Infusionsoft vs. Hubspot vs. Small Business Dream

CRM and sales and marketing automation have been game-changers in the small business sector. Thousands of small businesses use them on a daily basis. But with so many options, how do we choose the best ones and where can we find the perfect balance between versatility and ease of use?

In this article we’re going to take a look at two of the most popular small business software and compare it with Small Business Dream sales and marketing automation.

Comparing Apples to Apples

We’ve chosen Infusionsoft, Hubspot, and Small Business Dream for our side-by-side comparison because they all feature a combination of CRM and sales and marketing automation geared towards small business owners with a basic knowledge about business software.

We’ll be focusing on the 3 key areas, namely user experience (UX), CRM tools, and sales and marketing automation.

  • User experience – We’ll take a look at the software in terms of how easy it is to navigate with minimal training (ease of use). The more intuitive and agile, the better.
  • CRM tools – These include contact management, categorization (sorting), lead scoring, and the ability to keep track of conversations and interactions between software users and customers.
  • Sales and Marketing Automation – Methods used for lead generation and sales conversion such as landing pages, social media outreach, campaign builders, and email autoresponders.

Infusionsoft

Infusionsoft is a popular small business software that’s been around for nearly two decades. It has been re-branded as Keap in 2019. If you’ve never been around CRMs or sales and marketing automation, you can fast-track your learning curve by going through their kickstarter coaching package to make full use of its features and functionalities within a few weeks.

Infusionsoft’s no-frills menu makes it easier to navigate through the CRM and Marketing tools. We always prefer a simple layout with just the essential elements for a more streamlined user experience.

The layout is quite intuitive for an average CRM user. It also has a My Day feature (similar to Small Business Dream’s Action List) which allows users to see all their current tasks at a glance.

Infusionsoft’s CRM tools are pretty straightforward. Users can tag their contacts, assign lead scores which can be tied to specific information about the client or predetermined rules set by the user, and track all customer interactions including completed tasks, notes, recent email history, and so on.

These CRM features are intertwined with its sales and marketing automation. The idea is to make going from one section to the other as seamless as possible. We see this mostly with business software which blends the two into one (including Small Business Dream).

Sales and marketing automation is somewhat more advanced for the average user. But to be fair, Infusionsoft has made considerable effort to simplify the tasks by using graphical, drag-and-drop style menus for its Campaign Builder and email automation.

In the Campaign Builder, for example, email sequences and triggers (called “Goals”) are laid out on a virtual “drawing board” instead of the typical user form or page with text fields. Some find it easier to work with while others prefer just the basic GUI. It depends on which side you lean on. We prefer a more minimalistic approach while retaining all the great features in the Campaign Builder.

Email and Broadcast features are similar to other sales and marketing automation software. Landing pages, on the other hand, are integrated in the Campaign Builder instead of being just a standalone feature.

Lead generation is done via Web Tracking and Lead Sources. With web tracking, users embed Infusionsoft’s tracking code into any of their webpage HTML. The other method involves assigning lead sources to contacts manually (these are contacts you’ve uploaded via CSV file or typed into the system from a business card, etc.)

This is where things begin to look a little complicated for most people and why we think Small Business Dream is far more superior when it comes to lead generation. Users have limited options as most leads would come from Infusionsoft’s own database and the process of assigning lead sources to contacts is quite challenging to wrap our heads around. We’ve designed a more elegant solution which not only simplifies the task, but also target specific clients with almost surgical precision.

Hubspot

Another popular small business software, Hubspot puts a lot of emphasis on inbound marketing. It even has its own Blog section which is not very common for this type of software. However, compared to Infusionsoft, we found Hubspot to be a little bit less intuitive for average users, and therefore require a lot of familiarization of how each individual piece work in a cohesive way.

Upon exploring, we noticed similar features, but Hubspot seems to have moved things a little bit. It’s interesting how some features aren’t grouped the same way as with most typical business software that combines CRM and sales and marketing automation. This could be from the fact that Hubspot is a 3-tiered, modular software where each upgrade unlocks some of its premium features. For instance, in order to use Campaigns, Landing Pages and Automation, you need to upgrade to Professional.

