Top 3 Methods That’s Helping Entrepreneurs Become Better Marketers

Whether you’re a chiropractor, own a SaaS company, or run a law firm, B2B and B2C companies vary widely in their business models. Yet, the things they have in common are the desire to generate leads and drive business growth.

 

Though achieving these goals through marketing can be time-consuming, this article will present the top growth methods for successful marketing execution. Here you will learn how to accomplish three ways to help you become a better marketer:

 

  • Create multifaceted content
  • Build customer relationships
  • Adapt to new tools

 

Plus, you’ll know how to implement each method by utilizing the top tactics below. Here are the top three approaches you should consider implementing today.

Creating Multifaceted Content

 

content methodContent marketing isn’t just for B2C brands. B2B companies are also making a significant jump in this marketing realm by creating a strategic content marketing strategy.

Yet, when it comes to helping entrepreneurs become better marketers, they must focus on creating content for more than one channel. This approach uses well-rounded subject matter to attract new leads and convert prospects by focusing on audience pain points in different areas of the internet.

 

Here are a few tips to help you implement a multifaceted content strategy.

1. Create Buyer Personas

When developing different content, understanding who the content is reaching is important. You should have a clearly defined audience, known as a buyer persona. 

A buyer persona gives you a picture of an ideal customer. The details of a buyer persona include demographics such as age, income, location, etc. In addition, you should describe the buyer’s personality, interests, goals, wants, and needs. 

2. Align Content to the Sales Funnel

Once you create your buyer personas, you can add an extra layer to your content marketing strategy by mapping the buyer’s journey. In essence, it helps to create “evergreen” content that addresses customer issues at each stage of the sales funnel.

 

A sales funnel’s purpose is to nurture the prospects at each stage, helping them move closer to sales. The process works like this:

  • Awareness: This is the top of the funnel where prospects are looking for information to help them articulate their problem. Content at this stage should focus on the buyer’s pain points rather than the product or service. Examples include informative blogs, ebooks, guides, infographics, etc.
  • Consideration: The buyer at this stage understands their problem and is now ready to find solutions. Consider creating content focusing on specific solutions to solve the buyer’s problem. Examples include webinars, product features, and comparison blogs.
  • Decision: The buyer is ready to compile a list of solutions. You can create brand-specific content at this point, focusing on the benefits of your company’s offerings. Examples include case studies, reviews, and demos.

 

3. Measure Return on Investment

Once you start creating content to maximize traffic and convert leads, you must understand the results of your content marketing campaigns by analyzing data. Based on your goals and timelines, consider using metrics to measure your results, including:

  • Total leads such as email subscribers, purchases, and free-trial sign-ups.
  • Total impressions from Google Analytics.
  • Traffic from the content you publish.
  • Changes in bounce rates.

Once you analyze your results, you can use this information to maximize future content marketing strategies for success.

Establish Customer Relationships

One method of helping entrepreneurs become better marketers is forming organic relationships with customers. Customers are savvier than ever and don’t want you to bombard them with sales pitches or advertisements. 

Instead, they prefer to get to know you first. That way, you understand them better and can create products that cater to their needs. One way you can start building customer relationships is through social media.

You can use social media to post customer reviews or user-generated content to attract new buyers and increase your customer base. Engaging prospects and providing valuable content your customers find share-worthy across various platforms is also useful. Additionally, you can gain regular feedback and distribute content that fosters engagement and drives website traffic.

Here are some tips to help you get started on social media and form relationships.

1. Choose the Right Platforms

Not all social networking sites were created equal. That’s why it’s important to consider which platforms you’ll use for your business carefully. The best way to decide is to look at your target audience’s demographics and determine where they spend their time on social media. 

B2B businesses mostly rely on LinkedIn or Facebook to reach their target audience. For example, a broker might be interested in connecting with users to gain qualified leads for buyers interested in purchasing a home. Meanwhile, B2C companies might use Instagram or TikTok to engage users since their target audiences are mainly on these platforms. 

2. Think Creatively

Avoid being afraid to create fun content. Social media is a place to develop personal connections. So whether you’re a B2B or B2B brand, it’s important to show the human who’s behind the other side of that screen. 

Consider putting yourself in your audience’s shoes and what they might find interesting. How can you mix intriguing and easy information for your audience to consume? 

Making an additional effort like this can help you connect with your audience and stand out from the competition.

Adapt to New Tools

Marketing is constantly evolving. There will always be new trends and directions to explore. While it’s not necessary to master all things at once, you can still become a specialist in an area or possess multiple technologies.

One example is discovering how to make video content for marketing.

Video content is one of the most powerful tools for marketing today. Hubspot Blog Research found that 88% of B2B and B2C brands have an entire team dedicated to creating video content. 

Yet, why is video such a staple of marketing? It helps raise brand awareness, increase revenue and advertise products. 

 

If you’re considering going in a new direction with video, here are some tips to help you get started.

