Monday, October 23, 2017

The 7-Step Guide to Creating Amazing Cornerstone Content

From time to time, people ask me what my #1 content marketing tip is. Often, these people are new to content marketing – they have a new site or business, or they just haven’t tried to build traffic and an audience with content marketing yet. They want to know the single biggest action they can take to start building their brand with content.

When I get this question, I always say the same thing: My #1 tip is to create a cornerstone content piece.

cornerstone content

What the heck does this even mean? Why is cornerstone content so important? And how do you actually do it? These are questions you’ll get the answers to today!

What is cornerstone content?

Cornerstone content is a high-value, foundational piece of content that is intended to help you start building traffic and brand awareness by showing people what you can offer. Your cornerstone content should be highly relevant to your business goals – it helps you establish authority in your industry and will bring in a steady stream of site visitors who are likely to be interested, sooner or later, in the products or services you offer.

However, keep in mind that a cornerstone content piece is usually pretty top-of-funnel – that means it should be open and free (not locked behind a paywall or registration form), and you shouldn’t expect everyone who visits this content to buy something or otherwise convert. The real goal of cornerstone content is to create a positive first impression, so people get a warm, fuzzy feeling about your brand. That way, when they are ready to convert, they’re much more likely to turn to you.

The metaphor of the cornerstone comes to us from masonry. As the folks at Dictionary.com define it, a cornerstone is:

1. a stone uniting two masonry walls at an intersection.

2. a stone representing the nominal starting place in the construction of a monumental building, usually carved with the date and laid with appropriate ceremonies.

3. something that is essential, indispensable, or basic: The cornerstone of democratic government is a free press.

4. the chief foundation on which something is constructed or developed: The cornerstone of his argument was that all people are created equal.

This definition is handy because your cornerstone content should do these things too – it should support the rest of your content as you build out your website, and form an essential part of your traffic base. (You might also want to take a page from that “appropriate ceremonies” bit – more on that when we get to content promotion.)

What are the benefits of a cornerstone content piece?

Cornerstone content has a number of benefits for your business:

  • Raises your brand awareness
  • Brings in relevant site visitors
  • Builds natural links (which help the rest of your site’s SEO)
  • Establishes authority, trust, and positive brand sentiment
  • Feeds your funnel (helping you build an email list, for example)

If you’re asking me for help with content marketing, then I know you’re interested in all of these outcomes! And a cornerstone content piece is the single best way to focus all your initial content marketing efforts and resources on something that will drive compounding, evergreen value for your business.

evergreen cornerstone content

Evergreen content is news that stays news

Examples of cornerstone content

If you’re still not totally sure what I mean, here are a few examples.

Moz is an SEO software company, so it makes sense that their cornerstone content piece would be a Beginner’s Guide to SEO. It’s a big, authoritative resource that you can either read online or get as a PDF. I often recommend it to people who are trying to learn SEO. It’s a big source of traffic, links, and leads for Moz, so they put effort into keeping it up-to-date. You’ll also notice that they promote it right on their home page.

examples of great cornerstone content

That’s B2B, so what about a B2C example?

Paula’s Choice is a small skincare brand with a cult following – I’ve actually heard people say they belong to the “cult of Paula.” In addition to selling skincare, the site has as an ingredient dictionary that breaks down what all those weird chemical names in your face wash really mean and whether they’re good or bad for you. They also have a whole separate site called Beautypedia that posts expert and community reviews of products from other brands, breaking down which ingredients are legit vs. hype, products that are overpriced or potentially harmful and more. Genius!

cornerstone content examples

Here’s another one: My colleague Allen was recently looking to move money from Etrade, and found a free risk assessment calculator from Wealthfront. He found the results so helpful that it sold him on their financial planning services. Nice work, Wealthfront! This is how giving something valuable away for free can pay off.

cornerstone content free tool example

This also illustrates how a free tool can actually be a form of content. Take our own Free Keyword Tool – we launched it way back in the aughts, and today, it’s one of the top five most trafficked pages on our website (with over half a million visitors a year), as well as one of the most frequently linked, and it drives a huge portion of our first actions.

how to create cornerstone content

So when planning out what your cornerstone content will be, consider other forms of content beyond just articles and guides.

Another example of what I’d consider our own cornerstone content: our advertising benchmarks for Google AdWords and Facebook advertising. Since we sell software to help businesses manage their AdWords and Facebook campaigns, we tapped our wealth of customer data to provide some guidelines for advertisers on the averages they should be looking to beat when it comes to key metrics like click-through rate and conversion rate.

wordstream cornerstone content

Again, these two content pieces drive a huge amount of traffic, links, and leads for us, because our target audience truly finds them helpful, and this data isn’t easy to find anywhere else.

Now that we’ve established what cornerstone content is and why you need it, let’s walk through the seven steps you’ll need to follow, in detail, to create your own cornerstone content.

Step 1: Choosing your content topic and format

The first step in this process is extremely important – in fact, I’d say choosing the right topic for your cornerstone content piece is actually just as important as the execution.

how to brainstorm cornerstone content topics

Start by putting yourself in your target audience’s shoes, since these are the people that you’re trying to reach with your content. Ask questions like:

  • What big problems do my target customers have? What are the burning questions they need answers to?
  • Of those problems, which ones aren’t already solved by existing content on the web? Are there important questions that they’re not getting adequate answers to?
  • Of those problems, are there any that you’re uniquely positioned to address? Do you have special knowledge, insight, or data that could help people facing these problems?

Give yourself plenty of time to think about these questions. Gather ideas from everyone in your business. Talk to your actual customers! Your cornerstone content needs to be relevant to your audience.

When you find a meaty problem or question, do some competitive research to make sure you have something new to bring to the table. For example, you might think a mattress buying guide is a great idea for a cornerstone content piece – but that’s already a very crowded (and surprisingly controversial!) space, and you might not be able to create something unique or 10X better than what’s already available.

competitive keyword research for content

It’s hard to rank for competitive queries if you can’t create something much better than what’s already ranking

What you’re looking for here is a hole, a point of entry. The ideal topic for a cornerstone content piece is something that people are commonly searching for, without getting satisfying results. This way, you can swoop in and be the hero.

Once you’ve settled on a topic idea, think about the format that would best deliver what people are looking for:

  • A long-form how-to guide? (like that SEO guide for beginners mentioned above)
  • A video or series of videos? (like Home Depot’s DIY project series)
  • Some kind of data visualization? (like a timeline or map)
  • A searchable database of some type? (like that beauty review site)
  • A free tool or app? (like a mortgage calculator or a photo editor)

Delivering super-helpful information or guidance in the right format is crucial to great cornerstone content.