Hubspot allows you to do certain things on how you want data is presented for you. In Contacts, for example, you can instantly filter which contacts to show by clicking Actions on the top right corner or a particular category on the left menu.

To see which contacts you need to be contacting with or following up, you need to go to Tasks on the Sales dropdown menu. We found it rather tedious creating all these tasks manually. We prefer a CRM that gives us all current tasks like what we do with Small Business Dream instead of us figuring out whom to follow up or call next.

Categorizing is a little bit different, since users have to create a list first and fill it up manually by going to each individual contact. Another way to do this is with automation (creating an Active List as opposed to a Static List) where contacts who met a certain criteria are added automatically (or removed from it if they no longer meet the criteria).

Lead scoring is also a bit different. Using an Active List, contacts can be moved from one stage to the next via automation. Hubspot uses Lifecycle stage to determine whether a contact is a Subscriber, Lead, Marketing Qualified, etc. and move them to their appropriate lists. We found these to be nothing more than just creative ways of accomplishing pretty much the same tasks with most typical CRMs.

When it comes to sales and marketing automation, the concept is no different from Infusionsoft except that Hubspot named some stuff differently and moved things a little bit. Also, the process is somewhat more complex for the average user.

For instance, if you want to create a Campaign, you’ll have to jump from one spot to the other to get the job done. You need all the assets first (emails, landing pages, social posts, etc.) and then start building your campaign, or, create one first and start working on the different pieces and assigning each of them to the campaign you’ve just created. We think it best to have Marketing and Automation together instead of having them in different silos. The simpler, the better.

Lead generation is also quite a challenge. They offer three ways to get people to their landing page for lead generation, namely email, social, and blog. This diagram sums up Hubspot’s lead generation strategy.

Getting leads via email is somewhat like catch-22. You need to get them to your landing page to capture their email address, but first you need their email address. It only works when they’re already in the system, and landing pages are actually used to nurture your prospects. So the only real options are social media and blog.

There’s really not much when it comes to their social media strategy aside from usual scheduled posts, ads, etc. It used to be great, until everyone that has a pulse started using the same strategy. So unless you take an active role in finding these leads on social networking sites and following up on them on a regular basis, your social media campaign will amount to nothing. We’ve found a way to do hundreds of social media communications by designing a CRM and sales and automation software that puts emphasis on speed, efficiency and effective use of automation.  

Blogging is also a part of their lead generation strategy which, unless paired with a good SEO/SEM and social media strategy, isn’t really worth anything. You can write some of the most compelling blog posts but people might not even know they exist. You’ll either have to hire an SEO in order to rank on Google or take it upon yourself to promote your blog content in every possible way.

Small Business Dream

So how does Small Business Dream compare to Infusionsoft and Hubspot? In essence, all three of them are capable of achieving what they’re designed to do, but there is one deciding factor which we think makes Small Business Dream a better choice – speed and efficiency.

We’ve stripped off all the non-essentials and simplified certain tasks so that even first-time users will get a sense of what to do when they get on board. One of the biggest drawbacks with most CRMs is that sales people are overwhelmed with too many features and business owners had a hard time getting their employees to use the system.

It comes pre-loaded with templates and digital assets for many types of businesses. But if you want one that’s already set up for your specific kind of business, you can also avail of our turnkey solution – the Small Business Dream “done-for-you” (DFY) package – where we set up everything for you, ready to use.

One thing you’ll notice when using the system is how all the pieces fit together seamlessly allowing you to approach your tasks in a variety of ways. In this example, you can adjust the follow up date, set the priority, view notes about recent activities, and tweak your message before sending them out – all in one go. Once again, speed and efficiency.

The CRM is the simplest that you can get in a small business software that contains all the vital information about your contact – everything from email and social media subscriptions, recent communications, priority (lead scoring), categorization (tags), next follow up date, and so on.

Another important feature which we found very useful with CRMs is the ability to see all your current tasks in one place. We’ve set the Action List as the default screen when you log in to the system so you know which tasks you need to be doing first before moving on to the next.

