It’s no secret that attracting prospects, generating sales leads, and building a robust sales pipeline are essential in the success of any business. What seems to be a secret to many, though, is how these objectives can be accomplished. Many organizations continue to struggle to execute lead generation strategies that produce consistent results. There is really no magic bullet to lead generation. But there are some fundamentals that are often ignored that will get consistent results when applied as a cohesive strategy.
1. Know your target audience.
Who is a good lead and who is not? What kind of prospects do you want to attract? One of the best ways to determine who your target audience is made up of is to do an audit of your current customer mix. Prospects that look like your current best customers will probably be your best leads. What are their common characteristics? What industries/vertical markets are they in? What titles/functions influence the decision-making process? Who makes the ultimate decision? What problem did your product/solution help solve? Knowing your audience will enable you to develop communication material that resonates with them. Your marketing will become more efficient – more sniper rifle and less shotgun.
2. Marketing and Sales should work together.
Don’t operate in a silo. Marketing may come up with the best lead generation plan known to man, but if Sales doesn’t agree, then it’s probably doomed to fail. Representatives from the Marketing and Sales teams need to come together and jointly establish the lead generation goals, set the objectives, define the target, and agree on the lead definitions/criteria before any campaign brainstorming is done. Both teams need to also jointly agree to a set process for lead follow-up and providing feedback on the leads that are generated. Mapping this out early on will help you avoid finger-pointing later on.
3. Don’t miss the obvious.
Sometimes marketing folks can get carried away with their creativity. They design sophisticated marketing campaigns and messaging, but they neglect some of the more basic elements of lead generation. Just about every company has a website, but many organisations use their web presence as nothing more than an online public relations channel. Your website is an important tool to develop your brand. However, it can be an effective way to generate leads as well. Make it easy for your prospects to further explore your solutions once they’ve found your website. Publishing your phone number for a prospect to call is good. Adding a “contact us” button to give them more options is better. Adding multiple call-to-action buttons, landing pages, and forms that capture leads is best.
4. Don’t sell.
You don’t like to be sold to – no one does. So don’t inflict that pain on your prospects. The easiest way to “invigorate” the buying experience for your prospects is to change your focus from selling to educating. It doesn’t matter if someone is buying a service for their home or a complex computer system for their factory, they’re still trying to accomplish the same objective – they’re trying to meet a need and solve a problem. No one can be an expert on everything, so help educate your prospects. Help them understand their problem better. Help them explore the impact of various solution options. Tell them something they don’t already know. Position your brand, your company, your sales team as subject matter experts. Share your thought leadership and become a valued resource for your prospects.
5. Don’t shoot from the hip.
Plan your work and work your plan. Develop a plan and follow it. Your plan should encompass strategies to engage all of your target audience. Don’t just focus on the ultimate decision-maker. What about his/her underlings that influence the decision? Don’t just focus on the large deal opportunities. What about the smaller opportunities that keep you in business until you land the next whale?
6. Sustained consistency.
Don’t give up if you don’t get immediate results. Probably the biggest mistake marketers make is pulling the plug too soon. Disciplined execution is critical. Be active. Be in the market every day. Remember that decision-makers don’t necessarily operate on your quarterly time line. Consequently, your marketing activity and content needs to be available and active when the decision-maker is ready to engage – on their time-frame.
7. Measure, measure and measure again.
What worked? What didn’t? Where did your traffic come from? What drew their interest? What caused your visitors to convert into leads? And, most importantly, which lead sources produced closed business? The ultimate measurement of any marketing initiative is revenue. In order to accurately and efficiently measure ROI, most organisations require marketing automation and CRM tools. These technologies are very helpful in “closing the loop” and attributing revenue to lead generation activity.
If your pipeline is barren and meeting your revenue growth objectives seems like a far-fetched dream, it may be time to pause, take a step back, and share these secrets with your team. Everyone likes to hear a good secret – especially when it can lead to more sales and increased revenue. If you'd like to talk to us about carrying out a sales audit and putting together a strategy to tackle the issues, get in touch with us here.
PS... Would you like to get 100-200 fresh, unique business buyer leads EVERY day, just for $1 a day? Click HERE to get access!
Did you know people spend over 40 minutes on average watching online video EVERY SINGLE DAY…
And that number is growing each and every month!
You see, good marketing is and has always been about capturing and holding onto people’s ATTENTION!
And nothing does that better than VIDEO…
Look, there’s just no two ways about it. If you want to be successful in today’s competitive online markets, you MUST USE video as a major component of your marketing.
However, while most business owners know they need to be using video, the thought of doing so is still very daunting and overwhelming…
With all the complex timeline editors, codecs and file formats you need to know, you just about need a Ph.D. in software engineering to produce one that looks decent… either that or you need to pay someone A LOT of money to do it for you - hundreds or even thousands of pounds.
However, the great news is, now that’s all changed…
Now there’s a new, extremely easy to use video creation system called “Content Samurai”, that finally makes video marketing quick and easy in every way. I’d even call it fun…!
