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How to Use Content to Turn Readers into Prospects

How to Use Content to Turn Readers into Prospects

The name of the game these days is information and it is everywhere.

Are you creating enough informative, educational content on your site to attract readers and turn them into prospects?

What do I mean by this?

The internet has changed the way that people search for information when trying to solve a problem. Now we turn to our favorite search engine, type in a few works and wait a minute for the results. We scroll the listing, click on the links and check out the websites listed. In a few minutes, we can evaluate a company, anytime of the day, at our own leisure without ever having to actually contact the company and talk to anyone.

Now the key to search engine marketing is being listing within the top three pages, because research has shown that most people do not look beyond the first three pages.

They are looking for information and looking for the site that provides the information they need. They will look at a number of sites and if the site has lots of content, they will stay around and read what is available.

However, you want to turn readers into prospects, right?

So how do you turn readers into prospects? Well you want readers to do one or more of several things that shows a true interest in what you have to say and offer.

  • Sign up for your rss feed
  • Subscribe to your newsletter
  • Become a fan of your Facebook page
  • Follow you on Twitter
  • Post comments on your blog
  • Invite you into their network on LinkedIn

However, even at this stage they are still readers, but on their way to becoming prospects and hopefully clients.

Now you want to get them fully engaged.

How do you do this?

By providing readers useful information in a variety of formats, such as:

  • Blog posts
  • Webinars
  • Podcasts
  • Presentations
  • Videos
  • EBooks
  • White Papers

How do you know what they want and how they want it?

Ask them.

  • Try running polls on your blog, website, Facebook page or LinkedIn profile.
  • Send out a survey to your newsletter subscribers
  • Ask them on your blog, Facebook page or LinkedIn groups

Ask them what they want to know and how they want to receive their information. Although videos and audio is popular, the written word remains the most popular form of information gathering.

Do they want blog posts, eBooks, podcasts, videos, webinars or presentations? Find out and see how many of ways you can present your information.

What other ways can help you turn readers into prospects?

Show readers that you can help them solve their problem. Remember it is all about them, not you.

Offer:

 

  • Case studies

 

  • Online portfolio
  • Testimonials
  • Free consultations
  • Trial offers

Use Google analytics to see how people are accessing your information. Track what they read, download, pages they enter on and exit pages. Analyze what pages they spend the most time reading, where they go once they read that page.

Don’t forget to put a contact form on your website so that readers can contact you. Make it easy for them to contact you. Respond quickly.

No matter what business you are in. Potential customers want to know that you have the answers that they need, content shows that you do.

Your Turn:

Are you providing enough content to turn readers into prospects?

 

 

Ten Great Benefits of Blogging

Ten Great Benefits of Blogging

Everyone already knows that I am a great fan of blogging and benefits that if offers. While there are probably hundreds if not thousands of benefits to blogging, I am going to share with you ten great benefits of blogging.

Blogging can help you:

1. Grow your business

Consistently adding posts to your blog that offers content that you target audience wants to read will help you reach people around the world that you would never have the opportunity to reach on a day-to-day basis.

Your blog will allow you to show readers how you can and have solved similar problems to the ones that they are facing. Present your personality, skills and experience to your readers.

If your business consists of primarily local clients your blog can help, you reach people in your community that you would not have an opportunity to meet or that you even know exist. You can make sure that your blog has local keywords in place so that when people search for local items your blog will appear.

If I wanted to reach more local people in or around Detroit, I would include Detroit in my title tagline. I would include local happening along with my marketing posts so that when people searched for Detroit my blog would have an opportunity to appear.

2. Get Published

Many bloggers have gained book deals from their blogs. They have had people at publishing companies stumble across their blogs, followed their blogs and offered them book deals. Publishers are still publishing books whether in digital form or paper.

Your blog will allow potential publishers see the wealth of knowledge that you have on a subject and showcase your writing skills. They can also see that you have the capability to build an audience.

3. Get a Job

Blogging is a great way to showcase your skills and knowledge to potential employers. When you apply for a job, send them a link to your blog so that they can see for themselves what you bring to the table.

Many employers are looking for people who are social media savvy across all industries. It doesn’t matter if you are a writer, engineer or doctor. Social media has permeated all industries; it also means that you will need less training because you are already social media savvy. Many employers look at potential hires social media profiles and check their social media activity. Be careful, social media can also cost you a job.

