Grub’s Up: Make a Meal of Content for Your Lead Nurturing Strategy

Much like a good dining experience has an enticing appetizer, embracing entree, and attention-grabbing dessert, a company's lead attraction and nurturing processes should be cleverly organized into a three-part, customer-clinching powerhouse.

It's your responsibility to ensure that you're serving up the kind of content that keeps the buyer interested and engaged at every step. You've got to put in a little extra effort to make your audience feel wanted and valuable.

It might come as somewhat of a shock to know that at least half of your qualified leads are nowhere near ready to make a purchase when they first convert. Another little secret: they're not going to budge if you stick to outdated selling strategies. Frequent sales calls are out of the question. Your aim isn't to become a pest but rather a trusted source of valuable content.

This is your chance to serve up some piping hot ToFu, MoFu & BoFu content. If you're not sure what that is, stick around and you'll find out.

Whet Their Appetites with ToFu
(Top of the Funnel)

At the top of your sales funnel, your main aim is to attract as many potential leads as possible. Your audience is much larger at this point,  so you're casting a fairly wide net. Your main aim at this stage is to attract traffic without filtering or discouraging conversions from the "wrong" types of leads.

ToFu content is captivating and educational. You need to address a specific need, question, or pain point without sounding sales-y. Consider your blog as the best platform for ToFu content; you're providing value without necessarily asking for anything back.

This content can contain calls-to-action that lead prospects to conversion opportunities. Only then do you ask your audience to exchange their email addresses (or other contact information) for even more valuable content. ToFu content, in the form of short blog posts, should contain a few snippets of valuable information, which are intended to lead the audience to something more substantial like an eBook or whitepaper.

Fill 'Em Up With MoFu
(Middle of the Funnel)

Once you've managed to convert a lead from the ToFu content stage, they'll be expecting something stellar in the MoFu stage. You've tantalised them with a tidbit they've found interesting or helpful in some way; now they'll be ready for something more substantial.

You're going to need to work on content that continues to educate or solve a particular problem but with a slight sales angle. This is the point at which you'll begin to position your company as the most logical, useful, and helpful solution to the lead's challenges.

Take some time to develop whitepapers, case studies, eBooks, or even videos. The challenge here is ensuring that you produce top quality content. If your internal team isn't necessarily up to the job, consider bringing in professional help. Remember, you're trying to build credibility, so you need to put your absolute best foot forward.

Seal the Deal With BoFu
(Bottom of the Funnel)

Once you've warmed up your leads with amazing MoFu content, you'll progress to the most crucial stage. Your aim is to go in for the sale, which means you need to keep your leads feeling well cared-for.  

In many cases, the BoFu stage is a simple one-on-one encounter, whether it be in person or over the phone. Think of this as the after-dinner coffee ritual, for leads who are full-up and don't need any more content to convince them of your worth.

In other cases, you'll need to curate a teensy bit of BoFu content in the form of a free assessment, trial, or discount code. It's the small yet rich dessert that they can't help but want to add to their menu.

Automation is Key
(Work Smart)

The concept of lead nurturing through the 3-course meal approach sounds fairly simple. It is, however, important to realise that your lead nurturing strategy does require a certain amount of planning and effort.

If you put in the time needed to develop your strategy, curate stellar content, and evaluate converted leads at each stage of the sales funnel, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the pay off. Excelling at lead nurturing will help you generate 50% more sales ready leads. Furthermore, those leads are likely to make 47% larger purchases.

Because the process is so time-consuming, it's completely illogical to manage everything manually. You wouldn't have time to do anything else! Marketing software is an absolute necessity. You'll notice a marked ROI on this particular investment. In fact, companies that automate their lead management processes notice a minimum 10% increase in revenue within half a year.

Automation doesn't mean you'll sacrifice that all-important personal touch. You'll still be able to send out emails with customised greetings and subject lines. In fact, you can even create them long before a lead converts. These mails can be triggered based on a particular conversion and scheduled at your chosen frequency as well.

With clever automations in place, you'll have more time available to create content that keeps visitors coming back for more. Additionally, your sales team will have continuous access to marketing qualified leads and sales qualified leads, making their jobs that much easier.

How to Kick Butt with Your Content Marketing Strategy

Here's a throwback for you:

Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Let your mind wander back in time to a world where a blog was nothing more than an electronic journal for the chronically narcissistic, consistently bored teenager or desperate housewife.

Aren't you glad you don't exist in that particular space any more?

Flash forward a decade or so, and you'll see that what started out as nothing more than a mere collection of diary entries has become an integral part of every business' online marketing strategy. Ain't technology grand?

At least 90% of B2B buyers have stated that online content has an effect on their purchasing behaviour. The fact of the matter is this: if you're not on the content marketing bandwagon, you're rapidly falling behind.

A few years ago, content marketing involved nothing more than churning out bulk collections of mediocre text. It didn't really matter what you were saying, as long as you were actively posting something, your business was in the clear. With the growth of the Internet, however, that particular landscape has changed. Now, more than ever, the competition is intense. In order to take your business to the next level, you have to create content that is educational, insightful, and engaging.

In short, you need a goal. And in order to achieve that goal, you need a content strategy that works.

Set Your Goals and Start Planning

You can't possibly begin a content marketing campaign without defining what your goals are. How will you know that you've been successful if you don't have an idea of what you're hoping to achieve?

Quite obviously, each goal will require a different approach. Your desired outcome will greatly influence the way you tackle each stage of the planning process.

Consider the following questions:

  • Do you want to build brand awareness?

  • Are you looking to instill trust?

  • Do you want to increase traffic to a particular website or landing page?

  • Are you aiming to attract new prospects?

  • Is your major goal to convert leads into sales?

  • Do you want to increase customer retention?
     

Once you've figured out precisely what your goals are, you'll need to establish your KPIs. You need something solid to aim for in order to keep your efforts on the right track:

  • Increase website traffic to 100k visitors by a specific date.

  • Generate a certain number of new leads per month.

  • Convert a specific percentage of leads into sales by a particular date.
     

By creating KPIs, you'll keep yourself (and your team) accountable. The idea here is to work backwards to develop strategies that help you achieve your goals.  

Develop A Detailed Strategy

When developing your content strategy, you need to focus on a few key factors. Take the time to lay down some groundwork before diving straight in. This will prevent you from doubling back and trying to figure out what went wrong when you're too far down the rabbit hole.

First and foremost, you need to figure out who you're targeting. Invest some time in creating customer personas. You need to be able to successfully connect with your readers in order to generate the kind of results you want.

Keywords are another all-important aspect of any content marketing strategy. You need to choose keywords that are highly searched for in your specific industry. Take the time to figure out which topics are in high demand, and build your content around that. Give your potential audience the information they so desperately seek. Try to find a way to spin these keywords into something original and exciting; often a simple change in tone is all you really need.

You'll also need to pay attention to where your prospects are in the buying cycle. If, for example, you're communicating with potential customers who have no idea who you are or what you offer, you'll need to create content that is focused on education rather than sales. On the other hand, if you're trying to connect with someone who is already familiar with your brand, you need to deliver valuable content (case studies are a good bet) that will help you close a sale.

Finally, you need to consider which channels are important for dispersing your content. Take some time to figure out the platforms that are most likely to be useful to you, and what your goals are for each of them.

Produce High-Quality Content

As soon as you've ironed out your objectives and strategies, you need to start curating your content. You have two options here:

1. Work with your in-house team.

2. Hire professional content writers to help you get the job done.

Quite obviously, the path you choose will depend entirely on your in-house team's expertise and the availability of time. If your team members are too swamped with their own regular tasks, it's not a good idea to drown them in additional work that isn't necessarily in their wheelhouse. Remember, you need quality content, not something slapdash you've cobbled together at the last minute.

If you choose to outsource your content development, invest in writers who truly understand the principles of content marketing. Make sure they'll be able to embody your brand message. A trial task never hurt anybody, so perhaps consider asking them to write a short sample related to a topic of your choice and see if they're a good fit.

Market, Promote, and Measure

You can create amazing content until you're blue in the face but it won't help you if no one sees it. Make sure to promote each and every piece of writing on all of your platforms and leverage them as much as possible. If you have to add in a small advertising budget to boost those posts, do it. A small investment can make a huge difference.

