Lead generation is crucial to any business – but that doesn’t mean it needs to be expensive, or difficult. Blogging to generate leads is one of the most powerful, easy and effective ways to generate leads; and these 3 methods will have you inundated with new leads in no time.
Blogging to generate leads through SEO
Search engines represent the most direct route for generating leads. Prospective customers search for businesses and products through the likes of Google and Yahoo!, and click the most relevant links – with 33% of all search traffic going to the business ranked #1 in the search engine results page. Blogging allows you to climb these rankings by filling your webpage with relevant keywords and links.
The more times you include a particular keyword in a page, the more likely that page is to appear high-up in the search engine rankings. Blogging allows you to regularly create keyword-rich pages, boosting your websites search engine visibility and directly generating leads.
Great blog content is also regularly shared; and the more people share it, the more links your website receives from other sites. This is great for lead generation for two reasons:
1. The more links your site has, the higher it will appear in search engine results. This generates leads because of your increased visibility.
2. If other websites share your blog content, your post becomes visible to a whole new target audience – generating traffic and leads as a result.
Blogging to generate leads through Social Media
Social networks, like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn , allow your business to engage with thousands of potential leads. Each social network is home to industry-relevant communities – from health and fitness through to digital marketing – and every single community member represents a potential customer.
Your business can attract these leads by blogging. Social networks are built on sharing, and by making your blog a resource of problem-solving, industry relevant content, you encourage people to engage with and share your posts. If your business is blogging to generate leads in the health and fitness industry, create content that answers the common questions in that niche:
* How can I lose weight?
* How can I gain muscle?
* What’s a protein shake?
Sharing this content across social media attracts visitors that are looking to answer their questions; and by the answers, you achieve two things:
You bring your visitor one step closer to purchasing a product or service.
You create gratitude for your business, for providing your visitor with beneficial information.
In other words, blogging to generate leads not only creates the lead; it also sales-qualifies them.
Blogging to generate leads through email marketing
Great content is half of the puzzle; and to generate as many leads as possible with your blog marketing, you need to publish consistently and regularly. By tackling the latest industry issues, and periodically releasing new and beneficial information, you create an incentive for your visitors to regularly return to your business website. This allows you to create a blog subscription call-to-action, and build an opt-in email mailing list.
Opt-in email is a tried-and-tested lead generation technique. It allows you to communicate and engage directly with your blog readers; building trust and appreciation of your business, and encouraging visitors to become leads, and eventually customers. By sending out a monthly blog summary, you ensure that your lead is regularly benefiting from your great blog content, and as a result, they’re more likely to respond to your promotions and special offers. Best of all, you can keep track of your leads through email open rates, and continue the process of lead-nurturing with further, targeted emails.
QUESTION: Do you regularly use keywords, social media and mailing lists alongside your blog? Have you used blogging to generate leads for your business? Let me know in the comments!
Signs you need to find right virtual assistants: You’re drowning in an endless to-do list … you feel overwhelmed all the time … you always feel behind in hitting your goals … you’re stuck spinning your wheels … you’re exhausted and feeling burned out … you wear every hat in your business.
If any of those sound like you, then it’s definitely time to hire help!
Oh, and by the way, in case you’re not familiar with the term “virtual assistant” it’s just someone you hire who works virtually. So, they can work from their home and you don’t need to dedicate a full office space to bring on more help.
So, this week’s Q&A episode I answer Morgan Robinson’s question about how to find right virtual assistants. You’ll discover key tips on how to figure out what type of VA you need, best places to find right virtual assistants, my simple process for determining the right and wrong hires and how to set yourself up for success working with a new virtual assistant.
NOTE: If you prefer to hire someone to work at your physical location, these same tips actually apply to both scenarios. I also shared different answers on this similar topic in this previous episode. Listen to Hiring Tips here
This week’s Q&A episode is for you if:
you’re ready to hire your first virtual assistant, but you don’t know how to start
you’ve tried hiring people before with frustrating results
you know you just can’t do it all by yourselfOk, now let’s dive into this week’s Q&A episode.Grab a pen and paper and get ready to take some notes. Then be sure to share your comments and questions below. I’d love to know your greatest take-aways or specific points you’d like to get more clarity on.
