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by | May 21, 2017

The Essential Process to Generate Revenue With Online Marketing

The Essential Process to Generate Revenue With Online Marketing

You might be surprised how similar selling online is to selling in person offline. Yes, the actions are different between these two places, but the principles are the same once you understand the principles of converting a lead. By the end of this guide, you’ll know exactly what to do to locate leads, get them interested in your company, and have them coming to you to purchase your product or service.

How Not To Generate Leads

If you were to market offline (in person) you would go to a networking with people who fit your customer avatar. But it’s not as simple as just showing up, there’s an art to the sales process.

Here’s an example of how not to network with a guy we’ll call Anthony. Anthony walks into a room and recognizes a sea of potential buyers like they are his prey. He goes from person to person bolstering about how great he is and shotguns as many business cards as he can. Anthony isn’t listening to the people he talks to, but instead tells them he is the solution.

If Anthony is remembered, it won’t be for anything positive, but rather for being “that guy” at the networking event who everybody wanted to avoid. Despite all the charisma, it doesn’t mean people want to work with him, and the hundreds of business cards he distributed slowly make their way to the forgotten corners of wallets, or worse, the trash can.

Why wasn’t Anthony successful? Well putting aside fundamental rules of human psychology, all the people at this networking event are what would be considered “cold leads”. These are people who don’t know you or your product – they likely don’t even know their need for it – and thus have no reason to pay you any attention. It’s your job to show the potential customer their need and how your product or services can fix it.

There will be people who already know their need and are looking for a solution, but you still want to make listening a priority so that you can identify the details that will allow you to provide a solution better than your competitors. Building a relationship first will make you stand out among the sea of alternate solutions.

This is called a “marketing funnel” in the internet world. Due to the figurative funnel’s wide top, many people will fall into your funnel, but as the funnel narrows, fewer people will make it through.  Don’t worry, this is good, as only people who are a right fit will ever see your product – remember our talk about the value of specifically focusing on your customer avatar before?  This means better conversions as leads go deeper into your funnel and avoiding those bad egg customers who cause trouble because they aren’t a good fit.

How To Find Your Leads Online (Without A Budget)

In the physical world, the proper way to network and secure connections is to build a relationship, and the best way to build a relationship is to provide value to the other person.

You can provide value by taking interest in them; ask questions about their business, goals, and needs (and of course, listen). As the relationship grows, soon they’ll be asking what you do, and if what you do is what they need, you probably just made a sale! (Even if they don’t need your product, if they like you, you can bet they’ll recommend you to their friends).

How do you “network” online and provide value to people in the enormous internet world?  Well, luckily it can be done much more passively than attending network events.

Think “what can I do to provide value?” Commonly this is done through an information blog or series of training videos. Whatever you create to deliver value, you don’t want to half-ass it. The majority of people on the internet don’t know who you are yet. For this reason, you really want to focus on providing the best quality content so people not only remember you, but like you. Quality over quantity, however, you’ll also want to make sure to have enough valuable content to leave an impression. You’re an expert in your field, so this should be easy!

So once you go about creating content, then what? If you think about Anthony, it’s pretty easy to imagine what not to do with your content. You don’t want to be pushy – the value you provide to the internet world is unconditional and shouldn’t be steeped in “buy me” pitches. We’ve all been to those websites that are littered with pop-ups and have a “buy” button every few lines on the page – no thanks!. Instead, you want to be more discreet about the products you have.

There are a couple ways to get started, the first ( free and most time-consuming method) is to seek out online communities, such as Facebook or LinkedIn groups. Here you’ll want to become one of the tribe – consider everyone here a potential friend – listen to their needs and contribute to the discussion. You wouldn’t sell your friend something they don’t need, and the same rule applies here. But as people begin to recognize you as a contributor, they’ll want to know what you have to say – this is where your valuable content comes into play.

As your community develops, there will be opportunities to provide value and convert cold leads to warm leads. This occurs in a more literal sense when you capture somebody’s email address. Such as, when this somebody enjoys what they read on your blog and opt-in to discover future posts.

However you don’t sell to warm leads just yet, you do what is called “indoctrinating” them with your brand. You keep producing quality content of value and people grow to like you more and more, so much that if you were to offer them a product they would be 100% on board (this is a hot lead).

As the content you provide will only be valuable to certain people, you don’t need to worry about attracting the wrong would-be customers – those people will fall out of the top of the funnel and only those who are a good fit will flow deeper in.

Using Advertising to Find Your Ideal Customer

But what if I can’t find these groups or don’t have time? Well, that’s where advertising comes in handy. You can use advertising online to present your content to people in need – keep in mind, your ad should be about providing help, not selling. Many of our clients will offer free video series through Facebook ads, and only after the person has gone through the video course do they even discover the offer to buy a product.

Remember these people from the group who checked out the brand, you can use advertising on them as well. Thanks to internet technology, you can put a tracking script on your website to know who visits, and then retarget them with advertising. This means if someone displays interest by checking out your website, you can pinpoint them to receive ads in the future with the goal of getting them to know, like, and trust you.

