You're content should show flaws, real people and real environments. It's how to forge a strong connection with the consumer and show that we are in fact different!Read More
We're often told that we need to tell a story in order to effectively market our brand, but how do we actually tell that story?Read More
Getting people to come into your facility is one of the most difficult things for most business and gym owners to do. Creating a strategy and understanding how to do it is even more difficult.
The awareness stage begins with getting people aware that you exist and working to convince them to come into your facility for a low barrier opportunity or you go somewhere that you can partner with another business to attract more people to your brand.
To do this you want to offer simple workshops that shouldn't take more than an hour to do. The price of entry to these workshops is an email address so you can send them email follow ups after and invite them to future seminars.
Now it's important to point out that the goal of these seminars is to move people into your monthly memberships not to try to market workshops as an additional revenue stream.
As you gain a larger email list you can potentially do workshops that you charge for, but for this blog we are focusing on building awareness around your brand through workshops.
These workshops don't need to be extremely in depth, but they should tackle common pain points people give you. Some examples of these workshops include:
- Shoulder Pain Relief
- Low back pain relief
- Meal planning
- Everyday nutrition
- Simple stretches for pain relief
The point behind the topics I listed is that they are there to showcase your expertise and to showcase the fact that you work with everyday people who have real life pains. Not to mention that it builds a relationship with people who are not connected to your brand.
I would set up a monthly or bi monthly workshop series, create Facebook events for each one, and make them register for it through a CRM or another registration tool. This allows you to collect their email address and contact info.
Once you get this setup you can make a short (1-2min) promo video post to your social media accounts, ask your members to share it and email it to your list. The most important things to be aware of here are that:
- You HAVE to be consistent with this or it won't work. Posting about the workshop 2x per week and emailing it out twice per week is a good strategy.
- The emails you collect should be entered into a sequence that nurtures them long term with your newsletter or a specific campaign and about every 3-5 nurturing emails they should get some sort of call to action asking them to come in for a consultation. You're building trust and brand awareness with the workshops, but you won't sell them until you ask.
This is an excellent way to showcase the fact that you work with regular people who have regular pains and to collect their info to get them into your facility as members later on.
This is especially effective if you sell a very high priced fundamentals program as your primary offer. You can choose to charge for this or not, but remember this is to drive people into your core product of fundamentals + memberships and if you do this long enough it gives you a very large list of people to market to in the future.
When you hear the word relationship, what do you think of? It's probably not marketing is it?
Well I'm going to try and convince you that marketing is ALL about relationships and how strong you can build them. Those relationships dictate everything about your prospect and what they expect from you.
The way we think of marketing in a general sense is how many leads can it produce and how quickly can it be done. Now this is not necessarily a bad thing if done in the right order, but is a major headache if our audience is not warmed up to is first.
If you want to build up a following of people who trust you, recognize your brand and feel a sense of connection to you. You have to understand how relationships and human dynamics work.
When you meet someone you don't just go right up to them and ask them to marry you. If you did and by some miracle they accepted that relationship would not last long at all.
It takes time to get to know someone, date someone, move in together, and then finally get married and live your lives together. Your chance of getting a yes and the relationship lasting is much higher if you actually know the person.
This is the same way we need to start thinking about marketing systems and campaigns. You have to show your audience who you are, how you can help them and that you are a brand they can let their guard down with and trust.
You do this by producing content that your audience wants to see and that will produce value to them without asking for anything in return. Now in order to effectively nurture that audience you have to keep putting the content in front of them and constantly interact with that audience.
After you've moved them from a cold audience then you can start to enter the next phase, which is potentially asking them to buy your products or come into your facility. A warm audience that trusts you is also much more likely to convert when using different lead generation tools AND they will stick around much longer once they do convert.
The takeaway from this is that we cannot just focus on using lead generation tools as our only way to produce leads for our businesses. A long term marketing strategy that focuses on building a relationship and building awareness around your brand is key to developing a system where you have a consistent and more predictable flow of leads into your business.
This strategy takes consistency and might take 6 months to a 1 year to starting producing results, but it moves you into a long term focus for your business rather than trying to figure out short term strategies all the time.
If you want to win in business and marketing you need to be thinking years ahead of the game and working to understand how you can get yourself there by establishing micro goals along the way. It's even better if you know someone who you can talk with and who can hold you accountable for your goals!
Remember marketing is a long term game. Play it right and the pay off is always worth it. Focus on the short term survival game and you will eventually lose!
A relationship is something you often think of when you are close to someone or when you've made a connection with a person.
In business the relationship with your customers is what keeps them coming back to you for years to come.
If you are capable of building a strong relationship at every stage of your customers experience that bond will grow until you've developed a sort of cult like following with them.
If you think about companies with raving fans like Apple they have a core group of customers who will use their products no matter what.
They release products and are completely sold out within minutes and by just having one of these products you are a sort of "cool" status symbol.
Now how do we develop the relationship with the consumer to that high of a degree? It starts with being hyper aware of exactly what the customer journey through your funnel looks like.