No joke, this thing is easy enough for video newbies to learn!
Of all the video tools I’ve seen in my time this one is hands down the simplest and most efficient way to create powerful videos – even if you’ve never created a video before…
TRY IT NOW
I’ve been using it for a good few weeks now and I have to say, it is incredible. You can go from a “script” to “YouTube”, in less than an hour.
And the videos it creates are awesome!
PLUS the best part is you can try it out for yourself FOR FREE for a full 7 days, AND you get to keep all the videos you make during that time forever…
Here’s the link so you can check it out now…and watch your traffic increase!!
CLICK HERE to access the free trial.
Today, I’m going to give you an opportunity to start making some real money online.
I know you’ve probably heard that a million times before, but hear me out because I will be providing a mountain of verifiable proof. Literally everything you need is within this document.
There is not one step left out.
For most, the concept of making a full-time income online is either a “scam”, a pipe-dream or just completely out of reach for them. There are so many different aspects one must know and fully understand to make money online, that it just isn’t feasible for them to learn it all.
That’s why I’m going to give you the EASIEST way to actually make money online that you have ever seen. And I’m going to back it up with solid proof.
Will this make you “get rich quick?” No.
If that is your mindset, then you will not be successful online, period.
If you’re one of those who think you should be able to make money online without any upfront investment, then you are sorely mistaken. There is nowhere in the world, either online or offline, that you can “magically” start making an income without spending any money.
Ok, maybe one. A job. Is that what you want though?
I’ve got the next best thing for you. It’s *like* a job, in that it’s something that you will be doing every day. That is your responsibility. If you don’t work, you don’t get paid (at first). But with this kind of “job” there is a vast difference...
Every day you work this job, you are building a *recurring* income stream.
That means the work you put in will reward you again and again, every single month.
And perhaps the best part, you’ll only spend 1-2 hours per day MAX actually working.
And the work?
It is literally copy and paste...
You’ve probably heard of “copy, paste and profit” type opportunities before, but they seldom if ever actually “work.” And the biggest reason why is because there’s too much competition! Too many people copy and pasting the exact same things to the exact same audience. It only works for a little while, and then just like with everything else – the effectiveness fades into obscurity.
But this is different.
Because you’re not copy & pasting to the same audience. You’re getting a new, fresh batch of eyeballs every single day who have never seen those “copy and paste” messages before.
To them, it’s brand new.
But who are these eyeballs and where do they come from?
This is where it starts getting interesting.
Ok, imagine the millions upon millions of people online who want to work from home, replace their current 9-5 job, create a wealthy lifestyle, or just a comfortable side-income online.
These people search for legitimate opportunities and generally end up at sites that ask them to fill out a webform to receive more information and offers for making money online.
We’re not talking about the “Enter your email address and click the button” type forms, either.
These people are serious. They need help. And they need it now. They’re OK with receiving offers, because they are genuinely looking for the right “thing” to help them earn more.
So instead, they fill out their full name, email address, city, state and zip code. Then they have to go to their email and confirm they really do want the information! This is a HOT prospect.
They’re willing and ready to invest in themselves in order to improve their financial situation.
So... they WANT to receive offers!
And this is what changes the whole game...
When you send an email to someone who doesn’t want offers, they get mad.
And they cry “SPAM!”
And that’s illegal and can get you into trouble.
Not to mention, that approach is largely a complete waste of your time, and money. There is a better way... It’s called “permission based email marketing.”
They’re asking for offers.
They’re ready to buy into something that might work for them.
But where can you find these people?
See, this is where most people give up before they really get started.
They don’t know how or where to find THESE types of prospects, and it all seems like too much work... so they immediately think “Ok, maybe this make money online stuff isn’t for me.”
And they quit.
So, in order to effectively work around that problem, we need a solution for lead generation.
One that literally does not take ANY technical knowledge or “brain power” to figure out.
Because if you didn’t have to go find these prospects, that makes life a lot easier.
It would have to be something that basically... GIVES you these prospects on a silver platter.
Without you needing to know anything about how or where to generate these leads.
When you have a constant flow of hot prospects, turning them into money becomes real.
It’s no longer a hopeless pipe-dream. This is exactly how *every* business operates – they have a constant and consistent lead flow. Without it, the business dies.
So if you are serious about making ANY amount of income online, this is an absolute must.
This has also been the hardest part to do... to generate consistent, quality leads.
You can spend a literal fortune buying advertising from places like Facebook, YouTube, Adwords, etc... and what’s all for? Traffic. To generate leads!
But what if you didn’t need to focus on traffic?
What if you were just handed these leads instead...
And then given a brand NEW batch of them, every single day?
Then that takes care of the traffic problem.
And the lead generation.
Now all you need is an offer to send these hot prospects.
And that presents yet another set of technical issues.
Because you need a website. And a sales page to get them to buy the offer, right?