People who are cold are likely uneducated towards their need for a product or service solution – they know they have a need, but they don’t yet know how to solve it. These people are searching and to put an offer on them without them identifying their need would be out of place. That’s why offering value is so important. It will awaken them to their need. It’s only after they are aware that you want to start treating them like a warm lead.

Warming Up Your Cold Traffic

So now the lead has become aware of you and has opted into your funnel. Now you want to nurture them, sending them ongoing educational material, through an email sequence, and eventually integrate a small product offering. This parallels the way a relationship in person grows over time – as you express interest in others, they eventually express return interest in you.

But just because somebody asks about you doesn’t mean it’s time to get on one knee. Your offer is only in proportion to the stage of the funnel they are in, when the traffic was cold your offer was to trade their email for education – taking them from the cold stage to warm – and now your offer will require a bit more action on their part, such as offering an ebook for sale. These are typically small, psychological purchases that build up trust, and in doing so, helps to potentiate the conversion from a warm lead to a hot lead. Your offer may even be a free trial of your product or service. Regardless, you’ll want to capture more information about your lead in the process, such as payment info or other means of contact.

If you’re not sure about what product to offer, we will be releasing a customer value ladder post soon to explain the natural progression of product offers. So stay tuned and share your email at the bottom of the page!

Whatever your small product offering is, it should continue to educate and provide value to the point that it starts to point the person in the direction of recognizing you are their solution to the problem they recognized as a cold lead. You can keep this relationship going for a while by simply providing quality content, so even if they don’t take you up on your warm offer right away, no problem. But when they do, you’ll want to consider them a hot lead and present an equal offer.

Winning That Customer

This is the golden hour, you’ve built a connection with someone, they’ve taken you up on a small offering and you’ve gained their trust, and now they want to buy from you.  These leads are considered “hot” because they are ready to buy. It may take several viewings for the lead to actually purchase, but if they are following you this far, it’s pretty much inevitable.

You can make your offer to them any way you like, email, blog post, or advertising. But you’ll want to make sure you are just targeting these hot leads especially, as to not alienate other leads who aren’t quite ready yet. But if you have the hot leads info from the small offer you provided, it will be easy to retarget them.

Congratulations, you’ve found a spot to generate leads, you’ve provided value to build trust with your leads, and served the people in need who fit your avatar. Rest assured, if you know how to handle yourself in networking settings, you’ll be well on your way to an abundance on sales. We’ll be making more posts in the future about the specific usage of Facebook advertising and how to create your offer, so share your email below if you want to stay in the loop.

The 4 Fundamental W’s That Define Your Customer

The 4 Fundamental W’s That Define Your Customer

Successful businesses know their market. Walmart excels because it caters to people who want the lowest prices. Apple has fans line up for days before the new iPhone releases because Apple makes technology simple. So the most fundamental step for any business is to identify the audience of their product or service. The process of identifying the customer and what the product represents isn’t just for you, but for your entire team to know to the “T.” This is called your customer avatar, and in this post, we take you through the 4 W’s of identifying the customer, their need, and the way you’re going to thrive as a business.

 is your client?

The first thing you want to define before doing advertising is your customer avatar. This is your archetypal customer – your product may be the best in the world and you want everyone to have it, but you need to first identify your perfect customer because if you serve everybody, you serve nobody.

Once you know who this person is, you can write stories that appeal to them. It’s not enough for a sales page to simply list the benefits of a product, you want to angle towards a certain buyer – the person you had in mind when you created your product. You can, of course, have multiple avatars down the road, but each will have their own story and write up, so it’s important to define one individually.

This is information you can hand off to other members of your team and provided you did your work, they will know exactly the right customer. They may even know people in person who fit the description. So really dive in deep.

If you haven’t yet, write out who your customer is right now. Is it male or female? What are their interests? Do they like camping, sports, are they more a family man? Do they ideally have children? If so, how many kids do they have? Does your customer have debt? Do they run in the rat race or are they a fat cat? What are their values? There’s nothing too descriptive for this.

If you’re using Facebook advertising – a topic we’ll get to with “Why” – you can hone in on users who have these exact interests attached to their profile. So yes, you might be cutting off the majority of the world when you start to specify your customer, but chances are that out of the billions and billions of people in the world, thanks to your specificity, you’ll be able to find those perfect customers who align with your product 150%.

does your client hang out?

Once you have an idea of who this perfect customer is, you need to identify where this person hangs out. So let’s say you’ve identified a middle-aged father who works in the corporate world and wishes he had more time for family. The next question is where does he spend his time? And this applies both on and off the internet.

Chances are a father who wants more family time won’t be seen on the golf courses, bars, or in cigar lounges. Rather he would be found at the schools, family-friendly restaurants, and Chuckee Cheeses’.
After his kids are in bed, he likely spends time with his wife – but doing what? If they watch movies together is it romantic comedies or adventure?

Now think about online presence, too. Does your avatar focus a few hours on stock trading to bolster his income? If so, he’s probably on stock trading websites and reading financial news. If he has even a modicum of tech know-how you can bet he uses the regular social media, and here you want to specify what channels of social media. If he’s a family guy focused on more family time, your customer probably isn’t on Twitter, although he may be on Linkedin from time to time due to his corporate background. Most likely he’s on Facebook for the social aspects, he may even use Instagram to post pictures of his kids. This is relevant not only for interest but planning your ad strategy.