Sales and marketing automation is noticeably simpler and easier to deploy compared to the other two we’ve just looked into. In fact, you can just spend an hour or two training your employees and they’ll be able to find their way around much quicker. It also comes with the standard landing page builder (with templates), sales funnel, survey builder, swipe copy, email series, social series, etc.

The Secret of Getting Unlimited Leads

Lead generation is the Achilles heel even amongst popular CRMs sales and marketing automation software. Infusionsoft and Hubspot is our case in point. If it couldn’t generate enough leads for your business, nothing else would matter. This is the concept behind our Small Business Dream CRM and Sales and Marketing Automation suite.

We’ve created a 360° solution for all kinds of businesses from health, restaurants, auto, real estate, etc. to help them get more customers in a number of ways.

These include:

  • LinkedIn marketing using SBD sales and marketing automation
  • SBD Virtual Business Card Button App
  • SBD Business Finder and Joint Venture Mobile App and Business Directory
  • Mobile Sales and Marketing Automation App

LinkedIn + Small Business Dream

Our LinkedIn strategy is designed to get thousands of qualified leads using highly targeted searches and SBD automation. We’ve written an entire blog article on this LinkedIn strategy that helped our clients grow and build successful businesses.

This involves:

  • Creating a professional-looking Linked profile
  • Connecting with clients using Small Business Dream; and
  • Following-up after establishing that connection

Now you might think, “Okay, so I’ll just make thousands of connection requests,” and start clicking the ‘Connect’ button for hours. It turns out this method is not only ineffective; it’s the easiest way people wind up in “LinkedIn jail.”  We’ve developed a LinkedIn strategy which allows small businesses to get thousands of qualified leads with the power of Small Business Dream.

small business dream

To learn more about our proven technique, you can download a FREE copy of our book, “LinkedIn 5-step System: Generate 10 fresh qualified leads in 10 minutes for your small business, where we reveal everything from setting up an all-star LinkedIn profile to turning your connections into brand advocates. Note: LinkedIn profile update is included in our done-for-you (DFY) version of Small Business Dream.

Need Help Finding the Right CRM?

Why not spend some time with us? Schedule a FREE 45-minute business consultation with us and we’ll reach out to you in every way we can to help you with your real estate business.

Take a look at our 5-step Rapid Sales Growth Blueprint where we lay out every possible means to rapidly grow your business, whether it’s through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, email series, sales funnels, landing pages or business directories.

Want to stay mobile? Get our SBD Sales and Marketing Automation App for your mobile and keep tabs on your business everywhere you go.

How to Build a Successful Brand with a Joint Venture Partner

We covered the importance of joint ventures in one of our previous blog and how they work wonders for a lot of small businesses. We also talked about the different types of joint ventures and showed you how to set up yours using Small Business Dream’s Joint Venture (JV) module.

Today, we’ll be focusing on building your brand through joint venture partners, particularly those who have already gained considerable success or have built a massive following as influencers and experts in their own field. So we’re not just looking for random leads but potential business partners that would allow us to target a specific audience on a greater scale.

The stakes are higher for these types of connections. We’re looking at high-volume sales, repeat customers, and brand awareness. With the right strategy and the right tools in place, you’ll be able to build your brand much sooner using joint ventures than spending thousands of dollars on traditional ads.

Key Points to Remember

Since we’re looking for business partners with potentially large lists, we want to make sure our partnership is worth their time and effort (mutually beneficial). It should answer the question, what’s in it for them or why they should bother partnering with us.

1. You offer something of great value to people on their list (your target audience). There are two ways your business partner can benefit from a joint venture. Aside from additional income streams, you provide their clientele quality goods, products, and services which in turn attracts more customers. One example is a fitness expert who partners up with a nutritionist that offers 5-10% on supplements to boost performance, speed up recovery, etc. The gym owner gets his share on every product sold, but he could also grow his client base for offering great products customers love – it’s a win-win situation for both.

2. You’ve established a sizeable network. Your prospective partner wants to know if you’re the real deal. One way to prove your credibility is the size of your network. Most business owners go to LinkedIn, considered as the most trusted business-oriented social networking site to date. Typically, they’d look for someone north of 500+ connections. You might already have a LinkedIn account, which is great. However, if you’ve had problems bumping up your connections (e.g. you get thrown into LinkedIn “jail” or you get a lot of rejections), we highly suggest downloading our FREE ebook, “LinkedIn 5-step System: Generate 10 fresh qualified leads in 10 minutes for your small business.”

