Lead Generation Mistakes Most Marketers Should Stop Making

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For many businesses, the key to making sales is to first generate leads.

Leads are valuable because they’re the people who have indicated organic interest in your content and your business by giving you their information in some way, whether it’s by filling out a form to download an ebook, completing an online survey, or something else.

But leads don’t grow on trees. Some marketers have trouble generating enough leads to feed their sales team. Others generate plenty of leads, but they’re not good leads, and your sales team is having trouble closing them into customers. Others just have no idea where their leads are coming from. Buy the ultimate online course on lead generation and local funnels (save $200 by October 30th)

These are all common problems marketers have with lead generation. In this post, we’ll go over many of these problems and talk about how to fix them.

(P.S. – Need help diagnosing your website’s lead gen issues? The folks at IMPACT Branding & Design are providing expert website critiques live at this year’s INBOUND event with the help of special guests like Marcus Sheridan and HubSpot’s Luke Summerfield. Sign up here to reserve a slot.)

9 Lead Generation Mistakes Marketers Need to Stop Making

1) You’re buying leads, not generating them organically.

If you’re having trouble generating leads, it can be tempting to buy email lists so you can feed your sales organization with something — anything. But buying or renting contacts out of desperation will cause you more long-term (and short-term) harm than good.

There are a lot of reasons buying email lists is never a good idea. Not only will sending emails to purchased lists harm your email deliverability and IP reputation, but there’s a good chance the people on your purchased list have never heard of your company — making them far more likely to mark you as spam. They’ll also think you’re super annoying. And you’re not annoying, are you?

Bottom line here is that quality email addresses simply aren’t for sale. The whole point of generating leads is to eventually nurture those leads into customers. In order for your leads to become customers, the leads you generate need to actually want to hear from you.

How to Fix It

Your leads need to opt in, plain and simple. This means your contacts chose to give you their information in exchange for something valuable, like a content offer, webinar, event, and so on. Focus on creating offers that are valuable in some way for your target audience, and then package that value and put it behind a lead capture form.

Growing a healthy, opt-in email list takes time, but it’s worth its weight in gold down the line. And once you have people to email, be sure you’re creating remarkable email content that makes people want to actually open your emails and stay subscribed.

2) You don’t offer lead gen content for people in different stages of the buyer’s journey.

Not everyone who visits your website is going to be in the same stage of their buyer’s journey. Think about the folks who are landing on your website for the very first time. Do you think they’re ready to see a demo of your product? Or do you think they’d be more likely to want to download a helpful piece of content, like a step-by-step guide?

Some of your site visitors might be ready to buy, but most won’t — and you need to give them the opportunities to learn more about your business and what you’re selling before asking them take any sort of purchase action.

Creating valuable content to teach and nurture your leads down the funnel is time-consuming, which is why so often you’ll browse a business’ website and see nothing but “Buy Now!” and “Click Here for a Free Demo!” all over the place.

How to Fix It

There is no one-size-fits-all CTA for everyone who visits your website. To maximize clickthrough rates, you’ll want to cater to visitors who are at all different stages of the buyer’s journey using CTAs.

So, yes — you’ll need to spend time creating a variety of offers you can put behind landing page forms that cater to people at different stages. Folks who are just starting to get to know you might be interested in offers like checklists, contests, and templates. Visitors who are a little further down the funnel might be interested in email courses, kits, and whitepapers. Folks even further down might be ready for a demo.

Make sure you’re creating content that cover the whole funnel, and that you’re offering this content on your website so there’s something for everyone. (Need ideas for lead gen content? Here are 23 ideas for you.)

If you want to take personalization a step further, use smart CTAs. Smart CTAs are CTAs that change depending on the person viewing the page — his or her interests, location, pages viewed already, items or services bought before, and so on. Unsurprisingly, personalized CTAS actually convert 42% more visitors than basic calls-to-action. They make for a better user experience for your user, and higher conversion rates for you: a win-win! You can learn more about smart CTAs here.

3) You aren’t using your blog to generate leads.