Step 2: Keyword research

Once you’ve got your topic idea in mind, the next step is keyword research. You want to be sure that there’s healthy keyword search volume related to your topic of choice, because keyword volume is a sign of interest and demand. If a lot of people are searching for something in Google or other search engines, there’s a big opportunity for you to capture that traffic and create that great first impression of your brand.

Let’s say we’re hoping to create a great cornerstone content piece for a boutique men’s grooming shop, selling vintage-y shaving supplies, beard oil, mustache wax, all that hipster nonsense. From a quick check in WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool, I can see that the keyword “how to grow a beard faster” is VERY popular.

doing keyword research for cornerstone content

33K+ keyword searches a month is a LOT!

What happens if I google this keyword? Is the demand already being met? Let’s see:

featured snippet content marketing

Wikihow has the coveted featured snippet. (And a gross closeup of a hair follicle.) However, if you scroll down to where this guide is ranking, you’ll see that it’s got a pretty piss-poor rating from users (59% is a flunking grade):

google ratings in serp results

That means people aren’t even satisfied with Wikihow’s answer. The intent of the query isn’t being met. Yet it’s still ranking in position zero.

You know what this smells like to me? OPPORTUNITY. If we can unseat Wikihow from that featured snippet, we could be getting tens of thousands of visits a month from prime potential customers. Pretty sweet, no?

Now let’s double-check that keyword in another keyword tool. SEM Rush provides a ton of related variations on the base “how to grow a beard” keyword. All of these related questions that wannabe beard-growers are asking can help us figure out what our cornerstone content piece should look like:

cornerstone content research

Listen up because these keyword searches speak volumes (pun intended, sorry not sorry). Your customers, in this imaginary scenario, are screaming for help with growing fuller, thicker, sexier beards, and they want those beards fast! You’re the beard expert, so it’s your job to step up to the plate and help them out.

To tackle this content topic, let’s create a nice, detailed guide that explains how to grow a kick-ass beard in ten steps. We’ll need to create some visuals to show people how it’s done, and maybe a nice video for anyone who prefers that format. (Bonus: You could rank for the same keyword searches in YouTube.)

Step 3: Content planning

DIY or outsource?

First, figure out if you’re going to produce all the content in-house or outsource it. This is largely going to depend on your current staff and resources. If you’ve got an actual marketing team, you can probably pull it off in-house. If you’re a one- or two-man/woman affair, it might be tricky to devote the necessary time and effort while also keeping the rest of your business running.

If you decide to hire out, check our 3-Step Guide to Hiring an Agency or Any Third-Party Vendor.

Keep in mind that you can also do it partially outsourced and partially in-house. For example, you could do all the research for your cornerstone content in-house, then hire a contractor to turn your research into a visual asset like an infographic, or a video.

Put some milestones in place

However you plan to create this thing, think like a project manager and put some milestones in place to keep the project moving. Remember, your cornerstone content piece needs to be truly awesome, so don’t expect it to come together in a matter of days.

content marketing project management

I was not told there would be biology

A solid guide could take up to a month to produce. Anything that requires designers and developers (like a free tool) will take considerably longer. Be realistic, but then get moving. (If you feel totally lost, here are some tips on how to manage a project.)

Gather your resources

Estimate costs for your content piece and earmark that budget. These costs will vary pretty widely depending on what kind of content you’re trying to produce. Potential costs include:

  • Fees for a freelance writer (don’t skimp here – a good freelance writer may charge up to a dollar per word)
  • Design costs
  • Development costs
  • Promotion budget (social media promotion can be quite cost-effective for content amplification)

Don’t be afraid to spend some money on this! If you’re getting cold feet, go back and read that section on “benefits” again.

Step 4: Content creation

Now it’s finally time to roll up your sleeves (maybe use some sleeve braces, since you’re so dapper & hip) and create your content piece.

bartenders

Bartenders sure do love to roll up their sleeves (source)

This process is going to look different depending on your topic and format, but whatever you decide on, here are some considerations to keep in mind:

  • Quality really matters here. You want to stake your reputation as a brand on this content. It should be completely accurate, truly helpful, a real “Wow” experience for prospects. So hire the best talent you can afford to create it, and build in time for review and revision. Get an outside expert opinion before you launch it if you can.
  • Quality encompasses a number of things. This content piece should be visually appealing as well as easy to use and navigate, no matter what device visitors are using.
  • Keep your keyword research close at hand! Those keywords you surfaced earlier should be naturally occurring in the text of your content. Let them define the structure of what you create. For example, there should be a “chapter” or section in your beard guide about how long it takes to grow a beard.
  • Intent, intent, intent. Matching intent is so crucial. Try to tackle a topic that you understand inside and out, and ensure that your content really and truly solves the problem and gets your visitor where they want to be. (You don’t want a 59% approval rating do you?)

testimonials for content

Now that’s a happy customer

  • Use your cornerstone content as an opportunity to display your brand voice. Show people what your values are. Connect on a human level – be real.
  • Cornerstone content shouldn’t be too pushy – if your mattress guide just says “buy my mattress, it’s the best” nobody’s going to trust you. Why should they? The goal is to solve a problem in a brand-neutral way. Cornerstone content is top-of-funnel.

Throughout this part of the process, you should keep your target audience top of mind, and work to create something those people are going to love and want to share.

Step 5: Optimization

One of the goals of cornerstone content is to bring in new visitors, making it their first experience of your brand. Ideally, it’s a bookmarkable resource that people want to return to, but since you’re trying to grow, you need to make sure your content is optimized to be found in organic search. It should also be optimized for shareability, so people will stumble upon it when checking Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Optimizing your content for SEO

Fingers crossed this isn’t the first time you’ve thought about SEO. Your content is more likely to succeed if your site architecture is already SEO-friendly. (Check out our SEO basics guide if this isn’t ringing any bells.)

Today, we’ll mostly focus on how you can optimize your new content piece, in the hopes that the rest of your site is in order.

First, let’s put those keywords to work! The primary keyword – the one that has the highest volume while also being most relevant to the content as a whole – should appear in both the title of the piece and in the URL.

