If you want the easiest, fastest and surest way to market your business online or offline, here is a very simple six-step formula that will virtually guarantee your success.
1 Establish your niche. Don’t use the shotgun approach and try to spray everything; instead, use a rifle to narrow in on your market and products. Whenever possible, go narrower than your competitors. For example, instead of a dealership listing itself online under the broad banner of “used cars,” it would do much better listing a “2005 Honda Accord,” in its city and state. Since most consumers looking for a used car would probably already have some idea of a car they’d like in mind, it’s best to meet them right where they are searching.
2 Give your prospects something of value (otherwise known as a lead generation magnet or device) for free. After you’ve narrowed down your specialty, create a free e-zine, newsletter, report or information package of some kind that allows you to demonstrate your expertise. It must be so interesting and informative (and not advertising) that your prospects will want to receive it regularly.
3 Promote your lead generation device. Use pay-per-click ads, banners, articles you’ve written, speeches before trade groups, press releases, radio spots and interviews, regular communications with your customers, take-ones at related retail outlets, space ads, newspaper classifieds, direct mail, joint ventures and strategic alliances with others in your industry or complementary businesses.
4 Capture contact information. Never give away your valuable information without getting your prospects’ information in exchange. Share it only in exchange for an e-mail/snail mail address (or other pertinent information you require) when someone requests your free information. This automatically gives you permission — and the means — to stay in touch with your market, building your most valuable marketing asset, your customer list.
5 Make it valuable. Make your free lead generation magnet valuable and interesting so your prospects will be anxious to open it. Like a patient hunter, bait your new prospects with meaty information. Be personable. Become a trusted friend and adviser. Resist the urge to go for the kill (i.e., sale) too soon.
6 Go easy on the sales hype. The biggest mistake you could ever make in lead generation is selling too soon, too hard and too often, especially in the beginning. As a rule, establish trust before you sell with lust.
Now, after you’ve proven your value to readers and you have a product or service to sell, tread softly. Kindly mention that you have a great product that enhances the valuable, free tip you’ve just shared with them and give them instructions on how they can learn more: “click here,” “call this number,” “mail this in,” etc.
When readers respond, they’re sent to a completely separate sales page or receive a separate mailing. That’s where you can sell your product or service as hard as you need to in order to make the sale.
Careful though; once your newsletter/e-zine is categorized as sales hype, your prospects will flee in droves. Your e-mail/mail will be thrown out, unopened. Your sales anxiety will force your prospects to push you away in disgust.
Never lose sight of the fact that your lead generation device should only be used to deliver helpful and true value. Keep your blatant sales pitches to a minimum. Gently tie a brief mention of your product into the valuable tip you’ve just shared, then use a response device to direct them to a separate hard-selling page or to receive a separate sales message.
Use these six simple steps for every major product or service you want to sell and voilà. You’ve got sales and a hyper-responsive customer list that can’t wait to receive your next correspondence.
Wayne Brown is a direct response marketing consultant and copywriter based in Marriottsville. He can be contacted via www.BusinessBuildingTechnician.com.