Practice Your Copywriting Skills with Small Business Dream

Small business owners rarely write their own copy. Most of the time, they have copywriters to do it for them.  The great thing with copywriting is it’s a learnable skill. It’s not rocket science. You can start with a few basics and build your copywriting skills as a business owner.

Let’s take a look at copywriting and find opportunities to practice copywriting for your landing page, sales funnels, and email campaigns.

More Research, Less Writing

Copywriting looks a bit too easy. After all, you just need to find the right words to get more people to buy from you. But after spending hundreds of hours on your first copy, you realized you can’t just write a bunch of emails, send them to everyone on your email list, and expect to find more customers.

Copywriting is 80% research, 20% writing. So, before writing your copy, you’ll need to get these down first:

Value proposition. This answers the question, “What’s in it for me?” or “Is it for me?” To answer the question, you’ll need to do some research. Interview people, conduct a survey, look for customer reviews at Amazon, or visit forums like Reddit. Try to look at people’s problems and frustrations, and create your value proposition around those issues.

Target Audience. These are the people who will benefit most from your product or service, also known as your ideal clients. One commonly used method is to come up with a detailed buyer persona to guide your marketing efforts.

Customer Segmentation. Since you’ll be doing a lot of email marketing through your autoresponders, segmenting your email list is a must. Lay down a list of categories in your demographic such as age, gender, specific interests, brands, etc. This will come in handy when writing your email copy for your drip mails and email campaigns.

We won’t go much into the details like the length, type of language, and font size. You can find lots of video tutorials on copywriting over the internet. Instead, we’ll give you some ideas on how to practice your copywriting with our Small Business Dream Sales and Marketing Automation.

Landing Page Copy

Internet marketers spend a ton of work on their landing pages, for good reason. Landing pages are essentially print ads and commercials on a web page, but they’re more specific to a given audience and allows for user interaction (call to action).

A well-written landing page copy can instantly double your sales and is way more cost-effective compared to traditional advertising. However, you can’t just read one article and write amazing copy for your landing pages overnight. You need to do some actual work and test things out yourself. Small Business Dream Sales and Marketing Automation helps you become a better copywriter by giving you templates to experiment on.

Notice there’s no navigation like a typical website. Landing pages are more direct-response — visitors will either leave your page or take the offer (click the ‘call to action’ button). Your copy should state your value proposition in your title and copy text.

You can slowly improve your landing page copy by making a slightly different version of it to see if it makes any difference on your conversion rates. Small Business Dream provides an easy way to do your own A/B Split Testing or you can try our DFY (done for you) package and have our team of experts set it up for you.

Sales Funnel Copy — the AIDA Principle

For those who are new to sales funnels, AIDA stands for Attention/Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action. These are sequential steps your visitors take in the buying process. Some compare this to a buyer’s journey.

Sales funnels are extremely versatile. You can use it solely for sales conversion or for many other purposes such as up-selling, cross-selling, one-time offers, customer acquisition, lead generation, and so on. You can practice your copywriting skills using Small Business Dream’s sales funnel template.

Begin with your title and value proposition, similar to a landing page. However, with sales funnels, you can take a step further. You’ll be able to narrow down your audience to a particular type of customer based on how they respond to your offer. They can take the offer straight away, choose a different option, or they can decide later, in which case, you can keep them interested by offering freebies, one-time offers, and newsletters.

Sales funnels are a bit slower compared to direct marketing, but the goal is pretty much the same. One advantage of using a well-executed sales funnel is that it almost guarantees high-quality leads and repeat customers every single time. Combined with a solid email marketing strategy, sales funnels are an amazing, must-have tool for your small business.

Small Business Dream Sales and Marketing Automation offers a complete suite of tools designed to rapidly grow your sales from landing pages, sales funnels, customer acquisition, email auto-responders and more.

Email Marketing Copy

Email never gets out of style. Don’t believe it? Find any Android and iOS phone that doesn’t have a built-in email app, or any online service that doesn’t require an email account (think Google Play, Apple Store, etc.). However, getting people to open, let alone respond to your emails is more challenging than ever.

The problem lies with not being able to properly segment your email list and poor copywriting skills, e.g. sounding too robotic or salesy. The key to successful email marketing is to be relevant with your recipients. Hence, you have to be very specific with your email copy.

What’s truly amazing is that with Small Business Dream Sales and Marketing Automation, you can fine-tune your email campaigns, drip mails, and follow-ups, all the while using automation. Set up a survey page, and automate certain tasks like sending them to your landing page, sales funnel, or switch to a different email series when clicking specific items on your survey page.

Another strategy we’ve talked about in our previous blog about the best follow up tips for small businesses is by giving value each time you send an email like a newsletter or links to highly informative blog articles. Once again, be very specific whom you’re sending to. All your email marketing efforts will be a waste of time if you’re just sending them out to random people.