From that what does the experience look like? Are they complaining or dropping off at any point? Is there anything unique that makes them go "wow" when they get off the phone with you or leave from a consultation?
You can start to understand by putting yourself into the shoes of the consumer. Work through your funnel from your social channels, to your website, email, phone call and if you have one initial consultation.
As you're working through this write everything down. What's boring? Indifferent? Irritating? What does your content say about you? Is everything congruent?
Take each of these things and adjust and modify based on what you see and what feedback says about your brand. The relationship is developed by providing an incredible experience, over delivering on what you offer and then continuing to wow them long term.
For example, in the boutique gym industry, like the CrossFit industry, it's common practice to have someone in for a consultation before they attend classes. Now going from the consultation straight into classes makes it hard to develop that 1-on-1 relationship.
To combat this and separate us from the pack we have a 3 session assessment and a 1-on-1 fitness for life foundations program the client has to complete before they can move into group classes.
This allows us to attach the client with a coach and allows the coach to develop a strong relationship with the client before they enter group classes. Then in group classes they still meet with their coach anywhere from 4 times per year all the way up to 1 time per week.
In terms of client happiness and longevity this is the best thing we've ever done and moves us out of the commodity market and into a market that we own and have created for ourselves. It's not about the class at that point it's about the relationship and level of comfort approaching the coach with anything.
If you are truly interested in developing a relationship with your consumers it takes looking at your entire pipeline and understanding friction points, opportunities to wow the consumer and always being aware of what they say and how they feel.
The more opportunities you have to showcase your unique brand personality the better the relationship will build in the long run.
Gone are the days when companies could just hire automated machines to handle communication and outsource help centers.
Because by outsourcing, though you save money, you can never get them to understand the flow of your brand and where you want it to be. Customers will pay more for an experience or the ability to talk with someone they can relate to.
Be REAL. Be HUMAN. Be SOCIAL
How many times have you had a good experience with a company only to have it ruined by the next encounter?
Recently I had a conversation with a customer service representative with a large corporation. The wait times according to the automated system we're going to be "lengthy" so I was prepared to wait.
Maybe I was lucky or maybe they were trying to get me to use their digital assets to communicate as the cost is far cheaper than a live person. But I was connected with someone within minutes.
I had recently been on their website and made a change to my account, but noticed a small issue that I wanted to talk with someone about.
The representative I talked with was absolutely amazing and I noticed at several points she validated my questions aka what I like to call a "stroke" and then reversed what I asked with a question or what I call "reversing".
She looked into the issue and gave recommendations on what she could do and she also gave me insight into how she uses it, how it has an effect on her life and what she felt about the change I wanted to make.
I really enjoyed this 23 minute conversation, because I felt as though she really cared about my issue, was 100% genuine and wholeheartedly embraced the company's vision.
Getting everyone to embrace the vision of your company is one of the most difficult things a large scale company does. This leads me to the topic of congruency in your marketing.
Congruency is simply making sure that your vision, your employees and the customer experience is always aligned. If that alignment breaks somewhere along the line your customers will have a bad experience, which they will often tell many different people about.
Now where this company lost their congruency is after I got off the call with the representative. I hung up very happy about my experience and even commented that "That was the best customer service call I've ever been on".
This is where the company went from experience based marketing to interruption marketing. Everyone has experienced interruption marketing at some point.
Think back to when you were visiting a website and an annoying pop up literally popped up in the middle of the screen. How did you react? If you're anything like me you went into a frenzy looking for the close button.
Or how do you feel about TV commercials? Chances are you use something like Netflix so you don't have to watch them.
The days of being able to interrupt people to market to them are over. People are just too busy to deal with it in today's landscape.
Now when I hung up with the the customer service representative I was feeling pretty pumped about the experience, but not longer than 15 minutes later I received a call from an unknown number.
This is interruption number 1. Calling from an unknown number is a surefire way to get your marketing efforts ignored.
When I answered, the voice on the other end was a robotic automated answering machine. This immediately moves the experience from being wonderful with the person to being inhuman and hard to connect with.
I hung up the phone and didn't participate in whatever the machine was asking me to do.
Now how could this experience have been made better and more congruent based off my initial experience?
From my perspective, before I hung up with the customer service representative, simply saying something like "she would be very grateful if I participated in a survey for her based on my experience" and asking if it would be okay to transfer me to the survey at the end of our conversation would have worked!
Why? Well, because I was so happy with what happened at that point, I would have participated right then and there!
This is also an example of congruency and sticking with the experience I had initially. Rather than interrupting me later, this would have provided a smooth transition from my good experience to rave about that experience.
Think about this in your customer journey. Are there points to where they may have a bad experience? What are this points and how will you adjust your process to eliminate them?
Always remember the customer experience and congruency in your brand are major deciding factors for people to continue doing business with you. If you confuse them or change things up they will abandon your brand!
Can you remember the last business you walked into and how you felt from it the experience?
Now let's switch gears a bit. What is the one business in town you look forward to going into and never leave without a smile?
