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.

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

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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.

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

Value is King

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Kiley Doll, Goodman Lantern

It’s often easy for startups to lose sight of the basics. The many challenges startups face every day really blur the lines between priorities. It’s really easy to lose sight of what is most important.

You’ve heard of startups failing because they grew too fast, ran out of money, or failed to capture public interest. There are hundreds of articles out there that discuss these three common issues. The fact is that each of them can be traced back to poor sales strategies.

Startups often reach out for help with repairing their sales strategy. The best way to go about fixing the problem is to look closely at the way you’re talking to your clients. If you don’t talk to them in a way that grabs their attention, you’ll never get them to buy anything.

I have four methods that you can work through to turn your business around:
 

1. Hit the Ground Selling.

The best and brightest startup entrepreneurs often panic when they’re confronted with anything to do with sales. There are so many who lack confidence in their ability to sell, and it shows up in their work. The fact of the matter is that every single person is involved in selling every day. It doesn’t matter what your job title is, or what you spend the majority of your time on.

Every conversation you have involves selling in some form, whether it’s ideas, products, or services. Actual sales is no different. It’s a conversation that you hope will end in a sale. With this in mind, it’s important to remember that the best tactic to make people engage is to be truthful and authentic.


2. Create Actual Value.

When you realize that you’re always selling anyway, you need to give some serious thought to what it actually is that you’re selling. You need to realise the value that you and your product represent is far more important than the actual product itself.

Your clients aren’t going to buy from you unless your product offers the best value. That doesn’t just mean a low price point. You have to be better than your competitors in every way. They want to know what is in it for them. Are you saving them money, time, or simplifying their lives in another way? The most important part of this step is to make sure that the value your client sees in your product has to be greater than the price they paid for it.


3. Sell Really Well.

Innovation is fantastic. It’s an incredibly important part of every startup’s growth. The trouble is, it doesn’t always work. Most of the time it’s because the innovation you’re chasing doesn’t do anything to add value to your client’s experience. The trick is to listen to your customers, learn about their preferences, and give them what they want.

If you lose touch with your clients, you’ll be using all of your money and energy to supply them with things they don’t want or need. Innovate in line with your clients’ actual needs. They’ll know you’re paying attention and you’ll make money as a result. Think about your relationship with your customers like a friendship. Try every day to make a positive impact in their lives and they’ll thank you for it. It's a fantastic way to build loyalty.


4. Be Truly Useful.

Your startup’s success all depends on your sales performance. It’s a simple fact that carries a lot of importance. You’ll find it a lot easier to reach your goals if you break them down into a solid game plan. You need to track your sales and understand what your minimum sales need to be, what your optimal level would be, and how you intend to achieve these figures.

Ask yourself six basic questions, and you’ll find it a lot easier to figure your process out:

  1. Who are your clients?
  2. How are you finding them?
  3. How are you talking to them?
  4. Is your sales cycle too long?
  5. How many sales do you successfully close?
  6. How much does it cost you to reach each client?


You need to do yourself a favor and find the answers to each of these questions. Take some time to really work through these steps and you will see results. Bear in mind that it’s by no means a quick fix. You’ll need to regularly reevaluate your answers to these questions. It's easy to find time to make sure your goals are aligned with your strategy. It all begins with realizing that doing this will save you money and time in the long run.

Give it a try, and I know you’ll see the value of this process. Happy selling!

Growth Hacking Your Path to Success

RAJ ANAND, GOODMAN LANTERN

Some people just don’t understand growth hacking. For those who have put in the hard work and time, it’s a fantastic way to grow a business. You build loyalty, which is the most important part of getting repeat clients. 

Like anything in life, there’s a way to get results, and a way to fail. Sure, growth hacking can go horribly wrong if you don’t know what you’re doing. The fact is, there are many ways you can start to make a major difference in your numbers.

I love sharing my insights. Over the years I have found that you must never lose sight of two things:

  • The reason you started your business in the first place.
  • The reason your brand deserves to exist.

These may sound too basic to be helpful, but they do help you keep your focus. Without focus, you cannot hope to be productive or successful. Time is a dangerous part of the puzzle. The more time goes on, the easier it becomes to lose sight of your goals. Daily tasks, stresses, meetings, and duties can all cloud up your vision, causing you do lose productivity.