1. Focus on Stories Instead of Sales

If you want more people to watch your videos, create value for them instead of focusing on your brand. The best video content shares stories that connect with the viewer’s emotions. 

For example, suppose you’re a doctor specializing in sports medicine. In that case, you could tell a story about how your business changes clients’ lives. Essentially, you can develop a story about how you’re making a difference in your community. 

2. Be Strategic in the First Few Seconds

Attention spans are short these days. Therefore, a successful video provides clarity and gives viewers confidence that what they’re watching is worth their time.

Consider grabbing attention with a hook, such as a quick preview of what’s coming in the video. You can also attract more viewers by creating a high-quality thumbnail. The best thumbnails are clear and begin to tell viewers what they’ll gain from watching your content.

3. Create a Call to Action

Always include a call to action that aligns with your marketing goals. Do you want them to visit your website or share the video on social media? 

You can easily instruct your viewers to take action by asking them in the video through someone speaking or using text.

Either way, adding a call to action is easy and can create results you wouldn’t have without one.

Use These Top Methods to Become a Better Marketer

You can ultimately reach your business goals using these methods to become a better marketer. Without these strategies, you won’t be able to collectively produce results such as obtaining leads, increasing revenue, and scaling your business growth.

The marketing space is crowded. Therefore, these tactics will allow you to distinguish yourself from those with similar offerings.

 

What other methods can you share that have helped you to become a better marketer?

Eleanor Hecks is the founder and managing editor of Designerly Magazine.

She’s also a web design consultant with a focus on customer experience and

user interface. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dogs, Bear and

Lucy. Connect with her about marketing, design, and/or tea on LinkedIn!

 

Advice on How Small Businesses Can Recruit Top Talent

In today’s world, many small businesses are struggling to compete against large companies because most people would love to work for those organizations. The most typical scenario is that small businesses get what’s left from the applicants of big companies.

Your employees will help you make your business bigger. So it’s always best to look for top candidates as they’ll contribute to your organization more.

 

Hiring top talentsbusiness in a company is one of the keys to its success. If you’re running a small business, one of the challenges your company faces is recruiting excellent employees.

This article will give tips on how small businesses can hire top talents and improve their company’s performance in the industry. 

 

5 Recruitment Strategies For Small Businesses

It may sound easy to create your hiring system, but it is challenging, especially for small businesses. There are plenty of ways you can secure the best candidates. 

 

Offer Flexible Schedules

Small businesses can attract excellent talents by offering flexitime. Most people are looking for a flexible job, especially regarding schedules. Employees use the time to search for other ways to earn money, such as freelancing, while others use it for personal growth.

Most employers think employees might not do their tasks if they don’t keep an eye on them. On the contrary, giving them flexible time allows them to increase productivity in your organization.

For instance, they have to finish 40 hours a week. Instead of making them complete it in five days, they can finish the 40 hours in four days with a 10-hour shift. They would have more free time for themselves to be used for personal growth or family.

Another example is they did 12 hours today; they can come in late the next day. Not only will it give your team more rest, but they can also make critical decisions for the company’s betterment.

Offer Competitive Compensation

Let’s be practical. We all need money to live and enjoy our lives, so job seekers consider salary before applying for the opening. If they have the skills but think they wouldn’t get the salary they deserve, they’d most likely turn away and look for another company.

Their skills are investments. They have spent countless hours studying to earn from them.

However, when it comes to compensation, salary isn’t the only thing involved. You can also add insurance, incentives, bonuses, and other perks that employees can get. Doing this will also improve your employee retention rating.

If your business is in sales, you can offer incentives if they reach their weekly or monthly target. This will make them try to sell more, increasing your sales.

Providing competitive compensation can also increase productivity in your organization. The employees will become more motivated to do their job, improving your business situation.

State Clear & Appealing Job Descriptions

Job seekers dislike unclear job descriptions. Before they consider the position available in your organization, they will read the description. If they find it very confusing, they’re more likely to give up on the job before applying.

Nobody wants to read texts that are full of jargon. So, it’s best to create straightforward job descriptions. You should include all the essential details, especially about the compensation, qualifications, and responsibilities.

Serious applicants and job seekers always want to be clear on what they are getting into. They don’t want to waste their time going through a hiring process that doesn’t give them clarity about the job description and requirements.

Job descriptions are your first move to attract top talents, so make sure that you write concise and appealing words to reach your target people. 

Create a Referral Program

Small companies have more limited funds than larger ones. They would try to save costs as much as possible, including the recruitment process. You can lessen the cost of your recruitment by using referrals.

Referral programs are affordable. You don’t need to allocate a large budget to run the program because your employees will do it for you.

It’s one of the best ways to find new talents for your company and, at the same time, promote a stronger employer brand as your current employees would recommend your company as one of the best places to work.

Your current employees will help you look for the talent you need. For it to become more effective, you can offer the referrers monetary incentives for every successful referral. Giving them gift coupons or shopping vouchers will encourage them to invite the people they know to apply for the job.

