How To Increase Sales Revenue by 154% Without Effort (Case Study Results)

How To Increase Sales Revenue by 154% Without Effort (Case Study Results)

increase salesGrowing your business requires that you find ways to increase your sales revenue. That’s foundational. New sales are the lifeblood of every business. So I want to show you what we did to get a 154% increase in monthly new sales revenue by making one simple change.

And it made my sales process easier than ever.

The best part?

Much of the sales process is now on autopilot. And we’re continuing to experience even greater growth over time (since this study). That’s because the solution has growth and continual improvement built into it. Again, this was all done without adding complex processes and effort.

And in this case study, I’m going to show you exactly what we did and the step-by-step process we implemented to hit this incredible sales growth.

The Day I Realized That Sales Shouldn’t Be Difficult

Since the day I started Fistbump Media, I’ve racked my brain to figure out how to drive more sales. I’ve studied sales processes, funnels, online tactics, and several dozen tools that are supposed to help me grow my business.

I’ve learned over time that one of the most important assets you have is your database of leads and customers. Success in sales growth is a direct result of how you leverage all of that customer (and potential customer) data. So that means you need a good customer relationship management (CRM) tool to manage all of that information.

Over the years, I’ve tried lots of them. I even launched an extensive conversation on LinkedIn to see if I could find some good ones, which lead to one that I tried for a full year before giving up.

The problem was that none of it made my sales process easy to manage. Not did they really help me grow. It just always felt like a herculean effort to get manage the process.

That’s when I decided to switch to the HubSpot CRM.

HubSpot

I’ve always loved their (free) e-courses, and every glimpse I’ve gotten of the tools just made it look super easy to manage. And that’s what I was looking for. A simple tool that could help me grow.

So I made the leap.

And I was surprised at what happened next…

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An Immediate Increase In New Leads (and Sales)

Over the two year period, I used two different CRMs. The first 12 months was with a CRM I found through extensive research. I’ll keep it nameless, because it’s not my goal to diminish it as a tool. It was pretty standard as far as CRM tools are concerned, and it had plenty of nice features. Then I switched to HubSpot and tracked the same progress over the next 12 months.

During this time, my overall marketing approach hadn’t changed significantly. I only used what the tools offered to me.

For the time frame covered, it’s worth noting the change in traffic to our website. The numbers are all monthly averages, with the “before” numbers covering the time using the old CRM and the “after” numbers covering the time using the HubSpot CRM.

New Users (Website): Before

New Users (Website): After

%

Difference

The increase here really had nothing to do with the CRM use itself. I attribute it mostly to ongoing returns from our search engine optimization efforts over time. 

It’s worth noting this number so that we can understand the differences in other numbers we monitored over this period.

Another increase we experienced was with the average number of new incoming leads per month. 

New Leads: Before

New Leads: After

%

Difference

As you can see, then number of new leads coming in each month increased at a higher rate than that of the website traffic. The web-to-lead conversion rate increased from 3.2% with the old CRM up to 4% with HubSpot.

I attribute that increase to the ways HubSpot integrates into my WordPress website compared to other CRM tools. I’ll cover this in more detail shortly, but HubSpot is certainly better at helping me capture visitor information and bringing them into the CRM as leads.

It’s also important to note that part of the time HubSpot leads we’re being tracked included February and March of 2020, as the Coronavirus pandemic was starting to impact everything. With all of the uncertainty individuals and businesses encountered, we went through a 6-week period with only one new incoming lead. So the difference is actually more extreme if we just considered “ordinary” months.

The next change we experienced was with the average number of new orders (sales) closed on average.

New Orders: Before

New Orders: After

%

Difference

The increase with sales closed is nearly identical to the percentage increase in new leads because our close rate stayed pretty consistent. We didn’t really change much with the actual sales process, so the increase in leads basically increased sales at the same rate.

But one thing that was interesting was the increase in the dollar value of the average sale.

Avg Order ($): Before

Avg Order ($): After

%

Difference

Over this period of time, we did not add products or change prices significantly. 

The biggest difference was the fluidity of our sales process. With HubSpot’s WordPress integration, we had better insight into what leads were doing on our website. The extra data points helped us to better position products and even offer upgrades that clients might be interested in. In the end, we saw higher-dollar sales orders closing.

Following this through, more sales closing at higher dollar figures meant that we saw a significant increase in total new revenue per month.

New Revenue ($): Before

New Revenue ($): After

%

Difference

With these figures, I’m not estimating ongoing/recurring revenue. I’m only tracking the initial order. 

In the end, we experienced a significant lift in revenue growth by switching from another highly rated CRM to the HubSpot CRM. And we did that without doing more marketing or making changes to our sales process. Ultimately, it’s just a case of how a better tool can make a huge difference.