Where to Find Your Potential JV Partners

Technology makes it so much easier to find your ideal business partners. In our experience, a combination of online and offline research proved more effective than just relying on one type of engagement.

1. LinkedIn. Compared to other social networking sites, the barrier to entry is higher in terms of building your own network on LinkedIn (you could easily wind up into LinkedIn “jail” if you’re not careful). So when you find someone with more than 500 connections, you know for sure they took pains building that network. Research your potential JV partner by narrowing it down to a specific industry and location. Take some time reading through their profile. Get a CRM or sales and marketing automation software to help you with your initial contacts and follow-ups (it’s easy to get lost once you’ve reached 100 to 500 invites).

2. Conferences and networking events. There’s nothing quite like meeting up with successful business people and getting to know some of the industry leaders in trade shows, business conferences, and networking events. We meet with a lot of business owners each week on our Vancouver Business Network (VBN) events where we get to know their interests and how we can be of help. We’ve been to a lot of conferences and associated with some of the industry greats like Kevin Harrington, Matt Astifan, and Trevor Linden.

We’ve dedicated an entire blog article on how to get the most out of business networking events where we talk about the dos and don’ts, and how to stay top of mind after making that initial contact with a potential business partner.

3. Educational sites offering free content. Ever wondered how content creators make good money without spending anything on a physical store or product? It’s because they’ve got something every business owner has always wanted – a huge list of highly targeted audiences. Blogs and YouTube content per se don’t make money, but they’re able to attract huge crowds of people looking for a particular topic on the internet, also known as “inbound marketing.” This makes them extremely valuable. Kind of like affiliate marketing, but we’re partnering up with them to get commissions on every sale. We gain access to their list; they get their share – pretty simple. Think of it as spending your marketing budget on a JV partner instead of squandering it away on traditional ads.

How to Make and Maintain a Successful Joint Venture

Going on a joint venture with big time business partners is probably one of the best investments you’ll ever make. After finding a potential JV partner, take some time warming up. Strive to build trust first with the goal of becoming business partners. Make friends, go to their events, comment on blogs and YouTube video, and so on. Once you’re able to build rapport, the rest should come easy.

1. Prepare your swipe copy ahead of time. How do you start a conversation with a potential JV partner? Do you go straightaway and throw up all over them and tell how great your business is and why they should be partnering up with you? That’s probably not going to work. You need to have your swipe copy that’s been tested and re-tested multiple times ready at your disposal. After many years of creating and curating thousands of swipe copy we’re able to come up with some of the most effective email and social media series across multiple industries from real estate, restaurants, hair salons, auto industry, etc. in our Small Business Dream sales and marketing automation software.

2. Keep those follow-ups rolling. Follow-up seems a bit like a chore, but you cannot underestimate the importance of follow-ups when trying to land a joint venture with successful business owners, industry experts, and influencers. Strive to keep their interest. After making that initial contact on LinkedIn or email, offer some of your free content such as e-books, blogs, YouTube posts, or video recording of your recent webinars. Time your follow-ups appropriately. Just because they haven’t replied to you in a week or month doesn’t mean they’re not interested. You might not believe this, but we had a client once whom we’ve followed up for more than 10 years before finally buying our software. The gold is in the follow-up.

3. Always keep your JV partner happy. You’ve spent a lot of time and energy finding your JV partner so it’s in your best interest to keep your relationship strong. It’s especially important if you’re aiming for high-volume sales, repeat customers, or if you’re dealing with high-ticket purchases like auto and real-estate from your JV’s long list of potential customers. Be clear on your terms and conditions. Don’t overdo it. In most cases, a simple agreement between you and your JV partner will suffice.

Need more advice on joint ventures?

We’d like to spend a moment with you. Check out our 5-step Rapid Sales Growth Blueprint where we lay out every possible means to rapidly grow your business, whether it’s through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, email series, sales funnels, landing pages or business directories. Or, you can schedule a FREE 45-minute business consultation with us and we’ll reach out to you in every way we can.