HubSpot’s blog is responsible for a significant percentage of our marketing team’s incoming leads. In fact, we found that 76% of our monthly blog views come from “old” posts (in other words, posts published prior to that month). We always joke that if the entire blogging team went on vacation for a month, we’d still hit a good portion of our leads goal. (We’re still working on that one.)

But we find that marketers aren’t fully taking advantage of blogging as a lead generation powerhouse. Either folks aren’t blogging at all, or they’re not putting lead capture forms or CTAs on their blog — sometimes because they don’t have any valuable content offers to put behind a form.

But one of the biggest benefits of business blogging is converting the traffic it brings you into leads. Just like every blog post you write is another indexed page, each post is a new opportunity to generate new leads. Here’s what that looks like in numbers: If each one of your blog posts gets about 100 views per month, and your visitor-to-lead conversion rate on the blog is about 2%, then you’d get two leads from a single blog post each month. If you write 30 blog posts per month, you’d get 60 leads in a month — two from each blog post.

Keep blogging consistently like that for a year, and thanks to each blog post’s compounding value over time, each post you write will drive value for you in the form of traffic and leads. By the end of 12 months, you’ll end up getting 4,680 opt-in contacts per month, not just 720 opt-in contacts (60 leads*12 months).

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How to Fix It

Generating leads from your blog posts is simple: Just add a lead-generating call-to-action to every blog post. Most of the time, these CTAs will lead to landing pages offering free content like ebooks, whitepapers, checklists, webinars, free trials, and so on. Promote your content offers by blogging about subject matters related to them, and then put CTAs that lead to the asset’s landing page on every one of those blog posts.

What that CTA looks like on your blog posts is up to you. On HubSpot’s blog, we use three main types of CTAs on our blog: end-of-post banner CTAs on every single post, and slide-in CTAs and anchor text CTAs on select posts. Read this post to learn when it’s appropriate to use end-of-post banner CTAs, anchor text CTAs, or both.

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As for slide-in CTAs, we’ve found these to perform better than end-of-post CTAs — which makes sense because visitors see them sooner since they slide in at about 25%-50% of the way down the post. Learn how to add slide-in CTAs to your blog posts here.

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4) You aren’t using the best lead generation tools.

You know that people are coming to your website, but do you know what who they are? How about what they’re doing once they get there, or what they’re doing before and after taking certain actions? If you’re unable to answer these questions, then you’re going to have a hard time connecting with the people who are visiting your site or learning what’s resonating with them and what’s not.

But these are questions you can and should answer — but you need the right tools to do it. There are some great tools out there that can help you learn about your website visitors and convert them into leads.

How to Fix It

The trick is finding the best combination of tools that’ll give you the most insight and the best bang for your buck. There are a few different tools and templates out there that’ll help you create different lead gen assets you can put on your site.

At the simplest level, these 50+ free, customizable CTA Templates will help you create clickable buttons you can put on your blog, your landing pages, and elsewhere on your site. Use them to create CTAs that lead to a landing page form.

Speaking of forms, a form embedding tool will come in handy when it comes to actually collecting information from your site visitors and converting them into leads. If you’re a HubSpot customer, you can create and embed forms using HubSpot. Non-HubSpot customers can use a tool like Contact Form 7, JetPack, or Google Forms, and then use Leadin’s free Collected Forms tool to automatically capture these form submissions on your website.

Finally, a lead capture and contact insights tool like Leadin by HubSpot (which is free) will help you capture leads using pop-ups, dropdown banners, or slide-ins (called “lead flows”). It’ll also scrape any pre-existing forms you have on your website and add those contacts to your existing contact database.

Here’s an example of a slide-in CTA created using Leadin, HubSpot’s free conversion tool:

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5) You have a “right vs. wrong” testing mindset.

Knowing that you should test your website and constantly work on improving it is one thing. What most marketers have trouble with is seeing testing and experimenting not as a way to prove your ideas, but as a way to find something better.

I like the way Andrew Anderson put it in his post on ConversionXL: “The real challenge is in getting yourself and your organization ready to accept one really simple truth: Being wrong is far more valuable than being right.”

