GUEST BLOGGER: Tuning Visitors into Leads by Alex Szaki

We all need a website for our business but is yours working for you or against you?

It’s one thing to get your website up and running, and to get people to visit your site, but there still remains one more question you need to ask yourself…

What happens when they arrive there?

These questions are very important and depending on how you answer, can make a huge difference to your bottom line.

As a local business owner you must think carefully about what you present to your website visitors when they first arrive. Remember the saying “you never get a second chance to make a first impression”?

Well this quote has never been more accurate and the reason is, our attention span is very low these days and dropping every year.

With this in mind. Here are few things to consider when looking at your website.

What do you want your website visitor to do?

Do you make it easy for them to do it and is it obvious?

You see, the objective of your website is to turn visitors into customers, right?

This is the first issue with most websites. They treat it as a brochure and not a tool to attract customers.

So, take a look at your website. I mean really look at it and not from your perspective but from the eyes of a new visitor who has never heard of your business.

Is your contact information clearly visible? One simple but very important detail that many businesses leave out is having their phone number at the top. This is key if you do nothing else.

Do you have a working contact form that people can easily access to get in touch with you?

Is your website front page confusing or is it easy to read and navigate?

Does your website talk about you and your business or does it explain the benefits of your products or services?

All of these questions need to be answered honestly because when done right, your visitor will become a fan of your business and have no reason to look any further.

Always remember, when people are searching the Internet they will not hang around on a website that is confusing, difficult to understand or read.

You want to make it simple and clear for people when they arrive at our site.

Think of the one thing, above everything else, that you want to present to your customer, and the one action that you would like them to take when they visit, and make it abundantly clear how to do that one thing.

One of the ways to achieve this is by setting up an e-mail capture form on your web site. You may even offer an incentive for visitors in exchange for their name and email.

There are several creative and very effective ways to accomplish this. It can be a free report, a quiz, questionnaire, free eBook, access to an informative video, a coupon or discount code.

The list is endless, but what is important is the fact that we offer something of value first. Think about it this way. Would you rather be offered something of value without being asked for anything in return when you first meet someone? Of course.

We are always being sold to so don’t you think your website visitor would be more likely to do business with you after you give them something of value? Absolutely!

Costco comes to mind as I write this post. If you’ve ever been to a Costco I’m sure you have noticed that they set up small sample tables, usually around the frozen food section.

You’ve probably also noticed how many people are waiting in line to get their free sample. Right?

What you might not have noticed but is very strategic is that they very rarely ask for the sale. They just smile and hand out samples.

When someone likes the offering, they ask where they can find it. The person working the sample table usually just points a few feet away and the sale is complete.

No advertising, no high pressure sales tactic and they let the product sell itself. Well, this is what you want to achieve with your website.

Think of your new website visitor experiencing a warm smile, feeling welcome, offered a sample of your product or service and knowing you’re available if they need more information or want to purchase.

The bonus for you that Costco doesn’t have is you are able to gather contact information which when done right, can now nurture your new prospect with more goodies and offers. Oh, and best of all, it can all run on autopilot!

The bottom line is, create a soft place to land and focus on the customer and not you or your business. I’m very sorry to say this but they don’t really care anyway. They just want information on how you can serve THEM.

Now that you have a better understanding of what your website should do and offer, you’re probably wondering what you should do next, right?

Here are a few options to consider. If you created your business website yourself then go ahead and add some type of optin box to start. Most hosting companies that have website builders will have the option of adding a landing page or optin box.

They can probably also create a pop up. You’ve seen them I’m sure. You get to a website and within a few seconds a box appears with an offer usually.

Some people hate them but if you offer value and don’t ask for a sale, people are usually ok with that. As a side note, they convert really well no matter how many people say they hate them.

If you need help, most hosting companies are also very good at helping you with these projects so don’t be afraid to ask.

If you had your website creating by someone else, reach out to them and ask if they can add some type of option box for you.

If both those options won’t work, I would really consider creating a new webpage (not a full website) as a sister site to your main website.

This would be a single landing page, with a headline and offer. It’s meant to be simple so don’t worry about it looking great. After they provide their information you can then send them automatically to your main page anyway.

In the meantime you will be emailing them the information they requested.

The best part of having more than one website or single page is you can direct traffic any way you want. If you want to offer something of value you send them to your single page and forward to your main site.

If you don’t have an offer or specific promotion, send them to your main website. Think of it as having a benefit packed brochure for each service or product you provide but only using it when needed.

In regards to your free offer, don’t over complicate this. For now just send them a discount offer of some sort but get that email list started.

If you really like the idea of offering a report or short ebook but don’t have the time to create it, use a service like Fiverr. You can find thousands of people who are more than happy to create something for you and make it look amazing for less than $100.

