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How to Qualify Leads into Your Brand | The Modern Marketer Show S2 E5

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Conversion Rate Optimization

You Don’t Need a Website in 2018—Here’s Why

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You Don't Need a Website in 2018—Here's Why

Here’s the plain and simple truth: you don’t need a website to launch your business.

That might sound crazy or unconventional, but the fact of the matter is that while you think a website is what makes your brand or business “official” or “legitimate,” it’s not a priority for making sales.

No joke.

I have seen entrepreneurs waste up to 12 months just trying to create these extravagant websites along with educational materials, sale copy, social media presence, and branding. And this is all before they’ve even began to focus on actually selling.

Selling needs to be priority in order for you to actually make money, right? So why spend months of your time on a super involved website and platform if you don’t even know it’s going to sell once it’s setup?

Websites are not a prerequisite for brands or businesses.

Look, most of us are small business owners with limited budgets. Unless you have millions and millions of dollars at your disposal to launch your business, you’re not going to want to waste your resources on anything that you’re not sure is going to give you a good ROI.

So forget the belief that you need a website in order to launch your business. Forget the so-called “checklist” of things you need to do to be a legitimate business.

Instead, you need to focus on a process that effectively sells. I’m going to lay this process out for you step by step. It’s the same process I’ve used with clients time and time again to build their business and ramp up their sales.

I’ve helped clients make $250,000 in less than 2 months, I helped a fashion brand make $3 million in 24 months, and it’s all been using The Modern Marketer’s ACE Method. (If you don’t know what that is, join The Modern Marketer private FB group and start asking questions.)

So, instead of the website, here are the steps you need to take:

1. Create a Landing Page

Landing pages have one purpose: to drive action.

It’s almost like the distilled version of a website.

It’s the action page you would want any visitors on a full-blown website to eventually arrive to.

But the main difference between a landing page and a full-blown website is the simplicity of it all. Your goal with the landing page is to convey a strong message in the most beautiful and direct way that you can with no distractions.

  • no menu
  • no sidebar
  • no external links
  • no footer content/menu

That’s the thing with a website— there’s more information on it to occupy a visitor’s attention and they are less likely to take action than initially being exposed to a landing page with a simple call to action.

The reason I’m emphasizing simplicity is that I see way too many landing pages that are completely cluttered with information.

You don’t have to supplement the simplicity of a landing page.

Think about it.

Every landing page is a point of arrival.

It’s like landing from a flight in a country you’ve never been to. You wouldn’t want to be overwhelmed by new information all at once in a new place, so why do that to the people coming to your landing page?

You can give people necessary information on landing page without 1,200 words of copy, 10 pictures, and 15 links. I suggest you check out software like Unbounce which promotes the type of landing pages that do exactly what you need them to do without extra frills.

reason for driving traffic to site

Every last element on a landing page needs to encourage a specific action to be taken. This action will be for the purpose of generating leads. That’s the only reason you are driving traffic there, and the only reason people should be there.

So whatever that specific action is, make sure that your landing page is not only optimized for the desired action, but also tracked so you can re-engage people who are visiting the page.

But what exactly should this “specific action” be?

2. Create a Lead Magnet

A lead magnet can go by different names— an opt-in, a freebie, trip-wire, etc. But no matter what you call it, it’s the first touch point you have with your users before attempting to nurture them into customers.

This is the value you create that inspires people to take action from your landing page. People will have to want that value enough to give you their information. That’s how you get your leads.

So what kind of value should you be providing in exchange for people’s information?

This value should be in the form of content.

This content needs to serve two main purposes: to provide a solution to a specific problem and to demonstrate your expertise.

your value

There are many different forms of content you can provide. Here are a few examples:

  • Video email series – nurturing emails that educate recipients in installments
  • Checklist – easily consumable and actionable list
  • Ebook – a longer, more comprehensive form of content
  • Cheat Sheet – like a checklist, but with a list of guidelines or a process
  • White Paper – an authoritative and in-depth report on a specific problem that provides a specific solution
  • Long form content – a long blog post (around 2,000 words or more)
  • Tutorial – either a video or a PDF that teaches how to do one specific thing
  • Infographic – an illustrated format for information
  • Webinar – an educational video or audio format thats occurs at a specific tim

These are just a few examples, and there are so many more. You want to choose one format that will work for your business and industry and make it highly valuable.

At the end of that content, you can promote your product or service.

This is where you begin to sell.