Remember to keep the referral program simple and keep the referrers updated even if their referral didn’t qualify. This will boost the employer-employee relationship.

Share Equity or Ownership

Sharing equity/stocks or ownership is not a very common approach when looking for talents. However, it is very effective and can keep the key people in the company.

Candidates are not just looking for jobs; they want to ensure their future and create opportunities for themselves.

Offering them a certain amount of your company’s equity can motivate them. The percentage isn’t necessarily large. A small amount is a good start, but when the company becomes bigger, its share value also increases.

You’re also teaching them how stocks work and probably become great entrepreneurs in the future.

Build a Strong Employer Brand

Think about large companies, such as Google and Amazon. They have built their brands that many people could easily recognize as one of the biggest companies in the world.

To build your company brand, you will create a strong connection with your clients or customers as a company. Creating beautifully designed logos, attractive websites, and effective marketing strategies are some ways to establish your brand.

Creating a strong employer brand is similar to your company brand. As an employer, building relationships with current employees is beneficial in successfully recruiting the best people. 

Talents want a stable job where they can work for a long time and see improvement. Aside from offering competitive compensation, invest in upskilling and professional development. You can provide them with free training and seminars. This will help you acquire high performing teams to help your business improve and become bigger.

Serious job seekers will surely love to work for your organization because they can also improve themselves and become better at what they do. 

Start Succession Planning

Employees usually ask themselves what they would get if they stayed longer in a small company.

Larger companies offer various opportunities to their current employees. A small business might not be able to compete with all of those, but when you offer promotions, such as leadership, to your current employees, they would feel valuable.

Recruiting external candidates isn’t the only option for small businesses. You have your current employees to become the next key person you need. You don’t need to look elsewhere to find the right person because your employees are your excellent people source.

Always use data to back up your succession planning. It’s important to know who the right candidate is among your workforce. Using a metric performance system is the best way to identify the person.

You can check which person has been doing well and deserves a promotion. 

Use Combinations of Recruiting Techniques

Small businesses shouldn’t just focus on their recruitment process; they should also consider the ways to secure top talents for their companies. Posting a job and waiting for a candidate isn’t a strategy to help your business grow.

Follow the tips above to attract more top talents. You’ll have more candidates to choose from and will be able to hire the best ones to improve your company.

Strategies for Building High Performing Sales Teams – Luminary Interview with Yoon Cannon

Strategies for Building High Performing Sales Teams – Luminary Interview with Yoon Cannon

Sales teams are at the heart of growing your business at every stage from startup to main street to middle market. How do you create the right sales systems? Find top sales talent? Clone yourself?

Steve Dailey from Entrepreneur Excellence interviews Business Growth Expert, Yoon Cannon where we discuss actionable strategies for growing your sales teams, cloning yourself as the CEO, strategic planning and more.

Here’s an overview of the sales team questions Steve asks Yoon Cannon. Scroll below to watch the video of the full interview.

Question 1 02:58 

  • You know I’d like to invite you to share with us some of the common frustrations that you see small business owners bumping into when it comes time to duplicate themselves through other people as the sales engine.

Question 2  07:12  

  • So how do you begin to formulate a selling system that can be translated or taught to somebody else? 
  • What are the important components of that?

 

Question 3 11:35 

  • So you mentioned Sandler there and and you know we can go out into the, you know onto the internet or into a, you know, on Amazon or into a bookstore and and get just fire host with all kinds of sales, books, techniques, you know, tactics and strategies and all this kind of stuff. Where does that stuff fit in to creating a winning hand off to a new sales team? 
  • Do you do that stuff? Do you adopt it? Do you introduce it? 
  • What’s your feeling about that? 

Question 4 15:36 

  • Would you say that bringing in new people to enhance, accelerate, expand our sales efforts, is that, is that a good time to introduce new ideas that we might have been thinking of or is it better to, to just bring people in to what we’ve done and, and what we know is good business and then build the new things in as we go, when is the best time to think about that?

Question 5 25:55

  • So I know that you’ve got all kinds of formulas and check sheets and things that people might find useful. Tell us how to get more information about how to figure out this sales puzzle and duplicate ourselves in the marketplace

Do You Need Help Growing Your Sales Team? 

Whether you’re interviewing for a VP of Sales, a Fractional Chief Sales Officer, a Sales Growth Advisor or you’d just need clarity what the best next steps look like for you to take your company to the next level …

I invite you to book a complimentary discovery call with me here:

https://www.paramountbusinesscoach.com/coaching/coaching-call-sign-up/

QUESTION: What is one important question you’d like to ask about this topic? Please share your comments and question below.

How to Motivate Your Sales Force

Even though most job descriptions for sales roles typically say that the candidate most be “self motivated”, as a business owner you’ve probably realized by now it is wishful thinking that merely hiring “self motivated” people will by itself, lead to creating high performing sales teams. Remember to keep your sales force motivated

Whether you have just one or two sales representatives or you have several dozen, either you as the business owner, or your sales manager (if you have one) need to play a vital role in keeping your sales force highly motivated.