How exactly did we do that? Keep reading to see how you can increase sales like this too…

The 3-Steps To Increase Sales With the HubSpot CRM

The implementation of HubSpot and accomplishing this kind of growth involved three main phases. Each step required little effort but carried a high impact. This is what we did…

  • Step #1: Migrate existing contacts and set up the CRM
  • Step #2: Integrate with your existing website and email tools
  • Step #3: Optimize and build out lead management processes

Here’s why this was so effective (and easy to implement)…

First, migrating our existing contacts into HubSpot allows you to start right away with improving your marketing and sales processes. No matter where you currently manage your contacts, you should be able to export them in a basic (CSV) spreadsheet, which can be imported directly into HubSpot.

HubSpot makes the process so simple, I believe I had all of my contacts from our previous CRM imported within about 10 minutes.

It’s not a complicated setup, allowing you to start realizing impact almost immediately.

Second, the integration process with our existing website and email tools via a WordPress plugin and Chrome browser extension (for Gmail) allowed us to start tracking contact activity immediately.

The total setup for both of these integrations took just a few minutes. The immediate tracking capabilities it brought instantly improved our insight into what our contacts were doing based on our efforts.

You can start making better decisions and having more meaningful conversations with your contacts right away.

Third, optimizing and building out your lead management efforts flows naturally with insights provided by HubSpot tools and reporting. Plus it offers tips to help you understand how you can improve every communication you have with your contacts.

You don’t have to take complex sales training courses or implement new techniques to improve your sales.

Honestly, you’ll get better at selling just by using the tools built right into HubSpot.

HubSpot

Step #1: Migrate Existing Contacts and Set up The CRM

If you already have any kind of list or database of contacts (customers and/or leads), then that’s the best place to start. With contacts in your database, you can start implementing your lead management strategy right away.

With your existing customers, you’ll be able to build up a better ongoing communication strategy. Just because a contact bought something from you once doesn’t mean they no longer have value. They can be a great source for both future sales and referrals. Keeping in touch with them is a key piece to developing that strategy.

If you have existing leads you’ve gathered, then beginning to manage them in HubSpot will give you some great tools to manage them better. Things like email and website activity tracking will give you much better insight into how you can position your products. And positioning your products well can result in higher close rates and higher revenue per order.

The process is simple…

increase sales, hubspot crm

In a nutshell, get your data into a spreadsheet (existing systems should allow you to export your information into a CSV-format spreadsheet). And then upload that spreadsheet to HubSpot. The process will give you the opportunity to match up fields (so phone number goes to a phone number field, etc), and create custom fields for more specific data that you like to manage with your contacts.

If you need to create your own list from scratch, then HubSpot has a spreadsheet template you can use.

And I mentioned how great HubSpot’s e-courses are… they also have a great (and short) course on how to get your data into the HubSpot CRM, complete with video walk-thru help on everything in the process.

Depending on how you currently manage your data, this process can take as little as a few minutes. Then you can start to increase sales revenue right away. More on exactly how to do that in a moment…

Step #2: Integrate With Existing Website and Email Tools

The next step will almost instantly help you increase the number of leads you’re capturing.

If you’re running a self-hosted WordPress website, then HubSpot’s WordPress plugin is a simple way to integrate the power of HubSpot into your website. Not only will you be able to access your HubSpot CRM dashboard and tools directly in your website’s WordPress Dashboard, but you’ll also be able to:

  • Easily add HubSpot forms to your website
  • Capture data from non-HubSpot forms as leads in the CRM
  • Add website chat tools to your website (which also turns new chat contacts into leads in your CRM)

increase sales, hubspot wordpress

To add the HubSpot plugin to your WordPress website:

  1. Download the HubSpot plugin for WordPress
  2. Upload (and activate) the plugin to your WordPress website
  3. Log in to your HubSpot account through the plugin settings on your website

That’s it! And while there is a lot you can do to optimize this over time, this will help you start capturing leads right away.

The other big integration you should set up right away is the email integration. We use Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) for our email (and other functions). And HubSpot has a free app to connect your Gmail to your HubSpot account. There are also apps available for Outlook (and other email tools), if you don’t use Google Workspace.

The email integration is going to do two main things for you:

  • It brings your contact information from HubSpot into your email inbox
  • It adds some great tools to your email to help with managing and tracking contact activities

increase sales, hubspot gmail integration

The email tools will not only increase the impact of your email communications, but it also decreases your effort by automatically connecting and logging the email conversations on your contact records in the CRM.

To add this, simply grab the extension from the HubSpot App Marketplace, or get the extension from the Chrome Web Store.

Both of these integrations will immediately supercharge your lead capture and management efforts. The next step is to start optimizing to help you get the most out of the HubSpot CRM…

Step #3: Optimize and Build Out Lead Management Process

This next step is more of an ongoing process, as opposed to a one-time setup step. Ultimately, it’s great to have fully-developed automated email sequences. But if you don’t have that now, you shouldn’t feel overwhelmed with trying to create them from scratch.