We’ve taken care of all that for you.
You literally don’t need anything else, because it’s all in here. In this document.
I sincerely want this to be the easiest thing you’ve ever done to make money online.
I want to prove to you that you CAN start making money, and pretty quick too.
Again, this is not going to make you rich overnight.
Business does NOT work that way, online or offline. So if you’re still thinking that way, you’re better off working a job or robbing a bank. It’s time to get real, and do what really works.
And I’m going to help you every step of the way.
Ready to get started?
Here’s what to do next: (you must follow these instructions exactly for this to work)
1. Go to this website and discover how everyday people are getting 100-200 leads every single day without a website, without paid traffic and without creating content. Click the yellow “Get Access Now!” button and enter your email address where it says, “Enter your best email here...” then click the “Get Started Now!” button.
2. On the next page, you will be presented with a 13 minute video from Reed Floren who will fully explain how we’re getting the leads and turning them into real money. Watch the video closely and you will see exactly how and why this is working so well for so many.
3. Now, go read an entire review and case study of someone who put it to the test and generated $15,000 (and counting) just by using it.
4. Next, go watch this YouTube video of someone who thought this was a scam but tried it out anyway, and ended up making $300 in his first 9 days using it. (Also grab his extra free bonuses!)
5. Finally, go watch this case study video of someone who’s been using the system for 60 days and has generated more than $9,530 with it.
Do not skip a single step above. The reason why will become crystal clear in just a moment...
If you have followed steps 1-5 you will have learned the big secret.
You’ll know exactly how to get these buyer leads every day, and turn them into money.
But that isn’t the best part.
Let me explain...
When you signed up to Reed Floren’s free training, you entered your email address. Now every email Reed sends you is hardcoded with the referral ID of the person who sent you there.
Even though he is sending the emails, THEY are the one who gets paid when someone joins!
But it doesn’t stop there... because Reed also uses what’s called “retargeting” which means that he’s also running ads on places like Facebook, YouTube, Adwords, etc – and they are all hardcoded to the same referral ID of the person who originally sent them!
If you decided to join the system after reading the full review and case study, guess what. The person who referred you gets the sale.
If you go watch the YouTube video and snag the bonuses from there, the person who referred you still gets the sale.
And yes, if you join after watching the $9,530 case study video... they still get the sale.
Now what does that mean exactly?
It means that all YOU need is a referral ID and you can be the one getting paid!
Then you send an email to the leads we’re GIVING you every day, and everyone who decides to join through ANY of those websites, or ANY of Reed’s daily emails he sends to his subscribers, or ANY of the re-targeting ads all over the web, means that YOU still get paid!
So now you’ve got...
But it still gets better...
If you watched Reed’s free training, you also learned that there are some exclusive bonuses you can offer your daily prospects that will absolutely blow them away with real value...
In case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s what we’re offering – not just to you – but to ALL of your prospects who join under your referral ID, making it easier than ever for THEM to make sales!
Bonus #1: 50 Email Swipes ($197 value) – If you’re sending emails to make money, you need the right emails to send them. So, we’re including an entire swipe file of proven emails that keep your prospects opening your emails, clicking on your links and buying your offers!
Bonus #2: Exclusive Facebook Group ($997 value) – If you think you’re going to have to go at this alone, think again. Because we now have over 500 members in our community who are quick to answer questions, give support, provide helpful tips and want to see each and every member of this group succeed! You aren’t just joining a system - you’re joining a family of smart entrepreneurs who ALL want to help you achieve success.
Bonus #3: Weekly Lead Swaps ($9,997 value) – Each week members of our Facebook group are invited to participate in our weekly lead swap. They send in the leads they’ve been given for the week, and then those leads are combined, cleaned and then delivered to everyone who participated. We’ve had members go from being brand new to internet marketing, to having a list of over 100K in under a week this way!
Seriously, if you’ve been looking for a legitimate way to make money online, this is it.
You’ve got the leads...
You’ve got the offers...
You’ve got the websites...
You’ve got the traffic/ads...
And it’s literally ALL DONE FOR YOU.
All you do is copy & paste the swipes we give you into the mailing system that is provided for you, and do it once every 24 hours. That is IT. No, really. That’s all we’re doing!
Everything else has already been handled. Every problem has been solved. There is zero technical knowledge needed. Nothing fancy. No design skills are necessary. No writing.
In fact, the hardest part about this system is that people tend to overthink it too much.
Especially entrepreneurs who have been doing email marketing for awhile. Because outside of this system, email marketing is HARD. And it’s only getting harder to get messages delivered!
Plus you have to buy an autoresponder system or emailing platform, then worry about deliverability issues, spam complaints, blacklists that can ensure your emails never see the light of day, and so much more. It’s a headache!
But with this system, ALL of that is taken care of for you.
You get an email for the day, and a new batch of leads.
You copy & paste the email you’re given, using an internal mailing system that is provided for you, and you include a website link with your referral ID attached.
