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How Do I Get More Leads in the Top of the Funnel 5

This post is one in a series of five guest posts authored by the super star bloggers pictured below. As part of a celebration of National Small Business Week we are asking readers to match all five guests posts up with the contributing blogger to be entered for a chance to win an iPad2. Read all five posts in today’s series and come back each day this week for five new posts in this great educational series and another chance to win.

Bob Burg

Bob Burg’s national bestseller, The Go-Giver, has been heralded as a new business classic. Bob is an advocate, supporter and defender of the Free Enterprise system, believing that the amount of money one makes is directly proportional to how many people they serve and how well they serve them. Find out more information about Bob Burg here.

How Do I Get More Leads in the Top of the Funnel 5

First, let’s define “Top of the Funnel.” These are people who, while perhaps qualify as prospects they are little more than that. In other words, while they now “know” you, the “like and trust” part of the “know, like and trust” equation is not yet there. Nor, is the need, want or desire for your product or service. Thus, they are at the “top”…the starting point.

The more people at the top of the funnel, the more will likely work their way down into actually becoming prospects and/or referral sources. This, of course, assumes you are correctly building the relationships.

This is why, when people ask, “which is more important, quantity or quality?” I generally answer, “it’s not an either/or, but a both. However, the key is the focus. Since high-*quality* relationships lead to direct business and referrals, focusing on quality over quantity results in an even greater quantity of quality.”

Fortunately, whether in-person or via the various social media, it’s easy to begin the process. In a sense, it’s about identifying the right people (or having them identify you!), meeting (connecting with) them, and building the relationship.

So, in-person? Your local Chamber event, BNI chapter, charity function, etc. Ask questions focused 100% on them; make them feel good about themselves: “How did you get started?” “What do you enjoy most about what you do?”

Online via blog, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter? Engage them with value. Comment on something in their bio, post or tweet. Ask questions about them. Connect them with others (only with permission, of course), etc.

The best of all is through a referral. Usually, referrals begin already much closer to the sales point, but not always. Sometimes they come in at the top, as well.

Regardless, the key is, at the very moment you “meet’ them, communicate value; no, not in your products or services, but as a person. It’s as simple as that. And, best not to make it any more difficult.

Read the rest of today’s mystery posts here

How Do I Get More Leads in the Top of the Funnel 6

This post is one in a series of five guest posts authored by the super star bloggers pictured below. As part of a celebration of National Small Business Week we are asking readers to match all five guests posts up with the contributing blogger to be entered for a chance to win an iPad2. Read all five posts in today’s series and come back each day this week for five new posts in this great educational series and another chance to win.

Joseph Jaffe

Joseph Jaffe is President of jaffe, LLC. His popular blog and audio podcast, “Jaffe Juice”, provides daily and weekly commentary respectively on all things new marketing. His latest book, “Flip the Funnel: How to use existing customers to gain new ones,” presents a powerful hypothesis that retention can become the new acquisition through the strategic incorporation and elevation of customer service, customer experience and customer initiated word-of-mouth, content creation and incentive-based referrals.

How Do I Get More Leads in the Top of the Funnel 6

Want more leads for the top of your funnel? Then perhaps you want to take a step back and think about WHY you needed those leads in the first place. Did you not have enough customers to begin with? Or perhaps you just didn’t convince them to spend enough….keep coming back for more….and tell others about it. Or perhaps you just lost them – through poor customer experience, service or support, or just plain apathy (being forgotten)

Unless you’re a new business without a very short track record, getting new leads is really not your problem at all. Your real problem is churn. Attrition. You lose customers and try and constantly try and replace them with new blood. You are addicted to acquisition as you cast out that wide net, which just happens to be full of holes.
And you’re not alone.

But what would happen if, instead of ending with the sales conversation; the new customer, you began with the customer purchase? What would happen if you focused on the 20% of your customers responsible for 80% of your revenue? What would happen if you rewarded and recognized your lifeblood instead of wooing imperfect strangers or first time buyers with a slew of deals, discounts , special offers and/or coupons?

Would they pay it forward in return?

If Community 1.0 and 2.0 were the buzzwords of the original digital and more recent social media waves, then advocacy is going to be the next wave that crests and breaks on the shores of marketing engagement and innovation. Using existing customers to gain new ones by proving that retention is the new acquisition is a whole new paradigm that goes back to the future in order to demonstrate that word-of-mouth is most influential and credible when it comes from the hearts and minds of actual customers.

This is ultimately how a small, growing or even larger business can grow its revenue, customer and content base from the inside out by adding new leads to the traditional funnel without necessarily having to sacrifice any on the back end.

It’s good business sense. It’s common sense. And it’s a surefire way to add substantial dollars and cents to your top line growth and bottom line profitability.

Read the rest of today’s mystery posts here

Real Time is the Right Time

Marketing podcast with David Meerman Scott (Click to play or right click and “Save As” to download – Subscribe now via iTunes

Real-time marketing and business management is upon us. Companies that get the notion of instantly creating and responding, almost as a business behavior, are taking advantage of opportunities as they happen and engaging customers at the speed they’ve come to expect.

The days of annual planning and execution as a ritualistic process are thing of the past. Companies must plan and implement almost instantly – companies big and small. The good news is that by adopting the right mindset and the right set of monitoring tools, even the smallest of organizations can beat the competition to opportunities happening in real-time.

Real-Time Marketing and PR - David Meerman Scott

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Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead

Brian Halligan, co-author of Inbound Marketing and David Meerman Scott, author of New Rules of Marketing and PR, have joined forces and blended their love of marketing and the Grateful Dead to extract lessons from the band’s thirty some year run to write – Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead. You can order copies now from Amazon for early August shipping.