More Than Actions

Growth hackers measure every aspect of their business, as often as possible. The goal is finding patterns in your results. If you try a tactic that doesn’t work, stop it and try something else. If it does work, find out why it worked so you can replicate that success. You want repeatable results. Anything less is just guesswork, which isn’t helpful to anybody. You’re not spending all this time, effort, and money to have a random approach to your business. 

There is another side of the growth hacking coin, which gets many startups in serious trouble. While measurements are vital, you have to realise that you’re measuring the behavior of individuals. Business owners sometimes lapse into viewing their customers as data points and numbers. They become little more than results. If this is happening in your business, stop it immediately. Your customers will notice and you will lose them. 

How To Ruin It

More than ever, people hate to experience boredom. Nobody will care about your message if it feels impersonal. One of the worst things you can do is to spam people with irrelevant messages in the hopes of gaining a few more clients. It often takes just one irrelevant message for people to start unsubscribing and blocking you. These days, everyone has a very low tolerance for things they don’t care about.

It’s often helpful to put yourself in your clients' shoes. Ask yourself how you’d react to the message you’re sending. Think about all the times you’ve unsubscribed or blocked a sender. Being boring, repetitive, and irrelevant will sink your startup. 

Test The Water

When you come up with a new idea, it’s best to test it first. Choose a section of your client base to try your new approach. The logic here is that if you fail horribly, you won’t be losing all your clients at once. Many startups have lost their entire following over one bad decision. They jumped in the deep end without really considering every outcome. 

The reason for that is simple. You and your team are human beings, and humans are fallible. There is no way you can predict every possible outcome of your decisions. There are many reasons your plans could fail. Small-scale testing can be even safer when you’re open with your clients about trying something new. Show them you care and losing them becomes far less likely.

When Hacks Attack

There are many growth hackers out there who seem to rely too heavily on their tools. When this happens, you end up with a ton of processes and hardly any fluidity. The sales process becomes impersonal and mechanical. How do you feel when you’re treated like a statistic? 

Alienate your audience, and you’ll lose them. Do you have an overcomplicated sign-up process? Are you asking for too much information up front? Do you have a long, complicated process for canceling a free trial? These are all red flags to potential customers and they will stop trusting you. 

Don’t Be Dull

Are there any brands you’ve used for years? You may not have decided to consciously, but most of us have a product or two we keep buying time and time again. These brands may have built a sense of loyalty with you, or perhaps they just haven’t given you a reason to go elsewhere. That’s the position you want to be in with your clients.

You want them to think about you at the right moment. You may have heard older generation business people referring to "staying top-of-mind". This basically means that your client’s go-to brand should be yours. When they’re in a position to purchase, they’ll pick up your product or choose your service because they’re familiar with you. They know what your brand represents and they want it in their lives.

A Time & A Place

Growth hacking is a very broad subject, with new tactics being dreamt up every day. The trick is to know what works for you and what doesn’t. There are lots of new and aspiring growth hackers who ask how to find what works. They’re unsure of where to start and usually, fear failure. Some people even run to growth hacking because someone told them it’s a passive way to generate a following. It isn’t.

In the real business world, there are no passive goldmines. If there were, we’d all be rich. The fact is that growth hacking can get you to pretty stable place in your business and help you to grow. Growth hackers are always trying new tactics and perfecting their results.

By all means, try other people’s tactics, but be prepared for the possibility that they may not work for you. Your business and your audience is unique. Try new things all the time, and be open about it with your clients. They’ll appreciate your transparency.

Care Or Lose

A growing number of businesses are realising that care is the most important part of their business. Customers have changed. It's not enough to just sell a product or service that matches their needs. They want to feel like they can trust you, and that you actually care about their quality of life. The best businesses genuinely do care. It’s difficult to fake goodwill, and your clients will notice. 

The more care you show, the greater the impression you’ll make on your customers. It’s all about making decisions that make them want to buy from you again and again. There are so many alternative options to your offering, so you need to be worth coming back to. You can generate this sense of worth by showing your clients that you truly care for them.

Often, growth hackers call this "communicating value." This sounds a little mechanical, but actually means that your clients should feel loved. It really is that simple in theory. Showing that love can be far trickier, which is why growth hackers constantly experiment with new ways of achieving this.

