Running a blog isn’t just a PSA, they cost money to run and in many cases you have writers to try and keep compensated. Plus a lot of people are either trying to make a full time living with their blog or rather by being an entrepreneur who runs a blog as a means to assist with their product/service or at least partially augment their existing income. I know when I first started blogging back in 2008 I was all about ways I could write as well as bring in a 2nd income without having to leave the house and work a 2nd job spending time away from the family. I wanted something I could do at night while the family was sleeping and not impact my availability that much. But blogging is so much more than trying to find the best hosting package and once you find a hosting provider you have to start thinking about leads and readers.
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Photographer: Karolina Grabowska.STAFFAGE
Whether you blog just for the sake of sharing content or you are actually an affiliate marketer putting together a service, platform or product you will end up having to learn about the importance of leads. Leads are your potential consumers and clients, leads are the potential for your success and it doesn’t matter if you are trying to learn how to convert leads in real estate or any other niche or business because leads are the life blood of a business that relies on trying to attract new customers when you don’t have a brick and mortar store for them to simply walk into and drive past.
Now a Lead isn’t the same as a cold call where you are randomly selecting emails or names like the old phone book or door to door salesmen days. A lead is information collected about someone who already has potential interest in the market/service you are trying to reach. They may have become a lead from joining a newsletter, entering a giveaway, signing up for a promo, joining a Facebook group…etc. Leads are people who are already curious enough that they have a higher potential to turn into that customer if you have the right product and are able to present it in the way that makes it a compelling offer.
I did do affiliate programs but for me leads was something I never dove into too much, I enjoy creating content and publishing information and reviews on products and services. I share my opinion and present all the info and then it is up to my reader or consumer to decide if they thought my review of a product or service was good enough to purchase it. I don’t overly sell anything, though an outstanding product will get stated as such. I also leverage my email newsletter and entice people to sign up with giveaways, offers and more but once they are signed up they really are already my customers. Yes, a reader can be a customer if they purchase a product based on your recommendation even if you aren’t the one who makes or sells the product in my opinion.
You may consider how to grab leads, sometimes this involves just fishing around on social media for hashtags that match your niche and reaching out that way, others involve building mailing lists or purchasing mailing lists which ironically is far more common than you would think in the business industry. But ultimately a lead is just a chance with better odds, you have to actually have the product/service that delivers the goods. Even if you have let’s say a fantastic service or product that is better than competitors you have to also be able to market it and pitch it in a way that makes that lead take a chance. This is why smaller brands with no name recognition have to claw their way up to get some sort of recognition so they develop trust and aren’t by default considered small, not worth it compared to the big guys.
Here are four simple tips to help start your lead generation and turn website visitors into leads
Step 1 – Setup a CRM and have a eMail/SMS provider
You will want to make sure that you either have a CRM to store lead information or if you only use email or SMS make sure you have a decent provider. For CRM there are quite a number like InfusionSoft, Zoho CRM, Salesforce. I have no experience with any one but InfusionSoft however. For mailing list providers there are also many to chose from including MailChimp, ConstantContact, aWeber, SimplyCast and SendinBlue which the last one is the email provider that I use. I don’t use SMS leads as I don’t need to, but this is something that should be considered based on the product or service that you offer.
Step 2 – Make it Easy to Sign Up for Your List
You will want to make sure when visitors arrive at your site they have an easy way to sign up for your newsletter, it should be available but not intrusive. I tend to not like the popups to join mailing lists but they can be effective if you run a niche product/service and especially if you combine it with an offer or incentive that is very compelling. Some easy things to do is have a giveaway or random draw monthly for example and people enter just by signing up. This can help but you can also get false leads or people just interested in a free win with no interest in your product or service. Giveaways can be a gift and a curse that way for your brand. You can learn more about using webforms for your site from another article we published as well.
Step 3 – Leverage Google Analytics, Web Master tools and AdWords
Use the above mentioned tools to find out what content on your site is doing well and target/improve that aspect. Find out which pages and keywords you are getting traffic from search engines for and even purchase some AdWords or digital ads that are inviting and lead to an opt-in page to help build and generate leads.
Step 4 – Friend Referrals
Leverage existing consumers/customers to refer friends and receive some sort of incentive, word of mouth matters and people tend to trust a friends recommendation. The key here is to pull it off in a way that doesn’t cause a customer to just spam their friends and family with a service that they will lose their own reputation. I have known people who have given my phone number to a company just because they got some incentive to refer a friend or family and they did without asking. So you have to be careful about this one and it is easier to do by asking them to share on their Social Media than say ask they provide you with a friends email or phone number which can be a violation of legal rules since they may not have opt-ed in which could violate laws. Social sharing is usually the best way to go and having a compelling message is good.
Step 5 – Purchase Leads
You can purchase bulk leads for just about any niche or profession, so you can leverage reputable services to provide you with emails or information that you can contact. A reputable company has already received proper opt-in and is allowed to share this information with permission from the lead, but make sure you do your research here.
Any other tips you would like to share or how about you share your story with collecting leads for your site or brand?