Are you looking for a way to get your new blogging business to be found online as quickly as possible? Great then get comfy, and I will walk you through some of the most important steps that you will need to take right now to start getting those leads and sales rolling in…
Download my free blogging for beginners email course so that you can follow through the steps more easily and so you have something to keep and work on once you’ve finished reading this post.
Okay, here are your 7 actionable steps that will get your new blogging business found online faster!
Note: I originally wrote this post as a guide for my business clients but I thought it was just as relevant for bloggers who want to make a business out of their blog, as the same principles apply.
Your branding is what is going to help people recognise you easily and quickly online. The internet is a very busy and noisy place with millions of businesses screaming for attention. How then, are you going to get noticed ahead of all that (already established) competition?
Okay, for one minute I want you to imagine yourself walking down a busy city street. There are shops lining each side of the road, flashing signs, traffic and people everywhere. You feel hungry and tired and in need of food and a drink. You look around you for something that might tell you where you can get these.
In the distance you see a large yellow M. Instantly, you know what this is. You know that it’s a Mcdonald’s restaurant. You know this because every McDonald’s restaurant in the world has the exact same yellow M. It is instantly recognisable.
You also instantly know what they sell. You know what food they serve, what drinks are available, you know what the inside of the restaurant will be like and you know the ordering process. You know all this from just seeing that big yellow M.
This is what you are aiming for with your branding. You need a logo that people can instantly recognise. You need to use this logo consistently across EVERYTHING you do online, your website, Facebook page, LinkedIn or Pinterest profiles and any advertising that you do. Consistency is key when trying to build your brand awareness. People need to keep seeing the same thing over and over until they are used to it and know what it is.
You will not be able to get noticed online quickly if your branding isn’t right.
A hook is a sentence that you use to attract the attention of your ideal customer. It is something that will make them stop scrolling and take a second look.
A good hook usually does one of these things:
For example, if you sold an eczema cream a hook could be “Do you suffer from eczema?” Or it could say “Instant relief from Eczema symptoms”
Okay you now have their attention. Not only that but you have the attention of your intended audience only, no one who doesn’t suffer from eczema (or knows someone who does) is likely to have stopped and looked.
Great. You now have the attention of your ideal customer, you have a “warm” lead. But what do you do with them now?
Now that you have the attention of someone who is most likely to buy your product (or service) you need a way to capture their information so that you can follow up with them.
A lead magnet is a way of capturing their information, ie email address, name, address, phone number etc. Although you should only ask for the information that you absolutely require to be able to follow up with your lead. Less is most definitely more in this case as the more information you ask someone to provide, the less likely they are to give it. I would recommend at this stage you are only asking for an email address and possibly a first name.
A lead magnet can be created using a plugin such as Lead Pages, or through an email service provider such as Mailchimp.
Ideally, it should include an image of the product or service (or someone using it is even better) and should state what the customer will receive in exchange for their email address. Be aware of GDPR rules for capturing personal information and make sure you are complying, as the consequences can be severe. You can learn more about it here.
Don’t let it put you off collecting these leads though as it’s the fastest way you will grow your sales. Mailchimp has a box to tick that instantly makes your lead capture pages compliant so you don’t need to concern yourself too much with all the legal details.
Okay you’ve got a load of email addresses, now what?
In exchange for someone’s email address you are going to have to provide something of value to them. This is most often a “freebie” of some kind.
The “freebie” can be:
When someone sees your hook, completes the lead capture page and presses submit, they should then be sent their “freebie”. This is your first opportunity to show them the value that your product or service can offer.
Obviously, if you can create a “freebie” that does not cost you anything to send out, ie a digital item, this is better because it won’t cost you a single penny to service that lead as you will be able to email it to them.
Okay, so you have your list of emails, you have your freebie, how can you send it out to them totally on auto-pilot?
To enable you to grow your business more quickly, you are going to need to automate as much of it as possible.
Attracting, collecting and responding to your leads is one of the very first things you can automate. A truly “set it and forget it” system. This means you can spend your time doing whatever it is that actually makes you money from your blog rather than sitting responding to emails all day.
There are many email service providers that give auto-responder services.
I have used Mailchimp and Aweber but Mailchimp lets you get started for free so I would start with them.
You create a list where you want your collected emails to go once they have been submitted. You then create a campaign that sends out their “freebie” automatically as soon as they get added to the list.
You then need to nurture your list. You need to build a relationship with them so that they begin to know, like and trust you. People buy from people, and once they like you and trust you they are far more likely to buy from you.
You will need to create a series of emails to send out to your list periodically. The first might ask how they are getting on with their “freebie” and ask if there is anything else you can help them with.
The second might be a day or so later where you send them a helpful hint or tip or other valuable piece of information.
The third might be a day or so after that where you perhaps ask a thought provoking question to get them thinking about the problem you are trying to solve for them. This is called priming the sale.