While you're churning out content, it's too easy to forget that you actually need to measure the performance of your posts. Circle back at least once a month to see how your content is performing. Check if you're meeting your KPIs. If you don't see any progress, make some adjustments. If you do see progress, keep on doing what you're doing.

In the end, it's all about trying new things and seeing what works for your business. Be inventive, be innovative, and above all, keep measuring your progress.

Earn Your Audience's Attention: Revamp Your Lead Generation Strategy

Gone are the days where you could buy your audience's attention. It's a whole new ball game; attention needs to be earned. Your target market won't show an interest unless you're absolutely worthy of their time. It's time to make an effort and create compelling content. You're not going to be able to slide under the radar with mediocre texts from the nearest content mill - and that's definitely a good thing.

The aim here is to use high-quality content to convert visitors into leads. Sure, it's easier said than done, but let's face it, nothing worthwhile ever falls into your lap without a little effort.

Adapt Your Mindset

There are no two ways about it: compelling content is king.

Without the right kind of content, you'll find it exceptionally challenging to generate the right kind of leads. The tools you use to generate traffic (social platforms, SEO, PPC, blog) all rely on quality, unique content.

It's been proven that around 96% of B2B customers are looking for content from industry thought leaders. Why is this so important to them? It's simple: informed buying decisions are less regrettable. It works for you too. If you're snagging customers based on an informed decision-making process, you're generating qualified leads rather than attracting random chancers.

Once you've gotten used to churning out quality content, it becomes necessary to implement the best practices for generating leads. In this particular case, you need to adjust your approach to working smart, not hard. It's all about efficiency. Within no time you'll begin to realize why companies on the content bandwagon are generating almost 70% more leads per month than those who ignore the the all-important trend.

Capture Those Leads

More than half of your website's visitors will never return if you don't take steps to capture some sort of information from them. Obviously, collecting a working email address would be the ideal scenario but site visitors are rapidly wising up to the ever prevalent "sign up here" buttons. You might as well have your call-to-action boldly state, "We're going to spam you," and be done with it. It's time to find new ways of obtaining the information you need.

Before requesting any information, you'll need to do two things:

1. Give before you ask.

2. Make sure every step of your marketing process offers some sort of value. This includes all your advertisements and promotions.

It's important to remember that we live in a time where people are fending off (sometimes useless) information from all angles. The opt-in email box is no longer a luxury. Everyone is wary of giving out their email addresses for fear of being inundated with hundreds of additional emails a day. Let's face it; emptying out those spam folders is a daily chore that no one looks forward to.

Potential buyers around the globe have made an unspoken vow to never fall into the "sign up here" trap again. Marketers have the seemingly difficult task of breaking down those walls by using mutually-beneficial opt-in methods to capture the contact information they need to get ahead. Using lead magnets is probably the best way to achieve this.

Use Lead Magnets

Between pop-up blockers and the above-mentioned "no sign-up oath", there's a gap in the successful client lifecycle. You'll find that pesky gap somewhere between the traffic generation phase and the lead generation phase. It's the reason why you often have to deal with one-time visitors who rebuff all your attempts to capture their information.

On the bright side, you can bridge this gap with lead magnets. Use tools that provide value for your visitors in exchange for their contact details. It's worth remembering that you're dealing with sentient beings here, so you're not going to get away with false promises. You have to walk the walk.

Your goal is to receive permission from visitors to follow up. At the same time, you'll be educating them on your business. It's a double-whammy, really. Whether you're aiming for email opt-ins, subscriptions, or social media follows, you need to make sure your tools are worth the effort.

Here are some examples of what you could offer:

  • Training video series

  • Free trial

  • Webinars

  • ebooks

  • Whitepapers

  • A set of bonus tips

  • An interview with an expert on a relevant topic

Set Up a Landing Page

Believe it or not, landing pages can be an enormous asset when you're trying to convert visitors into leads. These pages exist separately from your website and are used as a tool in a single marketing campaign. When someone clicks on an advertisement, for example, they'll land on this specific page which contains a single, clear message.

Landing pages are designed to warm up potential customers and capture leads. These are two all-important steps you need to follow before you can move a customer further down your sales funnel.

Bear in mind that there are two basic types of landing pages:

1. Lead generation landing pages -  
These capture a visitor's information in exchange for something.

2. Click-through landing pages -
These attract the visitor to a specific product or service with the goal of arming them with enough information that they feel comfortable in making a purchase.

A landing page will have a single call-to-action. The aim is not to overwhelm visitors with too much information but rather to motivate them to one specific goal. When creating the page, you'll need to narrow down your focus and only provide the most pertinent information. If any visitors desperately feel the need to know more, they have the option of visiting your official website to nose around there instead.

The all-important aim of your landing page is to deliver on the promise that your ad source made. Make sure that the first thing visitors see is an echo of that promise. If you offered 50% off of one of your products, visitors need to feel reassured of that offer as soon as possible.

Get Used to Lead Scoring

Prioritising your leads according to their levels of engagement is an important step of the process. Marketing automation software can help with lead scoring, with the ultimate goal of helping you figure out who is actually ready to buy. If set up correctly, it can also help you figure out precisely what each lead is interested in.

Essentially, this technique is used to quantify interactions that potential customers have with your content. It works on a point-based system, which could look something like this:

  • Watch a product overview video - Add 6 points

  • Download a whitepaper- Add 5 points

  • Career path not a good match - Deduct 8 points

  • Subscribe to a list - Add 10 points

This point-based can help save your business time and money when reaching your target market and capitalizing on sales opportunities. By identifying your most lucrative leads, your business can communicate with them confidently. If they are already interested in your business, converting them into paying customers shouldn't be too much of a challenge.

Lead generation is an important part of every business' marketing strategy. You need to make the effort to capture a potential customer's attention with the aim of reconnecting with them when they're ready for your product. Make sure to prioritise the right elements in your marketing strategy; laying a solid foundation for you to build an effective and efficient approach on.

Creative Lead Generation Techniques for a Disruptive Sales Approach

Say what you like about sales, no matter how you look at it, the entire lead generation process is a tough gig. It's even more of a challenge when you're forced to rely on traditional approaches. When your days are filled with sending cold emails and painstakingly scraping together lists, it's hard not to feel despondent and demoralized.

The fact of the matter is that when you're going through the cold calling and cold email process, most of these people don't really want to talk to you. Sales can be somewhat of a lonely road if you're sticking to the old school script.

It's important to switch up your tactics and take a more modern approach. If you don't, you'll fall behind. It's time to reach your lead generation goals while adding value for your prospects. It's time to network and build relationships instead of focusing on the hard sell.

1) Take Advice From the Pros

It's always smart to collect success secrets from thought leaders. It's even smarter to share these tidbits with your prospects. One of the best ways to provide unparalleled value in your content it to reach out to an expert in your industry and ask for an interview. It doesn't have to be a long and complex process. A few choice words are all you need. Pass this information on to your customers and over time it'll become clear that you're committed to delivering the best possible advice to your entire network.

2) Use Google Scraping Tools

GoPinLeads is a Chrome Extension that scrapes data from Google Maps, LinkedIn, and other credible online sources, and delivers a comprehensive database to your email inbox within minutes. It’ll show you the businesses you’re looking for, who works there, what their details are, and their address. With just a click of a button you’ll have access to all the information you need to target the right kind of prospects - people who might actually want to talk about your services or products.

3) Be Helpful Via Video

We exist in a time where people want handy information at their fingertips. The less effort involved for them, the better. Very few people want to sift through lengthy FAQs or articles to find solutions to their problems. By creating help videos, you can take a step towards becoming an industry authority and solve real-world problems for prospects in a way that's completely accessible and easily understandable.

4) Harness the SEO-centric Power of Client Reviews

Here's a fun fact: review platforms have a strong presence in organic search results. So, while you're building up your own SEO foundations, you can use these review platforms as a way to extend the reach of your brand presence and get noticed by the right target audience. Use your social channels (or email) to get your customers to leave reviews on these platforms. Without paying even the smallest amount of cash, you'll exponentially increase your chances of being found by the right prospects. 