Often, this will manifest itself in someone having an idea for how to improve a part of their website. Perhaps they think removing distractions from a landing page will increase conversion rates on that page, for instance. What happens here is that most marketers will limit what they test in a way that skews the data to help them reach that conclusion, often without meaning it. After all, it feels bad — and might look bad — to have an idea or make an assumption and have it proven totally wrong.

How to Fix It

“The first and most vital step to dealing with this is to focus all discussions on the comparing of actions and not on validating opinions,” writes Anderson. “It isn’t about if Tactic A or B works, it is how well does Tactic A or B or C or D and so on compare to each other.”

In other words, treat every idea that’s brought to the table the same, whether or not you think it’ll “win.” This makes the testing program less personal and encourages a more holistic approach. Remember: by nature, a program that tests your website is meant to prove yourself and others wrong, and that’s a good thing.

You and your teammates need to check your egos and adopt this mindset to avoid finger-pointing. Instead of rewarding people for being right, which reinforces that toxic mindset, focus on the system and the outcomes more holistically.

6) You aren’t optimizing your top pages for lead generation.

Not all webpages should be treated the same. In fact, if you look at traffic numbers to specific pages on your website, you’ll probably find that the vast majority of your traffic is coming in to a few, very specific pages — maybe your homepage; your “Contact Us” page; maybe one or two popular blog posts. With so many people landing on those pages, why would you treat them like any other ol’ page on your website?

Because so many people are landing on those pages, it’s very important that you create opportunities for people to convert on those pages, lest you leave potentially massive lead numbers on the table.

How to Fix It

First, figure out which of your webpages are the four or five most popular for traffic. (HubSpot customers: You can do this in HubSpot by going to Reports > Page Performance, then filter the report by Views.)

Then, optimize those pages for leads. This means making sure you create calls-to-action (CTAs) that stand out from the page, and then place them where people naturally look on your website. Our natural eye path starts in the upper left-hand corner of a website and moves on from there, according to an eyetracking study.

Another way to increase the conversion rate on a page that already gets a lot of traffic? Create special offers specifically for your most popular pages, and gate them behind landing page forms. I know, I know, creating a brand new offer can time-consuming — but it could be much more effective for lead generation than optimizing button color, language, images, and so on. For example, the folks at Eastern International College created a quiz for students on which college major they should choose, which they linked to on their popular Careers page.

At the end of the quiz, they promised to send the quiz results in exchange for people’s name, phone number, and email address as a lead capture tactic.

Read this blog post for more tips on how to generate leads from your most popular webpages.

7) You’re not using social media strategically for lead generation.

Although social media is most effective for top-of-the-funnel marketing metrics like traffic and brand awareness, it can still be helpful as a source for lead generation — and a low-cost one, at that.

If you’re finding that social media isn’t generating very many leads for you, there’s a chance you’re not doing it strategically enough. At least that’s what Jeremy White, a serial entrepreneur and conversion consultant, wrote in a post on CrazyEgg’s blog.

“It’s not that you can’t get leads on social media; it’s that we’re not taking what’s there,” he wrote. In other words, you might be doing it wrong. If your social strategy is to post your new ebooks to all your social media channels and that’s about it, then don’t expect to bring in a whole lot of leads from those posts. The spray-and-pray technique isn’t enough.

How to Fix It

One way to generate more leads from social media is to sprinkle blog posts and offers that have historically generated higher-than-average leads numbers for you in with the new posts and offers your team is creating.

At HubSpot, we’ve found that one of the best ways to generate leads is simply to link directly to landing pages for blog posts and offers that have historically performed well for lead generation. (Learn how to do your own blog lead generation analysis here.)

We’ve also found that linking directly to an offer’s landing page can be more effective — as long as your post copy sets the expectation that you are, in fact, sending people to a landing page. In the Facebook post below, we set that expectation by putting “Free Template” in brackets in front of the offer title.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fhubspot%2Fposts%2F10154680768144394&width=500

You’ll also want to make sure you’re using some of the features on each social network that are specifically designed to help you generate leads.

On Twitter, your lead gen tweets should contain a value proposition, a short URL linking to the landing page with a form, and an image to ensure the post stands out. (Here are some social media image templates you can use to create those images.)

