Converting Leads Without Paid Advertising
My Digital Strategy That Produces Free Qualifies Leads
If you are a small business owner, with the goal of making sales, I am sure you found yourself drowning in the same sea of confusion as I did.
There are many how-to blogs and videos, but if there was one thing that triggered me, it was that most strategies involve mooching off your family and friends or paid advertising.
I see the power in leveraging off those close to you, but what if you want objective and organic traffic? Also, what happens if you do not have a large marketing budget for paid adverts or influencer marketing campaigns?
As helpful as paid advertising can be, it masks blindspots. You may get bulk traffic, but when the traffic does not convert, you’re left with less money and confusion. With organic traffic, you start to understand the mindset of your consumer and you enter into a relationship with them that spans over a period of time.
Well, that is where my strategy comes in.
Let me explain it from the top down.
The Ultimate Goal
The sale is the pinnacle of the strategy.
However, having something to sell isn’t an obvious sign that you have eager buyers.
The journey to the “Buy Now” button is one where you nurture the lead by providing valuable content over a period of time.
Starting with “Buy Now” without any relationship or providing any value is highly unlikely to yield any success, in my experience.
It helps to first establish a relationship with a potential customer.
To reach the final stop in my strategy, the customer ends up at the “Buy Now” button as a result of my website or they reach it in the final email from a sequence of automated emails.
Let me explain each of these in more detail.
My hope is that my potential customer feels ‘at home’ on my website. Similarly to when you visit a friend for tea, and they bless you with treats that make you smile, my website provides tips and free content to make my customer happy too.
Over time, I build trust and credibility as a result of the valuable content that the prospective customer engages with on my site.
When they are ready, my consumer purchases from the space of wanting convenience or wanting my expertise.
My customers can choose to exchange their email address for a free resource. I can offer a checklist, a printable, or some other form of value at no charge.
To the left is an example of the lead magnet I would offer.
The lead magnet is a win-win. The customer receives an item of value, and I receive their email address.
I will then walk them through a series of emails over a few days. Each day, providing them with an extra bit of value.
The general rule with automated email sequences is that the more expensive your product, the longer the sequence should be.
Pro-Tip: It’s important to note that you can have the most beautiful website or a well-crafted email sequence, but if you do not have people coming to your website, or signing up for your free resource, then you will slowly end up nowhere.
How Do I Drive Traffic To My Website Or Lead Magnet?
A common phrase in the world of digital marketing is that you have to use platforms to grow platforms. This is true for growing your email list, and website visits, too.
I use five platforms to drive traffic to my website and to my lead magnets. They each provide value in a different way:
Answers to questions
Reddit is a space for like-minded people to discuss their opinions around a topic. I am able to access groups of people who are interested in the same industry. Subreddits are related to specific topics where people post questions or start discussions. These are moderated, which keeps the forum spam-free.
To achieve results on Reddit, you have to listen to problems people are having and provide valuable information to help them. After you have built credibility, you can post content that others can comment on.
The danger, and trust me, I have made the mistake myself, is getting frustrated that you have to give more than you can ask. Not just the moderators, but the people on Reddit will call you out for being cheeky if you are using the platform selfishly.
This is a good life lesson, people like having people around who provide value. It is ok to link to a blog post of yours that may help someone, but only if the content is aligned with the problem.
Reddit rebukes the greed in you. It’s a tough space to operate in, but the traffic that does come from the platform is highly qualified.
Pinterest provides content in the form of images. A few of the images you see in this article are pins.
What some people do not know, is that Pinterest isn’t just for pretty pictures, it is actually a search engine.
Just as where you would search on Medium for a specific topic, you could do the same on Pinterest.
However, you would get visual information as opposed to written content.
This said, the visual often leads to either a blog or a YouTube video.
Also, it is good practice to not only pin your own content, so if you create beautiful pins, there is a chance that they could be pinned by others.
Should someone click on your pin, you can direct them directly to a blog post or to a relevant lead magnet.
Medium/ My Blog
Medium and Google both serve the same function of providing written content. What is great about writing articles on Medium is that it acts as a multi-tiered strategy. Not only am I able to create valuable content that could drive traffic to my site, but, I am also paid for my articles. This incentivizes quality written work that not only suits the Medium audience but also demands a higher standard of me as a business owner.
Medium articles are moderated, and like Reddit, spam is filtered out. As a result, the premium quality article is presented to an audience of targeted readers.
We have discussed content through the form of images, as well as written content, but with YouTube, the focus is on video. Valuable information is provided through videos where viewers can be educated on a topic, entertained, or given a behind-the-scenes feel of a business.
I find value in the platform as targeted viewers search for topics, or videos can be suggested based on the viewer’s interest. Ultimately, you can include a link to your website or lead magnet in the description or in the comment section.
As a business owner, we need to ask ourselves where our customers spend their time. We need to identify that everyone absorbs information differently.
Personally, I find that creating space in my strategy to target visual platforms, one through images and the other through video, as well as written content creates an inclusive strategy.
That said, we need to respect our consumers and provide them value as opposed to aggressive marketing. At least, those are my feelings.
Also, there needs to be a level of respect shown for the various platforms used to drive traffic. Each platform requires you to understand the platform and its purpose. There may be a learning curve before you find success in driving qualified leads to your site- I am constantly still learning too.
Patience and perseverance are the keys to overcoming this hurdle.
This strategy requires a lot of work, as well as patience. However, there is no hiding behind paid traffic. Every mistake you make, you feel, but you learn from it. Every victory you have, you celebrate because it comes as a result of your effort.
Sales, especially recurring sales, come about as a result of a good strategy and a brand that people trust and respect.
That takes time to build. However, nothing feels as good as providing value that people are looking for. I have found that if you empower people with value, then you don’t have to sell. The sale is the result of consistent hard work and effort. And, my personal favorite, you don’t feel like you tricked someone into anything with click-bait. Rather, you know that they have chosen you.
It is always nice to be someone's first choice.