Holding regular, effective sales meetings with your team is one way of keeping your team highly motivated. The key word here is “effective”. So, how does one make sure your sales meeting is effective?

This was the question asked recently but one of my email subscribers:

Q: “I have a team of 11 sales reps who have all been working for me for the past 5-10 yrs. I know I should be holding regular meetings with them, but I’m stuck on what to talk about each week.” ~ Bob Kelly from Austin, Texas

A: Bob, you are absolutely correct on having regular meetings with your team. Regular sales meetings is an essential key to grow your business. Every member of your team is expected to be better each day. I have come up a meeting structure for you which you can use to help motivate your sales force. I have used this same method myself in planning 1,000+ sales meetings I’ve delivered over the years.

Part I: KEEP YOU SALES FORCE MOTIVATED BY RECOGNITION

Whether you’re have a team of 11 people, 80 or just 4 sales people, it sets a positive tone and energy to kick off your sales meeting with sincere recognition. Find something to recognize in some or all of your meeting attendees. In addition to verbally recognizing people it’s important to add visuals. People like to see their names in writing. It can be as simple as writing congratulation messages on poster boards and plastering them throughout your conference room or as formal as having a new name engraved each week or month on a sales award plaque.

You can reinforce that recognition in bi-weekly emails to your sales team as well as including it in the printed version of your sales meeting agenda.

Recognition is especially addicting for sales people, so make sure you apply generously to your team. When you recognize positive behavior you attract more of that same positive behavior.

Avoid falling into the trap of negative thinking like — “why should I recognize them for just doing their job?” Because when you take that philosophy you will likely end up going many weeks without giving any recognition at all.

As a mother, anytime my husband or kids tell me I made a great dinner it not only makes me feel appreciated (even though it’s my job to feed them) it also motivates me to make an even better dinner the next meal.

Making your sales people feel appreciated goes a long way.

RELATED VIDEO CONTENT:

Part II: KEEP YOUR SALES FORCE MOTIVATED BY INFORMATION

This is the housekeeping tid-bits — FYI kind of stuff you want everyone to be aware of and note in their calendars, project folders, etc.

This part of the sales meeting is for you to share things like:

  • Here are two new marketing resources now available to you.
  • Here are upcoming deadlines in our company…
  • Reminders… etc

Part III: KEEP YOUR SALES FORCE MOTIVATED BY INSTRUCTIONS

Never undermine the importance of ongoing training. Sometimes I hear from some grow your business that they don’t need to train their top sales people because they’ve been doing their jobs for 10 years, and they know what they’re doing.

I emphatically disagree!

That’s like expecting pro football players to skip the training camp and send them right into the kickoff game – bad idea! Spend 30-45 min during your weekly sales team meetings to help your people improve one specific skill they use and need, so they can better perform in their jobs. Trust me, even for your seasoned sales reps you’ll never run out of drill-for-skill content.

Part IV: KEEP YOUR SALES FORCE MOTIVATED BY INSPIRATION

It’s often more effective for your people to be inspired by the milestones achieved by their own colleagues than just being talked at the entire meeting by their boss.

You want to leverage the fact that sales attracts people who tend to have a competitive spirit, so inviting the week’s top performer to teach their peers is a powerful motivation for both for the person teaching and for their peers taking notes.

The person teaching ends up feeling like they now have a reputation they need to keep. And, their peers end up thinking — “hey, if they can do it, so can I” or “I can do even better than that”. By doing so people will see this as friendly competition, keeps your sales force motivated to hone their skills further.

So, invite one of your sales leaders to share for 5-15 minutes on how they achieved ______.

Examples:

How I got 85% of my leads to return my calls this week.
How I got 200% more referrals this month.
How I got all the decision makers to attend the 1st presentation meeting.
How I have my best sales month ever.

Inspiration appeals to their competitive spirit. It raises the bar and provides proof that it can be done. Click To Tweet.

 

Part V: SALES FORCE MOTIVATED ENFORCEMENT

This is the fifth and final part of your sales meeting. You, as their boss/sales manager make a big impact in keeping your sales force motivated or de-motivating your sales team. We see this happening all the time in sports. A football team won’t play their best if they’re constantly barked at by a dictatorship style coach or by a coach who appears hands off and indifferent.

They have to want to excel. Even the people who insisted they were self-motivated will still perform far better with a deliberate dose of motivational words from you each week as their leader keeps your sales force motivated.

While instruction gets their head in the game; motivation gets their heart in the game. Click To Tweet

 

I always like to see a weekly sales meeting end with a motivation piece with what I call a wind up talk.

People don’t really get passionate about the products and services you sell as a company (sorry to break that news to you!)

But, what they do get passionate about resonating with why you do what you do. They rally around what you believe as a company, but more importantly, that you believe in them.

People inherently, want to be great and do great things. Your motivational wind up talk should serve to helping them become the champions they have the potential to be.