4. Become a Speaker or Presenter

You can use your blog to showcase presentations that you have created, speeches you have given or just show your ability to do so. Many companies are doing online presentations, create a powerful presentation with audio, add it to slideshare and your blog. This will give businesses an idea of your presentation skills and style. Then put up a page on your blog letting potential businesses know that you are available to give presentation, workshops or whatever and include some examples for them to view. (hummm….think I will do this myself)

5. Become Known as an Expert

The more you post to your blog on your subject matter the more people will gain an understanding of the depth of knowledge that you have on a subject. This will also help when the media goes looking for experts to interview, when they do a search and your name keeps popping up, they will be more inclined to contact you. They will have the opportunity to read your blog and realize that you are the expert that they are looking for.

Becoming a recognized expert will also help you get better jobs, business and other opportunities, they sky is the limit.

6. Build your network

Blogging will help you expand your network. The more you blog the more people will reach out to you and the more influence you gain. You can build a network of people who will help you when you need help, will want to help you because they admire and want to work with you. People will seek you out for advice and trust your advice. Blogging allows you to reach others and for others to reach you. You can get the opportunity to communicate and maybe even work with people you consider big time. Whom would you love to work with?

7. Gain Influence

Bloggers are big in the world of media. Fashion bloggers have started trends. Businesses will contact bloggers with huge following and very active communities to promote products, sway opinion, highlight a cause and garner support. Your blog can make you the go to person for your industry when the media wants an opinion or insight.

8. Sell products

By building a larger reader and subscriber base, you can create products for sell that you readers will buy because they have already shown that they trust you and believe that you can help them. If they believe that you will help them then they will believe that the product that you are selling will help them also.

9. Help Others

Blogging lets you help readers with their problems. You can offer free information products, educational posts, videos, whatever you can dream of that will help your readers live better lives. Blogging can help you help people get over fears and live their dreams. You can inspire, educate, entertain, motivate and mobilize people with your blog.

10. Show the world who you are.

Your blog can show people all the great quirky things about you. People love to get to know people, marvel at their adventures, understand and sympathize with another person’s pain, laugh when they make a fool of themselves and smile tears when great things happen. You can express yourself fully and get people who have never met you believe they know you. They will become your supporter’s even evangelist and have never actually met you in person, but defend you as if they have.

Believe me there are so many more great things about blogging, this list could go into the hundreds, but I am going to stop at ten.

Have Your Say:

What do you think are some of the great benefits of blogging?

 

Join my LinkedIn group Marketing and PR for Professional Service  Firms

 

 

The Four Steps to Using your Blog for Online Lead Generation

The Four Steps to Using your Blog for Online Lead Generation

You did like the gurus told you and you step up a blog for your business.

You publish to your blog faithfully three times a week.

You share and promote your blog on all your social networks, friends, wherever you can think of.

You added a contact form for future clients to contact you.

Nothing.

No one is contacting you and you don’t understand why.

The Four Elements of a Inbound Lead Generation Program:

The Offer: Content that you offer to your target audience that will be of value to them.

  • EBook
  • White Paper
  • Free Consultation
  • Webinar
  • Coupon

The Call-to-Action: An image or button that stands out and links directly to your landing page.

The Landing Page: A special page that contains information about your special offer.

The Form: A form that will collect contact information in exchange for what you are offering.

That’s the basics of your inbound lead generating program. Now let’s take a look at this in action.

Hubspot does a great job of this so I am going to use them as an example.

The offer:

Hubspot if offering its readers a free guide to Pinterest Business Accounts.

The Call-to-Action

The Call-to-Action is straight forward and to the point, Download Ebook Now, not later, Now.

The Landing Page

Hubspot Pinterest

The landing pages tell you what you get learn when you download and read the free Ebook. A quick step-by-stepy guide to Pinterest business accounts.

The Form

Hubspot Form

The form turns your request into a lead for their business. They now know that you are interested in Pinterest for your business and what your marketing problems. They also offer you the chance to keep receiving information from them knowing that most people will choose yes.

If you are using monthly themes for your blogging, you can follow this four-step process at the end of every month to generate leads for your business. The beauty is that you will know what the reader’s interests are by the offers they accept.

Once they become a lead, you will know how to nurture the lead into a client from knowing offers appealed to them.

Have Your Say:

Are you using any of these steps to generate leads for your business?

 

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Turn Your Blog Posts into a Targeted Lead-Generating Machine

Turn Your Blog Posts into a Targeted Lead-Generating Machine

The ultimate goal for most business bloggers is to use their blog to generate more leads to their business.

I know this is my goal. Guessing it is yours also.

