Generating leads is something that people have been doing for years, and although the playing field may have changed as a result of the Internet, the effectiveness of gathering those leads has not changed at all. Here are 7 different ways that you can use the Internet in order to gather these leads through new marketing strategies.
One of the first things that you should do is always to make sure that you’re including a capture form on your website. Make sure that it is highly visible, and that it is above the fold (viewable without scrolling)
A second tactic that you can do is to give away something that is related to your business in exchange for an email address and other contact information. This is best done through a squeeze page, where there are no other exit points other than to sign up for what you’re offering, or to back out of the page.
Email campaigns are an excellent way to stay in touch, and they can be sent out to the masses rather easily. Always make sure to personalize the email when possible, and to ask for a referral. There are many people that will refer your website, simply because you asked.
Don’t forget about search engine optimization, optimizing your website in order to rank for specific keywords or keyword phrases that are related to your niche. When done properly, this can send a flood of warm visitors to your website that are all but sitting there with their credit card in hand.
There are many people that regularly follow blogs, and you may be able to pull traffic into your website by commenting on blogs that are related to your niche. One thing that you may want to do, is to download an RSS feed aggregator so that you know whenever a new post goes on to one of these blogs. Being the first person to post a thoughtful comment will get you the most traffic.
Advertise your lead capture URL in any way that you possibly can, either off-line or online. Buy a bumper sticker, put signs in your yard, hand out business cards or whatever else it may take in order to get people to visit your website and to give you their contact information.
Finally, you may want to try the direct approach and simply ask people that may be interested in what you have to offer to go to your webpage and enter their contact information. It may sound simplistic, but it works very well.
I found this awesome new tool that allows you to comment on any content on the net. Once you create a “dot” you can add additional relevant text, links to blogs and video. It’s been a great tool for exposing one of my clients to target readers of various news posts and articles. A Dot that is connected to one paragraph will be syndicated to all other relevant paragraphs in articles scattered around the web
With the state of the economy the way it is today I am seeing an increase in the level of interest a person has in starting their own business. When I ask the new entreprenuer a few basic questions regarding the tools they are using to build their new business I am shocked at how many people have that deer-in-the-headlight look.
So many people are jumping to the conclusion that starting a business from home is tied to a big expense and that the tools they need to use are not affordable to operate efficiently. Therefore, many business owners are not empowered to build strategically with the use of the internet. Because I am a big believer in maximizing online tools I came up with a list that will help take your business to the next level.
Here is a list of necessary tools that are free to use.
Webcast: Mikogo is free screensharing software that you can use for webinars, product demonstrations, online meetings, etc.
Video Production: Animoto is a great way to turn your photos into video. As we all know video’s drive traffic to your website. Therefore, a simple way to create a video is to upload pictures of you or your business into Animoto, select sound clips to match the video and publish to YouTube or other video sites.
Conference Calling: Free Conference Call.com is a teleconference line available 24/7. Do you need to have a quick meeting with your team members or sales staff? Easily done with this service.
Calendar: Google Calendar is an efficient way to keep track of your events. I use this service to color code the conference calls, events, and even set up Text Messaging reminders so I don’t miss a beat. A great feature in Google Calendar allows you to invite others to share the calendar so it works great for planning events.
Business Forms: Google Docs has a host of forms and templates that can assist you with your business. Find a template, complete the form and then print it to a PDF file direct from the desk top. Many of the templates will even feed into specific software programs you might use. It is a great way to invoice your clients.
Advertising: Craigslist is a favorite for free advertising. If you own a service business or want to sell a product this service is for you. Not only is it good for advertising it is also great for prospecting. Check out the “wanted” section as you might be able to fill a need of what people are looking for. Be sure to read the compliance section of Craigslist because they don’t hesistate to shut your account down if your ad is flagged too many times.
Autoresponder: Mail Chimp Not only does this site have a cute chimp on the front page it offers a great foundation for new marketers to start building a list. You can build and manage your list as well as design HMTL newsletters for free. I personally use Aweber as it is the list building tool I’ve used prior to learning of Mail Chimp.
