We provide you the tools with PosterMyWall, and we also wanted to give you the expertise to run your business like never before. For that, we reached out to Allan Dib, a rebellious marketer, successful entrepreneur and author of The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money And Stand Out From The Crowd, Amazon’s #1 global marketing book.
Over the course of this blog post series, Allan will take us through nine steps to create a practical marketing plan that works for small businesses.
This is part 3 of the ‘How to create a marketing plan’ blog post series. If you haven’t read part 2, you should read that first.
Now, over to Allan.
Have you ever considered farming?
We’ve covered who your target audience is, what message is going to get your prospects to connect with you and what media you’ll need to be using to reach them.
Now we’re going to focus on capturing and nurturing leads, and for me, this is the most exciting part of marketing. It’s your chance to use whatever you’ve created in PosterMyWall, your videos, posters, signage, flyers, social media posts, etc. to start connecting with your prospects.
While many businesses use a hunting strategy (going straight in for the kill or sale), I like to farm my leads (educate over time until they’re ready to buy). It creates a much higher return and is much better positioning as hot prospects come to me rather than me chasing business and coming across as desperate or needy.
I also don’t like to use a hard sell ad because at any given moment only 3% of your target audience is ready and willing to buy from you. It means that I’m excluding the other huge part of my target market who may buy from me in the future. So rather do what you can to get the contact details of your prospects and educate them over time.
Fishing for leads
So you’re probably wondering how you can get your prospects to give you their contact details? I like to use what I call an “ethical bribe”, something that you offer for free in exchange for your prospect’s email address. It could be a white paper or a free coupon, and maybe it’s a free product sample or a voucher to put towards a purchase – something that will give them value and create goodwill.
It needs to be enough of an incentive for a prospect to sign up to your mailing list, and you want to make sure that you capture their details in your customer relationship management (CRM) system.
I’ll share a few examples to hopefully inspire you. We’ll start with the example of a restaurant owner. In order to get people to indicate interest and start building your email list perhaps offer free dessert via an ad. So you’d have your customer opt-in to your email list and get the free dessert coupon emailed to them. You both win. You captured an email subscriber and they get a free dessert at your restaurant.
The ad could look something like this:
Another example would be for a yoga instructor.
As a yoga instructor, you might offer the first week of yoga for free for first-timers.
So the ad could look something like this:
If your customers have opted in to get these coupons (or anything else of value like a free report or checklist) you now have a valuable asset – a list of prospective customers that you can market to on an ongoing basis. Your lead capture system is square 4 on The 1-Page Marketing Plan.
Motivate the buyer
The next stage in creating a strategic marketing plan is all about how to handle interest and build future sales properly, this is called lead nurturing, and it’s the process of taking people from being vaguely interested in what you have to offer to desiring it and wanting to do business with you. It ensures that people are interested, motivated and predisposed to buy from you before you’ve ever try to sell to them.
To do this, you need to stay in touch because in marketing, the money is in the follow-up. But this doesn’t mean you need to be writing personalized emails which get delivered to your prospects weekly. If you spend all your time doing this, you’ll be too exhausted to focus on scaling your company.
So what you want to do is automate your follow-ups using a CRM. But to be clear, I don’t want you to be bombarding your prospects with emails that focus purely on selling. You want to become a welcome guest, not a pest, and you achieve this by ensuring that every piece of content you create offers some sort of value. Whether it’s helpful tutorials, articles, or case studies, your goal is to deliver value, because this is going to build a relationship based on trust which will lead to more sales.
So remember, the lead nurturing stage is all about building relationships and bringing your prospects a step closer to becoming a customer.
As an exercise, I want you to think about what added value you could give your prospects. As a church, it could be a daily Bible verse with a short explanation relevant to modern-day living. If you’re the manager of an up-and-coming musician, you could give prospects the option of downloading one or two tracks for free if they sign up to your newsletter. This way they can see if they like the music and want to invest more. Whatever you do, make it worthwhile, and make sure you’re capturing their contact details.
If you’re interested in putting together your own marketing strategy, you can download my 1PMP canvas and start filling in the squares we’ve covered. It’s available here.
In the next blog post we’re going to make the cash register ring. It’s time to talk sales…