We talked about creating a simple monthly editorial calendar.

Now let’s talk about what to do with those blog posts at the end of the month and how to turn get them to a lead generating machine for your business.

Before I begin, let me say that I am talking about generating leads, people who are interested in your business and what you have to say. They may not be ready to purchase, you will have to nurture them to become buyers after they become leads.

First, they have to become leads.

Now let’s begin.

You have created your editorial calendar for the year and each month has a theme.

Let’s say that you post an original blog (you know, stuff you write yourself and not curate from other blogs) posts three times a week. At the end of the month, you have roughly 12 blogs posts on one central theme.

Example:

Your theme for January is balance. You have 12 posts centered on creating balance in your life.

You take those 12 posts and group them together for an eBook, create an introduction and conclusion, maybe add a goal or task at the end of each article to help the reader create balance in their life.

  • Create a landing page and email subscriber form for your readers to download the eBook.
  •  Add a picture and link it to the landing page on your future blog posts.
  • Promote the EBook on your blog, social networks, send out a press release, then send a copy to reporters that cover your subject, and offer it free to organizations that cater to your readers.

This creates your lead generation machine. You know that the people who signed up for this workbook are concerned about creating balance in their lives.

This allows you to communicate in the future with them about balance in their life. You can begin to nurture these leads by sending only this list future article on life balance. Maybe create a webinar or podcasts on life balance and then down the line make an offer to work with you to help them on creating balance in their life.

You continue nurturing the lead until you have turned the lead into a client.

Then you repeat the process each month with the previous month’s blog posts.

Simple and doable right?

Have Your Say:

Are you getting additional mileage out of your blog posts? If so, how?

 

Join my LinkedIn group Marketing and PR for Professional Service  Firms

 

Getting Started with Your Content Marketing Strategy

Getting Started with Your Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing is about creating content that covers all levels of your marketing funnel from prospect to customer evangelist. Content is created to educate, inform, entertain and engage your prospects and turn them into future clients.

Six steps to begin creating a content marketing strategy:

What niche will you be covering?

  • Accounting
  • Financial Planning
  • Business Coaching

2. What challenges to your prospects face?

  • Lowering taxes
  • Planning for retirement
  • Advancing their career

3. What type of content do they like to consume?

  • Articles/Blog posts
  • Videos
  • EBooks

4. How will you create interesting content to attract prospects?

  • Contests
  • Quizzes
  • Videos

5. What do you want to achieve with my content marketing?

  • Increase traffic
  • Increase leads
  • Increase sales

6. How will I know if my content marketing strategy is working?

  • Monitoring your website/blog traffic weekly/monthly
  • Monitoring new leads to your business from online sources
  • Monitoring increase of sales from online sources

Communicating directly with your prospects

Businesses now have the luxury of communication directly with the prospects that they are trying to reach. The hard part is knowing where and how to reach them.

Five Steps to communicating with your prospects online:

1. Search out where your prospects are located online, what communities they join and join those communities.

2. Set up listening systems to understand what your prospects are talking about and who is doing the talking. You can set up Google alerts, twitter searches, check Q&A sites, Etc.

3. Create places to engage with prospects with Facebook Pages, Pages, LinkedIn Profiles, Twitter, Etc. and ask questions about their challenges

4. Comment on blogs that are relevant to your audience

5. Answer questions in Q & A forums

The combination of content marketing and social media marketing allows you the opportunity to highlight your expertise, create brand awareness, build an audience, engage prospects, and retain the attention of your audience.

Your Turn:

Are you using content marketing as part of your marketing strategy?

Have you created a content marketing plan?

 

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Image Credit: Mark Smiciklas

Are You Setting Concrete Goals to Generate Leads Online?

Are You Setting Concrete Goals to Generate Leads Online?

I hear it and read it all the time “I want to increase traffic and generate leads online,” but that’s it. I understand that you want to increase traffic and generate leads, but how much more traffic and how many additional leads do you want to generate? If you generate two additional leads, you have generated leads, but is that enough? If you increase traffic by one more visitor you have increase your traffic, but is that what you really want? Probably not

You must know what your goals are.

What are your actual goals?

Do you want to increase traffic by 30% and generate 10 additional leads per month? These are actual goals.

Do you know how you will increase traffic and generate more leads?

Once you decide on your concrete goals, then you need to decide what you will do to accomplish those goals.

Will you add more content to your website or blog to increase traffic?

Will you submit articles to publications that your target audience reads? (You do know who your target audience is, right?)