Finally, if you want to do it yourself, write down 10 questions you have been asked about your products or services and head over to Canva. There you can create a report using templates that look amazing and download it as a PDF file. All for free!

You really don’t need to overthink this project but remember, once it’s done, you will use it for years and it will attract many new customers for you while you do other things.

If you are stressed out just at the thought of doing any of this, help is available. Visit us at www.marketingforlocal.com and schedule your FREE 30 minute call so we can discuss your options.

We would love to help you set up a system that attracts new customers to your business and one that runs on autopilot so you can focus on taking care of your current customers. 

At the end of the day the only thing we want as local business owners is to help others with our products or services and do it with the least amount of stress possible. Having a website that works for you is just one way to accomplish this.

I hope you found this post helpful and if it made you take a look at your website in a different light, I’ve done my job.

Cheers,
Alex
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Alex Szaki

Alex Szaki helps people scale their businesses with predictability. He is an expert at helping people get clients using online methods and making things super simple to understand.
If you’re interested in scaling up and getting clients then definitely reach out and request a free strategy session today.

Visuals for Social Media

Here is a little exercise you can do.

For the next week, I want you to write down everytime you stopped on a post in your news feed as to what made you stop to read the post.  At the end of the week, review your list and find out what the common factors were.  In most cases, it was the visual that stopped you.

So…….why aren’t you using more visuals in your posts?

I love when I see pictures of people I know and for me, I tend to get more traffic/visibility when I use a picture of myself.  For this reason, I had an ‘Influencer” photoshoot done to capture my personality as well as certain ones to use when I am talking about a tip, something new that is happening, etc.

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Think about the content that you are putting out in Social Media and put together a list of what type of pictures/animation you want to create and either hire a professional or get one of your friends to take the photos for you (our cameras do a pretty great job of taking photos).

Start selling YOU in your posts with your visuals!

What to post on your Facebook Personal Timeline

Since Facebook states that we cannot use our Personal Timelines for commercial use, many people are unsure of what they should post to bring visibility to their business.

The goal here is to be talking about all the elements that make up your business, where you are going, what training you are taking, who you are working with, where you are speaking, what deliveries you receive; all elements that ultimately indirectly sell you and your business.  This is a great way to showcase everything that you do to enhance your business, enhance what you offer your clients, the knowledge you have, what you are learning to improve on your business.

I have put together some examples to help you think about how you can showcase your business.

Excited to be one of the table speakers at the Rock Your Biz event.  My focus will be finding out where business owners are stuck and give them some tips on how to get past it.

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Another GREAT meeting with the ladies from FemCity Bradford!

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Attending the WinterFresh Trivia Night to help raise funds for the York Region Food Network.  I am thankful for these women, who are small business owners but also great friends, as they helped me survive my lack of trivia knowledge lol

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Thanks to my girlfriend Darla for accompanying me to the CDC Lunch n Learn where I was one of the speakers, talking the world of Facebook.

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Excited for another Zoom Facebook Training today, I love teaching!!

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Look who I ran into at Rogers TV this morning!!  We were all guest speakers on the show!

P.S.  I would actually tag both of these ladies in the post which ultimately brings all of us more visibility.

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Today was all about learning from Guest Speakers, building relationships and selling our businesses.

P.S.  I would tag each of them as well

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As you can see, I have inserted a variety of different elements that make up some of the things I do but also showcases some fun things, like the Trivia night as I was with other business owners.  At no point, did I directly sell anything, I am just showcasing what “Tammy” is up to.

I also do two main posts, one on Mondays and one on Fridays.

Mondays I focus on outlining my week, what is going to keep Tammy busy.

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Fridays, I look back over my week and I review all the different success elements and I pick one to talk about.  I tell them why I feel that it was successful for me and also include some type of quote to support it.

Moving forward, I encourage you to sit down and make a list of all the activities that you do for building your business and determine what type of pictures you need to take (the more of you the better as people love seeing photos of us).

I hope this helps you to think a little differently about what you are posting on your personal timeline.

Frustrated with your results on Facebook?

As I talk to more and more business owners, I am hearing all the frustration with Facebook Business Pages.  The algorithms are just not your friend.

As a small business owner and entrepreneur, it can be tough to get the visibility you are looking for because you just don’t have the money to invest in Ads, or to hire a Social Media Manager for your business.  You work your Business Page but not seeing the results you were hoping for and you are ready to throw in the towel.

Don’t throw in the towel just yet!!

