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21Feb

A Bike Shop’s Example of Good Marketing

I was chit-chatting with my friend the other day about his business, and as he kept talking about all the challenges he was facing, I couldn’t help but think to myself… “oh wow, it’s really costing him to live without my products or my services.” Or better yet, a bit more dramatically…” oh wow, he can’t live without me!”

I know we were told in counseling that when someone shares their problems, they are not necessarily asking for solutions. We are to nod, acknowledge, and repeat or summarize their frustration to let them know we are listening.

But, sometimes….we just HAVE to chime in. Especially knowing that it’s costing them money, opportunities, growth, and success if they don’t listen to us. LOL.

In business, we call this scenario “The Stakes”. What are you helping your customers overcome? Or, what are you helping your customers avoid?

We are currently in the “Power of the Landing Page” series. If you missed our last conversation, we talked about the most essential part of the landing page design, the Hero Section. If you missed it, you can check it out here.

After designing your perfect Hero Image and header, you now move on to the next section, “The Stakes.” In this section, you are communicating to your customer that there’s a problem that you are facing, and if you don’t fix it, it will COST you something.

Let’s do an example of a bike shop. The bike shop owner has a store in a cool, touristy beach town, and during the peak season, the traffic gets a bit overwhelming. She hears a lot of her local residents complaining about it. Also, the town is small enough for a lot of people to walk to coffee shops and grocery stores. So, she started an idea, a movement, a campaign to bring a lot of locals interested in purchasing a bike.

On “The Stake” section of her landing page, she wrote, “Life is too short to sit in traffic.” This resonates with the locals who complained about the traffic; they were frustrated because they felt like they were wasting their precious time away from enjoying their day in their beautiful beach town.

Then, in the next line, she wrote, “Traffic is no fun, don’t be held back.” This confirmed their thought on why the traffic made them frustrated. Not having fun, which is important to the locals in a beach town, and being held back, which is what they were feeling as it being a waste of their precious time. This is the COST. 

The final line she chose was, “You were designed for more.” Whoa!! I love the word “design” here because it gives a sense that there’s a better, more creative way that was strategically created specifically for the local residents dealing with the traffic issue. The entire line also gives a positive solution of hope.

So, let’s put it all together for a perfect “The Stakes” section for this bike shop.

LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO SIT IN TRAFFIC
Traffic is no fun, don’t be held back.
You were designed for more.

Here’s the actual designed image.
I hope this gives you a better design sense when you are creating your landing page. This being the second section of the landing page creates an urgency in your message to engage your audience right away, and what better way to do that than to let them know what is COSTING them to not buy your product or to not use your services?

By the way, if you are a good student and want to read ahead on our Landing page series, these resources I am giving you have been well-researched, developed, and tested by the New York Times bestselling author and marketing guru Donald Miller in his book, Marketing Made Simple. You can purchase your book here to dive deeper and learn more about how this format has been derived and the effects it will have on your brand.

So, are you ready to design your landing page? Well, not yet…we have more sections to go over that are essential to finalizing the perfect marketing landing page. In the meantime, what is the cost of someone not doing business with you? What are you helping your customers overcome? What are you helping your customers avoid? I would love to know and help you draft your “THE STAKES” section. Send it to me.

14Feb

Rain and the Landing Page Design

While reading this, I don’t know where you are, but I hope you are cozy, warm, and safe. We’ve been experiencing some unusual amount of rain here in Southern California. It’s raining right now as I write this, and I just heard that it’s in record numbers. Funny rain story: when I was dating Maria (we are now married…lol), I remember driving through the neighborhood in my car during a mid-summer day, and it started pouring…I mean, like crazy pouring…which doesn’t happen often in the Reno Desert where we grew up. She wanted me to stop the car. When I pulled over, she got out and started running, dancing, and jumping up and down in the rain in the middle of the street. She came back into my car, soaked and laughing hysterically. I think she enjoyed herself.

Fast forward 30+ years, she constantly checks the weather forecast and takes her umbrella if there’s even a slight 5% chance of rain…apparently, she does not want to get wet anymore. What happened to the crazy person I married? Hahaha

So, what does rain have to do with our new “The Power of a Landing Page” series? Absolutely nothing. I just wanted to share.