It’s important to optimize your title, or headline, for SEO, but it also needs to be appealing and clickable to humans. “How to Grow a Beard: Video” might do OK, but it’s not as exciting as “How to Grow a Full, Manly Beard in 4 Weeks.” Check out these tips on how to write a great headline.

content marketing headlines

Your keywords should also appear in the body of your content. I’m not talking about keyword stuffing, but don’t be so afraid of keyword stuffing that you don’t actually use your keywords. If you’re writing a long-form guide, they will fit right naturally into the headings that break up the sections. For example:

using keywords in cornerstone content

This way, both search engines and readers can clearly see that your content is relevant to their questions. It also helps them scan and skip around, which web readers are especially wont to do.

Don’t forget about image optimization – use relevant keywords in your image file names, use alt text, and keep your images light and fast-loading. (Also, use plenty of images in your content – one per every 100-200 words or so.)

If you’re creating a video or an infographic, make sure you provide some supplementary text that Google can “read” – like a transcript. Be wary of infographics in general – they don’t necessarily provide a great mobile experience. Consider responsive, even interactive forms of data visualization that aren’t just a giant image file.

In fact, whatever the content type, make sure it works just as well on mobile! The “mobile-first index” is a reality we can’t ignore.

These on-page elements are really important, but don’t forget about off-page SEO, AKA links. Create some internal links to your new cornerstone content piece, ideally from high-value, high-engagement pages on your site, like your homepage. You’ll also want to get some external links pointing in – more on that in the promotion section below.

Optimizing your content for social

Part of what makes content shareable is the content itself: Is it truly helpful? Does it make people feel something?

But once you’ve got that down, you also need to make it really easy for people to share your content. Here are some tips to get more shares out of your cornerstone content:

  • Get some social buttons on there so people can share it with one click. There are lots of plugins available to make this easy, and if you have the resources you can customize or develop your own. Keep the buttons visible.

social media buttons

Via Wordpress

  • When creating your content, don’t just think about who might read it – think about who might share it. Consider quoting or referencing influencers in your industry who might be inclined to share the content with their followers.
  • Consider creating images or videos that encapsulate your content, optimized for different social platforms. For video, choose an appealing thumbnail image; smiling people tend to do well. An appealing featured image for Twitter, Facebook, etc. should be colorful and on-brand.

Finally, don’t just rely on organic social promotion – more on this in the next section.

Optimizing for action

Like I said above – your cornerstone content shouldn’t be sales-y. It’s OK if people visit your content and don’t immediately become customers. Don’t expect a bangin’ conversion rate at this stage of the funnel.

That said, don’t shut down the possibility of visitors becoming customers! There’s room in your content for some low-friction, next-step offers.

For example, you might want to implement an exit-banner campaign – don’t do it in a way that interrupts users, but when people are moving to leave your site, you can show them a pop-up that incents them to join your email list (maybe offering, say, 20% off their first order if they sign up).

exit popup example

Also, cookie your visitors so you can remarket to them later! Once you’ve used this awesome content to turn them into a fan of your brand, show them remarketing ads that will remind them you exist and force them to come back for more. You already know these people are trying to grow a beard – wouldn’t it be great if you could show them an ad for your best-selling shaving kit every time they log into Facebook?

To learn more about this tactic, read our guides to remarketing on Facebook and on the Google Display Network.

Step 6: Promotion

It would be crazy to put this much effort into a content piece and then fall down on promoting it. You want it to make a splash. It takes time for new content to rank in organic search (especially if you’re a new business!), so you’ll need to pursue other avenues to get your content in front of people in the meantime.

content promotion

Buzzsumo recently published a great case study on how they got a blog post leveraging internal data to “go viral.” Check it out, and try the below strategies:

Email promotion

If you’ve got an email list, use it! Send out a dedicated email announcing your awesome new content piece to your database. Top-of-funnel emails like this often see great open and click-through rates.

But don’t stop there – do a little targeted email outreach, writing personalized emails for specific people that you believe would be especially interested in reading your new content, sharing it, or – best of all – linking to it.

Here are some great tips for writing an awesome outreach email.

email outreach for content promotion

Making it personal always helps!

When thinking about how to target, look for those almighty influencers, but also look for related content that is already popular. If you run across a good list of resources for the well-dressed, well-groomed gentleman, reach out to the author and suggest they add a link to your great new beard-growing guide. (Try adding an incentive for them to link to you – mention that you’ll promote their post to return the favor.)

Social media promotion

Organic social promotion is a no-brainer. Of course you should post your new content to all your social networks, but it’ll take a little more work than that:

  • Tailor your text, image, etc. for different social networks. Different content succeeds on different platforms. For example, videos tend to do well on Facebook, so you could make a video version of your content just for FB and then link to the full guide from there.
  • Share more than once. WAY MORE THAN ONCE. Put your content into a rotation so it’s getting regular exposure to more, new, different people.
  • Focus on the platforms that work best in your industry. If you’re in the grooming business, you’re going to want to create some beautiful images of bearded men (with the beards as the focal point, natch) for Instagram and Pinterest.

social media content promotion

Sick beard content, bro

But hey. Hey. Organic social promotion might not be enough. Good news though – paid social promotion is pretty affordable! And it can really get the ball rolling, leading to more people reading and sharing your content for free.

Our founder Larry Kim is kind of the king of paid social promotion. Some of his best tips for content marketers using paid social promotion include:

  • Promote to targeted audiences – don’t just broadcast. For example, on Facebook you could promote your new guide only to men between the ages of 18 and 29. On Twitter, you can promote your post to a certain hashtag.

how to promote cornerstone content

  • Optimize for relevance. Most social platforms have some kind of relevancy algorithm – on Facebook, it’s called Relevance Score. Basically, how it works is that higher engagement rates keep your ad in the rotation and lower the cost you pay per engagement. If you see that a certain headline or image is performing well with your audience, replicate it!

Set aside some money to promote your posts on social and make sure targeted users see it. In that Buzzsumo case study I mentioned above, Steve Rayson writes: “We spent $648.00 on Facebook ads that drove over 2,000 clicks and which also resulted in 3 new paying customers.” Not bad ROI there.

Notice his targeting strategy as well: “Our first ad targeted employees of big publishers like BuzzFeed, Refinery29, Quartz, and Mashable.” This got them some big links, which had a nice trickle-down effect, as more exposure tends to beget more links.

Step 7: Maintenance

The final ingredient in your cornerstone content is time – give your beautiful creation a few months to accrue attention, shares and links, while keeping an eye on performance. Most of the traffic will likely come from email and social sources at first, but over time, you want to see traffic coming in from organic search as well.

