How to Attract A Steady Stream of Ideal Customers
What does it take to build a business from the ground up? Do you have a great idea but don't know where or how to start? Or have you created a website but have no idea how to get visitors(and buyers)?
This blog will show you how to get clients and increase sales by creating Discovery Systems. In the last article, we reviewed the three systems you need for a steady stream of customers so you can get off the 80-hour week hamster wheel.
At the top of the funnel are Discovery Systems. If you're looking for an effective way to attract new customers, you've come to the right place. Look no further than Discovery Systems, aka Client Attraction Systems. This blog teaches Discovery Systems and why they're such a valuable tool for any online entrepreneur. Ready? Let's dive in!
Back in the "good ol' days", before the internet, when you asked business owners where their clients come from, the answer was frequently "word of mouth."
Word-of-mouth is a fantastic way to skip the whole discovery and relationship-building stage and go straight to the sale. But, word-of-mouth can be unreliable in bringing new business on an ongoing basis because it is inconsistent. (That's not to say you shouldn't ask for referrals. On the contrary, asking for referrals should always be a part of your marketing efforts.)
For a steady flow of sales, businesses need Discovery Systems to consistently attract their ideal customers.
What are discovery systems? Discovery systems are ways to attract your ideal clients to your products or services. Before the internet, Discovery Systems included anything from a giant billboard on the highway to a keynote speech at your local chamber of commerce. Other methods include print advertising, writing a book, networking, cold-calls, etc.
In today's digital online world, there are countless marketing messages to grab the attention of potential customers. The big two: paid ads on Google and Facebook, for example, and content marketing. This article will concentrate on content marketing. Generating engaging content is the baseline for attracting your ideal customers.
Content Marketing is an essential anchor for building your audience. It's the very foundation of your discovery systems and forms the centerpiece for everything else you do online. A steady stream of new content delivers:
- Powerful credibility. Everyone who reads your blog or views your videos will immediately know you are an expert in your field. Think of it as your resume online.
- Great searchability. Using proven SEO strategies means your blog will rank well in Google and other search engines, putting you in front of your ideal audience.
- Owning the content. Most importantly, your content is on your own website. Social media and other discovery methods are essential (we'll talk about them in a minute), but they're not yours. You don't own Facebook or YouTube, or Pinterest, and you can lose your access to them at any time. Build your business on a web property you own, not one controlled by someone else.
According to this site, 80% of people appreciate learning about a company through custom content. And what is custom content? The content you create: blogs, videos, webinars and presentations, and social media posts. Let's take them one at a time.
Did you just roll your eyes and say to yourself that blogging is old school and no longer relevant? Unfortunately, many online business owners think blogging is dead.
Don't believe them:
From the magical mind of Dumbledore:
"Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic."
Your words, in your blog posts, are your source of magic.
What are the different types of blogs? And what is their purpose?
Personal Blogs are online diaries. People share their personal journeys, projects, hobbies, and interests. Bloggers can monetize personal blogs, but this isn't the type of blog for your business' discovery. Niche blogs fall into this category. Niche blogs are about a specific topic. Think fashion, food, travel, parenting, gardening .. the list goes on and on.
A Business Blog is a combination of valuable content and promotional material. (What you're reading is a business blog.) Your business blog is an online space where you can discuss relevant topics and establish yourself as a niche expert. Visitors to your blog benefit by learning more about what type of work you do and how you might help them achieve their goals.
Your business blog showcases your expertise, domain knowledge, industry experience, and thought leadership. This type of content marketing builds trust with your readers. Your regular blog visitors will consider you an expert. Your service and products become a source of help to solve their problems.
To fill your funnel, concentrate on a business blog.
For example: Betty is a college admissions coach. She helps high school juniors and seniors navigate the college admission process. Her expertise is selecting the right college and finding scholarship opportunities. The blog on her website highlights and updates news. She also includes interviews with college admissions officials. And there is a section for tips on choosing a college with success stories from past clients. Site visitors quickly learn that she is an expert. The success stories deliver social proof. Her interviews with admissions officials provide authority status. Her website is a must-read for parents of high-schoolers with college ambitions.