I have a friend, who I have known for quite a few years now, whom has tried to do a variety of direct sales businesses and never really had the success she was looking for.  No matter how much training she took, she just never got her business to a level of success, in her eyes.  One of the things that was very evident, was that she just didn’t have the passion, the love, for what she was trying to sell.  Fast forward to today and this lady is on FIRE!!  She decided that she wanted to love her body again and started on a weight loss and fitness journey.  We all watched her on her personal timeline share the journey with us and we all encouraged her, as well as being inspired by her.  During this journey, she participated in a program that would help her to continue losing weight BUT had a huge element of FUN involved.  She then decided to launch her own program “Walk 15 with Antonietta” and WOW, she is ROCKING it!!  Why??  She is sharing her journey, she is sharing her love for what she is doing, she is keeping us up to date on each step of the way, she is doing videos, she is doing visuals, she is selling HERSELF!!!  She started with one person joining her in the class to a class of 130 people!!!!  All people who have been inspired by her, NOT because of what she sells (a fitness style class that is all about FUN) but because she INSPIRES everyone!  Do you know that she hasn’t even been doing this for a year??  This all happened within 6 months!!  AND the 130 is just ONE class that she does (she has a few classes in different towns).  Be sure to check out her Facebook group HERE!!

Why did I tell you this story?

This was not about someone working her Business Page to death (she really doesn’t even work it to be honest), she focused on selling herself and her journey!!  By focusing on selling herself, it ultimately led to others selling her business for her!!  Imagine that??  You don’t have to do posts around selling, when your network does the selling for you!!

Take a step back, review what you have been doing, and look at what you can be doing.  Think about how you are going to use your personal timeline to grow (keep in mind, Facebook rules say that you can not use your personal timeline for commercial use, so you have to get creative), think about how you are going to take advantage of the different groups to sell yourself, think about what you are putting out on your Business Page to sell YOU!!

START focusing on SELLING you, I promise you will see a difference!!!

Reflecting…..

Well, 2018 is coming to a close and it is always a great opportunity to reflect over the past year to understand your growth, what might have not worked, where you can make changes and figure out what is next.

➦ 2018 was a HUGE year for me for my business!!  I started regrowing back in 2017 when I did a 10 month Mastermind Program and this continued into 2018.  With my growth, I realized that I could not continue to move forward unless I hired helped, so I now have 2 people who help me daily with a variety of activities.  I have also been outsourcing different tasks that ultimately are a benefit to my clients.  This has allowed me to continue taking on more clients from Business Page Management and Coaching.

➦ I launched my Online Academy and had 9 business women jump on board with an opportunity to learn how to use Social Media, Blogging, Networking, Newsletters, Opt-Ins, monthly Zoom calls with me, and it has been great to watch the ladies grow and embrace what I have taught them.

➦ I launched the FemCity Bradford Collective and was ecstatic to fill the Collective with 25 Business Women BEFORE my official launch meeting!!  This was a true testament to all the building of relationships I have been doing for the last 10 years.

➦ I started with a Direct Sales company, that was at ground floor, however the company has still not launched in Canada, so I made a decision to walk away and put the Direct Sales industry on the back burner as it is not something that will fit with me at this time.

➦ I learned how to ‘fire’ myself from Clients and when to say ‘no” (still working on this lol).

➦ I restructured my calendar to work with everything that I wanted/needed to accomplish BUT will move into 2019 developing a new calendar as more changes are coming for me.  It is important that I manage my time effectively as I still want to take my weekends off.

➦ I took 3 vacations as travel has become one of my passions and I will continue to take a couple of trips a year.  I am very fortunate to be able to work my Facebook Business from anywhere in the world.

➦ We, as a family, went through some personal journeys BUT I am excited to say that things have taken a turn towards success.

I have gone through many ups and downs, both through business and personal, but have no regrets.  I have learned, I have embraced, I have resolved, I have become a better person.  Moving forward, there will be more changes and I am excited for them.  I have some new opportunities and will rework my calendar to be able to embrace them.  I will continue taking on new clients and at some point, look at hiring a 3rd person, if and when I need it.  I am not afraid anymore of having people help me as I know this is important for my own growth.

Embrace everything that comes your way and know that it is okay if sometimes things just don’t work out.  The bonus is that there will always be something you can learn from every single thing that enters into your life.

Cheers to an EXCITING 2019!!

 

GUEST BLOGGER: 5 Ways to Increase Social Media Engagement

Brands of all shapes and sizes are hung up on making waves in social media.

In such an overcrowded landscape, piercing through the noise and reaching your audience is a daunting task. Well, be that as it may, there are surefire strategies to make it happen. Instead of bombarding people with intrusive marketing and sale pitches, you need to foster meaningful relationships.

Furthermore, it is necessary to invest a great deal of time and effort in getting to know your audience, working out a marketing strategy, and implementing campaigns. But, do not fret. All your blood, sweat, and tears will be a drop in the bucket compared to amazing benefits that wait down the road.