So let’s fast forward and say you’ve done everything right (is it hard being so perfect?) and you’re really happy with your content’s performance. Is it time to kick back and relax?

relaxing

Don’t get cocky, outline man

Not exaaactly. You want your cornerstone content to be evergreen, so you should check in at least quarterly to make sure everything is working smoothly and look for opportunities to make it even better. Such as:

  • Keep it impeccably up to date. If there’s suddenly a big new trend in beard-growing, your content should include it. If you recommend specific products, make sure they’re still available, the prices are accurate, and so on.
  • If your cornerstone content is an app or tool, can you add new features? Can you improve the UX or make it faster?
  • Try running some CRO tests to see if you can get a little more business value out of it. Test a different exit offer, or a different first email to send out to people who join your list.
  • If years go by and you’re still seeing return value, consider giving your content a style refresh now and then. You don’t want it to look outdated even if the content is still fresh. Fonts, images, and layouts may need to be revisited for the times.

Nobody puts baby in a corner

4400 words later, I sincerely hope you are AMPED to create your site’s first cornerstone content piece. It’s going to be a lot of work, but man is it going to feel good when you’re finished.

Still have questions about how this works? Let me know in the comments.



from Wordstream Blog Feed http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2017/10/23/cornerstone-content-guide
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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Weekend Favs October 21

Weekend Favs October 21 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.

I don’t go into depth about the finds, but encourage you to check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from an online source or one that I took out there on the road.

  • Content Station –Choose from blog articles, e-books, white papers, and other content from a team of hand-picked writers, who are screened and rated for quality.
  • Listen Notes – A podcast search engine that actually works.
  • Podcast Bookers – Podcast Bookers is a service that helps business people like you get booked on podcasts as an expert guest, on shows that are relevant to your professional niche.

These are my weekend favs, I would love to hear about some of yours – Tweet me @ducttape



from Duct Tape Marketing https://www.ducttapemarketing.com/contentstation-listennotes-podcastbookers/
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Friday, October 20, 2017

13 Quotes to Inspire You and Your Business (From 13 Inspiring People)

We all need a little inspiration now and then. So, we’ve put together words of wisdom from some of history’s greatest thinkers, doers, makers, shakers and …

The post 13 Quotes to Inspire You and Your Business (From 13 Inspiring People) appeared first on Vivial.



from Local Marketing Blog – Vivial https://vivial.net/blog/13-quotes-to-inspire-your-business/
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10 Offline Marketing Tips to Boost Your Online Brand

10 Offline Marketing Tips to Boost Your Online Brand written by Guest Post read more at Duct Tape Marketing

Just because the world wide web has become a place where brands get a chance at massive growth doesn’t mean offline strategies no longer work.

In fact, learning how to effectively market your business to regular passersby or people not hooked to their mobile devices helps you maximize your efforts. There are still customers who are not well-versed when it comes to using the internet.

With that, you’ll be able to attract more customers and achieve a higher ROI.

If you’re here today because you’re seriously looking to boosting your reach, we’ll show you 10 best offline marketing techniques you can incorporate into your current campaign. Explore them below.

1. Magazine Articles

Why not write and submit a magazine article and mention your website as an additional resource? A magazine article caters to avid readers who aren’t used to blog posts.

Magazines also give you a competitive edge since they’re visually engaging and target a specific population. Make sure to provide actionable insights that meet your target readers’ needs. Hook them right from a start using a compelling story they can easily relate to.

2. Business Cards

It’s easy to forget a website you randomly visited for the first time. Whether or not people came across your website, business cards give prospects a reason to engage with your brand multiple times.

Printed information on a business card is permanent. Individuals can quickly enter your domain name or contact information into their mobile devices when they need your services. Create a great first impression by choosing a business card design that reflects your business.

3. Creative Stickers

If you’ve been following guerrilla marketing techniques, you’d understand what I mean by creative stickers. These stickers showcase your brand in a funny yet clever way. They also incorporate the element of storytelling.

A perfect example of guerrilla marketing using stickers is Axe Body Spray’s customized sticker:

10 Offline Marketing Tips to Boost Your Online Brand Photo credit: Unsplash/Tru Katsande Just because the world wide web has become a place where brands get a chance at massive growth doesn’t mean offline strategies no longer work. In fact, learning how to effectively market your business to regular passersby or people not hooked to their mobile devices helps you maximize your efforts. There are still customers who are not well-versed when it comes to using the internet. With that, you’ll be able to attract more customers and achieve a higher ROI. If you’re here today because you’re seriously looking to boosting your reach, we’ll show you 10 best offline marketing techniques you can incorporate into your current campaign. Explore them below. 1. Magazine articles Why not write and submit a magazine article and mention your website as an additional resource? A magazine article caters to avid readers who aren’t used to blog posts. Magazines also give you a competitive edge since they’re visually engaging and target a specific population. Make sure to provide actionable insights that meet your target readers’ needs. Hook them right from a start using a compelling story they can easily relate to. 2. Business cards It’s easy to forget a website you randomly visited for the first time. Whether or not people came across your website, business cards give prospects a reason to engage with your brand multiple times. Printed information on a business card is permanent. Individuals can quickly enter your domain name or contact information into their mobile devices when they need your services. Create a great first impression by choosing a business card design that reflects your business. 3. Creative stickers If you’ve been following guerrilla marketing techniques, you’d understand what I mean by creative stickers. These stickers showcase your brand in a funny yet clever way. They also incorporate the element of storytelling. A perfect example of guerrilla marketing using stickers is Axe Body Spray’s customized sticker: Photo credit: WordStream As the picture shows, Axe placed their sticker near the exit man sign. This shows Axe’s unique brand proposition of male Axe users being attractive to women. 4. Radio advertising If you want to promote your social media profiles but haven’t started building your business site yet, consider advertising on radio. Remember to choose a station that targets your demographic. When you craft your radio copy, Business Town suggests that you make it catchy and straight to the point. Mention how you can serve your audience through your product or service. Depending on your goal, clearly outline the next steps or your call-to-action – which is, of course, an invitation to follow you on social media. 5. Conduct workshops Among the things that learners value are educational workshops. Whether you’re in the arts and crafts niche or serve B2B clients, teach your audience something new. It should be a skill or knowledge that they can apply in their day-to-day lives. Give lots of free and exclusive advice. Make your workshop interactive and engaging that your prospects will want to get more one-on-one support from you. Create a special offer that’s only accessible for participants in your workshop. 6. Sponsor an event More and more business owners are realizing the benefits of a sponsorship. When you sponsor an event, you are raising brand awareness and building your authority. Attendees or participants, especially media men, will spread the word about your brand. Also, even sponsorships help build new partnerships between brands. The picture below shows TechCrunch Disrupt event which was sponsored by New Relic. Photo credit: The Bizzabo Blog New Relic incorporated a Hackathon activity where people were asked to build an app in a short amount of time. They gave the winners prizes which included a MacBook Pro. 7. Branded merchandise T-shirts, pens, sticky notes, and lanyards with your logo on them are a form of branded merchandise. Creating and giving away these items helps spread your name like wildfire. These promotional materials speed up your marketing. Also, you’re able to garner loyal customers in the process. Don’t forget to print your social media and website on your branded merchandise. To add some excitement, you can print promotional codes that unlock discounts. 8. Cold calls Because of today’s faceless interaction, customers greatly appreciate brands that can offer a “personal touch.” Cold calls allow you to do that. Forget all your doubts and apprehensions about cold calling, because you might just gather a couple of potential customers who are ready to convert any time. To ensure that this endeavor becomes successful, carefully plan out your objective, message, and timing. It takes a little practice and confidence to get it done right. 9. Billboard advertising Are your online ads not getting any real results? If so, consider billboard advertising your holy grail. Imagine your audiences seeing your billboard ads every day on their way to work. Even though they’re quite expensive, repetitive exposure to these ads effectively position you on top of your customers’ minds. Some online brands use mobile billboards in order to get to their target geographical locations and local events when they need to. 10. Trade shows Get together with other brands in the same industry at trade shows. Brands that come together to display their offerings naturally attract new sales leads. Attract potential customers to your booth by using banner stands and giveaways. Trade shows can be quite costly so make sure you thoroughly plan out your marketing strategy. It would help to think about how you will collect people’s email addresses and your main purpose of attending a trade show. Conclusion As an online business owner, you can find a ton of opportunities in offline marketing to maximize your internet growth. After all, nothing can replace personal interaction and the experience of physically interacting with a product. Bring out the best results in every offline marketing by being clear about your goals. Remember your value proposition. This will help you craft a message that’ll capture their attention and compel them to do business with you. Author Bio: Kevin Ocasio is a digital entrepreneur who runs the blog KevinOcasio.com. A retired Marine, he devotes his time helping newbie bloggers and business owners succeed online.

