Fishing for new business broadly can be exhausting. Worse, a “chasing clients” mentality subjects you to the inefficient whims of fate. “You’re at the mercy of random clients or companies that come knocking at your door,” says Mark Satterfield, founder and CEO of Gentle Rain Marketing. “You stop what you’re doing to chase the lead, not knowing if they are really right for you or not. Frankly, it’s not very effective.”
But what if you could end (or at least slow) this perpetual pursuit of new business and still bring high quality prospects to your doorstep? While there may not be a “set-and-forget” system that will run on autopilot, here are five fairly simple steps you can take to stop “The Chase” and improve your chances of success.
- Refine your niche: About five years ago, Matt Sonnhalter narrowed the focus of his marketing agency from serving B2B manufacturing accounts to working only with companies that sell products to professional tradesmen. He dubbed it a “business-to-tradesman” or B2T agency. It’s had a tremendous impact, bringing in new leads and business from large global brands. It even landed him a spot on one business magazine’s list of top agencies.
Some business owners resist niche marketing fearing they’ll miss opportunities in other areas. But focusing on a niche helps you stand out from the competition and eliminate potential objections about doing business with you.
- Create a compelling free offer: A great way to start drawing customers to you is giving them information they want in the form of a free report. This serves two purposes. First, it helps build credibility. It also lets you provide prospects with just enough information so they believe you know what you’re doing, but not so much that they can’t do without you.
To choose an attention-grabbing topic, consider your target audience’s biggest pain point. A good approach is to tell readers what to do and what not to do, but not how to do it.
- Direct prospects to a killer landing page: Create a page on your website where prospects can get your free report – called a landing page. This should include a catchy headline, bullet points to capture the reader’s curiosity and convey benefits, an opt-in box where visitors provide an email address and possibly other information about themselves, and a thank you. Then heavily promote your free offer on your website’s home page, on social media and elsewhere.
- Develop and launch drip marketing messages: Getting prospects to show initial interest in a free report is just a first step. Now it’s time to develop your “drip” marketing messages that will convert these prospects into paying clients. These nurture messages will continue to build trust and credibility.
“You can send two types of messages; timed and broadcast,” says Satterfield, who is also author of a book called The One Week Marketing Plan. “Timed messages are sent based on the number of days since a person first requested your free report. Immediately after such a request, for example, you send a thank you email. Then one day later, email message #2 goes out asking if they have any questions. Two days after that, they get email #3, and so on.”
Broadcast messages are sent to everyone in your database at the same time, the advantage being that it can be timely. For example, you could send a message to everyone about an upcoming event.
- Attract traffic to your site: One of the quickest ways to do this is by using pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, also called search ads. This can be effective even if you have just a few hundred dollars or less to spend per month. One advantage is speed. When someone searches for something using the keywords you’ve selected, your ad can immediately appear. You can advertise on Google and Bing, or social media sites such as Facebook or LinkedIn.
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