Why does that business do such a great job in making you happy? A lot of businesses claim to be focused on making you happy and smile, but are they really working towards that end?
- McDonald's says smiles are free, but I don't feel any different in there or when I leave (I actually haven't visited a McDonald's in years so maybe things have changed)
- Chipotle has a healthy vibe and culture, but I am still left feeling indifferent when I walk in there.
- Starbucks is focused on the customer experience, but I am still left with no real feelings toward the brand when I enter or leave
If there's one thing we always want from our customers and clients it's for them to be happy with us and what we do and the idea of being happy is significantly more difficult than the practice of getting people happy.
If you think about the typical consumers day it probably goes something like this:
wake up tired from lack of sleep, get the kids up for school, but they are being little monsters and don't want to cooperate, maybe eat breakfast if time permits, drop kids off, experience a commute with drivers that make them seriously stressed out, show up late for work, get in trouble, get off work, go to the gym (maybe) and do it all in reverse.
Where's the happy life portion of this stressful day and where do these people get to feel like the day was joyful and fun? More often than not people don't get those feelings on a daily basis and that's why they are so powerful.
This is where your business comes into play and why the micro or boutique gym world that I come from is so incredibly powerful in instilling the community concept in people.
Of course there are ways for you to build what I call kindness priming into your business culture. I wrote about culture in a previous post and it should be 100% instilled into your business in every aspect.
But there is another way we can ensure people walk in and immediately smile. That's the concept of kindness priming. To put it simply, priming is where an exposure to one stimulus influences the response to another stimulus.
So if we focus on kindness priming we can instill a sort of continued positive stimuli on our clients. Meaning that with the initial kindness primed a person is more likely to be more receptive to repeated acts of kindness or being positive toward that client. It will also reduce the effects of negative stimuli and create a sort of resistance to it.
Think about it this way: by showcasing your facilities kindness and excitement that your clients are there the second they walk in the door you are pushing the negative stimulus of the day away and effectively priming them to shed the misery and be happy, which will prime them to continue to be happy at your facility and create the construct that your facility is their happy place.
Now how do you actually do this? It's a lot more simple than it seems and what I found to be effective is to have a unique greeting you give your clients every single time they walk in the door. This greeting should be loosely regulated in that your employees can put their own positive spin on it and the greeting should be used in everything from when a person calls, to when they walk in the door.
We keep it simple and say "Welcome to StoneAgeFuel, where the streets are paved with gold" it doesn't matter if it's their first time or 1000th time in our facility.
They get the greeting the second they walk in, when they enter the gym area and then when they leave everyone uses their name and says "bye, we will miss you!"
No one enters or leaves without an excited greeting and now people feel let down if they don't get the greeting. That's how powerful it has become in helping to push toward that positive construct and shedding the negative emotions of the day.
By priming your clients with kindness the second they walk in your door you are also priming them to be happy with each continued interaction in your facility and less likely to respond to any negative stimuli from their stressful day.
This combined with all the interactions with other clients and your staff and you have a recipe for a solid kindness priming strategy.
Now it's your turn. I want you to create a greeting everyone gets when they walk in and something you say when they leave. Try it out and comment on this post letting me know how it went!
Have you ever walked into a business and immediately noticed that something is different about the business? Maybe they have an interesting name, the way the place is decorated is organized in a different way than your used to, the employee are probably even seemingly playing the part ever so well.
When you're in that situation you remember the experience, the conversations, the decorations and the name of the business. Why? It's because you were immediately immersed into the culture of the company and everyone who represents that culture believed so strongly in it that they portrayed it perfectly during your visit.
Maybe that culture is so strong that you notice it in their social presence.
- Is there a certain conversation style?
- Are they a bit goofy?
- Do they respond on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc and immediately make you lol?
- Is the information they put out organized around all of this?
You're probably wondering how you build this into your business structure so it manifests itself outwardly and without issue from your staff.
The key to building this is to instill it into everything and really develop an understanding of your style. Are you focused on being different, serious, goofy, funny, witty etc?
Whatever your focus is you must instill this into EVERYTHING. If you are a bit goofy and off the wall you probably need a familiar greeting when people walk in your door, call you or send you a message from social.
For example our greeting at StoneAgeFuel is:
"Welcome to StoneAgeFuel, where the streets are paved with gold"
It doesn't matter if the person walking in has been a member for several years or has had zero contact with us. Everyone gets the greeting every time they walk in the door.
Now organizing the aura in your business must reflect your culture. If you are a bit goofy your website content should reflect that and your physical location should have fun colors, but the part most people mess up on is getting their staff on board.
Have you ever walked into a Cold Stone (an ice cream store) and the staff loathes singing when you give them a tip? This is a scenario you must avoid to ensure you don't ruin the experience of people coming into your business, because your employees hate it.
To get your employees on board there are several strategies, but I really like immersing them right from the beginning. When interviewing them ask questions that are based off of your culture and try to get a little bit of wit out of them.
You can ask questions like:
- Describe the color yellow to me
- Teach me something new in 5 min....
- A penguin walks in through the door wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?
