Do you ever have enough customers?
If you’re answer is yes, then move on to a different article, but if you are always in search of ways to get people into your sales funnel, you’ll want to read on.
I’m not in the business of slick-pitch, pushy or aggressive sales tactics that really only serve the short term seller. I’m in the business of teaching people how to build long-term relationships so you have customers coming back for life. It’s far more difficult to get new customers, than to grow the ones you have now. Starting at the top of the sales funnel with your prospects and how you treat them will lead to long-term growth. There’s always room for new people to be added to your customer base. There’s never a time I can think of where you should take your foot off the pedal and coast on your prospecting efforts.
With the New Year here, I thought it would be valuable to you to give you 21 ideas to promote your business so you can get more prospects and turn them into new customers! Some of these ideas will resonate with you, and some will not. Depending on the size of your team, it would be hard to implement all of them. I propose you pick 1-3 and work on perfecting these every day!
- Someone Else’s Podcasts: there are 1000s of podcasts around the world looking for guest speakers. If you’re new to podcasting, you may want to try to grab a spot on a newer podcast until you get your feet wet for the bigger ones. How can you find podcasts? Simple, put it out there on Facebook, “anyone looking for podcast guests in X” (X is whatever your specialty is). You’ll get several referrals.
- Your Own Podcast. You could start your own, but I recommend being on other people’s podcasts first. It seems easy enough, but trust me, a ton of work goes into a professional podcast. There are whole courses and programs around teaching you how to have a successful podcast.
- Host a Facebook Live Interview Series. This may actually be a little easier than a podcast. Put out a request for speakers. Pick your date/time (consistency is key here). Fill up your calendar, and start your promotion. I did over 15 interviews of experts in one month. That’s 15 interviews promoted by me and by 15 other people, plus enough video to start my YouTube channel. My favorite free tool for this is BeLive.TV. Easy to set up and easy to use, plus they have a countdown clock that goes on your Facebook page. You can host your interview on your personal page, business page, or your group.
- Facebook Live Mini Videos. These short form videos, under 5 minutes, to grab attention of your audience. Give valuable tips your target market wants and a call to action. You can also put these on YouTube, your website or other social media. Just make sure you have a good formula, know how to set up the camera, and aren’t just babbling.
- YouTube. The great thing about YouTube is that you can have your own video channel. Video is the #1 influencer when it comes to media. YouTube is owned by Google, so content you put there is searchable on Google, Yahoo, and Bing! Plus, people can subscribe to your channel and get updates when you post something new. If you have 100 subscribers, you even get your very own URL! Each video has a unique link, so you can grab the link and re-purpose it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, your website, and your emails. Plus, with the click of one button, your video can automatically post to Google+, Twitter, and a several other social media platforms.
- Host Online Webinars. I love inviting people to free webinars where I fill their brains with lots of juicy, relevant, and content-rich information for their businesses. It’s fun, and also gives me a chance to invite them to work with me. They get a taste of my expertise with low risk, and if they want more of my help, they know how to get it. I think people know by now if they show up for a free webinar, there’s a sales pitch at the end. Don’t be pushy and pitchy. Tell them how they can work with you and why they will benefit. Chances are if they signed up for the free webinar, they expect this anyway and they likely WANT an invitation from you. Caution: don’t waste your time or theirs by making this webinar a full on sale pitch. Give massive value, but always have a strong call to action.
- Get Published in Print. Send your articles to publishers of magazines that are in the right industry for you. Contact the editor, and submit. Business Journals, business magazines, other people’s blogs. These are all viable option for you.
- Publish a Book. It’s surprisingly easy to do. The hardest part is getting going in your writing. Join a writer’s circle, create your own, or take a class. You can self-publish, hybrid publish or try to get published by a national firm. I suggest joining the Non-Fiction Writers Association and following what others are doing. There are all sorts of resources to help you.
- Get TV and Radio Interviews. The biggest opportunities to reach the most people still lie in television and radio. They reach massive audiences. Start local. Make sure you understand how to position yourself with current events to make yourself relevant. TV stations local news departments and talk radio are always looking for stories their audiences want to see or hear.