Back to the landing page, let me first remind you again why a landing page is so crucial to your business. If done correctly, it can be one of the most powerful tools for your growth. Your landing page’s primary goal is to convert visitors into leads or customers. How? By focusing on the specific call-to-action (CTA), such as filling out a form, making a purchase, or subscribing to their email communication..etc. You guide your visitors toward taking the desired action. A standard homepage on your website holds an entirely different purpose than what a Landing page can do. You can read more about it here.

Let’s get into the design of your landing page. As you think through how to structure your wireframe, let’s focus on the first thing your visitor will see: the Hero Image and the Message. You only get one chance to make a first impression. The Hero is the top section of your landing page and the first impression a customer will have about your product or service. You need to be very clear on what you are offering so that it will pique their interest and read the rest of the content. To do that, you’ll need these three main components:

  • What you offer
  • How it will make the customer’s life better
  • What they need to do to buy it.

It would help if you tried not to be too “touchy-feely” here by adding a vague and unclear message even though it sounds great. For example, “Imagine the possibilities,” “Unlock Your Potential,” “Experience the Difference,” or “Shape your Destiny.” For your landing page, you need to be direct and precise. Let your visitors know immediately what problem you solve for them. Let them know immediately what you offer, how you improve their life, and what they need to do next.

For example: (CTA is in Bold)

  • Injury lawyers committed to helping you get your life back: Give us a call
  • Great managers aren’t born, they’re trained: See how we do it
  • Surprise and delight your guests with handcrafted desserts: Order now

To take it further, I created this e-book to help you create that perfect first impression. You can download it here. Don’t worry, it’s free.

Here’s a quick homework you can do to get started on your landing page design. Answer this question: What should your hero message say?

Reply with your one-liner message, and I’ll give you some feedback.

I am looking forward to hearing from you. Tell me a funny story about you and the rain if you can’t think of a one-liner message. 🙂

 

07Feb

Knowledge is Power

I went to Costco yesterday in the mid-afternoon. It was a bit busy and everyone was beelining to the cart area to claim one for their shopping pleasure/comfort before they ran out. Instead of heading over to the typical area like everyone else, I looked over to the abandoned area. It’s a close vicinity of where the carts are positioned but often you’ll see two tangled carts stuck together on the side. I call this the “abandoned area”. No one goes there. As you can obviously observe, someone struggled with these two carts and they are no longer desirable. And I am sure some choice words were uttered under his breath. The visual makes me giggle.

I am an expert. I started working for a grocery store right when I got my driver’s license. My job was to first make eye contact and say hello to the customer, unload the goods from the carts onto the conveyor, then bag it. I’ll load the bags neatly back into the cart and ask if they need help out to their car. I also had to always be continuously aware of the cart inventory…if we were running low, I needed to run out to the parking lot and gather them back into the store.  So, as you can see, I dealt with carts a bunch. And yes, I also dealt with tangled carts that were abandoned. In fact, I became so good at constantly untangling the stuck carts all day long, I became a “tangled cart whisperer”, yes, that’s right, I became an expert un-tangler. Is that even a word? It is now.

What’s my point? Well, ever since my claim and honor of the title, “tangled cart whisperer” I no longer became afraid. For the last almost 40 years of my life, I walked proudly and confidently towards the tangled carts serving two purposes. One, to untangle and save someone the trouble, and two, to show off. The simple knowledge and experience made me the hero…in my own mind of course. Thus, my conclusion. Knowledge = Power.

I am going to start a new series on digital marketing to help you land more clients, create more leads, and bring more traffic to your website. Let’s call this series “The Power of a Landing Page.” I believe once you understand more in-depth what a landing page is (and is not), and how to structure it, design it, and bring traffic to it, you’ll become powerful. So, here it goes.

First, the biggest question I hear and one of the biggest confusion in the digital marketing world is the difference between a Homepage on your website and a Landing Page on your website.  Let me break it down for you because they serve two different purposes.

  • Homepage:
    • The homepage is the main or default page of a website.
    • It typically serves as an entry point to the entire website and provides an overview of the site’s content and navigation options.
    • It often includes a site’s logo, and main navigation menu, and may showcase featured or recent content.
    • The homepage is designed to cater to a broad audience and direct visitors to different sections of the website.
  • Landing Page:
    • A landing page is a standalone web page created for a specific marketing or advertising campaign.
    • It is designed with a focused goal, such as promoting a product, service, or event, or capturing leads.
    • Unlike the homepage, a landing page usually lacks extensive navigation options to keep visitors focused on the intended action.
    • Landing pages are often used in online advertising and are optimized for a particular audience or keyword.

