Wanna know how to get more followers clicking on your blog and social media posts-keep reading! Keeping your sales pipeline full is one of the easiest ways to ensure a consistent stream of new business. However, filling that pipeline with quality leads can become its own impossible full-time job.
In this guide you’ll find some of the most efficient ways to source, nurture, and convert leads in today’s ever-changing marketplace. Let’s dive in!
There’s hundreds of thousands of articles online telling marketers to “use social media”, but interestingly there’s far less that really illustrate HOW exactly one should go about it-which is why many companies fail at growing strong followings and others just pay someone to do this for them. But, what if you’re on a super-tight budget…enter your social media strategy.
- Ride the coattails of online Social Influencers
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Medium, and Quora-use them! Steer their audience your way and leverage the power of association to grow your own audience (this tactic is how many influencers grew their following in what seems like overnight). You’ll find that while every platform has their own rules, limits, etiquette, etc., growing a following is pretty much the same for all of them.
Step 1. Find at least 5 top influencers and comment on their posts and mention/share them with your following. Engage with them whenever possible-they need to see you!
Step 2. Follow the influencers’ followers daily. Every different platform has its daily limits, but you should be adding followers daily in order to grow your audience. Be sure to balance your Followers/Following ratio 2:1 (a big Instagram/Twitter tactic) by slowly unfollowing those who don’t follow you back. This will keep your account appearing “follow-worthy”. Apps can help with this.
Step 3. BE interesting. Create funny or amazing, eye-catching infographics, videos, and images that can go viral on sites like YouTube, Instagram, Vine, and others. Let other people spread word of your business for you! (Note: On Quora, add your own answer to the “most answered” questions to get increase your profile views.)
- Find what’s hot (aka Trend and Newsjacking) –Take advantage of the things everyone is talking about or be the first to discuss hot news in your industry.
- Register on Help A Reporter Out — Become a “go-to” person for industry insights when news-worthy events happen in your field (a great way to get local exposure via reports, blogs, and radio).
- Invite yourself the party — Comment on blog posts, write guests posts on authority blogs, and join forums where your target audience may hang out online. Don’t know where to find them? Try typing the following Google search operators in your search box along with a keyword related to your niche and uncover some of your audience’s unknown hangout spots.
Google search operators:
- Intitle: will search for sites with your keywords within the title
- Intext: will search for sites with your keywords within the text on a page
- Inurl: will search for sites with your keywords within the url
- Allinurl: will search for sites with your keywords within the page’s url
- Inanchor: will search for sites with your keywords within the anchor text of a page
For example, if you’re a caterer looking for places to find people interested in gluten-free meals perhaps you’ll enter “Intext: gluten free meal plans” in the search bar to see where people are talking about it.
5. Consider creating your own community as you build your following — What better way to establish yourself as an authority than to build your own community where people can come together and share information. (Note, this is more of a long-term strategy, but definitely worth the payoff.) Try finding a way to stand out whenever you posts something in a forum, on social media, or when commenting on articles. You’ll find that it’s not hard get views on your profile if you have the right bait!
6. Webinars — Today’s technologically advanced, yet fast-paced world has made webinars honeypots for many marketers. Why? Because people love to learn, but they’re also busy and webinars offer convenience. Increase attendance rates by promoting your webinar using all of your lead channels and before sending your invitations be sure to have a solid landing/registration page that makes your invitees WANT to attend. Include all the bells and whistles such as:
- A custom landing page
- Bullet points showcasing the “explosive content” they’ll receive
- Any exclusive access to industry information or/and influencers that may be included
- Something “for free”-even if it’s just the webinar itself. Get creative!
Grow your business faster by automating time-sucking tasks
A constant flow of new leads coming in can solve ANY problem that your business is facing. However, many leads simply aren’t ready to buy today, which means that you should pay just as much attention to setting up and maintaining your lead nurturing processes as you do to actually acquiring leads. So how do you get followers that actually convert into leads? By actively mapping out and optimizing your sales process.
