How to Generate Leads Online

By | Small Business Marketing, Small Business Start-ups | No Comments

Do you want to know how to generate leads online? If you are a small business owner (including people with a home businesses and Network Marketing), then the life blood of your business is qualified leads.  Without leads, you do not have customers (or recruits), and without customers (or recruits) you really don’t have a business.

When you have exhausted the list of family and friends that might be interested in what you have to offer (in my experience, some of them will actually start to avoid you if you mention your great new opportunity too many times…) and chatting with strangers in the supermarket does do it for you, most of the options available to you to market yourself and your business are limited.  Not to mention that most are quite expensive!

You can try old school, placing an advert in the local newspaper or organising signage for your car.  You can sponsor sports teams, hang out at networking events and maybe create a business page on Facebook.  Building a website can either be fun (I have several hobby sites and really enjoy building them) or a nightmare if you really don’t like all that techy stuff.  You can pay someone to build it for you, but that usually means that it takes time (and more money) to add or update your pages. Ad you have to rely on someone else to manage the site.

This stuff is a little like bookkeeping.  It is something that needs to be done, but it is really tedious and not why you started the business.  Let’s face it unless you are a bookkeeper or a website builder, these kinds of jobs kinda suck.  And that’s even before you really start using the website to generate leads online.

About Using Your Small Business Website to Generate Leads Online

Most websites online today will not create an avalanche of new leads, without spending a lot of money on paid traffic.

generate leads online

A few years ago, you could build a reasonable website, use (white-hat) SEO to create free traffic streams and make more than enough money to cover your costs. I know because I did make money with several websites, not a fortune granted.  But one was grossing close to $10,000 a year and it was just sitting there.  I wasn’t selling anything myself, it just had other peoples adverts on it.  It is still live, you can check it out here: www.knitting-naturally.com.  I spend literally hundreds and hundreds of hours building this site with a fantastic company that taught me how to do it the right way.  But it took over a year before I was getting a decent amount of traffic.  The way of the turtle…

If you check out their site you will understand that reference.

Then Google changed the rules

More than once.  And the free traffic dropped from 5,000 visitors per day to around 800.   Why?  Several reasons; not all sites that were penalised were actually doing the wrong thing.  But I did have some bad links from directories, and ever-green rather than dynamic content. Let’s face it , knitting hasn’t really changed much in hundreds of years, so once you have developed tutorials on how to do it there is not much need to update or change the pages!

These days it can still be done, but it is more difficult and more time consuming to get there.  So if you are building a site for your small business, doing it yourself and chasing free traffic is probably not going to be very effective. At least not in the short to medium term.  A website can be useful as a kind of online business card. You can use the content to demonstrate to your target audience that you know what you are talking about and build credibility.  But that audience is not likely to just trip over your site.

You have to put it in front of them somehow.

You invite them to visit the site, call your business or fill in a form online, and then you can build a relationship with them.  It is at that point that they are a qualified lead.

So How to Get Them to Notice You…

Some posts on Facebook or YouTube videos go viral and generate millions of free views, but that is not something that you can count on.  It might happen for you, but it probably won’t. So that leaves paid traffic.

Which means you will be spending money advertising about you and what you have to offer.  Probably on Facebook or Google Adwords, and believe me that can be really expensive unless you know what you are doing.  Do you know what you are doing?

Not many small business owners are experts on digital or social media marketing.  I wasn’t.  Probably still not an expert, but I know someone who is.  And that someone is sharing what he knows with other business owners.  Some of his training is for sale, you can pay up to $10,000 USD to learn what he knows.  But he is also offering training that will get you started (and in a big way) at no cost.  Okay, you are asked to pay the shipping if you sign up for his book (DotCom Secrets), but honestly, the training in this book is absolutely priceless.

And that is just the beginning.  After you have read the book, he also offers a 100 day training program for people who want to build an affiliate business.  It is targeted at a specific group, but what they are teaching in the course can be applied to virtually any business that wants or needs to generate qualified leads online. Worth $997 USD, and he is giving it away! Get the book first and read it.  Then come back and I will show you where to find the course!

Check it out, order the book and I promise that you won’t regret it.




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Marketing in Your Car Episode 302

By | Small Business Marketing | No Comments

Today’s marketing in your car episode is part 3 of a 3 part series of Russell speaking at a $100k event where he taught about the psychology of funnels. Here are some of the things you will hear in part 3:

  • Some tips and tricks when it comes to building funnels.
  • What the cardinal rule of upsells is and some of the things that will help convert an upsell.
  • He also gives some cool tips for using Facebook Live.