Will you get involved in the social networking sites that your target audience is involved in?

You have to know what want to accomplish and create a plan of action to accomplish your goals.

You have to do more than just want more traffic and leads.

Online marketing is not a magic pill, you put up a website and people automatically appear it takes time and work.

How much time are you willing to invest in online marketing?

If you do not have the time to invest, are you willing to hire someone or company to handle the online marketing for you?

How much do you want the firm to handle and how much do you want to handle?

If you decide to go the route of hiring a firm, you must also understand that you will still be involvement in the process. You will have to make decisions on the direction that the marketing takes, you have processes to approve, material to approve and make sure that they are on track to accomplish the goals that you have outline.

You must also be realistic about what online marketing can do for your business. Many people give up because what they want to happen does come fast enough. It doesn’t matter what you are selling, if you are not finding ways for people to know that your business exist, they will not find you. You need to have a plan on how you will attract website traffic and generate leads.

Five Ways to increase website traffic and generate more leads:

  1. Create content: This can be adding articles to your website or blog, offering a free report, webinar or eBook.
  2. Share on Social Media: Share your content on social media sites, your Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn, groups you have joined, forums you participate and submit to online publications.
  3. Email: Create an email sign-up form to attract leads. Offer something of interest to readers in exchange for their email addresses then send updates and offers.
  4. Nurture Leads: Nurture the leads that you receive through email by sending them additional information that will be useful to them. Offer them ways to get in contact with you, a form for them to fill out for them to contact you or for you to contact them.
  5. Follow-up: Ask them what problems they are trying to solve and give them ideas on how you can help. Show them that you know how to help them and give them reasons to contact you for help.

It is definitely possible to use online marketing to grow your business. You just have to know what your goals are and how you are going to accomplish your goals.

Create a plan and put that plan into action.

 

Your Turn:

Have you created concrete goals for marketing your business online?

Have you a plan of action to accomplish those goals?

 

What Next:

You can always comment on my Blog, connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, join my LinkedIn group Marketing and PR for Professional Service  Firms, sign up for my NEWSLETTER.  or Contact Me.

Real Estate Blog: 13 Tips for Generating Blog Content for Real Estate Agents

13 Tips for Generating Blogging Content for Real Estate Agents

 

I was at a get together this weekend and got to talking to a real estate agent and she asked me, should I have a real estate blog?

Of course, you know what my answer was…of course you should. I am a firm believer in blogging; it can help set yourself apart from others in your field.

Real estate is a perfect profession for blogging.

Four Great Reasons why Real Estate Agents should have a Blog:

 

  • Build awareness of your business
  • It allows you to showcase your expertise
  • Allows you to generate leads from interested buyers
  • Helps people get to know and like you

 

There are so many ways that blogging can help a real estate agent. If you are an agent who is thinking about starting a blog or already have a blog and here are some content ideas for your blog.

 

Thirteen Content Ideas for Your Real Estate Blog:

 

  1. Post pictures of available houses that you have listed, lots of high quality pictures
  2. Talk about the neighborhoods activities, their little league groups, parent groups, ECT.
  3. Talk about local restaurants, coffee shops, shopping areas, parks, ECT.
  4. Talk about events going on the in neighborhood, attend the events and take lots of pictures
  5. Talk about employment opportunities
  6. Post videos of the houses that you offer, of the neighborhood and events
  7. Give tips for buying a house, how to find the best mortgage
  8. Show people what they can afford in certain price ranges, here’s what $200,000 or $300,000 will buy
  9. Talk about the local schools, new initiatives, successes, show pictures of the local schools
  10. Interview residents in the neighborhoods that you represent
  11. Interview past clients about what life is like in their new neighborhood and how they enjoyed working with you
  12. Tell them about neighborhood associations and how they benefit the neighborhood, what events and activities they offer
  13. Halloween is coming up, take pictures of decorated houses and showcase them on your blog

 

I am sure with some thought that you can come up with many more ideas for content for you blog.

Don’t forget to put the areas that you represent in the title tag of you blog

Offer an email sign-up form so that interested readers so that you can stay in contact with them and turn them into clients.

Blogging is an inexpensive way to generate more leads for your business; it just takes your time and creativity.

 

Your Turn:

What other ideas do you have for content for real estate agents?

If you are a real estate agent, are you blogging?

 

What I want you to do next:

 

Leave a comment on my Blog, like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, join my LinkedIn group Marketing and PR for Professional Service  Firms  and sign up for my NEWSLETTER