Conclusion

Need help promoting your own business? We’d like to spend some time with you.  We offer a FREE Sales and Profitability consultation where we identify key aspects in your business to rapidly boost your sales. Come visit us at www.smallbizdream.com to learn more about our 5-step system to rapidly grow your sales and profits with less stress.

How to Use Content Marketing and Social Media to Grow an Audience

When it comes to brand awareness, nothing beats a well-thought-out, well-executed content marketing strategy. However, you don’t have to wait for people to come to you. What you need is a system that puts you right in front of your intended audience in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible.

Content is king, no doubt. But with more than 500 million blogs and a new blog post published every 0.5 seconds, it’s almost impossible to build an audience on Google if you’re not among the few established companies and authority sites dealing on a certain topic. In fact, many businesses that rely heavily on website traffic took a beating after Google started implementing some major updates.

We’ve seen this coming a few years back, and we’ve perfected a system that helps small business owners grow their audience more rapidly without slugging it out with the ‘big guys.’ We’ve learned through experience, after working with over 700 clients, to combine different methods of customer engagement that allows them to attract the right people and keep them coming back.

Create a following on social media

Content marketers would often tell you to just create awesome content and let Google take care of the rest. However, things have changed and it’s no longer just putting out great content, but becoming pro-active in getting the right people to see your content.

1. Facebook & Twitter

No, we’re not selling to people on Facebook or Twitter. We’re here to make connections. Sure, you can buy some ads to give your post a temporary boost, but the main purpose is building that relationship and trust with people who might be a customer or a business partner.

Here’s a great thing about social media. You don’t have to be an ‘authority’ (or sound like one) to get an audience. You just have to use Facebook & Twitter the way they’re supposed to work but with a clear purpose in mind – to get more people into your business.

Show people what you do with your business, share some thoughts, some interesting articles or videos. Interact with users. Better yet, if you have your own blog or website, you can share your featured posts or repurpose old content for social media (e.g. quick tips, testimonials, etc.).

Ideally, you want to have a system already in place before going in on social media. People often make the mistake of going in and not being able to handle it right. So they end up either spending too much time doing everything by hand or sending bulk messages that are too generic to create meaningful connections.

Think of social media as your springboard. It helps you start a conversation but you’ll need to follow up on them and move to a more ‘stable’ platform like your email list as you go by.

We’ve developed our own sales and marketing automation which enables you to collect data and keep track of your conversations on social media. It’s a complete system that comes with a landing page builder, sales funnels, autoresponders and many others.

2. LinkedIn

We’ve devoted an entire blog article on this topic about how to use LinkedIn at networking events to increase sales. It’s the same idea with Facebook & Twitter, but we’re looking to find business partners, preferably those which are complementary to yours. Hence, if you’re a restaurant or catering business, you’ll probably want to partner up with event planners in your area.

We recommend having your own blog or website before looking out for potential business partners on LinkedIn. It creates a bit of impression. Like being able to write your own book, people tend to trust you more with your knowledge and experience when they see your blog or website.

Quality content still reigns supreme, but you need the right tools to get them to the right people – precisely what our system does for many small business owners like you.

3. YouTube

Videos will take center stage as technology improves and the majority of online marketers migrate to a much less competitive space. Unlike Google, YouTube is an untapped goldmine for a lot of content marketers. You don’t need a professional studio or expensive video editing software to get a thousand viewers on your channel.

Think of all the YouTube videos you’ve watched with more than ten thousand viewers and subscribers, using nothing more than an inexpensive camera, a whiteboard, or just them talking to you through their smartphones. Even if you’re a little bit “camera-shy,” you can still build a massive following using whiteboard animation software like VideoScribe and Doodly or even a slideshow made from Pixabay images with your voiceover. 

Now here’s the best part. Your audience will get notified each time you have a new post by simply clicking on that bell notification icon. And, unlike a static post or webpage, your YouTube videos will continue to get more viewers, comments, and more people will subscribe to your channel long after you’ve published your videos.

Just like your Facebook and other social media platforms you’ll be able to use your YouTube content to get them to your site and keep them coming back for more.

Collect data for your sales and marketing automation

All your content marketing efforts and social media posts should all come down to this – collecting data for your sales and marketing automation. This is where most small businesses hit a dead end. They don’t know what to do with next, or they don’t have a system to capture all the data and use them to turn followers and subscribers into buying customers.

Small Business Dream offers a solution to take your fans and followers into that journey, whether it’s through sales funnels, landing pages, newsletters, drip mail, email series, and push notifications. We’ve covered every possible way to keep them interested after doing all the work of creating great content for your business. 

Conclusion

Content marketing doesn’t require a lot of resources aside from your time and creativity. Like any other skill set, you’ll get better with practice and gaining more experience. However, not all business owners have the time and commitment to produce high-quality content. We offer services which includes online and offline solutions to drive your message home.