Website Software: WordPress.org is a great tool for the new business owner to use while building an online presence. With all the new plugins available to the wordpress owner you can create a website in a matter of minutes compared to a few months and at a high expense. WordPress.org is free but you would need a hosting account to maintain it. I use a few different hosting companies for my sites but I prefer Hostgator as my wordpress host.
These are a few of my favorite tools (sounds like a song doesn’t it?). Be not afraid to learn any one of them as they all have video instructions and are easy to learn.
Do you need to know where to market your website? Go ahead and opt in at the box on the right. I will send you a PDF file and checklist to get you started in the right direction.
Make Internet Marketing Fun!
Home Business Coaching – Excellent Example of 9 Hour Work Week Schedule For New Home Based Business
As a home based business coach, I’m often presented with the same three challenges for online home based business owners. I felt it important enough to write about this in hopes it makes a difference to others.
Here are the three common challenges:
1) Staying focused on the task at hand. Too many distractions; specifically email.
2) Fitting time into their already busy day to work on their business
3) Feeling overwhelmed – too many things to do which leads to doing nothing.
By reading this article, you will have real bite-sized steps that you can take to organize yourself so you can easily and systematically keep moving forward in your business without the feeling of overwhelm, stress and frustration and the feelings and emotions that go along with those. As you become a home business mentor, you can recommend this same schedule for your new business partners.
I’ve put together a sample schedule based on a 9 hour part-time work week that I use in my home business coaching program. As you become better skilled in drafting your content and posting it online, you will be able to do this same work in about 7-8 hours a week.
Keep in mind, if your budget permits, you can outsource pretty much all of this. However, having mentioned outsourcing, I always recommend you do your own videos. You can outsource the editing and posting of your videos, but let people hear and see you on a regular basis. It’s your face, your voice, and your authentic self that your prospects will be building a relationship with.
Also keep in mind as you read this article, these are money generating activities. Your daily personal development, shuffling papers, organizing your desk, learning skill sets, participating in seminars, webinars, etc., is NOT included in this schedule. Those kinds of activities do not replace your job income, nor, your goals.
I’m also taking into consideration that you are utilizing your lunch break to write your articles. If you do not have the ability to write your articles during your lunch breaks at work, you will have to add that in your schedule perhaps bringing your weekly part time hours to 10-13 hours a week following the full time job/career you already do.
Or, here again, based on your budget, you may want to provide your keywords to an article writer and let him/her do it. They can also rewrite the spins on your articles.
Here are defined action steps you can take immediately to get yourself in a routine and stay on track:
1) First things first: Go through your email and unsubscribe to any and all emails that distract you and steal your focus. If it’s a contact you don’t want to lose, set up a folder in your email and save the contact information. Then unsubscribe, or set up a rule in your options email where the emails you received from this contact go directly into the folder, rather than clutter your email inbox.
2) Next, write out your game plan for all the ways you want to market so you can make sure to get them all in during the course of your working week. Remember, success online depends greatly on the quality and consistency of your content being placed online. Keep in mind that you are in the relationship business and in my opinion, it’s necessary to have a presence online in the social communities.
You don’t need to be in a slew of communities but certainly you will want to identify 3 or 4 to be actively involved in them. At the time of this writing, the ones I’m recommending are Facebook and Twitter. Then choose a couple of forums where you can establish yourself as a leader in your industry.
3) Set your business hours and commit to work those. Hold yourself accountable. Show up for work. Don’t accept excuses from yourself. You are building an asset that will create freedom for you and your family.
HERE’S THE REALITY: Most of you will be tired after working all day at a 9-5 but do the work regardless. Do the work in spite of being tired.
Most people who join a home based business or network marketing company do so because they want to escape the 9-5 rat race. So, when you come home tired and not feeling like you want to put the effort into your home business, remember your ‘why’. If you will do what it takes for a short period of time, you will not have worry about your future.
This is one of the things that positively separates those who make it from the ones who don’t. You will find yourself repeating these same words to your new business partners as you begin your home business coaching and you’ll fully understand where they’re coming from.
Committing to 3 nights a week and half a day on the weekend for your money generating activities will put you on the path you want to be on. It will get your phone ringing and people finding you online. You must be putting out value packed content. This is key. Failure to do so will throwing content into the wind and hoping someone sees it and you won’t get the results you are seeking
Here’s a possible schedule for you.
