Are you having a difficult time attracting new prospects and your website or social media? Do they even know or care that you exist to serve them and working yourself crazy to let them know you exist?
It’s six o’clock in the morning and as you slowly get of bed and head to the coffee pot or Keurig you wonder to yourself if today will be better than yesterday?
Maybe overnight you hoped that someone filled out a form on your website or emailed looking for a consultation or meeting? or perhaps they bought something from you and your checking account is a few dollars happier this morning?
Or, perhaps they bought something from you and your checking account is a few dollars happier this morning?
Sadly, you open your email to discover nothing.
You even log in to your bank account just to make sure there wasn’t a mistake. But there is not one and it’s still that same, low, sad number it was when you went to bed last night.
Up to this point you’ve done everything you’ve been taught or told to do.
You built a website, created some social media pages and even set-up an email opt-in.
But it’s not working and nothing you do seems to make it any better.
Your prospects are not coming and if you’re honest with yourself you’re feeling you may be feeling a bit angry, frustrated, disappointed and maybe even a bit desperate.
What are you to do and how are you going to dig out of this financial hole?
Has Marketing Really Gotten This Complex?
Marketing today may feel more complex and challenging than ever as I shared in an article on my blog titled “Why Digital Marketing is Complex and How You Can Simplify It“.
Your experience is that it has become harder and harder to reach those who are able, willing and ready to buy from you.
Everywhere you go you hear marketing experts at one meeting after another who say you need:
- Digital this…
- Blogging that…
- Social media…
- More email addresses
And the list goes on and on.
Businesses both offline and online are more and more understanding that the internet is a place they have to play but aren’t always comfortable about doing something they don’t understand.
And it’s the lack of understanding and clarity combined with unfamiliarity that is driving your uncertainty and causing you to feel overwhelmed.
But there is great news!
You don’t have to feel this way and I’m going to show you why in just a moment.
What is the Real Reason Your Prospects are Not Finding You?
For over a decade small businesses have been sold the story that all you need is a website, search engine optimization, email and social media. If you put it out there, they will come.
You’ve learned by now that it’s not that simple.
So, let’s identify the problems that a lot of businesses are having online in 2016:
- You have a great looking website that few visit, know about or stay on
- You have some traffic from search engines like Google but not nearly enough anymore thanks to all of their changes
- Your social media isn’t doing its job like you want it to… you want more sales from a tool that isn’t a sales tool
- And you don’t want to invest the time in something that you honestly don’t understand. And time is money.
Okay, that’s fair enough. After all, you are building a business.
But that’s the point!
As a business owner, one of your biggest responsibilities is to ensure that your business is growing and that happens through marketing; and marketing today is a mix of online and offline activities with a widely recognized belief that online marketing is the key to many businesses success.
Online marketing is generally cheaper and has a potentially higher reward.
With that in mind, how do most businesses measure if they are successful online?
Unfortunately, it’s by how much traffic your website gains or how many people are following you on a social media site.
This is a very flawed model and way of looking at it. I’ve seen businesses with massive traffic and followers make no money and websites with small amounts of followers and low traffic make it rich.
Why? What was the difference maker for both those companies?
Is Traffic to Your Website or Social Media Numbers the Solution?
Before I go into more detail, as I established website traffic and social media numbers are perceived to be the measure of success online.
Who isn’t impressed by thousands and thousands of followers?
But is that the true measure of success?
What about traffic to your website? Is a lot of traffic the true measure of success?
Without traffic people can’t find the forms to fill out to contact you, they can’t get your phone number, or maybe they cannot buy your product right off of your website.
Without traffic, people can’t discover what is happening in your business, what new sales you’re offering, or what new and exciting products you’ve come out with that they might want to buy.
Last week I was talking with a business start-up in Washington D.C. who has owned several successful businesses over the last ten years and he has since sold them for a lot of money.
He is now starting a new business and he is recognizing, as many businesses are recognizing, that the internet is changing and he is concerned about it.
Here is what he was worried about:
- He can’t keep up with the myriad of changes happening on the web.
- His number one concern: IT’S GETTING HARDER AND HARDER TO GET TRAFFIC TO HIS WEBSITE
My business friend only has it partially right when it comes to traffic, in many ways it is harder to get traffic to our websites but make no mistake that there are hundreds, thousands or maybe even millions of people who need you!
If you can message yourself properly they are just waiting to find you and have a reason to buy from you.
But, they can’t find you and as a result they are missing out on all you have to offer.
How Can You Find Your Prospects?
There are a lot of good reasons that people aren’t able find you online.
But I want to offer the real reason.
According to the 2015 B2B Web Usability Report, respondents said that the number one reason they leave a website immediately is due to a lack of a message.
In October 2015, IBM put out a survey in which 80% of respondents said that businesses in virtually no way were relevant to their needs, wants or desires.
What this means is that the real problem a business has is this; they don’t know “what business they are ‘really’ in.”
Get Clear on Your Prospects and Customers See Your Business
In over ten years of entrepreneurship in working with hundreds of businesses in marketing and web design I’ve learned that very few businesses can answer the question;
“What business are you “really” in?”
I can always see it… the blank expression, the panicked look, or the feeling of terror as their nerves take over.
It’s the same question in essence when you ask someone; “so, what do you do?”