5) Share Your Success

You want prospects to know that you're good at what you do. The best way to get that message across is to highlight your successes. Write a transparent blog or social media post that sheds light on something you've done well in. You'll be offering value both to potential clients and to other companies going through similar growth phases as your own. Be the kind of company that offers inspiration and transparency; it's the best way to build trust. 

6) Create Useful Resources (Like Worksheets or Spreadsheets)

Every business has tasks that can be simplified. Worksheets are a great way to take the common processes and break them down into something more accessible. If, for example, you need to review the content and design of a website (yours or a client's) it's possible to create a worksheet that gathers all the necessary answers in order to make the entire process much easier. 

Similarly, creating spreadsheets of resources can take a good long while. The process isn't everyone's cup of tea. Creating these for prospects and trading them for an opt-in is a good way to communicate value whilst getting something in return. 

Say Hello to the Golden Age of Social Lead Targeting

Just around half a decade ago, a few pioneering salespeople stumbled upon a fantastic discovery: social networks are a veritable goldmine for leads. At the time, it was a novel idea and the mining process was pretty much hard labour. Tactics were a little on the crude side but still quite effective.

It's hardly surprising that these clumsy social lead diggings have evolved into something more elegant and refined. Prospective clients can now be found, connected with, and nurtured using a plethora of social networks and some fairly solid relationship building tools.

Now, this form of lead targeting has become so popular that almost every salesperson worth their salt has hopped on the bandwagon - and it's easy to see why. There's no longer a need for expensive, resource-intensive tools to get the job done. With a minimal monthly investment (sometimes no investment at all) a Nimble account, and a Hootsuite or Buffer account, you can become a social lead targeting guru.

Social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter seem to be growing in importance day by day. As they grow in importance, so do the data mining tools that are used in every interaction. We're at a point, now, where the tools that mine social data have started talking to each other; and that's where the magic really happens.

GoPinLeads Takes the Headache Out of Lead Generation

While it may not be a social lead generation tool 'exclusively', GoPinLeads is invaluable to people who want a reliable way to generate lists of actionable leads in a short space of time. This nifty Google Chrome extension takes the headache out of searching for leads in a specific area, giving you access to thousands of search results with the click of a button. Even better is the fact that you don't have to sit around compiling Excel sheets with the results - the tool does it all for you.

GoPinLeads is designed to scrape millions of websites and social platforms including LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, corporate sites and databases around the globe. Within seconds you will find the contact details of venues and their employees, including email addresses and social media profiles. It's an effortless way to connect with your target audience, and the great news is you can try it out for free!

Take Things a Step Further by Networking on Social Media

Clever integration is the key to successful social lead generation. With a little forethought and the right tools, you can easily find people searching for your products on virtually any social media platform. You could also find out who these people are and who they are connected to as well as what they are doing on each of these networks. By combining your efforts on tools like Hootsuite and Nimble, you can create a contact record that unifies your communication with each of these contacts and track their responses to your correspondence.

Just as an example of how this works, within a short space of time you can build a list on Twitter based on your desired search criteria. These list members can be added to your chosen CRM tool (like Nimble) which will give you access to unified messaging as well as a thorough overview of each prospect. When you connect with that prospect via a subtle tweet, your entire conversation will be captured and you'll be able to see that prospect's key connections and social stream on one simple screen.

With the right tools, you can keep track of the interest of your leads. You'll be able to keep a comprehensive record not only of your direct interactions with each prospect but also of their interactions with your content and landing pages. This will assist you in tweaking your approach in the most effective way possible.

Sell Smart with Inbound Marketing

Over the last decade, inbound marketing has been a strong favourite in terms of lead generation and customer acquisition. This holistic, data-driven approach leverages quality content on your website in a bid to attract buyers who have an interest in your products and services, and are therefore likely to research them online.

In essence, inbound marketing is in tune with the way customers behave in a digital environment. It works both in B2B and B2B situations, helping you hit your quota more cleverly.

Inbound sales leverage the inbound mindset of building relationships way before someone is ready to buy. It's built on the notion of connecting with prospects rather than driving a hard sales pitch.  In the modern marketplace, sales is not merely about 'closing the deal' but rather about consulting around the potential prospect's problems.

It's smarter to let your prospects define the pace of the sales process, rather than dictating it on your own terms. The goal is to offer education and advice; building confidence and trust.

We've compiled a list of ways you can make the inbound marketing process scalable and efficient for your business.

1. Get on LinkedIn and Be Helpful

While most salespeople have active LinkedIn profiles, they aren't necessarily aware of how to use the platform to generate top-of-the-funnel activity. When used effectively, LinkedIn offers a low-effort, high-return way to connect with interested prospects.

Do your best to connect with as many people as you can, though be sure to remain within the most appropriate circles. The larger your network, the further your reach will extend. Try to remember that this is a professional network, so you don't need to be the best of friends with your connections.

Develop a post that catches the eye of various potential prospects. This isn't brain surgery. A simple offer of help will do. State that you are looking to help a specific type of prospect with a particular problem by a certain date. Be sure to mention your intended target location as well - there's not much point in trying to help someone halfway across the globe if your service doesn't reach that far.

2. Use GoPinLeads to Find Valuable Leads

GoPinLeads is a Google scraping tool that can help you find venues, their employees, phone numbers, email addresses, and social media profiles. Instead of spending hours and hours trying to track down leads, you can access a one-stop solution that simplifies the entire process for you. All you need to do is enter your desired location-based keyword. Within minutes you’ll receive Excel sheets filled with contact details from millions of websites and social media platforms.

These contact details can be used in several ways. You could extend your professional network by connecting with targeted prospects on LinkedIn. Similarly, you could use email addresses to develop a thorough campaign. With all this information at your fingertips, your opportunities are virtually endless.

3. Develop a Blog Post or Article with an Offer for a Free Consultation

In many marketing circles, the term "blogging" is treated with heavy sighs and eye-rolling. Too many people think of this as a long and laborious task - somewhat of a throwback to writing a lengthy school paper that no one will ever bother to read. On a list of things that the average person can't stand, writing hovers somewhere between public speaking and trips to the dentist.

It helps to think of blogging as nothing more or less than a conversation. A blog post can be as simple or complex as you like. You could answer some of the standard questions you encounter about your products on a daily basis. You could also delve a little deeper and discuss the problems that are rife within your industry and how your business rises above. You can also use a blog as a platform to celebrate your company's successes, or the achievements of your individual employees.

The goal here is to reach out to prospects and build a rapport. You're aiming for an air of openness and transparency; an absolute necessity in the Digital Age. At the end of your post, you’ll want to offer a free consultation to prospective clients. Make the session long enough to make it look like you’re really interested in making a difference but short enough that you’re not losing out on valuable time.

4. Work Your Personal Network

Too often, we tend to forget about our personal network when the time comes to work on inbound marketing techniques. There seems to be a misconception that the only network worth bothering about is filled with professional contacts only. The fact of the matter is that there are more than a few people you meet in a personal context that could very well end up being an integral part of your lead generation machine. The main benefit of these contacts is that you have built-in trust, so there’s less time to be spent on building a rapport.

In your personal and social spheres, you often have groups of people who don't always intersect. Your work friends tend to move in different circles to your neighbours. Friends you've met through your kids move in different circles to your gym buddies. You don't want to become a person who only talks shop but you also don't want to miss out on a good opportunity either. All you really need to do, is identify how comfortable you are with a particular acquaintance, and if you feel you can talk business, get them to introduce you to a viable connection or two.

It’s all about respecting boundaries and taking a chance when you think it’ll be worthwhile.

5. Consider Revisiting Previously Lost Opportunities

There are businesses and individuals out there that already know what you do. They might have encountered your products through a demo or had a chat through a brief call but, for whatever reason, it wasn't the right time for them to shell out.

Don't throw these contacts out. Keep them on the back burner and touch base every half a year or so. Check in to see if their goals have shifted or discover whether their priorities have changed. Ask about their current major challenges and see if you can help in solving them.

It might sound a little left-of-field to invest time and effort in these prospects but the fact of the matter is they're really already more useful to you than a shiny new lead. Sign them up for suitable email marketing drip campaigns, send them personalised emails with the occasional relevant blog posts, keep them engaged.

