By Todd Giannattasio
For new entrepreneurs, it is easy to get lost in the day-to-day of growing a business. There are so many meetings you need to go to and approvals you need to review; you keep checking off the boxes, but you’re not actually moving anything forward.
It’s time to get yourself refocused. There are three simple questions to keep in front of you at all times:
- How are we getting attention and engaging our target audience?
- How are we turning that audience into permission-based leads? (Have they self-qualified as an ideal customer and given you permission to build a relationship with them?)
- How are we educating and motivating people to be excited to buy from us?
If you aren’t systematically executing on those three questions, then you are not in control of the growth of your company.
Here are some quick tips to help you progress through this funnel system and start turning strangers into customers:
1. Get Attention and Build Engagement
Legendary copywriter Robert Collier advised marketers to “enter the conversation already taking place in your prospect's mind.” And that’s exactly what you need to do at this stage.
What are your prospects thinking about? People are already volunteering most of this information somewhere online. If you truly know your customer, you’ll be able to find where they're hanging out online. Listen to what they are having trouble with.
Whatever it is that they want to know, it’s your job to help educate them. Provide them with value up front so that you can join in their conversations in a way that they are open to and excited about. This is when you leverage your blog as a publishing platform for longer form content. It could be a written article, a video or whatever format you are strongest with.
Break off small chunks of that longer form content and use it to engage with your target audience. Eventually, you'll lead them back to your article that lives on your website — that's where you’ll be implementing your list-building efforts.
2. Build Your List
Now that you’ve gotten the attention of your target audience and built some engagement, there should be a trust factor because of the value you've provided them with your blog and social media content.
Now it’s time to move them forward. The next step is to get them to give you their email address. This is a micro-commitment that maintains your relationship without getting aggressive enough to turn them away. You don’t ask for marriage before you go on a first date, after all. And you shouldn’t be asking a stranger to buy from you out of the blue, either.
This list building is a key step to controllable growth.
- It gives you the opportunity to keep in touch and follow up with someone who hasn’t yet become a customer. If you don’t take this step, and they leave without buying, then you are leaving it to luck (or repeating the same efforts you went through in step one for no reason) for them to ever cross your path again. You’ve already gotten their attention and trust. Do everything you can so that you don’t have to start over from zero if today isn’t the day they end up buying what you’re offering.
- It gives you a measurable, improvable stage. If you are getting attention and engagement, but not generating any leads, then your message or offer are not aligned properly with your audience. This is something that you can track and improve. Without this step, there would be too many factors involved in the giant leap from first-time site visitor to customer that you wouldn’t know what needed to change.
3. Drive Sales
OK, here’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for. It’s money-making time. If you do a good job here, “selling” becomes just a formality when it comes time for your prospects to buy. You’ve already planted the seeds of a valuable relationship. Your prospect knows, likes and trusts you. Now it’s time to motivate them to become a customer.
The keys at this stage to successful lead nurturing are value and persistence.
- Add Value in Your Follow-Up
The job of lead nurturing is to bridge the gap in your prospect’s mind from where they are right now to where they will be after successfully using your product or service. If you are able to do that in a convincing way, there's no way that your prospect won’t buy from you if they’re in need of what you offer.
So think about the conversation they are having in their mind and the desired outcomes they are looking for. How will their life be different and better after buying from you? Tell that story.
- Be Politely Persistent
No matter how great of a job you do to this point, not everyone is going to whip out the credit card right away. But not all is lost. Today just wasn’t the day for that particular person, so continue to stay in touch with them regularly.
Send messages at least once a week that will add value to their lives. Maybe it’s a quick email with a link to an article they’d find interesting, or maybe it’s a new utility that will make their lives more convenient practically. But don’t let them go unattended in your email list just because they weren’t ready to buy from you right away.
Keep Yourself Focused
If you lose focus of these three simple questions, then you’re going to lose momentum. So if growing your customer base is the main objective, don’t get shortsighted. Write out those three questions and keep that note on your desk every day.
Todd Giannattasio is the founder of Tresnic Media, helping brands build their online audience and drive sales.