As the picture shows, Axe placed their sticker near the exit man sign. This shows Axe’s unique brand proposition of male Axe users being attractive to women.

4. Radio Advertising

If you want to promote your social media profiles but haven’t started building your business site yet, consider advertising on radio. Remember to choose a station that targets your demographic.

When you craft your radio copy, Business Town suggests that you make it catchy and straight to the point. Mention how you can serve your audience through your product or service.

Depending on your goal, clearly outline the next steps or your call-to-action – which is, of course, an invitation to follow you on social media.

5. Conduct workshops

Among the things that learners value are educational workshops. Whether you’re in the arts and crafts niche or serve B2B clients, teach your audience something new. It should be a skill or knowledge that they can apply in their day-to-day lives.

Give lots of free and exclusive advice. Make your workshop interactive and engaging that your prospects will want to get more one-on-one support from you. Create a special offer that’s only accessible for participants in your workshop.

6. Sponsor an Event

More and more business owners are realizing the benefits of a sponsorship. When you sponsor an event, you are raising brand awareness and building your authority. Attendees or participants, especially media men, will spread the word about your brand.

Also, even sponsorships help build new partnerships between brands. The picture below shows TechCrunch Disrupt event which was sponsored by New Relic.

10 Offline Marketing Tips to Boost Your Online Brand Photo credit: Unsplash/Tru Katsande Just because the world wide web has become a place where brands get a chance at massive growth doesn’t mean offline strategies no longer work. In fact, learning how to effectively market your business to regular passersby or people not hooked to their mobile devices helps you maximize your efforts. There are still customers who are not well-versed when it comes to using the internet. With that, you’ll be able to attract more customers and achieve a higher ROI. If you’re here today because you’re seriously looking to boosting your reach, we’ll show you 10 best offline marketing techniques you can incorporate into your current campaign. Explore them below. 1. Magazine articles Why not write and submit a magazine article and mention your website as an additional resource? A magazine article caters to avid readers who aren’t used to blog posts. Magazines also give you a competitive edge since they’re visually engaging and target a specific population. Make sure to provide actionable insights that meet your target readers’ needs. Hook them right from a start using a compelling story they can easily relate to. 2. Business cards It’s easy to forget a website you randomly visited for the first time. Whether or not people came across your website, business cards give prospects a reason to engage with your brand multiple times. Printed information on a business card is permanent. Individuals can quickly enter your domain name or contact information into their mobile devices when they need your services. Create a great first impression by choosing a business card design that reflects your business. 3. Creative stickers If you’ve been following guerrilla marketing techniques, you’d understand what I mean by creative stickers. These stickers showcase your brand in a funny yet clever way. They also incorporate the element of storytelling. A perfect example of guerrilla marketing using stickers is Axe Body Spray’s customized sticker: Photo credit: WordStream As the picture shows, Axe placed their sticker near the exit man sign. This shows Axe’s unique brand proposition of male Axe users being attractive to women. 4. Radio advertising If you want to promote your social media profiles but haven’t started building your business site yet, consider advertising on radio. Remember to choose a station that targets your demographic. When you craft your radio copy, Business Town suggests that you make it catchy and straight to the point. Mention how you can serve your audience through your product or service. Depending on your goal, clearly outline the next steps or your call-to-action – which is, of course, an invitation to follow you on social media. 5. Conduct workshops Among the things that learners value are educational workshops. Whether you’re in the arts and crafts niche or serve B2B clients, teach your audience something new. It should be a skill or knowledge that they can apply in their day-to-day lives. Give lots of free and exclusive advice. Make your workshop interactive and engaging that your prospects will want to get more one-on-one support from you. Create a special offer that’s only accessible for participants in your workshop. 6. Sponsor an event More and more business owners are realizing the benefits of a sponsorship. When you sponsor an event, you are raising brand awareness and building your authority. Attendees or participants, especially media men, will spread the word about your brand. Also, even sponsorships help build new partnerships between brands. The picture below shows TechCrunch Disrupt event which was sponsored by New Relic. Photo credit: The Bizzabo Blog New Relic incorporated a Hackathon activity where people were asked to build an app in a short amount of time. They gave the winners prizes which included a MacBook Pro. 7. Branded merchandise T-shirts, pens, sticky notes, and lanyards with your logo on them are a form of branded merchandise. Creating and giving away these items helps spread your name like wildfire. These promotional materials speed up your marketing. Also, you’re able to garner loyal customers in the process. Don’t forget to print your social media and website on your branded merchandise. To add some excitement, you can print promotional codes that unlock discounts. 8. Cold calls Because of today’s faceless interaction, customers greatly appreciate brands that can offer a “personal touch.” Cold calls allow you to do that. Forget all your doubts and apprehensions about cold calling, because you might just gather a couple of potential customers who are ready to convert any time. To ensure that this endeavor becomes successful, carefully plan out your objective, message, and timing. It takes a little practice and confidence to get it done right. 9. Billboard advertising Are your online ads not getting any real results? If so, consider billboard advertising your holy grail. Imagine your audiences seeing your billboard ads every day on their way to work. Even though they’re quite expensive, repetitive exposure to these ads effectively position you on top of your customers’ minds. Some online brands use mobile billboards in order to get to their target geographical locations and local events when they need to. 10. Trade shows Get together with other brands in the same industry at trade shows. Brands that come together to display their offerings naturally attract new sales leads. Attract potential customers to your booth by using banner stands and giveaways. Trade shows can be quite costly so make sure you thoroughly plan out your marketing strategy. It would help to think about how you will collect people’s email addresses and your main purpose of attending a trade show. Conclusion As an online business owner, you can find a ton of opportunities in offline marketing to maximize your internet growth. After all, nothing can replace personal interaction and the experience of physically interacting with a product. Bring out the best results in every offline marketing by being clear about your goals. Remember your value proposition. This will help you craft a message that’ll capture their attention and compel them to do business with you. Author Bio: Kevin Ocasio is a digital entrepreneur who runs the blog KevinOcasio.com. A retired Marine, he devotes his time helping newbie bloggers and business owners succeed online.