As Vince Lombardi so famously said: “Treat them as champions, and they play like champions.”

As you plan out your motivational wind up talk think about:

  • Why this week is different? What is at stake this month?
  • What is the target you want them to stretch to reach and why should they care?
  • How can you help your people get out of their comfort zone?
  • What’s it all for this quarter?
  • What personal success skills do you want to help them develop? The power of perseverance, tenacity, positive expectation, resiliency, resourcefulness, etc.

Ok, so to summarize what you’re aiming to accomplish using this 5-part sales meeting formula:

Part 1: SALES FORCE MOTIVATED BY RECOGNITION = “I feel appreciated” [I work hard for me because I’m addicted to recognition]

Part 2: SALES FORCE MOTIVATED BY INFORMATION = “I feel focused and organized”

Part 3: SALES FORCE MOTIVATED BY INSPIRATION = (Peer proof) “If they can do it; I can do it too” [I work hard for my peers because I’m competitive]

Part 4 SALES FORCE MOTIVATED BYINSTRUCTION = “I feel equipped to succeed.”

Part 5 SALES FORCE MOTIVATED ENFORCEMENT = “I believe I can achieve higher” [I work hard for you because I know how much you care about my success]

In closing, if you need more guidance on creating high performing sales teams I invite you to book a complimentary discovery call with me here:

https://www.paramountbusinesscoach.com/coaching-call-sign-up/

QUESTION: How often do you run sales meetings with your team and how do you know it was effective? Please share your comments in the comment box below.

© Copyright 2021-2022  Paramount Business Coach  All rights reserved. 

5 Ways to Maintain Cash Flow For Your Struggling Business in 2021

5 Ways to Maintain Cash Flow For Your Struggling Business in 2021

On top of everything else, 2020 has been a tough year financially for most individuals and businesses around the world. Many small businesses have lost the fight to stay open amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and several larger organizations have had to make serious budget and staff cuts to survive. This has all led to many companies leaning heavily on their emergency funds and perhaps you as well running extremely low on your line of credit.

It all started off simple enough—stay at home, operate as best you can, or take a brief break while we flatten the curve. However, as the months have drawn on and life has not returned to normal, it’s become harder and harder for many businesses to keep their doors open. The second wave of the pandemic certainly hasn’t helped.

However, it’s not the end of the world if you’ve reached the end of your credit. There are many ways for you to maintain cash flow for your struggling business in 2021, and even fund it’s growth!

#1: Make Strategic Budget Cuts For Your Line of Credit

If you haven’t started tightening your belt, it’s time to do so now. You need to see how your company can survive on less money each month. 

The first step is to draw up an extensive list of regular expenses so you can see where your money goes, and where you can cut costs. 

The biggest damage to a company’s profit margins doesn’t come from once-off expensive items—it comes from the regular payments that could be reduced. Look at items you can remove entirely, such as subscriptions to services that are nice to have but not essential. These can always be reinstated when cash flow improves. Then look at where you can reduce costs; for example, switching to more affordable coffee and cleaning products. It’s time to make concessions, and this means pinching pennies.

#2: Put A Spending Structure In Place

This is the kind of policy that a business should have in place regardless, but it may need to be tightened up a little bit if your credit has run dry. You need to be very strict with what can be expensed to the company, and what is for personal expenses. However, explain to your employees why you’re making these changes, how making them will help them keep the company alive, and how they contribute to ensuring their jobs stay intact. Without employee’s support and understanding, your efforts will probably look draconian and very demanding.

When changing your spending structure, focus heavily on why the changes are being made, and how you hope they’ll only be temporary. Then make sure that the changes are clearly spelled out so that there are no mistakes that could cost money you don’t have. This step will also help to give you clarity on your monthly budget for expenses, giving you a better understanding of what you’re dealing with.

#3: Clarify Your Payment Policy With Clients

Again, this is a policy that should already be in place. However, it’s well worth reviewing and ensuring that you, your employees, and your clients are up to speed–and that your payment policies are suitable for the current economic climate. This way, the people expected to pay you know what to do, and those who are following up on payments will have a straightforward procedure to follow.

When you are in a situation where businesses are operating on a knife-edge, it’s even more essential to ensure that invoices don’t go unpaid, or payment gets delayed. Having no line of credit as a backup means that each payment coming in on time is crucial.

Your payment policy should cover:

  • Payment deadlines–you should always follow the same deadlines for each invoice. They should be on a specific date or by a specific length of time. Having the same conditions for each client across your company makes tracking invoices much easier.
  • Penalties and fees–it’s essential that you spell out what the penalty is for late payments and how it will impact the invoice. 
  • Terms and conditions–this shows that the deadlines and penalties are something you’ve instituted company wide, and not just for a specific client. Using the right language here will also illustrate that your policy is non-negotiable, and that you will not give any client special treatment.