Now that you’ve gotten people’s attention, provided them value, and proved your expertise, they are much more willing to buy what you’re selling.

Expert Tip: Don’t sell multiple products or services. Focus on selling one thing well.

However, most will not buy right away. Nor should they have to. That’s why you’ve collected their email address with your lead magnet. Now you can have multiple touch points with them directly in their inbox.

3. Automated Email Marketing

After you’ve provided your lead with some stellar content, you want to stay in contact with them because they are still a lead. They’ve made it this far through your funnel, right? You have to keep engaging them if you want to sell.

This is the decision stage of the ACE method.

So you need to have an email automation in place as soon as you get your lead’s information. These emails will guide your leads through to the bottom of the sales funnel.

When you have a lead and their information, you should use a triggered email message to engage with your audience that respond to their behavior.  

According to Epsilon, triggered emails get 119% higher click-through rates than “business as usual messages.”

send leads 3-5 emails

You definitely don’t want to pound your leads with email messages. All it should take is three to five emails with only two or three of those emails including a call-to-action.  

It’s best practice to segment your email lists to provide the most personalized emails possible. This is what will drive engagement, and ultimately, get you the most sales.

4. Advertise Your Funnel

If you’re going to spend advertising dollars on anything, it needs to be on this sales funnel.

You want to get people onto your landing page so you can guide them through the rest of the process. Getting ads out in front of targeted audiences will not only get you qualified leads, but will also be far more effective than just hoping the right leads end up on the landing page of your website.

Facebook ads are the way to go.

These ads are so highly targeted and inexpensive that it’s almost stupid not to use them. The more targeted these ads are, the more qualified the leads you will get.

You can also advertise through a PR campaign or cross-promotion. Consider the influencers of your industry. They can also get your landing page out in front of the right people.

advertise your funnel

No matter avenue you take, make sure you seek qualified leads to get to your landing page.

If you run traffic to this funnel for 30 to 90 business days, I promise you will make 10 times the amount of money as if you’re trying to get your ducks in a row for months and months.

Conclusion

There’s no need to burn through all your time and money to creating websites, taking the perfect pictures, waiting on things to be in place, or writing amazing content. While those are all important things, you need to be first and foremost prioritize your basic business competencies.  The best marketers in the world are salesman. If you’re going to launch something new, you need to streamline the process to prioritize making sales.

So don’t spend so much time trying to perfect your funnel, your brand, and your presentation. Just get a landing page and some valuable content up, get some data, get some traffic, and test it out. Then at least you have a legit business that’s killing it in sales, and then you can worry about spending money on your website, culture, team building, and more advertising.

Get your marketing priorities straight.

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Digital Advertising

Advertising 101: How to Crush Campaigns on a Budget

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How to crush campaigns on a budget

Everyone wants to find the cheapest way to advertise their business. It can get pricey to get your products or services in front of the right people, particularly if you don’t understand your audience.

But when you’re a small business and working with a tight budget, it can be especially challenging to determine how best to use your advertising dollars.

However, there’s a trick to digital advertising… are you ready?

It’s not necessarily about understanding your audience, it’s about understanding what you’re trying to get your audience to do.

If you understand your objectives, you will be able to spend your limited budget in the right way.

Understanding your Objectives

A lot of marketers make out advertising to be a matter of “figuring it out.” But when you’re advertising digitally, there isn’t anything to “figure out,” because the information is all there.

What’s key in making decisions for investing your ad dollars is knowing your objectives, and then split testing the right things. There’s no “right way” to advertise on a budget, there are ebbs and flows.

This is why we split test.

You may be reading this and think you really do know your objectives… but do you really?

Once on a sales call with a client I asked, “What is your objective for this campaign? What would you consider to be a successful campaign?”

They responded: “Honestly, the goal is to drive a ton of traffic to the page and hope it converts, right?”

It’s a typical response we hear, and there’s a chance you think that’s your objective too. But it’s very seldom the true objective in advertising.

“Driving traffic” is very general, and perhaps an overarching goal in advertising. But it’s not nearly specific enough. You have to go deeper with your objectives.

So perhaps you’re rethinking your advertising objectives now. Here are some questions you should be asking yourself:

  • Who do you really want to connect with?
  • What actions do you truly want a prospect to take?
  • Are you going to rely on the law of averages to convert 1-3% of your prospects into sales?
  • If not, what type of nurturing touch points are you going to have with the prospects to guide them towards conversion?
  • How will you retarget nurtured prospects to get them to buy?