The fourth would be a day or so after that where you make an offer. You promote your goods or service to them. You offer them a discount for buying from a link on that email so that they feel they must take action to get the reward. Can you see how this is making it really easy for you to create relationships and fully automate your lead collection and conversion process?
Wait, what? I have to do all that BEFORE I set up my blog? Why on earth would I do that? Surely that will just slow the whole process down.
Well, you see, that, right there, that idea that your blog and social media will sell your products for you is why most new blogging businesses end up failing. They don’t get customers, they don’t build followers, they don’t build a list of warm leads. They just keep hoping that someone will buy what they’re selling.
Well folks, I’m sorry to be the one that has to tell you, but that’s not how it works. Here’s why…
If you just set up a blog and publish it, who will know it’s there? Okay so you tell your friends and family and maybe you get someone to do a bit of SEO on it. Do you know how long it takes for Google to rank your brand spanking new website? Months.
Alright so your new Facebook page or Pinterest profile will get you viewers and customers right? Wrong! Any social media presence needs a following so that your offers actually get seen by people. How are you going to build a following if no one recognises you online. You need to develop your brand awareness if you are going to build a decent following of raving fans. Note: Facebook only serves your posts to 2% of your followers unless you pay. That means if you have 1,000 followers your posts (or offers) will only be seen by about 20 people.
All this means that every single person who sees your offer and shows an interest in it is a really valuable asset to you because, to start with, they are a rare commodity indeed. You absolutely need to capture their information so that you can start building that relationship with them.
Once someone likes you and trusts you and becomes a customer they will like your page, give you a review and help to promote it further. Until you get that customer NOTHING happens.
Your branding will help you to stand out online. This will help your hooks get spotted by interested parties, those who are most likely to become your customers. Your lead magnets will collect their details and your email sequences will build the relationship with them and convert them to customers.
If you don’t implement the other 6 steps first, you are just wasting your time promoting your blogging business because no one is going to notice it.
Get everything else set up first so that one thing will help with the next. Although it might seem like a long winded way of doing things, I promise, it will deliver the results you are looking for much faster in the long run.
It is much easier to sell to an existing customer than it is to a total stranger. This is common knowledge in sales. This means that you have to get the most out of your existing customers – without driving them away.
How can you achieve this delicate balance? A sales funnel will help you to get this right.
A sales funnel is just a way of moving a customer from the “freebie” to your next product and then your next until they buy the most expensive product in your inventory.
Your good old autoresponder is going to help you to do this, and to automate it too. After someone makes a purchase from you, you need to keep in touch with them. Let’s say they bought the first offer you made after they tried your freebie.
You would continue to send them newsletters once a month, or tips and hints every couple of weeks or other useful content that will keep you top of their minds. Then when you feel the time is right send an email that will prime them for the second purchase. Then a few days later send them the offer for the next most expensive item in your range.
Remember: Just because someone doesn’t buy there and then doesn’t mean that they aren’t interested. It just means that they are not interested at that particular time. You should continue to send your newsletters and helpful hints and tips and then maybe try them again in a month or two.
I have found that lots of people who try my free products and services don’t buy immediately, but when they are ready to buy they think of me and come to me as their trusted provider. Patience is a virtue when nurturing future customers.
Although these are all things you can do yourself, and my blogging basics course will certainly help, sometimes it’s just quicker and easier to have someone show you exactly what to do and how to do it isn’t it?
I know what you’re thinking, sounds expensive right? Wrong!
My whole business is about helping new businesses to become more successful faster. I want to help them overcome the hurdles that technology can cause. I want to show you exactly what tool to use to do all this and how to get the free ones (the ones that aren’t advertised – obviously).
I want to be able to tutor you in how to find a great hook and how to create a lead magnet, again for free. There is no need to buy expensive programmes to enable you to do this. Free ones are JUST as effective. You can always use fancy tools and systems once you’re making money.
I want to work with you to help you get your social media set up in a way that will help to promote your business and get it found online, and also have it gathering those precious leads for you. I will also show you how you can create professional branding yourself for free, or how to get it done for you for as little as £5, yes honestly.
Do you know how to write a subject line for your emails that will get them to actually be opened? No? Then I will help you with this too.
In fact, I will help you with every single part of this 7 step system for just £250 per month for 4 months if you join my Quick Start Programme. Your whole business can be up and running and working for you in just 4 months (or less if you prefer). This is an online course, so you can pretty much work at your own pace and crack on with things as fast as you like – although you will get some personal support from me too 🙂
So if you want a complete programme that you can work on at a time that suits you, from the comfort of your own home, that offers one to one coaching sessions, a Facebook community to be a part of and monthly live online meetings that cover Q&A and areas of concern, join the Quick Start Programme today! You can sign up and get instant access here.
Like to get the whole lowdown on what the programme offers? Click here for full information.
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