Generating qualified leads with inbound marketing is not complicated or difficult. It’s a repeatable process that can be broken down in only 561 words!
- Create a blog and graciously share information that matters to your business and your customers – this means regularly share insight, expertise, real world scenarios and stories that will suck your readers in and keep their attention until the end of the post. Give them information they can use and commit to providing valuable content. Keep it real...no nonsense here.
- Create premium content that your customers will download in exchange for their email address – premium content is valuable information that reinforces your company’s particular expertise. This might make your executive team a bit uncomfortable at first…do it anyway, your customers will need you to collaborate, solve, plan and execute the services and solutions your company delivers. This only reinforces your company’s value and why they need you!
- If you’re charged with business development – showcase your area of expertise by regularly contributing to your company blog, industry blogs, and social media groups like LinkedIn. Contributing means starting a conversation AND joining a conversation. This is not a sales pitch, rather it’s a dialog aimed to share ideas, opinions, expertise and experiences. If you’re an expert, your conversation will spotlight it!
- On your blog’s contact form ask your visitors an important question about their business. Don’t make it a required field to subscribe to your blog or download premium content, some folks might still be sizing you up. Let them and continue to earn your way into a conversation. The ones who answer the question have just identified themselves as a hot lead and potential customer!
- Rapid Response – as soon you receive a request for your opinion, or more information, respond as soon as possible. That means immediately if you’re sitting in front of your computer or have access to your mobile device. The idea here is to catch them while their request is top of mind, and they’re still online receiving emails. As soon as they move on to their next responsibility, your valuable feedback will have to wait in line behind all their other emails, scheduled calls, meetings and regular interruptions. Too much lag time can quickly cool down a hot lead.
- Lead with a valid business reason – if someone is seeking your advice, opinion, expertise, or insight, always write their challenge or question in their exact words in the email subject line. Don’t get chummy with a “hi, hello, or thanks for asking” Get down to business and entice them to open your email with a subject they’ll recognize, and means something to them!
- Introduce, Restate, Answer and Offer - when responding to a request for information or advice, introduce yourself along with your position in the company, restate their challenge or question, briefly answer it and then offer a brief 30-minute conversation to dive a little deeper. No one wants to read a freakishly long e-mail, especially if it’s your first conversation. Long emails risk being placed in a crowded folder until time permits. In some cases (many cases) they’re trashed immediately. If you don’t believe me, think about how you handle freakishly long emails from people you’ve never met!
- Repeat – circle back to step one. Regularly and graciously share your expertise, insight, opinions, and real world experiences to your new prospects, and the masses, through your company blog, social media, and direct email when appropriate. Then follow steps 2 through 8 again and again and again.
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