The point is not to put them on the spot. The point is to see how onboard they are going to be with using wit and charm in your business and how much they will go out of their way to interact and be fun.
Once you have everything going and everyone on board the next biggest issue it maintaining that culture. It's important that you continue to put it everywhere and make sure nothing gets brushed aside. If it becomes something everyone believes in and WANTS to do. Congrats, you have built a business with culture!
The point of all of this is to continue to provide the customer an experience to remember. With content being everywhere and available to everyone you need to push to give people an experience with your brand that they won't forget. That experience shines through with an amazing company culture and experience strategy in place.
Now your action items after reading this is to define your culture. What makes you different? What do people say about your business? How do you respond to people in person? On social media? How do your employees interact?
Write all this down and compile it into a culture document that you continue to build by digging deeper and deeper into your company until you're confident that you have something that makes you unique and provide an experience to remember!
There are a literal TON of ideas and strategies available on how to market and how to do it in the most effective way.
Something I've learned as I've built campaigns and worked on and designed strategies around different businesses is that it's most often the simple things that work very well and it's the long term strategies that win in the end.
Especially for local businesses.
If you want to grow your business and your brand you need to get it in front of as many people as possible and in the most efficient and cost effective way.
The best way right now to get in front of people is to get on their phones where they have their faces inserted in all the time. One of the best ways to do this right now is to utilize a boosting strategy for brand awareness on Facebook.
This strategy is designed to put your brand in front of people on a consistent basis and at the lowest cost possible for a local business. This is assuming you always have a solid content calendar put together and that your are actually executing on that calendar.
The boosting strategy revolves around putting about $5-$10 into each of your posts that you put out. This does a couple of things 1) it builds your website audiences and video audiences that you can pull from later on to create new lookalike audience and 2) it puts your brand in front of people from the same audience on a consistent basis.
I recommend using a website or email list custom audience and making a lookalike audience from that as they tend to work the best, but using the people who like your page and their friends will work well if you don't know how to create lookalikes or if you don't have a large enough email list or website following from your Facebook pixel.
If you're in front of someone all the time with content designed to build a relationship and tell a story, you are there when they need you to answer question or when they see you put out a call to action at the end of the month they are much more inclined to come in and see you. As they have already been consuming your content for some time and will trust your brand over others.
If you do this and do it consistently for a few months you will notice an uptick in the traffic into your business and a much larger social blueprint from that. But the biggest thing you have to do is be CONSISTENT! Everyone starts something like this and falls off the wagon due to not being able to produce the content or not seeing immediate results.
Last you can go into your business manager and invite all the people who liked your post to like your page. Thereby building up your page audience on top of what the boosting gave you.
This really comes down to building that relationship with the people who follow your page and working to develop a sense of trust with them.
In this episode we talk about CONTENT! What your content calendar should look like, how to organize it, best practices and how to advertise your content in the most effective way.
Be REAL. Be HUMAN. Be SOCIAL.
Use #ChansLogic to ask questions!
Find Chandler on:
Snapchat | cwalkeriii
Facebook | ChandlerSAF
Instagram | @chandler_saf
Twitter | @ChandlerSAF
YouTube | youtube.com/c/chandlerwalkerSAF
Find Steph on:
Snapchat | sbentley02
Facebook | steph.SAF
Instagram | @stephanie_saf
Music by Victor Spoils | victorspoils.bandcamp.com/releases
Twitter is a platform that has had its ups and downs, good ideas and bad ideas. Like any social network it has its own special quirks that make it unique. Twitter started the idea of the newsfeed, hashtags, it brought periscope out for live video just to name a few.
One thing that Twitter really shines on is the ability to have a conversation with anyone and go back and forth with other people jumping in and it being perfectly acceptable. Businesses can search for what people are asking and give helpful tips and strategies.
From this conversation and chatter format twitter has become a powerhouse for companies to answer questions, deal with complaints or even give a fist bump to customers. This puts you on a new level in terms of being there to continually build the relationship with the customer.
If you think about it you have a platform with a ton of users and their attention focused on that platform. They visit your website and have a few questions after looking around for a bit, they see a big banner that says "Questions? Let's chat on twitter!"
From here they can go to your twitter account, ask the questions they have and you can continue to keep their attention and show them that you care. They will most likely even follow your brand.
You can even take it up a notch and put a twitter chat box directly in your website so when they have that question the platform is already on your website, they can ask the question and you can build that relationship.
Before you do this with your brand I encourage you to interact with some of the bigger brands and see how well they respond and react to your Twitter questions and comments. That'll give you a feel for how it feels to be the customer in the scenario and how unique it makes you feel to get a rapid response from brands like Starbucks and T-Mobile to name a few.
Before you write Twitter of, start using it for questions, comments and concerns for your brand. It gives you the opportunity to interact and be more human and it gives your customers the ability to ask questions and get their issues addressed right away. Because if you don't address their questions and issues another brand who is on top of it will.
It all comes down to really caring about your customers and working to address what they need before they even purchase from you. The goal is to give an incredible experience from the second they become aware of your bran, all the way until they've been a loyal purchaser of your products or service for years.