In summary, the homepage is the central hub of a website, providing a general overview and navigation to various sections. On the other hand, a landing page is a specialized, standalone page created for a specific purpose, often related to marketing or advertising, with a focused call to action.

So, without this knowledge, what is the number one mistake that people make? They spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars creating an Ad to bring traffic to the WRONG page. In fact, the content on the Ad and the page that the Ad leads to creates more confusion than sales.  So, if you’ve run Ads for your business but don’t have a Landing Page, or you’ve never run an Ad to direct traffic to your content for leads, I am going to help you create and design the most effective landing page. I want to make you powerful and not be afraid of the unknown world of tangled digital marketing.

I’ll take the time to show you how the information should flow and how certain positioning of your narrative can spark someone’s attention and in a quick moment or so be engaged in your company…just by being landed on your landing page. I’ll go over what types of images work and why it’s important to use certain taglines to help connect and be relatable which can lead to an interest in someone in your company.

Are you ready to be powerful? Are you ready to tackle the tangled web of digital mess and confusion that you’ve set aside for abandonment? Let’s get to work. Stay tuned.

12Aug

SEO 101 aka how to make Google love you

I talk to so many clients and business owners about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and realize that there is a lot of misunderstanding about it. I thought it would be fun to spend some time going over the basics and learn together what we can do to ultimately help increase traffic to your website.

But first, what the heck is SEO and why should I even care? In order to answer this question, you have to understand Google’s mission…this is straight from Google’s own words:

“People around the world turn to Search to find information, learn about topics of interest, and make important decisions. We know people rely on us so our commitment will never waver. As technology evolves, we will continue to help everyone find the information they’re looking for. We believe Search should: Deliver the most relevant and reliable information available.” 

Let’s start there. Basically, Google wants to be the #1 guide when you’re looking for answers online. How? By giving you the most relevant information that you’ll find helpful to you. Why? Because if Google keeps giving you the best answers to your questions, you’ll start to trust them, and eventually, Google will become a huge part of your life.

In order for Google to keep their promise, they have to have their own set of rules (algorithms) to help them filter and determine what information is most RELEVANT out there and rank it accordingly. The higher the ranking, the more visible the answer will be for the people searching…meaning, it shows up in the order of relevance starting from page 1 of the search results.

So, why is that important to us as business owners? Because we want Google to look at the information on our website and be impressed by what we provide, so when they’ll show it to others as part of their promise to provide the most relevant and reliable information. And if Google wins, you win.

Here’s the ultimate question: How do I impress Google? How do I create, format, design, add content, structure and work on the website so that Google will determine my website to be credible and useful? Simple – know the rules (algorithms) Google has determined to increase your rankings, then do it authentically and do it well. But here’s the challenge: there are a lot of rules, and the rules change. Not only that, there are rules that are transparent and obvious and there are also rules that they do not share…not even within their own company. (They don’t want the secret getting out so no one can unfairly manipulate the numbers).

Here’s a reference that I hope you find helpful. This company began conducting a continuous study of Google’s algorithm 12 years ago, and for the last several years has published its results publicly. As the largest SEO firm in the US, it has a sizable data set on which to base its understanding of the factors that comprise Google’s search algorithm.

Below is the 2021 update, along with a description of each factor and a summary of changes from the past year. Also, here’s the link directly to their page if you’d like to read more about it.

I hope this gives you an overall picture of how SEO works. Unfortunately, it can get very complex and it’s always evolving. But I believe it’s important enough for us to pay attention to it and continuously implement the right factors into your website. I’ll be sharing more in the coming weeks about how you can raise your SEO game. Because what’s more important than receiving love from your mom? Receiving love from Google. 🙂

SEO ya later!

15Jul

Want to Create an Instagram Strategy and Game Plan to Make an Impact?

You probably know Instagram can be a powerful way to connect with your dream customers, but where do we start? Over the next few weeks, Bos Media is here with some ideas for how to best engage this platform.