They might not bite the first or second time you follow up but when the fourth call rolls around, you could find the odds are in your favour. You never know when people might change jobs or increase their budget just in time to take you up on your offer. Spend a little extra time focusing on staying top of mind and you're guaranteed to be the first vendor they call.

The simplest way to maximize the efficiency of your inbound marketing efforts is simply to get out there and try some tactics to generate new leads. Putting your shoulder to the wheel is the best way forward.

SME’s: Get More Clients, Spend Less Money

We want to show you some fantastic ways to bring in more clients, without spending a ton of money. These ten key tips are essential to your success.

The more customers you attract, the higher your sales will become. I am always amazed by the number of small businesses that struggle or go bankrupt for one simple reason: Nobody knows they exist. If people knew about their products, they would be making sales - it’s often that simple.

Clients might not know about them for a number of reasons, but usually it’s because they’re struggling to advertise their product. Advertising in traditional ways is expensive, hard to track, and tricky to get right. Knowing how to get great results with the lowest overall spend is every company’s ideal scenario.

I’ve got ten “cheap or free” methods to help you get your name out there and begin making sales. Read through them and be objective - your business’ future success depends on it!

1. Discount Domination

Discounts are always extremely popular. We’re all familiar with flash, clearance, and seasonal sales - some businesses just don’t know how to make it work for them. There are a number of ways you can get clients to come to you using discounts:

  • Existing Platforms: There are “Daily Deal” type apps out there that will advertise your deal for one day to their entire user base for what is usually a small fee.

  • Online Sales: Online selling comes with less expensive overheads, allowing for lower prices and great deals. Offering “Online Only” deals also attracts people to your website.

  • In-store Sales: In contrast to the above, store stock can sometimes be shifted fast by offering in-store sales of certain items, or seasonally as part of your range change.

2. Use Your Tools

You know who your clients are, now go find them! There are some great tools that help you do exactly that. GoPinLeads is a great one. It’s a neat little Chrome Extension that scrapes data from Google Maps, LinkedIn, and other credible online sources, and delivers a comprehensive database to your email inbox within minutes.

It’ll show you the businesses you’re looking for, who works there, what their details are, and their address. Everything you need to know to get in touch with the right people and get your foot in the door!

I created it, but that’s not the only reason I love it. Since it’s launch, I’ve received incredible feedback from thankful salespeople the world over. The tool delivers highly detailed databases with the most current information. It saves so much time.

3. Let Them Win

The world is obsessed with winning. Offering the public the opportunity to win your product is an amazing way to generate hype. People love taking chances and are tantalized by the thought of winning. Doing it cleverly will make sure you get the most exposure:

  • Photo Contests: Ask people to post a photo of themselves with your product on social media and tag you. This way, they buy your product and get you into the public eye at the same time. The bigger the prize value, the better your chances.
     

  • Social Media: Offer additional contest entries for customers who follow each of your social channels and share your competition media. The buzz you can generate this way is unbelievable. “Going Viral” is the key, here!
     

  • Tiered Winning: Have a first, second, and runner-up prizes. It creates more potential for people to win, more product exposure, and a greater effort made by entrants.

Be sure that the prizes on offer are within your advertising budget. If you forget to plan for this, the competition could have a negative effect on your business.

4. Give It Away

Do you like it when you get things for free? Everyone does. It’s actually a pretty powerful way of drumming up clients! It makes people aware of your product, shows that it works, and highlights the value you offer. You have some options:

  • Free For Now: Limited-time offers are big winners in attracting clients. Offering your product free to the first 20 clients, offering a large discount for a week, or “Free Plus Shipping” deals are all proven to generate a buzz of interest.

  • Influencers: There are YouTube channels, Instagram accounts, and various other online channels all based around unboxing, experiencing, and rating products. If you’re going to give something away for free, choose one of the many popular influencers!

5. Get Online Already

You definitely need a website - even if it’s a simple one-pager. You need to make sure that it works, and looks good. Attracting people to your site is important to creating a brand identity that transcends the barrier between the real world and the internet. This is what you need to know about getting a website:

  • Free: You don’t have to pay for a basic website. There are a number of ways to build one - just Google “free website.”

  • Basics: You should add your business information to your website including a description, links to your social media accounts, contact details, and location.

  • Image: Your site is your own personal ad space. Use it to give people the impression you want them to get of your business and make them remember you.

6. Social Media Matters

You have to represent your brand on social media. The channels you choose will depend on the audience you’re trying to reach. Facebook is still the leading social network, and as such is a great place to start.

People kill a massive amount of time on social platforms, which means you need to make sure they’re seeing your company as much as possible.

Sharing and tagging on social media is a modern form of word-of-mouth marketing that you can save and read again later. It’s incredibly important to have your business represented with quality engaging content on social media.

7. Use The Lists

The internet is full of directory sites that have completely replaced The Yellow Pages. We all use them weekly to find information of stores, suppliers, and local businesses. The interesting fact is that many business owners don’t think about getting listed. It just doesn’t occur to them, despite using the service to find other companies.

Cast your net as wide as possible and get your business onto as many of these directories as possible. It doesn’t have to be a huge task. You could join one a day, or one a week. Either way, your business will be spread across the internet for all to see.

8. The Traditional Flyer

Flyers are still a thing for a reason: They work. Sure, they annoy some people, but others value a tangible reminder of your product. You can start simple with a black and white paper flyer, or go all out with gloss, fancy folds, and tons of colour.

It all depends on your budget and what you really want to achieve. It’s a marvellous way to reach whole apartment buildings, office blocks, schools, or colleges in one move. There are free tools that will almost design your flyers for you - you just have to print them and hand them out.

9. Advertise Online

Online advertising works well and can be tracked accurately. You’ll be able to figure out what works and why, and track trends in real time. Adwords by Google is still the online advertising industry leader, and enables great results for low investment.

Facebook also offers advertisement schemes that are trackable and scalable. As the largest social network in the world, it’s intelligent to run adverts on Facebook and monitor their performance.

Following the results and focusing your financial and time investment on channels that return results gives you the power to perfect your own marketing mix.

10. Get Them Talking

People trust their friends and family members more than anyone else. That’s the simple reason that Word of Mouth marketing is such a powerful force. It takes longer to show results - but is extremely reliable once it does. People are repelled by expensive adverts more and more. By contrast, when they’re happy about their experience with a product or service, they’re very likely to tell their family, work colleagues, and social groups.

Now you need to know how to get people talking about you! It’s pretty easy:

  • Sell Quality: Make sure your product is worth talking about. Great value and high quality are the key factors. People appreciate it when a product does what the manufacturer claims it can do. Make them happy, and they’ll tell other people.

  • Solve It: If you can make your client’s problems go away, they will love you forever. Making their lives simpler in a truly useful way is worth more than gold to most people. Figure out how you can improve lives, or simplify them at the very least.

  • Be Nice: Do you hate rude customer service? Do you get angry when you feel cheated or mistreated? If so, you’re totally normal - so does everyone else. The upshot of this is you have to be helpful, understanding, and flexible for your customers. They’ll appreciate it! Remember to thank them for supporting you.

  • Give Back: Having loyalty rewards is a good way to get people to keep coming back to you. Incentives show that you care about your clients and want them to be happy. It’s also a great conversation-starter both in store and when they’re out with their friends.

  • Get Involved: Volunteering for a good cause, sponsoring a local charity, or supporting the teams in your area are all great ways to get people talking about your company. Corporate Social Responsibility has become a buzzword, but is a concept that offers a huge potential for exposure and community upliftment.

Genius Ways of Finding & Selling to Locals Online

A growing number of people are searching for businesses online. Right now, 97% of the world use Google and other search engines to find business details, phone numbers, addresses, and more. Are you easily discoverable yet?

A wider section of the population use the internet to browse good before going to a store. You need people to be able to find your business if you want results. Whether you sell online or not, you need to have an online presence that attracts a local customer base, while celebrating your neighbourhood, town, or city.

Still, you need to know how to do make sure your local community are able to find your website or social media accounts. You really need to make a good impression if you want people to make the effort to come to you. Try some of these strategies:

1. Use Local News

Advertising on a popular local newspaper’s website can do wonders for the public perception of your company. Locals flock to these sites for various reasons, so it makes sense to be visible there. Adding a link to your site gives you traffic and eyes on your content. You’ll get better results from local newspaper ads than more regional publications because people usually prefer to shop local - it feels safer and support is quicker.