Want to stay mobile? Get our SBD Sales and Marketing Automation App for your mobile and keep tabs on your business everywhere you go.

Create Your First Joint Venture in Less Than 30 Minutes Using This App

Many small businesses think twice about getting into a joint venture. They think it’s hard, complicated, and risky. But the truth is joint ventures are some of the easiest and cost-effective ways to rapidly grow almost any kind of business. In this article, we’ll show you how to create your first joint ventures using Small Business Dream in just 30 minutes or less.

Most Small Businesses Don’t Understand Joint Ventures

Most people think of joint ventures as being locked into a room with their lawyers and business partners, long drawn out meetings, and doing a ton of paperwork. They’re often mixed up with things like mergers and joint-ownership (though technically a partnership, joint ventures have a different set of rules and are much easier to implement).

According to some surveys, less than 5% of all business owners know how to joint venture while the vast majority of small businesses didn’t even know it exists. They didn’t quite understand how it works or why they should be doing it. Some of the common misconceptions are that joint ventures are only good for big businesses and that they cost a lot of money.

How Joint Ventures Work

We’ve asked several small business owners and one of the reasons they don’t do joint ventures is they want their business all to themselves (“be their own boss”). While not necessarily a bad thing, it might not be the fastest, most efficient way to grow your business, especially on a low budget.

In fact, the reason why many small businesses fail is they rely too much on their own limited resources when they could have easily partnered up with other businesses whom they can benefit from and vice versa.

To illustrate, let’s say you’re running a small flower shop business and you need to have more exposure. You can strike a deal with complementary businesses like event planners (preferably businesses with a sizeable customer base) to promote your business instead of spending a ton of money on ads. They get their cut in exchange for new clients, and you become more popular as being part of their service.

This is known as the “piggyback” effect and it applies to almost any kind of business. You see, you don’t need to acquire a huge list on your own if a complementary business somewhere within your city already has it. Notice we said “complementary.” You’re not competing with the same type of businesses but you’re trying to establish a mutually beneficial relationship. One of our Small Business Dream clients is a doctor who is a manufacturer and supplier of weighted blankets. Using our system, she was able to partner up with other businesses that deal with anxiety problems (e.g. psychologists and sleep specialists).

The reverse can also be true. You don’t have the product or service but you have a fairly large network and you can easily take your cut through customer referrals and commissions. This type of joint venture is popular among direct sales and multi-level marketing (MLM) companies. In fact, we’re going to show you how to use this method in our Small Business Dream Joint Venture module later in this article.

The challenge comes from finding your ideal business partners. You can try your luck on Google or the Yellow Pages, but this approach can take forever. We came up with a very neat solution that eliminates a lot of guesswork using a combination of highly targeted marketing strategy and sales and marketing automation.

If you want to learn more about this hybrid approach, you can read our blog article on how we help our clients build successful six-figure businesses using LinkedIn or you can download a free copy of our book, LinkedIn 5-step System: Generate 10 fresh qualified leads in 10 minutes for your small business.

The Small Business Dream Joint Venture Module

We’ve made joint ventures a lot easier for small businesses by incorporating our Joint Venture module into our Small Business Dream sales and marketing automation app. This goes hand in hand with our free Smallbizdream business directory app available on Apple Store and Google Play.

Basically what this JV module does is it allows you to create deals and referral programs through your Small Business Dream sales and marketing back office. App users will then be able to view your JV on the Smallbizdream business directory app and choose to join by tapping on it. (Note: app users need to have your code, i.e. your Small Business Dream username, to use the business directory app.)

Their names along with their contact information will show up in your Small Business Dream sales and marketing automation back office where you have the option to accept or reject their request. The good thing with this Joint Venture module is that you control everything – availability, joint venture name, description, terms and conditions, mode of payment, commission payout, and the start and end date.

This video shows you how to setup your business in the Smallbizdream business directory app through your Small Business Dream back office and how to create your joint venture in much greater detail.

Our tracking system allows you to manage all your JV partners so you know exactly who gets what and you can pay them in cash or in-store credit (Loyalty Credits). You can also choose between business-to-customer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B), so you can either have a customer, business partner, or both in the business finder app.