One of the most powerful and cost effective tools we have available to market our businesses is Facebook ads. It is a massive platform with obscene amounts of data compiled about almost anything you are even remotely interested in.
Because of this incredible amount of data Facebook has available we are able to construct highly targeted ads to people who have already expressed an interest in something similar to what you do or fit the profile of a specific buyer persona you have created.
Then there's the Facebook pixel. A little nugget of joy that allows us to track who visits specific pages on our website, what processes they were in when they visited and it allows you to build up a website audience off of that pixel.
When you create an audience from your Facebook pixel based off of traffic to your website it will take the people who visited and compile an audience called website visitors that you can use to run ads to.
Think about it this way: someone visits your website from something you posted on Facebook, looks at the page, doesn't convert and leaves your website. With the website audience created from your Facebook pixel you can retarget the people who visited that page and didn't convert with an ad.
Maybe you say thanks for visiting the site and offer them a free guide, consult etc. The big thing about this is that you are now targeting an audience that is no longer completely cold and by putting your brand in front of them more often you are essentially creating and building a relationship with them to move them from cold to warm to hot. When they're hot that's when you finally go for the ask!
The next idea to look at are look alike audiences. Say you've worked on a website audience, had some success and it doesn't seem to convert anymore or you need a fresh audience that's similar to what you were working with.
The lookalike audience does just that. You will take your website audience and create a lookalike audience in your audiences section of your Facebook as manager. The lookalike audience is exactly what is sounds like. It is a audience with similar characteristics to your website audience based of the profiles of the people in your website audience.
For local and small businesses it's smart to choose the 1% lookalike audience when you are creating it. The key to marketing to a lookalike audience is to not expect them to convert right away.
This is now a cold audience and in order to warm up a cold audience you have to put out excellent content for them to consume. I would spend at least a month putting good content in front of this audience and then go for an ask, which is simply revealing what your product is and asking them to purchase it or book a session with you for a consultation.
You can create these audiences from email lists, video views, content people engaged with on Facebook or even people taking action on an app.
The possibilities to continue to create new audiences and work them from cold to hot are endless and if you show that what you have is worth it by first building trust and a relationship through excellent content then you will garner a following of fans who will use your products and/or services!
Understanding who your customers are is a critical piece of understanding how to market to them effectively and how to build a relationship with them before they walk in your door.
This is also an excellent way to know who you should be marketing to in the first place. If you try to market to everyone you will lose, but if you understand the specific nuances of your market you will win!
If you think about it you can’t sell anything or develop a relationship with someone before you get to know them and if you don’t identify your ideal customers you will not be able to work to generate a relationship and specifically target the people you can ideally work to create a relationship with in the future.
In a nutshell know who your best clients are and work to understand them, who they are and what specific nuances they have. With this you will be able to target your new customer based on the exact characteristics of your current clients or customers. This way you're always looking for exactly who you want to work with!
Now the hardest part is understanding how to develop these personas and what questions you need to ask to ensure you get all the best and most important information.
Outlined below are what I think tend to be the most important questions to ask people. The best way to get these answered is sitting in front of your clients and asking them directly, asking questions based on their responses and generating a conversation around their responses. Of course this is not always possible so email, phone etc are also options.
How do you develop buyer personas?
- 1-on-1 meetings with your ideal clients
- Focus groups composed of your ideal clients
- Listening to what people are saying on social media
- Emailing out questions to your clients
What information should you include?
Who they are?
- Income level
- Phone Number
- Education Level
What are they all about?
- Why they couldn’t achieve those goals
- Where did they look to achieve those goals
- What was the biggest challenge in finding a solution
- Did these feelings have an effect on friends and family?
Why did they choose you?
- How did they feel when searching for a solution
- How did they feel when they found a solution?
- What would have made the process easier?
- Why did you come to us and not a competitor or similar product?
Once you have all of this down organize it into a message that includes the specific pain points they mention in each segment and then organize it into a specific client identity based on the demographics.
Now you can give these identity names like: Shopper Sally or Business Owner Joe and from there you can use these identities to run ads on your digital platforms and specifically target these groups of people.
From there you can organize those pain points into commonalities from the people who fill out your buyer persona survey and from those commonalities you can create bullet points from the most common ones and use that to creates ads and write content on your website.
One thing I like to do when looking for commonalities is to underline the pain points they identify, write those pain points down on a list and mark how many times those specific pain points are mentioned.
This gives me a great list of items I can use for future marketing, common pain points and it helps when writing copy to help draw people into my funnel!
Content is king! At least that's what we're told. It's often touted that if we produce a bunch of high quality content and distribute it effectively then we will bring in as many customers as we need, develop a following and produce awareness around our brand.
You work hard producing blog posts, taking pictures, creating entertaining and educational videos and post them to all your social networks. Maybe you even promote that content well across your networks and get it in front of a ton of people. This is often a process you work on for months and months with lots of late nights trying to think up good stuff.