New Relic incorporated a Hackathon activity where people were asked to build an app in a short amount of time. They gave the winners prizes which included a MacBook Pro.

7. Branded Merchandise

T-shirts, pens, sticky notes, and lanyards with your logo on them are a form of branded merchandise. Creating and giving away these items helps spread your name like wildfire.

These promotional materials speed up your marketing. Also, you’re able to garner loyal customers in the process. Don’t forget to print your social media and website on your branded merchandise. To add some excitement, you can print promotional codes that unlock discounts.

8. Cold Calls

Because of today’s faceless interaction, customers greatly appreciate brands that can offer a “personal touch.” Cold calls allow you to do that. Forget all your doubts and apprehensions about cold calling, because you might just gather a couple of potential customers who are ready to convert any time.

To ensure that this endeavor becomes successful, carefully plan out your objective, message, and timing. It takes a little practice and confidence to get it done right.

9. Billboard Advertising

Are your online ads not getting any real results? If so, consider billboard advertising your holy grail. Imagine your audiences seeing your billboard ads every day on their way to work.

Even though they’re quite expensive, repetitive exposure to these ads effectively position you on top of your customers’ minds. Some online brands use mobile billboards in order to get to their target geographical locations and local events when they need to.

10. Trade Shows

Get together with other brands in the same industry at trade shows. Brands that come together to display their offerings naturally attract new sales leads. Attract potential customers to your booth by using banner stands and giveaways.

Trade shows can be quite costly so make sure you thoroughly plan out your marketing strategy. It would help to think about how you will collect people’s email addresses and your main purpose of attending a trade show.

Conclusion

As an online business owner, you can find a ton of opportunities in offline marketing to maximize your internet growth. After all, nothing can replace personal interaction and the experience of physically interacting with a product.

Bring out the best results in every offline marketing by being clear about your goals. Remember your value proposition. This will help you craft a message that’ll capture their attention and compel them to do business with you.


About the Author:

Kevin OcasioKevin Ocasio is a digital entrepreneur who runs the blog KevinOcasio.com. A retired Marine, he devotes his time helping newbie bloggers and business owners succeed online.



from Duct Tape Marketing https://www.ducttapemarketing.com/offline-marketing-tips/
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7 Ways Email Signatures Can Drive Signups, Follows, and Conversions

When you think of email marketing, what comes to mind? Monthly customer newsletters, daily blog RSS feeds, curated drip campaigns…

One thing you probably didn’t think of is employee email signatures.

Email signatures

Image via Email Signature Rescue

Your employees engage with customers, vendors, friends, and family via email. With the right call to action in their email signature, any of those email recipients could turn into new website visitors, customers, or social media followers.

Sure, optimizing your employee email signatures will never be as effective as your other email marketing efforts. You shouldn’t expect to add these to your employee signatures and suddenly meet your sales goal for the year, but they will drive real incremental conversions for your business.

And the best part? This is the rare kind of marketing tactic where you can truly set it and forget it.

Here are seven ways you can get more out of your employee email signatures. Choose one, create a version for your company, and share it with your employees.

1. Drive Website Traffic

Promoting existing content in your email signature drives more web traffic and social shares. If you’ve got the landing page set up with an email newsletter signup form, it could drive more subscriptions, too.

From a high-converting case study to an infographic that went viral on Twitter, choose content that actually delivers. Coordinate with your content team and review conversion data in Google Analytics to discover what content performs especially well for your business. Then link to it in your signature.

Pro tip: Don’t just say “Read our latest blog/whitepaper/ebook!” Hyperlink intriguing anchor text that compels the reader to click, as Yesware does in this example below:

Email signatures call-to-action example

Alternately, you might use a graphic to advertise the content, as in this example from HubSpot:

 Email signatures free downloadable guide call to action

2. Increase Your Following

Want to grow your social media fanbase? You’ve got options.

At a minimum, you should link to your main social media channels in your signature. People like to follow brands they work with and buy from. Link using small icons to your social media channels, rather than including long URLs. Icons are cleaner, instantly recognizable, and simply less exhausting to look at, as demonstrated in this example from Mailbird.

Email signatures cleaner design more info less space 

If you desperately want follows, you could take a more aggressive route like Limehouse Creative did. There’s a lot of information in their email signature below, but your eye is immediately drawn to the graphic, right? If social follows are most important to your marketing strategy, this is a great option. Otherwise, you might be better off using the banner to advertise a content piece or invite demo registrations.

Email signatures to drive Facebook likes social follows 

Image via SmallBusinessSense

3. Generate Leads

Speaking of demos, your email signature is a perfect opportunity for your salespeople to generate leads.

Just like realtors, salespeople know the power of faces, so good ones always include a headshot in their signature. The example also includes a “Request a demo” link to make it easy for leads to connect with the sales rep. The only suggestion we have would be to highlight that anchor text in another color or bolded font.

Email signatures sales rep example with call to action 

Image via Yesware

4. Turn Leads into Customers

Once you’ve got a thread going with a lead, the goal is to push them further down the funnel.

