During a recent meeting with our marketing specialist team, we concluded that more inquiries from clients lately seem to have a theme of lead generation resonating throughout a strong portion of them. I felt compelled to talk about this, as there is no doubt in my mind this topic is resonating with many more business owners, as well. This blog post is for all business owners wondering how to get really good at generating quality leads like a pro!
Lead Generation is imperative if you want your business to stay in business; and vital if you want your business to make a profit. Our team likes to look at leads as fitting into one of two categories: Quality leads and Crappy leads. Most of us have had our share of both. But, let’s start by defining each of them.
Quality Leads are simply leads that you will have a stronger possibility of landing. This could be for several reasons:
- Quality leads are usually qualified, screened, or pared down to meet certain criteria that fit something that you need them to
- They can be referrals, but even the quality of referrals is not what they used to be (more on this below!)
- These could be customers who are expecting to hear from you. Maybe they discovered you through a lead service or a friend.
- Someone who has done a decent amount of research, has been educated, and has moved forward enough in their hiring journey to be readier to make a move.
Crappy leads are leads that you have a lesser chance at landing:
- These leads have probably not been qualified, screened, or pared down to meet any specific criteria needed by you
- These leads may or may not be referrals
- Crappy leads will run you around; are customers looking for the lowest price; or not ready to make a move
- Crappy leads usually waste a lot of your time and money not turning into customers
Everybody would rather have quality leads than crappy ones, so our team decided in our meeting to make it a focus area this year to teach as many businesses as we can two important and basic things about generating quality leads like a pro:
- You already have some control over obtaining quality leads for your business
- What that control is and how to stay in the driver’s seat with it
Let’s dissect these two realizations. It starts by understanding some basics about consumer behavior as we know it in 2017. When consumers need (or want) to turn to a professional service provider for help with a project or a repair, over 96% will begin a due diligence process. Some will take a few hours, and even more will take a few weeks or longer. Those customers need to reach a very specific place in their process in order for them to be able to commit emotionally to a hiring decision. A not so well known fact is that today, when someone receives a referral, even from a trusted source, 90% of them will still research the referral before deeming them worthy of their consideration. Of those referrals, 52% never get contacted based on this research. So what do customers as we know them in 2017 need?
Glad you asked! Close to 97% of customers are looking to satisfy three things in their due diligence process and in this order:
- An education
- Proof from the businesses they can consider that they are worthy
- An overall positive experience
If there were a magical key to the City of Lead Generation, it would open doors that provide all of the above to your potential customers. Why would this be so magical? The simple answer revolves around the internet which segways me to my addressing #1 above, an education. The remainder of this blog post will focus on #1 with upcoming posts to cover #’s 2 and 3.
It’s no big revelation that the internet has provided all of us with enormous opportunities to learn. And we do, don’t we?! It has also provided businesses with enormous opportunities to educate! This is one of the magical places our team frequently floats around in with the businesses we work with. It really is a magical place because it comes with magical results.
Did you know that you can provide your potential customers with an abundance of education, both online and offline? When the two of you collide, voila, you have a customer relationship in the making. It works because of your customers’ natural desires to feel smarter. When they feel smart, it brings them closer to being able to take action, and ideally, in your direction.
Content on the internet is a big deal. I know you’ve heard that before! It is where all of us as consumers go to for answers, education, and information 24 / 7 because we can! Every time a consumer jumps on their phone, tablet, iPad, or computer to ask a question, think of this as a conversation starter, at first with their search engine. If the question they are asking pertains to your areas of expertise, how awesome would it be for you to end up on the other side of the conversation and provide the answer(s) to their question(s). You can. And you should be doing this! You don’t have to be a writer. You just have to acknowledge that you already have a wealth of information in your brain that can be put to great task on your business's behalf.
Most business owners may not realize that they already have a brain full of perfect, relevant, and useful information that when directed in the right places, the right ways, can become some of the most effective and least expensive marketing they have. This mindset is where great content marketing strategies begin! Trust me when I tell you that taking your business down this path is simpler than you might ever think. You can do much of this yourself, receive a little hand-holding at first, then take off on your own, or enlist the help of content specialists, like our team to get you there.
Here is a great tip to help get YOU started on your own on a productive and constructive path using a basic and easily implementable content marketing tactic. FAQ's! That simple! Going back to the first basic desire of education that customers crave, FAQ's can fulfill this craving and are in one of the rightest places, your website. Sit down by yourself or brainstorm with your team for a good list of frequently asked questions you hear from customers inquiring about your services. Write down answers to these keeping them simple, brief, but clear. If you don't already have an FAQ tab on your website, create one and add each one as a separate page with clear links to the rest of the FAQ list. Each page will become a new searchable web page on the Internet. If you have SEO knowledge or know someone who does (we can help if you need it), be sure to adopt the most current SEO criteria to your pages for the best chances at folks discovering your content and becoming educated by you.
If you want to learn more about how you can begin putting simple content marketing to work for you with help or without, we would love to hear from you. Get a hold of me and schedule an enlightening Q and A conversation and walk away smarter and ready to take on quality lead generation like a pro!
How does this help you generate leads like a pro? When you provide searchable content online, you are positioning your potential customers to discover answers you have provided to the questions they are asking. This helps them become educated and it helps you position yourself as the expert that you are. When the two of you “click,” that touch point is the start of a customer relationship. (Dive deeper into this topic. See our presentation on Money Pages.)
Our marketing team has been guiding local businesses in trust-based marketing for over 13 years. Creating relevant content that speaks to both your expertise and to your potential customers is the beginning of creating an effective content marketing strategy that helps you lure interested customers to your camp. Contact our team today for a free Q and A session on this topic. Our goal is to help you walk away with new ammo you can use to improve and strengthen your business’s revenues and profits by simply understanding the basics of a trust-based marketing theme.
When customers begin to perceive that you know what you are talking about, it helps them begin to trust you. Trust speaks to #2 above which will be taken up in a future post!
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