 

Back to Episode 300

Back to Episode 301

Get the first 256 episodes on a free Mp3 player…

 

Marketing in Your Car Episode 301

By | Small Business Marketing | No Comments

Today’s marketing in your car episode is part 2 of a 3 part series of Russell speaking at a $100k event where he taught about the psychology of funnels.  Here are some of the things you will hear in part 2:

  • The three things you need to build a culture or a following.
  • Why having a new opportunity is the most important part of building a culture.
  • And what the difference is between an Opportunity Switch and an Opportunity Stack.

So listen below to find out how to build a cult following.

 

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Next Episode…

Want to go back to episode 300?

Get the first 256 episodes on a free Mp3…

 

 

Marketing in Your Car Episode 300

By | Small Business Marketing | No Comments

Today’s marketing in your car episode is part 1 of a 3 part series of Russell speaking at a $100k event where he taught about the psychology of funnels.  Here are some of the things you will hear in part 1:

  • How if you have something you are geeking out over or passionate about, it is the perfect thing to sell others on.
  • How the epiphany bridge works including how to get your audience to have the same epiphany you had in order to get them to buy into you.
  • And how to tell a story to make your audience feel how you felt.

So listen below to hear the first part of Russell’s presentation about the epiphany bridge.

 

 

Enjoy!

 

Next Episode…

Get the first 256 episodes on a free Mp3…

How to Get More Customers…

By | Small Business Marketing, Small Business Start-ups | No Comments

Do You Know How to Get More Customers – where are they coming from and how much do you spend?

Some of the small business people I talk to see their interactions with new customers as one off events.  And for some businesses, that is not necessarily an unreasonable point of view.  But if you are going to spend some of your hard earned profits on creating new leads and hopefully turning those leads into customers, would it make more sense to spend a little more (either in time or in money) to turn that one off event into a relationship?

Repeat customers are free…

You tend to cover the costs of that customer in the lead up to the first transaction, so if they are wowed by your products or service and feel welcome and valued by the people working in your business, they will come back.

And they will probably tell their friends as well!

how to get customers

So Do You Know How to Get More Customers?

The methods you use to attract new customers will vary depending on the type of business you are operating, but the big trend at the moment is social media marketing.  Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and the list goes on.

Like foot traffic, where you put out your open sign and wait for your customers to come to you, social media advertising (either paid adverts or boosted posts) allows you to put your message into the news feeds of the passing traffic.  Targeted passing traffic usually but still passing traffic.  And it can cost you a considerable amount of money.  Understanding how to structure your social media offer (everything you put out there is an offer – whether you intend it to be one or not…), and how to define your target market within the various social media sites and then optimising your advertising copy to appeal to that market is a combination of art and science.  And getting just one of those things wrong will make your marketing fall flat.

Getting Expert Advice on How to Get Customers on Social Media

But there are a zillion experts on those same social media pages/feeds ready and willing to take your money in exchange for their “expert advice and guidance”.  Some are bad guys, just after your cash, but some are well worth listening to.  So how do you pick your “expert” – listen to someone who has already purchased their products and services.

If the experience was bad, they will be talking about it to everyone that will listen.  So a google search should tell you everything you need to know.  If the experience was good, they will probably tell fewer people and probably only those in their inner circle.  So when you are trying to decide whether or not to take up an offer of “expert advice” listen to someone that you know whose opinion you trust. Like me…

My Recommendation…

If you want or need to get your head around marketing your business online and on social media in particular, the “guru” I follow is Russell Brunson.  I have a copy of his book DotCom Secrets (it is free if you pay the shipping) and I use his company’s software (ClickFunnels) to create and manage the landing pages I use to get more customers for my business.

He also offers some incredibly useful free training on Affiliate Marketing.  If you are already doing affiliate marketing (selling other people’s products) then the training is brilliant, but don’t dismiss the training if you are not, because I would say 95% of the content of the Affiliate Bootcamp training can be applied to any business wanting to do marketing online.


60 Minutes is all it takes
to create real change in your life

Call 1300 833 669 to book a session now...


Attract Customers to Your Business

By | Small Business Marketing | No Comments

The ability to attract customers is vital to the ongoing viability of any business, but many small business operators are uncomfortable with the idea of actively promoting or selling their products or services. Some prefer to concentrate on making their product or service the best it can be in the belief that if it is the best, customers will come.  But most find that it is not necessarily the case.