To get the most from the Joint Venture module, you may offer in-store credit for every customer who refers your business to their friends and have them download and install the free Smallbizdream business directory using the code you’ve provided them. Or, if you’re into direct sales and other similar type of businesses, you can use the Joint Venture module as an automated tracking system for your distributors.

You get all of these along with our amazing sales and marketing automation tools, including push notifications, in one complete package with Small Business Dream. It comes in two versions: do-it-yourself (DIY) and done-for-you (DFY) where we take care of everything.

So, Have You Decided to Do A Joint Venture?

If this article has been an eye-opener for you, don’t hesitate to seek help on how to make successful joint ventures for your small business. We’d like to spend a moment with you through our FREE 45-minute business consultation where we help identify ways to increase your sales whether it’s through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, email series, sales funnels, landing pages, business directories – every possible way you can think of.  Visit us at Smallbizdream.com and take a closer look at our 5-step Rapid Sales Growth Blueprint.

Want to stay on the move? Get our SBD Sales and Marketing Automation App for your mobile and keep tabs on your business everywhere you go.

This LinkedIn Strategy Has Helped Our Clients Build Successful Six-figure Businesses

linkedin

LinkedIn has become one of the fastest-growing social networking sites for business-oriented users since 2018. Millions of small business owners from around the world are riding on to this new wave of network-building to leverage growth through partnerships, joint ventures, and highly targeted marketing across different industries using LinkedIn’s set of tools and features designed specifically for business.

Today, we’re going to share with you one of our best methods to grow your small business using the power of LinkedIn and Small Business Dream sales and marketing automation.

Why LinkedIn?

Facebook has a huge advantage when it comes to reach – 2.7 billion users or more than 1/3 of the world’s population while LinkedIn has less than 600 million. However, there’s more to LinkedIn than just being a social networking platform – it’s a business-oriented platform so you get quality over quantity. You’d still be able to do most things on LinkedIn but with a clear purpose in mind. You don’t go there just to make friends; you’re looking to find friends who might be clients or joint venture partners.

But you’re probably thinking, if I can do the same on Facebook, what’s the point of using LinkedIn? Here’s why we think every small business owner should have his own LinkedIn account:

1. Your LinkedIn profile will show up first on Google.

Open a new tab on your Chrome browser, and, assuming you’ve already signed up to LinkedIn, type your name or business and you’ll see right away your LinkedIn profile on the first page. Google ranks LinkedIn as an authority site, and you, as a business owner, can use this algorithm to your advantage.

However, you don’t create a LinkedIn account just for the sake of having one. Remember, you only have one chance of making a good impression about you and your business. We’ll talk later on why you need a professional-looking LinkedIn profile.

2. Your LinkedIn profile doubles as your online business card.

One advantage of LinkedIn over Facebook and Twitter is that it can turn your profile into a powerful business networking tool. Business cards are pretty much the norm. We still go home with a big stack of business cards every time we go to business networking events.

Unfortunately, a lot of us don’t have that much time and they usually end up in our circular “filing cabinet” by the end of the week (or, if you’re like us, you can have someone do it for you by using our online transcription service). With LinkedIn, you can make connections right then and there if you can find access to a microphone. If you want to know precisely how we’ve done it, we’ve written an entire blog on how to use LinkedIn at networking events to increase sales.

3. LinkedIn gets you to your next client faster than any social networking site.

Another important feature that separates LinkedIn from any other social networking sites is it gives users the ability to search people from a particular industry they want to do business with. Again, we want to be clear about why we’re making these connections. So for instance, if you’re an insurance company, you probably want to search for clients or joint venture partners in the automotive or housing industry (these properties need insurance, or required by law). Add your city or country if you’re a local business to limit your results. In most cases, you’ll end up with around 1000 to as high as 10,000 depending on your country.

But don’t get too excited and click “Connect” on every user that shows up on the search page. That won’t work. We’ll show you how we’ve managed to get a much higher acceptance rate by using a simple, yet effective LinkedIn strategy.

If you’re interested, you can download a free copy of our book, LinkedIn 5-step System: Generate 10 fresh qualified leads in 10 minutes for your small business, where we show you everything from step one to finish in much greater detail.