Click the play button below to listen to the
AUDIO BLOG on How to Find Right Virtual Assistants:
Watch the VLOG on How to Find Right Virtual Assistants Here:
If you’re looking for great hiring tips, sales and marketing strategies then you’re in the right place! Growing a business is always full of new challenges at every stage of growth. The good news is you don’t need to struggle with these challenges alone.
My Q&A episodes is a free resource I offer to help you get quick wins you need to boost your sales, productivity and profits.
If you’d like to submit your question simply leave me a voice messagehere.
Here’s what you want to say in your voice or comment message:
1. Your name 2. City and state you’re from. 3. Your question. (what is the result you want to achieve, your challenge?) 4. Your website url (OPTIONAL, but this will help me give you better feedback based on learning what business you’re in)
I’ll share my tips and advice in response. Be sure to share this great free resource with your friends!
This week’s question comes from Jeremy Robinson who asks great questions like:
▶ who to hire? ▶ how to define his company’s organizational structure? ▶ who to hire first? ▶ how to define roles clearly and more.
You may be ready to hire additional full time employees to grow your team, but keep in mind if you are a solopreneur these same hiring tips also apply to you too! If you’re a self employed business owner, taking your business to the next level needs to include hiring part time or full time freelancers / virtual assistants.
Watch the video episode here:
Listen to the audio here:
Grab the free resource mentioned in this episode:
QUESTION: What is one strategy you will commit to implementing that I shared in this Q&A episode? I want to hear from you! Share your comments and questions below.
The challenge of overcoming employee resistance is a hurdle both small and large business owners face.As your business grows, it has to adapt to changing circumstances. Trends and tastes change, and new challenges emerge; and it’s the most flexible, adaptive businesses that survive. This evolutionary process can be painful – especially when your employees are resistant to change.
From my experience, balancing the needs of the business, and the desires of its employees, is the most common problem facing small business owners and their managers. Implementing structural change in a business has become a dreaded necessity – but it needn’t be.
Here are 8 surefire strategies to overcoming employee resistance; the most effective, efficient and productive ways to create successful change in your business.
#1. Check your attitude.
Addressing your own attitude might sound contrarian, when it’s clearly the employees who have a stubborn attitude – but as a business owner or manager, you have to first put on the mindset that the “buck stops here”.
There’s no need to be a “barker”or a “dictator”if it doesn’t suit your personality – but if employees are resisting change, their lack of cooperation is probably because you’re letting people walk all over you. Check your attitude:
Are you catering to their needs?
Are you caving in to their resistances?
Are you managing conflict, or are you avoiding conflict?
#2. Commit to being the leader.
If people aren’t listening to you, they’re not following you. People follow leaders.
Eleanore Roosevelt so famously said, “If you have to tell people you’re a lady; you’re not a lady.”The same applies to management. If you have to tell your people to listen to you, you’re not a leader — or at least, you’re not acting like a leader.
Overcoming employee resistance starts with committing to be a strong leader. I often discover that managers and business owners who struggle with overcoming employee resistance hold misconceptions of what a leader is. A leader is not a dictator. A leader is not barker. A leader does not need to strong arm or threaten their people to do what you need them to do.
Reframe your definition of a leader as being more of a coach. If you were the new Head Coach of a football team and you needed to develop a group of underdogs into a championship level team, ask yourself:
Have you cast an exciting, clear vision of where your company (team) is going?
Are you raising the bar on their effort, performance and work ethic?
Are you holding each team player accountable to follow through – or are you letting them slack?
#3. Have clear player POSITIONS.
One of the biggest hindrances to overcoming employee resistance to change is that employees were never given clear expectations to begin with.
What exactly was each person hired for?