But then the unthinkable happens....you don't get a ton of return or no return at all on what you're producing and you just can't seem to figure out why with all the work you're doing to make your content so great. Our first thought in this scenario is that a content driven strategy just doesn't work for your business or that you have no idea what you're doing and need help.
Now take a step back and think about what you've produced. Out of all the educational, motivational and downright awesome stuff you produce at no point did you actually ask the people following your brand to come in and try your product or service out. People are very process oriented and will do what those that they trust tell them to do or ask them to do.
Working to develop the following and building trust around your brand is one of the steps in the process, but we can't forget that once we build up a solid relationship it's okay to ask people to come in and try out what you have or to buy your products or services.
It doesn't even have to be sales oriented copy in your ask. You can put something like:
We ❤️ you Reno! Let's get together with a free 1-on-1 introductory training session!
This is simple, friendly and continues to build the culture around what you offer. It takes the consumer out of the typical sales transaction and into a warm fuzzy feeling about you and what you offer.
While it's true that content is the most important aspect to building a recognizable brand and developing awareness around that brand.
Now you can't ask every day or it'll get old and you will lose trust with your consumers for being too "salesy". Every business is different and the best way to get an idea of when you should go for the ask is to do it after you put out different pieces of content.
Maybe you ask after three pieces one time, five pieces another time, seven the next and so on. Once you've done this for a bit you can get a feel for how often is too often and what is just right!
I'd say a good average would be after 3-4 pieces of really good content. You'll want to ask the same audience that you gave the great content to!
Remember content is gold, but you have to go in for the ask every so often or you'll never get any business!
In the world of business, selling is a necessary component of what we do and while it's true that most people hate selling due to past experience or preconceived notions about it. It doesn't have to be that way!
When most people think of selling they think of that slimy salesman who will do anything to sell their product and doesn't care about the person after the sale is complete.
But what if you could sell in a way that determines whether the product or service is actually a good fit for the consumer, establishes upfront ideals on what the transaction will look like and moves the consumer into a position to where they don't feel like they are being sold.
The key to doing this effectively and ethically is to always stay on the no and have the goal of your sale to be a decision, that being a yes or a no. Establish upfront with the consumer that either way you are 100% comfortable with their decision and your time together is to help them make that decision. This eliminates the "I have to think about it" part of the follow up process.
Your goal in this sales process is to work to develop an understanding of what the customer actually wants and actually needs. It's often much deeper than what they actually tell you their initial reasons are.
To figure out what they actually want. You need to ask questions based off of their responses and questions. For example, if the first question is based on price you want to develop an understanding of what they can actually afford and then produce a range of prices that you offer.
Q: What do you charge?
A: Great question, price is something that is incredibly important to be aware of. Is price your primary concern?
Q: Yes, my budget is very important
A: I appreciate that and totally understand how important price is in a decision
Q: Do you have a specific budget you're trying to work with?
A: Yes between xxx-xxx
Q: Thank you for sharing that with me. The range of our prices is (higher than what they say). Is that something that you can afford?
Another important aspect to getting people to trust you is to work to understand who they are and what they do by asking a question for every question they ask. The process is called stroke, reverse, nurture.
The stroke is basically a validation that what they asked is legitimate and important to you, The reverse is where you ask a question, and then nurture is where you continue to build and show them that you care with your questions and responses.
For example if you meet someone out and about who asks about what you do:
Q: So what do you do?
A: That's funny, I was just about to ask you the same thing!
A: I work in IT consulting
Q: Wow that sounds like a great job. How do you like it?
A: It's great except that I sit at a desk all day!
Q: I can totally understand that. I actually work with people like you who work in IT consulting and sit at a desk all day. They always seem to have nagging lower back pain, but you don't have any of that do you?
A: Actually I do and it kills me everyday. How do you fix someone like me?
Q: Well the funny thing is I have no idea if I can actually help you out. I'm not really sure, but if you'd be interested I'd like to invite you to my facility where we can talk a bit and see if if makes sense to work together?
A: I would love to come down. Do you have a card so I can call you to make an appointment?
A: Aw man I actually don't have any cards on me or even a pen (this is not typical in a sales transaction and puts your roles into a more balanced format), but I can take your info and put it into my phone to follow up with you?
A: That sounds great!
Remember selling is about developing an understanding with the consumer, working to create a relationship where both sides are respected and appreciated and coming to a decision as to whether your product is actually a good fit for them. Because it is absolutely not a good fit for everyone!
In marketing today it's common to be told you need to utilize an inbound strategy to build up trust with your audience in order to show them that what you offer is a good fit for them.
The inbound strategy focuses on a few key aspects to get information to consumers. One of them being production of content in several different forms. In this blog post we're going to be talking about how you should distribute your content in order to get it in front of as many people as possible.
Your videos should be placed directly on Facebook and YouTube, blog posts should live in your blog and if possible you should work to guest blog for as many people as possible.
Now we have a bunch of content, but we want to get it in front of your network of people. You want to share your videos and blogs posts to each of the networks they are not already on.