We use LinkedIn on a regular basis to find small business owners who lack the tools or need our business coaching. As a leading consultancy and software provider for business, we’ve already made thousands of connections and have helped hundreds of clients build successful businesses. What we’re about to show you is one of our most effective methods to rapidly grow small businesses using LinkedIn and Small Business Dream sales and marketing automation.

Get More Clients on LinkedIn Using this Hybrid Approach

Now that we’ve covered the importance of creating a LinkedIn account for your business, let’s get down to the details.

1. Create a professional-looking LinkedIn profile.

People spend thousands of dollars on professional media services just to look great and make that big first impression.  How you look on LinkedIn – everything from outfit, hair style, and your background photo – speaks a lot about you and your business. It’s important to work on you LinkedIn profile FIRST before trying to reach out, since it’s the first thing they’ll notice when you’re sending invitations.

We’ve talked to a lot of small business owners and one of their problems is they don’t have the time and commitment learning photography and photo-editing skills (unless you’re already good at it). We’ve come up with a done-for-you (DFY) solution for our Small Business Dream clients where we set up everything from business coaching, LinkedIn profile, landing pages, sales funnels, and autoresponders – the whole nine yards of getting more clients for your business.

2. Connect with Clients Using Small Business Dream.

You can read hundreds of blog articles on how they used LinkedIn to leverage your business, but they don’t tell you the right way of requesting and maintaining that connection with a LinkedIn user. Hint: you don’t click “Connect” on the search page.

Here’s an interesting fact. LinkedIn users can figure out if you’ve read their profile by looking at their profile views. So instead, you go to their LinkedIn profile to tell the system that you’ve viewed them before inviting them to connect with you. It might seem like a little thing, but it has a BIG impact on how people would respond to your request.

Since you’ll be doing thousands of these, you’re going to need a contact manager to store all the names of LinkedIn users you’re trying to connect with. This is where Small Business Dream comes in. You can set up your own LinkedIn series and the system will tell you which message to send first or if you need to transfer them to another series depending on how they respond to you. It’s a semi-automated approach which is extremely powerful for starting that conversation with your prospect.

3. Keep your connections warm – always follow-up.

Follow-up is crucial to the system. Check your new connections first thing in the morning and send a follow-up message right away. The sooner, the better. If you’re using our Small Business Dream sales and marketing automation software, you can set up a new series for new LinkedIn connections.

Your follow-up message may go something like, “Craig, thanks for accepting my connection request…(state your business, what you do,  and your name at the end of your message)”. Take some time to scan through your previous messages and their responses to see if your next message makes sense. Don’t spam your new LinkedIn connections. Space your next message appropriately and always ask if they’re interested before making the offer.

If you’re not sure how to properly space your messages or you need some advice on how to write your LinkedIn copy, you can reach one of our business coaches at Small Business Dream and have our team of experts set it up for you.

Where Do We Go from Here?

If you’ve read this far, then you’re pretty convinced with LinkedIn’s potential in finding more clients and joint venture partners for your small business. We’d like to spend a moment with you and help identify ways to increase your sales whether it’s through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, email series, sales funnels, landing pages, business directories – every possible way you can think of. 

Visit us at Smallbizdream.com and take a closer look at our 5-step Rapid Sales Growth Blueprint or schedule a FREE 45-minute call with one of our seasoned business coaches.

Want to stay on the move? Get our SBD Sales and Marketing Automation App for your mobile and keep tabs on your business everywhere you go.

Can A Business Coach Make You an Extra $50,000 a Month?

Business Coach

Business coaches are prized mainly for their business acumen. You can always count on them to give you sound third party advice when faced with tough decisions, something which can only be acquired after many years of building both successful and not-so-successful businesses. But that’s exactly why we turn to them.

A lot of business startups lack the knowledge and experience that a business coach can bring. Inexperienced business owners often come up with great business ideas, but have a difficult time executing them. This happens more often than not, even among well-established companies.

Every business owner makes bad business decisions. In fact, if they’re being honest, they’ll be the first ones to tell you to get a good business coach as early as possible so you won’t have to make the same mistakes.

