It is a common misconception.
Some people think that businesses fail because of management problems, internal struggles or even bad luck.
Those perceptions, however, are false. Most businesses fail for one reason: lack of sales.
My name is Tim Stoddart. Unfortunately, I learned this lesson the hard way. I am the CEO of Stodzy Media. Four years ago when my company was born, I was passionate and ambitious to be successful. Little did I know the hard lessons I would endure.
My priorities were in the wrong place. I was consumed with my brochures, my web design, my logo and keeping everyone around me happy. But the primary concern when running a business should be sales. Sales are the lifeblood of your company.
It is easy to say you need to focus on sales, but difficult to do so. Good salespeople are hard to find. Luckily, I’ve always had an easy time talking to people, so I knew I could close a deal. The problem was that I didn’t know how to get leads.
I tried cold calling, sending random emails to local businesses, and leaving my business card on every coffee table I could find. It’s not as though those weren’t worthwhile ideas, but my entire business changed when I became skilled at lead generation.
Generating your own leads is the holy grail of succeeding at sales. When you generate your own leads, you are not reliant on outside lead suppliers, and you keep a steady influx of new business coming in to sustain your growth.
I know what you’re thinking. How exactly does one go about collecting inbound leads? I have broken down that process into three simple and effective steps. Let’s get started.
Step One – Install SumoMe
SumoMe is an online application that gives you access to many tools. The most important of these tools is the list builder. SumoMe gives you the choice to design an array of tasteful pop-ups meant to collect email addresses. It also gives you control of how often the pop-ups appear so that you don’t annoy anyone frequenting your site.
Installing SumoMe is simple. First, go to sumome.com and create an account. Next, copy the script and paste it into the header of your website. Just like that, you’re done.
To run a successful opt in campaign, you’re going to want to try out a multitude of options. Try different designs, and have different pop-ups show on different pages. You can also try different forms of copy. After a few weeks of trial and error, you should be optimizing your campaign effectively.
So we have completed step one. The catch is that if no one is coming to your website, there are no leads to collect. The next step is to drive relevant traffic to your site.
Step Two – Create Content
Anyone with any experience in online marketing has heard the term “content is king.” The slogan has been thrown around for years. This concept has been the driving force behind billions of pages of content.
Anyone can start blogging, but you aren’t creating content for its own sake, are you? No, if you are going to spend the time creating content, you want some kind of return on it.
To be clear, content is always valuable. Every page you write or every video you create is one more opportunity for someone to hear about your company, most likely through SEO. With that being said, if you want to really change the game, you need to set some goals for your content. Your main goal is to collect leads.
Go on Twitter and network to find like-minded people who might have an interest in what you have to say. Create value. Share your content with people. The more people who come to your page, the more chances there are to collect email addresses.
Treat these email addresses like gold.
Someone who stumbles across your site through a social share has a different mindset than someone who opts in to receive your emails in the future.
With their actions, users who opt in have given you permission to market to them. They have subtly said that “they want to learn more.”
At this point, you have passed the first step of the sales funnel. You have collected a lead. Wasn’t that easy?
Now of course the next step is to convert!
Step 3 – Convert Your Leads Through Sales Copy
Email marketing is tricky business. People are very protective of their email addresses. Just think about how quickly you unsubscribe from emails that you didn’t opt in to receive.
Emailing people who haven’t opted in will make them angry. Not only have you burned through a lead, but you’ve almost guaranteed that this person will never convert into a sale in the future.
I recommend that you seek balance in the frequency with which you send your emails. Once a week is fine to start. If you have a really engaged audience, sending three emails a week is acceptable. You’ve done the hard work to collect leads, so now you want to nurture them.
Be patient and be methodical.
Now, the art of copywriting is not one you should take lightly. People rarely buy products because of needs; people buy products because of how the products make them feel. To engage an emotional response through email requires good copywriting.
If you’re looking for a good guide to help you with writing your copy, Rimit Sethi put together this amazing document to get you started.
The mistake most people make is that in their emails, they talk about how great their product or service is. This tactic works some of the time, but the reality is people don’t care about the product or service itself. They care about what you can do for them.
How is your company going to change their lives? How will it make their lives easier?
If you aren’t adding value, people will simply ignore you.
Show your audience exactly how your business can benefit them. If you do this, you will sell—no doubt about it.
It took me years to master the art of collecting leads. The reason why I became good at it was because I took the time to practice. Aside from that, I surrounded myself with people who knew what they were talking about.
If you’re insecure about getting started, don’t be. Just go ahead and take action.
Install SumoMe. Call the guys at Mojo Media, and they will be glad to help you. Start creating content and then publish it, even if you think it isn’t any good.
The best way to learn is to do. So start doing.
Latest posts by Tim Stoddart (see all)
- Why Your Marketing Firm Should Specialize in an Industry - September 27, 2016
- How to Use Opt In Forms to Increase Leads and Sales - September 17, 2016