You might take a cue from our first tip, and link your salespeople’s signatures to your top-performing case study. Or you could work with your CRM software to dynamically change your email signatures depending on a lead’s status. For leads that suddenly went cold, or are simply lollygagging, adding a discount offer could be just the thing that wins them over. You can even reuse the banners from your display ads.

Email signatures special offers 

Image via WiseStamp

5. Promote Upcoming Events

Does your company regularly attend trade shows? Drive traffic your way with a banner announcing your booth number that links to the event registration page. You can also hype upcoming product launch parties, local networking happy hours, webinars, and Facebook Live events. Just make sure you update your signature after the event has passed.

 Email signatures promote events

Image via HubSpot

6. Build Trust

Even if you don’t want to push your email recipients to take specific action, your email can still passively work in your favor, building trust, credibility, and brand awareness. Here are a few examples of people doing that well.

Lauren Pawell doesn’t have to ask people if they want to work with her. Showing the types of publications and podcasts she’s been featured on gets people to ask her.

 Email signatures trust signals brand logos

Image via FitSmallBusiness

Similarly, author Aaron Ross links to his book page, while noting that it’s a #1 Amazon Bestseller. He kills two birds with one stone in this email signature, both establishing his authority in the space, while also encouraging people to buy his book.

 Email signatures product links Amazon affiliate links

Image via Yesware

If your company has won awards, your email signature is a wonderful place to show them off. It looks like branding, instead of bragging.

 Email signatures opportunity to display company awards and award logos in email signatures

Image via Mailbird

7. Ask for Reviews

Another great trust signal? Rave reviews and testimonials. Generate a steady supply of these by requesting reviews in your email signature. Even a gentle reminder of “Your Referrals Are Always Welcome!” can help customers remember that their friend was just looking for a service similar to yours.

In the example below, Dr. Brian Fann links “Review Us” text and also includes a social icon for his dental practice's Google+ page, so there are multiple opportunities for recipients to click and review his business.

 Email signatures user reviews star ratings

Image via Hi5 Practice

Best Practices for Employee Email Signatures

Ready to outfit your employees with stellar email signatures? Follow these best practices to set yourselves up for success.

1. Make it Mandatory

Everyone likes to express their individuality, but your corporate email signature is not the place to do it. Tell employees to leave the artistry to their social media profiles.

Having an unified look across all your employee signatures both elevates the professionalism of your brand and avoids the formatting issues, typos, and rogue color and font choices that can happen when you let employees take it into their own hands.

2. Provide a Template

Ideally, your IT team can code these across your employees’ email settings. If that’s not possible, supply employees with a plug-and-play template they can copy into the signature settings for your email provider. Clear, easy-to-follow instructions should accompany the template.

3. Use UTM Tracking

Track your efforts by adding UTM codes to the links in your email signatures. You can check on your progress in Google Analytics under Acquisition > Campaigns. This also allows you to test different CTAs or types of content over time, or even different placements within the signature (e.g. linking to content above or below your social icons).

4. Test the Design on Mobile

We live in a mobile-first world now. Make sure your email signature adheres to that worldview. Nearly half of people read their emails from a mobile device instead of their desktop computer, so test to make sure your design fits and looks good on different smartphones and tablet devices.

5. Follow Rules of Good Design

Don’t use too many colors or fonts, and make sure that what you do use complements each other. Consider using pipes or other dividers to break up text and make it readable.

If you don’t have access to a designer, try out HubSpot's email signature generator. Fill out all your info, choose a design, and voila!

Email signatures HubSpot email signature generator templates

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

With exciting announcements like the most recent Google algorithm upgrade, the latest Snapchat feature, or a new iPhone happening on a near-daily basis, it’s easy for marketers to get shiny ball syndrome. As a result, the lowly email signature is an often overlooked part of marketing strategy. However, implementing any of the above tactics is a simple way to generate a sizable number of wins for your business.

About the Author

Michael Quoc is the founder and CEO of Dealspotr, an open social platform connecting emerging brands, lifestyle influencers, and trend-seeking shoppers in exciting new ways. Follow him on Twitter at @michaelquoc.



from Wordstream Blog Feed http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2017/10/20/email-signatures
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Thursday, October 19, 2017

6 Ways to Find the Time for Blog Reading Even on the Busiest Days

One of my biggest passions? Blogs. I love writing for them, I love searching for them and I especially love reading them. The downside to this is that I have a huge number of blogs. I mean there are really lots of great blogs in my niche I need to keep up with.

When you have too many blogs to follow, you run into the problem of actually reading them all. Not that I don’t manage, which is exactly the issue: it can really screw with my productivity – to the point that I sometimes waste way too much time I could be working doing nothing but catching up.

Tai Lopez has an excellent article on how to optimize your reading productivity which should probably be your first step. Once you are done there, proceed to the tips below:


Step 1: Clean up Your Reading List

The first step is the easiest: cleaning up your RSS and email subscriptions. It’s quite natural that your reading list is constantly growing: you fall in love with new blogs and discover new voices. However this also means that your list is getting harder and harder to keep up with.

Therefore you need regular cleaning.

There is no way that every blog you follow is active, or that you even read it regularly. If you find yourself with a huge list and only a percentage being updated or read, it is time to get rid of some of the clutter.

  • Start by getting rid of things that just haven’t updated for awhile. If it has been more than a month, you are probably able to safely discard it. For those you really attached to, you can push the time period to three months.
  • Next, go for ones you don’t really read. If you are at all like me, there will be at least a dozen you wanted to read but never got around to. Don’t try saying that now you remember it, you will read it. You know it is just taking up space… no hoarding!
  • Finally, set a number of acceptable follows. I set the number at twenty, which is a little high. But, as I said, I am addicted. You might prefer ten or even just five. Once you have that number, pick out the must-read or most-loved blogs, and get rid of all the rest until you only have that final amount of blogs being followed.

In the same vein as the above tips, there are browser bookmarks to take care of. My own bookmarks bar on Firefox is nothing but folders with lost of links – so many that I have that little arrow in the corner that pulls a drop down menu of dozens more.

At least, that is what it did look like, before I cleaned up my subscriptions. I did pretty much the same thing as above. I got rid of those that did not update for some time.


Step 2 – Get An RSS Reader For Your Tablet/Smartphone

Feeddler

Of course, you can always read more if you do it while you are on the go. I spend a lot of time on my phone or tablet when I am out. Whether it is on the bus or train, sitting in the doctor’s office waiting for an appointment, or even in line at the post office – there are many chances to get in some reading.

