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Tips for Participating in a Conference/Expo

By on October 23, 2017

Congratulations on your decision to actively participate in a conference or expo! That means you’re either paying for a spot as a vendor or are giving a presentation of some kind.

Now what? Just show up and do a fantastic job, right? No! There is a lot of prep work to be done to get the most out of your experience. I recently grabbed the opportunity to give a master class to an exclusive membership group in a conference. It was a wonderful experience and I was thrilled not only to get business from it, but also to connect with so many perfect prospects. And you know what happens when you have a good time? You wanna do it again!

So before you jump into the conference/expo thing, let me give you some solid advice on how to get the most out of it with a Conference Marketing Strategy.

Pre-conference

  • Create a new Lead Magnet just for this event. A lead magnet is a short “deliverable” that you can give away for free. A check list, a cheat sheet, some valuable and actionable tips, usually on one sheet of paper.
  • Have a brief questionnaire ready to go. Ask a few pointed questions about their business that will help you determine if they are a viable prospect. If they fill out a questionnaire and submit to you within 72 hours of the conference, they will receive your Tip Sheet/Lead Magnet.
  • Put out the word that you’ll be participating in this event, and invite those who have registered to stop by and check out your table, your talk, etc. There is a powerful reason you’re telling people about your participation, and that is to show them that you care about your target market by being actively involved.
  • Message your email list weekly until the event. No, it’s not too often, as long as it’s BRIEF and VALUE-DRIVEN. For those who are not attending the event, they can email you to receive the questionnaire or download it from your email marketing account. Once they fill it out and send it back, you will send them your lead magnet.
  • Take to your prospect’s favorite social media channel and post about your involvement twice a week until the event. Go to the website of the event and see what hashtags they are using. Search that hashtag in social media to be sure you use the same one.
  • Mention in the emails and social media, that for those attending the event, they can fill out the questionnaire on the spot to be entered into a drawing for a prize ($50 Dunkin Donuts will do). For everyone submitting, they will receive your tip sheet instantly.

At the conference

  • Have a bunch of questionnaires ready with clipboards and pens.
  • Have a bunch of tip sheets and a bowl to collect their cards toward the prize.

Post Conference

  • Read through the questionnaires and discard those that are simply not a good fit for you and you don’t wish to pursue. Put the rest in 2 piles – “hot” and “ok”. The hot pile entries appear to be perfect prospects with complete answers and who clearly are ready to buy. The ok pile is obvious. You can still follow up but it’s not urgent.
  • For the hot pile, reach out to each to offer a free phone consult. Because you have their questionnaire answers, the conversation should be very focused and be done in 20 minutes. After that, reach out to those in the ok pile.
  • Finally, make a list of what worked and what didn’t. Was this a valuable experience? Did you gain knowledge? Connections? Prospects? More speaking engagements? Customers? If it was worthwhile, sign up for next year’s event. If it wasn’t, learn why and aim to change what didn’t work.

Content Writing Made Simple

By on October 5, 2017

Content Marketing Made Simple with Right Click Advantage
Content Marketing Made Simple with Right Click Advantage

When I talk about Content Marketing I can see shoulders start to slump. Writing? Their posture reveals that this was their worst subject at school. They have visions of filling those Composition Notebooks and using fancy vocabulary words. We had to figure out when to use semi-colons and colons; and how exactly do you decide when to start a new paragraph?

Oh the stress of it all!

Well I have good news in Content Marketing … the biggest success comes from simply giving people valuable information.

Who cares if you used “affect” instead of “effect” or capitalized Sunday or left it as sunday?

The point is, people need your expertise and need to decide whether to trust you as the expert.  Here are some easy rules for content marketing:

  • Who: Picture your Perfect Client in your mind when you write. Write as if you are reading it to that one person. No one else matters.
  • What: Focus on the quality of the information you’re giving. If your reader says, “thanks, this is cool”, then you’ve done a great job. If you’ve bored them, then they will delete.
  • How: write in your own words, in a casual, relaxed and friendly voice. Make sure you are always respectful and positive. Use industry jargon only if your Perfect Client would expect you to.
  • When: blogging once a week is the norm, so don’t feel that you’re spamming by writing more than once or twice per month. People read, research and review every day, so why hide your expertise?
  • Where: Your informative article can be shared on the blog page of your website, Facebook Notes, Google+ and LinkedIn profile pages, as well as your email campaigns.
  • Why: If your competitors are informing your audience, they are enticing your customers away from you. Are you okay with that? Didn’t think so.