Some of the world’s industry leaders who had business coaching include Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and former CEO of Google, Eric Schimdt. If these titans of industry find a business coach helps them make better business decisions, then what are you doing without one?

Your Business Coach Knows Where You’re Headed for

Seasoned business coaches almost have like a “sixth sense” when it comes to business. They can tell whether your idea will turn to gold or a failure waiting to happen. It’s not intuition, but a well-founded response based on experience, facts, trends, probabilities, customer psychology, among many other things.

Your initial conversation with your business coach is mostly about listening to you, taking in as much information as possible about you and your business. He or she will dissect your strategies, identify strengths, opportunities, and expose potential threats and vulnerabilities. He’ll ask some important questions and piece together crucial information to get the whole picture.

By then, he’ll be able to provide you with an accurate appraisal of your business. In most cases it can be one of two things – you’re on your way to the top or to the bottom. You’re either winning or losing to your competitors. Or, it could be you’re heading for a slowdown and you’ll have to look for better options such as downsizing or using automation. Sometimes it’s more about organizational matters such as dealing with your staff and employees.

Whatever it is, have an open mind and don’t let pride cloud your judgment. Remember, business coaches are more concerned with helping your business than trying to boost your ego.

Your Business Coach Provides Personalized Guidance

Books and online courses are great when it comes to learning the basics of starting and growing your own business. In fact, we have our own book, Small Business Profitability Secrets, which we highly recommend you get one. However, most books and online courses have limitations. They often deal with much broader issues common to all businesses and offer little help at solving specific problems for your specific kind of business.

Another problem is that these kinds of information tend to date rather quickly. Our markets and industries are dynamic, and technologies are changing at breakneck speed. What worked 3 to 5 years ago may no longer be as effective today and we need to adapt our strategies and our message to the here and now.

One of the best ways to get around this problem is to get personalized guidance from a business coach. Think of your business as your own body. When something goes wrong, your doctor will check on your medical history, allergies, and so on. You’ll go through several tests before your doctor writes his prescription, and follows up on you to see your progress.

Your business is unique in some ways. You can be a restaurant like a thousand others, but you have a different customer base, a different location, different competitors, demographics, economic conditions and so on. Your restaurant may not have the same set of standards as it is in Canada, Japan, Australia, or the Philippines. How do people learn about new businesses in your country? Do people search the internet or spend most of their time on Facebook or YouTube?

Your business coach will have to learn everything first about your business before taking a step further. This is very different from just looking for information over the web to get quick fixes or some vague, oversimplified solutions that doesn’t fit your business. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do your own research. There are thousands of valuable resources on the internet that provide great ideas for business, but ultimately, you need a business coach to help you in those crucial decision-making aspects of your business.

Having a Business Coach Could Be the Best Investment You’ll Ever Make

If you factor in the number of years it would take you to find the right mix and how much money you’d spend over the course of time playing “pin the tail on the donkey” with your business, and compare that with how much you’d spend for a good business coach, you’ll be amazed at how much you’re going to save in both time and money by having a business coach in your company.

Having a business coach cuts the amount of time and money spent learning everything on how to do your business right. It’s the same reason we hire coaches in sports, finance, or even self-improvement. It expedites the whole process, allowing you to reach your goals much sooner with the least amount of money and effort.

But more than that, we hire good coaches because we want to win in life – our businesses, careers, and our relationships with other people. Having a business coach is like standing on the shoulders of giants, enabling us to see further than we would otherwise see by ourselves.

So yes, definitely find a good business coach. What’s a good business coach? How does a small business profitability expert with over 20 years of experience and has helped launch more than 700 companies worldwide having a total turnover of $1.4 billion in revenue sounds to you?

Final Thoughts

By now, you might be thinking where to find a good business coach to help you grow your business like you’ve never thought possible. Would you be happy if we tell you we’re offering a 45-minute call where we connect you with our small business profitability experts at no cost to you?

We’ll identify all ways to increase your sales and profits and leave you with a step-by-step plan with details on how to implement and the tools you can use to accomplish each task. Visit us at Smallbizdream.com and take a closer look at our 5-step Rapid Sales Growth Blueprint today.