And then there are those business owners who just don’t have time in their day to think about doing market research or to actively market their businesses.  As a result their marketing efforts tend to be fairly general, print advertising in the local paper and a listing in the yellow pages.

attract customersThis approach takes less time and can be less costly than taking the time to really get to know your customers and developing a comprehensive set of marketing strategies directed at their potential market, but is it effective?  This type of marketing casts a wide net and the marketing message is necessarily general. If you are trying to talk to everyone, it is very difficult to target individual needs and concerns and in effect your small business marketing just becomes another bit of noise that no-one really notices.

Getting to know who your ‘ideal customer’ is, what they think they need, what they actually need, and what they want and what they care about, enables you to target your marketing efforts directly at them.

Once you have honed your message to appeal directly to your ‘ideal customer’ you need to identify the most cost effective way to deliver that message.

A Few Methods You Can Use to Attract Customers into Your Sales Funnel

Some of the marketing methods suited to small businesses include:

  • Business Promotional Items
  • Small Business Advertising
  • Direct Mail Marketing
  • Online Business Marketing
  • Social Network Marketing
  • Opt in Email Marketing
  • Joint Venture Email Campaigns
  • Affiliate Marketing

The method(s) you select will depend on which ones are likely to be seen by your target audience.

Do your customers read particular magazines or newspapers, go to the health club, play sport on the weekends? Thinking about their past-times and hobbies might just give you a few ideas of how and where you can advertise your products. Do they have kids at the local school, kindergarten or day-care? Perhaps they participate in community events?

If your business operates in a limited geographical area, perhaps instead of paying for print advertising for to attract customers, you could sponsor a local sports team and have your business name printed on the teams uniforms. Or maybe a good way to promote your business is to attend a craft, home or trade show.

If you serve a larger geographic area and your target customers typically spend time on social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter etc), you might like to think about having a business page on one of these sites. Or maybe are you promoting your products and services to other businesses?

Another small business owner might be more receptive to a phone call (I know – I hate cold calling too!) or a direct mail letter outlining what you can do to solve one of their business problems.


60 Minutes is all it takes
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The Benefits of Creating Business Flexibility…

By | Daily Musings | No Comments

Hi Everyone,

It is late afternoon on a Saturday.  It has been an absolutely beautiful day the sun has been shining all day and although it was hot enough for me to turn on the air conditioner a couple of hours ago, it has still been quite comfortable for Adelaide at the height of summer, and I have been thinking about having business flexibility.

I have my girls here!  They are spending the night before going back to their mother tomorrow in the early afternoon.  It is a real treat to have them here, I don’t see them all that often.  They live with their mother and only spend every 2nd weekend with their Dad and Step-mum (my son and his 2nd wife), and they live about 40 minutes away by car.  All three parents (Mum, Dad and Step-mum work different shifts – one on a rotating roster and the other two are regular night shift workers), while I tend to work 9 to 5, so when I am at work, they are asleep (and vice versa).  So pretty much, I only get to see them for ‘occasions’ like Christmas and Birthday celebrations.

This weekend I am “Babysitting”  (my son and daughter in law are dealing with a family crisis inter-state this weekend).

Business flexibility lets me enjoy time with my happy, messy, beautiful grand daughters

Business flexibility lets me enjoy time with my happy, messy, beautiful grand daughters

And it has really reminded me how important my family is to me.  On my About Me page, I talk about how every decision I have made career-wise over the last three or four decades has been limited to the options that were best for my children, and that now that they are adults, I am free to decide to do what is best for me.  And you know what?  It is best for me to have a career / business the freedom and flexibility to be there when my children or my grand children need me.  And I want to share what I have learnt about making a business run just as effectively with or without the founder, so that you can experience the same kind of freedom and business flexibility even though you are a working on your own for yourself.

Have a great Sunday Everyone!

 

Business Model Analysis

By | Small Business Start-ups | No Comments

Business model analysis will help you to decide which business model is the best choice for your new business.

Once you have settled on one or two ideas for your small business, the next step is to develop those ideas into a (hopefully) viable business model.

But bear in mind, your business model is really just a starting point. Once you have a clear idea of what you want to do, it its time to put in a little bit of sweat and tears to evaluate the business potential of your model.

Nicholas Humphrey (2004, p. 16) recommends a five step business model analysis process to systematically evaluate new business ideas to develop your start up concept.

