You have a hot prospect come in the door today! You are excited! They tell you about their needs, you know you have the right solution. They like your product or service, but will not commit at the current time. Bam! Their goes your commission check that would pay for your car payment! The fact is that when you are using social networking, internet marketing, blogging, marketing, or even sales you need readers and subscribers who become prospects and prospects who become clients.
I talk a lot about relationship building, which is crucial to building your business. However, there comes a point when you have to be able to convert your prospects, readers, friends, followers, fans, connections, and subscribers into clients. It is a magical word that automatically puts money in your mind and your pocket.
That is why I want to discuss three ways to start converting your prospects into clients. A lot of these strategies work great with a blog or website.
- Email Marketing- Do you capture emails from your readers on your blog? What about capturing emails from your Facebook fan page? Or your website? If not, then you need to change that. I could give you a million reasons why, but the simplest reason is that people will not buy from you the first time they see your site. Instead, they will check you out. When they feel comfortable with you they will come back. Having an email sign up with a free offer is the incentive to come back, and also the nudge they need from you to do so. Quick, shameless affiliate plug: I use Aweber, because it is a really easy system for people who want to opt-in to your list, and also has a great auto-responder system.
- Take the relationship to the next level. Have a way to drive interested prospects to the next level. For me, I use a scheduling system from Fieldtrax to schedule free 30 minute Skype conversations with prospects. Social Networking and Blogging for most businesses are the beginning of the sales process. How do you intend to get to the next step?
- Are your offers working? There are some offers that just do not work. I was testing out a few months ago, sign up for my site to win a free 2 hour training session with me. It was a disaster. My opt-in’s dropped to next to nothing as my site traffic was increasing. Test, test, and test some more to see what works.
Let me know which one of these methods works best for you? Or better yet, which combination of these methods works best? Let us know how you found converted your prospect.
Great article Andrew. I have found Aweber an amazing tool to work with and have really learned a lot in the process. On the otherhand, still a relative newbie at blogging, I realize I haven’t been testing as much as I should. I tried a couple of offers that didn’t work well, put up a new one, but (gasp!) didn’t track results because I got sidetracked – finally took a look yesterday and found I have all these new subscribers I didn’t even know about! Good lesson, so you’re right on with your advice.
That is always nice to have a jump in subscribers and you are like what did I do? That being said, definitely track as much as possible. Sounds like you are on the right track!
You are spot on here. I ahve built some great lists and they harvest continually over many years. It si becoming more difficult to get people to opt in, and you have to be very creative with your offers.
The problem is that everyone is catching on to this, and I get dozens of useless emails from marketers. I take them just to see what is on offer.
No real value and you get nothing!!
Keep informing people. Many who have lots of traffic and no business need to hear it, especially the bit about testing offers.
It can be more challenging to get opt-ins. That is why we have to be so diligent about testing for the best methods. The other thing is keeping your expectations realistic. You will not have 100,000 emails in 1 year (Generally). As long as you have goals that work for your business that is all that matters.
Andy, this post has come at a very opportune moment for me as I have neglected to even put an optin box on my site until this week.
It was something I always knew I should do but never got around to doing. Now all I have to do is to find a great offer to encourage people to sign up.
That is great that you put up an opt-in form. For your offer just to get started create a white paper or report about how to save money. You can always change it later. Better to have some offer than none.
You are so right. The bottom line is we are working for a reason and that is positive conversion. Building relationships are the beginning of everything. You stated, “however, there comes a point when you have to be able to convert your prospects, readers, friends, followers, fans, connections, and subscribers into clients.” The number one way to get conversions is to build your list. The only way that can be done is to give people a chance to opt in to you!
I think email subscriptions are the best way to convert because it gives you the opportunity to build relationships by sharing your knowledge and the subscriber gets something in return. Using a good auto responder, such as Aweber, fulfills the “what is in it for me?” The subscriber benefits from something you are providing to them, and you have a chance to shine, if you do it correctly. If a really effective email subscription is set up with solid follow-up, it establishes trust between you and your subscribers. They get a chance to “check you out” and eventually decide if they want to partner with you. Once they do, you have a partner for life!
I really like your blog, and I can assure you I will visit often! Thanks Nathan.
Great post and right on the money…
I also use a combination of the 3 strategies that you mentioned. AWeber is also my system of choice. I haven’t been tracking as diligently as I should, but I think it is time to change things up a bit.
The only way to succeed is to build that almighty list and as you mentioned that starts with a compelling offer that a prospect will view as valuable and a follow up auto-responder where you continue to offer value.
But, I prefer getting to the next level of relationship building and that is with personal contact and I find Skype to be the best way to accomplish that.
I agree with you that the next step should preferably be the skype conversation. However, you reach different people with different methods.
You have some great suggestions and tips.
I have found through the years that I pick and choose who I work with.
Quality vs quantity.
When I find someone that interest me I reach out on skype or telephone and make a connection.
Thanks for sharing.