- Networking. Many people go to in-person networking and spend loads of money on lunch to leave with no prospects. Make sure you join the right networking group and build relationships with people who are going to support your business. Give something of value to get people on your email marketing list. Some type of freebie that everyone wants. I test my freebies on Facebook. I give my best stuff away to see what resonates with people. Just last week I gave over 50 copies of my annual sales planning kit. I couldn’t keep up with the requests.
- Speak at Other People’s Events. Chambers of Commerce, women’s business associations, networking clubs, marketing groups, religious associations; the list goes on a mile long. They are always looking for speakers to bring great content to their programs. Reach out and ask “are you looking for speakers next year?” The best ones are booked a year out, so you have to ask many people and be top of mind. You likely won’t get paid at first, but you’ll hone your speaking skills, you can get feedback, sign people up for your email marketing list, and book appointments to have sales conversations.
- Host Your Own Events. This is one of my favorite things to do. Invite a bunch of your prospects to a lunch and learn. Give them your best talk, or even have other presenters. You’ll be building influence, value, and community. Do this consistently and you’ve got an award-winning promotional opportunity.
- Sponsor an Event. Buy a booth and an advertisement from your prospect or at an event where your prospects are hanging out. You’ll make a big impression with your prospects and get quality time with them to build relationships.
- Paid Advertising. Sometimes the fastest way to the finish line is advertising. You can advertise on a small scale through local magazines and industry publications. You can small scale or large scale Facebook ads. You can buy large scale ad campaigns on radio, billboard or TV. A benefit is they have professional sales and marketing people who can tell you how to make a campaign work and you don’t pay an extra fee for their advice. They work with hundreds of clients and can give you the inside scoop saving you time and money.
- Snail Mail! Send out invitations and post cards via the regular United States Post Office. I guarantee your message will stand out. I remember when I used to walk back from the mailbox with a thousand pieces of junk, now there’s nothing in my mailbox. A hand-written note from you would be welcome item to hold.
- Work Your Memberships. Many people are members of associations or clubs. You show up, network, then you’re outta there. Instead, volunteer to be on the board. The best position is membership chair. You get to welcome all the new members and start building relationships. While I don’t recommend you starting off with your sales pitch, and I’m sure it will not be well-received by the other board members, the act of helping others and getting to know new members pays big time dividends. They will see you as a resource and authority which is priceless.
- Always Ask For Referrals. No matter where you’re at, always ask who you’re talking with if they know someone who needs what you have to offer. Caution: don’t use those words, they will get you nowhere. Be very specific about what you do and who you are looking for (if you don’t know what I mean, read my article “Why Your Target Market is Costing You Money”).
- Join or Create Your Own Mastermind Group. If you could hand-pick your personal board of directors to run your company, who would they be? Instead of asking them to give you advice, or mentor you (which is all about you, and not them), ask them to be in your mastermind with other brilliant people like them. They will learn from each other, you’ll be a resource, and you’ll learn too. The best leads I’ve ever received came from my people who have worked with me.
- Give Away a Free LIVE Program and Ask For Testimonials. Give something of major value, invite your best prospects and their friends and WOW them with what you got! Don’t make a sales pitch, ask them for a testimonial.
- Attend Training Events. This is one of my favorite ways to promote your business because you are sitting in a room of your peers with the same challenges and interests as you. You get to connect with them on a different level. You’ll build relationships that can last a lifetime. If you’re smart, you’ll follow up with the ones you want to know more, and invite them to coffee to discuss all the opportunities ahead!
- My #1 Way to Build Influence is….Publish and Post on LinkedIn. For 2018, my favorite social platform is LinkedIn. It’s all about business on LinkedIn and they give you remarkable opportunities to optimize your personal brand. Content you put there is also searchable on Google, Yahoo, and Bing, and with one click is also published on Twitter. Your ability to connect and engage with people in a business environment is exceptional and articles posted in LinkedIn have a shelf life. I’ve gotten speaking engagements from LinkedIn that would have been impossible for me to get using any other form of social media. Click here to get your LinkedIn Self-Assesment!