Twitter also offers lead generation cards that can help you generate qualified leads at a lower cost than most of the other major ad platforms. Twitter cards let you embed rich media that don’t count toward your tweet character limit that allow your fans and followers to do things like download an app, visit a landing page, give over their email, or use a coupon — all without leaving Twitter. (HubSpot customers: You can connect your Twitter lead gen cards to HubSpot by following these instructions.)

On Facebook: There are a number of great ways to generate leads from Facebook, the best of which I’ve rounded up in this blog post. For example, one way to easily generate leads is by simply using the call-to-action feature available for Pages. The feature lets you put a simple call-to-action button at the top of your Facebook Page, and it can help drive more traffic from your Facebook Page to lead generation forms like landing pages and contact sheets.

 

 Find the original full article here

10 Tips for Increasing Small Business Efficiency

10-tips-small-business-efficiencyEfficiency is an important part of running a small business. When you have fewer resources than large companies, you need to be able to get more done with less. There are ways to increase efficiency in all areas of your business, as members of our small business community have learned. See some of their top tips in the list below.

Learn the Power of Personal Branding

If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, it’s not enough to simply brand your business. You also need to consider your own personal branding. You can learn a bit about personal branding from the experts included in this post by Dipti Parmar on Preceptist .

Get Stuff Done With Productivity Tools

Want to get more done in less time? There are plenty of different productivity tools out there that entrepreneurs can benefit from. Some small business experts shared their favorites in this post on Tina’s Blog. We were thrilled to have Small Business Trends’ publisher and CEO Anita Campbell included.

Network a Conference Like a Jedi

When attending conferences for your business, networking is a must. And if you really want to help your business, you need to learn how to network like a Jedi, which you can do with the tips in this Content Marketing Institute post by Aaron Orendorff. You can also see discussion surrounding the post over on BizSugar.

Protect Your Business from Phishing Scams

Phishing scams can really harm small businesses. But if you know how to protect your business and data, you can really decrease your chances of seeing any negative impact. This post by Ramon Ray of SmallBizTechnology includes some tips to help your small business avoid phishing scams.

This article, “10 Tips for Increasing Small Business Efficiency” was first published on Small Business Trends

Published on Nov 22, 2013

Learn more Small Business Coaching strategies for your business: http://socialmediatopteam.com/Small-B… | Social Media Top Team | (855)686-7832 for a FREE 30 Minute Small Business Coaching Consultation

If you want to get coaching on 10 FAST Tips To Grow Your Small Business To The Next Level and how you can improve your small business, then you are at the right place. This highly informative video starts off by providing an easy to remember small business coaching overview of ten key essentials that thriving businesses and their employees are practicing. Though there are many videos out there providing small business coaching few actually show you step by step how to properly use time tested, business proven small business coaching strategies effectively to acquire more market share and GREATLY improving your customer satisfaction for growing your small business.

The following article 10 Tips for Increasing Small Business Efficiency is republished from Content Curation Course

Defeat Your Most Dangerous Writing Habit

“The Curse of Knowledge”

Published on Apr 9, 2016

Ever have an “expert” try to explain something to you, only to be left more confused than when you started?

They’d forgotten how to be a beginner… and lost most of the ability to teach along the way… here’s how to not make the same mistake yourself.

MORE VIDEOS and GOODIES: http://www.jeffwalker.com
LAUNCH YOUR BUSINESS: http://www.productlaunchformula.com

 

curse-of-knowledgeWhat is “The Curse of Knowledge?”

If you’re “Cursed,” then you are unable to imagine what it’s like not to know or understand something — a topic, discipline, craft, what have you — which, in turn, makes it hard to communicate that knowledge to less-informed people.

In their book, Made to Stick, the Heath Brothers provide a typical example:

Think of a lawyer who can’t give you a straight, comprehensible answer to a legal question. His vast knowledge and experience renders him unable to fathom how little you know. So when he talks to you, he talks in abstractions that you can’t follow. And we’re all like the lawyer in our own domain of expertise.”