Keep in mind that while the maximum amount of traffic and lowest cost per lead may seem like reasonable objectives when you’re working within a tight budget, it’s not a strategy that will yield a profitable amount of conversions.

creating profitable conversions

For example, for a client of ours it cost us $15 per ticket to sell out their conference. The cost of tickets were $125, so obviously the profit is $110. If our cost per lead was only $1, but we sold 20 tickets instead of 300, that wouldn’t have been nearly as effective a campaign.

In other words, casting the largest net won’t get you the best fish. When it comes to sales, you need to put quality of leads over quantity of leads.

Define your KPIs (key performance indicators) based on quality, not quantity. It’s easy to get caught up in vanity metrics and think your advertising dollars are being well spent.

But if you understand the buyer journey and have objectives for each step of the sales funnel, you can more readily measure the success of your ad campaigns— not based on the number of leads you end up with, but the actual profit on conversions against what you’ve spent.

Focusing in on the Funnel

Too many people quit their ad campaigns too soon because they focus on entry level data rather than their actual objectives.

I’ve had clients that say, “oh, that campaign didn’t really work out,” when they don’t get the results they wanted and I ask them to explain what “didn’t work out” means.

Then when we start talking about the actual objectives, then they realize that the campaign is working, it’s just one part of the sales funnel that needs fixing.

Remember that in your advertising campaigns, if you’re not getting the results you want, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not working. No, it means that only a part of your sales funnel isn’t working up to par.

part of your sales funnel isn't working up to par

Don’t dump your entire campaign just because it’s not working the way you wanted it too. You need to step back and see the bigger picture. Look at the campaign within the context of the stages of the buyer journey:

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Decision

Awareness

Are you connecting with the right people? Are the people you’re connecting with taking the action you’ve set out for them? Is your lead magnet offering enough value?

Lead magnets are a great way to attract the right people into your ecosystem. By offering some sort of value in exchange for the user’s contact information, you can quickly pull that person in and turn them into a lead.

But if your lead magnet isn’t interesting or doesn’t offer enough value, people will have less incentive to give you their information.

This is where split testing comes in handy. Try different lead magnets and see what works.

Try targeting half your audience with an ebook lead magnet and targeting the other half with a video tutorial. There’s lots of ways to attract leads in.

So experiment. Try new things. Remember, there’s no “right way” to do this.

your lead magnet must offer value

Consideration

Are you relying on the laws of averages to get those conversions? Maybe it’s time to more actively connect with your leads.

You will get some leads to convert without much effort, but not many at all. If you want to maximize conversions, you have to stay at the top of the leads’ minds.

This means not passively sitting back and waiting for leads to decide to buy. It means touching in with them, feeding them a little more value, reminding them you’re there.

Decision

What kind of nurturing touch points can you have with your leads to guide them to buy?

If you have a substantial list of email subscribers, your best bet is to schedule out a nurturing email campaign. After several nurturing emails, you can send them emails with calls to action. This is what will drive more leads to buy.

If you lack an email list, Facebook retargeting ads are a great way to prompt your leads to buy, and can be easily tracked.

Whatever route you decide to take, you’re going to get the most bang for your buck if you more actively nurture your leads and retarget rather than passively leave the buying decision up to them.

Creating Loyal Customers

Are you continuing to engage customers after they’ve bought from you? If not, you’re missing a crucial opportunity for growth.

How can you continue to build relationships with customers so that they return and advocate for you?

I say it all the time: you cannot grow your business from the first sale. You need a second, third, fourth, fifth sale in order to grow. This doesn’t mean that you need a lot of customers, it means you need loyal customers.

This stage of the buyer’s journey is ultimately what will pay off your limited advertising budget multiple times over. If you seek to build relationships with these customers rather than use them for the transaction and forget about them, you have the capacity to pay off your advertising 3x.

After the sale, you can continue to engage these customers with email marketing and retargeting ads. They may not buy from you again right away, but you will be kept in mind and they may even refer people they know to your business.

It’s not rocket science. You’re trying to maintain a relationship with another human being. These are important touch points.

So if your ad campaign is struggling to get the results you want, it doesn’t mean the marketing advertising isn’t doing its job. It means a part of the funnel isn’t working.

So focus in on the funnel and identify what needs to be fixed in terms of the objectives you’ve set out for the campaign.