In addition to reviewing your policy regarding payment terms and penalties for late payments, you can look at offering incentives for early payment. If you know you need to get cash into your business because you have no credit left, you can offer customers the option of a small discount for quick settlement terms. This is a great way to help keep your cash flow looking good, it encourages loyalty with existing clients, and may even earn you some new ones. Customers may well need the break of the reduced rate as much as you need the income in trying times.

#4: Investigate Business Loans And Investors

A line of credit is not your only source of extra income for a business. You can look at getting a loan from a bank or some of the less traditional (but still safe) lenders. Crowdfunding is another great way to bring in income if you’re struggling with cash flow, as is looking for investors to help you stay afloat.

Credit running dry doesn’t have to be the end of your business. It’s all about finding the right way to bring in extra funds. Ensure your business plan is watertight, your financial records are in order, and your business is a solid investment, then approach lenders for assistance. Even a short-term loan could be enough to see you through a rough patch, or to facilitate the growth you need to keep pivot your business and keep generating profits. 

Remember, a lack of credit isn’t the end of your business. It’s a push you need to investigate new ways to cut costs, streamline expenses, reaffirm payment policies, and seek alternative avenues of funding. 

SOLUTION: Shift your focus from credit to getting creative with what you’ve got.

#5: Try Bartering to Reduce Out of Pocket Spending

One creative solution for your struggling business when cash flow and credit runs dry is the age old currency of bartering. Coming up with new ideas is one way to think outside the box, but sometimes you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. 

You can simply do what our forefathers perfected and trade your services for goods and services you need. There are various bartering networks you can google. One we recommend is Better Business Barter Club. You can contact the member chairperson at BucksContractors@gmail.com.

QUESTION:  Which of these tips could you implement IMMEDIATLEY to maintain cash flow for your struggling business? Share with us in the comments below!

11 Great Tips to Generate Leads on LinkedIn for 2020

When I launched my first three businesses I did so with a sizable budget to fund my startup costs. But, when I started my consulting business back in 2007 I found myself in a very different situation. For the first time in my life I had no income coming in.

My husband was in the midst of a long season of unemployment after I had already sold my previous businesses. We had three hungry mouths to feed at home, so I was determined to launch my new business leaner than ever before — like as close to zero startup costs as possible.

That’s when I decided to figure out the LinkedIn thing.

LinkedIn is an incredible free tool to market your business. Once I invested the time to figure out how to get better at using it, I was able to track 6 figures of annual new business all came from LinkedIn.

So, if you want to start monetizing LinkedIn here are 9 tips to help you start generating leads for your business:

Lead Gen Tip #1. Have the Right LinkedIn Success Mindset.

Your diamond clients aren’t hiding in mystery marketing land. They’re on LinkedIn. You just need to dig for them Click To Tweet

Thousands of business owners are killing it with LinkedIn, but new clients aren’t going to come flooding in if all you’re doing is logging into LinkedIn to accept connection requests and post a few comments here and there.

LinkedIn will work for you if you put forth the right consistent effort.  I love this famous quote:

“Your diamonds are not in far distant mountains or in yonder seas. They are in your own backyard,  if you but dig for them.” ~ Russell Conwell

If you’re not sure whether your target market is on LinkedIn watch this video where I share 5 reason why you should be marketing your business on LinkedIn.

Lead Gen Tip #2. Craft a Stellar LinkedIn Profile for Instant FIND-ability and GET-ability.

Keep in mind the user experience on LinkedIn. People will land on your profile in 2 ways. Direct search and an indirect search. Direct search is easy low hanging fruit because they are typically ‘buy intent’ – ‘hire intent’ searches. Potential clients search LinkedIn for the type of person they are looking to hire.  This is why you want your profile to be SEO optimized for the right keyword phrases. Your LinkedIn profile should also have a professional looking photo of you. Most people skip profiles where there is no picture or only a logo.

RELATED: LinkedIn Marketing Tips – Is Your LinkedIn Photo Costing You Clients?

Indirect search can happen in many ways. For instance, let’s say you post an update on your personal LinkedIn profile and you share a few tips about a frequently asked question you get. Let’s say you currently have 1,200 1st degree connections and 45 of those connections liked or commented on your post.  Not only does your post get seen by your 1st degree connections, it also gets eyeballs from the connections of the people who commented on your post. So if your 45 comments each had an average of 1,200 connections then your one post can also reach 54,000 2nd degree connections. You’re bound to get some of those people who saw your content click on your profile to find out what exactly you do. They will skim your profile for all of 3 seconds. If they don’t immediately get what you do, they WILL MOVE ON to find someone else.

So, you don’t want to miss out on this EASY passive lead generation opportunity simply because they don’t get what you do.  That’s why it’s so important that your LinkedIn profile captures an immediate GET-ability (and wow factor).

Naturally, you want to have the updates you post on LinkedIn reach more people. So, be sure you develop the habit of sending targeted connection requests to grow your 1st degree connections.