First, let’s start by shifting our mindset from “How can I get” to “How can I give” – this perspective alone can change everything. Instead of thinking, “How can I get more followers?” think: “How can I give my potential clients what they desperately need?”

People are so used to being asked for things that when someone is giving them value, they literally can’t get enough. The more you understand the specific problem you are helping people solve, the more your content becomes about THEM instead of about YOU. Which is essential, because the truth is, people don’t really care about your company (no offense :)… but if you are filling a need with a product or service they can’t live without, you will definitely have their attention.

So before we do anything else, we need to know the following about our potential clients:

  • What’s their problem?
  • What do they need?
  • What pain points do they have?
  • What are their wants and desires?

Let those questions inform the content you share – when you post, ask yourself, “What need is this fulfilling?”

There are so many fun and different ways for content to offer value – it could be:

  • Educational. Teach as an expert in your field, passing along the secrets of what you do.
  • Behind the Scenes. Pull back the curtain on how you do things – this humanizes your business while also giving new level of access that makes your audience feel special.
  • Practical. Show them a step-by-step process to get them from point A to point B.
  • Motivational. Inspire them through stories, quotes (not cheesy ones), and/or your own life lessons.
  • Entertaining. Maybe it’s as simple as just making them laugh. There are a lot of companies I follow just to see the fun and creative things they do.

Take some time this week to get clear on what your goals are, and how Instagram can play a part in it. I’ll be back with some more tips next week, or feel free to email me if you have any questions.

Can’t wait to see your next post!

03Jun

What Keeps You Up At Night?

Think about the last time that your heart was so heavily burdened and your mind was going 100 miles per hour, you just couldn’t sleep. What were you thinking about?

If you know me, I am a great sleeper. I take 30 minutes picking out the right movie to watch, get all cozy, and after a couple of minutes of the opening scene…I am out! Most nights, I fall asleep before my head hits the pillow. Except for when I have something heavy on my mind.

Last week, we found out our dog Sugar (sweet Maltese of 15 years) became terminally ill. She stopped eating and her kidney was failing. They say 15 years is a good long life for most dogs, but I just couldn’t sleep thinking about missing her and also trying to figure out what next steps to take.

As a business, we always have to ask ourselves, “What problem are you solving?” But when we ask our customers the same question, they often fumble around not knowing exactly what their needs are…until, we ask them this: “What keeps you up at night? What is it about your current situation that causes such a heavy burden that you are not able to peacefully sleep?”

During our painful research of “what next steps to take” with our beloved Sugar, we ran across a lot of websites that offered the same solution for our heaviness, but they did it in totally different ways. I would like to share with you why we chose who we chose and how they met our expectations and delivered exactly what we hoped for. A peaceful transition for Sugar into her next adventure.

Why we chose this company:

1. Welcome Section: Right away, they acknowledged what we are going through and offered comfort. But what I really loved about what they said was that the focus wasn’t on the pet owners (us), it was on the pet…what they were going through and what we all could do to help. In this story, they made the pet the hero, not the pet owners. This captured my attention right away.

2. Information Section: They started educating us. They showed us why the services they offered were right for us. It answered the most pressing questions we have and it included a link to more in-depth discussions, research, and videos helping us understand and create a clear picture of the process and expectations.

3. Testimonial Section: They offered insight to the people who have used their service. Their testimonials were not templated or generic; they were real, heart-felt testimonials in letter form explaining in detail how much they appreciated the service and why.

4. About Us Section: Even though they were all well-qualified doctors, they focused very little on their own accomplishments but more on their own story of childhood and how they became animal lovers, and why they currently love what they do and how it affects people’s lives.

Why we didn’t choose the other companies offering the same services:

1. Welcome Section: They didn’t take the time to acknowledge the visitors’ heaviness that brought us to their site in the first place. They mainly focused on all the different services they offer right away. Felt very salesy and untrustworthy.

2. Information Section: It was vague and didn’t offer additional resources or videos to educate or address the difficult questions or even controversial issues or philosophies about their services.

3. Testimonial Section: Mostly short, non-descriptive and templated testimonials. They didn’t offer any personal stories or even detailed examples of what was helpful.

4. About Us Section: Heavy emphasis was on the credentials of the doctors. Their education and previous experiences. Felt cold…like reading a resume.

