, my wife is a French teacher whose business I had helped build through years of SEO work. One day I thought about how she teaches classes from her own, and then the idea occurred to me that I could be doing the same with SEO, which has always been a passion of mine. I also figured that I could address a lot of the problems I ran into in my old business and rework them with my new one to better serve my clients - more about that later. This allowed me to offer a new and improved model for spreading the effectiveness and benefit of SEO to businesses.

how-i-started-a-10k-month-seo-consulting-and-training-business

13. Start a social media marketing business ($120K/year)

Mahsun Avci from Taastrup started Avci ApS almost 2 years ago, a social media marketing business.

  • Revenue: $10,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Taastrup

Growing up, I went to private school and was very blessed that my parents cared about my education. Somewhere around 9th grade, my perspective on the education system changed. I realized through books and YouTube videos that the life trajectory of a lot of the people I looked up to, was not aligned with what I wanted in life.

I was never a fan of what was taught in schools. Instead of religiously following what was being taught in high school, I self-educated in business, personal development, and leadership. When I was fifteen, I tried out various online businesses. I failed miserably at first. At this time I was very much into Fitness and I tried to sell training and diet plans. I managed to sell a few plans to my classmates for like $50, but it never really amounted to anything and most importantly it wasn't scalable.

After that, I tried stock trading and the likes. That too didn’t really work for me. One day I stumbled across SMMA. I was so intrigued by the concept, so I went ALL IN. I didn’t care what people thought. I was going to make it big here. I needed some proof of concept, so I convinced my dad to make me run his restaurant's Facebook Ads. I watched 100’s of videos and read tons of blogs, to know how to run successful ads and we were both pretty stoked about the results.

I knew it was the right business for me, but it was not all gold and green forests. In fact, at the start of my “agency journey,” it was so hard getting my feet on the ground and getting my first few clients after my dad.

how-i-built-a-10k-month-online-marketing-agency

14. Start a digital marketing business ($3.6M/year)

Rahul Alim from Los Angeles, California, USA started Custom Creatives almost 17 years ago, a digital marketing business.

  • Revenue: $300,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 10
  • Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

My intention during and after high school was to move to Europe and play soccer (football) as my career. However, I was persuaded to try my hand at college which eventually took me down the path where I am today.

I grew up in a family full of entrepreneurs, thinkers…people smarter than me so I was definitely lucky to be in the right room.

My first job was selling credit card machines and processing. I was raw in business but determined (or stubborn) to make it alone with the help of no one (NOTE, this was a dumb idea and everyone should get help at every stage of life). When I started, I thought I was in a finance position. It turned out I was in a sales position, responsible for calling businesses to sell them on our services. It was the best thing to ever happen to me at this stage in my young career.

I was forced to talk to people, negotiate, persuade, help strangers over the phone - I learned one of the greatest skills of all time, how to sell over the phone. I had never sold anything, I learned sales in 3 days, then practiced every single day. This position lasted 30 days, but the grass only got greener. I was somehow recruited to a company called Homestore, which owned Realtor.com where I eventually became a top sales account executive managing the East Coast as my territory.

I went from the worst at sales in the company to the top 10 in the company. I took my sales learnings from my first job selling credit card processing to selling to internet advertising to Real Estate Agents, Brokers, Lenders and those involved in the real estate transaction.

After just a few years, I left Realtor.com (for no reason whatsoever, I loved working there) to start my own company. Young, dumb, no plan, no office, no product, no smart idea, but I had one thing to offer… I decided to help realtors manage and promote their listings on the internet.

how-i-started-a-100k-month-digital-marketing-agency

15. Become a social media customer support representative

Examples of a successful social media customer support representative:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a social media customer support representative:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a social media customer support representative ➜

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16. Start a cold calling service business

Examples of a successful cold calling service business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a cold calling service business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a cold calling service business ➜

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17. Start an email marketing business

Examples of a successful email marketing business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a email marketing business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an email marketing business ➜