What position are they playing on your team?
If they’re hired to play wide receiver, then clearly define the role of a wide receiver. Don’t confuse and frustrate your players by having them play linebacker, quarterback, defense and wide receiver all in the same game.
People’s reactions are always based on their expectations. If you’re constantly throwing new changes to their job function it’s understandable that employees would grow increasingly frustrated. After all, they’re trying to hit a constantly moving target.
Employees end up thinking “Hey, this is not what I signed up for!”–and their motivation plummets.
In order to mitigate that:
#4. Have clear player EXPECTATIONS.
If you want to stop the reaction of resistance, start by setting clear player expectations.
Do you have a written job description for each player?
Is the language crystal clear in objective terms rather than subjective and open to interpretation?
Does it define performance that meets expectations, falls below expectations or exceeds expectations?
#5. Don’t “pass the buck”
If you don’t have written job descriptions, avoid the temptation to allow people to define their own roles or write their own job descriptions.
Having your employees write their own job description is only valuable as a barometer to assess their expectations of their role within the business; and how they align with your expectations.
I do not recommend taking this approach to let your players write their own player positions and expectations for you. That’s your job. These are decisions that should be made by you.
Ok, now that you’ve read this far, you’re ready to dive into
In Part 2, let me share three more tips and techniques for creating successful change in your business; and even explore how you can benefit from them in all areas of your life!
#6. Hold firm expectations.
Once you set your expectations, you need to hold firm to them.People can tell whether you’re firm or fake. They can smell that fear a mile away. Overcoming employee resistance to change will only continue to be a challenge if managers continue to waver on setting clear, firm expectations.
What are the non-negotiable expectations you have for each employee?
What is the language you use to communicate those expectations?
What is the tone you project? What does your non-verbal communication say?
#7. Build relationships.
Overcoming employee resistance to change doesn’t come from focusing on their behavior; but from focusing on your relationship.
Employee resistance occurs when there’s no respect.
There’s no respect because there is no trust.
There’s no trust because there’s no relationship.
There’s no relationship because there is no consistent one-on-one time.
Remember that: relationships are NOT built in groups. Relationships are built one-on-one
How often do you schedule one-on-one time with each of your direct reports?
Do you critique your employees more than you appreciate them?
#8. Find out their “WHAT”and their “WHY”.
As business owners and managers, we all want a team of players who are highly self-motivated. Self-motivated people are naturally self absorbed. But, in this case, being self absorbed is not a bad thing.
If you want your people to care about what you care about (growing the company), then you need to first care about what they care about.
Why? Because creating success is about creating a win-win situation for everyone.
When you’re struggling with overcoming employee resistance, remember:
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
How much do you know about each employee?
Have you ever asked what motivates them?
Have you ever asked what their goals are, in both their professional and personal lives?
Have you ever asked why? What would achieving that goal allow them to do, be or have, that they don’t have right now?
Benefiting from these skills in all areas of your life
As a parent, I want to raise my three kids to be highly self-motivated people. Like most parents, I want my kids to dream big and reach their full potential.
Despite this, I started noticing that I was nagging my son, Thomas, to get out there and practice his soccer drills. I was annoyed that I was investing time and money into his soccer training, but he was RESISTING the advice of his coach.
I decided to apply these same strategies at home. When he was around 12 years old, I sat down with my son and asked him: ‘What’s your dream?’
His answer – to become a professional soccer player.
We talked about his why, and defined what would that allow him to achieve his desires in life. Then, all I had to do was show him what separates the extraordinary soccer players from the less extraordinary soccer players.
We defined what the extraordinary soccer players did to get there —(exceeding expectations)
We defined what lesser soccer players did —(meeting expectations)
We defined what failed soccer players did —(below expectations)
‘Thanks for believing in me’
My son Thomas will soon be turning 15, and I’m happy to report that I haven’t had to nag him since that conversation when he was 12. In fact, I truly admire how highly self-motivated he has become. The snow or rain does not stop him from running outside or practicing his shots on net. He is not only disciplined in his cross training routine at home, he’s also surprisingly disciplined in choosing what he eats as an athlete.