Lead Gen Tip #3: Create Customized Connection Requests

When searching for connections on LinkedIn, you are given numerous filters to choose from. This allows you to get really strategic with your search.

You are able to drill down to where someone lives, where they went to school, what their interests are, and so on. With this information, you can take it and personalize your connection requests.

Lets say, For Example, you search for CEO’s and filter by 2nd degree connections located in Philadelphia. Instead of sending a pre-baked template to someone, study their profile and find a way to insert a question about their city in your request.

You can also ask about things like the weather, their sports teams, and much more.

By creating customized connection requests, you break the ice and open up an easy dialogue with the other person.

Lead Gen Tip #4: Don’t Spam Connections. Talk to Them.

Don’t spam your LinkedIn connections. Talk to them. https://bit.ly/2NfUfxB Click To Tweet

When it comes to messaging your connections on LinkedIn there are two common pitfalls occur. Pitfall #1. You send out tons of requests to connect, but then fail to talk to them after they accept. Pitfall #2. You blast straight into a sales conversion. From its inception LinkedIn was not built to be a marketplace to bombard members with advertisements and solicitations. LinkedIn was designed to foster relationships.

If you use LinkedIn to blast straight into solicitation messages to cold connections, you’re just going to burn through those connections.

Instead, just follow the natural sequence of relationship building when having 1-1 conversations on LinkedIn. For instance:

  1. Customized invitation
  2. Welcome / build rapport message
  3. Engage message
  4. Give value message
  5. Value follow up message
  6. Invitation to call, coffee, interview, etc

If you have a well written profile and tagline often times you can go from step 2 straight to step 6, but it’s good to have a 6 step sequence like this to continue the conversation for people who aren’t ready to be a client of yours.

If the idea of messaging people individually feels too daunting, I use a tool called Auto Text Expander to speed my responses to FAQ’s when I’m on desktop.

When I’m messaging people from my mobile I just use the keyboard shortcuts on my iPhone which functions the same way as Auto Text Expander. I can reply 10x faster when all I have to do it type in 2 or 3 letters I set up.

Lead Gen Tip #5: Use Trigger Events to Engage and Re-Engage

Not all of your prospects will be ready to talk about your services immediately. However, they may be ready in 6 or even 12 months from now.

Your goal is to remain in their minds, meaning you’ll need to continue engaging them.

Fortunately, this can be done easily with trigger events. These are situations that will provide a comfortable way for you to re-engage with someone if they’ve shown no interest in your solutions so far.

These situations include:

  • they engaged on one of your posts (liked, commented, or shared)
  • they viewed your profile
  • they’ve published an article on LinkedIn
  • they’ve posted a status update on LinkedIn
  • they had a job change
  • they were promoted
  • they engaged on one of your posts (liked, commented, or shared)
  • they or their company were mentioned in the news
  • they’ve published an article on LinkedIn
  • they’ve posted a status update on LinkedIn

By re-engaging in this manner, you are more likely to stay on their radar and be top of mind when the time comes that they need the solution you offer.

Related: Attract Clients on LinkedIn! 12 Things You Can Do in 15 Minutes

Lead Gen Tip #6: Use hashtags to get discovered

When you’re posting an update, whether it’s a simple text update, a picture, a video or audio LinkedIn allows users to follow various hashtags. This way, they can get content on a topic in their feed, even if they don’t follow specific influencers for it.

Additionally, when you post an update, LinkedIn will auto-suggest hashtags, which can give you some inspiration for what to include.

You can also do a quick search a topic in LinkedIn and you’ll be able to see the number of followers on that hashtag.

Lead Gen Tip #7: Use Native Videos

@neilpatel 84% of buyers reported that they had been convinced to buy after watching a brand’s video https://bit.ly/2NfUfxB Click To Tweet

Here’s an excerpt from SEO expert Neil Patel where he shares the importance of posting videos on LinkedIn to grow your business.

Advantages of Video

Neil Patel, Generate Leads on LinkedIn

Native videos are videos that are uploaded directly to LinkedIn or created on the platform itself, as opposed to embedding videos from other sites, such as Youtube, Vimeo and more.

There are numerous advantages to using native video. According to Neil Patel, “A staggering 84% of buyers reported that they had been convinced to buy after watching a brand’s video.

And that same study found that 97% of businesses believe that their video has helped increase user understanding of their product or service.

That means the right type of video will help you sell and engage more.”

How to Upload Native Videos

To upload a Native Video, go to your feed, and you’ll see a button with a camera icon next to “start a post.

Upload Native Videos to Generate Leads on LinkedIn

From here, You can directly upload a video between three seconds and ten minutes in length. This will appear directly to your update feed, allowing your audience to start watching your content immediately.

The dimensions of a native video can be from 256×144 to 4096×2304, and the orientation can be Horizontal or vertical, though vertical videos will be cropped into a square in the feed. Native video’s will also loop automatically.

Using Analytics

Another advantage of Native Videos is that, Once you post a video, you are able to see detailed analytics. This includes things such as the number of views, likes, and comments your videos are receiving.