Business Model Analysis is Five (Not Always So Easy) Steps

Step One: Personal Considerations

Even before you can decide whether or not your business idea is a good one, you have to ask yourself three questions.

1) Do you have the necessary skills?

There is no point in developing a business start up concept that involves designing purpose built beach houses if you do not have skills of an Architect.

2)Will the business hold your interest?

Even if you are a qualified architect, there is little point in developing this particular business start up concept if the main reason you are developing a small business concept is that you don’t actually like designing houses!

3) Do your friends and family think it is a good idea, i.e., will they support you?

A brand new small business will eat up your waking hours and chew through your cash. Are your friends and family going to be able to put up with that?

Step Two: SWOT Analysis

Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Sounds good, but what does that actually mean?

In a nutshell, SWOT Analysis involves identifying the strengths and weaknesses of your proposed business (internal factors) and the threats and opportunities in the environment (external factors). The idea being that you should take advantage of your strengths and any opportunities in the market. Fix or minimize any weaknesses, while doing everything possible to counter potential threats.

Step Three: Is There a Market?

This one is important. Unless there is someone out there (many, many someones actually) who is prepared to buy the product or service you are offering there is no point in opening your doors. Market Research is critical when evaluating your business model prior to startup.

Step Four: Financial Viability

So you have found a gap in the market (or are duplicating a existing business idea, or have created an innovative new twist), and you know who your customers are and why they will be prepared to buy off you instead of Bill Bloggs. Looks good, but will you actually make any money doing it?

To answer this question you need to know whether or not the business will generate enough revenue to cover costs and return a profit.

Step Five: Comparability

This step involves comparing the small business models you have generated, to select the best one for further business model analysis. Of course, it only applies if you are trying to decide between two or more models.

For a More Detailed Explanation of:

How to Develop A Business Model…

How to Develop a Business Model…check out my ebook on the subject.  This ebook is offered free for anyone who subscribes to my mailing list.

If you would like a copy, just click on the link below and follow the directions.  As soon as you have confirmed your request, the ebook will be send to you via email.


Yes,Take Me to a Page Where I Can Request My FREE Copy!



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Happy Australia Day!

By | Daily Musings | No Comments

Hi everyone,

I hope you are all having an absolutely brilliant day.  I am just sitting here in my lazy-boy rocker recliner listening to a training video about one aspect of automating my online marketing efforts and struggling with the keyboard on my laptop.  (9 times out of 10, the keys on one half of the keyboard just don’t register.  So I am going to blame the keyboard for any spelling mistakes in this email!

So yesterday was Australia Day…

…or Invasion Day depending on your perspective.  The history of my adopted country (and the country of my birth for that matter) is violent and completely abhorrent.  Crimes were committed against the indigenous people of both countries and the impact of those crimes are still being felt today.  

To me however, Australia Day is not so much about the history or the way the country was founded (or stolen – again depending on your perspective) but about the future.

I was extremely lucky to have been born in New Zealand.  Not once have I have suffered through famine, war, or political upheaval.  I had access to safe drinking water, good food, and an education.  And most importantly I was encouraged to learn, to question and to be adventurous. I was given freedom to be who I wanted to be and that is not something that all girls in this world have.

Australia Day Balloons

And I am also free to move around the country and the world without the same level of scrutiny faced by many.  I am lucky to be here, it was just an accident of birth, and I am no better (or worse) than anyone who was not so fortunate. So, for me, celebrating Australia Day is about acknowledging how amazing this country is and how lucky we are to be able to live here.

We have so much…

So I think we need to spread some of that good fortune around.  I am going to spend some time today thinking about what I can do in my business and my personal life to share my good fortune.

To make a difference in the life of at least one person who has not been as fortunate as I. And I challenge you all to do the same…

Catch you soon,

Deborah Mason

Marketing a Small Business

By | Small Business Marketing | No Comments

When You Would Rather Die Than Pick Up the Phone!

Not everyone who is in business for themselves is comfortable with promoting or marketing a small business to people.  Potential customers are people that they don’t know.  For some of us (me included) the idea of cold calling or even lukewarm calling makes us feel physically ill. Learning an elevator speech and repeating it to every stranger you meet feels uncomfortable and a bit fake.  God forbid the idea of standing up in front of a large group to promote your business.

Not everyone is naturally outgoing.  Some of us prefer to stand on the side lines, in the shadows or in the back room and let others take the spotlight.

marketing a small business

Let’s Clear Up What We Are Talking About…

If you are what I call a Reluctant Small Business Marketer, there is a fairly good chance that you are an Introvert.