The best part as a parent was the day my son took me aside and said, “Mom, thanks for believing in me.” Wow! I can last on those 6 words for the next 6 years!
As a business owner or manager, it’s the same thing. When you have an employee who takes the time to say, “Thanks coach, for believing in me.” – that’s the kind of stuff that fuels your tank for many more years to come.
Not only do these strategies help you in overcoming employee resistance to change; they can benefit all areas of your life. Instituting these 8 starter strategies also nurtures fierce loyalty among your employees – creating motivated, productive players that will go over and beyond their call of duty.
QUESTION: What is your biggest challenge when it comes to overcoming employee resistance? Please share your comments in the box below. You can also download my handy cheat sheet on Creating High Performing Teams Here.
The backbone of a great business is the people working hard to make it a success.
If you’re a ‘one man band’ looking to expand your services, you may have the capital and experience to know what you need from a ‘dream team,’…but you may not be 100% sure on how to go about finding them.
This post will run through a seven-point checklist for hiring your dream team to help you ace your search and hiring Dream Team.
#1. Define The Role
Whether it’s your first hire as an entrepreneur or your 20th, taking on new staff always presents challenges. As CEO, it is your job to ensure that you make the right choice with your new candidate, as you could potentially lose out on profits once you factor in the cost of advertising, recruitment, administration, and so on.
First, make a list of all the core competencies you need from the new hire. If you are relatively new to the business, this may mean that you would be looking for someone with a range of talents. Or, at least someone who is willing and quick to learn, provided they excel within certain areas, e.g. sales.
If you’re more established, you may be looking for a highly skilled team member to carry out niche processes. A ‘jack of all trades,’ in these cases, may not be such a good fit. Conduct lots of research by looking at advertisements for similar job roles in other companies, taking note of the going rates of pay, qualifications, years of experience, etc.
If you are looking for a particular task, like a website build or social media management, you can avoid taking on a full-time marketer and instead break up these duties into discrete tasks, projects, and contracts. Find a suitable remote worker from Upwork or PeopleByTheHour to do the jobs instead, saving you a lot of money.
#3. Define Your Values
To ensure that the new hire fits in with your company culture, you will first need to explain in clear terms what your company cultureis.
Go back to your original business plan and forecasts for the next few years. and identify the traits you need to help you achieve the vision you have for your business.
#4. Define The Behavioral Attributes
Recruiters use psychometric tests to help them match the best personality types to varying job roles. Every company’s requirements will be different, even if the positions perform the same function.
Many of us have heard of the Myers-Briggs personality test, but for recruiters, this personality test reveals little about a candidate’s employability. A test called The Big Five is preferred over Myers-Briggs because it provides more insight on a person’s negative traits.
‘The Big Five’ can be tested in different ways. However, they work by giving people a score on the high-low scales of:
The language of these terms can seem alarming. However, it is important to remember that for certain roles, things like high agreeableness may not prove so useful (in negotiation roles, for example). Building a good sales team takes time and dedication — don’t be rushed into hiring ‘green’ salespeople as your profitability will plummet.
#5. Shortlisting Candidates
Once you have crafted your job role and defined your company values and key personality traits, it’s time to advertise and start the process of selecting candidates.
Prioritize your list of skills and behavioral attributes and give each of your potential candidates a score.
Once you have made your list for interview, decide how you’re going to assess their capabilities effectively. You may want to consider:
Interviews in front of a panel, or in groups
In-tray exercises where you give interviewees a task to complete representing one of their core competencies
Presentations (if you’re recruiting for a sales or marketing role)
It’s recommended that you find out as much as you can about the candidate’s previous roles, and it’s also worth snooping around on social media to get a feel for them.
