Tag: Prospects

DO PEOPLE TRUST YOUR BUSINESS?

DO PEOPLE TRUST YOUR BUSINESS?

Fifteen Ways to Build Trust Using Your Blog

Are you looking for more prospective clientsto build a relationship with prospects and converting prospects into clients, increased trust among current clients, to gain referrals, build your brand or gain awareness for you firm? Then get a blog.

Wow, can a blog really do all of that? Yes it can and so much more. It can help position you as an expert in your industry, help build an audience, gain attention, and grow your business.

Continue reading “DO PEOPLE TRUST YOUR BUSINESS?”

HOW INBOUND MARKETING AND CONTENT CAN DRAW PROSPECTS TO YOUR BUSINESS

HOW INBOUND MARKETING AND CONTENT CAN DRAW PROSPECTS TO YOUR BUSINESS

Hubspot surveyed 3339 marketing professionals in 128 countries about the current state of inbound marketing.
Continue reading “HOW INBOUND MARKETING AND CONTENT CAN DRAW PROSPECTS TO YOUR BUSINESS”

WHY I BELIEVE IN BLOGGING AND YOU SHOULD TOO

WHY I BELIEVE IN BLOGGING AND YOU SHOULD TOO

I talk about blogging all the time. Why? Because I fully believe that blogging can help a business achieve their business goals, assuming they have concrete goals.

In this post I am going to try to explain why I am a firm believer in blogging by telling you about my business and why I blog.

Why I Blog:

I blog because it is cost-effective, meaning cheap. I only spend about $10 a month to host my blog. Beyond that is all about the time that I commit to my blog. I use a free wordpress site and I make changes to the template. I am no wordpress designer; I know just enough to make a few changes. I know just enough to know what I want to change and then I search for the answer to figure out how to make the change. Please don’t ask me to help you in this respect, I really can’t. I just search and read.

I try to publish three articles a week on my blog, sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. I have learned not to stress over it, just do what I can. This year my goal is to remain consistent, which is why I decided to use blogging themes for each month. This way I only have to think about one blogging subject per month, yes, it gets dull but it helps me focus and focus is not always my strong suit.

If you are choosing to blog, you have to determine if it is cost-effective to blog. While it is cheap to host it, take time to research and write articles, for some it may be cheaper to outsource this task. If you want readers to get a feel for your personality than I suggest you create the blog posts yourself.

The Nitty Gritty:

I do not market my business much outside of blogging. It is the foundation of my marketing program. Yes, I use email, ECT, but it all begins with my blog. Everything that I plan to do this year begins with my blog or relates to my blog. I receive roughly 80% of my business through my blog, 15% through referrals and 5% from just talking to people. Am I rich, by no means, but the more I put into my blog the more business it brings me, this is why I love blogging.

I average approximately 2-4 contact submissions per week asking about my services, this works out for me. I am able to convert enough inquiries into clients that I keep my work constant and sometimes very busy.

I add approximately 10-15 new subscribers a month to my newsletter. This number is small enough for me to send a personal note to each new subscriber asking about their problems and how I can help them.

Blogging Let’s me be in Control:

I love blogging because I am in control of what happens on my blog. I can work hard to get more business, but I can also keep my business on pace with my blog. I like the amount of business my blog brings me, because it allows me to work from home, make money and have time with my family. I win all the way around.

Blogging allows me to keep my rates down. I love helping people and I probably give away too much freely but I always seem to benefit in the end someway, so I really don’t mind.

Blogging always me to Target the Audience I want to Reach:

Blogging and social networking allows me to reach the audience that I enjoy working. I love working with financial service professionals, professional coaches, service professionals and educational firms. While I marvel at the creativity available to other industries, it is not for me. I would love to be a marketer for music, art, restaurant and other businesses, but it would require an amount of creativity that I honestly don’t possess.

While there are times that I wish that my target audience were more willing to step outside of their box, I can understand their limitations and fears and I work within them to both of our satisfaction. I love the clients that I work with and have a great time working with them.

Does my Blog get a Lot of Traffic?

I average about 1500 page views a month, not tremendous but it is enough to keep me working. I am debating on how much I want to increase my blog traffic and yes, I would love too, but I also realize that it will increase my business. I have to decide if I increase my business am I willing to work more hours or hire help. I do not desire to manage others. I enjoy working for myself. Right now, I outsource when there is a project that doesn’t fit in with my capabilities or I am time limited. I can always just outsource more work. This is an option that blogging allows me to have and that I am thankful for.

The Cons of Blogging:

  • Time consuming
  • Constantly coming up with blogging ideas
  • Requires commitment and takes time to see results
  • A lot to learn if you do it all yourself
  • Sometimes can be disappointing when posts you think are great don’t get a lot of response
  • Sometimes get busy and blogging gets pushed to the side
  • Getting burned out, sometimes I just don’t want to blog

The Pros of Blogging:

  • Flexibility
  • I control my blog, what is presented, the creativity, topics
  • Generates business
  • Allows communication with readers
  • Inexpensive
  • Lets readers get to know me and believe in my work before they contact me
  • Pre-sells my services
  • Bloggers are a great group of people and willing to provide help and advice to other bloggers
  • The media reads blogs and sometimes will find your when doing searches for information

Plans for my Blog this Year:

This year I am planning to grow the readership of my blog and to use my blog to branch out into doing more workshops and training on blogging and social media.

I also plan to use other techniques to reach more readers such as slideshare, EBooks, podcasts, webinars, videos and a few other things that I am considering.

I am looking to create passive income such as workbooks and training programs for readers to purchase.