This is more the same diving into the details we disccused previously, but regarding location. It may seem arduous, but you can use these interest to target your customer with laser precision once you start advertising.

What does your customer want?

Simply put, where is your customer now and where do you want to take them with your product or service? For the guy who wishes he had more family time, extrapolate on why – he wants to be happier of course, but how come? Does he want to be the father he never had? Consider the benefit and angle it the right way.

If your product was a cup of coffee, you wouldn’t want to pitch it to this man as “get more done during your work day”, because he’s not concerned about that. The proper angle would be “keep your energy up while you’re at home”, where he would see the coffee as an asset to his family life.

Why Does your Customer Want it?

Next, consider the negative side; include what he might lose if he doesn’t find more family time? He may not be able to see his kids grow and miss their life events, their kids might not know their father, etc. In this scenario, the negatives become quite heavy, but that’s what makes your product so compelling and important! The more you’re able to articulate the why in your advertising, the more your customer will trust you. Likewise, speak to them like it’s 1:1, a personal conversation.

At this point consider imagery as well – if something symbolically represents your customer situation make sure to mark this down. In terms of Facebook advertising, less text does better, so the more you can convey the customer’s need using imagery the better.

As a word of warning and reminder, make sure to stay exclusive to this one avatar. Often times clients may try and bridge the gap between two customers they see and make their avatar and copy more general. In doing so, you may gain a few people in the crossover, but you’ll lose the people who otherwise would have been compelled by how directly your product spoke to them. This is not a marginal loss, as the quality of customer between the two is drastically different. The customer who identifies with your brand fully will buy and be around for the long haul, likely buying more down the line. Whereas the other general customer you acquire may ask for a refund, and because the brand isn’t completing their image, they may easily walk away to a competitor

Your Homework

If you take the time to detail the who, where, what, & why of your customer, you’ll be on your way to a successful business. This is the make or breaks for all advertising, so it shouldn’t be rushed through. Take your time and do it right. Once you’re done, you’ll be ready for the next step of our 101 of marketing: the funnel. If you want us to let you know as soon as the next step is released, share your email below and you’ll be the first to know.

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What To Do When Your Why Seems Far Away

What To Do When Your Why Seems Far Away

Anyone who has read Simon Sinek knows the vital importance of your “why” for motivation.  To sum it up using a Nietzsche quote, “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.”

But “whys” aren’t always glamorous, sometimes the process towards your dream is slow, arduous, and tasking. Even with a good “why” you aren’t impervious to the feeling of futility that can occur when we get weighted done with tasks and details that distract from your main purpose. If you’re unable to offload monotonous tasks, how should you find motivation past the slump?

Marcus Aurelius, a stoic of ancient Rome offers a tool for these hard times: to recognize that work is intrinsic to human nature. To him, nothing is beneath us and entitlement to leisure doesn’t exist. He says,

At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: ‘I have to go to work — as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for — the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?’

Although the words will never appear in his text, Aurelius has the Roman mind for “grinding” and building “momentum”.

— But it’s nicer in here …

So you were born to feel ‘nice’? Instead of doing things and experiencing them? Don’t you see the plants, birds, ants spiders, and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order, as best they can? And you’re not willing to do your job as a human being? Why aren’t you running to do what your nature demands?

Even for those who don’t have a “why”, the most basic “why” for man is to fulfill their natural duty of doing work, and this should be enough according to Aurelius. In this mode of living, one is in alignment with their nature, and out of this alignment, there’s potential for an even greater purpose to spring out.

— But we have to sleep sometime …

Agreed. But nature set a limit on that — as it did on eating and drinking. And you’re over the limit. You’ve had more than enough of that. But not of working. There you’re still below your quota.

The best “whys” are the ones where we lose ourselves to the process. However, sometimes we create a false dichotomy between work and being, forgetting that the nature of man is to work. When we remember this, it becomes easier to swallow the monotony that coincides with labor and move forward.

You don’t love yourself enough. Or you’d love your nature too, and what it demands of you. People who love what they do wear themselves down doing it, they even forget to wash or eat. Do you have less respect for your own nature than the engraver does for engraving, the dancer for the dance, the miser for money, or the social climber for status? When they’re really possessed by what they do, they’d rather stop eating and sleeping than give up practicing their arts.

The stoicism of Aurelius offers solace as we work through the day, as read in his book Meditations. Oh, and there’s another good book that can offer help through the rudimentary grind of work as well…

Our new ebook 25 Things Business Owners Who Want More Time For The Things They Love Should Automate offers practical means to make a majority of task work obsolete, helping you get back to your “why” and the heart of your work. This isn’t just for anyone; It’s not an instant fix. You have to implement the steps in the book to see change, but the results are worth it and your time will be freed up. This means you can spend more time at the beach with the sun on your face, enjoy family time with real presence, or work on those higher level tasks; whatever is important to you.