 

2018 - Top 250 Growth Hackers

Growth Hackers are the powerhouse of generating sales within an organisation. At Goodman Lantern, we understand that there are many unsung heroes who have lead the growth of many organisations. Meet some of these heroes, presenting our TOP 250 GROWTH HACKERS for 2018  (In no particular order 🤗)

- Powered by GoPinLeads🚀 - Find leads of local businesses and employees

 

 

Goodman Lantern Lauded as a Top Market Research Firm on Clutch Global Leaders List

London, UK, December 8, 2017

Early in December, Clutch released its official Global Leaders List. Featured companies are forerunners in the traditional marketing and creative agencies sphere. With over 7000 agencies listed on the website, and over 11 000 unbiased client reviews, leading the pack is considered a marked achievement.

Goodman Lantern is heralded as one of the top market research firms on the list.  Within only a few short years, the GL team has grown from a fledgling startup to a force to be reckoned with. Our strong market presence cements us as a firm favourite. In a constantly evolving digital marketplace, GL has adapted its approaches to provide flexible, scalable services to a wide range of clients spanning across several industries.

In addition to industry-leading market research services, GL assists lead generation teams and companies in the outsourcing industry by automating their social media management. Our custom developed software tool, helps to increase profit margins, efficiency, and accuracy.

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Goodman Lantern’s Leadership Team

GL is led by a team of industry professionals including ex-McKinsey, KPMG, and Deloitte consultants. Each member of the leadership team brings a wealth of experience to the table. With backgrounds in various fields, GL’s leaders are pioneers in the tech industry.

Raj Anand:

Raj is an accomplished C-level leader with several years’ worth of international experience in leading MNCs, including Shell and the European Commission, SMEs, high-tech research labs for British universities, and digital start-ups. Raj co-founded three tech startups and successfully exited one.

He is the winner of several awards including BusinessWeek’s Europe’s Young Entrepreneur, 50 Most Influential People in Digital – Revolution Magazine, Courvoisier Future 500, and Sussex Entrepreneur of the Year.

Kiley Doll:

Kiley Doll has amassed more than 25 years of experience as a business development professional. She has consulted and worked with household brands like Amazon, EO, Long Realty Company and others in North America, Europe, and Africa.

Having made her mark in the real estate industry within the Berkshire Hathaway group, she consistently ranked among the top 10% high earning realtors in the company and built a portfolio totalling more than $11.5M. Kiley is also involved in number of charities across the US and Africa.

Sumner Makin:

Sumner, a director at Deloitte UK, has worked with various strategy consultancies across the world. As an advisor for leading multi-national C-level executives through all stages of engagements, he was awarded the prestigious MCA Strategy Consultant of the Year 2016. He has PhD, MSci, and MA degrees from the University of Cambridge.

Sumner has extensive strategy and analytics experience, including proposition design, advanced analytics and pure strategy, across numerous industries, particularly retail and financial service.

3 Keys to Succeed

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Raj Anand

 

Goodman Lantern

I’ve learned a lot from building up my own startup. I remember being pulled in every direction. The trick is to get your priorities in line, which isn’t always easy to achieve. There are three steps you can take to begin the process of reclaiming your time:

1. Pointless Meetings

You’ll find a growing number of meeting invitations sneaking into your inbox. Trust me, trying to attend them all is only going to burn you out. Losing momentum because you’re distracted isn’t healthy for your startup. You also need to make sure the meetings you do attend are productive. A clear agenda, an effective leader, and follow ups are good signs. Learn to value your own time and prioritize every day. 

2. Product Focus

Your whole business exists because of your products. Staying focused on your product every step of the way will ensure your priorities improve. Every decision should be based on the product and how it is experienced by the client. Every change must be checked and placed under strict quality control. Engage with your production process.

3. Failure Works

Embracing failure is becoming more common, and it’s fantastic. It’s incredibly important to balance ambition with humility, but never fear failing. You’ll learn a huge amount with every setback you face. The best way to deal with failure is to use what you’ve learned and quickly change your approach. Take note of the results and constantly adapt in line with your findings. It takes time to find your voice and you’ll get it wrong many times. It’s how you deal with it that counts.

Over the past 11 years, I've learned something new everyday

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Raj Anand, Goodman Lantern

Over the past 11 years, I've learned something new everyday.

Over the past 11 years, I’ve learned something new everyday. Some days I’d find a great new tool, some days I’d learn a new technique. It’s important to me to keep up-to-date. Every business person needs to evolve with the pack or be left behind.