PREP WORK TO DO DURING YOUR 9-5 LUNCH BREAK EACH DAY
Rather than eating lunch with the work crew in your office, find a quiet place, even your car if need be, put on your CEO and Million Dollar Mindset and write articles. Take your lunch to work so you can maximize your time.
Keep your articles short, about 300 words. Change up the articles to make them at least 25% different, using different titles, rearranging sentences, paragraphs, changing out related keywords etc.
So, by each Friday, you will have 3 original articles and 3 rewrites of each for a total of 12 original articles you wrote.
Take the three articles and their ‘spins’ that you wrote during lunch last week and work with those as follows:
MONDAY: (Should take no more than 2 FOCUSED, UNINTERRUPTED hours)
1) Submit your 3 original articles you wrote last week to 3 articles directories. (30 min.)
2) Create a Squidoo Lens or Hub Page with a spun version for article #1 (30 min.)
3) Add a few friends to Facebook, offer value (15 min.)
4) Say hello on Twitter, offer value (5 min.)
5) Post another spun version of article number 1 to your blog (10 min.)
6) Bookmark your articles and blog post (3 min.)
7) Vote and rate 2 other’s stuff on your booking marking site (10 min.)
8) Pop into a forum and contribute 1 post (15 min.)
9) Do keyword research to build your list of key, targeted words and phrases you will be using in your articles. (20 min.)
TUESDAY: (Should take no more than 1.5 FOCUSED, UNINTERRUPTED hours)
1) Create a hub page or Squidoo lens with a spin version of article #2 (30 min.)
2) Add a few friends to Facebook, offer value (15 min.)
3) Say hello on twitter, offer value (5 min.)
4) Post another spun version of article number 2 to your blog (10 min.)u
5) Bookmark your articles and blog post (3 min.)
6) Vote and rate 2 others’s stuff on your book marking stuff (10 min.)
7) Pop into a forum and contribute 1 post (15 min.)
8) Continue with your keyword research (20 min.)
THURSDAY: (Should take no more than 1.5 FOCUSED, UNINTERRUPTED hours)
1) Create a hub page or Squidoo lens with spun version of article #3 (30 min.)
2) Add a few friends to Facebook, offer value (15 min.)
3) Say hello on Twitter, offer value (5 min.)
4) Post anther spun version of article number 3 to your blog (10 min.)
5) Bookmark your article and blog post (3 min.)
6) Vote and rate 2 other’s stuffs on your bookmarketing (10 min.)
7) Pop into forum and contribute 3 posts. (15 min.)
8) Continue with your keyword research (20 min.)
SATURDAY: (Should take no more than 4 FOCUSED, UNINTERRUPTED HOURS)
1) Create 3 videos based on your 3 articles you worked on last week. (30 min.)
2) Edit videos and upload through Tube Mogul or Traffic Geyser (1 hour)
3) Add videos to your blog posts, Squidoo Lens, Hub Pages, that you put up already this week. (30 min.)
4) Write out some new titles for the upcoming week’s articles and make a list of your keywords that you want to be using. Make a summary of your main topics so you care ready to write come Monday at lunch. Your lunch time for writing is not preparation time to write, but rather actual writing time. So, prepare for your 3 articles during this Saturday work time (30 min.)
5) Finish up any work that didn’t get done so you can hold yourself accountable to your goal of getting your minimum content online. (1 hour)
Give this a try, change the days of the weeks you work based on your family schedule, allow yourself to be flexible, but just be sure and get your work in. I’ve given you some bite sized action steps and the amount of time each step should take. You understand that as you become better and more efficient and comfortable with doing the work, you will accomplish your work in a quicker time.
For many more articles on how to become a Home Based Business Coach, or if you are seeking to align yourself with a home business mentor in a business opportunity, visit http://www.DebbieTurner.com
Debbie Turner is an entrepreneur, a Renegade Professional, a network marketing and home based business coach and is the author of: How to Avoid the 7 Most Common Rookie Mistakes New Home Based Business Owners Make. Grab a complimentary copy of Debbie’s ebook and 7 part video series at http://www.MentoringWithHeart.com
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