STEP 2: Your leads (the invitation)
Once people discover you and your business, your next objective is to get them on your list. This is when they move to step 2—the middle of your funnel—and they become a lead.
When most of us are getting started, collecting leads is an offline model. It may simply be your taking a business card when you meet someone who expresses interest in our services or products. Your job is to follow up with them via email or phone, schedule a lunch or conversation, etc.
Years ago in my first little writing business, I literally knocked on doors of prospects around New York City. I looked up ad agencies (since they often hired freelance copywriters), and if they expressed interest, we’d exchange information. Now they became a lead.
This one-to-one model works well for a bit, but then of course you realize you can’t get very far doing this without becoming exhausted! You only have so much time in a day. (However do NOT discount this model—if your business is service based, and you charge well for what you do, having sales conversations with your leads can be your BEST method of conversion to step 3, which is the sale. In fact, I send many clients back here when they are getting too distracted with online methods and need income quickly.)
But for more added leverage, you want to build an automated list as well, so you can market one to many instead of just one-to-one. Offering something of value, whether it’s information or a goodie, is a great way to get people onto your list.
First, let’s look at OFFLINE strategies—Going back to “Jane”, our yoga teacher example in Part 1… if she is doing a speaking gig or complimentary workshop, she could then offer a FREE introductory DVD in exchange for people’s contact information. Or a voucher for a free class at her studio. You get the idea. She’d make it clear that when people sign up, they will also receive her biweekly newsletter with tips on yoga for health. This way she’s getting their information, and getting permission to contact them again on a regular basis.
Often when I am speaking on stages myself, I will offer my FREE CD “Top 10 Secrets for Entrepreneurial Women”, in exchange for a business card. I tell the audience about this free gift I’ve brought for them and invite them to join me and my staff at the back of the room when my talk is through. We ask for a business card in return, or they can use a signup sheet. I also mention they will receive my free weekly “Spotlight” ezine with helpful articles on business success. (If you’d like a sample CD to see what we give away, you’re welcome to request a copy at www.AliBrownFreeCD.com.)
Then let’s look at ONLINE strategies—Always have a way for people who have found your website to get on your list. Invite them to sign up for your newsletter, a VIP club, to get a free report or audio or video, or perhaps a free sample of your product. Or a free live teleclass, webinar, or livecast. If you have a niche business with a high net profit, and your time is worth it, you could even offer a free 15-20 minute phone consultation. (As long as you know many of those people will turn into clients/customers.)
I suggest both a combination of a newsletter and a freebie for best results. (You can see what I offer at www.AliBrown.com in the upper right corner.) Important: Years ago you could just say “sign up for our mailing list” and people would do it! Not anymore. You really have to offer something of value to the prospect to turn them into a lead. Give clear benefits to what they will receive, and give clear instructions on how to sign up immediately.
Again, there’s so much more we could go into here, but I hope this got your wheels turning on how you can more easily turn your prospects into leads.
Next, in Step 3, we’ll turn many of these leads into sales!
(continued next week in Part 3)
QUESTION: How are you currently converting your prospects to leads? Do you offer a newsletter, free report, teleclass, webinar, or sample product or service? Please join in the conversation below!
© 2013 Ali International, LLC
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:
“Entrepreneur mentor Ali Brown teaches women around the world how to start and grow a profitable business that make a positive impact. Get her FREE CD “Top 10 Secrets for Entrepreneurial Women” at www.AliBrown.com.“