Keep it simple - don’t use a ton of wild flashing images or a ton of text. Think of your advert as a teaser that’s designed to lure your customers onto your site. Try to be more interesting that anything else on the page, and be worth the visit when they get to your content.

2. Use GoPinLeads

Using tools cleverly is a marvellous way to get the edge in your industry. Why wait for your clients to find you, when you can go out and find them? Using social media, company websites, and interns to build a database of possible clients takes forever, costs a lot, and rarely returns reliable results.

GoPinLeads is a tool that I created to solve this challenge once and for all. Finally, you can use a Chrome Plug-in to effortlessly and intelligently build databases for you. It uses machine learning and AI to figure out the most accurate data to return to you, and does it all in minutes.

3. Search Engine Submissions

Get your business discoverable by the most popular search engines. Everyone uses one, so make sure they can find you. Your website and keywords aren’t instantly discoverable - you have to ask to be added to these services.

Submitting a business profile gives your customers a chance of finding your website, and by extension, all of your details and content. It generates traffic and sets you up for success in other forms of online advertising.

4. “Locals Only” Deals

You can attract locals by offering deals that are designed just for them. There are many ways to get this done, from loyalty schemes and downloadable vouchers, to newsletter subscriber rewards and Facebook offers.

Supporting your local community is extremely important and makes all the difference in gaining the trust and loyalty of your local community. Making them feel valued and special will endear them to your brand.

5. Bouncing Is Bad

Do you know what a Bounce Rate is? If you’re elbows-deep in your company’s analytics you will be - but many still take a more passive approach. Your website’s Bounce Rate determines how quickly people leave your website.

Are you boring them? Is your site buggy? Ask some hard questions, or hire someone to evaluate you using a service like Fiverr.com. You need to solve the issues that are making your clients avoid you. Keeping them clicking around for longer increases your chances of making a sale.

6. Update Your Location

People and search engines need to know where you are. Make sure your website SEO is set up to make your content visible to your local community. If they can’t find your content easily, you can’t sell your products.

Use keywords that highlight your neighbourhood, your city, and wider surrounding areas. Feature these points in your content and your meta tags. Using these tools to your advantage is always going to be the best way to get your business recognised locally.

7. Timing is Important

Massive sale days like Black Friday and the festive build-up period are so successful because they play on our sense of urgency and scarcity. It really is as simple as that. It’s the fear of missing out, fear of disappointing our loved ones, and a need to avoid those outcomes at all costs.

Use limited-time deals to your advantage. Some retail businesses have experienced success with “First 20 Clients” type deals which reward the fastest clients to visit your outlet. Building up the hype around an event or a sale and making people care about it is a marketing gold mine.

4 Kickass Ways to Generate High Quality Sales Leads

What’s the most common reason behind the average business’ failure?
The answer is fairly simple: They just don’t have the leads they need to survive in an increasingly competitive market.

You could have the most amazing product in the world - a proper problem-solving powerhouse - and your business still wouldn’t survive without high quality leads.

Unsurprisingly, more leads generate more revenue; it’s a simple equation that you can’t ignore. The higher your revenue, the more confident you’ll be in your ability to give your competitors a run for their money. Of course, the quality of your leads is equally as important. You need to find the right leads to convert your ideas into profits.

We’ve rounded up some of the most effective lead generation methods to help you yield the best results:

  1. Start Up Your Business’ Blog & Get Guest Blogging Gigs

    There’s no denying that content is king; particularly on your blog. Your blog is the perfect place to showcase your digital identity. Hone in on your target audience and develop content that speaks directly to them. Make it your mission to solve their problems, address their issues, and entertain them with insights that fit their agenda. When people find a reason to keep coming back for your content, they’re almost guaranteed to sign up for your newsletter or give your product a try.

    In addition to developing top-notch content for your own site, you’ll want to consider setting aside some time to create equally fantastic content for authoritative sites in your niche. This is a prime opportunity to shift an audience from a high-traffic website to your own.
     

  2. Use Google Scraping Tools, Like GoPinLeads

    Why spend hours sifting through search engine results when there’s a tool that can generate thousands of leads within a few short seconds? GoPinLeads enables users to find venues, their employees, phone numbers, email addresses, and social media profiles; it’s the one stop solution for high quality, thorough sales leads. Simply enter your keyword and within no time you’ll receive Excel sheets filled with contact details from millions of websites including LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, corporate sites and databases around the globe.

    You can save yourself over 50 hours a week by using GoPinLeads with no need to assign lead generation tasks to team members whose skills are needed elsewhere. You’ll also never have to pay for leads lists again, saving yourself a valuable portion of your budget.
     

  3. Optimize Your Landing Page for Lead Generation & Add Exit-Intent Popups

    It’s incredibly important to create a landing page that boosts your lead generation efforts. You want to convert first-time visitors into a frequently returning audience.

    Not long ago, you’d worry about having to hire professional designers and developers to work on a landing page for you. Now, however, there are several fantastic landing page creation tools at your disposal. It’s as easy as choosing a mobile-friendly template, adjusting it to feature your branding and colours, and launching it. It couldn’t be simpler.

    More than 70% of your abandoning visitors will never return. There is something simple you to try and fix that. Add an exit-intent popup that collects email addresses. Use this pop-up feature to offer product or content upgrades, or throw in a free product license. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the exponential increase in sign-ups.
     

  4. Use the Element of Scarcity to Your Advantage

    FOMO (the fear of missing out) can be used to your advantage. When something appears to be limited, you’re more likely to pique the interest of your target audience. You can implement limitations of time or quantity - simply add some sort of countdown timer or announcement on your landing page. Make sure to repeat the announcement across your social media platforms and in a short newsletter. It’s important to spread the word.

    Most often, people use the “scarcity tactic” during the holidays; offering discounts over a particular time period. You can, however, employ the same tactic to advertise a small number of items left in stock, or offer free shipping for a limited time. It’s all about making your offer sound attractive in a way that works for your particular audience.

    Customers tend to act more impulsively if there’s a threat of their desired product selling out before they have a chance to make their purchase.
     

In the end, it’s all about using a strategy that works best for your business. You’re looking for minimum investments, both in terms of time and money, and an opportunity to generate leads that stick.

10 reasons why you should (or should not) use ProductHunt's Ship

Launching a new product on Product Hunt's Ship?

Here are the top 10 reviews I received when I asked the question on a few Facebook groups.

Thought I'd share it with others who might find it helpful.

Thanks everyone who helped me with making a decision. FYI: I just signed up.

(Probably the most comprehensive answer came from Kaloyan Yankulov - no. 10)

  1. Galina Divakova If your product is relevant to community, it might be worth it. We collected 300 emails when using it.
  2. Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré using it for my book but haven't fully taken advantage of everything you can do on it, so I don't feel I have a lot of feedback to share yet. I do however feel like it's super useful for pre-launch initiatives, and pre-launch IMO is everything.
  3. Omer Molad Helped us build momentum when we launched our expert community, and really turbocharged our assessment library.
  4. Joshua Bradley I have used Ship - the tools are pretty solid along with some good messaging options, including importing your own lists. Perhaps the most valuable feature when paid for is being able to schedule your launch on PH
  5. Arthur Tkachenko it works if you have a community. also great idea to save time and don't set up another landing page.
  6. Saravana Kumar we are using Ship, the promoted upcoming page is quite useful. Even though the impact is not exactly like PH launch, it's there and we see few signups here and there. The other advantage I see is when someone subscribes you can see the number of followers for them in PH, this will help to build the relationship and when you are launching you can reach out to them.
  7. Annie Gherini We are using it right now at Affinity. So far it has been great. Helps you get everything ready for the upcoming launch. The team has been super helpful too.
  8. Alexey Chernikov Yes, used, and I would say yes, it's worth paying for as long as you're planning to work with your community closely. Pro plan offers you a very useful Survey tool to collect & validate data from your subscribers.
  9. Bruce Kraft Jr. Ship opens possibilities. But if you don't have an infrastructure in place to maximize on ship, you'll just get lost in the "upcoming" crowd
  10. Kaloyan Yankulov I see a lot of positive comments and reviews here, so here is the contrarian position about Ship. While we love ProductHunt, Ship wasn't really up to par with the usual spirit and standards of the platform.