18. Start a pinterest ads promotion business

Examples of a successful pinterest ads promotion business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a pinterest ads promotion business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a pinterest ads promotion business ➜

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19. Start an influencer marketing business

Examples of a successful influencer marketing business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a influencer marketing business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an influencer marketing business ➜

20. Start a billboard and outdoor advertising business

Examples of a successful billboard and outdoor advertising business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a billboard and outdoor advertising business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a billboard and outdoor advertising business ➜

21. Start a car advertising business

Examples of a successful car advertising business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a car advertising business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a car advertising business ➜

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22. Start an affiliate marketing without website business

Examples of a successful affiliate marketing without website business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a affiliate marketing without website business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an affiliate marketing without website business ➜

23. Start a marketing brochures business

Examples of a successful marketing brochures business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a marketing brochures business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a marketing brochures business ➜

24. Start a vine, Instagram or snapchat marketing business

Examples of a successful vine, Instagram or snapchat marketing business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a vine, Instagram or snapchat marketing business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a vine, Instagram or snapchat marketing business ➜

25. Start a brand promotion business

Examples of a successful brand promotion business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a brand promotion business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a brand promotion business ➜

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26. Start a post-click marketing business

Examples of a successful post-click marketing business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a post-click marketing business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a post-click marketing business ➜

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27. Become an event promoter

Examples of a successful event promoter:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a event promoter:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an event promoter ➜

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28. Start a campaign promoting business

Examples of a successful campaign promoting business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a campaign promoting business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a campaign promoting business ➜

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29. Start a deals promotion website business

Examples of a successful deals promotion website business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a deals promotion website business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a deals promotion website business ➜

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30. Start a promotional buttons business

Examples of a successful promotional buttons business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a promotional buttons business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a promotional buttons business ➜

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31. Start a retargeting adverting business

Examples of a successful retargeting adverting business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a retargeting adverting business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a retargeting adverting business ➜

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32. Start a free trials providing business

Examples of a successful free trials providing business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a free trials providing business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a free trials providing business ➜

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33. Start a sale announcement videos business

Examples of a successful sale announcement videos business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a sale announcement videos business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a sale announcement videos business ➜

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34. Start a giveaway videos business

Examples of a successful giveaway videos business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a giveaway videos business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a giveaway videos business ➜

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35. Start a webinar hosting business

Examples of a successful webinar hosting business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a webinar hosting business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a webinar hosting business ➜

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36. Start a paid advertising business

Examples of a successful paid advertising business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a paid advertising business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a paid advertising business ➜

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37. Start a drone advertising business

Examples of a successful drone advertising business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a drone advertising business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a drone advertising business ➜

38. Start a truck advertising business

Examples of a successful truck advertising business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a truck advertising business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a truck advertising business ➜

39. Start a tv advert creator business

Examples of a successful tv advert creator business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a tv advert creator business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a tv advert creator business ➜

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40. Start an elevator advertising business

Examples of a successful elevator advertising business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a elevator advertising business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an elevator advertising business ➜

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41. Start a fun quizzes generation business ($14.4K/year)

Examples of a successful fun quizzes generation business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a fun quizzes generation business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a fun quizzes generation business ➜

And for some real world inspiration, give Slavi Grozev's story on creating Random Trivia Generator a read:

My name is Slavi and I started a website more than 10 years ago that serves quick, short, simple trivia questions and nothing more. It is called Random Trivia Generator.

More than a decade later, I still run the site and it serves over 200,000 visitors per month.

my-side-project-does-one-simple-thing-makes-14k-year

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Slavi Grozev, on starting Random Trivia Generator ($1,200/month) full story ➜

42. Start an infographic designing business

Examples of a successful infographic designing business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a infographic designing business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an infographic designing business ➜

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43. Start a lead mining business

Examples of a successful lead mining business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a lead mining business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a lead mining business ➜

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44. Become a Q&A video creator

Examples of a successful Q&A video creator:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a Q&A video creator ➜

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Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

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