The best approach to get leads for a B2B solution

I got this question on Clarity.fm where I’m a registered consultant and so decided to share my answer here as well.

  • Firstly, get some testimonials and case studies for the product.
  • Build a website and pay to have it SEOed professionally.
  • Plan a blog writing year of articles.
  • Get public speaking opportunities to showcase your expertise and if you can, mention the B2B solution.
  • Buy a mailing list (or build your own) and use direct mail to educate the audience in your area of expertise. Later mention the B2B solution and build a landing page on the website to capture inbound enquiries.
  • Seek referrals and word of mouth from happy customers.

In order to do these things you will need the following marketing assets: Website, brochure collateral, marketing automation software, CRM database, SEO and strong copywriting.

Happy to help with more detail if you arrange a 20 minute phone call with me personally. I can either tutor you in how to do it yourself, or my team can do it with/for you.

Anniversary marketing campaign ideas

 

Linda Horton from Bermuda makes amazing Bermudan Black Rum Cakes and is planning a 30th

Horton’s Bermudan Black Rum Cake

Anniversary Marketing event.  Here’s what we recommended

  • Create a special cake (unique box, big plus small cake in one box, different sizes, multi-buy)
  • Use your database of past customers and create a mailing campaign
  • Create a landing page on your website “30th Anniversary” – on the page talk about the history of the company and tell them there will be a contest every week during July and you’re planing a special cake edition.  As each email gets sent out, edit the page to include more and more information

Send messages as follows

  • 1 month in advance (1 June) telling them to expect something special at the anniversary.
  • 2 weeks later tell them what it will be and say you’re taking advance orders at a special discounted price for 1 week only.  [This is useful because you then know the volume you need to bake.]
  • 1 week after – send an email saying you will raise the price to the normal price on the website in 1 day [this will drive more sales].
  • On 1 July start the contest on Facebook and also run it on the website.  Include a simple entry form so you get their email addresses.
  • On 8 July announce the winner of the first week on Facebook and the website page.  Also email every person who entered and did not win offering them a special price on a cake and encouraging them to enter again.
  • Repeat each week till the end of July.
If you want to boost contest entries you can do Facebook advertising to send people to your landing page.
I am really looking forward to the cake Linda’s sending over for the team… morning coffee will never be the same again!

 

Are you the CEO of your business website?

Yes I’m asking you if you drive business success from your website?

Is someone in charge of making your firm’s website successful?  Making the websitedeliver business goals?  It doesn’t matter if you’re self-employed or work for a giant corporation, if you have a website we will teach you how to drive proactive success with Blogging Concentrated education.

Announcing the Blogging Concentrated New Zealand Tour

Running to five dates, we are bringing the US founders of Blogging Concentrated, Dan Morris and Rachel Martin, to NZ so we can get ahead learning how to become the CEO of our websites and drive business success.

Five dates, Four Cities, Two Leaders and One YOU.

Join us in Auckland on May 1, May 3; Wellington on May 6th; Nelson on May 7th and Christchurch on May 9th for the best, practical website marketing execution training available.

What will I learn?

Websites are the modern marketer’s best tool to build new revenue streams and grow audience engagement.  This training comes from the leading edge of best practice with two international practitioners sharing their up to date knowledge.

Learn specific techniques that will deliver outcomes including:

  • Audience engagement with clusters marketing
  • Persuasion and action techniques
  • How to tell a story
  • Using data dashboards to improve conversions
  • The copywriting words that create engagement
  • How to use custom sidebars to optimise your adverts
  • A YouTube strategy to keep viewers on your videos
  • And more….
Watch the 4 minute video Dan and Rachel recorded about the NZ sessions 
Everything taught in the sessions is based on real-world learning and used daily in Dan and Rachel’s own business websites.  They know these techniques work.
You will be learning practical solutions from knowledgeable technicians.