Here are a few things that you should consider before paying:

  1. Getting listed in the Upcoming directory takes longer than you would expect. You can't be certain when exactly the guys will publish your listing, which makes marketing preparation and planning difficult. I appreciate the PH team is reviewing every product manually, but usually, when you pay a premium, you expect to be up and running quickly. (Only Pro and Super Pro Ship subscribers get listed on Upcoming)
  2. As Bruce mentioned, unless you have the marketing system in place, you'll just get lost. I.e., don't rely on Ship to get subscribers organically. I see most of the positive reviews are from Ship beta users. Maybe back then there was more organic exposure, but it seems now it's just another crowded channel and you should rely only on your own muscles to make it work.
  3. When you look at Ship from a purely technical point for $79/mo you get:

        - non-customizable basic landing page

        - basic email service provider

        - basic surveys and polls.

This set of features sounds reasonable at first, but when you draw the line, it's much cheaper to use a full-fledged landing page/site builder (like Simvoly.com - $7/mo) + a robust email service provider (like ActiveCampaign - $29/mo) + GoogleForms/Typeform which are free. This is $36 in total for up to 1000 subscribers. For half the price of Ship, you get a solid stack of apps to do your pre-launch.

Even then you can still pre-launch on Product Hunt by regularly submitting a product with a "pre-launch" status.

Now where things got really ugly with Ship:

Since Ship wasn't working out for us, 15 days into our Pro subscription we requested a cancellation. To our surprise, our **monthly** Pro plan was canceled, and with that, we lost all pro features, access to our subscribers and our place on the upcoming page.

On the planet I live on, a monthly subscription means a 30-day subscription. Apparently, it's not so for PH — when we kindly asked to have our premium features back for the time we've been billed for PH rejected us.

This treatment doesn't reflect the community values PH shares..at least in my books.

I love PH and will continue pre-launching products via the regular submission, but I won't be using Ship in the near future.

The Internet Killed Off the Yellow Pages - YES!

From 1966 until fairly recently, the Yellow Pages were the Mordor of the advertising world. Desperate to attract more local customers, business owners would funnel their hard-won earnings into the directory, hoping against all odds that it would make a difference.

The Yellow Pages unashamedly swallowed up as much cash as possible, sending its Dark Army of hefty books to homes across the globe. At the time, business owners had no choice. Each year, they faced painful increases in rates, which swallowed up most of their advertising budget. Yet, to pass over an ad in the directory meant losing out on hundreds of potential customers.

In 2010, the Internet, leader of the Information Age, rallied its forces, and since then online searches have become the go-to for most consumers. Now, in 2018, the Internet has finally killed off the Yellow pages. The first of 104 final editions were rolled out in Brighton, UK, earlier this year.

Old School Lead Generation is Buried Alongside the Yellow Pages

When the Yellow Pages held the monopoly as the most comprehensive business directory, sales reps had their work cut out for them.  You could almost hear the global sigh as reps across the world settled down with bulky copies of local directories, painstakingly copying business details and transferring them one by one to Excel spreadsheets. It may not have been complicated but it certainly took longer than any person should spend on such a menial task.

The drawback to these listings, of course, was the fact that sales reps would only have access to direct business addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers. There was no way to access individual employee contact details by perusing the Yellow Pages. The only workaround was to contact the business to request the details of high-flyers and hope for a favourable response.

It’s no surprise that the modern sales rep is predisposed to use tools that make lead generation as quick and simple as possible.

Google Scraping Tools Like GoPinLeads are the Way of the Future

Unlike any other scraping tool on the market, GoPinLeads is a business extractor that uses machine learning and AI, enabling users to search for companies anywhere in the world. The tool scrapes millions of websites, social media platforms, corporate sites, and databases. Within seconds, the tool populates an extensive Excel spreadsheet, providing details including names, contact details, and social media profiles.

Using GoPinLeads can save users over 50 hours a week on scraping customer data. Without having to resort to outdated list building practices, professionals finally have the time they need to focus on their core business and to grow sales.

What to Do With Your Leads Once You Have Them

When reaching out to a prospect for the first time, the aim is to establish trust, provide value, gather key information, and, if necessary, schedule a follow-up meeting. A clever content marketing strategy is the best way to ensure that prospects are receptive to your message. Your outreach email needs to hit the proverbial nail on the head, or you’ll end up with a prospect that’s less inclined to enter into a conversation with you.

Prospecting emails are a touchy subject in the marketing world but they’re an absolute necessity. Instead of sending out a bulk, template-based message, consider taking the time to type up a tailored message that initiates a conversation based on something the prospect recently did. A quick online search will give you some useful tidbits.

Once you’ve initiated contact, send a follow-up mail that delivers real value rather than a pitch that falls flat. Share an interesting article, video, or infographic that benefits the reader in some way. Your main aim here is to make it all about them instead of punting your agenda.

The next step is to invite the prospect into a conversation by asking a question. Be as direct as possible. Make it easy for the prospect to reply and make it clear that replying is beneficial to them in some way. You’re here to solve a problem. Your services or products are a solution.

From here on out, it’s important to follow up. Make the effort to stay in touch and keep the conversation going. Take care of your prospects and your clients, and they’ll be motivated to remain loyal to you.

Without Local SEO, You’re Losing Money

Copy of stop wasting time(1).png

In an ideal world, every business owner would have a storefront on the busiest street, in the busiest neighbourhood, with the most foot traffic. In this idealistic universe, we’d all have physical stores, and marketing wouldn’t be a problem – you don’t need to work hard on advertising if you have a constant stream of paying customers.

Of course, we live in a world where the number of businesses in the virtual environment is growing at a steady pace. Can you apply the same “location principle” to the modern business world? The comforting answer here is, “Yes.” Being easy to find online is of the utmost importance. On the upside, it’s much easier to improve your business’ online visibility thank you think it is; and in doing so, draw in local customers by implementing local SEO.

What is Local SEO?

Due to the overall rise in Smartphone usage, and the improvement in connectivity while moving from one place to the next, local SEO has grown in leaps and bounds over the last few years. Focused on providing results that are relevant to searchers based on their current location, local SEO helps customers find what they want, when they need it, and in their imminent vicinity. For example, if you were to search for “best oven-fired pizza” right now, Google would show results of restaurants and takeout places that are closest to your current location.

5 Ways to Make the Most of Local SEO

In order to shift focus to a local level and promote your business among clients in your area, the following methods are a sure-fire way to get improved results:

1. Ask for Positive Reviews

It stands to reason that around 90% of customers are reassured when they see positive reviews. Potential clients want to see what your current and previous customers have written about your business. Consider it a spin on the old “word of mouth” adage.

Don’t be above asking for reviews. Take every opportunity to remind your satisfied clients how important their feedback really is. If you struggle to get people to post their commentary – let’s face it, in this day and age it’s not always easy to get anyone to make an effort for free – try offering them a discount or free sample in exchange for their opinions.

2. GoPinLeads & NAP

Your customers can’t find you if you give them the wrong address. That’s why you need to ensure that your name, address, and phone (NAP) details are correct on all your online platforms. While there are fantastic tools out there like GoPinLeads, which uses AI and machine learning to determine the correct details of businesses, the public will usually just Google you.

Businesses who wish to work with your company rely more on lists and databases to gather the information they need to make a decision, or to find the best contact point within your team. This is where GoPinLeads makes all the difference, ensuring accurate results and smoother communication. You’ll get the right person on the phone with ease.

3. Make Social Media a Habit

Social media networks are in close cahoots with local SEO. Local business pages on Facebook, G+, and LinkedIn are required to add accurate location details before they are activated. By increasing your presence on social media, you exponentially increase your chance of connecting with local customers. In many cases, local businesses opt out of owning a website because these channels are more than adequate at attracting clientele.

In addition to regularly posting about your products or services on social media, consider developing some local content. Talk about your local area, rave about upcoming events, and connect your business to the community.

4. Optimize Your Content

Optimized content is an essential part of your local SEO strategy. Be mindful of the keywords you choose to include in your website content and in your posts. The right search terms will help clients find your business faster. If your goal is to attract locals, then be sure to mention your city’s name.