By the time ten seconds has gone by in the conversation the person I’m talking with is trying to figure out how to escape, lol…
But it’s inevitable that the question comes up because no one really looking for an answer.
It’s just an ice breaker and small talk to see if that person had anything interesting to say.
Isn’t that’s how many of us unintentionally treat our website visitors and social media followers?
People are searching and looking for solutions for their problems but within seconds we’ve already told them we don’t care about their problems; just “buy me”.
That doesn’t work anymore.
Consumers have been blanketed with advertisements and intrusive forms of communications.
We are all constantly solicited to buy things we don’t think we need or want, and we have taken the initiative to educate ourselves about how we want to be communicated with.
How Do You Know “What Business You are ‘Really’ In”?
The truth is that the question “what business am I really in” can only be answered when you’re able to answer the following questions:
- What are the “specific” problems you are passionate about solving? (Want to learn more about this foundational principle? Check out my article titled “How to Discover Passion, Influence People and Increase Sales“
- What are the tangible values your customers experience and how do they feel about the experience?
- What are the “specific” problems you solve for each tangible value?
- Who are you “specifically” solve each problem for (in detail)?
- How are your products or services “a” part of “a” solution?
These questions force us as business owners and entrepreneurs to make a serious shift in our thinking.
It’s a shift from thinking about you, how great you are and “buy me” to really understanding your prospects and how to communicate to them in a way that is relevant, compelling and inspiring because it’s not about you; it’s about them!
People will resonate and identify with what you have to say and they won’t feel conned, manipulated or coerced.
You will be able to share who you are and what you do in a way that is convincing and without ever saying anything about your product or service until your readers or prospects give you permission to do so.
I was working recently with Codelocks, they are a company that manufactures keyless locks.
Just to give you an idea they only have a brochure/catalog website that no one visits because they aren’t addressing the issues people are having. This is a very large multi, multi-million dollar corporation.
They learned the following after going through my process; this is just one, short example:
- Tangible Value – I don’t have to worry about getting locked out of my house
- My son came home from school and realized he forgot his house key. It’s 18 degrees outside and no one will be home for hours and the neighbors are not home.
- If Johnny forgets his access code he can call Mom or Dad and they can remotely unlock the door to let him in where he will be warm and safe.
We created dozens of these. After we did that we were able to narrow down a concise statement about the business they are really in:
“We are in the business of providing world-class safety with world-class convenience”
When you know your business, it makes it a lot easier to communicate and attract those who are able, willing and ready to buy from you.
In addition, you will start attracting the right audience because your content will appeal directly to those you want to reach.
Create a Plan and Execute It
Now that you’ve done the hard work in your business it’s time for the fun part and create a plan to attract the audience that has no idea you even exist.
How do we do that?
Remember what we did a minute ago when we were learning what business I’m “really” in?
It’s time to take that information and put it into executable form.
A plan consists of strategies, goals and objectives.
Each strategy has specific and measurable goals (you might be familiar with SMART goals?) and the objectives (or tasks) to complete it.
When you have a roadmap it makes it a lot easier to get where you want to go.
I can’t stress how important this is!
If you want to connect with those who are searching for you, you will need to create high level strategies that could include the following tools:
- Online networking
- Social media
- Blogging communities
- Connecting with influencers
- Networking events
No one strategy is for everyone and you probably can’t do it all, but you can find what works for your prospects and you; and that’s what is important.
Here is one example of a strategy I personally implement in May 2014:
Strategy: Connect with influential bloggers who serve a similar I serve but in a different way.
Goal (could be numerous): Connect with one influencer per week
- Read one new blog article per day
- Leave meaningful comments
- Share on social media with meaningful note of why someone should read the article
- Determine who engages back
I know that seems simple, but that one simple strategy has earned thousands of readers in six months and tens of thousands of dollars in new business.
Here is a hard truth; skills if you don’t ever create a relevant, compelling ad inspiring message you will never be able to create the right strategies, goals and objectives.
The foundation of your business is your message and it guides all of your strategies.
Without a message that people feel and say to themselves “OMG, how did they know?” you will continue to struggle.
The Benefits to Knowing “What Business You are ‘Really’ In?”
The greatest benefit you will ever have is clarity and focus!
When you have clarity and focus it changes your business forever.
Clarity and focus impact your message, the consistency of your message, how you message and where you message.
It will help guide you in your strategies, goals and objectives and help you in the details to connect with specific people who are searching for what you offer on a search engine or a social media site; or when influencers that you engage with refer you new business to you.
It’s when you’re able to combine your compelling message that resonates with people and then pursue intentional strategies that introduce you to those who are able, willing and ready to buy.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you woke up tomorrow morning to discover that your missing audience showed up out of nowhere?
Well, that’s not going to happen by accident.
But if you take the time to learn what business you’re “really” in and then create the opportunities to find, meet and engage with your audience online it can be a massive game changer for your business.
It won’t happen overnight, but it can happen quickly if you’re willing to learn, grow and implement some new ideas that will help your marketing carry your business to new opportunities that will increase your sales.
Wouldn’t it be nice if people were coming to your site and saying; “OMG, how did they know?”
Wouldn’t it be nice if they were contacting you for an appointment or if they were buying from you?
Do you have a question, thought or comment? Please share it in the comments section. I would love to interact with you and converse.