The prospects open and read your email, and some of them buy the offer. When they do, you get paid. If they choose to bring in new people using the exact same methods that caused you to join, guess what. You still get paid. And these payments are recurring every single month!
You CAN promote anything you want to these prospects using the internal mailer and any email you want. Or, you can promote the exact same system that you’re learning about now.
It’s completely your choice.
But we’ve taken care of literally everything you need all in one place.
And made it “stupid simple” to do every single day.
So there’s only one thing left to do...
Get your referral ID and your first batch of business buyer leads right now. Then start using the pre-written email swipes we send you and mail your list every day!
You can use ANY of the “done for you” websites below to start making sales...
REED FLOREN’S FREE TRAINING
FULL REVIEW AND $15K CASE STUDY
$300 IN 9 DAYS YOUTUBE VIDEO
$9,530 IN 60 DAYS CASE STUDY VIDEO
All you do is replace the ?rid=XXXX in the links above with your referral ID (i.e. ?rid=1638) and then start sending traffic to those links by sending emails to the prospects you’re getting daily!
It literally couldn’t be any easier.
And don’t forget, you’re also getting access to our *exclusive* group of more than 500 paying members who are all dedicated to each others’ success. So any questions you have will be answered and any help you need will be provided on the spot. It’s a win/win for everyone.
Where else can you get 100-200 real, verified business buyer leads for just $1 a day?
Or an entire community of people who want to help you succeed?
Or all marketing and paid advertising done for you on YOUR behalf?
Or all the copywriting... ads, emails... already written for you?
Or weekly lead swaps that can bring you 100K buyer leads or more every WEEK?
There is nothing like this on the entire internet.
Many have tried, and have failed miserably.
This system is here to stay.
And it’s only getting bigger!
This is your *best* chance to start making a recurring income stream online today.
Total newbies to seasoned marketing experts are seeing success with this system.
Here’s your chance to join them...
If you have any questions, let's connect on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JFMSalesandMarketing.
Anyone that has their own business is an entrepreneur, but that one simple term encompasses a wide variety of experiences and business types. There are so many different types of entrepreneurs, that many terms have been coined to describe the different modes of entrepreneurship. If you’re an entrepreneur, chances are there’s at least one additional and more specific term you can claim as well.
Here are some of the most popular types of –preneurs you can be.
Definition: A solopreneur is any entrepreneur with a one-person business.
Solopreneurs go by many names – freelancers, independent contractors, and self-employed are some of the most common you’ll hear. While some solopreneurs hire other contractors to help, solopreneurs generally run their businesses based on supplying the kinds of services or products that one person can provide on their own. This is a popular business choice since it provides independence, solopreneurs can usually work from anywhere, and it requires lower startup costs than running a business that requires employees.
Definition: An infopreneur is someone who bases their business on selling information products.
Infopreneurs sell things like courses and ebooks, rather than physical products or services. As with being a solopreneur (and many infopreneurs are also solopreneurs), infopreneurship is a popular choice for new entrepreneurs looking for a business model with low startup costs.
Definition: E-preneurs are entrepreneurs who have businesses based entirely online.
Also called online entrepreneurs, this category has a lot of overlap with the others on the list. It includes entrepreneurs that sell SaaS products, those that sell information products entirely online, and many solopreneurs that sell online services like social media consulting. As more and more of our lives move online, there’s more opportunity for entrepreneurs to create online products people need that can be sold and bought from anywhere with an internet connection.
Definition: Mompreneurs are entrepreneurs that are also moms who run their business alongside childcare duties.
Mompreneurs usually start businesses in order to be able to stay home with their kids. They often market their products or services to other mothers, although that’s not always the case. There’s a big overlap in this category with solopreneurs and e-preneurs.
Definition: A socialpreneur is an entrepreneur with a business model based on providing some kind of social good in the world.
If your goal in entrepreneurship is less about profit than changing the world for the better, then you’re probably a socialpreneur. Socialpreneurs make a point of selling products that are sustainably and humanely made and often provide a portion of their profits to a charitable cause. They usually highlight their social mission in their marketing and make it a key part of their positioning.
Definition: An ecopreneur is an entrepreneur who either builds a business based on providing eco-friendly products and services, or commits to running their business in a sustainable and environmentally friendly fashion.
Ecopreneurs are a subset of socialpreneurs but, in a culture that’s increasingly concerned about climate change and environmentalism, they’re a big enough category to include here as well. You’ll also hear ecopreneurs called green entrepreneurs or eco-entrepreneurs.
Definition: Multipreneurs are entrepreneurs who have multiple businesses or business projects going at once.
Many entrepreneurs have too many ideas to stop at one business and decide to branch into several fields or pursue multiple business ideas. If being an entrepreneur requires a good deal of work and energy, being a multipreneur requires the same in spades, so it’s definitely not for every one. But for the entrepreneurs that start to get antsy once they have one business idea off the ground, becoming a multipreneur is the natural next step.