The best way to draw your local public’s attention is to highlight your business as a top provider of a particular product or service in a specific area.

5. Get Your Business Categories in Order

Your online business listings, particularly on Google My Business, should feature accurate business categories. Be sure to describe what your business is rather than what it does. For example, if you run a photography business, your listing should read “Event Photographer” and not “Wedding Photos”.

Incorrect category association can cause your listing to drop a few spaces or disappear entirely.

Hop on the Bandwagon, It’s Free

As a local business owner, you no doubt know how tough it is to fight for positioning with search engines. Small business owners and start-ups with limited resources can find it particularly challenging to climb the ladder. Local search engine optimization is a completely budget-friendly way to start gaining visibility and generate local leads.

6 Steps to Building a Healthy Client Base

buildingahealthyclientbase.png

 

Your client base is the quintessence of your company. As a business owner, you no doubt know that building a healthy client base is the key to your success. Without a steady stream of new, paying customers it’s virtually impossible to grow your business. Fulfilling your company vision relies almost solely on attracting clientele and keeping them interested in paying for your product.

A simple, step-wise approach is the best way to ensure that you attract new clients.

1. Identify Your Ideal Client

Looking for customers is easier if you have absolute clarity on the type of consumers you aim to attract. It’s important to develop a clear picture in your head of the people you want to target. Take the time to consider their wants, needs, general personality traits, and then create an idea of how you can make their lives easier.

Making broad target market statements is an approach that should be dodged at all costs. Avoid assuming that you are selling to every woman, every teenager, or every student. It’s difficult to address a vast group of people – generalisations can rub them up the wrong way. Overstating your market will make it difficult to develop a viable, targeted strategy for attracting customers.

2. Locating Your Model Client

Once you’ve identified your target clients, it’s important to identify where they are likely to be found. Where you search for clients depends largely on the type of business you run.  Consider whether it will be easier to connect with them via media channels, online, social media, email, or whether you’re likely to connect with them at conferences and conventions in your industry. Based on where you’re likely to find these customers, you’ll need to create tailored messages for them.

Automated tools, like GoPinLeads, can help you quickly and easily find potential clients without spending hours wasting time on manual searches. By using GoPinLeads to generate client databases, you can escape the traditional minefields of buying lists which never work, or paying assistants to do the searching for you. Use these lists to contact potential clients in the most suitable manner, based on the customer identification process you’ve already completed.

3. Know Your Business and Position Yourself as an Authority

You need to have a thorough understanding of your industry along and a solid knowledge of your product in order to gain the attention of viable clients. If you truly know everything there is to know about your product, that confidence will shine through. Any people who might be interested in what your business has to offer will realise how well-informed you are and ask for your advice.

It’s generally a good idea to give potential clients a desire to try your services. If people think that trying your product will make their lives easier in some way, you’re one step closer to gaining loyal customers. Position yourself as someone who has an in-depth understanding of the problems your clients need to solve and create content that aims to solve those problems. Become a force to be reckoned with via webinars, podcasts, blog posts, and guest blogging gigs. Get out there and physically network with people.

Doing this will help you to attract a following which you can convert into paying customers, as long as you have a structured sales funnel setup to help you achieve your goals.

4. Give Direct Response Marketing a Try

Reach out to potential customers and encourage them to complete a specific action. Offer them value they can’t refuse in exchange for opting into your email. Alternatively, you can offer them tidbits of information and reward them with more if they request more information.

Create ads or develop messages that offer your ideal clients something free, thus getting them started in your sales funnel. Make your audience realise that your products or services can make their problems go away faster than any others.

5. Build Solid Business Partnerships

Synergy is an effective part of building a business from the ground up. Consider the benefits of partnering with businesses that offer complementary services. If you have a web design company, it could be beneficial to partner with a business that specialises in SEO optimisation. Similarly, if you run a research firm, it might be a good idea to team up with a business that offers tailored writing services.

Fostering real human relationships helps you create a solid client base. People will instinctively catch on to the fact that you’re all about nurturing relationships with other business owners, which makes you more likely to build strong relationships with your customers as well. Loyalty and trustworthiness go a long way, and you’ll find that word of mouth spreads quicker than any ad campaign.

6. Close the Loop

After spending all that time to bring in business, it’s important to make the effort to follow up. Contact people after you’ve sent them samples and ask for feedback. Send mails to people who have asked you for information and offer additional support should they need it. Connect with your fans and followers on social media and ask for their opinions on how you can improve your product.

If you forget to follow up, you are invariably wasting some fantastic leads and conversations. Just this simple step alone is a sure-fire way to get your client base to grow.

Growing in Leaps and Bounds

Today we hit a milestone; five digit ($) recurring revenue from our SaaS tool, GoPinLeads! Here's what we've learned:

  1. Launch:
    This is the most important part of your marketing campaign. 40% of your paying customers are hooked within the first 24 hours of launching your product.

  2. Availability:
    Make sure that as a company, all employees, even the ones who are not linked directly to the project are sharing information about the product. Be prepared to launch, but also be equipped to delay if you aren’t 100% ready.

  3. Tool Description:
    Get your SaaS platform’s descriptions smoothed out. If you cant describe your product in four or five words, then you have a problem. Make sure to rearrange your descriptions to get your message across.
    eg. When we first started out, we called our product a ‘growth hacking tool’ for local businesses. The moment we changed it to an ‘Extensive Google Map Scrapper’, we increased sales by 70%.

  4. Social Media Signups:
    Manual registration and signup is a very cumbersome task. Reduce the effort involved by allowing users to signup and login via Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google Accounts.

  5. Feedback, feedback, feedback:
    Get as many users to provide feedback as possible. As a founder, I have spent a lot of time getting users to try the product for free and give us feedback via Skype and conference calls.

  6. Freemium:
    Aim to get as many free users before the official launch. Release the product for free, initially, and make sure to encourage people to give their thoughts.

  7. Negative Feedback:
    Don’t be afraid of negative feedback or criticism. People care about what they are paying for, and therefore are keen to see your product improve. This is a good thing.  Don’t feel offended by negative feedback; rather see it as an opportunity for growth.

  8. Internal Testing:
    Make sure to try out your product internally with your team and extensively test your product before you launch it.
    eg. Before we launched our product, we did internal testing, which helped us reduce 70% of the bugs. If we had forgotten to do the stress testing, or we opted to forego testing instead of delaying the launch, we may have had a much bigger problem on our hands.

  9. Build in Phases:
    We didn’t launch all the functionalities at once. Instead, we have been building it in phases. It's a good idea to aim to launch a new version based on user feedback every week (or at least fortnightly).

  10. ProductHunt:
    Sites like ProductHunt are legitimate resources for getting traction from early adopters and paying customers. Make sure it’s part of your launch strategy.

Start Talking

It’s time to take the next step. You’ve worked your way to a certain degree of success in your career and you’re dreaming of bigger things. You find yourself comparing your knowledge and experience with the speakers at the events you attend and often think, "I could do that!"

You probably could. There’s a great way to find out and help a cause you care about at the same time! 

A movie of the same name starring a young Haley-Joel Osment resulted in a huge rise in the popularity of the term "Pay it Forward." Goodwill became popular, charities blossomed, and people gave a lot to the causes they care about. Some got involved and gave their time in teaching, mentoring, and coaching in their communities. 

While the popularity of "charitable" work rises and falls, there are those among us who believe that giving back to the community as a way of life is the only way to go. There are so many things you can do. 

Sure, you want to become a hugely successful business person, but you have to recognize your community. They are the supporting foundation to your every effort. The more you get involved, the more opportunities you will see to build your community. 

The fact is, your business will grow along with you, because the public perception of your organization will be favorable. I’m not suggesting that you do good things so that you will benefit. Sometimes you have to stop and say thank you to the community that raised you.

It’s a tricky path to start down, but there are some simple ways to start it off. I’ll use motivational speaking as an example. 

4 Steps To Become A Motivational Speaker

Start locally - Your community knows you. They’re far more likely to give you an opportunity to speak, get involved, and give back. Your community will be the basis of your success and will usually become your most fervent promoters.