If you need help, you can reach us and take advantage of our FREE Sales and Profitability consultation where we identify key aspects in your business to rapidly boost your sales. Come visit us at www.smallbizdream.com to learn more about our 5-step system to rapidly grow your sales and profits with less stress.

How to Prepare Your Small Business for Google BERT

Google has stirred up the online community after rolling out its newest update, BERT or Bidirectional Encoder Representation for Transformers. Local businesses, particularly those who have invested in building an online presence, are asking whether or not this would affect their bottom line.

While it’s too early to tell whether this update will impact the online visibility of many local small businesses, we can already see the direction Google is taking and be able to solidify our online presence using online and real-world marketing strategies.

Think Users, Not Algorithms

Google has had several updates to improve user experience, but this by far is impervious to traditional search analysis. It’s hard to tell which metrics will have an impact on current rankings. BERT AI tries to make sense of how users search and interact on a given information and responds accordingly.

Before, people must learn to use the search engine in a way that would be easier for the algorithm. This time, it’s the other way around. People can search the way they want to and it will try to give the best results based on user intent and context instead of the actual word or phrase. Local businesses with websites don’t need to spend a lot of time and resources for the highest ranked topics and key phrases and just focus on creating useful content.

Normally, it will take months or years to rank organically. We offer a faster way to get more people to your site with our Rapid Sales Growth Blueprint. We help businesses grow an audience by combining the best of both worlds (online and offline marketing) which is far more effective than using one method only.

Become an Expert in Your Field

Users look up to Google for answers. Think of one reason why users should come to you instead of going to other sites. Precisely. They come to you because you’re being regarded as an expert in the field. Small business owners offer something valuable to people whether it’s a specific product or service, useful content, or expert advice.

You need to educate your audience, answer specific queries, clarify issues regarding your product or service, and put your years of experience into creating powerful, insightful content across different medium whether it’s a blog, an e-book, or YouTube content. People want to know you’re the ‘real deal’ when it comes to a specific type of information.

The question many people have is how would people know about you unless you rank in Google? The answer is you don’t have to. You can achieve the same level of success more rapidly with a multi-faceted approach to promoting your small business and not have to wait on Google to put your business in front of users. We’ve designed a 5-step system in our Rapid Sales Blueprint which allows you to do just that.

Grow Your Audience Online through Multiple Channels

Multi-channel marketing is becoming more popular these days as business owners brace for the possible repercussions Google might have on their online presence. One way to minimize its impact is to have as many avenues of customer engagement as possible — email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, live calls, push messages, meeting up face to face, and so on.

You don’t need a thousand page views per month to start seeing gains. What really matters is you’re able to get to your intended market and start converting in as little time as possible. Internet marketers who specialize in rapid growth rely on a multiple-channel approach in growing an audience.

They’ve also come up with some interesting ideas like “content sprouting” in which a YouTube video becomes an audio podcast, a blog post, an Instagram Story post, and so on. This enables them to connect with their audience on as many channels as possible with less effort.

Small Business Dream has always been about rapid growth using many different methods to increase your sales whether it’s through sales funnels, email outreach, social media, and now with its latest addition of a mobile networking app (virtual business card) and business finder app.

Meet with Real People

Find opportunities to link up with potential customers and business partners in your area. Have your introduction ready and be prepared for a short talk about your business. We have a blog post about getting the most out of networking events to guide you from choosing the right networking events to go to, attires, things to bring with you, among other things.

Get exposure to people in your community. We recommend having your site up and running before the event, your landing page and sales funnels set up, and our free Small Business Dream Button app as your virtual business card. This way you won’t miss out an opportunity to get more people into your site. Set up a referral system and get people to download Small Business Dream Business Finder app, and watch your traffic grow over time.

As you can see, you don’t have to always rely on search rankings to get more people into your site. You just need the right strategy and the right tools to get the job done.

Conclusion

Have you been thinking on a business idea but aren’t quite sure what to do or how to move things forward? We invite you to share some time with us. Tell us about your small business. We offer FREE Sales and Profitability consultation where we find the best possible solutions and outcomes for your type of business. Come visit us at www.smallbizdream.com to learn more about our 5-step system to rapidly grow your sales and profits with less stress.

Best Follow-up Tips for Small Businesses

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Today is the topic that everybody knows they should do but nobody’s doing—follow-up. Most people fail in follow-up—restaurants, accountants. Heck, even my barber fails in follow-up.

So what exactly is a follow-up? Follow-up is a multiple-channel approach. In some studies, getting a customer takes a minimum of seven touches, while others say it’s around fifteen. But it’s going to take a whole bunch of reaching out to get a person from not interested, to engaging with you.