(First published 9/1/2018 by Karina Motelli)
One of the pitfalls of being active on social media as a business is getting too good at the act of posting. Yes, you read that right. Sure, getting into the habit of posting original content and sharing other people’s content is right and just what is needed. However, when it becomes a ‘rote’ daily task to check off a list, it’s time to ask yourself what exactly you’re trying to achieve.
Too often, a cursory browse of corporate social media accounts will induce a need to lie down for a nap. You’ve probably seen the signs: the same three to five blog posts being posted every few hours, the same corporate stock imagery, and a complete lack of engagement from bored-to-tears followers. While these companies obviously see the need to be active in the social space, they’ve missed one of the biggest rules of the game: it’s supposed to be fun!
Fun? Wait what? Fun, in business?
The trap these companies (and if you reacted as above, you) may have fallen into is failing to see the difference between passive posting and active engagement. The latter is a lot more fun, as it turns out. The way to achieve this is to try to have a conversation rather than a one-way, political broadcast style monologue.
If you’re worried your company’s social media strategy might have fallen into passive mode, here’s checklist of social media posting tips to jolt you back into engagement.
If you’ve relegated social media to a trainee or low-level staffer, that’s a sure sign that you’re not prioritising it in the right way. Social media requires not only an inherent understanding of and competency in language, storytelling, and communications nuance—but also in your company or brand’s ethos, identity, and mission. If you’re asking someone you hired two weeks ago to possess all that at once, that might be too tall an order.
For every tweet, post, and blog you put online, how much feedback are you getting? While it’s unrealistic to expect you’re going to achieve Buzzfeed viral video status with everything you post, you should take it as a bad sign if you’re never hearing back in the form of likes, comments, retweets, and reposts. Additionally, looking out for and responding to every positive or negative mention of your brand and your postings online is key—and you might even get some content you can amplify out of it.
Scheduling social posts is a great way to stay on top of the week with a large time investment up-front. But if all your social posting is scheduled ahead of time, it’s going to read as formulaic and too strategic. Be nimble enough to respond and weigh in on trending topics as they’re happening online—especially if it’s a news story or trend that’s relevant or tangential to your industry. This real-time, spontaneous nature is, after all, the great appeal of social media. So take advantage of it!
Repurposing one piece of content and posting it across several networks is a great way to maximise its impact and lifespan. But over-posting a single piece of content makes you look lazy and uninteresting. If you’re trying to stay active throughout the day by posting at regular set hours, don’t do it by posting the same thing over and over. Instead, limit your sharing of a single piece of content to three times throughout a given week. To keep your feed active, share other people’s content that’s relevant to your followers and engage with other players in your sphere.
While click-through rates are important, it’s also important to be interesting on the platform you’re posting on too. As they say in journalism, “don’t bury the lead.” In other words: prove why your article or blog post is interesting and enticing in the Tweet or Facebook post’s copy, rather than promising intrigue once a follower has clicked through. (The typical example of this bad practice is “Check out this cool article!” To which I say: “Why should I?”). You can prevent burying the lead by writing an interesting statistic, quote, or eye-opening fact in the social copy itself. After you format a post, ask yourself: “Does this add value even if a follower doesn’t click through?” If not, reconsider how it might do it.
Tip: Keep up your social posting, but keep it real - you are not a bot - you are a person and people will engage with you if it’s fun, cool, interesting or off-the-wall. Don't be dreary and remember to be sociable!
Original Author Bob Dearsley
If you'd like to find out how to make social media work for your business, then contact us now for an initial free consultation!
Over the past several years, the popularity of social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest has exploded. Whether you use the networks in your personal life or not, there’s no excuse for keeping schtum when it comes to your business. Social media can help you boost relationships with your clients, grow your audience, promote your latest products and services and boost brand awareness and authority.
But social media isn’t as straight forward as it once was. To find success, you need to work harder than ever before and prove to social media users that you’re worth following. So where should you start, and which social networks should you focus on? Below, we’ve rounded up four social media stats that will change the way you think about social media for your brand.
Less than 25% of Twitter accounts are active
DreamGrow reports that just 25% of Twitter accounts are active – a shockingly-low figure that suggests the platform is filled with bots and dormant accounts. It’s true that Twitter is the social network easiest to automate – not only can you schedule tweets to be posted whenever you want them, but you can follow and unfollow users to inflate your follower count, and you can automatically retweet and like people’s posts, too. What does this mean for your business? It means you’re competing against robots for attention – can you invest the time and energy needed to get your voice heard above the bulk spam and automation?
42% expect a customer service response within an hour
Social media is a great way of going above and beyond and offering exceptional customer service, but did you know that 42% expect a response within the hour? If you can’t monitor your profiles and provide super-quick responses to your customers, then consider cutting down on the number of channels you use, outsource your social media customer service, or make it clear that you don’t offer customer service on these channels and that all comments and questions should be directed to an email address or telephone number.