Many people assume that if you are an introvert (like I am) that you are socially inept, shy or anxious and that being around people you don’t know is torture.  And although it can be difficult for an introvert to cope with large gatherings, we are not necessarily socially awkward or even shy.  Some of us can even pass for extroverts, at least for short periods of time.

The differences between introverts and extroverts relate to the way they build up energy. Extroverts tend to be energised by interactions with others, love a good party and love being the centre of attention.


Introverts might also love being the centre of attention, but they are actually drained by interacting with others rather than being energised,  So they fairly quickly wilt in large, loud or noisy groups.  If you are with a large group of people for the day, the introverts will be the ones that have to dash off in the breaks to call home, do a few errands or check on their messages from the office.  They probably will do those things, but really what they need is a few minutes alone (away from the group) to recharge before they can come back and participate again.

We are not weird or anti-social.  Most of us actually like people, we just like the better from a distance until we get to know them better and prefer small groups over large crowds.

Introverts Make the World a Better Place…

Just think about it, some of the most influential people over the last 100 years or so were (or are) introverts, including:

  • Albert Einstein…
  • Bill Gates…
  • Steven Spielberg…
  • Sir Isaac Newton…
  • Eleanor Roosevelt…
  • Mark Zuckerberg…

So… Don’t dis the quiet one in the corner, they may end up changing the world.

marketing a small business

When Marketing A Small Business Scares You Silly

Maybe you are an Introvert, maybe not.  But if you are reading this article, you cannot imagine a world where you actually enjoy marketing and promoting your small business.  It could be that you feel that your time is better invested in actually running your business or actively producing your products or services

Maybe you are not really sure how to go about marketing your small business and you don’t have the time to learn about it.

Or perhaps you have spent time and money on marketing efforts before and you crashed and burned  every time.  Then again, it could just be that you don’t cope well with rejection and have trouble putting yourself into situations where you are making an offer to people that you don’t know.  When you are the business, a fear of rejection can cripple your marketing efforts.

So, What Can You Do About It?

As technology improves, so do the possibilities for new and innovative marketing strategies for small business owners.  These days if you develop the right marketing strategy and the right tools, virtually all of the pre-selling phase of your marketing efforts can be automated and at arms length.

What I mean by that is that you can use technology i.e, software and systems to create a path from a cold prospect to a hot prospect to a buyer without actually having face to face contact with the customer, but still ensure that they don’t miss out on the relationship with you.

How?

Using videos, webinars, auto-responder emails can create the impression of a one on one relationship for the prospect, while allowing you to stay in your comfort zone.  You only need to create the marketing materials once, and then you use the technology to deliver it in a predetermined sequence that guides the prospect through your sales processes. Do it once, get it right, and you can leave your automated marketing funnels to do their things while you go back to doing what you love doing.

Which is probably why you started the business in the first place!

Where to Start…

Well, you can learn about online or digital marketing for a small business and do it all yourself and I know some of you will thrive on the challenge of learning new things. You will get a real buzz as the pieces of the puzzle fall into place for you. But there will be more than a few of you that really don’t want to spend your time learning a new skill set right now.  So what options do you have?

You could outsource.  Buy in the expertise, it will probably be cheaper in the long run particularly if marketing is not something that you enjoy or an area of knowledge that you are keen to acquire.

However, even if you do decide to find and hire an expert to implement your marketing strategy, you need to learn/know enough about how to structure a marketing strategy appropriate for you business before you talk to your expert.  Before you enter into a contract, it is a good idea to have some idea of what is involved in the work so that you can agree on the scope of the project you are contracting out.

So you need a short course on digital marketing, or a good book about digital marketing and how automation can create a self managing marketing process.  And I have just read a great one!

My Recommendation

It is called DotCom Secrets and it was written by Russell Brunson.  This book is clear and easy to follow (even has cute pencil drawings and diagrams that help to make the concepts in the text more easily understood), and the more you read, the more sense it makes.

Not only is it a great book for any small business owner, it is perfect for those of us that are looking for a way to effectively market our businesses while also minimising the need to be personally involved on a daily basis.  No more in person cold calling, no more really uncomfortable networking events – except for the few that you really want to go to!

And it is free – for now at least

Russell is giving them away, you just need to cover shipping, and he will send you a free copy.  Just click on the link below to go to the entry page.