Copyright © 2009 Meredith Liepelt
Creating a profitable business online is not a lot different than creating any other business, in that it’s just a process. Like any process, there are predictable steps to follow, and I’ve created a very simple 7-step process that will help you see how simple this is from a 30,000 foot view.
1. Pick Your Target Market
Pick the kinds of people you want to attract to your business. Resist the urge to serve everyone because it’s much harder to attract “everyone” than it is to stand out to a more segmented population.
2. Invite Them To Sample Your Services for Free
When you’re talking about online marketing, giving away something for free is an absolute must. The vast majority of visitors to your web site have never met you. They don’t know you and certainly don’t trust you yet. You simply must have a free give-away item so you can start showcasing your expertise while building a relationship with them. Otherwise, statistics show that over 95% of your web site visitors will click away and never return to your site. Ever!
You offer this information through a “squeeze page,” also known as a “landing page.” The purpose of this super-simple one-page web site is to entice your target market to sign up for your complimentary offer. This is a different web site than your main site. It’s a simple site because you only give visitors the option to receive your complimentary information. There are no other clickable links on this site. Your visitor must make a decision: “Do I want to receive this no-cost report badly enough to give my email address to this company?”
At the same time, you also let them know that you will also send them a complimentary subscription to your ezine where they can find out more on the topic.
To really make this concept become the workhorse it is meant to be, your offer should truly be irresistible. Remember that people are searching the Internet for information, not necessarily to make a purchase. If you only offer things for sale, you’re missing the point. Offering no-cost information that your ideal clients are looking for is the golden ticket to building your list of potential clients and customers.
You will feel like you’re giving away the farm, so to speak. It’s OK. Pure generosity is rare, and you will stand out by really delivering on this offer. Your subscribers will open your ezines, refer you to others and contact you first when they are ready to buy.
3. Keep in Touch (through your ezine/newsletter)
Now that you have the attention of your ideal client, you must stay in touch. The easiest and least expensive way to do this with many people at one time is through an ezine. This relationship-building tool is indispensible in the online marketing world, even in the age of blogs and social media. Your ezine is where highly interested parties have given you the honor of having their email address. Be sure you honor that trust by giving them high-value content in your ezine. You should promote your products and services as well, but the majority of the ezine should be non-promotional.
4. Seek feedback/information
Keep asking your clients and potential clients what they need from you. Really seek to know them. What are they struggling with? What would they pay nearly anything to have working better? What is keeping them up at night? You can do this through online surveys using free tool like www.SurveyMonkey.com. You can do a 10 question survey or a simple open-ended one-question survey that says, “Tell me about your biggest dilemma when it comes to ______________.”
5. Make Offers
Now that you know what your ezine subscribers want from you, you can develop programs and services that meet those needs. In other words, you give them what they ask for vs what you think they need. People will not buy something that they feel they need to be talked into. Nobody wants to be “sold” to. Ick. Give them what they want, and then when you really have their trust, you can start to show them the more advanced steps.
6. Lead Them to the Next Step
Thank your clients and customers them for their patronage, congratulate them on taking the steps to gain knowledge and advancement in this area, and then lead them to the next step. For example, if they sign up for your free teleseminar, tell them how they can learn more and take bigger steps by working with you privately, in a workshop, by purchasing your information products or so forth. Always be leading them to the next step. Taking care of your clients like this is a great way to build your practice and create raving fans.
7. Start the cycle again
It’s as basic as rinse and repeat. Just repeat this process over and over again.
© 2009 Meredith Liepelt, Rich Life Marketing
Meredith Liepelt, President of Rich Life Marketing, offers a free report called “101 Ways to Attract Ideal Clients, Build Your List and Raise Your Profile,” which can be downloaded immediately at http://www.RichLifeMarketing.com .