Blog posts should be shared to Facebook (via their instant articles format if possible), Instagram by placing the link to the article in your bio, Snapchat by putting a simple URL in the text field and asking people to screenshot it and by emailing it out to your list of people who have opted in to receive information from you.
Videos are going to operate in much the same way. They go directly to Facebook to maximize reach and YouTube to gather a following on that platform. Facebook will give you significantly less reach for sharing a YouTube link to Facebook so this is why we do not just post on YouTube only.
Sharing videos is done similar to what we did for blogs. For Instagram I'll usually alternate sharing my Facebook and YouTube links for videos and the same with Snapchat.
We should also look at a repurposing strategy for content. This is a huge timesaver and a way to maximize the ability to use your content and to put it in front of as many people as possible in the different ways they consume content. Think about the ways people learn, listen and evolve:
- Some people listen
- Some people watch
- Some people read
Our goal is to put out enough content to make sure we capture all these segments and the different ways people learn and consume.
Repurposing is simply using content in different ways. For example if you make a video you turn that video into a blog post, then turn that blog post into a podcast, turn that podcast into several different quotes you can place on pictures.
If you did a weekly video podcast you could essentially take bits and pieces of that podcast and repurpose it to make several different pieces of content that you can use to market your business.
Your goal with all of this is to build up a base of subscribers in all your different platforms to ensure you have a varied base and are not depending on one platform for everything in your marketing efforts.
Ultimately email will be your primary driver for follow ups as you will have the most potential for reach and follow up.
I'm often working on building systems to generate leads for businesses, which is a time consuming and tedious task.
It's more often about testing multiple variations of the system, the copy, the ad, the means of delivery etc.
In one of the most recent systems I built out it was a matter of getting leads to a high end product ($1000+) and converting those leads to a free consultation to then sell the package.
The first step in creating this is understanding the specific industry you're creating it for. This takes time to research the local area, understand the business and the funnel and interview the best clients in that industry to identify pain points.
Once we've finished this discovery phase it's time to create several variations of the ad copy and pictures to test initially. I prefer to use tools like AdEspresso to test these variations. At this point we understand who we are targeting and where we are targeting specifically.
The next phase is figuring out where to run the ad in a market with a multitude of different options. I most often choose Facebook as it provides the best and most advanced capabilities and data to target and run ads.
The specific demographic I was building this lead generation system for was looking for people ages 35+, who make a higher level income and more often than not are family based and grounded in their careers. Facebook was the best option for this demographic.
Now that I had my variations, my demographics and my targeting in order it was time to test different variations of the ad using different means. I tested the ads using:
- Facebook Lead Ads
- Clicks to website
- Landing Page Views
- Conversions on website
From this initial testing I found (and this is generally the case) that:
- Facebook lead ads don't work well and are expensive to run. Sometimes people give the wrong email and phone number due to it auto populating in the form. I had to create a check box to have people certify that their info was correct.
- Clicks to website performed very well, was inexpensive and converted the best
- Landing page views outperformed clicks to website and encouraged people to actually look at the landing page
- Conversions were good, but we didn't have the volume for it to work as effectively in this specific industry.
In summary landing page views and clicks to website works very well for the small business that is focused on bringing in leads, but is not bringing in in excess of 100+ leads a day.
If we did have this higher volume (50+ leads a day) I suspect the conversions would have performed significantly better as Facebook would work to target more people like the ones converting.
Next I found that (and this is probably obvious) mobile wins in terms of ad placement.
Audience network gets clicks, but doesn't convert well.
Instagram itself doesn't always doesn't convert (stories are actually starting to yield some impressive results) well just yet in their ads. Surprisingly enough desktop and right column performed reasonably well. I'd still recommend starting with a mobile approach.
Finally after testing 48 different variations of ad copy, pictures, headlines, call to action buttons and demographic targeting in several different testing rounds I found that the most important pieces were the ad copy, the landing page and the headline.
The key pieces to the ad copy and headline were:
- Calling out your intended demographic
- Including key pain points that you found during the discovery phase
- The headline must be simple and state what you're doing. It reinforces the ad copy, but does not repeat it.
The key pieces to the landing page were:
- Short sentences with bullet points and bold headings
- Use scarcity to encourage people to take action
- Pop up forms always outperformed forms on a page
- Exit intent pop ups improved conversions
- Power words like "imagine", "secrets" etc
- Social proof from real people
The takeaway form this is that if you want to build something that coverts you have to put in a ton of time testing the different aspects and variations and the different nuances of that specific niche.
One thing to note with all of this is that what works in one market may not work in another. This is why it's so incredibly important to test and to initiate a thorough discovery phase prior to starting any campaign.
Welcome to the this weeks episode of #ChansLogic! We are here for you to answer any questions about running a business, social marketing that doesn't suck and show how a business can be human and build trust via social media. This week, we dove into everything WEBSITES! So much goes into making a good site, we may even keep this one rolling into the next episode!
Be REAL. Be HUMAN. Be SOCIAL.
Use #ChansLogic to ask questions!