Here's the key to successful blogging, though: consistency.
You don't have to blog every day (although you certainly can), but you do have to set a schedule that works for you and stick to it. To do any less is going to frustrate your readers and waste your time.
Free Content Publishing Planner: Click Here
TIP: Brainstorm topics that will help grow your audience. What are are the subjects your ideal customer is most interested in? What topics will establish your expertise? Then, commit to a blogging schedule you can maintain for at least six months to accurately gauge the response.
Social Media Accounts
Judging by the number of popular social media platforms, it's clear social media has become a valuable way to connect with others. There is no going back. If your business isn't on social media channels, it may as well be invisible.
Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter account for a considerable amount of all the time spent online.
It is not a good idea to base your entire business on any social media platform. But social media is a necessary component of content marketing.
Not all social media platforms are created equal. And not all platforms are suitable for your business type or audience. For example, a graphic designer's market might love Pinterest but avoid Twitter. A software developer's customers may check out LinkedIn every day and avoid Facebook. On the other hand, the customers of a weight loss coach love Facebook groups.
Your job is to find out where your market spends most of its time and establish your presence there as well. Start conversations, share your blog posts, encourage engagement, and be seen. Social media is all about discovery, so make sure your ideal client can find you on their favorite social sites.
While you're checking out social media platforms, don't neglect YouTube. It is not just a website for fun videos. It is also a search engine. In fact, as the second-largest search engine, this is a must-have tool in your business's discovery system's toolbox. Of course, getting on camera is ideal, but if you're shy, there are many other ways to make video work for you, such as…
- Slide presentations
Like all other discovery methods, though, attracting clients with video relies heavily on consistency. Don't think you can create one or two videos and suddenly have a gaggle of YouTube followers. Instead, aim for creating at least one video per week. It doesn't have to be lengthy; it's probably better if it's not—but it does have to provide great information.
Free Content Publishing Planner: Click Here
TIP: Identify the top two or three social media platforms in your niche, and set up (or update) your accounts. Then, use your social media accounts to inform and entertain your followers. Finally, and most importantly, engage with them and get to know your audience.
Free Webinars and Presentations
You really can't beat the power of a free webinar.
The internet has made it easier than ever for entrepreneurs to connect with audiences across the globe. Webinars allow you to give presentations live, online, often for free.
Webinar events are a great way to engage potential clients. Think of it this way: before you buy an expensive new television or appliance, you go to Best Buy and talk to the salesperson. They point out the features and benefits and train you on how to use them. As a result, you get your questions answered and feel good about your purchase.
A webinar provides the same benefits to your customer before they commit to spending their limited time or hard-earned money with you.
Webinars showcase the product or service offered. It can also include customer testimonials which can amp up social proof.
Also, you can take questions from your webinar attendees and interact with other participants via chat rooms if desired. Finally, Webinars are great for building a community around your business and brand.
A webinar is also cost-effective to establish "know, like, trust" with potential customers. It gives you the chance to make a lasting impression which is another reason webinars are more popular than ever in the business world.
Webinars produce the opportunity to:
- Introduce yourself to a previously unknown audience
- Prove your expertise by sharing valuable information
- Grow your mailing list by partnering with a colleague in a complementary niche
- Make sales through time-limited offers
As a bonus, once you've created two or three presentations, you'll always be prepared to speak, whether at a conference, a tele-summit, or a podcast.
TIP: Create your "go-to" presentation and schedule a free webinar for your audience. Be sure you have your goal clearly in mind as you're creating your event.
Content marketing is an essential part of client attraction for any online business. You can use blogs, vlogs, webinars, and social media to increase traffic to your website while reducing the amount of time needed for "know, like, trust." Remember, content marketing is about attracting new clients, building trust, and creating awareness about your company.
In the following article, we will look at Relationship Systems.
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