Conclusion

Like I’ve said multiple times throughout this post, there’s no right way to do this. With any ad campaign, there will be ups and downs, ebbs and flows. Think of your ad campaigns as ongoing experiments.

If you’re going to focus on experimenting with ad campaigns on any platform, make sure it’s on Facebook.

Facebook is a great advertising platform because it marries native advertising and interactive media. Whether it be canvas ads, bleed ads, video ads, there are literally brands being built off of this platform. So I really advise you lean in and experiment there.

Understand there’s multiple levels to advertising. So if you’re working within a budget, it’s crucial to define your objectives. Make your KPIs about quality, not quantity. It may seem like it’s worth your money to cast a large net, but it’s not.

You need good leads, not the most leads.

I get it, ad campaigns can be nerve racking when you put money into them and you’re not seeing the results you want. But don’t react by breaking off the campaign. Focus in on your sales funnel. Focus on the objectives of each stage of the funnel. Fix the parts that aren’t working up to par.

This will allow you to optimize the funnel you have and crush every campaign on a limited budget.

Let’s get it.

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Lead Generation

Here’s Why Unleashing your Value Qualifies Awesome Leads

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Here's Why Unleashing Your Value Qualifies Awesome Leads

Every business needs leads. Period. You can’t grow a business without leads, and they have to be qualified leads.

If you know me and my business Palizay Media, you know we do marketing differently. Our motto is “value over everything,” and you know why?

Because we put all our value out there, no holds barred. We give it all away, and this has led to the success you see today.

So how do we do it? How could giving away your value for free possibly yield leads? And how can you replicate that in your own business?

I’m going to break it all down for you. Let’s get it.

The Power 120

There’s something I practice in our business and with my clients that I call “the Power 120.” All that really means is four straight months of dropping value…

Every. Single. Day.

It’s outputting valuable information for 120 days, from micro-content to full-fledged content. I believe that every business, organization, personality, or brand that has value can do this.

Power 120

It’s just a brain dump of all the categorical value you can possibly add to a niche or segment of a market.

If you can do this, you immediately put yourself in front of 80% of any other player in that market. Even the major players.

As a small business owner, you may think it’s nearly impossible to break through the saturation of your market and have a serious effect on the industry. But it’s really not impossible at all.

We’ve seen it time and time again. Smaller players have come in, built cult-like followings and huge communities, then put a dent in the business of those big businesses that have been around for decades.

AirBnB has done it in the hospitality industry. Uber has done it in the taxi industry. And the Dollar Shave Club has done it in the razor industry.

But back to the power 120. You might be thinking that creating 120 pieces of content sounds undoable, and you’re not the only one. People complain they don’t have time to put out content at that level when they have networking to do, customers to contact, sales to make, growth to manage, and lots of other responsibilities.

That’s totally understandable. You have to manage your business development too. But here’s what you’re missing: There are so many inverse effects to writing content, documenting your story, and being a storyteller.

The Brain Dump

I always say that the best marketers are salesmen, and the best salesmen are storytellers. That’s because I’ve had the most success with sales from telling stories.

When you look at the last 15 months in our business, it doesn’t look like we’ve had much in terms of transactions other than the The Modern Marketer club. But when you look under the hood, you see hundreds of thousands of dollars that have come through the Modern Marketer brand into the Palizay Media business.

Clients have told me that they literally only hired us because of something they read on The Modern Marketer blog, or a video they saw on the YouTube channel, or because they generated a partnership or got referred a huge client through networking with club members.

Relationships have happened because of this brand. And that’s the point. When you’re putting out as much value as you can, you’re going to attract people who will want to connect and bond based on that value.

This brain dump over 120 days is really more than just demonstrating your knowledge and expertise, it’s about building a foundation of value to base a community. And a community will yield leads. A community will scale your business.

Get it? Every industry is saturated. You need to be creating and distributing content every single day if you’re going to have a sliver of a chance to make a dent in any industry.

It doesn’t have to be long-form philosophical blog posts everyday. The same conversations you would have with customers, investors, or partners can be turned into content. The content and value you’re creating is for humans. After all, any opportunity in business has to have a human involved.

Every piece of content you make will add value to experience. Your content becomes your best salesman.

content is your best salesman

So if you can truly amplify your content, your voice, and your storytelling online, you will be creating the foundation for not just leads and sales, but genuine business growth.

The Digital Curation

The reason I advocate for four months of content creation in the Power 120 rather than 60 days or 90 days is because of all the byproduct benefits that come within that duration of time.

