Hello and welcome to my business basics series of posts about starting a business and my A – Z of what I consider to be the basics that you need to be working on. This is the twelfth post in the series so obviously – L
You can catch up with the ones you missed by using the search bar in this blog.
L is for Leads and Lists
I have mentioned the importance of leads in previous posts, as generating leads is a crucial part of business building. A lead is just someone who has shown an interest in you and what you have to offer.
This might be through a DM on Facebook or Instagram, a phone call to enquire about what you offer, or using a coupon or voucher that you have issued in the local newspaper or on a social media site.
Leads are the lifeblood of a company as they are far more easily converted into paying customers than complete strangers. Here’s why…
Would you rather buy from a company that you have dealt with before or one you know nothing about?
Would you buy a more expensive product or service from a company that you had bought from previously and were happy with, or from a company you have never heard of and whose reputation is unknown to you?
Why would expect other people to behave any differently. Why would you think that they would buy from you when they have never heard of you and don’t know the quality of your products or services?
This is particularly true if you are brand new business, or a business who is not well known yet, as you haven’t had an opportunity to build that brand awareness or gather a gaggle of devoted fans.
This is where lead generation will help you, and here’s how to make it work in your business…
Think of something that you could give away for free to your ideal customer, something they would value and get use from. This could be:
- A money off coupon
- A free trial
- A discount code
- A pdf explaining how to do something
- A video tutorial
- A podcast
- A cheat sheet
- A spreadsheet
- A list of resources
- An eBook
- An introductory offer
- A time-limited price
- A recipe
- A shopping list
There are probably many more things that you can come up with when you think about your own business and what your ideal customer might value as an enticement to try you out. For more ideas on this watch my video tutorial here.
Make sure that whatever you offer is downloadable. There’s a reason for this that I will get to in a moment. Every one of the things I mentioned above are easy to produce and more importantly free to produce.
There are many free tools available to help you create some amazing freebies and you can find out all about them in this post.
Once you have created your freebie you need to promote it so that your ideal customer can find it. But wait! Don’t go off and do that just yet as there are a couple of things you need to get in place first…
Your freebie is an enticement to get people to try before they buy. You don’t just want to give away this valuable resource for nothing, you at least want their email address so that you can a) count the number of people who take you up on your offer and b) have a way of following up with them once they have taken advantage of your free gift.
As a side note, you need to make sure that you are complying with recent changes in the online marketing laws which are covered by GDPR, an extension to the previous data protection regulations. This does not mean that you can’t market to people, it just means that you must get their permission to do so. Here is all you need to know about GDPR and how to stay compliant; but if you do as I suggest here you should be covered anyway.
This brings us to the second L which is lists. As a business you should be building a list of people who show an interest in what you have to offer.
These people are your potential future customers. These people are your warm leads, people who are going to be much easier to turn into customers because they have already shown that they are interested in what you have to offer which means you no longer have to persuade them.
How do you create a list? Well obviously you could do this yourself by keeping a spreadsheet of people you interact with or who show an interest in your freebie, but by far an easier way is this…
Use an email service provider to do the work for you. It’s totally free and easy to set up. Here’s what you do…
Find a service provider. I use Mailchimp but there are others such as Aweber, Mailerlite, infusionsoft etc but Mailchimp is totally free to use until you get 2,000 people on your list so you will be fine for a while.
Once you have created your free account you will need to create an “audience”. The audience is your list, the place where people who take you up on your offer and leave their email address will be stored.
You can then decide what happens once someone is put on your list. Obviously the first thing you will want to do is send them the freebie. But you don’t need to stop there.
Mailchimp has GDPR compliant forms that enable you to ask for permission to send them related and follow up emails. When they press the submit button on the form they are agreeing to this and this is made clear to them on the submission page.
Don’t worry, Mailchimp has a series of video tutorials to help you get all this set up and working.
Once you have sent the freebie you may not know whether they have tried it out or not – it might not something easy to track like a free session in your gym or a money off coupon. If you have sent a cheat sheet how will you know whether they have tried it?
The best way to find out is to ask them. A few days after sending them your freebie send them another email asking how they got on with it. Encourage conversation by asking them to reply to you. Use this opportunity to offer them another hint, tip, valuable freebie.
This is the first email in your nurturing series. This nurturing series is the way that you can introduce your brand to potential new customers. It is a way of providing them with a taster of what you can do for them so that they get to know, like and trust you.
It is also a way of introducing your products and services to them in a professional and non-salesy way. By helping them to overcome a problem or answering a question for them (see my video tutorial on how to create an amazing lead magnet) you are proving that you are a credible option for them to consider when making their buying decision.
So, having a list of leads is what will help you to grow your business much much faster. Your list is yours, not Facebooks, not Instagrams, YOURS! You can take your list wherever you go and no one can take it away from you. Your list is your most valuable asset so if you haven’t already started, start building one today!
It’s not the list itself that will make you money, it’s the relationship you build with your list that will turn those leads into raving fans and repeat customers. Your nurturing series will do this for you.
Just in case you are thinking that you haven’t got time to keep sending out emails to everyone, this whole system is TOTALLY AUTOMATED!
That’s right. You don’t have to do a thing once you have got it set up. You can pre-write the emails and decide how often they go out to your list. You can keep in touch with your list and keep adding value for them for a year or more WITHOUT having to send out a single other email. How does that sound?
Although this is a totally free and easy way to build a list of leads it can be a little complicated if you have never done anything like it before.
But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered…
Lead generation is the first step in my simple six-figure system and I’ve created a step-by-step guide on just how to do everything I’ve talked about in this post. You can get your copy and start building your list right now by entering your details in the form below.
So there you have it. Building a list is the fastest way to grow your business. I wish I had taken more notice of this when I started my business 10 years ago. I hadn’t totally grasped just how powerful this is. Okay, I knew the concept but I just didn’t get how to actually “do” it.
I didn’t want to come across as salesy and I don’t think I was confident enough in what I was doing back then to be comfortable emailing people and telling them how wonderful I was. Does this sound like you?
It probably does because most of us feel like that when we start out in business but to be totally honest with you, you need to get over yourself and just start building that list because :
- a) they take a long time to build – usually
- b) they take a while to nurture
- c) they still only usually convert at about 20%
If you wait until you are totally confident in what you’re doing and totally comfortable in how you sell it you will have wasted years – like I did.
Don’t make the same mistake I did, get started on building that list today. After all, what’s the worst that can happen? And don’t forget, my step-by-step guide will show you exactly how to do it.
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