Most Businesses Don’t Follow-up Enough

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Most people are able to do one or two follow-ups, and that’s where about 90% of businesses stop. You followed up but they didn’t answer your phone call. They’re not ready yet. They give you some excuse because they were too busy and didn’t really want to talk to you, so you never call them back. Or maybe you call them back one more time and you get their voicemail and you say to yourself, “That’s it. He must not be interested…he must hate me…he must not like me…he must know it’s me and they’re not responding…I must have done something wrong.”

All of our doubts come in because it’s easier to stop following up and make excuses. You’ve probably made these excuses yourself. I’ve done it many times, but I’ve also not made the mistake and had wonderful surprises. I had, for instance, found out that the guy had just gone on holidays and turned off the cellphone for three weeks, and he’s so happy that I called because now he’s ready.

Why Some Follow-ups Don’t Work

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When it comes to follow-ups, one of the first things that a lot of business people think of is automation.  They assume automation could do all the follow-ups for them, that they can just dump them into an email series and let it follow up them forever. “Oh, and I can make it HTML-formatted, and I can have banners and pictures and videos in all of my emails, ’cause that’ll make it better.”

Unfortunately, most people these days read their emails on their phone. Imagine you’re traveling in, say, the United States. You’re roaming, and somebody sends you an email. You opened it, and it starts to auto-play a video that’s sucking the life out of your roaming rates of your data package. You won’t be so happy, would you? Always be mindful of what you’re sending out in follow-ups.

What Makes a Good Follow-up?

1. Multiple touch. This is key when doing follow-ups. Multiple touch means if you’re phoning, make sure you have a system to remind you when to phone next and what you said last time. In amongst your phone calls, there should be some kind of an automated or semi-automated email going out or some LinkedIn reaching out going on.

2. Value-added. You really want to try to figure out a way to have ‘value-added’ follow-up. It’s not as simple as calling them up, asking if they’re ready to buy yet. You want to feed them helpful information. The 80/20 rule still applies in follow-ups. Eighty percent needs to be just good old-fashioned information—valuable, helpful stuff. Twenty percent can be your sales pitch. You don’t want an overt sales pitch. Writing a big long email that’s actually an underhanded ‘trying-to-be-a-sales-pitch-without-being-a-sales-pitch’ won’t work because your customers see right through that and would disengage.

Follow Up on Multiple ‘Touch Points’

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Email nowadays takes about three and a half days on average to be opened and read. So again, it’s best to get some kind of a system. We recommend Small Business Dream, or some kind of follow-up system that’s going to deal with your automated emails, semi-automated emails, LinkedIn reach out, phone calls, and so on.

Whether you’re a fully digital company or not, phone calls is very much a part of business. Picking up the phone and talking to somebody is still one of your best ways to connect. It also helps move things forward. Have a system that lets you know who you need to call today and why, and what you said last time.

Have a proper contact manager working for you, one that’s connected to being able to send emails easily. Add them to a LinkedIn series or an SMS series, or in our case, we have the ability for clients to put an app on their customers’ phones and send push notifications directly to those people.

You really want to work on your follow-up, and follow up enough. Typically, 7 to 15 touches is the magic number. That means a phone call and an email, and then maybe another phone call and then a text message, and so on. You’ll never know which ones they’d prefer connecting to, so spread it around the medium. You need to divert your systems to only working that way but stay keeping in touch.

Build an Email Strategy

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Tip #1: Create an email list

Everyone should have an email list. If you don’t have an email list, you’re losing probably one of the biggest pieces of gold. I don’t care what business you’re in. Collect an email list,  whether it’s a free newsletter that’s going to give them tips and tricks on the stuff that you know about, or just a, “Hey, jump on our mailing list so that we can send you periodic updates about what we’re up to.” You want to cultivate that mailing list.

Tip #2: Semi-automate your messages

There are ways to automate text messages nowadays. The more effective method is doing a personalized text message. Automation works best if it goes undetected. Best way to do it is to not be completely automated. You can have a message that has the bulk of what you want to say and just put that one sentence that’s personalized. “Hi (insert name), it was so great seeing the other day at (insert place or event).” Once you have that mailing list, you really need to start using it, and use it differently whether it’s an existing customer or a prospect that might be a customer.

Tip #3: Connect often

Probably the number one mistake people make with their mailing lists of prospects is they don’t email often enough. “Oh, if I email them more than once a month, they’ll get angry and remove themselves.” This actually happens when you’re sending them content they don’t want. But if you’re giving them good value, they are more likely to stay.

Tip #4: Give them value each time

If I knocked on your door at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, and you opened the door and I handed you $100, would you be happy that you saw me? If the next day at 3 o’clock I knocked on your door and hand you $100, would you be happy? What would happen on the next day? You’d probably be standing by your door at 3 o’clock hoping that I would knock on the door because I’m giving you value every time.