If this makes you feel more at ease about content marketing, that makes me happy! My goal is to help small business owners move toward their revenue goals with appropriate marketing activities.

If content marketing is something that still feels overwhelming, let’s chat about it.

How To Drive Sales From Newly Acquired Leads

By on August 22, 2017

Whether you have new leads from a conference or speaking engagement, you need to do something with those business cards you collected – stat!

If you have a handful of cards, or if you have an assistant, invite each person to connect on LinkedIn first. It’s just a nice business connection touch beyond just the email marketing.

When you do upload the list into your email marketing tool, you’ll want to create a separate list for those folks, and apply tags if possible. For example, the List would be called “XYZ Expo” and tags could be the city where you met them, the date, etc. If you can add more detailed notes about the event that you can refer to, so much the better.

Your first email touch-point should be a “thanks for connecting” message. Help them remember where they met you.

“Hi, [firstname], I enjoyed meeting you at the XYZ Expo in Houston on Aug. 15th. I know we met a lot of folks that day, so here’s a little about me:”

And from there, you can continue to give them a written version of your 15 second intro, including who your perfect customer is, what their challenge is, and how you help them.

If your email marketing tool can handle a drip campaign, often called an Auto-Responder Series, the verbiage above would be Message #1 and should be super brief. The Call To Action is always to schedule a Free 15 to 30 minute Phone Consult with you.

The 2nd and subsequent messages should also be short and extremely informative. Make sure you always give value and include your Call To Action to book the Free Phone Consult.

The secret is the brevity and the value – a quick and useful email will be something that generates interest and curiosity, and attracts people to your business. Easy peasy!

Let’s Keep It Simple

By on August 7, 2017

Sometimes working on this month’s email campaign can feel overwhelming. Like that scene from Star Wars where they are stuck in a giant trash compactor and the walls of garbage are closing in on them, a large daunting marketing task can make us feel squeezed for time and put us into a state of paralysis. The next step of course is procrastination.

  • But what if you made it easier on yourself and didn’t address too many things in a single campaign?
  • What if you made it shorter and focused on only 1 thing?
  • Can it be that there is a way to make creating your email campaign easier AND bring more value to your audience?

I was working with a business owner who offers 3 key services, so she usually includes 3 informative articles in her email campaign, each focusing on 1 of the 3 services. While the intent was to send campaigns monthly, the size of the task made it easier and easier to push to the ‘Later’ pile, and months would go by without it getting done.

We spoke about 1 great topic for 1 key service and I gave her Official Permission to just use 1 article on the 1 topic for that month’s email. An article, 2 or 3 images, a list of her next speaking engagements, and a call to action. Done.

Take a look at what you’ve been doing – or more importantly – what you’ve been meaning to do if you ever got around to it. Simplifying by targeting 1 topic or service that you offer lets you serve up material that is easier for your audience to digest. If they can read it easier they can focus on it and reach out to you. Presenting too many choices makes for a confused mind, and when we are confused we cannot act.

Dare to make your very next email marketing campaign simpler!

Is There Anyone Back There?

By on July 17, 2017

Branding as you or branding as an entity plays a large role in how a customer wants to interact with you.

Let’s say you’re strolling through a lovely neighborhood of small shops. You walk into one shop, and after browsing around, you have some questions, but there’s no one that seems to work there. Then you notice a kiosk where you can place an order or submit a question. The store seems attractive, well stocked and professional – but you’re turned off that “no one’s home”. The lack of staff seems almost disrespectful, uncaring, unwelcoming.

You walk into the next shop, and the owner greets you, let’s you wander freely, and offers to answer any questions you may have. Where would you prefer to shop?

Clearly the one with the human.

If you’re a business owner, you may be tempted to try to impress your audience and customers with creating a sense of “a fancy” or “a bigger” company. You don’t want them to think it’s just you or you and your partner running things. You feel that if your customer is aware of the small team of resources, that they’ll opt for a bigger company instead.

20  years ago, that may have been true. But not today.

