Converting Consumers into Customers Five Tactics That Work

I must emphasize how important the continuous relationship is with your email list aka leads so you can show credibility and tremendous value.

Every single time you send out a new email this responsibility will restart itself. And by keeping a consistent communication, even in it’s most simple form it will help you stay in the back of their minds.

It will also grow the chances of you being that person they call first when they need your products or services.

Of course, you can also be stronger about promoting to your leads. Here are five simple tactics I’ve used:

Constant Contact

What I mean by constant contact is regularly sharing content is crucial, also when you decide to share as well. If you establish the expectation that you’ll post every Monday and Friday (I’ll be doing here soon), you better do that. I’ve learned for a lot of well know online marketers, that consistency will keep you on the “top of their mind”.

Everyone Likes NEW

Your a freelancer, right? Well, prove that you’ve been freelancing, actually working with new clients, project, or your own stuff by posting about it or sharing it to your list. It’s very good for proof and testimonials. Share “new” news.

Who Doesn’t Like a Good Deal?

Including promotions and special offers works great. A good way people get motivated to buy something is by saving on the purchase (why do you think every store has a sale?). Scarcity also works like a charm, For example: Sunday sale only, you have 24 hours to buy, and special ends today. You’ve heard them all, they work, that’s why companies still use them.

Organize your Email List

If you’re using a tool like Mailchimp (affiliate link), you can figure out which prospects are responding to your campaign. Then you can create a better follow-up list, compared to people just receiving your emails.

Divide your Email List

What you can do when you first get the lead, is to ask simple questions to help you better divide the list for a better follow up. For example, once you know that this person is interested in this certain thing, you can customize it so their updates consist of that type of information, instead of them just receiving other junk that might make them run away.

There you have them, these five tactics have helped me convert more leads into sales. By the way if you’re new to this blog, this is one of a series of post called the Skills 2 Money. The series is very useful if you’re a freelancer, but I think anyone that’s looking to leverage the web will benefit from it also. If you missed the last post about the series, you can find it here.

Final thoughts

If you’ve been a regular reader, I’m trying to make this series better for you. I can only get better if I can get some feedback from you guys.

What do you think so far about the Skill 2 Money series? Is it useful, what other topics do you really want to hear about? I’m all ears.

Leave a comment!

How To Get Leads and Convert Them Into Sales

e-mail-marketing-list

I wish I could have a list of all the people who visited my website last year and their contact information…wouldn’t you? Do you think it could generate more business for you?

I think it would. (If you don’t think so, we need to talk.) A plan like that isn’t unbelievable. It’s called “lead generation” and it’s a strategy small businesses rely on to generate business.

Small Businesses Most Important Asset

If you ask most small businesses what’s their most important asset, I guarantee they’ll say it’s their database. Lead generation involves building and managing a list of prospects who are interested in what you offer.

The best part of having a list (big or small) is the ability to communicate anytime with them, because it give you a better chance of turning prospects into customers than just a cold-calling approach. If you know something about sales–it’s easier to sell when the people already trust you, like you and are interested in what you’re selling.

Benefits of a Bigger Email List

Growing your list also increases the size of your funnel, and if you strategically market to your database this can result in more conversions. Since this [list of subscribers] is one of the biggest assets in your business you want to be careful with your marketing and you have to manage it well.

When people sign up to your updates or FREE gift, whatever you might be doing to get their email, you need to realize they trust you. You don’t want to hurt that relationship you’ve build with them, by sending them stuff you wouldn’t want to receive.

This is why it’s important you provide relevant, VALUABLE content, consistently. The moment you abuse your email list or meet their subscribers expectations, the trust is gone and the campaign loses its effectiveness.

Your main goal should be to know your list and share content that helps solve their problems, doing so, you’ll have permission to promote to them and remain as the go to person in your industry as long as they like you and trust you.

How much does it cost?

The reason why building a list is so great in my opinion is, you don’t have to pay for it…at least in dollars, pesos or euros to have a viable marketing channel. You can go an buy a list from a company that sells access to a database in a certain market. But, what I hate about these is that they’re not always highly qualified like the ones you collect on your own website.

The fact is that these lists don’t convert as well as your own lists.

This post is going to be part of the Skills 2 Money: The Guide Every Freelancer Needs series, I haven’t really made a page for this series but it will be available soon. In the following post of this guide, you’ll learn more on building the list, converting the leads to clients and some examples too.

photo: Anirudh Koul

 

Marketing Concepts Every Freelancer Should Know: The Last Three

As I mentioned in the last post about the key marketing concepts for freelancers, today we will be talking more about the online marketing funnel, your online presence, and testing.

Let’s get to it…

The Online Marketing Funnel

Okay, lets think about marketing your business in a whole different way, this is important. Let’s take a BIG funnel. When a person visits your site (engages with you), they’re at the top of that funnel.