Now what if I knocked on your door at 3 o’clock, and again at 5 o’clock with a hundred-dollar bill, would you open the door? You’d probably say to me, “Can you just come by like every five minutes? I got a couple of friends that are with me. You can knock on their doors too.” If you’re giving them value, they will open up that ‘door’ (your email) every time. If you’re not giving the value, they’ll unsubscribe.

Even if they’re not opening your email every time, they will create a nice neat little folder where all of your stuff gets dumped into, and when they’re ready to go and see what kind of good stuff you were sending, then they’ll go look. So, it’s important to be sending emails often enough with value.

Create Good Value for Less

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If you’re thinking value is hard, you don’t have to have 395 pieces of value-generated content. You just start recycling it with different headlines. So now, when you send it over and over for the guy who did watch it twice or three times, and he still hasn’t bought yet, nothing is lost. He hasn’t bought anything anyway. But what about the guy that finally read that third time because the headline got him to open it, sees that information for the first time, and decides to engage with you?

We find the same thing on our previous blog on LinkedIn system. It’s not the first time we send them a message. Not the second time. It’s like two weeks, three weeks, a month later when they finally go, “Oh, you know what? I haven’t been on LinkedIn for the last two weeks. I just got your message.” And they know you mean business because you’re different than all the other people that click the ‘connect with me’ on LinkedIn button and never talk to them again.

Plain Text vs. HTML-Formatted Emails

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We briefly talked about a nicely fully formatted HTML email versus not. As we said earlier, most people have their pictures turned off. They’ll not see your pictures and they don’t enable that on a download when they open up your email. Besides, when was the last time you’ve ever opened up a perfectly formatted HTML email that wasn’t trying to sell you something?

What’s really funny is you have a lot of software packages out there—emailing automation software packages—and in order to create value for you knowing that you don’t know what you’re doing, you’ve come to them to buy software to do it for you, and knowing that you’re most likely the person who thinks, “If I make it all graphically and pretty and corporate people will love it,” you’re likely to be very excited that you found a tool that you have a million templates in.

But when you actually a/b test emails and you send out fully HTML formatted with lots of graphics and all that kind of stuff, since most people are looking around a phone, it’s really hard to make it look good. And, again, you’re eating up their data.

But in the end, it doesn’t work because it’s an obvious app. Where if it’s a really quick, “Hey, I was just running out the door…” and you make a spelling error and, “I really just wanted to connect with you because I found this really cool article about bluefish,” and I know you’re the guy that loves bluefish, all of a sudden you’re going to get an engagement. You’re going to create a relationship over that, and that actually had nothing to do with what you sell.

Maybe it had a PS line, but probably not. If it has a PS line it needs to look like your iPhone had a PS line. So, fully formatted doesn’t usually work. Simple, to the point, well-written, copywritten emails with the right word balances, and a message that feels good for the person receiving it, gives them help is a lot better. You may, however, send one every ten emails that’s HTML-formatted.

Examples of Follow-ups and Key Takeaways for your Small Business

1. Carpet Store

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We did a follow-up series for a carpet store—one at three months, one at six months and one in a year.  It took us ten minutes to write, cost us zero dollars to add to the system, and it would go out fully automatic. He was reluctant because he thought that if somebody doesn’t buy carpet when they come into a carpet store and they don’t buy it within the month, they’ve already gone somewhere else. They’re not going to buy from him.

Our argument was, with Vancouver’s real estate and the cost of housing, building permits take forever to get. So, to legitimately do a complete reno that might be a whole house-full of carpet, you might be six months before you get the permit to allow you to even install the carpet. Long story short, after implementing this within a very short period of time, somebody got the 3-month email, their permits came just in for a $14,000 sale.

It’s typical in the carpet industry to have commission somewhere between 8-10%. It was a pretty significant amount of money for just putting in a little email. And I have to say, that steak and lobster that I received as a ‘thank you’ for pushing him to make that email is one of the finest in Vancouver.

2. Software Business

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In our MLM software business, we have email follow-up of prospects. The record is set at about eleven years before someone was finally ready.  We didn’t even send enough emails. Nothing for months at a time. Eventually, we only sent them an annual follow-up. We didn’t know back then that I could pester them every single day and it’ll just be ignored until they’re ready, or they’ll remove themselves.

But who cares? It makes no difference because they’re not a customer. But when you’re the only person following up, they knew the customer service would be there as well. (Same thing happened in the carpet store. Even though the carpet may not have been the cheapest, but the follow-up was there. The customer service was there at the beginning.)

You’re setting precedents that you care enough. The Small Business Dream system sends out a ‘Happy Birthday’ card, a ‘Merry Christmas’ card, and it used to send out anniversary cards (we stopped sending anniversary cards because people sometimes get into marital strife or divorce and we’re inadvertently picking at the scab). We are now doing LinkedIn’s method of anniversary and consider anniversary to be their work anniversary, or the anniversary of when you first signed up to our newsletter.