That said, let’s set the anecdotal evidence aside and focus on the science:7 Ways to Lift the Curse of Knowledge

 

1) Know your audience’s base subject knowledge.

How well your audience understands your subject should shape the way you approach it.

So, do your research. If their base subject knowledge is high, feel free to skip the fundamentals. If their base knowledge is low, or nonexistent, start from the beginning — start at thirty thousand feet and parachute down, slowly, gradually.

To figure out your audience’s base knowledge, try creating a detailed target persona. It’s not that hard and it’ll give you the background you need to write in a way people understand and appreciate.

2) Tone down your vocabulary.

Peppering your writing with idioms, jargon, and big, fancy words is like saying: If you don’t understand this, maybe you shouldn’t be reading it. Stop while you’re ahead. Thanks for playing.

That’s a nasty vibe, if you ask me. Plus, if people can’t understand you, they’ll inevitably tune out and turn off. And then what will you do? For example, this is:

  • Bad: “Let’s open the Kimono, take a peek at the email CTR, and break down scalable successes.”
  • Better: “Let’s look at the data, evaluate the email clickthrough rate, and capitalize on what’s working.”
  • Best: “Let’s see how many people opened our emails and do more of what works.”

3) Tell a story.

Before writing existed, people used stories to keep history. For thousands of years, stories helped us spread information. Today, stories remain just as psychologically impactful as they did back then. As Jonathan Gottschall explains in his book, The Storytelling Animal, human beings are natural storytellers. Stories are a fundamental piece of our genome.

We love stories because they help us see the world through different lenses. We love stories so much, in fact, that we naturally inject ourselves into their narratives, hijacking characters’ circumstances, emotions, and learnings.

Of course, stories also maintain an order. They have a beginning, a middle, and an end, which makes it hard for the Curse to sneak its way in, leaving people out of context and confused.

4) Ditch the abstractions.

Leaders often speak in abstractions because their experience helps them visualize broad concepts. For example, we can all imagine a Chief Customer Officer saying something like:

Our mission is to provide callers with the best customer service they’ve ever experienced.”

That’s great and all, but what does it mean? And how does a statement like that differentiate you from the competition? It doesn’t. These days, differentiating yourself in a crowded space means getting specific, like this:

Our mission is to answer every phone call to the customer service department within three rings and to resolve non-emergency calls within 6 minutes.”

Be concrete. It’s comforting to people.

5) Provide examples.

Unlike abstractions, examples put concepts into perspective.

An example could take the form of a metaphor or a simile. As long as it paints a picture, it’s doing its job. In any case, examples make sense of things, using information we already understand to forge connections.

For instance, when my grandma Sofia didn’t understand what a blog was, I explained it to her in terms I knew she’d be familiar with: “It’s like a journal or a magazine,” I said, “but you can only read the articles on the internet.”

6) Use visuals.

About 65% of people are visual learners, meaning they absorb information better and faster when images are used to explain it.

Hence: PowerPoint presentations, infographics, and those quirky, mesmerizing whiteboard videos you’ve seen. These are all examples of compelling visual content being used to engage and educate people from the boardroom to the web page. Incorporating these and other visual components into your messaging is a potent way to appeal to nearly a third of your audience.

7) Get an outside point-of-view.

You write. You edit. You reread, rearrange, reformat. You repeat.

That’s writing — and it can be an intense process, which, sometimes, leaves your message over-processed. In other words, it’s possible to overthink something, twisting it up until you’re the only person who gets it.

A good editor will alert you to this issue. Don’t know any editors? That’s okay. Ask a friend to give your writing a once over. They may not be your target audience but they can still serve as a barometer for comprehension.

This text was syndicated from an article here

Local Client Consulting & Lead Generation Video

Watch on YouTube here: Local Kingpin Course For Local Client Consulting & Lead Generation
Via Local Kingpin Course Videos

It’s been kind of an eye-opener for me, it’s something that I want to do more and more of because it’s fairly simple to set up once you learn the process. I’ve been excited about doing this. Anytime I get to learn as well as teach then it’s exciting for me. Because it’s one thing to just be able to teach somebody to do something but I get excited when I learn too. This has been a real journey for me and I learned a whole lot and I’m excited to share it with others.

