Hey, Nick here.
If you don’t know who I am, nice to meet you! I’m a small business owner here in Hawaii, and I love to help other businesses succeed. I’ve found that by leveraging digital marketing, I can help local businesses boost their leads, revenue, and profit.
A question I often hear from other marketers and tech-savvy business owners is, “How do I generate more leads?”
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, a “lead” is someone who is in the process of turning from a “random person out there in your market” to a “customer.” It’s like you have a fish on the line, but you haven’t reeled them in quite yet.
So, how do we get more leads?
Great question. The best way I found to get a solid number of quality leads is through inbound marketing.
Pull, Don’t Push
Last week I talked about the difference between “Push” and “Pull” Marketing.
Pushing is similar to outbound marketing. This constitutes your paid ads, cold calls, and emails. In other words, you’re initiating the conversation.
Notice how I said cold calls and emails?
That’s because they tend to create cold leads. There’s a difference between a cold lead and a warm lead. The higher the temperature in this analogy, the more likely they are to become your customer… not just a lead. So, we want them as warm as possible.
As opposed to pushing through cold emails and the like, it’s often better to pull using your website, social media, network, and content marketing strategy. This is inbound marketing instead of outbound.
In this instance, they’re coming to you and initiating the interaction. Why do I prefer strong inbound instead of strong outbound? Well, both are necessary for certain seasons of your business… but most business owners I know have a huge gap between their outbound game and their inbound game.
Think of it this way: when someone sees a cold email from you in their inbox or an advertisement of you on their Facebook feed… they owe you nothing. In some instances, they may even think of you as an annoyance. That’s not how you want to start a relationship.
However, an inbound lead is committed to you already, however tiny. They voluntarily went to your website or social page, and they’re checking you out. They initiated the relationship. This makes for a warmer lead.
And, if you can get a customer to say “yes” to you—in any small way—they’re more likely to say “yes” to you in bigger ways.
So, we want to get good at generating leads through inbound marketing. If you want to increase the quality of your leads, and the likelihood they’ll say “yes” to you, it’s time to brush up on your Inbound game.
How to Improve Your Inbound at Every Step
As they move along the pipeline, a stranger becomes a member of your audience. Then they become a lead. Then they become a customer. Then, if you play it right, they become an advocate for your business, promoting it to people in their life. Here’s how to improve the 3 key areas of the pipeline so they can move from stranger to advocate.
- Develop an Email List, Social Media Page, or Blog
There is a general traffic flow you should use to help gain quality leads and turn them into customers. It is content, website, reputation. The first step is your content.
For people to come to you (since it’s inbound marketing), you have to offer something worthwhile… for free. You have to build up an audience likely to share and read your content and find ways to promote this happening.
The three most common ways to do this are through an email list, a social media page, or a blog. Most businesses have at least one of these, and some even have a combination of all three.
You should choose only one to focus on at first. If you already have one of the three, then go with that. Start developing helpful and authoritative content for it, and post regularly. This could look like a weekly blog, email blast, or daily tidbits about your industry on social media.
Here’s a more in-depth guide about how you can leverage the social media platform Facebook.
- Develop a Pristine Website
Your email list, social media page, blog… all lead to your website. So make it a good one.
What makes a good website? For one, it looks fantastic because you use a ready-made WordPress template. Next, it has good writing (also known as copy) throughout, all meant to appeal to your ideal customer. Also, it ranks high in Google searches so that plenty of people visit it.
Also, if you want, you can include a page with a form to gather contact info. You should link to this page at the end of your emails, blogs, or social posts. For example, many businesses develop a free resource or service that they give to people…in exchange for their email and phone number. Then, they plug that information into their system for keeping track of leads.
This all could work for you, depending on the structure of your business. I know some people prefer a more informal approach… but I don’t. The more I can measure, analyze, and obsess over in my business, the better.
- Develop a Stellar Reputation
The final step is to develop the kind of reputation that naturally spreads the word about your business. The news about your amazing products and service will spread through word-of-mouth and positive reviews on places like Yelp and TripAdvisor.
But how does a business develop its reputation? Isn’t it something that happens passively over time that they can’t control? Well, while some aspects of your reputation work like that, there are certain parts of it you can control. And you really should do everything you can to boost them. Here are a few things to try:
- Incentivize feedback. You could have a discount or giveaway for people who leave a review for you on one of the aforementioned apps.
- Pay attention to all feedback you get, whether it’s from surveys, reviews, or emails you get. It may not be pleasant listening to people if they have a complaint. But, you have to go through the problem to get to the solution.
- Do whatever you can to resolve situations with bad feedback. Oftentimes a bad reviewer, who you go out of your way to please, becomes a stronger advocate for your business than someone who’s always been happy.
- Lastly, incentivize referrals. Reward current customers for sending new leads and customers your way. This can also happen with discounts and free products.
If you develop a content marketing strategy, make sure you have a quality website, and control what you can about your reputation, then congratulations… You’re an inbound marketing pro! And it will generate plenty of quality leads for your business.
If you want help with any part of your inbound marketing, reach out to us today!
Further Reading: 3 Reasons Hawaii Businesses Should Use WordPress For Their Website