The advantages of marketing in today’s world revolves around PERSONAL and EMOTIONAL. If you can inject real life stories, if you can make the customer feel taken care of, that they can develop a real relationship with real people, then you can more easily grow your customer base. Think about which store you’ll return to the next time you’re in the area: store #1 or store #2.

Even if you’re a service provider, this holds true – so what should you look out for and change?

Email address – if you’re using the info@companyname.com email address you set up in 1995, please change it. “info@” FEELS as though there’s a robot behind the counter – there’s no one to talk to and no one is actually there minding the store.

What to use?

If the business is run by you and your partner – John-and-Mary@Funcompany.com. If you’re on your own – susana@RightclickAdvantage.com (😊)

Along these lines, if you’re on your own, or clearly the principle of the company, and you’re the one providing the service and answering the phone, should you use “We” or “I” in your website and brochure content? People feel that using “we” implies that you’re bigger than you actually are. But is being big the real advantage? Not even close.

Think about whether you want to build the brand independently (someday there will be employees to interact with) or whether it feels right for the brand to be YOU– the customer will only ever need to speak with you, even if you have a team working in the background. So if I grow my business to include an office manager and a campaign designer, I would create an email address with their name or at the least their title. For example, OfficeMgr@… However, Iwould prefer to say, “Email our office manager, Sherry, at Sherry@rightclickadvantage.com.

Is all this really important?

If you want to your audience to stop in once and shop once, then it’s not critical. But if you want to develop a loyal following and long term buying relationship, then Small-and-Warm will win over Big-and-Cold every time. Give people a sense of making a real connection. Bring them into a relationship.

While I can’t predict which marketing trends will be popular in the year 2050, I do know that this advice holds true in 2017 and in the near future.

Marketing Strategy is the difference between inconsistent, occasional sales -and- steady, repeat business. if you suspect your strategic plan needs a makeover (or perhaps never existed), I welcome you to take the first step by scheduling a free Discovery Call with ME. Not President, not CEO – Me. It’s entirely possible that just a few tweaks can make a huge difference. Email ME – Susana@Rightclickadvantage.com.

The Post-Seminar Blues

By on April 18, 2017

I’ve spoken at a seminar. Now what?Lead generation speaking

You’ve ended your talk and the room erupts in applause! They loved you, they loved your material.

Speaking is one of the most powerful lead generators in the world of marketing. But if you don’t have an after-talk process or plan in mind, it can get you nowhere. I’ve been nowhere, it’s not fun.

You go home and wait for the bookings to come. But they don’t. What’s missing?

During your talk:

By all means, share wonderful, actionable information. Your attendees should walk away with at least 3 actions they could put into play immediately. However, you want to refer to bigger solutions without actually giving away all the details they would have learned if they paid for your service. Build the gap (between what they walk away with for free and what they need to pay you for) by using phrases like, “I tackle challenges like this in detail when I work with my clients…”  Let them understand that what you’re giving away is just motivating them to get started on a solution but they will need you for the full value.

lead generation speakingAt the end of your talk and after:

  • Your last slide should include your call to action. What’s an easy and free step they can take after your talk? Usually, it’s setting up a free 30 minute phone consult. But they won’t know that until you make it clear that you invite them to call, email, or visit your office or website to book the free consult.
  • Create a feedback form. Collect their contact information and their honest opinion. Enter the contacts into your email marketing tool so that you can continue to engage them. On the form, as what did they like, what was their biggest take-away, what can be improved? Then ask on the form if they would like to be contacted to schedule the free consult. Let them check a box with the understanding you will be calling them.
  • Send a thank you email within 24 hours to all attendees. Perhaps send them a pdf of your slides or a cheat sheet or any little bonus. Thank them for coming and once again state your call to action, inviting them to book a free phone consult. Use a scheduling tool so that you can put the link on your email for them to click and set their own appointment.
  • Call them anyway. Even if they didn’t request a consult, find a reason to quickly phone each person to simply say thanks, find out if they received your free bonus via the email, and engage them in conversation to find out more about their challenge and if they are a good fit to work with you. You’ll know by the end of the 10 minute call if you want to lead them to a 30 minute consult or if they are clearly not interested/not a fit.

For some people, working with you is something they know immediately. For others, they need to think about it for a day or two. Put them in your monthly marketing funnel to remind them of how you can help them.