Uncover your unique persona

To drive traffic and conversions, you need to flesh out a unique social media persona. It should be the genuine reflection of who you are (your brand) and what you stand for (your values and mission). Brands like Dollar Shave Club have proven that throwing fun and humor in the mix pays off big time.

The trick is to avoid sounding too promotional. People want to feel something and connect to your story. The best way to influence them is to evoke emotions and provide entertaining, educational and useful pieces of content. Just try to be unique rather than emulating more successful brands. Standing out is the most reliable tactic you can employ.

Embrace a consumer-centric interaction

Social media is the place of constant interaction between brands and customers. It is a far cry from traditional platforms for self-promotion. Alas, one common mistake businesses make is not listening to their audiences. You should know better. Conduct a thorough research to figure out people’s wants, needs, and online habits. Show that you care about what they think.

Take part in conversations on a regular basis and ask users what they would like to see in the future. Comments and reviews can provide you with invaluable insights for fine-tuning your social media strategy. You can also direct followers to your review pages and engage them in instant messaging. In any event, soak in as much feedback as you humanly can.

Host contests

People adore getting free stuff. You can take advantage of this fact and sponsor various giveaways. For instance, you can ask your followers to share and like your social media posts, comment and tag their friends or you can encourage them to submit their own pictures and videos in order to qualify for rewards. These tactics tend to increase the volume of social signals and engagement rates (and you can also end up with a lot of awesome user-generated content).

Moreover, an online contest does not only have to be a strategy for increasing social media engagement but it can also serve as an incentive for your customers to spend money. A great way to achieve this is to launch a loyalty program. For example, research done by ICLP shows that 41% of Hong Kong shoppers would spend more on brands with a loyalty program. So, something like a branded prepaid card in Hong Kong could be a perfect gift for your contest – it generates buzz on social media and also helps you boost sales.

Harness the power of the visual  

Visual content is a social media super-weapon you have to incorporate in your strategy. Studies have shown that posts with quality, non-generic images and videos attract way more likes and shares than plain text. Many brands have managed to increase engagement with assets like behind-the-scenes photos and lighthearted videos.

Of course, there are also image-heavy networks like Pinterest and Instagram, where visuals are basically the name of the game. They provide filters and tools for visual enhancement as well. So, step up content production.  It is time to craft killer posts, master the art of visual storytelling, and enthrall the audience.

Add relevant hashtags

Hashtags are essential tools for improving reach and amplifying the impact of your efforts. They enable you to make the most of keywords and keeping close tabs on the flow of discussion. What is more, hashtags can be used to center conversations on certain trending topics, effectively connecting with everyone who uses the same hashtags.

Try not to go overboard, though. Over-stuffing posts with hashtags can achieve the opposite effect and actually put people off. To tap into new audiences and delight existing customers, take lessons from the best of the best. Coca-Cola, for example, has worked wonders with the #ShareACoke on Instagram and other major networks. That is how you nail the campaign and flatten the competition.

Shape up or ship out

Social media can be a real game-changer. It generates buzz around your business and propels the whole organization towards set objectives. But, rest assured that arresting and retaining attention does not come easy. You first have to come up with a rock-solid game plan and do your homework. Capture consumer data and feedback to refine your approach.

The goal is to make sure your messages and content strike a chord with an audience of a particular social network. Following these steps, you should be able to witness the avalanche of shares and likes coming your way. Just bear in mind that social media engagement is an ongoing process that never really comes to a halt.

So, whatever you do, just do not rest on the laurels or take loyalty for granted.

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Competition……

Competition, does it exist?  Absolutely!  BUT how you deal with competition will make a huge difference in your business.

The Social Media space has a TON of people who offer the same services as me, yet they are different.  We all have our own unique qualities, our own thoughts on how things work, what is beneficial, what is not and of course, we are all different in how we deliver.

This means, that not everyone is going to be your client and when someone reaches out to you, you need to make sure you understand what makes up that business owner and their business, along with how you work/deliver.  You need to make a decision as to whether they are the right fit and if not, then recommend one of your competitors.

I have 3 Social Media people that I refer business to and they do the same.  We all know that we have something different to offer each business owner and sometimes, the other person could be the best fit for the client.

Embrace your competitors, find out who they are, their personalities, what they offer in regards to products/services and utilize this when someone reaches out to you.

What I love about competition is that it is not just about someone doing the same business as you.  Competition comes in many forms and usually shows it’s ugly head when there is a jealousy component added in.  When we work hard, when we build our businesses, when we show success, sometimes that will lead to others believing you are their competitor.  When this competition arises, you have to remember that it is really not about you, it is the issue of the other person, and it has nothing to do with your business, it is a personal element.

I believe that when you reach this level of competition, that means that you have built success for yourself.  So congratulate yourself on achieving success, because if there are other business owners who do not like you, it is most likely because of this reason.

Go out there and create competition……