Over the past three years, a wave of new SaaS products have become available. It's hard for newcomers to find the best ones. Often, there just isn’t time to familiarise yourself with all the options out there. I’ve managed to test a lot of them and find my favourites. 

I’ve got some great videos that cover my 100 top tools that I've used on my way to 7-figure revenue. Check them out here and let me know what you think. https://www.goodmanlantern.com/seminar-videos
 

There's a lot of pressure on startups to succeed, despite the odds

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Raj Anand, Goodman Lantern

There’s a lot of pressure on startups to succeed, despite the odds. It’s easy to let standards slip when you’re under pressure, so it’s important to start off by developing some good habits. There are countless startups that fail and disappear because they weren’t financially savvy. 

Your business is based on solid thinking, careful research, and countless hours of hard work. All of which means nothing if you run out of money. You’ve got to look at your numbers from every angle, and make some intelligent strategic changes. 


1. Know Your Cash Flow

Most owners of startups and small businesses have at least a fundamental grasp of the basic cash flows in their business. If you don’t have a massive background in finance, you’re not alone. The smart move is to build your knowledge and learn more as your business grows. 

You need to be familiar with your full cash flow, taking into account every expenditure. You’ll have the power to tweak your priorities and develop a model that enhances your profit and minimises your outlay. Don’t hesitate to consult a professional.

2. Consultants are Useful

You can’t be good at everything. Recognise your strengths and come to terms with your weaknesses. In short, do the things you can do well, and find someone else to do the rest.

You don’t have to hire permanent staff members either. There are huge numbers of qualified freelancers with great references out there. Do the math and figure out what the best option is for you. This is definitely one area where spending a little cash can save you a significant amount of money in the long run.

3. Be Thrifty

Don’t spend money unnecessarily, and make sure that you have laid out your budget. You should expect fluctuations in your monthly spending and add this to your plan. The best case scenario doesn’t always happen as much as you’d like. 

If you plan for the worst, you’ll have extra cash in the easier months. Turning this additional income back into your business is a great way to invest in your own growth. Take care of the bottom line, and you’ll have a much more stable business.

AI has the potential to make our lives so much easier

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Raj Anand, Goodman Lantern

AI has the potential to make our lives so much easier. Social media is a great testing ground for new AI tech, and it can save a whole lot of time and money. You’ve got to have a strategy that uses different platforms. You also have to be active and engaging across them all. AI has the potential to reduce your workload. You can get more done in a day by automating your most common tasks. 

1. Social Media Automation

It’s become pretty normal to spend a huge amount of cash on boosting social media engagement. The more content gets pumped into the platform, the harder it is for you to get your content noticed. It’s far more cost-effective to use AI to automate the process. It’s gaining popularity as the tech gets more advanced.

Automating the process of posting content is a huge benefit in itself. More advanced tools search for the best content and send it to your subscribers. You boost engagement without lifting a finger.

2. Analysing and Selecting Content

Content creation forms a large part of any marketing budget. Your social engagement hinges on strong content. You need to hold your client’s attention. 

If you have great content, people will want to read it. They’ll also share it, allowing more people to see your business. The better your content is, the better your engagement on social media will be. You’ve got to be relevant and deliver content that people love. It needs to translate well across the population, or be some form of in-joke for a select industry. Your strategy depends on your target market.

There are some fantastic AI tools that find trending topics, posts, and images. They analyse which types of content work well and deliver those results to you. It’s a marvellous way to take the guesswork out of your content development process. 

3. Collecting Client Information

There’s too much data available out there. There are over 2.7 billion terrabytes (2.7 zettabytes) of data online. AI systems can do sorting work much faster than humans can. It’s more possible than ever to sift through a huge amount of information for the most relevant details. 

You can learn every detail of a business’ inner workings from research alone. The amount of information available is so vast that much of it gets overlooked. Using AI to do the hard work for you is much cheaper than paying, training, and maintaining an intern. 

It’s possible to filter the results to deliver specific information. The GL team and I have developed one such tool. We’re proud of it. It’s called GoPinLeads (http://gopinleads.com). Tools like ours reduce your workload and deliver leads with up-to-date information. Every salesperson has fought with expensive, obsolete data. Details in companies change more often than you think, and AI can deal with that. Automation is the future, and it will save you a ton of time.