This is a guest post by Joel Fortner. He is a Small Business Marketing Coach and the creator behind the Get Serve Keep marketing blog.
At the end of the day, you want marketing to drive people to your business who will buy.
Oftentimes though, businesses don’t have a clue whether they’re marketing actually does that or not. To me that’s insane.
But today, we’re going to fix that by unpacking how to develop a step-by-step online marketing strategy that’s measurable and effective. Yes, no more sucky!
Your Get business
Before someone becomes a customer, they’re in, what I call, your Get business. Your other two businesses (congrats I just made you a multi-business owner for free), are Serve and Keep.
Each one of them contains specific, measurable actions to take to accomplish a specific mission. For Get, that mission is to get customers. It’s the most challenging and delicate of the three businesses because people don’t know you well, don’t like you yet, and definitely don’t trust you.
Here are four steps to solve that pesky problem and generate quality leads who convert.
- Find – Targeting is the most important step in developing effective marketing strategies, and it’s so often botched. If you don’t get this right, your marketing ideas will fall short because everything is linked to who you’re trying to build a relationship with and motivate to buy.
- Identify – Once you’ve found potential customers, you won’t know it until they identify themselves. This is where calls to action come in to get people to give you their email or phone number. Once you have it, you can then regularly communicate with them to develop a relationship.
- Educate – After someone has identified himself or herself to you, it’s time to educate them. It’s NOT time to try to sell them something. Instead, educate them to who you are, what you do, and how you can solve their problem. The goal here is to build trust and rapport.
- Motivate – Once you’ve educated them and built trust and rapport, it’s time to motivate them to act by making some sort of an offer. This is where many people need to improve. They execute steps to get people to this point and then they wait on the person to come to them. Bad move. Don’t do this. Take the leadership role in the relationship and make an offer. It gets a person to either do it or walk away.
The thing is many people who would have bought don’t buy when they aren’t asked to. So always make an offer!
Step by Step Example
In this example, we’ll pretend to be an estate planning lawyer named Sally who works in Chattanooga, TN. Now don’t get wrapped up on who we are in this example because these steps work for all business. The specific tactics are what change.
- Find step – Sally knows people do online research, and she knows people stew on a decision to get a will done for a long time. So she starts a blog as part of a content marketing plan to put fresh, relevant content online to help her get found when people perform certain keyword searches, such as “chattanooga estate planning lawyer.”
- Identify step – Once on her site, she offers a free guide on information she knows her target customer desires. She does this in exchange for a name and email address. The person has now identified himself or herself, and now Sally knows they exist. Being a smart marketer, Sally avoids the temptation to try to sell them something and instead focuses on building trust and rapport.
- Educate step – In addition to the helpful free guide, during the next few weeks, Sally educates subscribers with an auto responder series of emails. These emails are packed full of valuable information about estate planning, the process, preparation tips, and more, all designed to educate and build confidence.
- Motivate step – After a specified amount of time, Sally makes a low-commitment and very attractive offer to do a free 30-minute Skype or phone consultation but only to subscribers who have opened a certain number of emails. This is easily tracked in systems like MailChimp and AWeber. Chances are the people who have shown the most interest in the information provided are the ones most likely to respond to this offer. For those who didn’t open the emails, she’ll continue to provide content and track open and click-through rates until they’ve shown more interest.
- Offer – Finally, during the consultation she sets the conditions for a sales offer by providing more value and building trust and rapport, and then makes the offer to complete their will. At this point, her conversion rate will be very high.
There isn’t a business out there that can’t do this. Just remember, the find, identify, educate and motivate steps are your framework and the tactics should be tailored for your business and target market.
You can go deeper with marketing by downloading Joel’s free eBook, Small Business Guide to Marketing: Ideas You Must Know & Mistakes You Must Avoid, by subscribing to his marketing blog getservekeep.com.