Every once in a while great content will just remarkably fall into my hands, and I’m just forced to share it. So today’s guest post is from Brad Farris of Enmast.com a well respected guy who runs one of the most talked about small business marketing blogs other there. He took out some time out of his day to reveal to you something’s that has helped him build his business from A to Z
As a small business owner, I know my website is an important marketing tool. It is a place on the Internet that I own, where I can demonstrate my expertise to the world and where they can come to make sure I’m “the real deal”.
But I never thought of my website as much more than an expensive brochure. Yes, I have a “join my newsletter” link – but hardly anyone ever joined. Yes, I have a “Contact me” form where people can find out how to work with me – but hardly anyone ever filled it out. It was a fairly passive marketing site.
One day someone suggested that I might get more response if I gave people a reason to signup, or contact me. So I created an ebook, and offered it for free to anyone who signed up for my newsletter list – suddenly, people were signing up! Setting the whole thing up was pretty easy once I figured out how to use auto-responders (that my email service provider had all along).
I have to say, this ebook is more than just a few blog posts strung together. It’s a truly useful product that will provide real utility to small business owners (my target market). Reading it, they get what our services are about. At the end of the book there is a call to action which invites them to check out more of our resources, or to find out about working with our team.
This first step worked pretty well. People I didn’t even know were finding my site, and signing up for my mailing list! What would happen if more people found my site? I’m no SEO expert, so I found a package that I could add into my blog that would help me identify keywords and links that could help boost the SEO of my blog posts. Slowly, more and more people found my site.
Could I use social media as a way to spread the word about the blog posts and ebooks that we were publishing? This took a little more work – I started setting up lists in Twitter, finding groups in LinkedIn, and I even dug into Google+. Doing all the posting got really overwhelming until I found some social media management software. One tool enabled me to write status updates and promote my blog posts far and wide with just a few clicks.
It really put me in control of what I was doing and saved me a lot of time. Now even more people showed up at my site, downloaded my ebook, and joined my mailing list. Some of them even started filling out my contact forms asking to work with me. I was even more surprised when media people started calling me, asking for interviews…
Now I’m starting to see my website more like a really inexpensive sales person instead of an expensive brochure. I’m looking make an even greater investment in more complete all-in-one packages that help with email, SEO, landing pages, social media management, and even provide CRM all together. Now that my website is doing things – it’s bringing in some dollars – I can afford to upgrade the tools to something more powerful (and easier to manage).
Interested? Here’s a complete list of the simple small business marketing automation tools I use. Start with the easy ones and then move to the more complicated ones once you start having success. But get started on this – your competitors are already doing it and there is a learning curve. You don’t need to be playing catch-up!
How are you using marketing automation tools to bring new leads into your business?
Brad Farris is a small business advisor and founder of EnMast, an online small business community. He is the author of Marketing: A Love Story, an ebook for business owners struggling with their marketing and sales processes. Find him on Google+ and Twitter.