Blogging Concentrated Testimonials

“I think you are going to revolutionize the way I write posts – the Adsense lecture was phenomenal. We will be contacting you with more specific questions e.g. How on earth do we get the CPM per post spreadsheet – and everything else, once we decompress what we’ve learned.”  R Miller

“You know when you go to a conference and you sit through sessions that simply regurgitate stuff you already know?  Yeah, I hate that, which is why I’m so excited about being at Blogging Concentrated Atlanta, Dan R Morris and Rachel Martin have put together a ton of original content that is not just informative but actionable.  When they come to your town you should definitely sign up and go.”  Simon Salt

“Stay in front of your audience was worth the price of the conference ticket! Wow!” Penny Woodin Rogers

“@DanRMorris 16 minutes in and mind exploding with actions already!” Amie Flowerday

“Hi Dan,  Just wanted to say thank you so much for all the valuable information you and Rachel gave us this weekend.  You can not put any price on what we learned, and I am forever in debt to you both!”  Emily Luscombe

Want to pay less for the event?

The Blogging Concentrated business has 2 parts – training events and BC Prime, a subscriber community who buy training and advice by monthly subscription.  If you’re curious about the depth of knowledge these guys bring to training events – read the BC Prime page – note the huge quantity of 2014 Release Archives – impressive, eh?  6 – 10 new pieces of educational content per month…

Choose BC Prime when you book your ticket and pay less – but GET MORE.

Ready to become the CEO of your website?
Join us by booking your ticket

button register

There are two prices, one for BC Prime members and one for the public.
Avoid limp education, buzz phrases and marketing hype.  Concentrate on workable, practical solutions that you can implement immediately on your website.
You know where to come!

 

website slider

Business Websites should not use a slider carousel

We’ve been researching  sliders on website home pages for a client.  His designer has come up with two website layouts and one includes a slider.

website slider

Image credit graphicsfuel.com

My instincts say “don’t do it”  but I need justification.  My search shows up four great articles – note most of them recommend alternatives and all of them say that sliders are OK in some circumstances.  Many of the alternatives still have motion and some incorporate sliders in different positions on the page.

Make your own mind up.

Call us if you’d like a chat and how to make your website work harder to achieve your business marketing goals.

Business & Marketing Tip: Following up with leads and relationships

A mutually beneficial client winning strategy

Marketing education is a big part of our overall new business strategy. At Creative Agency Secrets we strive to find ways to connect with our potential clients and be a part of their marketing success whether they work with us or not. We hold complimentary marketing management and idea calls, host free marketing seminars, create appraisals for websites and so on. But what makes it all work is our ability to follow up with the people we meet and educate. It’s one of our core lead generation and client winning strategies, and it could work for your business as well.

What following up does for your business

Staying connected develops relationships between you and your prospective clients or friends. This means you build up a network of people who can use your services, direct you to new clients and endorse your work.

Here’s a case study of a sports equipment online retailer we manage marketing activities for called Space Saver Rowing Systems. The client was so impressed with our work that when their manufacturer started looking for marketing assistance, the client directed them to us.

In another example, we worked with Zeald website designers to host a free marketing event. From that connection we gained several new clients, among them – European Auto Spares. We followed up with them individually after the event.

We’ve got loads of these stories and all because we helped our contacts in their endeavours and kept up communications with them.  In short, following up with people can net you leads and create a healthy flow of revenue for your business.

relationships casKeep the relationship flowing: the different ways we follow up

Meeting summaries for prospective clients – summaries are quite common, usually in the form of a dreary PDF or bullet-pointed word document. Along with that, we like to include anecdotes or a friendly sentence relating to something new we learned about the prospective client from that meeting. This gives those who joined the meeting more reason to read the email and even better, a reason to reply. To the right an example of a regular email following up a business meeting.

Something that we love to include in these that makes all the difference, is a link to one of our helpful blog posts or free eBooks. We look for a related topic in the email, then link a keyword or two and mention it may help. For example, if the email pertains to construction an email campaign, we might link to our cold emails eBook!

Newsletters – if you run a regular newsletter about your personal or company activities, invite your contacts to it. Make sure first that they’ll get something out of your blog posts and focus on explaining that to them. Newsletters don’t only inform, they help keep you and your business in the minds of others. This can make the difference between whether or not they think of you when new work arises. For an example, sign up to our newsletter list and see what you learn.

Related business – categorise your past clients and business friends by business type. This lets you update contacts in different industries on related updates to your activities or information you find.  To make the most of this, as soon as you form a new business relationship you should create a related industry update alert via a tool like Google Alerts. This way you’re following the industries most related to your activities and the alerts remind you that you have a connection to that industry. Then you can report any exciting news you find straight to them.