This is why copywriting matters. It’s the latest word in our definitions series, and it really does have the power to shape people’s first impression of you. Although I’ve never met or spoken to anyone from the first company, just from reading the copy on their website, I knew in my heart, it was the right company. And it was.

We all know how hard it is to find solutions to meet our most important needs. Here’s to being that company that answers people’s questions with the empathy they are looking for so that on sleepless nights when people go searching, they find you.

27May

Turning Your Pennies into Dollars

I am always reading the latest research about marketing, and during my content consumption phase, I hear this a lot, and I know you do too:

“In order to successfully engage and win the trust of your current and future customers, you have to continue to give VALUE. And the more value you give, the more trust you’ll earn.”

Okay, awesome!! But…what does it really mean? How do I know what’s valuable to my audience?

In his newest book Superfans, Pat Flynn paints a great picture of what VALUE is and how to provide it for your clients. He describes a conference where a speaker asked the audience if they saw a penny on the street, would they pick it up? Most people will keep walking…not worth their time. Then he asked, what about a quarter? About 50% of people raised their hands to say yes, they would stop. Finally, he asked, how many of you would pick up a dollar bill? At that point, most of the crowd raised their hands. In this example, all three levels of currency offered value, but the value of a dollar bill passed the threshold from “not worth my time” to “ok, I’ll stop.”

So, the next question is: how do I offer something that my audience will see as worth their time? How do we create the dollar bill level content that someone will stop for?

Here are 3 ideas to help you become a more valuable and trustworthy authority in your field.

1. Know your audience. I know, I know, you’ve heard this before….but really, KNOW WHO THEY ARE. What do they love? What do they hate? What are they good at? What are they bad at? Know their problems, know their frustrations, know their pain. And you know what you get to do? Help them out of their problems, help them out of their frustrations and help them out of their pain. How? Offer unique insights, tips, data, solutions and even inspiration.

I’ve been playing golf for a long time. I played competitively as a Junior and still keep a pretty low handicap (meaning, I am a pretty decent player…lol). However, I play with a lot of weekend golfers who are always frustrated at the game because they don’t improve. Why don’t they improve? Because they are weekend golfers – they never practice, but they all think they just need a magic cure. Knowing this inside information, I decided to start a podcast specifically for these weekend golfers and offer insights, tips, data, and solutions on improving their game by….inspiring them to practice. If you ever want to check it out, the podcast is called Better Golf Academy. I still get random fan emails saying how much I have helped their game.

2. Know your expertise. What does that mean? It means that whatever industry you are in, you are an expert whether you like it or not. You have unique insight that no one else has. You might not know it because it’s just part of your everyday life and you’ve been doing it forever so you take it for granted…but what you know and what you do is unique to a lot of people and they are dying to know what you know. Dive deep into the knowledge that seems so obvious to you, then share your journey and your findings.

Ever since I started camping, I’ve been researching a lot of camping gear. One of the essential needs when you are off the grid for 3-4 days is a reliable refrigerator, and in order to keep your refrigerator running 24/7, you need a good source of power. Well, how about a power unit that runs off of solar? Not knowing anything about this, I started my research and ran across a guy named Will Prowse. He’s a guru in his niche of off-grid solar power and I’ve learned so much from him. I trusted his expertise and ended up purchasing his recommended power unit. It’s exactly what we needed and for me and his other 472k followers, we find him and his content more than valuable.

3. Know your platform. In the golf example above, I chose a podcast as the way to get my information out to an audience. Why a podcast? It’s something I enjoy doing. Also, it’s less time consuming than a YouTube channel – video editing can be very tedious and tiring and I didn’t have a lot of energy for it. Editing audio for a podcast is more simple and something I feel like I could do consistently for a long time. Some of us think now that we have something to share, we need to use all platforms and channels to broadcast our content, but this can be overwhelming. Find one channel that fits who you are and that also provides an opportunity to reach the like-minded people that consume content on the same channel. Give it all you got and watch your audience grow.

I hope this helps get your creative juices flowing for how to strategize, create and broadcast your content. Don’t underestimate what you know – you really do have dollars in you that will stop customers in their tracks.