The book project itself is, like the Dead, a bit unorthodox in that the authors kept the entire writing process a secret and are just announcing the book to the public today although it ships in a couple weeks. The book was written and produced in a matter a months (a year is often considered a quick turnaround for a book.)

Brian and David did an online seminar on April Fool’s Day – you can see the slides from Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead here

I met up with David at a conference in Washington DC and captured the video announcement below.

David Meerman Scott and Brian Halligan take us on a trip with the Grateful Dead to learn how the iconic band can teach us all how to market and have more fun.

FYI: The song playing in the background of this video is Sugar Magnolia. The song was first released on the 1970 album American Beauty, and made its live debut on June 7, 1970 at the Fillmore West in San Francisco

The Referral Engine Launch Day Bonus

Note: When an author launches a new book (well, at least this author) it’s kind of a big personal deal. So, I know I’ve been a bit commercial of late in promotion of my new book, but the good news is today is launch day so regular old thoughts on helping your grow your business to return. Thanks for your patience, trust and support.

The Referral EngineMy new book, The Referral Engine – Teaching Your Business To Market Itself is finally available to ship! In fact, the online retailers are blowing it out at as low as 55% off during the launch. Go to The Referral Engine book site for details.

The buzz for the book online has been tremendous and the reviews over the top positive. To continue the momentum I want to make you an offer to take action today. I have a library of incredible interviews available exclusively to those who buy my new book today.

Here’s the deal -

The book has received praise from the following thought and business leaders in the form of a blurb on the book’s jacket.

As a bonus for purchasing today you’ll receive audio recordings of the interviews I did with each. These are not pitches for the book, these are deep conversations about their thoughts on marketing and business.

  • Chris Brogan, coauthor of Trust Agents
  • Seth Godin, author of Linchpin
  • Guy Kawasaki, cofounder of Alltop
  • David Meerman Scott, author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR
  • Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos.com
  • Bob Burg, coauthor of The Go-Giver and Go-Givers Sell More
  • Marcy Shinder, vice president, American Express OPEN

I addition I’ve included double bonus interviews from some of the people you’ll meet in the book who also know a thing or two about referrals.

  • Ivan Misner, founder of BNI
  • Stephen MR Covey, author of The Speed of Trust
  • Scott Ginsberg, The Nametag Guy
  • Zingermans Community of Businesses, a chat with Ari and Mo

That’s 11 interviews in all with some folks I consider the brightest minds in marketing today.

Order today and send a copy of your receipt to [email protected] and you’ll receive your special link to download or listen to this entire library.

Go to The Referral Engine book site to choose your favorite online retailer – you can also send me the receipt from an offline retailer to qualify as well.

Thanks for all your support, you truly inspire me.

2009 Will Be the Year for Small Businesses to . . .

With 2009 just around the corner I thought it would be fun to collect the thoughts of some of the leading marketing folks around the web, but do so in what I am calling snack size fashion – so welcome to Snackfest 2009.

In keeping with the current trend in social media for small bites of info, think twitter sized responses – Plain and simple, I asked some thought leaders this question:

2009 will be the year for small businesses to . . .

Want to play along? Here’s how, post your comment answer to the same question, comment on the snack answer of each expert and tweet your thoughts using #snack09. (Follow the Twitter thread)

Here’s how some thought leaders responded to my question.
Seth Godin, author of Tribes said . . Run/grow/compete like mad because the big bad companies that have been slowing you down are in such disarray.
Seth Godin – Sqidoo page

Aaron Wall, author of SEOBook said. . .buy great domain names, as their perceived value drops due to an ad slowdown and browsers eating type in traffic.
Aaron Wall – Twitter ID

Alan Weiss, author of Million Dollar Consulting said . . . to assertively reinvent their relationships with customers and prospects, because you can’t grow by cutting back, can’t improve if you’re afraid, and can’t lead from the back.

John Battelle, founder of Federated Media said . . . get closer to its best customers, add value to their lives, and build new business from that value. Twitter ID

Andy Beal, author of Radically Transparent said . . . take their head out of the sand and start listening to the social media conversations customers, employees, and other stakeholders are having about their brand. Twitter ID

Tim Ferriss, author of the Four-Hour Workweek said . . . get advertising at 70-90% off. Recessions mean budget cuts for larger corporations, which means advertising cancellations, just as in 2001 and 2002. There will be fire sales on remnant advertising, whether print, TV, radio, or online.Twitter ID

Dan Pink, author of Whole New Mind said . . . think boldly and push frontiers while the big guys run scared and retreat to safety. Twitter ID

Tim Berry, founder of Palo Alto Software said . . . refocus on fundamentals: core strategy of identity, market, and focus, plus specific metrics and milestones, basic numbers, and planning as management, with review and revisions. Twitter ID

Bob Bly, author of Persuasive Presentations for Business said . . . prove their unique value to their customers and earn rather than expect repeat orders. Twitter ID

David Meerman Scott, author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR said . . . stop spending $$ on marketing. Instead create interesting information people WANT to consume.Twitter ID

Chris Brogan, publisher of ChrisBrogan.com said . . . demystify the business effects of social tools, and bring real projects to light.Twitter ID

Bryan Eisenberg, co-author of Waiting for Your Cat to Bark said . . . stop waiting for a magic bullet and realize the magic comes from hard work they do.Twitter ID

Look for another helping of expert snacks tomorrow – Snackfest – a second helping!

Coaching Excellence Series Rolls On

My monthly expert interview series continues in July with a live session with David Meerman Scott on Wednesday, July 16th Noon CDT.

David is an online thought leadership and viral marketing strategist and author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to use news releases, blogs, podcasts, viral marketing and online media to reach your buyers directly.

David never fails to add valuable insights the world of marketing online. – Enroll here

If you missed it, last month’s guest was Michael Port, author of Book Yourself Solid – listen to all the archives here.