Find Chandler on:
Snapchat | cwalkeriii
Facebook | ChandlerSAF
Instagram | @chandler_saf
Twitter | @ChandlerSAF
YouTube | youtube.com/c/chandlerwalkerSAF
Find Steph on:
Snapchat | sbentley02
Facebook | steph.SAF
Instagram | @stephanie_saf
Music by Victor Spoils | victorspoils.bandcamp.com/releases
One of the hardest things to do when creating content is to organize what you need to produce and then putting that into a workable calendar. With this post I'm hoping to give you a bit of insight on how you can successfully create your own and as a result get organized and start regularly producing good quality content.
First off you're probably wondering why content is important and you might even be wondering what content actually consists of.
The reason content is important in our marketing is because we have to establish a certain level of trust with the consumer before they will buy our products. Gone are the days when we could put up an ad with a cheesy sales page and generate leads from cold traffic. In fact it often takes 5-8 exposures to your content before the consumer will convert.
In today's market we have to show that we offer value in our products before the consumer will trust us enough to come in and see us. We develop this trust via content that showcases how our products or services can help people live their lives a little bit better or solve some sort of pain point.
Content actually consists of pictures, videos and blog posts to name a few. These are all ways to showcase the unique aspects behind your products or services and you should be using a combination of all of them for optimal results. Sometimes you have to put yourself in the consumers shoes and ask yourself. What is the customer looking to fix specifically? What kind of pain are they experiencing? From the answers to these questions you should reverse engineer your content to help solve these pain points.
Now in order to build an effective content calendar we need to understand our industry and what makes the most sense to reach the largest amount of people. I recommend creating a content calendar monthly. This way you can evaluate the next months content and be prepared for events or anything special you need to include for the next month.
Start creating your content calendar by mapping out how many pieces you'd like to produce per week. For starters I would go for 7 posts per week focusing on two videos, two blogs and three pictures per week. These pieces should be focused on providing helpful tips and strategies and showcasing your business in action. It's especially important to showcase your staff and customers as it builds a human side to your brand. Shoot for at least 1000 words on your blogs, keep videos anywhere from 1-3 minutes and always include your logo on pictures.
When you start to build a larger audience and are consistently getting a good amount of exposure to your content pieces it might be a good idea to bump up to 9 posts per week and finally 15 posts per week when you've really grown and are getting a ton of engagement!
An example of a content calendar would be
- Monday Motivation
- Tuesday Tips
- Wednesday Recipe Day
- Thursday Insiders showcase
- Friday Customer Showcase
- Saturday a compilation of the week
Once you've nailed down what you're going to post you'll need to pick the specific days to post it on your blog and respective social media networks. To get an idea of when people are online you can check your google analytics and Facebook analytics. It will show you when the largest amount of people are online everyday. Post your content on those times to maximize exposure.
Finally set a date each month with your staff to go over your new content and to build a calendar for the next month. The more your team is utilized the more good ideas will come about and the more interesting your content will be!
There is one tool I really like to utilize for putting your content together and placing it into a calendar with a due date to be posted. That tool is an app called Trello and I highly recommend organizing your content calendar with it!
Now get out there and create some beautiful content and content calendars to wow your future customers and to build the trust and bond that they need to be comfortable with your business!
How many times have you actively listened to your customers and really tried to understand what they are thinking and why they think that way?
One of the most impactful ways to reach people is to listen to what they are saying and creating a plan of action based around exactly what they want.
When people aren't that interested in what you're selling it's important to figure out why and from that why you develop an understanding of how you can improve to truly "speak" to them to capture their attention.
Marketing in the past was all about just getting your brand in front of people as often as possible in hopes that people will be so inundated with your brand it'll be the one they think of when they need a solution. This was something only very large businesses with extremely high media budgets could do.
Today while brand awareness is still incredibly important and should be a major part of any marketing campaign it is not as difficult or as expensive to get your brand out there and available to the consumer as it once was.
With the advent of social media there are a million ways that are very inexpensive to showcase that you do listen and that you do understand what the consumer wants. This makes it very easy for them to begin to develop a relationship with your brand as they follow the journey your brand takes them on.
The way we begin to understand what they want is to send out surveys via email asking questions about
- Why they came to you
- How they felt beforehand
- What were they looking for
- Where did they look for a solution
- How they feel now
- If they tried a competitor and how your brand makes them feel different
- What would they improve and how would they improve it
It's even better if you can sit down with people and ask them these questions in a 1-on-1 environment. You'll get a MUCH better and much more sincere response this way.
From the answers to these questions you can construct a persona of your ideal buyer type and from that you can reverse engineer your marketing strategy to focus on attracting that ideal buyer and ultimately bring in the EXACT clients you want in your business and who are looking for exactly what you have to offer.
It's much easier to sell your products to the right people who actually need them if you've already set a baseline for who walks in your door before they even step foot in your facility or head over to your website.
They should walk into your business saying that they feel like you were speaking right to them before they even contacted you due to everything they've read and seen from your brand.
By listening we can develop a strategy focused on who IS actually buying our products and WHY they are buying them. It's not a guessing game if you have real actionable information from people who already use your products.