Salespeople spend the majority of their day looking for new leads, but we find many that we speak to are often burning through quality leads just because they haven’t really evaluated their lead nurturing process-they simply go with the flow of whatever system or CRM their company has set up for them. So what will make you stand out from the competition if you’re just doing what everyone else is doing?
In our discussions with various salespeople we found that the ones who had the highest lead conversion rates weren’t the ones who were able to do hard one-call closes, but the ones who customized their lead nurturing system, actually engaged prospective buyers, and built strong credibility. Enough so to the point where the buyers not only sold themselves, but provided referrals without even asking. Here are some of the ways in which they did this.
- They created brilliant lead magnets — (i.e. is specific, solves a problem, quickly accessible, provides immediate value, easy to digest) for their target audience that were personalized and eye-catching.
- They were strategic when engaging their email list — They sent timed, targeted emails based on their lead’s segmentation (i.e. data, location, current engagement, lead source, interests, etc.) instead of just blasting all of their leads with one email a week.
- They tested their engagement campaigns — They tracked lead responses in order to optimize their efforts and get the biggest conversions (most with A/B testing).
- They saved time by using marketing automation software — Streamlining their lead nurturing activities allowed them more time for prospecting and selling.
One software mentioned quite a bit was GetResponse, which has been around for a while. GetResponse provides a professional package specifically for SMBs and marketers looking to grow their business. They also offer a 30-day free trial where you can test drive their tools to see if they’re a good fit. Their suite is pretty easy to use, and you can learn more about their marketing automation features here.
Make customers sell themselves by becoming a “White Knight”
The days of hard-selling are over. Today’s buyers (especially millennials which make up the majority of them) are completely turned off by pushy sales people shoving products down their throat. This accounts for why many people research purchases online before even setting foot in a store. Today’s winning selling techniques require a more consultative approach that emphasizes value and customer-centered solutions. Here’s how to switch from seller to consultant.
Be A person who provides unconditional VALUE — Customers want to be educated on how to maintain their appliances, not lectured on why your appliance products are the best. Building a solid rapport and establishing trust with prospective leads the KEYS to success in today’s marketplace. Create engaging content, helpful tips, and useful resources to keep them coming back.
Set Expectations — The biggest hurdle with consumerism is Buyer Dissonance, the “What if I buy this and it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do?”Setting expectations for the customer can make a huge difference in your return rates and referrals. Let them know what to expect during and after they buy from you.
Ask the RIGHT questions — Well-thought-out questions will force prospects to evaluate their needs in ways they may not have while positioning you as a person of value. Make sure that your questions get to the absolute nuts and bolts of their needs (for consumers) or business operations, and then uncover opportunities for your products. (Examples: What do you do if…/How do you determine…/What 2–3 things are most important for…/In the past, how did you overcome…)
Reduce Risk — Always be willing to put your money where your mouth is. This could be via money-back guarantees, using social proof with figures (look at how we helped Bob save “x” number of dollars), certifications/endorsements from industry leaders, etc. After all, who needs a slew of one-star Yelp reviews?
Be a real person — This is perhaps the most important takeway from any top sales training. Most people, as a result of just daily living and experience, have a natural intuition when it comes to recognizing the everyday sales spiel-they can spot it from a mile way. The salesperson that wants to “help” instead of “sell” will always come out on top.
Take note of how you’re engaging with prospects. For example, when you talk about your products/services do you only list the good things about it, or do you include Small Negatives to illustrate that while it may be great, it’s not perfect. Demonstrate that while you believe in the product, you’re also honest enough to admit to any potential shortcomings. Again, let’s build some TRUST!
Understanding how to get more followers online means understanding what resonates with your target audience regarding their content preferences. Once you solve that piece of the puzzle you’ll find that you’ll never have to worry about getting leads again!