Us? Well, we’ve created our subcontracted services listing for exactly this reason. It’s an activity we do whereby we list all the work we can’t do or isn’t related to our services, and those listings get picked up by other businesses with the right set of skills for the job. It’s a fairly simple information sharing activity but with huge potential impact. As a result, people loves connecting with us.

Follow themif you keep up to date with the activities of your contacts you can provide more relevant input or updates. This is another exercise making sure you keep your follow ups linked to you with context as opposed to random email drops asking them how they are.

Daily tasks for this would include reading LinkedIn status updates. Weekly or monthly tasks include reading your contacts’ newsletters. One way we keep up with our industries and clients is by setting Google Alerts searching for company names. We also set an event on our Google Calendar that has a list of company websites and blogs to read up on in the description.

In Summary

Be diligent and consistent when you’re following up with people. Sometimes they are busy or skip emails, life gets in the way. Keep trying while not being too aggressive and you’ll grow on the minds of your clients and leads. Change up your approach to be more informative if a friendly nature doesn’t catch their eye. For example, you could direct them to tools or blog posts that will directly improve their way of business or provide them with a new opportunity. We posted up several examples of catch up emails and following leads through email that we’ve written previously to help you on your way.

Many of these ways to follow up with contacts can fit into your day to day activities, especially if you’re a marketing agency like us. If you spot yourself working on something that could help out some of your business contacts, send them an email and keep up to date. But more importantly – keep your business in their minds, and leading with a positive impression.

 


The blue icons opposite are part of our 8-Step New Business Development Methodology.  6 Create Opportunities icon5 Relationship Development icon

Click each icon to find more blog articles on the topic – educate yourself in modern marketing

 

 

Google Alerts Has Been Updated

Many content marketers rely on Google Alerts as a way of getting ideas for content, seeing what your competitors are doing online and for those vain enough – seeing what others are publishing online about you.

Google has recently “beautified” their Alert service – there’s no telling just yet whether they’ve changed anything behind the scenes.

 

The Old Google Alerts

Old Google Alerts

Old Google Alerts

Above is a picture of what Google Alerts used to look like – functional, but not the simplistic approach Google is taking.

 

The New Google Alerts

The first thing you’ll see when you check out Google Alerts is the friendly and more stylised design, however the big changes come with Google’s suggestions.

The suggestions are based off who you’ve added in your circles in Google+, again this emphasises the importance Google is placing on G+. The better you utilise Google+ the better the suggestions Google will offer.

Google have also added a “Me On The Web” section – something we recommend all of our clients to do. It is always intriguing to see what others are posting about you online (if anything).

*Remember if you’re using a unique (individual) Google account to add your company or your client’s companies – Google isn’t quite clever enough to auto-suggest them at this stage.

New Google Alerts

New Google Alerts

Google = advertising around intent; Facebook = demand generation

I was at a networking event yesterday and the Sales Lady from Facebook New Zealand was presenting.  She made this statement

Google is advertising around intent; Facebook is about demand generation

And it started me thinking.

Google – yes I get it – the intent is shown by your search string.

Facebook’s claim is harder to back up.

Why Facebook’s demand gen claim is slack

The sales lady says that because on Facebook brands advertise to drive likes, then it’s demand generation.

I think because it’s hard to get visitors off Facebook and onto your website where you can actually make prospects take actions that lead them into the sales funnel, the effectiveness of this strategy is low.

But there are work-arounds – read this technique which we developed for our clients How Facebook boosted my newsletter subscribers.

Is Facebook still good for brands?

The answer today is yes… but.  We have great client brands who are successfully recruiting new readers through their Facebook promotion, advertising and status updates.  But without a clear set of tactics to drive those readers off Facebook and onto their website, all this work would be hard to monetise.

For many brands, especially B2B, their audience isn’t on Facebook.  So it’s irrelevant to their marketing plans.

Take a look at this FB post and the comments below.  We are seeing readers adding in their friends’ names to their comments in order to draw their attention to this bit of content, and that’s bringing in new visitors.