Local Client Consulting & Lead Generation Video

Watch on YouTube here: Local Kingpin Course For Local Client Consulting & Lead Generation
Via Local Kingpin Course Videos

It’s been kind of an eye-opener for me, it’s something that I want to do more and more of because it’s fairly simple to set up once you learn the process. I’ve been excited about doing this. Anytime I get to learn as well as teach then it’s exciting for me. Because it’s one thing to just be able to teach somebody to do something but I get excited when I learn too. This has been a real journey for me and I learned a whole lot and I’m excited to share it with others.

Content Curation Course Launches August 31st – Content Kingpin

Create Easy Cheap Quality Content With Content Kingpin

This is a huge problem these days for people who are advertising. If you’re a company, you have an existence online as well as if you’re an offline business that is obtaining online, you have to understand immediately that having an internet site, that’s great, that’s enough. You have to have quality web content that’s pumping out constantly to reveal online search engine that you’re a viable business, that you’re active, that you’re out there.
FB+Ads+Swipe+3A great deal of individuals are in fact creating, yet not actually generating, they’re putting up material that is repetitive and also is not so excellent. It’s going to stump their capability to have a strong on the internet presence in the online search engine.

If you’re one of those people that just gets material from anywhere after that you often will not have fresh material and Google will recognize that. If you are one of those people that servant to write their own write-ups just to see that you don’t get any kind of activity in your blog site.

The remedy is not all doom and gloom. The solution is greeting to top quality content that any person could in fact pay for however every person can have for totally free.

Free Quality Content at Your Fingertips with Content Kingpin

Find out several of the most effective content curation tools in this program and also begin to curate content promptly. The “Content Authority” content curation course will offer you with web content devices to curate content in a specialist manner in which Google 100% likes to see. Content Authority is the device that will teach you within times to come to be the most effective content curator.

Learn exactly how simple it is to create curated websites, social media curation, curated content sites of all kinds, news curation, much a lot more. Let me show you guys how you can get outstanding curated content for cents. Quality material like I said is exactly what sets you in addition to your competitors. Because people are seeing the same thing over and over once more.

You need to be different. This program men will save you a lots of cash and of course valuable time. If you’re a severe marketing professional as well as you’re marketing online, this people is the solution for you to going offering top quality, top quality material for your site visitors. When visitors see this type of content, they’re going to return.bradley

When you have return visitors, you have actually reached think about the big photo. That implies more fans, much more followers, much more people sharing your high quality web content. You’re going to have these individuals returning for many more or they’re going to share it with their friends as well as followers too.

Content Kingpin: All The Free Quality Content You Can Get

Absolutely truly important to drive that house, that people they’re looking for quality material. Establishing curated content is the important as well as the most efficient content curation guide is Material Kingpin.

Currently individuals will certainly going buying from you since they depend on the details and they expect the specific very same superb quality end products that you market, result that you promote. You have to maintain that in mind. They’re going to share your product, your material will certainly spread out.

Again that suggests many more website web traffic, along with many more of the real possible to have viral website traffic. If that takes place, that is definitely large for you Currently clients are frequently going to assume that if you’re giving cost-free product, you’re offering really superb top quality cost-free material for them, they’re going to be blown out of the water, like they’re going to assume, wow, this is fantastic, I’m obtaining such worth with this.

get access now buttonAfterwards they’re assuming in their mind, their paid web content has to be absolutely out of this world. I indicate that is precisely what they’re going to presume. You offer substantial worth upfront, that will absolutely blow them away as well as them assuming, oh my god, your paid web content ought to be outstanding. Currently the lower line is rely on.

That’s the most essential factor nowadays on-line, is depend on. Wonderful top quality is going to develop that solid depend on with your consumers and customers. When individuals trust you, individuals like you, they buy from you. It’s as basic as that. Currently think of that for a second. Interesting, right. They like you, they trust you, they buy from you.

Get access to the online course now while the price is still low. Click here to buy now! 

Content Curation Course Launches August 31st – Content Kingpin was first published to Content Curation Course