Cool Tools of the Week July 18

Summertime final

Here are my picks for this week. I’m not going to go into depth about the finds, but encourage you check them out if they sound interesting.

This is NOT a recommendation of these programs, as in most cases, I have not tried them nor am I using them.  I’m just passing along the information for you to check them out for yourself.

Quip: app where you create, document, discuss, and organize the stuff that your team works on.  I use it to help keep me organized on my desktop

Colorzilla:  cool little Firefox and Chrome plugin that gives you the hex code for any color you’re trying to match.  It’s my new favorite tool when I’m designing graphics in Canva.

WordWeb: free app that is a one-click English thesaurus and dictionary for Windows. It can be used to look up words from almost any program, showing definitions, synonyms and related words. It includes pronunciations and usage examples, and has helpful spelling and sounds-like links. I use in constantly in my writing and it sits in my desktop tray.

 

 

Are You Looking for Leads in All the Wrong Places?

Looking for Leads in All the Wrong Places?

If you’re like most business owners, lead generation is something that keeps your business alive. A lead is considered to be a someone who has in some way expressed interest in something you have for sale.

If you look at lead generation as a funnel with the wide side up, it would look like this: Leads > Prospects > Customers. Lead generation is a numbers game, as you’re going to have many more leads than prospects, and many more prospects than customers. Upon getting a lead, your initial goal is to qualify them, turning them into a real prospect and then converting that prospect into a customer.

In order to accomplish this goal, you need to nurture your leads from day one. Here are 10 proven ways to nurture your leads:

Step 1. Set Your Goal. What do you want to accomplish?  Increase sales? Educate prospects? Entice people to get your free trial? You need to determine your lead generation intentions from the start so that you can design your lead nurturing campaign to match your goal.

Step 2. Measure Twice, Cut Once. Every single piece of content that you send to your leads needs to be edited for grammar, clarity, and format. If you make silly grammatical or punctuation errors, they will notice and yes, they will judge you for it.

Step 3. Hire Help. If you don’t know how to set up a lead generation or lead nurturing campaign, hire someone who can help you. There are any number of marketers who can review your goals and help you determine what type of information you should send to your leads.

Step 4. Drip It Out. Don’t overwhelm your leads by sending them too much material. Instead, practice the drip system where you send a little bit of information at a time. You want to tease them, heighten their desires, and make them want what you have to offer BEFORE you give it to them.

Step 5. Consistency Pays Off.  To keep your business top of mind, you need to send out messages and information to your leads on a regular and consistent basis. If someone signs up for your email list, they are expecting to get regular messages from you. Don’t make them suffer an email drought — if you don’t stay in contact with your leads, they will forget you quickly.  Make you messages to them short, to the point, and informative so they’ll be happy to read the messages you have sent.

Step 6. Use Your Blog. While you will use your email marketing service to send information out to leads via your email list, you can also use your blog update feature within many email marketing systems to notify leads of new blog posts. When writing these posts, talk directly to your leads as the audience.

Step 7. Understand Your Buy Cycle. Each of your audiences has its own buy cycle. To qualify and ultimately convert those leads, you should have information going out to your leads at every stage of the buying cycle.

Step 8. Understand Your Audience. Nurturing a new lead is completely different from talking to a current or past customer. Ensure that you segment your leads into interested party, prospects and current/past customers. In this way, you’ll be able to target your messages correctly to the needs of a particular audience.

Step 9. Know Your Products and Services. I hope that know your products and services backwards and forwards. This deep understanding will help you determine how a product or service impacts your audience. If you choose to outsource some of this work, you’ll need to help your contractors understand your products and services as well.

Step 10. Know Your Numbers. If you want to be certain that your lead nurturing and lead generation strategies are working, follow the numbers. As you are setting your goals as defined in Step 1, determine what metrics you’ll study to determine your success or failure.

As you embark on a lead generation campaign, remember that slow and steady wins the race. When you deliver informative and engaging information to your leads on a consistent basis, many of your leads will become happy customers.

If you like this article, check out my new free training webinar, 30 Minutes to More Leads: How to Become the Author of a Lead Generation Book (Even If You Hate to Write) that is perfect for consultants, coaches, independent professionals, entrepreneurs, and business owners.

In this webinar, you’ll discover:

  • A Proven Model to Instantly Build Massive Authority and Credibility Without Case Studies, Testimonials or Any of that Other Stuff!
  • The Secret Sauce That Most Authors FORGET to Include in Their Books
  • 4 Proven Ways to Monetize Your Book

You can get all the details by signing up here: http://donnarecos.com/30min

Cool Tools of the Week June 27

Art Supplies small

Here are my picks for this week. I’m not going to go into depth about the finds, but encourage you check them out if they sound interesting.

This is NOT a recommendation of these programs, as in most cases, I have not tried them nor am I using them.  I’m just passing along the information for you to check them out for yourself.