All of these were just things that made somebody, after 11 year goes, “You know what? You send me a birthday card every year and you’re so amazing.”

3. Real Estate

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I bought eight rental properties, which turned out cash flow positive—all from separate real estate agents. Why? I have a rule as a salesperson and as a student of loving selling. I don’t want to do business with someone who doesn’t follow up. When they did follow up, they were following up with comparables in the area or some very obvious super-canned RE/MAX or Century 21 system that they’re connected to, and it wasn’t personal. It didn’t teach me anything, and they weren’t like, “Hey Dennis, how’s the rental property working out for you? Did you find tenants?” Nothing…just gone. So, I would buy the next one from the next guy, hoping he’d follow up. Not one had followed up after the sale, or if they had, they’d followed up in a way that was completely disengaging.

One of the things we teach in the book, the Small Business Profitability Secrets is how to be a better realtor and how to frame your words your customer likes. Real estate agents need to make that point to their clients. The problem is their clients have no idea what the difference is, nor do they care to hear the explanation.

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We came up with a different way of follow-up that helps realtors like crazy—it becomes a home maintenance tip list. It’s a free thing that everyone can sign up to. It sends them out in the summertime and what summer home maintenance things you can be doing. Just before winter it tells you, “Hey, maybe you should get your furnace checked,” or maybe, “You should get your air conditioner checked…you should get your carpets cleaned two years after you bought your house.” It just gives a bunch of stuff that makes everybody excited to get your next email because it’s going to remind them about something to keep their house in tip-top shape.

So that means they stay engaged for seven years. Not only they stay engaged, but they refer their friends to your amazing house tip. Now you’ve got people telling people about you, and you’re in their face all the time once a month, twice a month. You’re in their face with things that are beneficial to them. Who do you think they’re going to call when they hear someone saying, “I need to find a real estate agent broker”? They’re going to find the persons that was following up.

Final Thoughts

Most people make a big mistake of stopping their follow up when they make the sale. They think, “That’s it…sale’s done…I don’t need to follow up.” You need to continue if they’re on your initial prospecting list, offering things and constantly educating them. If, for instance, they turned into a product-specific customer, obviously that one would stop once they purchased it, unless it’s something that can be repurchased.

It really depends what it was after the sale. Is it a re-purchasable item and you need to remind them every month to get it again, or is it something that you buy once every seven years? If so, then you better find a way to keep them interested in you for seven years for when they’re ready to buy again.

You need to have the ability, once the sale is made, to decide, “Are you sending them into training for that product? Are you just continuing with the general newsletter that gives lots of value and promotes every new thing you have to them every now and then when it’s there?” It really depends. But there’s no question about you needing to follow up on them after the sale was made. Follow up is critical to business. Talk to sales and marketing automation expert about how you can make sure you follow up after the sale because that’s actually where the gold is. Getting them the first time is very expensive. You better keep selling to them. Check us out at smallbizdream.com where you can learn more about our Small Business Sales Blueprint.

How to Use LinkedIn at Networking Events to Increase Sales

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Today we’ll talk about LinkedIn, and how almost any business can use LinkedIn to increase their sales and not tick people off in the process.

LinkedIn and Facebook are the two big ones that we use. LinkedIn is required in most businesses, particularly in North America. I didn’t start using LinkedIn ’til only about five or six years ago. At first I was like, “What the heck is LinkedIn? How’s that going to help me? Isn’t that just really for putting your resume up online and people follow what you do?” That was the question I had. So, I started looking into LinkedIn and developing a LinkedIn profile.

How Important Is Social Credibility in Business?

business linkedin

I realized how important it was to add credibility to who you are in business. I’ve seen a lot of good profiles and bad profiles (profiles with pictures of their dog instead of their actual picture, pictures that were cropped out from a group photo, pictures that are out of focus or have a really bad background, pictures that are not professional-looking, etc.).

LinkedIn is not Facebook. It’s not for posting what you had for breakfast or for dinner. If I’m going to be looking for people I want to do business with, I’m not going to Facebook, first; I’m going to LinkedIn.

Collect Data at a Networking Event in 3 Simple Steps

There’s a neat little system you could do at a live networking event using LinkedIn to capture the whole room’s data. Here’s how it works:

1. Download the LinkedIn app.

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One of the things I learned by me starting just from scratch over the past five or six years is there’s a way that you could get everybody in LinkedIn if they have the app. It’s really important that you download the LinkedIn app to your phone.

2. Be in control of the room. Find an opportunity to ‘control’ the room and get a chance to get the microphone to tell everybody to open up LinkedIn. At the very bottom of the LinkedIn app there are five icons. The first one looks like a little house. The second one is two people sitting side-by-side (that’s the one that you want to click). When you click that button, most of you in your LinkedIn app will have a little blue circle appear on your bottom right corner of your screen.