My most favorite app for that is Feeddler. This is a simple application that works by allowing you to collect, maintain and read RSS feeds right on your iPhone, iPad or Android.

They have both a free and a paid version, the second having some more features. But I recommend the more basic – extremely useful – free one.


Step 3 – Turn Blogs Into eBooks

zinepal

Of course, if you want another simple way to take them with you, you can always turn blogs into ebooks to read. This is also a great way to keep a backup of interesting posts or blogs you truly love. It is also a lot easier than it might sound, thanks to a number of handy applications and websites that have been created for this purpose

I have two apps I prefer for this. The first is Calibre. It is a downloadable program, which might put some people off. But it is a one step style of ebook creator, which should provide a certain amount incentive. Especially for those who plan on regularly making blogs into ebooks. You simply download the posts into your tablet or ereader. It is also free, so there is another pro.

The second is Zinepal. Anyone who doesn’t want to download anything, or just plans on occasionally making ebooks, can use this program instead. It lets you put in the URL of the blog, then brings up a list of the most recent posts going back quite awhile. You can choose the posts you want and make the ebook.


Step 4 – *Listen* to the Blogs

If you have turned your favorite blogs into PDF archives to take them with you on your trip and keep reading on the go, you can go one step further and listen to them.

Lots of bloggers have podcasts these days. My favorite example is Social Media Examiner that turns every blog post into a podcast episode. Check your favorite blogs: It may be an option for you too!


Step 5 – Create ‘Read Later’ Lists

Pocket

 

One of my personal favorite things to do is create ‘read it later’ lists. These are handy if you just want to keep a collection of random posts, rather than subscribing to the blog itself, or following it. It makes it much easier to keep track of different posts, without stuffing them into bookmarks to be forgotten.

There are a lot of tools for this. One I like is Pocket, which was formerly Read It Later. It now has a mobile emphasis that allows you to access it anywhere, from any PC, your phone or tablet. Think of it as similar to Evernote.


Step 6 – Make It Easier to Read By Removing Clutter

Instapaper

One problem I have when I read through my browser is that my eyesight isn’t great. Some blogs really strain my eyes, and I hate the clutter that ends up all over the page. So I like anything that minimizes those distractions for me.

Look at Instapaper for clutter-free reading.


Conclusion

Don’t your blogophilia suffer because there are only 24 hours in a day. The six tips above will be sure to make it much easier to read all the blogs you like, in the most efficient way possible.

Have some other tools to suggest? Let us know in the comments!

Save

The post 6 Ways to Find the Time for Blog Reading Even on the Busiest Days appeared first on Internet Marketing Ninjas Blog.



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Using Your Proposal as a Sales Tool: 5 Tips for Agencies

In boxing gyms, you’ll hear all sorts of expressions: “He’s walking on his heels.” “Hits like a mule.” “Cut the ring.” “Hands up.” “Stay off the ropes.”

After a sparring session, you might hear this: “Don’t get greedy.” This last one also applies to your marketing agency.

Most agencies we speak with struggle to find new clients. Put another way, they struggle with sales. This article will explain how your proposals can help solve this problem.

Your proposal is more than just a list of deliverables. It’s part of a process. Here is your strategy for using your proposals to win more business.

Addressing the Key Objection: Just Send Me A Quote

First, do no harm.

A proposal can also be a “false-objection.” In sales, the prospect will often push you off indirectly. When they abruptly ask for a quote, it could just be a way of getting off the phone. The rookie mistake is to spend time drafting a quote with an email and sending it. That’s a waste of your time. Instead, push back.

Say: “I’m happy to do that, but I don’t want to waste your time. Can you just let me know if you’re not interested in these services or maybe we can chat later?”

It’s not rude to ask this question. You’ll even find that more than likely they are interested. They’re just busy. In this case, don’t let them go without a follow-up.

Emphasize Urgency

Your quote is your opportunity to shorten your sales cycle. Agencies are busy with creative, business development, administrative work and worst of all…collections. Whether you’re waiting for a signed agreement to get started or a deposit, waiting on a proposal will slow everything.

The proposal is your opportunity to shorten your sales cycle and get paid. Whether you tell them verbally, in the body of an email or in the proposal itself, let them know the lead-time. They need to know that they’re slowing their own results.

First, it’s good business to set expectations.

Second, it creates urgency. Instead of saying, “Did you get the quote?” You could lead with: “Before we can begin drafting your copy, setting up keywords and showing your ads on Google, we need your signed agreement/deposit. There’s about a three-week lead time before your ads can even show, so please get back to me on that proposal at your earliest convenience.”

Too often we fall into the “people-pleasing trap.” Rather than just telling the client how much harm they’re causing themselves and their business, we want to please them. Don’t.

Closing As A Favor

This is a strategy that’s great if you work for someone else at your agency.

You’ve built rapport with your prospect. They’re sold on your services. They have your proposal…but haven’t signed and your boss wants to know where it is. In this situation, your job title is irrelevant: You’re a sales rep.

Don’t hesitate to share this with your prospect. It’s honest and people like to help. “Hey, I know you’re busy, but my boss is asking for the paperwork. We’re onboarding three more clients and we don’t want you waiting. Can we get a signature today?”

Again, it’s true, and it usually works.

You’re Not Done: Pick Up the Phone

The proposal is part of a closing process. The phone and email work with it.

always be following up

Always Be Following Up

GetPhound, a Pennsylvania-based agency, is client-centric in their proposals. They helped with this article and recommend offering small, medium and large packages so clients feel empowered to choose a tailored solution.

Also, don’t be afraid to follow up to earn their business.

The follow-up is the critical part. If you’re offering multiple packages or have multiple quotes, you can reach out to inquire about which option they’d prefer. Following up to answer any questions they have is very effective and also helps the client make a choice.

In this scenario, the proposal is your reason for another contact with the client and another chance to close. Let them hear your voice.

Don’t Get Greedy

Finally, don’t get greedy.

don't be greedy

Not always

In boxing, fighters get greedy after they land one or two punches. They stay too long and keep swinging. Unfortunately, this gives their opponent a great opportunity to counter-punch.

In agency sales, sometimes you should start small. PPC is perfect for that. Offer to manage or build their paid search account. From there, you can upsell as you build rapport. Send multiple quotes, but don’t be discouraged if they decline the biggest one…

Remember: Your proposal is much more than a document. If used properly, it can lead to more transactions and more clients.



from Wordstream Blog Feed http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2017/10/19/using-proposals-as-a-sales-tool
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