Note from Diane: For the last few months I have been focused on adding to my skill set, fine tuning my sales funnel and working on my email follow ups. Digital marketing is sometimes thought of as selling information-products online to “virtual customers” and it can be something that the traditional offline small business owner dismisses as not being relevant to them.
However in my experience I am yet to find one single business that would not benefit from elements of digital marketing in their sales funnel (or route to market is another way of putting that) as although it looks very simple on paper it is extremely complex and difficult to get right for most businesses.
Without a doubt when you DO get it right, it can become something of a machine that not only generates leads for your business but it's also something that can literally add extra profits and income streams to your business that can soon cover all the running costs of your business each and every month.
We have successfully applied all of the 3 following digital marketing strategies to our Contemporary Log Living business venture to great effect. Here's 3 of the top digital marketing strategies that EVERY business today should be applying and why.
Feature Article: 3 Ways Any Business Can Benefit From Digital Marketing
1. Give Away A Free Report And Start The Conversation
Do you ever wonder why people don't just land on your website, whip out their credit card and buy your “stuff?” In the main it is likely that to them you are a complete stranger, that they don't know, have no relationship with and have to make a judgement on whether they can trust you or not. (That's one of the reasons social media has become more popular and why it is so important for any business today because people WILL check you out on Facebook.)
It really doesn't matter WHAT your business is, the process always starts with starting a conversation with someone interested in what you do and what your business products and services can do for them.
One of the easiest ways to start the conversation is by creating some kind of Free Report, checklist or free training that will help people see for themselves whether or not what you are offering is the right “fit” for them.
A free report is also a great way to filter through your enquiries and keep a higher percentage of converting leads into sales when they have gone through your Free Report (understood what it is that you do and at what cost).
When someone already knows you have a solution to a problem they have and understand how you can solve within the budget they had in mind you are on a rock solid foundation to progress from a genuine enquiry to the next step which is usually a quotation or consultation.
There is no “trickery” involved if you create everything with total honesty, present the information in an easy to understand way and allow people the right amount of time to process the information and make the enquiry.
When the whole process is happening digitally on your website and you are getting visitors every day going the process you will start to generate a never ending stream of highly targeted leads for your business 24/7. (This entire process is something we have mapped out for Project Lifestyle Club Members to follow.) (We also offer content marketing services if you need some help creating your report)
2. Delivering Your Free Report
Back in the day before I knew about autoresponders I spent hours attaching my first eBook to an email and sending it out that way. (I am telling you that so that you know there really are no excuses possible when it comes to delivering your Free Report.)
Worst case scenario you can print it out and mail it!
The best way to make sure your Free Report gets delivered straight after your potential customer puts their name and email address into the boxes provided on your website is with an autoresponder such as Aweber.
Investing in an autoresponder service is probably one of the smartest things you can do for your business.
I remember watching a DVD set I bought of an event here in the UK a few years ago and it featured Derek Gehl of IMC as a speaker. Straight out of the gate he said that if there was one thing that most websites are still missing that is vital to their success it would be an Opt In Offer and Form on their website.
It should look something like this …
Things have come a long way since then, the advice is better and the technology advances have made it easier to do but there are still a huge amount of small business owners out there who invested thousands of pounds in a website several years ago that are hanging on to it even though it looks outdated and stale.
The days where you had to invest thousands of pounds in a new website are pretty much gone (we offer a WordPress Set-Up Service plus training ourselves for just £500) and once you have made the switch to WordPress things like adding in an Opt In Form and email address box will be so much simpler.
(Again we have mapped out the entire process inside our online business club the Project Lifestyle Club Members for members to follow.)
3. Create A Series Of Emails That Continue To Build The Relationship
Ryan Deiss calls this The Machine and I'm sure I'm not the only business owner who spends most of her time on the front end of her business (creating blog posts, training videos, worksheets etc) and hasn't really given the power of the follow up email system the respect it deserves.
With NO offline equivalent to what an autoresponder and email follow up sequence can do it may be worth spending some time analysing what this amazing (and under utilised tool) can really do for your business.
Imagine having an employee that works for you on following up, making offers and providing value to every single one of your potential customers several times a week, or even every day?
If you are serious about creating a shift in your business over the next 12 months implement these 3 elements and you'll find there a whole host of other digital marketing tools and resources that will make the day to day running of your business and your marketing efforts a whole lot easier.
- Give away something of value to start the conversation.
- Digital marketing is just as much for offline business as it is online.
- Use digital marketing as a filter tool for your leads to get higher quality enquiries.
- Add an opt in form and autoresponder if you haven't got them. (Switch to WordPress to make this super easy)
- Invest some brainstorming and planning time into creating follow up emails that will build your business.
To your online marketing success!