Additionally, you can also see audience insights, including top companies, titles, and locations of your viewers.

You can find these insights in the dashboard section of your LinkedIn profile. This works on both mobile and desktop.

Click the drop-down that says “Me” and scroll down until you see “Posts and Activity.”, which brings you to a feed of every post you’ve ever uploaded to LinkedIn.

At the bottom of each post, you’ll see a breakdown of it’s likes, comments, shares, and views.

Use Video Analytics to Generate Leads on LinkedIn

With this information, you can begin to understand if you’re reaching the people and companies that matter to your brand.

Lead Gen Tip #8: Get to the Point Quickly in Your Videos

On Social media, attention spans are short, so there’s no time for you to waste. This means that you need to hook your viewers by getting to your point quickly at the beginning of your video.

LinkedIn themselves recommend capturing attention with a hook in the first 0 to 3 seconds.

From there, seconds 3 to 15 should be used to identify the problem or opportunity, and should address one of the biggest pain points of your potential customers, in order to really draw them in and entice them to watch the rest of your video.

After you have successfully hooked your viewers and drawn them in, seconds 15 to 50 should be used to describe the solution. Explain what you’re offering and why it’ll help your viewers.

Lead Gen Tip #9: Use Closed Captions for your videos

Up to 85 percent of social media videos are played with no sound bit.ly/2NfUfxB Click To Tweet

When a video comes up on your feed, it begins playing automatically. However, it is also muted by default.

It’s estimated that up to 85 percent of social media videos are played with no sound.

This makes adding closed captions/subtitles to your videos essential.

Even if your video isn’t heavy on speech, doing so will make them more accessible. LinkedIn even has a closed captioning feature, making it easy to implement.

To add captions:

  • Click the video icon near “start a post” and select the video you’d like to upload.
  • When the preview shows up, click the edit icon on the top right to see the video settings and then click select file to attach the associated SubRip Subtitle file.”
UploadNativeVideos
VideoSettings
Adding an SRT Caption File

Lead Gen Tip #10: Make Use of LinkedIn Showcase Pages

@SpielCreative If you have multiple target audiences or brand personas, you need Showcase pages. https://bit.ly/2NfUfxB Click To Tweet
Darren Travers

What are LinkedIn Showcase pages?

Let’s ask Darren Travers, who shares, “Showcase pages are add-ons to your LinkedIn company page for highlighting a specific business unit, initiative, product, service, or for targeting unique demographics. They are standalone pages, meaning people can follow them without following your main page.

If you have multiple target audiences or brand personas, you need Showcase pages. With them, you can avoid over complicating your main page and creating confusion for your audience by spreading out your offers and messages across multiple pages.

To create one, simply click ‘Admin tools’ on the right of your company homepage and select ‘Create Showcase Page’ to get started.”

Lead Gen Tip #11: Make Use of Sponsored vs Targeted Updates

If you have a LinkedIn company page, you are able to take advantage of Targeted Updates and Sponsored Updates bit.ly/2NfUfxB Click To Tweet

If you have a LinkedIn page for your company, then you are able to take advantage of two powerful features. Targeted Updates and Sponsored Updates.

With Targeted Updates, you can target your content to a specific audience. This is useful for many reasons, such as if you want to show specific content to your investors, and other content to your consumers. However, the segment you are targeting must have at least 300 followers for you to use this feature.

Sponsored Updates: Sponsored updates are paid posts that allow you to reach a broader network. If you would like some content to get even more visibility, or if you want to get your content in front of people who aren’t following your Company Page (or your employees) you can pay to sponsor it.

To use targeted updates:

  • Click on start a post from your Company Page
  • Click on “Anyone” and you’ll be taken to “Who can see Your Post?”
  • Click on Targeted Audience and you’ll be able to customize what audience you want the post

While Targeted Updates can be used to build an organic following, Sponsored Updates allow you to pay to get your posts in front of a larger audience to further build your following.

These will appear in the your audience’s feed and look like a normal post, the only difference being a “sponsored” label next to your company name.

You are also able to target specific audiences just like you can with Targeted Updates.

To use Sponsored Updates:

  • Post an update to your company page and click the “Sponsor Update” button.
  • Within the Campaign Manager, name your new campaign.
  • Target your campaign by choosing Location, Company, Skills, etc.
  • Choose Your payment option. You can select either Cost-Per-Click (CPC) or Cost per 1000 impressions (CPM).

Conclusion

So, there you have it. I just shared 11 tips to help you start generating more leads on LinkedIn. If you’re starting at zero, don’t be overwhelmed by trying to implement all 11 by tomorrow! Bookmark this page to review it each day and decide to implement one at a time until you add all 11.

If you’d like to nail down your LinkedIn profile faster check out our free and paid LinkedIn Profile Makeover services for you here:

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QUESTION: What’s one thing that’s been working well for you on LinkedIn? Share With us in the Comments below!

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