3. Find other users in the room.

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That little blue circle has a picture of a person with a plus button. Clicking that little blue button opens up three menu items on your phone. The very first one says, ‘find nearby’—that’s exactly what it’s going to do. Turn it on, and now everybody that is in the room that is on this page in LinkedIn will appear so that you can connect and talk with them right there in the app.

They need to make sure they’re doing it on the app, they’ve enabled Bluetooth, and they need to enable their location services—couple of things they have to do, but LinkedIn will let them do that right off the bat and you can use this to connect with an entire room in seconds. It’s really interesting because it works off of a Bluetooth mesh, so it’s not even a matter of it only meets people as far away as your phone’s Bluetooth circumference. It actually goes to the farthest guys in the room’s phone. We’ve been at events where we actually picked up on someone that was at a train station a good mile from where we were. So, it’s really, really fantastic technology, but it only works if you’re ‘in control’ of the room.

Things to Keep In Mind

1. Ask for permission

mobile data

My recommendation is, if you’re going to try to do this tip during your 30-second or your one-minute personal introduction in a room, make sure you have the organizer or the main speaker’s permission, because if you go fire up something like this and the speaker wanted to keep the data only for him, you could really, really frustrate someone and probably not be welcomed back to their events again. So, make sure you get permission.

If you’re worried about ‘giving away your data,’ it’s actually the opposite. What we found is everywhere we’ve done this, the tone of the event changes to, “Wow, this is one of the best events I’ve been to. I got some really, really helpful tips that I can take away and use in my business.” We talked about it at a big event, but it also works if you’re just sitting around a boardroom with a bunch of people and you all want to connect real quick. It’s extremely fast compared to any other way of connecting with people.

2. Make People Want to Connect with You

We have some networking events that we go to every week. When I stand up to do my forty seconds, they know what I’m going to do. They’ve already got their phones out, they’re already on LinkedIn, they’re all ready to go and get in the room because they know the power of being able to connect. You become the ‘hero’ that everybody connects to with, and you know that the speaker is going to forgive the fact that you take one minute and forty seconds instead of your allotted forty seconds because it does take a little time to get everybody to turn it on and get interacting with you.

You need to be animated when introducing this cool tip. Stand up and get everybody to hold up their hand. When I do it I tell everybody, “How would you like to connect with everyone in the room, raise your hand. Hold your phone up. I want you to use your phones right now. Get your phone in your hand. Everybody, put LinkedIn on your phone. Open your LinkedIn app. Raise your hand when you’ve got LinkedIn on your phones.” Make it interactive. Step by step, tell them exactly how to do it to get in there and then connect.

Now, if you’re not going to send somebody a message, don’t do it. Just connecting with somebody doesn’t do you any good. At least reach out and say, “Hey, what did you think at the event tonight?” Do something, say something, and make that connection. This helps you remember where you met them. So, for instance, if you copy and paste it to everyone you’re connected with and you get good engagement right away, you’ll be able to see where you met them when you open them up in the future.

Why Small Businesses Should Use LinkedIn

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So how can a business owner actually start increasing his sales from the comfort of his bathrobe, over the morning coffee with a LinkedIn system that allows people to literally sharp-shoot the best people as far as their ideal client, tracking, how much work’s involved, and what the flow of the messages are? You create the engagement instead of just being another person that sends you the 9-page introduction the minute you connect to them.

What many smaller businesses don’t have is a big budget. Same with small businesses, say, a restaurant that’s not busy for three hours in a day, or someone who owns a clothing store, or a hair salon. Here’s something you can do with a free LinkedIn account. You don’t even need premium or Navigator. You do it with free and you could target demographics.

The great thing about LinkedIn is you can go and you can only search, say, for CEOs in Vancouver, you can search for anybody that has a certain thing in their description somewhere in their profile, like a title or a job description, skills—any of these things can all be searched for in LinkedIn.

Let’s say you’re a travel business—cruises and all. You could search for certain areas and search for certain likes and skills. You could search for people that are in the right demographic area like people that are most likely traveling. A teacher maybe? They get their summers off and they’ve got the holiday time. They probably save up for a vacation. Maybe that’s your perfect kind of client.

Be sure to put some thought into this step, because if you target the wrong people it’s not going to work. So, you do need to think outside the box a little bit in trying to define what demographic of people through what LinkedIn allows you to select (and it shows you all the things you can select from) would lead you to your people. So, it’s a really important part of your system that doesn’t even really get written down other than ‘go look for the kind of people you’re looking for.’ Defining that and figuring out how to search for them is half the battle.

Once you’ve done that, my system is simple. You’re going to reach out to and attempt to connect with 10 people a day. Consistency is key, and you do it the first thing in the morning. First thing with your morning coffee or your morning breakfast, have your computer out, your LinkedIn out, and attempt to connect with ten people in your demographic.