The thing is, social media – particularly messaging apps – is quickly becoming the “preferred” method of customer communication with brands and businesses. Facebook Messenger, for example, has more than 1.2 billion active users – a figure beaten only by WhatsApp.
According to statistics from the leading social media platform Facebook, among people who message businesses, 53% say they are more likely to shop with a business they can contact via a chat app. Furthermore, 67% say they will message with businesses more over the next two years.
Clearly, social messaging apps are a great opportunity for businesses!
34% of adults would prefer to tweet you than visit you
In the UK, 34% of adults would prefer to interact with a brand on social media than visit a physical store – and that’s important, especially if you run a bricks and mortar store and don’t have the time to monitor your social media channels every hour or two. How can you overcome this and get people to visit your store rather than vent online? Make your retail store a more compelling offering – adopt customer service tactics from the likes of Lush and Apple, promote the fact you’re a local business and promote this on social media.
1.5 million small businesses shared video content in 2015
Back in 2015, an incredible 1.5 million small and medium-sized businesses shared video content on Facebook – and that’s two years ago. Statistics from HubSpot, based on a survey of 4,500 marketing and sales professionals, highlight that 46% of marketers plan to add Facebook video to their content strategy in the next year!
There’s no getting away from the fact that video is an essential part of an effective social media strategy, so it’s time that you started creating your own video content to share online. You don’t need to be an expert – just use your smartphone and use filters and smartphone apps to create content. You could also experiment with creating GIFs and other multimedia content like infographics and polls – the more engaging your content is, the more likely you are to gain new followers and fans.
Social media is an ever-changing beast. Keeping on top of the latest trends and techniques will help you stand out and make an impression online. Whatever you sell, remember the power of social media – every follower is a potential long-term client or customer.
Original Author: Max Greene
Talk to us about which social media approach is right for you, and how it can be managed to maximise results for your business!
The internet is a fact of business life, so even small businesses need a presence online to hook customers.
Despite the ever-increasing importance of an online presence for businesses of all sizes and descriptions, many smaller businesses are not adjusting their strategy accordingly. In fact, according to a recent report, a massive 60% of small businesses in the UK still have no online presence at all.
But why is this significant? Does it even matter?
Many small business owners view their business as a totally offline entity, pursuing traditional means to promote themselves and win new customers. However, regarding any business (from the largest enterprise to the sole trader, or anything in between) as purely offline is a risky strategy to take when your customers are spending more and more of their time online.
Harnessing the web as a business tool is important, even for businesses that may consider themselves as primarily offline. Beauty businesses, fitness businesses, plumbers, driving instructors and any number of other service businesses ultimately all measure success by their ability to build offline relationships – and the web can play a huge part in that. So no matter how established your businesses is offline, it's crucial to get the basics of online in place.
As a small business, it's unlikely you'll have big budgets, staff or free personnel hours to invest in a complex online strategy, but there are certainly some simple steps you can take to start reaping the rewards that the web can bring.
1. Be accessible
The key to making the most of the web is making your business as accessible as possible, letting people interact with you in a way that suits them, whenever they want to. Your customers are online 24/7, and as such they expect to be able to interact with businesses and organisations whenever and wherever they are online. Of course, that doesn't mean having to have a presence on every single online channel; it means being clever about selecting the ones that are most important to your audience.
At the most fundamental level, this means a basic, professional looking website with easy to find, relevant information about your business. At a more advanced level, that could be a fully-blown booking tool that lets customers schedule their own appointment or booking with you, essentially giving your businesses a 24/7 receptionist.
2) Think local before you think big
Making the most of online tools doesn't necessarily mean trying to go global, quite the opposite in fact. It can be a very successful route to building relationships at a local level, which is crucial to the success of so many small businesses. Focusing on your online touch-points means building relationships with customers and potential customers, and turning that online connection into offline custom: loyal, engaged customers who come back time and again. Think also about local listings sites, online networking groups and building partnerships with other local business.
3) Think multi-channel – but focus on the ones that really matter
One of the first things to consider is through which online channels to make your business visible. Yes, your website is your flagship, but you need to get your brand to where your potential customers are. As a small business, you likely don't have either the time or resources to do everything, and investing in a fruitless channel can end up being a costly mistake. Think hard about where your customers are spending their time online, and focus your efforts accordingly.
4) Nurture your loyal customers – turn them into advocates
Finally, think about how you can use your most loyal customers to do your online marketing for you. Social media has changed the way people make recommendations and share their experiences. Weary of the constant bombardment of marketing messages – and with a whole internet of opinions, rants (and even occasionally praise!) at our fingertips – we now just have to turn to Facebook or Twitter for advice. A business can be made or broken in minutes. The mass adoption of online social networks has changed the way we make purchasing decisions. Businesses of all sizes, no matter how small, can capitalise on that. Best of all, these social recommendations are super-targeted, personal and free.