My Current Dilemma:

I am currently debating on whether or not to post my fees on my blog. Just like any other service provider I am concerned about being too expensive for some, too cheap to others or getting locked into a set price. I am leaning toward presenting my fees because I think it is something that prospects want to know, what the cost may be and what they will get for that cost.

Have Your Say:

What do you like or dislike about blogging?

USING YOUR BLOG AS A SELLING TOOL

USING YOUR BLOG AS A SELLING TOOL

Laura loves insurance. She loves everything about insurance. “I actually enjoy learning about insurance and how it can help customers achieve their goals,” said Laura.

What she doesn’t love is selling.

Laura dreads the thought of cold calling or knocking on doors. “I know I should go to networking meeting, go out and meet people, but it scares me, maybe I should look for another profession,” she said with a sigh.

Using Your Blog as a Selling ToolI felt bad for her as we sat across from one another me sipping on tea her on coffee. What are you going to do, I asked.

I just don’t know. I want to sell insurance, but I don’t want to go out and sell insurance, is there another way? I am going to lose my job if I don’t start making more sales.

I felt horrible as I watched her lay her head down onto her arms folded on the table, looking as if she were trying to hide her tears. I wanted to come up with some fantastic idea, something that would have her bringing is sales, yesterday, but I knew that was unrealistic.

What I did know was that she had to come up with a plan that would work for her.

Okay Laura, I said. I understand that you don’t want to go out and sell, what do you like to do?

I enjoy talking to groups of people about insurance and writing about insurance, she said.

Okay then let’s start there. How about we create a marketing plan that gets you in front of groups to talk and create a blog for you to write about insurance.

She sat up with a smile on her face. Can we do that?

Of course, we can, and so can you.

Laura’s Big Hurdle

Laura went to her boss and told him her plan. He was old school and didn’t think that it would work. It would take too long get speaking gigs, he felt she was to new and he didn’t understand blogging at all. He told her to start making phone calls and make as many face-to-face meeting with people as she could.

You know Laura, most of the agents here are involved with many networking and charitable organizations and that is how they make contacts. It works and that’s probably what you should do also. I don’t think that blogging thing is such a good idea, why don’t you try finding some women’s groups to join and see if you can make contacts and sell some insurance.

Laura called me almost in tears. What should I do? She asked.

Back to her Boss she Goes

After we talked, she decided to try talking to her boss again. She asked him if he could give her six months. If after six months she were not seeing results, she would start cold calling or find another job. Good thing for her, he really liked her and didn’t want to see her leave. He told her that he had given it some thought and read about how the internet was helping people grow their businesses and decreasing their marketing costs.

Have a plan to me in a week and I will look it over, he said. If it looks feasible, I will let you try it for six months.

Laura called me excited but before we could get off the phone, her fears began to set in. Oh no, I don’t know how to create a marketing plan, she said, will you help me?

Laura’s Marketing Plan

Laura sells life and disability insurance. We first had to decide on her target audience. Who did she feel she was most capable of reaching, understood and was able to help?

Laura’s Target Market:

Young professional couples with small children, since she fell into this category herself and could understand their concerns.

Laura’s Blog:

She decided that she would host an inexpensive blog, separate from her company. Her goal was to post two times a week on insurance related information and once a week on community activities. She believed that most of her clients would be local that found her though the internet.

She also decided that the tone of her blog would be casual as if she were talking to friends.

Laura’s second step was to create a list of topics that she would cover.

Laura last step was to create a list of online groups that she could join and become involved in the conversation and answer any questions pertaining to insurance.

Speaking:

We talked and decided that we would focus on talking to churches. Her community and surrounding communities had well over 100 churches and we begin to dig through every listing we could find to come up with a listing of local area churches. When the list was complete, she had 117 churches listed.

She began calling all the churches to see if they would be interested in her presenting to their church members a free seminar on insuring their family’s future and she described what she the seminar would offer.

Presenting to her Boss:

Laura then presented her boss with her plan. She was able to show him how many people she would potentially be able to reach through the online groups and speaking to churches. He was impressed and gave her the go ahead.

Laura was ecstatic.

Laura’s Results:

She wrote her first couple of insurance articles in advance, set up her blog, and began blogging. She wrote about insurance and local activities that she attended or were coming, local restaurants, hair salons and children’s activities. Whatever she could that was local and draw readers to her blog.

She created her presentation, contacted the churches that said they would be interested and began setting up a schedule to give presentations.

Laura ordered new business cards with her blog address printed on the card and gathered her presentation and marketing material. She began giving presentations to the local churches.

The beginning was slow, especially for her blog.

The first month she only averaged five visitors a day, but by the end of six month’s she was averaging over 100 visitors a day, many repeat visitors. She receives at least one request for an appointment from the contact form that she has on her blog.

When she reached month four she decided to begin building an email list and offered a free paper explaining how to make sure that the reader is adequately insuring their family. Within two months, she had over 150 subscribers to her email list.

Her speaking gigs went much better. She talked to three groups in the first month, but by the end of six months, she was averaging six presentations a month and had moved beyond churches. People were calling her to come speak to their employees and groups.

Laura figured that for every 10 people she talked to in a group she was able to get three appointments. If there were 30 people in the group, she would average nine appointments. For every three appointments she average at least one sale, sometimes two.

The Greatest Reward:

Her boss and coworkers were impressed with her results. Her boss asked her to help train them on how to use blogging to help grow their clientele.

Since she didn’t feel capable of doing this, she was kind enough for refer my name to her boss and I currently working with his firm and agents to help them use the internet to grow.

And, we will all live happily ever after.

Have Your Say:

Are you currently using your blog to help you sell?

Do you think that this is something that you can do?14