Canva:  an awesome graphic design resource that lets you create images quickly, even if you’re graphically challenged!  Note:  It’s definitely worth an upgrade to Canva For Work since you get access to the magic image resizer when you upgrade.

Seequs:  Cool little site where you can enter in your website and the keywords you need to rank for and they will email you a PDF report that will show the SEO issues which, when solved, will improve your site rankings and increase traffic to your website.

PicMark:  Want to brand your images as yours before sharing them?  This tool gives you a variety of options to brand any of your original images as yours before sharing them on social media.

 

 

 

Linkedin Marketing: 5 Secrets to Syndicating Your Articles on Linkedin Groups

5 Secrets to Syndicating

One area of LinkedIn Marketing and content syndication that I’ve overlooked until recently is sharing my content on the social networking platform, LinkedIn. In all honesty, I’ve never been very active on LinkedIn because I haven’t really known how to connect there.  Now, I’ve enrolled in a LinkedIn course and have been delving more and more into LinkedIn and have discovered that it’s probably the most useful social networking platform out there, much more so than Twitter or Facebook, even though those two mediums tend to get the bulk of the publicity.

One feature that LinkedIn made available to the public in 2014 was its content publishing service, Pulse. When you publish content on Pulse, you can add images, quotes, video, calls to action and unlimited links to any content you publish on Pulse. Publishing your content here is a great way to leverage your expertise.  And, publishing on Pulse is quite easy.  Simply go to your LinkedIn profile and select “Publish a post,” and you’ll be in the Pulse dashboard.  Best of all, there’s no limit to the amount of content you can share via this platform!

LinkedIn also nicely archives all of your posts on one page.  Visit my page, https://www.linkedin.com/today/author/donnagunter, and you’ll see what I mean.  You can see your own page, as well, if you have posted anything to Pulse.  Just substitute your LinkedIn name for mine in the URL and you’ll have you very own link!

One of the many ways to syndicate your content you publish on Pulse is via the groups you have joined on LinkedIn.  The easiest way to do that is to go to your article, select Share, and choose LinkedIn.  On the Share News window that pops up, choose “Share to Groups.” I have a text file with the names of all of my groups to which I belong on LinkedIn and I pull that up for reference.  Simple begin typing the group name in the Groups section, and the name of the group will autopopulate.  Simply click that group name and go to the next one until you have selected all the groups  with which you want to share this Pulse article.

However, this must be done carefully so that you come across as adding value, rather than coming across as solely promotional.  What are the secrets to syndicating your content on LinkedIn to make it a useful and effective strategy to leverage your expertise and increase your online visibility?

Here are 5 secrets to expanding your LinkedIn marketing by syndicating your articles on LinkedIn groups:

1.  Pick the right groups.  So many people choose groups of their competitors rather than their target market when they join groups on LinkedIn.  Sure, you want to hob-nob with colleagues, but your networking time is best spent in LinkedIn groups where your target market hangs out.  Do a keyword search for groups containing your target market, and pick 10 that seem to fit the bill.  Then, focus on 5 groups as your starting point, so that you’re not completely overwhelmed with LinkedIn marketing.  Track your progress in terms of your submissions and the reaction to your submissions.  If you’re not engaging the group in discussion, try another strategy.  However, if the members of the groups are generally silent, cross this group off of your list and go to the next one on your list.  Do this slowly and soon you’ll develop a great list of interactive groups on LinkedIn that contain your target market.

2.  Have a call to action on your content location.  What is it that you want visitors to do?  Subscribe to your  blog?  Get on your email list?  Opt in to a client attraction device? Visit a product or service page?  Have them sign up for a free consultation?  You can mix and match these calls to action most easily by adding the call to action at the end of your Pulse article.

3.  Create interest in the article.  Rather than just copying and pasting the title of your article into Sharing News section on LinkedIn, try and engage the reader with a compelling subject line in your discussion.  For example, you might use “New Debate for Group” — and ask your question.  Or, perhaps you use, “Do You Believe…”  where you insert a misconception and invite group members to check out their views on the common misconception.  Another way to engage members is to ask, “Are You Making These XX Mistakes in [topic name here]?” where you can explain what most people are doing incorrectly.

4.  Respond to discussion.  Don’t forget to check back to respond to the discussion and questions posed as a result of your posting. Even if people disagree, acknowledge their point of view without becoming hostile or taking offense.  Take the opportunity to demonstrate your expertise and bolster your point with a related blog post that explains the new point in more detail.

5.  Connect with group members. I try and connect with anyone who has commented on my article in any of the groups in which I’ve shared the update. Instead of simply sending the standard LinkedIn connection request, I say something like, “Thanks so much for commenting on my article in the XYZ group.  I appreciate you taking the time to read it.  I’d love to add you as a connection on LinkedIn.”  This works like a charm every time!

Make your content continue to work for you.  Syndicating your content to LinkedIn groups as a LinkedIn marketing strategy is a phenomenal way to get your name and expertise in front of more people than before!