Be relevant - Why should people listen to you? What do you have to say? What is your message? Ask yourself these questions early. Focus is vital! When you believe in yourself and your message, you’ll find that people are far more likely to pay attention.

Don’t charge - At first, you should work for free. You need to build up a reputation as a great speaker. You have to show off your abilities at any opportunity. You’ll also gain experience. The money will follow later as you work your way up to bigger events.

Be worth it - As you work more and grow as a speaker, so will your value. People want to connect with you and feel better about their lives as a result. Make your life about caring and connecting with the people around you.

You can succeed as a speaker by leveraging your public appeal and knowledge to become a subject matter expert. You’ll need to put in the work to become as well known as possible. The worst case scenario is that it turns out you don’t want to be a public speaker. Even then, you’ll have helped your community to grow. Why not give it a try?

Let me know if you want to schedule a call with me. Check out my site at www.kileyco.biz and leave me a message.

Leave a comment below, and feel free to share this.

Kiley

 

Stop Wasting Time [Part 3]

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I’ve given you six tips in this series so far. Who’s been trying them out?

It’s never too late to grow. Start today, be better tomorrow.

This is the third and final week of my series on creating time for yourself.

You can get more done. You have all the time you need. 

Check out the final tips below: (More detail in the article...)

1. Structure: You need to have a game plan. You’re burning a huge amount of time if you just "wing it" every day. Start with your targets and plan your month. Know how many sales you need every week and break it down into daily targets as well. Planning for success not only saves time in your day but helps you reach your goals more reliably. When you know how much you need to sell, you can plan your daily activities to reach those goals. Structure your work life around tasks that bring you success.

2. Automate: Use your tools. Life will be easier and you’ll have more time for core tasks. If you post to social media, use a tool to post for you at scheduled times (something like Buffer). If you spend endless hours building databases, automate the process (try GoPinLeads) and spend more time building your client relationships. There are some awesome tools out there that will simplify your day, save you time, and let you focus on the most important tasks.

3. Sleep: You need rest. You’re probably neglecting your sleep because you’re trying to do too much. When you feel like you have no choice but to stay up all night working, you are setting yourself up for failure. You may get a fair amount done, but you’re killing your productivity the next day. There really is no reason to pull all-nighters if you follow the steps I’ve shared with you. Regular sleep with no distractions is incredibly important.

Share this with a friend. They may be struggling with this too.

Leave a comment and tell me what you need tips on.

Kiley

 

Stop Wasting Time [Part 2]

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Last week I covered three ways to start freeing up more time in your day. Who checked it out?

Have you tried out any of the tips yet?

You don’t have to spend another day catching up...

Worrying about deadlines you’ll never meet...

Shifting from task to task and never finishing anything...

Here are the next three golden tips in my series of making more time in your life. Check them out below:

4. Add a little pressure: Is there a task you just can’t get done? Maybe it’s really boring, maybe there’s too much going on for you to properly focus. A great way to get your engine firing is to turn it into a race against your laptop battery. Unplug it, and try to complete your work before the battery runs out. It sounds crazy, but really does help. Give it a go!

5. Quit typing: Communicating with your employees and partners can take ages. Even if you’re an awesome smartphone typist, there is a much quicker way to get your message across. Get rid of the chat tool you’re using and revert to WhatsApp. Using voice notes will drastically reduce the time it takes to get your message across.

6. Coach yourself: A ton of time gets wasted by sitting about feeling sorry for yourself. It’s no joke. If you’ve been getting down on yourself, your energy goes out of the window. You’re robbing yourself of your self worth, your time, and your motivation. Be your own life coach. By now you know that you need upliftment and care. The trick is to do that for yourself. You can’t rely on others to always be available to raise you up. Be good to yourself.

Next week, I’ll share my final tips on this topic.

Need specific tips? Leave a comment and tell me what you need tips on. ⇓


 

Stop Wasting Time [Part 1]

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You really do have all the time you need!

If you’re running out of daylight...
If you’re never at home...
If you’re burning out...

There is a better way!

Over the next 3 weeks, I’ll be telling you how I do it.

You’ll be amazed at how much time you can free up.

Here are 3 steps to start with. Give them a try and let me know how it goes! ⇓

1. Make lists! You’ll have a clear view of just how much there is to do. Even better - you can decide which are the most important and do those first. I like to use the built-in Gmail task list.

2. Get going! Stressed people procrastinate. Is this you? Do you spend more time fearing failure than actually trying to avoid it? Think about it... you have a list! Just start with the first one and keep going. #itsthatsimple

3. Create your environment! Does music help you focus? Play it! Do you prefer to take regular breaks? Reward yourself for real results. The better you do, the better the reward!

I’ll have more on this topic next week.

Leave a comment and tell me what you need tips on. ⇓

Kiley

 

Work vs Life! Balance?

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There are two major differences of opinion on how our work should relate to our private lives.

⇒ Which camp do you belong to?

1. Work-Life Balance is Important

2. Work Now, Live Later

There are tons of startup entrepreneurs and professionals who have very different beliefs about this.

Where do you stand on this?

OPINION 1: Work-Life Balance

These people believe in working hard as possible, but for fewer hours.

This makes more time for family, sport, hobbies... whatever they care most about.

They say if you do this - really make time for your life outside of work - your life will improve.

⇒ The concept is closely tied to the "money doesn’t buy happiness" rationale, but there’s more to it than that.

At its core, it’s a principle that was born of the regrets of the hardline "Business First" generation. There have been hundreds of articles about missing school recitals, football matches, parties, anniversaries in the name of progress at work.

Putting work first has a time and place, and they believe downtime is just as important.

Are you a Work-Life Balance pro? ⇓ (Tell me how you do it in the comments...)

OPINION 2: Work Now, Live Later

These people are closer to the hardline previous generation.

They rationalise that their elders may have had zero personal time, but they got results.

Halfway through their careers, they could afford sports cars, a home, and maybe even travel.

⇒ If they were successful.

 

The other side of the coin exists, and it can get very ugly indeed.

The new school of thought is that the majority of cash loss and morale death happened because they stayed in the game too long.

The argument is that getting out when your career has peaked for a number of years is better than slowly killing yourself as you get older.

Are you one of these business people? Do you think working now and living later is for the best?

How do you make it work? (Tell me your approach in the comments!)

I want to hear from you.

It’s always interesting to find out how others manage their lives.

Leave a comment and tell me what you need tips on. ⇓

Raj.

 

My Top 20 Hacking Tools

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I have found some of the best tools available. 

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Here are some of the best in no particular order:

1 - Pay With A Tweet: Get paid by virality.

2 - Onalytica: Find influencers in your community.

3 - Name Ch_k: See if your social media accounts are available.

4 - Ruzzit: What's trending on Twitter.

5 - Telzio - Phone numbers with conference call, voip facilities and more. for 40+ countries

6 - Big Bad Ads: Directory of Facebook Ads - for inspiration.

7 - Shop Bot: Facebook messenger retargeting bot.

8 - Grow’s Microsoft Azure Tutorial: Microsoft Azure’s machine-learning-based content moderator - Automated workflow tool.

9 - Flow AI: Facebook chatbot maker.

10 - Clearbit: Company name to website domain name.

11 - Miml: Pretty email templates.

12 - Texted: Manage SMS replies to the whole group.

13 - OnRadar: Geolocation - within mobile app - customised offers.

14 - Qwilr: Replace your PDF proposals, quotes and presentations with interactive & mobile-friendly web pages that plug into your systems and are as easy to build and reuse as they are beautiful.

15 - Product Graveyard: Finding dead and alternative startups.

16 - Tone Analyzer: This service uses linguistic analysis to detect joy, fear, sadness, anger, analytical, confident and tentative tones found in text.

17 - Good Sales Emails: Copy competitor's sales emails.

18 - Good Email Copy: Emails from other companies.

19 - Subject Line: Ranks subject lines based on data.

20 - Dexi: Scrape any website.

MORE TOOLS: I updated my Udemy course for B2B sales leaders and founders: https://buff.ly/2lTzEkW

What tools do you use? 

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Tell me in the comments.

Add links for extra points!

What pain points are you experiencing?

Tell me all about them. I want to help.

Was this helpful to you? 

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SHARE this post and FOLLOW me!

#rajanand