#6. Successfully Onboard The New Hire
Hiring your dream team doesn’t end when you draw-up their contract. It is commonly believed that it takes around 90 days to get your new hire up-to-speed and working productively. Providing a thorough training and onboarding process takes time and careful planning.
Make training manuals, record video tutorials of ‘on-screen’ processes and provide all you can regarding automated tools to help them reduce time and error in mundane tasks.
You can find a range of automated solutions for every industry, things like: Plugins that can schedule social media posts, blog content, and inventory, all through your online storefront — train staff once, and you won’t have to keep asking them to do the same, mundane tasks
Financial automation tools can manage bookkeeping and accounts, generate invoices automatically, calculate sales tax, etc.
Chatbots and automated customer order tracking systems can streamline customer service tasks
…the list is ever-growing and investing in new technologies, as well as staff, will help your business grow.
#7. Motivate Your Team Members
Once you have introduced your new staff and systems into the mix, it is down to you as a boss to do your best to provide a positive and productive place of work.
Do bear in mind and plan financially for your staff to leave, or for their jobs to ‘expire’ as time goes on. As a business owner with a company on the rise, the skills you need in the beginning may not be as useful to you as time goes on.
Also, plan for your company culture to change and diversify in terms of personality fit, as the number of roles and operational complexity increase.
QUESTION: What’s your best tip (or question) on hiring great candidates? Share in the comments box below.
Today’s tips come to you from my friend and top PR expert, Gina Furia Rubel of Furia Rubel Communications. I asked Gina to share with my readers what her 10 tips would be for small business owners like you to generate a buzz to boost your business. So, here are Gina’s tips for you from an award winning PR expert:
There are many public relations tactics you can employ to develop new and grow existing business. Tactics designed to increase awareness among your target customers, create an ongoing buzz and position you as an expert in your industry will inevitably generate business.
1. Issue press releases. Tell the world about your business wins, promotions, awards, community outreach and board appointments. Local newspapers print good news stories.
2. Update your voicemail message. Every time someone calls your office and hears your voicemail message, they should be happy to leave a message. Make it friendly, energetic, informative and compelling. Don’t forget to say your company name and what it is you do.
3. Use your e-mail signature. Restate your company mission, add a favorite quote, place a link to a news article about your company, or just add your LinkedIn profile link. Whatever you do, make sure your contact information is included.
4. Be an expert: speak and write. By speaking at conferences and publishing articles, your peers will identify you as an expert and refer you business.
5. Have a great website. In today’s day and age, if you don’t have a website you’re not considered legitimate.
6. Get social. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile you should (at the very least). Then learn how to use it, Facebook, Twitter and the various other free tools at your fingertips to maximize the value of your relationships.
7. Create video-casts. Since you’re the expert, start creating how-to video-casts.
Post them on YouTube and other free distribution channels then share them via your website, social media profiles, e-mail signature and other communication tools.
8. Identify on and off-line business listing opportunities. Update your company’s business listings yearly. Many online listings are free and the more places your company is listed, the higher your website will rank in search engines.
9. Volunteer. Get active in an organization that you are passionate about. Giving back always leads to a greater good.
10. Blog. Blogs are a great way to demonstrate your expertise. They help to establish you as an authority in your industry.
Ok, so those were Gina’s 10 things you can do to generate a buzz to quickly boost your business. By the way, if you’re interested in getting top notch professional PR services check out Gina’s website at https://www.furiarubel.com. They are a full service firm who can take care of your advertising, branding and website needs as well.
QUESTION: Which of the above 10 tips feel the most challenging for you and why? Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.
About Yoon Cannon: Top business coach Yoon Cannon has helped thousands of small business owners, entrepreneurs, and SMB’s achieve dramatic results in growing your business. Over the past 25+ years Yoon has started 6 different businesses and sold 3 of them. She offers fresh insights as a seasoned business growth expert. Yoon delivers proven process for your sales, marketing and management development.
To book Yoon to speak at your next event email: YoonCannon(at)ParamountBusinessCoach.com