20May

Marketing Redefined: SEO

What’s the last thing you googled today? Wanna know mine? I asked Google why a washing machine smells like it’s burning. This was after my son texted us, “Hello, parental beings, my washing machine smells like it’s burning, what should I do?”

Well, Google immediately displayed a page full of resources and possible answers. Each resource led me to a webpage, which provided an article or a video. I spent about ten minutes searching, reading and looking through some of the pages, then came to a conclusion: call for service. I don’t want to attempt taking it apart to change out the belt (which I could do by just following the steps on the YouTube video it pointed me to). But, like I said, I don’t want to.

This story demonstrates one moment in the life of SEO – the next term to be highlighted in our Definitions series.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it’s the very process that happens every time we do a search. The engine scours billions of pieces of content on the internet and evaluates thousands of factors to spit out the most relevant and the most likely answer to my question, almost like magic.

So, how is this done? More importantly, how can my website be so loved and adored by Google that it will spit my link out to whoever is searching for the answers I can help them with? And how can my business get that distinguished rank of being displayed on the first page of the Google search outcome?

These are amazing questions. And if I knew the exact answers, I would tell you and we would all benefit from hundreds of people coming to our website everyday to read about our company and be convinced to do business with us. The truth is, given that Google handles over 2 trillion searches per year (40,000 searches every second), they have incredibly brilliant people outlining over 200 ranking factors (called algorithms) that help determine the best answers to the first pages of search.

The goal for every website owner that wants more traffic is to figure out what those 200 ranking factors are and try to implement them to your own website. 

When Google is scouring (indexing or crawling) the content on your website, you want to be noticed and for Google to find your website credible – that’s when they start ranking you higher. Fortunately, Google is somewhat transparent about how they rank the sites, but also, there are some secret aspects of the algorithm that can penalize your ranking as well.

As we educate ourselves and continuously work to bring relevance to our own sites, there are 3 things to keep in mind when it comes to SEO:

1. SEO is not magic. It’s not something that you swirl your wand once and all the work is done. It’s a constant process that involves research, strategy, dedicated time and hard work. It takes patience, but it’s worth it to understand the full picture.

2. SEO is changing and updating with time. There are constant updates to the algorithm – they are always trying to improve and keep from people cheating the system. You’ll obviously need a successful strategy for your SEO efforts, but it’s also important to know that old and obsolete SEO tactics that used to be effective before might not be effective now. In fact, if you continue to use a dated strategy, you may hurt your SEO more than help it. You need to be constantly learning and evolving.

3. SEO loves valuable content. Content is king. Even after all these years, one thing still remains at the top of the priority list for SEO. Fresh content is still believed to bring more value to your site than anything else. Take your thoughts and ideas and put them into action with regular content creation. Not just content for content’s sake, but real, authentic and valuable content that will help others. Like answering why a washer smells like it’s burning.

I hope this gives you a good foundation of what SEO is and how important it is for our business. Because I’m literally about to call for appliance repair to whichever company has the best SEO strategy.

13May

Marketing Redefined: Leads

Starting this week, we’re introducing a new Definitions series, explaining more in-depth certain aspects of marketing. We know that business growth depends on some form of marketing, yet not all business owners ever stop to get educated about what goes into that. We hope this review of the fundamentals will help you develop a marketing strategy that works.

It all starts with Leads.

Most people define a lead as a “potential client or organization that has an interest in what you are offering.” Whether they encountered you through a Google ad, a mailer, a cold call or just through word of mouth, these possible customers have somehow reached out or responded back to you.

Once that contact has been made via call, email, DM, or letter, it’s now up to you to follow up on that “lead” and turn it into a sale. So, what’s the issue?

Well, a lead is not always a lead. I like to compare the entire sales process to the phases leading up to marriage. Basically, you don’t walk up to the person of your dreams that you just met for the very first time and ask for his/her hand in marriage. Why? Because it’s weird, and most likely, whether it’s business or personal, you’re going to get rejected.