Your primary goal or the websites goal is to get visitors to ask about your services or products, maybe even buy something. The ones that completed a goal converted into paying customers, they followed the funnel all the way to the bottom.

However as some people skim through your site, some will leave. This could be you didn’t fit their needs or wants, could be your branding didn’t connect with them or they simply couldn’t find your contact info (which happens in many sites).

This shouldn’t come a s surprise there are only two factors that can influence your success. One is your “conversion rate“–How good you turn visitors into customers. When you improve conversion rate, you can create more paying customers.

Two is traffic–Getting more traffic to go through your funnel (even with your current conversion rate) will bring in more paying customers.

online-marketing-funnel

However, your effort to market to your prospects involves more than a single funnel. To give you an idea, you create an email campaign, some people open those emails, then that small group that did open, they visit your site, later some of them go to the order page, some click buy and others end their journey at the order page without any action after that.

The point is, the funnel gets smaller and smaller with every step of your buying process. This is the reason why more traffic and a better conversion rate matter.

When you understand how much traffic you need to convert, your decisions about marketing get better.

So, do you know what marketing effort are you going to give more attention to? or Do you know how much traffic you need to get that growth you want?

Online Presence

Think having a website is good enough? Think again, maybe a few years ago it was sufficient. When prospects wanted to wanted to  know more about your services, they would go and check out your “brochure” style website, that explained your services, showed them some client testimonials, and a portfolio of work you’ve done.

Welcome web 2.0. Now, prevailing wisdom recommends you should be in a variety of web properties besides your home (your website) to enhance your presence online.

Social media sites, forums, trade organizations. The logical reasons to build that presence is:

Better Chances To Be Found

A stronger presence online creates  more ways for prospects to locate you. The more people that can find you, the bigger the funnel gets, to grab more traffic (even if they’re not searching for you specifically).

Because content is indexed highly efficiently by search engine, and links are frequently shared through Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, more prospects are coming through different sources than just your website URL like the old days.

Instead they are looking for their needs somewhere else and they’re running into some content you’ve created specifically to serve those needs.

To use this to your advantage, your online marketing strategy should look for ways to create new profiles, with descriptive words to help people find you, and use those profiles to bring traffic back to your site (the home of your online marketing footprint). And where future clients can continue to connect with you.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Backlinks are what influences search engines the most, specially links from other sites (external links) that point back to your website. For example: If you’re featured on another site and hyperlinked from their site, that adds a linkback. In many social sites or forum you’ll get a chance to link back to your site also.

Control Over Brand

When people are looking to buy something or use a service these days, its normal for them to search on Google. When you have more than one profile to control your own branding, it will enable prospects to cross examine the results and make a good judgements about your credibility.

For example: a Google search for Wilson Usman reveals the following destinations that help an inquiring prospect better get to know me.

wilson-googled

And, creating these different profiles online helps manage your brand by preventing negative comments to show up. (That drunken photo in college)

A search for “Comcast” returns a video A Comcast technician sleeping on my couch, a Youtube video in the 9th position. After this happened Comcast has taken action to push the search engine results down from the first page of Google. (As you can see it’s still there though)

It’s proven that the first three positions receive a big percentage of clicks, but I’m sure this video still hurts the “Comcast” brand.

Lets Prospect Engage However They Want

It would be nice if potential customers took the path of our sales process as we picture it. It would be very simple if a big time prospect in your field received your email campaign, went to your site, clicked on the order button and bought everything you have to offered right there and then.

But you already konw that’s not how it’s always going to happen. By giving prospect multiple platforms to engage with you whenever they feel most comfortable helps them engage you at their own terms.

For example: A possible prospect might not need your services now, yet he may be compelled to add you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter, or maybe even subscribe to receive updates through email (the best platform).

Allowing them to stay engaged yet avoiding any business commitments or pitches until the right time comes and they trust you can turn them into paying client later.

18 Different Ways To Grow Your Online Presence

  1. Build your main site
  2. Create a blog
  3. Create a Facebook page
  4. Open a Twitter account
  5. Start a Youtube channel
  6. Open a Google Places and Google+ profile
  7. Create a Flickr account
  8. Start a Vimeo channel
  9. Open a LinkedIn profile + company page (your business)
  10. Register with Yahoo!
  11. Write guest posts for other blogs
  12. Start a Tumblr account
  13. Spend time on Q&A websites like Formspring and Quora
  14. Make slide shows and submit them to Slideshare
  15. Start an iTunes podcast
  16. Share content on Scribd
  17. Make a press release at PR Web and Pitch Engine
  18. Submit your work on a variety of portfolio sites (e.g Behance)

Test, Test, Test and T…

Online marketing cannot be just set and forgotten. Things change in the online marketing world and you can always improve your results by testing new tools and analyzing the date you receive.

If you’re always striving to get better, eventually you’ll land at the formula that’s optimized effectively to drive new clients and maintain the relations you already have.