To sum up, big impact doesn't have to mean big budget when it comes to the web. It's all about being relevant, consistent and accessible online. Keep these three things in mind and you'll be well on the way to succeeding in using the web to create a slick, professional window display for your offline business.
Talk to us. We can quickly build an online presence that's just right for your business, and doesn't cost the earth.
In 1992, playwright David Mamet gave us the now immortal line, “Always be Closing!”
The line comes from his play Glengarry Glen Ross - and is delivered by Blake, a sales trainer working for a real estate company, who is brilliantly played by Alec Baldwin in the American adaptation of the play. He is a slick, accomplished sales guy earning large amounts of commission and training his team in his dubious sales tactics. It is the epitome of everything that led to the 2008 market crash.
It might seem to some, like me, that Glengarry Glen Ross is more recent than 25 years ago, a time when its stellar cast, including Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino, Alan Arkin, Kevin Spacey, Jonathan Pryce, Ed Harris and Alec Baldwin, won many nominations and awards!
But things change, markets move on and buyers have a very different and much more sophisticated approach to buying today. The worldwide web was a two-year old baby in 1992, Google did not even exist – it was founded in 1998. The high-pressure sell was an accepted approach and salespeople relished the power they had in any business transaction. It was a time when the sales guy called all the shots!
The sales and marketing process has changed. Today and progressively over the intervening decades since then, the power has shifted to the buyer. The buyer’s journey is now often quoted as being well over 50% complete by the time he or she wants to engage with a salesperson. The product and services information is broadly available on the web, competitors can be readily researched, pricing reviewed, functionality and capability explored and in the consumer world, and even in some B2B markets, the purchase can be completed without ever even needing to meet or talk to the well dressed, expensively suited salesperson that Alec Baldwin typified.
25 years later, the modern equivalent of the phrase should read, “Always be helping!”
Why? And why do we even need salespeople?In 2017 there is still a clear role for people in sales, particularly in business-to-business transactions where complexities of products and services cannot just be selected from a tick-box list. There is a need to ensure that the customer gets and understands what they are buying and how it is going to be implemented.
But the role of the salesperson has had to change with technology and the switch to a 'buyer-led' process. No longer is it appropriate for the slick salesman to push a contract forward and say, “Push hard when you are signing as there are three pieces of carbon paper!” Most likely the deal will be closed electronically with neither party face to face as the contract is signed.
So what is the role of the salesperson? They are still there to close a deal. They still have a monthly or quarterly business target to hit to ensure the business grows. They still need to know that revenues are delivered on time, so that the business can pay its people and its suppliers.
Nowadays, the slick sales guy who is trying hard to ‘push’ the deal over the finish line is highly likely to lose out. The deal is much more likely to be walked over the line with the salesperson’s arm around the buyer’s shoulder, having gained their trust and shown their expertise, whether its technical or experience. The sales guy will have helped to build the case for the purchase and spent time advising and guiding the buyer to the final conclusion that they are the right supplier to work with.
Helping the buyer becomes the key driver, the key attribute for a good salesperson. The salesperson must have the ability to talk to and understand the buyer’s needs and concerns. Clearly articulating how the buyer’s needs will be met by the product or service offered, as well as and how the deal can be structured to meet their budgets, time-frame and to deliver the benefits that the prospect has identified, is essential.
Helping becomes the mantra for the marketing team and for the successful sales person. Helping prospects to solve their business problems; from the initial moment of engagement through to the deal being signed. There are plenty of other suppliers out there that your buyer can choose, take the time to understand what it is that they want to achieve and help them to visualise how your company can deliver it.
Think in terms like this and you’ll have a highly successful sales team who will win referrals to other prospects, from your customers, on a regular basis. Just because they are great people to do business with.
(Originally published 02/10/17 by Bob Dearsley, London)
It works for our businesses. Why don’t you try it?
It would be impossible to talk about social media without talking about Facebook, one of the biggest players in the game.
With more than one billion daily active users, Facebook has managed to dominate the social media space while still changing its format several times since its inception in 2004. The question for you, of course, is just how to maximise its utility for your business.
Do you need to use Facebook for your Business?
It’s important in your quest to become social media savvy that you are clear on what the boundaries are, as well as the status quo for each network. With that in mind, if you’re in the B2B space, it’s unlikely that Facebook is something you will need to use. Unlike LinkedIn or Twitter, it’s not appropriate to follow professional contacts on Facebook and a request to do so will often be read as invasive or inappropriate. Additionally, building a business page for your B2B company on Facebook is unlikely to get you much traction, as users generally aren’t using this channel to search for professional services.
However, if you’re a B2C company or brand looking to speak to your potential customers on a regular basis, Facebook is a place you need to be. The best way to use Facebook for business is not via your personal page though, but rather by setting up a “fan page” that suits the nature of your business (Facebook provides options when setting up a page like small business, non profit etc). This is key, because it’s not “double opt in,” that is, someone can view your page without liking it or becoming your friend first. Once you do that, you should start inviting people to like your page, posting original content regularly, and cross-posting across your social platforms (i.e. send your Facebook posts to Twitter).