Here’s how we clearly define each stage in the process with a lead to help you more effectively prepare for that wedding:

  • The Subscriber Stage: This is the very beginning of the lead stage. This is when you get introduced through different channels (social media, ads) and you actually exchange contact information. Congratulations, but don’t jump to any conclusions yet.
  • The Nurturing Stage: Let’s get real, once the contact information has been exchanged and the communication starts, it’s pretty common that they will ignore whatever you send, mostly because they don’t really know you. Eventually, you want to improve the interaction. How? Continue to offer valuable content, pursuing their interests and giving them more opportunities to visit your website, download resources, listen to your podcasts, register for a webinar, etc. You are nurturing your relationship during this important stage.
  • The Marketing Qualified Lead Stage (MQL): As you continue to nurture, eventually they will show a genuine interest. Here’s where they finally say yes to your offers or even reach out to you for a meeting or a call. If they meet the criteria of your target market, this has now become a qualified lead.
  • The Sales Qualified Lead Stage (SQL): They are now qualified and ready to buy. For most companies, this is where the hand-off happens. Marketing has generated a qualified lead; now it gets handed off to the sales department for the closure. In the dating metaphor, this is when you go ring shopping – it’s almost time to pop the question.
  • The Opportunity Stage: You’ve worked hard to get here and to earn trust. Now it’s time to let them know that you are the right fit for them, where effort turns into opportunity. An opportunity to journey together for as long as you both shall live…and guess what? It sounds like this could be the happily ever after.

I hope breaking down the stages of leads helps you strategize a long-term master plan for your company, and allows even more growth to be generated as each stage is defined and nurtured.

Here’s to you and your business finding true love!

29Apr

Top 3 Tips To Boost Your Instagram Engagement

I used to travel a lot for my business. And, as a total extrovert, I so much enjoy conversations with complete strangers on the plane. My own personal captive audience stuck next to me for 3-4 hours, might as well get to know each other, right? Well, not always. People love to avoid talking to me. They have their headphones on, they close their eyes, they pretend to be reading something, they don’t make eye contact, etc. I make it a game to see what opening line I can present to either make them laugh or put them at ease so we can get the ball rolling.

Over the years, I’ve heard enough stories to write a book. Something about meeting a stranger who seems very interested in you, that you feel safe with and that you’ll never see again – it allows them to share their deepest and most private information with me. I remember crying with a young woman who had just lost her husband, advising a young and brilliant woman who was in a middle of an abusive relationship that she’s worth more, even a 14-year-old kid flying to his dad’s house for the summer sharing about how to make ton of money picking up golf balls from the course next to the house. I even helped him make a list of brand names and showed him how to categorize them and what to charge people.

What does all of this have to do with Instagram engagement?

Too often the mentality behind social media posts is that as a business, we will post something educational, informative, entertaining, or even just brilliant and we wait for everyone to flood in, make comments, share my information, click on the like button…etc. But, in reality…crickets. What are you doing wrong?

You might be acting like the passengers on a plane. Not actively trying to make eye contact. Not actively figuring out the opening line to start the conversation. Not interested in others (just yourself). Not allowing other people to feel safe. It’s funny, when I tell people of all the amazing folks I’ve met and talked to over the years on the plane, they’ll tell me that they’ve been traveling for business for years and never once had a conversation with anyone. And they wonder why they might be having trouble engaging online!

So, how do you organically grow your Instagram following and engagement? Here are some practical steps to add to your daily social media processes:

1. Engage with other similar accounts everyday. Help promote them, encourage them and develop an online relationship with them. When you engage their posts, it helps them become more visible. Also, other visitors will see you active on the accounts they follow, and they might end up following you as well.

2. Write great captions. This is your opening line to start a conversation. Ask intriguing questions, state interesting facts, be funny, be real, be authentic, be human, share your pain, share your solutions…you’ll be amazed at how many people want to engage with you as well. Oh, and if someone does make a comment, reply as soon as possible. Tag their account as you are replying – this pushes the posts to the top of their followers’ feeds.

3. Post more photos of people including yourself. Sharing information about yourself builds trust and makes it safe for people to get to know you and for them to open up with you as well.

Don’t get discouraged when you are not getting a lot of likes on Instagram – it doesn’t mean people aren’t seeing and engaging. Instagram has found a new algorithm that’s redefining what “engagement” really means. For example, here are some insights for each post that help paint a bigger picture: comments, shares, link clicks, bookmarks/saves, reach, impressions, and followers. Bottom line, if you keep engaging with others, you will eventually reap the benefits from the effort you invested in the relationship.

Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help. Give me a call, or even better – let’s sit next to each other on a flight sometime soon!

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