4 quick tips for attracting potential clients online.
Setting up an online marketing gig isn’t impossibly difficult and there are a number of easy but highly effectively tips and strategies that can significantly improve your chances of attracting potential clients online.
With virtually everyone spending about half of their waking hours on the Internet it is essential that you have an effective online marketing strategy to give your business the boost it needs.
Online marketing is far from a brain-dead effort, however, and before moving on to the tutorial you should take some time to examine your resolve.
- You’re serious at providing a service online or selling a product.
- You have a website as part of your marketing plan, which isn’t merely a front for interests or a pet project.
- You spend consistently on marketing. The amount doesn’t really matter (even S$300 would suffice) but marketing is the life blood of business and not doing so might be a sign that you aren’t serious.
- You aren’t a bleeding-heart non-profit organization.
Comfortable so far? Then let’s proceed!
Also known as the lead-capture system, this is a tool that is used to find potential clients. A common type of lead-capture is the use of a lead-capture form – quite literally a form to be filled out and submitted by the visitor/potential client to collect information about them – and is typically embedded into a landing page.
Creating a landing page with a lead-capture system is simple; turnkey, or ready-to-use solutions like Leadpages online automate the process of creating a landing page (US$25/month for the standard features), eliminating the need for any tough programming skills that you might not possess or are unwilling to learn.
Why use a Landing Page?
Landing pages are the perfect vehicle to carry your lead-capture set-up. Unlike a corporate website which contains detailed information on the company and its products/services; landing pages are kept clean and simple.
Too much information is distracting and is counterproductive for attracting potential clients online to click into the lead-capture system.
Keeping the page simple serves to focus the visitor on what you want them to see and act upon – the brief yet succinct message on the page and the call-to-action or opt-in button.
*opt-in -> The express permission by a customer, or a recipient of a mail, email, or other direct message to allow a marketer to send a merchandise, information, or more messages. (BusinessDictionary.com)
**call-to-action -> In marketing, a call to action (CTA) is an instruction to the audience to provoke an immediate response, usually using an imperative verb such as “call now”, “find out more” or “visit a store today”. (Source: Wikipedia.)
There are two common types of landing page design:
One-step opt-in Landing Page.
A traditional design where the lead-capture form is located on the landing page itself. The page should contain a to-the-point headline and brief description that imparts as much information about your product or service to convince visitors to click-in.
One-step opt-ins have high opt-in rates but its single-step procedure has the potential to soak up spammers and useless contacts. We’ll explain this in a little more detail below.
Two-step opt-in Landing Page.
A two-step landing page design contains the headline and brief description like a one-step opt-in landing page does but with the addition of a hidden lead-capture form in a call-to-action button.
The main advantage of a two-step opt-in is that extra step filters out spammers from being added to your mailing list. As a rule; an extra step usually translates into fewer opt-ins but those that it does nab are quality ones.
Keep lead-capture form questions non-instrusive.
It is a good idea to initially restrict questions in the lead-capture form to name and email. Refrain from requesting information of more personal nature. Asking for too much information before trust and credibility is established may spook potential customers for good. Only when you’ve determined a visitor to be a potential prospect (lead) do you follow-up. More on that in TIP FOUR.
TIP TWO: Find out what problems your prospects are facing.
Learning about your potential customer’s problems and needs is the single most important step in attracting potential clients online as this is where you pinpoint your target audience. Reach doesn’t mean anything if you’re talking to the wrong crowd – you could try selling ice to an Inuit but we all know how that will turn out.
Often customers don’t even know that they need something. But like people who’ve caught a bug it is possible to determine their needs by observing their ‘symptoms’, so to speak. For example: if a visitor to your website is frequenting a particular FAQ or clicks on a particular link more often – chances are that he/she has an interest there.
So how would we implement this concept into a landing page? Presenting problems as questions on a landing page can help in attracting potential clients online, who might be piqued by the striking resemblance of their concerns spelt out word-for-word in front of them.
Present relevant questions to pique the interest of potential customers.
Aside from collecting potential leads using this technique is a good way to learn more about your visitors and lets you better tailor solutions to them. Remember that the goal is to find out who your target audience is and what they want so that you can satisfy their needs.
Telling questions will also give the visitor the impression that you know your stuff and that you really do have a solution that will work for them.
And not to mention the professional image it’d give them of your company!
Give them a Quiz!
A Quiz is also great way to get collect information on prospects, and given the nature of quizzes that information doesn’t need to stop at an email address. Quizzes have the advantage of presenting itself as a fun activity that its user is doing on their own behalf and therefore can be used to collect a wide variety of interesting tidbits on them.
