Everyone says the “old” ways of getting clients no longer work, but businesses everywhere rely on cold calling to get work in the door. We decided to check if content marketing is really all it’s cracked up to be, and how does cold calling measure up.

How Fast You Can Reach Prospects

Browse around the “blogging about blogging” websites, and you’ll find plenty of success stories about people who earned 6 figures in one week thanks to content marketing. But the truth is, that one week came with a lot of preparation, often a lot of failed attempts, and sometimes connections or a bigger budget than most small businesses have.

Like mobile client acquisition, content marketing takes time for most businesses – sometimes months or years.

Cold calling, on the other hand, is great for when you need clients right now. Cold calling doesn’t require you to nurture leads for months before you make your pitch. Sure, it’s a numbers game, but all you have to do is qualify prospects, pick up the phone and be consistent. Soon enough, you’ll be out of the famine, celebrating the feast.

Smackdown winner: Cold calling

Tally: Content Marketing – 0          Cold Calling – 1

How You Handle Prospects Who Aren’t Yet Ready to Buy

The problem with cold calling begins when the majority of the prospects you reach out to are, not surprisingly, not ready to buy. Different prospects will always be at different stages of the buying cycle.

With cold calling, all you can do is write down a note for yourself, and manually check in with them when you promised you would. If you make the time, you’ll build one on one relationships that will make you the obvious choice when they need your type of service, but most small business owners get overwhelmed by the amount of work they land, and don’t have time to develop hundreds of personal relationships.

Content marketing, on the other hand, lets you do just that almost with a click of a button. If you focus on mobile client acquisition, you can develop the kind of content that serves those different stages of the buying cycle, and send it to hundreds or thousands of people with a click of a button.

Smackdown winner: Content Marketing

Tally: Content Marketing – 1          Cold Calling – 1

How You Build Trust with Prospects

With cold calling, building trust needs to happen quickly. Your pitch matters, because how you present yourself will make all the difference. Your tone of voice matters. Convincing gatekeepers to give you access to decision makers is also crucial. You have a very small window to pitch what you have to offer and prove you can deliver value… without sounding too salesy. It’s a tricky place to be in.

In content marketing, there’s no need to sound salesy, because the whole point is to provide value. You need to learn the types of content that lead to more sales if you want to increase mobile client acquisition, but once you do, people will keep coming back to your app.

Over time, they’ll learn to see you as the industry expert, because they’ll know you’ve helped them overcome challenges before they even made a single purchase. When it’s time to make a purchase, they’ll know you as the person who understands their needs, and they’ll trust you to help them get results on a larger scale once they start working with you.

Smackdown winner: Content Marketing

Tally: Content Marketing – 2          Cold Calling – 1

How You Get Referrals

Cold calling can lead to referrals. First, some prospects will turn into clients, love your work, and send you referrals. But you’ll probably also talk to prospects who don’t need your services, but know someone who does.

Content marketing takes it to a whole other level. Because you can reach hundreds or thousands of people with a click of a button, you’re staying in touch and building trust with a lot more people than you can ever communicate with individually (if you also want to get client work done).

This means that, if you provide a lot of value in your app, you’ll get a lot more referrals. Some of these leads won’t become customers. They’ll download your app and read your content. But this increased mobile client acquisition will help you build trust with additional prospects without doing any additional work, which is bound to increase sales.

Smackdown winner: Content Marketing

Tally: Content Marketing – 3          Cold Calling – 1

The Best Lead Generation Path to Take

The smackdown speaks for itself. If you need customers yesterday, get on the phone and start cold calling. But if you want to make your marketing more efficient long term, so you can get out of the feast or famine cycle, it’s time to prioritize mobile client acquisition with content marketing.