Growing your Followers & Gaining Visibility
Many firms and companies go on an aggressive one month campaign to get a million followers by placing dozens of ads, offering deals, or buying bot followers. This may work in a numbers sense, but quickly backfires.
Why? Because “bought” followers don’t bring any real engagement: they haven’t liked a page because they believe in it, they’ve done it because they get a quick-fix reward from it. Thus, they don’t like photos, make comments, or share your content. The Facebook algorithm notices this. If Facebook notices a page has received 1 million followers overnight, with virtually no engagement in the ensuing 6 months, they will not favour it and thus it will not appear in people’s newsfeeds organically as it is not deemed “good” content.
Alternatively, if you have a following of 1,000 people who are super engaged, love what you do, frequently liking, sharing and commenting on your posts, Facebook’s algorithm will favour you. You will then show up in more people’s feeds (both people who’ve liked you and people who haven’t yet). From a Facebook user’s perspective, the best endorsement is one from someone they know, so if their newsfeed shows them that “John Smith just commented on X Company’s photo,” they’re more likely to check you out and, if they’re interested in your content…like your page as well. While you can promote individual posts (or, pay to have them shown to more people) to help speed up this process, ultimately this is a “slow burn” approach. It takes consistency, patience and won’t happen overnight, but in the end the Facebook algorithm will favour you for it.
Using Instagram for Business
A similar logic applies when it comes to using Instagram for B2C. As Facebook has become more and more clouded by articles, cat memes, content, ads etc, Instagram has become a decidedly more personal and intimate space, where people increasingly opt to spend more time. I once heard it said that, if Facebook is a bowl of Lucky Charms (referring to the American sugary breakfast cereal made up of Cheerio-like pieces and tiny marshmallows), Instagram is just the marshmallows. In other words, when it comes to content on Instagram, quality matters way more than quantity. In fact, posting 10 pictures on Instagram from an event will quickly get you unfollowed; posting a single photo, edited and filtered for maximum engagement is what the platform is about.
The good news is because Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012, it’s easy to integrate your Instagram posts to Facebook and you can use the former as a way to create content for the latter. However, again, it’s important to note that Instagram cannot be used effectively by posting stock photos or impersonal memes. Share when you really have something to say about your business or brand—not just for the sake of it.
(Originally published by Bob Dearsley, London)
If you need advice figuring out and selecting the most appropriate social media strategy for your business, and help with putting this into action on a regular basis, then contact us for a free consultation.
As you can probably tell, the world is becoming incredibly digitalised. Gone are the days when you’d find tonnes of high street stores booming with business. Why? Because it is all transitioning to the internet. Now, it makes sense; billions of people across the globe hop on the world wide web every single day, so just imagine the reach you could potentially have as a business.
But, it is not as simple as just creating a website and watching customers flock to it in their masses. It requires a lot of hard-work, perseverance and grit, just like a traditional business. The only difference is that your scalability and growth is significantly enhanced with an online business.
Besides hard-work, perseverance and grit, you do need some substantial knowledge to get your business in front of an audience. Without an audience you’ll struggle to make a success of your venture. So, you may be wondering how you build an audience of willing buyers, right?
Well, there are a variety of different ways, such as paid advertisement and content marketing. But, the majority of small businesses are on a tight budget and need to keep their costs low. This makes social media marketing a superb option. You’ll be able to establish your brand and continuously gain more of a following.
More of a following = more revenue for your business!
However, once again, if you are new to social media then it can take a while to get your head around it. There are various ways to forge your presence within the platforms and most beginners don’t even know where to start. Let me just take you through the biggest platforms that exist right now…
Facebook is by far the largest social media platform available. As a small business, you’ll be able to create a page/group centred around your brand, and attract people to it with engaging and frequent posts. Additionally, if you do get to a position where you want to scale up, you’ll have access to Facebook ads which are great for targeting specific groups of people.
Twitter is great for keep an audience engaged, informed and captivated. Each tweet is limited to 140 characters, which allows you to quickly give people bite-sized pieces of content that can draw them in. Also, Twitter users love to talk and intertwine, which means your profile can quickly spread if done correctly.
Instagram is ideal for showcasing your products or services. Every post must include an image, so you can really tap into the visual aspect of enticing potential consumers. After all, people love to see images!
YouTube is owned by Google, which is the most dominant search engine out there. By consistently creating video content around your business, you’ll have access to a wealth of organic traffic. Once again, traffic = more revenue for your business!
Ultimately, social media marketing is a terrific way to build your business. However it does require constant attention, research and deep knowledge. Another key aspect of social media is that it is primarily about giving your audience VALUE, rather than using the platform to blatantly sell your products or services. Remember, the rule for social media is 80% value, 20% sales. Cultivate a relationship with your followers and, crucially, build trust in your brand/business.