This information can then be used to learn more about these prospective clients and determine if they are a match for your business before deciding to escalate contact. Again, if the prospect isn’t interested then pursuing them further is a waste of time.
Here are a few tools we recommend to design online quizzes with:
1. ShortStack – An exact quote on their official page, “Generate leads, drive sales and boost engagement using social marketing campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, landing pages, and embedded Campaigns.”
2. LeadQuizzes – A popular choice. Perhaps its name has something to do with it…
3. Typeform – Known for its interface. Runs well on iPad and other mobile devices.
And here’s an idea on how to get your visitors to pay attention to your quiz:
Notice how it almost dares them to try it? People find it hard to resist a good challenge, and nothing quite works to invoke the warrior spirit in us than throwing down the gauntlet!
Oh, and it’s best not to call it a survey. Surveys are boring. People tend to avoid boring.
TIP THREE: Create a lead magnet for that pain.
Another step that we’re going to explore to get visitors to opt-in and click the call-to-action button is the lead magnet. A lead magnet is the final push you give interested visitors – an extra incentive to influence their next action, which is to opt-in, of course.
Lead magnets typically come in the form of freebies. Let’s explore a few options that you can use:
1. Online guides
Remember how we identified the problems/needs of our prospective clients in TIP TWO? Solutions in the form of online guides are the best lead magnets for those looking for an answer to their problems – which can be presented as a free gift which ask for, again, just their email in return. Perfectly relevant. The raison d’être. And if you make those guides worth their while they are likely to come back for more.
*Note: Avoid using the word Ebook to describe guides whenever possible. Overuse and abuse of this word by scammers has created in the online community a strong allergic reaction to it. So unless you’re very, very convincing you should consider using words like checklists, free guides or infographics instead.
2. Online courses
Online courses are especially useful if you’re into consultation business like coaching, health and fitness, info-marketing and so forth. They also have the added bonus of periodically reminding the client of your existence every time they receive an update on their course.If you course spans 5 days then the recipient will be reminded at least 5 times.
Use software to help you manage your courses.
A good online course tool like ConvertKit will also help keep track of each participant and automatically email the right course to them when needed. ConvertKit is a great tool that you can use to build your course which will also manage your clients/students, tracking their commencement dates and sending out courses to clients automatically. Let the computer handle the mundane stuff!
An alternative to ConverKit is MailChimp. However, do note that MailChimp isn’t recommended if you’re doing affiliate marketing. Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with affiliate marketing – it will be covered in a later post!
3. Free Consultation
As the name implies, free consultations are particularly useful if you’re into consultation as a business. Free consultations let your prospects sample your services and determine if they are suitable.
This can be done over Internet, phone or even on-site (face-to-face). Think of a financial planner who gives a free consultation or two to evaluate the suitability of their services for their client.
Free consultation services have a catch – it requires you to personally take up time to give those consultations. And if you had an appointment with a client but a clash in your timetable prevents you from making it this could cause the client to check in with a competitor instead. It could also give them a bad impression of your level of professionalism.
Use appointment scheduling software.
These tools will not only help you keep track of appointments but also lets clients directly search through your schedule and book appointments, based on available time slots, by themselves.
This ALSO saves you the extra step of having to discuss with clients beforehand and making the necessary adjustments to your schedule yourself.
Appointlet is synced to Google Calendar to standardize the timing between you and your client so there’s no excuse that the both of you weren’t on Changi Time!
TIP FOUR: Follow-up on those leads captured.
Now that you’ve gotten your leads the next step is to follow up on them. From our experience not following up actively on leads is akin to submitting a generic contact form and hoping that someone gets back to you; which is almost never…
How to follow-up.
1. If you have a company or are part of a team then you will need to assign and train one of the staff to follow-up on your online prospects.
2. Explore the use of a marketing automation system. These systems track leads that you’ve met, the potential value of that lead, the sales person responsible for the follow-up and whether the entire sales process has been completed.
3. Outsource your digital marketing team. This has the added advantage of perusing the expertise of a team dedicated to digital marketing and at the same time eliminating the need to train and maintain a team within your company.
If your company is small this could also take the burden off your employees who might have to perform double duties of following up on leads as well as focusing on their main job.
Remember that overburdening your employees leads to dissatisfaction within the ranks which equals lowered productivity and possibly increased employee turnover!
And that’s it for this tutorial! Keep following up on those leads until you convert them into loyal paying customers!