Facebook Comments promotion

How to introduce your business by email

Copy this email introduction for your business; make a template and add in key information about your business.

In my networking group, we’re working hard to make it really EASY for members to introduce each other to new prospects and new clients.

St. Augustine writing, revising, and re-writin...

St. Augustine writing, revising, and re-writing: Sandro Botticelli’s St. Augustine in His Cell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was asked by the group to help coach them in the best way to write an introduction that others could use.  So here’s an introduction to my own firm and a commentary on what information to put down for yourself.

Now read the perfect email introduction.

What does my business do?

This is an email you can send about our services
Creative Agency Secrets is an expert in marketing and promoting businesses using traditional and online methods.  We work as the outsourced marketing team for busy businesses doing marketing that starts conversations and leads to sales.
 
I have seen their work for [name a client] and used them for my own business to write the copy on our website About Us page.  And I’ve also recommended them several times and had great feedback especially about their careful attention to detail.
 
I will leave you two to connect – I’ve spoken to you both about each other and shared your emails and phone numbers below.

The elements in an email introduction

Start: with your one-liner…. who are you and what do you do
Build: with an example of their work for someone you both know, preferably.  If you can’t say you have worked personally with them, a mutual acquaintance is a positive reinforcer.
Memorability: Add an anecdote that describes your experience – if you can make it funny, cute or WOW that’s best but not strictly necessary.

End: Include all the information they need to continue a dialogue without you….

We plan on creating a shared document for everyone so they can cut/paste the text into emails for business referrals for new business development.

The best introductions are when you’ve spoken personally to both parties.  NOTE not emailed, spoken….

A Closer Look at Agency Search Firms – The Future Factory

This blog post series looks in depth at firms from our List of Agency Search Firms. These are businesses who help to match brands with agencies, while helping those agencies handle pitches and get meetings. You’ll learn exactly what agency search firms do, the different services offered and what your agency needs to look for in a search firm.

The Future Factory profile

This week we’re looking at The Future Factory, a London based cold calling firm. The Future Factory aims to create leads for agencies listed with them by calling up potential clients and offering services on their behalf. The most interesting thing about The Future Factory is their hands on approach to their clients and business in general. They opt to work so close to the client, even spending several days in their offices, to really understand the agencies they work with. In doing so they then fully understand the best approach to take when cold calling for them and it develops quite a close relationship.

The Future Factory

The Future Factory

They offer:

  • Cold calling work search services for agencies.
  • Relationships management services for agencies.
  • Provide brand research and feedback for agencies.

Services for Agencies

By spending 8 days per month, half of that time in the agency’s offices, The Future Factory get clients for agencies by cold calling potential brands. They research these brands and develop relationships with them.

Before this is undertaken however they go through a rigorous understanding process whereby they get to know the agencies business and core principles. They also pass on all information about brands they get work from to their agencies and make sure they are well prepared for the meeting. In this way The Future Factory double as a relationship building firm.

Services for Brands

The Future Factory provides no services to brands directly. Rather they research what services they could provide brands and call up those brands based on a set of unknown criteria.

Charges and Fees

Monthly membership subscriptions are the only apparent payment The Future Factory takes. They decide total monthly costs based on meeting and negotiation (this may be fixed for every agency but it is unclear). These fees may possible be extended each time they win work for their clients but again this is unclear.

Key members of staff – from Linked In

Who is The Future Factory right for?

Agencies who like a hands on approach to client work will find The Future Factory to be greatly accommodating. They work closely with their clients and their testimonials suggest they regularly bring in work. They also benefit those agencies not wanting to get in too deep with an agency search firm through the monthly subscription service, meaning you can cancel any month if it’s not working out.

The risks seem low and the potential rewards seem high, so working with The Future Factory could be a good way to test the waters for newer agencies. If your relationship procurement and development skills are high as an agency though, you might want to go for more of a listing service so you have a greater presence online.

Shortcomings

No listings, only calls – With no listing or extra exposure, The Future Factory is only good for bringing in clients directly. This means if you are already a star agency at procuring and developing relationships then they may not do too much for you. If you’re looking for a greater online presence, better go with a company that  lists your on their website for seeking brands to find.

For a full list of companies in this blog post series, click through to the

Agency Search Firms Listly