I’m going to start with the elephant in the room…no, this is not a clickbait headline. Intentionally Inspirational works with a lot of small business owners that struggle with lead generation. They have limited budgets and they’ve exhausted all of the lead generation avenues they know. They’re successful and have a good reputation in their business circle, but they’re struggling to find new circles to grow in. They want to grow their business capital but aren’t sure where to start.
When we talk to these owners, we often find that they’re failing to use their most important and easiest to access resource of all…their knowledge.
Use your knowledge as marketing capital
Most small business owners have figured out how to monetize their knowledge. A bookkeeper uses her knowledge of accounting to find clients who will pay her to keep their books. A lawyer uses her knowledge of the law to help their clients navigate the ins and outs of the legal system.
However, most of these professionals are not using their knowledge as marketing capital in the ways that they should be.
How do I use my knowledge as marketing capital?
One of the ways you use your knowledge as marketing capital is to network. That’s when you meet up with a group of professionals. Usually, these professionals work in a different industry than you. During these networking sessions, the two of you talk and you show off a little of your business knowledge.
Over time, that person learns to trust you. When one of his friends asks for a good estate attorney or CPA, this person recommends you.
The advanced way to use your knowledge as marketing capital
That’s the basic way to use your knowledge as marketing capital, but there’s an even better way and it reaches people you’ve never met before.
Think about the advertisements that you see on social media. The free webinars, seminars, and ebooks. To a lesser extent, the free quizzes that test your financial knowledge or help you decide if you’re paying too much in taxes.
These ads are made by professionals like you. They are using social media to prove their professional knowledge to the masses. Most of them aren’t any more experienced than you are.
What do they have that I don’t?
All they have is the knowhow to use their professional skills to help with marketing.
Create something of value
So, how do you do it?
The first thing you need to do is create something of value. Think about a problem that your potential customer might have and then solve it.
Let’s use me for example. I am writing this blog for Intentionally Inspirational, a company that was built to help businesses improve their sales funnels. That’s what the company founder, Jason Wright, gets paid to do. However, this blog needs to offer value.
So, I’m writing about ways that you can improve traffic to your sales funnel or your website. Am I giving you everything that you need to know so that your business will skyrocket ten-fold? No. What I am doing, is giving you a little something of value (tips and tricks) so that you know that Intentionally Inspirational has professional knowledge about sales funnels.
I am giving you something small that is of value so that you trust in my knowledge and may decide to purchase something — such as our services — in the future.
Items that offer value to clients
Examples of this can be short ebooks or whitepapers that showcase your expertise. A CPA could offer a free checklist of everything the client is going to need before he or she shows up to a tax meeting. If you’re truly ambitious, you can offer a webinar that talks about some of the biggest pitfalls you see clients fall into.
Companies like HubSpot offer free video marketing webinars and free graphics templates in exchange for your email address. They offer something small with the hope of making a big sale at a later date.
How can I optimize the value I receive in return?
There is no guarantee that your ebook or checklist is going to make a sale, however, it will generate a warm client lead. As most sales professionals will tell you, a warm lead is better than a cold one any day of the week.
To make sure that lead stays warm, here are a few tips.
Make the items of value instantly accessible
No matter what item of value you offer to a client, make it instantly accessible. Allow the client to download the free checklist or ebook after they put in their email address.
Clients want instant gratification. If they don’t get it, they’re going to be upset. So, give it to them.
Set appropriate expectations
No matter what you’re offering, you need to set appropriate expectations for your audience. Never overpromise; always deliver. If you don’t, you’ve lost the trust of a potential client and once you do that, the odds of getting it back are very slim.
Create a landing page
It’s tempting to use this item of value to promote your company but don’t. This is only about generating sales leads. Don’t bog the person down in the details about your company, its origins, the great ways you do business. This is about them, what he or she needs, and how you’re going to help.
To make sure that this message is not distorted or diluted, create a landing page. That’s a page solely dedicated to one purpose, in most cases, getting that email address.
If you need more details about creating a landing page, check out this post I wrote called How to Create an Amazing Landing Page.
If you want your business to succeed, you need to be using all of your capital. That means, not just the money that you have in the bank, but your intelligence and knowhow as well.
Written by Erika Towne