Not only is your SEO compounded over those 120 days, but what you’re quickly creating over that time is a digital asset. That’s an incredibly powerful thing.

Think about it this way: you can build an audience, attention, leads, sales. But all of those things are temporary, and you could lose them quicker than you got them in the first place.

On the other hand, your digital content is always going to be there, even if you lose everything you built. And that’s the foundation for your business. That’s the base. The bread and butter. And you build off of it again and again and again.

Not only do you create an entire library of your own valuable content within these 120 days, but you’re also telling a story over time. Piecing together all that content will show how you as a brand have remained consistent, and how your perspectives change over time with new information.

tell story over time

If you look at the landscape of my content marketing over the past three years or so, I haven’t changed my story. I haven’t changed my views on social media, content, email marketing, marketing automation, or new tools that are coming out. All of my approaches remain the same.

The only thing that’s different now is that I talk about these topics in light of new experiences and new value I can bring to the table.  

If you go back to DPA TV when I used to record in a minivan (lol), I talked about the same stuff that I talk about now, but I spoke within the context of the experiences I was having at the time. It was relevant to me and those small audiences I had at the time.

Now I talk about those topics in the context of who I am now, the team members I have now, and the clients I have now. My philosophies have not changed, only the context in which I present them have changed.

Remaining consistent with your values while showing the change and growth that happens over time is key to providing truly valuable content. It shows you’re human, but you are committed to providing value.

You have to have that same kind of awareness. You have to realize that your content is a piece of you. It’s literally a covenant to pouring out the value you have to offer.

It’s a commitment to create for 120 days, atomize that content, and distribute.

Don’t Hold Back Any Value

But how do you actually bring in leads? Isn’t the whole point of inbound marketing to bring qualified leads into your brand so you don’t have to spend on traditional or outbound marketing?

Yes, that’s true. But this is where it gets tricky, because a lot of you know that inbound marketing is about exchanging lead information for value. It’s about that lead magnet. You know you have to put value out there in the form of content— be it a white paper, ebook, video series, or what have you— and you collect information.

But many of you know this and either don’t do it or don’t do it right.

Chances are, if I were to audit your lead magnet, it’s probably not as valuable as you think. Because if it was, then why aren’t people buying into it? Maybe your version of a lead getting excited is not as excited as you initially thought.

Your lead magnets have to provide value.

What I mean is that when you have a lead magnet that works, you have some content that a customer is going to say, “yes, please take my name and email amongst the hundred other people I’m subscribing to in 2017 so I can have your content.” And you better believe you have one shot to prove yourself.

You only have one chance to prove that you will punch them in the face with value that they were not expecting— for free.

free value

The people who read The Modern Marketer blog are here because I don’t hold back any value. You have my best information. Period.

But if you’re a client or a club member, it’s a totally different experience. That’s not to say we’re providing any more value to those who are paying us, it’s that they get the in-depth context of how this applies to their businesses. They get the one-on-one conversations and consultations, the tried and true strategies, templates, and access to my team.

People are attracted to your best content, but what they pay for is the context. They pay for the experience and the relevance it has in their lives.

Now if you apply that same concept to your products or service you will suddenly realize that you don’t have to hold any value back in your content or try to leverage that value for a lead’s information. You can just give away your value and information for free.

Because at the end of the day, those people come into your ecosystem. You’ll have larger networks and more nurtured people who are ready to buy once you have those conversations that bridge the gap.

Those relationships you create with your value are what sell.

Use Video

One last thing— it would be foolish not to mention to you that your content creation strategy must include video. If you’re still only writing textual content in 2017, you’re losing.

You have to have interactive media being published, distributed, atomized, broken down, repurposed, and upcycled every single day if you’re going to have real chance at breaking into your industry.

Like I said before, every industry is saturated. But if you look at every major social media platform, video is being integrated more and more because that’s the direction media is heading. If you’re going to keep up with the market at the very least, make sure you use video.

Humans process visuals much quicker than text. Consider that when you’re creating content. Think interactive.

Conclusion

Don’t hold back any value. 

You really can give away all your value for free because what you’re really doing is building a foundation. You’re building a digital curation, your assets, your documented value in story form. And this is what will get attention, develop community and relationships, and ultimately, qualified leads.

Providing true value consistently over 120 days is a commitment but it builds an amazing foundation for your business. You need that foundation in order to sell. Your content is what sells for you. If you can distribute that content in a way that makes sense, definitely including video, you will be on the path to success.

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