Some examples of things you can and should always be testing:

  • Email campaign content to get better click through rates
  • Titles, subject lines that can help get more email open rates
  • Your website design and content that lead to better conversion rates
  • Viral content that makes people want to share and visit your blog
  • Social media content that drives traffic home and converts
  • Keywords, titles and descriptions to bring more SEO traffic and converts

The list is endless. So it’s important that you apply the opportunity cost concept here to avoid spending to much time doing work that doesn’t get successful results.

Now that we’ve covered some key marketing concepts that you should know to have a strong foundation we’re going to focus building a list and converting those prospects into paying customers.

So, what do you think? Are these three concepts important?

Are you using any of them in your online business or offline business?

If you loved this article, share it on twitter click here.

 

Two More Key Marketing Concepts Every Freelancer Should Know

If there’s one that I’ve learned in the past two years to be most important in Internet Marketing is conversion. Start thinking in terms of conversion from now on.

So What is Conversion And Why Care?

Every place you’re online, you should have a desired end. What do you want your visitors to do?

To give you an example, I run an audio products site, my desired goal is to drive traffic to purchase products and sign-up for updates so I can stay in touch with our list. If a percentage of those visitors complete this goal, the site is doing it’s job or in other words “converting”.

A random person that buys a speaker represents one conversion. The more people that convert the more successful your site is.

In this case it’s good to pay close attention to your “conversion rate”. Conversion rate represents the percentage of people who complete the desired goal on the site.

conversion-rate-equation

It’s a good idea to know the conversion rate of any marketing effort not just your websites.

I’ve been using Google Analytics. I like using it because it lets you set goals, view the conversion rate on specific pages and where is your traffic coming from, and it’s the most user friendly tool I’ve used from metrics.

Opportunity Cost Made Simple

Knowing where to spend your time and money is a tough decision for businesses and freelancers, that’s where opportunity cost can help manage those decisions where, for example, a magic bullet marketing opportunity comes up.

There’s a cost associated with NOT doing something, that’s the revenue you would get out of a specific task.

So, you incur an “opportunity cost” by staying focused in what you’re already doing while you’re letting pass the revenue from the other activity.

Let’s use Facebook, Twitter and Cold Calling as an example. The time you’re putting into social media vs. cold calling. The opportunity cost would be the revenue you’re rejecting while focusing a certain task.

If you see more money coming from social media then calling people might be a bad decision. But if it’s the opposite then the payoff might be worth it.

The following post we’ll discuss The Online Marketing Funnel and Your Online Presence. Don’t forget to read about how to designate your time and measure your return on investment as a freelancer if you missed it.

These are two other marketing concepts that businesses and freelancers should carry in their back pocket.

Have a question? Hit me up in the comments and I’ll answer as many as I can. Thanks for your time

Two Key Marketing Concepts Every Freelancer Should Know

Before we really get busy with all those fun online marketing ideas, there’s a variety of key concepts that you should get familiar with first. This is the first of the series of posts of skills 2 money the freelancing guide.

If you were building a house, this concepts would be the foundation of the house or in other words what will keep it from falling down. They dictate how you make your decisions, assign your time, and conclude the success of your work.

Key Marketing Concept: How You Designate Your Time

When it comes to allocating financial budgets it can be an easy process to track in certain marketing activities. But time is a different ball park. It usually ends up being tougher for people to budget and optimize it.

And when you incorporate strategies like SEO or Social Media it can get a bit more difficult, since what you’re paying with is TIME. By the way, don’t be surprised if the results are not immediate.

At some moment in time you’ll start asking yourself, “is this really worth my time?” You can figure it out.

Understanding opportunity cost (more on this later) and return on investment is important too.

These are the tools that will help open up the time you budget for marketing. To get the data you need, you’ll need to discipline yourself to keep track of your own time, watching carefully the result from your work, and diverting tasks that may seem productive but aren’t (like chatting with your friends on Facebook).

Key Marketing Concept: Return On Investment aka ROI

ROI is a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the efficiency of a number of different investments.

ROI essentially without all the jargon translates to “dollar-for-dollar”. In this case, the “investment” is the time and effort you put in. The “return” is the revenue it brings in.

The reason ROI is a valuable metric is, it can help you analyze every marketing task and know the dollar amount that resulted from the time and effort put in. In some cases, people like using percentage as a measure too.

When you setup the ROI across all your marketing tasks, you can begin making decisions about allocating more or less time and effort.

return-on-investment-social-media

As you can see in this example, spending more time on social media is smarter due to the higher ROI.

You might also consider the value of your time to help assess how net profitable your time investment in marketing the business actually is.

Important Questions to Ask Yourself

  • What am I typically paid per hour?
  • How does this compare to the revenue I generate per hour via my marketing efforts?

Don’t forget this is the first of a series of articles. If you want to learn more about marketing for freelancers sign up below to get updates. In the next post we’ll talk about two more marketing concept every freelancer should know.

Are there any concept that you want to share? Share this post. Leave a comment.