We have this availability in Small Business Dream, enabling users to track it all in the software, but you can do it manually with a spreadsheet. There’s lots of ways to do it. We just happen to have a tool that makes it really efficient. In other words, we’re giving you a great system but we just think it’s better if you use our tool.

The 10-a-day Rule — and Why It’s So Effective

I’ve used the system for years, taught the system to people in different businesses to be able to use it effectively, and what I found is that most people don’t have a lot of time. So, if I can show you how to use it in just 10 minutes a day to connect with 10 new people every day and then do the follow-up, they’ll give that a shot. I could find 10 minutes in the morning before I head off to work. You do need to find the time to follow up as well, so this will take up to an hour a day, throughout the day, but at 10 a day you can handle this follow up.

You’re going to get some follow ups and some questions back. If you do 50, you’re going to get a lot more questions back, but then you’re going to have even more follow-ups. Next thing you know, you’re into eight hours every third Friday just because that’s how things start to fall. So, spreading it out will keep it much more consistent, easier to maintain and easier to keep up to date with.

Ten is a magic number. That means you would attempt to connect with every day, 300 people every month (that means you’re working weekends, or, just do twice as much on Friday). Out of the 300 people, only about 25% are going to accept your connection, and out of those 75 people that accept your connection, only about 25% of them are actually going to engage with you. So, only about 15 or 20 people will actually turn into a conversation. And out of that, only 25 percent will turn into a possible conversation. So, four or five, and maybe only one will end up being the customer.

Create a Sales Funnel to Boost Online Engagement

Of course, you can increase your odds to a degree with things like a lead magnet where there’s a free giveaway (if it’s relevant to them), or a free call. A lot of it will depend on what tools you have in place to create the maximum amount of engagement. So, having a simple lead magnet funnel where you can collect their data outside of LinkedIn and with the right giveaway or giveaways, you might be able to increase that and create engagement a little bit more because you’re offering help. Don’t give them something they don’t need. Send them to a lead magnet funnel type scenario if what you had you knew could benefit them without a cost. So, it’s not a salesy thing; it’s a true benefit.

If you go to 88ur.com/craigbook, it will take you to a sales funnel that will allow you to put in your name, your email and click a button, and you’ll be able to download my book. You’ll be able to learn the whole system step by step on how to increase your sales quite rapidly again. If you have the time and you can do 20 a day and you’re ready for the ‘snowball effects,’ you can do it faster. If you have an employee who’s underutilized, it doesn’t have to be you.

Once you’ve actually written all of the follow ups, directions and the content that you want to use through your follow up, you literally assign this to a personal assistant. You can assign it to your daughter, to your son, to your friend’s daughter. It doesn’t have to be you until things get serious. When they get serious your assistant, or whoever is operating the controls for you, would then just reach out and say, “Hey, you need to intervene with this person because they’re ready to talk.” The great thing about my system is it’s not confined to LinkedIn.

I wrote specifically for LinkedIn, but you can do the exact same system in Facebook. It’s not as easy to target and find people in your demographic without ads on Facebook (Facebook really doesn’t want you reaching out and doing stuff). But with simple ad campaigns or reaching out to your friends, it could work. So, there’s definitely ways to be able to do that.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, at the end of the day, the way my LinkedIn system works is not to rely on LinkedIn. You need to pick up your phone and talk to people you need to as quickly as possible, making a real genuine engagement and have a conversation. You don’t want to talk for hours. Also, try to get out of LinkedIn because a lot of people don’t have notifications on in LinkedIn. Some only check it once every three or four days, so quickly in your process, you want to try to capture their contact details whether it be phone number, email, etc.

Another way to contact them outside of LinkedIn is by trying to build your list. Build your Linkedin list into your actual money-making list. It’s essentially your goal. Consistency is everything on LinkedIn. If you’re brand new, the magic number to get started to get to a number of connections is 500. You’ll see in your profile how many connections you have whether it’s under 500, and then it goes 500 plus. You could have a thousand. That way people will connect with you better, you’ll find your connection rate will increase the more connections you have.

Also, make sure that you send a custom message when you ask to connect with somebody. Don’t use any of the LinkedIn default stuff. That’s what the lazy people do and that’s why it doesn’t work. If you download a copy of my book, I show you some things that I use that are really popular, that work well, to be able to increase the engagement. If you can turn that out of the 300, increase it from 25% to just 35% accepting your friends in LinkedIn requests, to 50%, that would be great.

I now typically get around 75% of the people that I asked to engage and connect with me; they accept my connection. Why? Because I have over 6,000 connections on LinkedIn right now, and I’ve done that organically with people, not through any system, but it’s my own system—nothing automated, one person at a time, connecting with the right people to build my businesses.

If you’re interested in learning how to increase your sales quickly with LinkedIn, go to 88ur.com/craigbook. If you do decide you need software to help you do it more efficiently, Smallbizdream can help.