The way we’ve approached it is to just build in a process of continual improvement. In fact, even where we’ve built those sequences, we’re continually working to improve them.

This approach allows you to start reaping rewards and increase sales revenue right away, with little effort. And improving it over time means that you’ll always be growing.

Here are some of the core guidelines we followed to realize our growth (and continue to see even more as we continue to evaluate and implement improvements)…

1. Start communicating with existing customers regularly

One of the sources of sales is customers who have already said “yes” to you previously. So an important part of your strategy should include keeping yourself visible with those existing customers.

Don’t just assume that they are always thinking about you. You need to keep yourself top of mind with them. And it’s not about “selling” to them constantly. All you need to do is just share what’s going on with them.

In HubSpot, we’ve started sending a once-per-month client newsletter. In it, we share things like:

  • Company updates relevant and of interest to customers (i.e. system enhancements designed to make their interaction with us easier, etc.)
  • New product and service launches
  • Tips and tricks to manage their services better
  • Customer service related resources
  • New and trending blog and webinar content

Sharing these updates regularly has resulted in higher engagement with our content, more appointments booked, and better (and more) reviews from our customers.

And with HubSpot, it’s simple to create your newsletter using built-in and customizable templates. Then just clone your previous email each month and make a few updates to the content. Putting together the newsletter each month takes about 15 minutes, and returns some great results!

increase sales, HubSpot email templates

2. Develop email flows with new leads

Eventually, having well-formed automated email sequences is the way to go. It’s going to be a far more efficient way of managing communications with incoming leads. However, when we made the switch to HubSpot, we simply didn’t have them. We tried developing them in previous CRMs. We just never for the traction to see them return good results.

That’s why it’s best to take a growth-driven approach.

As new leads come in, I would respond to each one individually by email. Then, with each email I sent, I would create a follow-up task in HubSpot to trigger me to send my next email.

increase sales, hubspot email

Then I would monitor my task list for follow-ups that needed to happen each day. And as I worked on the tasks, I would review the contact’s activity to help me refine how I would focus my next email. Did they open the previous email? Did they click on any links? What pages did they visit on the website as a result?

After working the leads this way over a period of time, I started to get a good feel for what I got a pretty good feel for what was working well(and what wasn’t). Then I basically copied my best efforts into an email sequence that I could start using for future leads.

Using this approach, not only did I simplify my email automation development, but I also realized some great results…

  • The email open rate on our sequences is steadily over 60% (industry standard is 15-25%)
  • The click-thru rate runs over 7% on average (industry standard is 2.5%)

Even with strong rates like that, we monitor ways to continue to improve on that too!

3. Follow the data

This is where some of the greatest power comes in. The information available to help you see how your efforts are trending, and help you make better decisions, is at your fingertips.

The best part is that it’s not presented in a confusing or overwhelming way. So you don’t need to be a data scientist to figure out what you’re looking at. Here are a few ways you can use the data and reporting to improve your efforts over time…

  • Which emails are working best? You’ll see open rates for your emails, which tells you how effective your email subject lines are. And you’ll see click activity in your emails so you know what’s driving people to action. I’ve looked at emails with high click-thru rates and applied those practices to emails with low click-thru rates. In the end, it’s raising the impact of all of my emails.
  • Which marketing channels are working for you? Determine the effectiveness of your efforts on social media compared to visitors coming from search engines (or whatever source). When you can see how effective various channels are, then you’ll know where to invest your efforts to drive even better growth.
  • What is your return on investment in online ads? HubSpot connects with various online ad platforms (Facebook and LinkedIn) and can help you determine the exact ROI on your ad campaigns. How many clicks on ads are turning into leads, and how many of those are turning into customers? You’ll drive better impact when you can see what’s really working and what’s not.

If you send just a little time regularly looking over the data and performance reports, you’ll quickly identify some ways to improve what you’re doing. This continual improvement will be a major driver of increased sales growth over time.

increase sales, hubspot reports

4. Leverage lists to target communications and offers

Another way to increase sales is to manage contacts using targeted lists. Once you have contacts on various kinds of lists, then you can target specific types of communications towards them. Personally, I think there is nothing worse than scatter-spray marketing. That’s throwing everything out to everyone, and hoping that someone gets it. 

With us, our clients come primarily in two groups, writers/bloggers and small businesses. It’s not a stretch to see how interests for one group may be different than the other.

With lists targeted at each of these customers (and leads), then releasing something like a new e-course on self-publishing only needs to go to the writer/blogger contacts. Likewise, promoting our local business directory link-building services can be promoted just to the small businesses. Promoting either of these things to everyone is going to make it fall flat and likely just end up annoying some contacts due to too many irrelevant emails.

increase sales, hubspot lists

Lists can also be used to filter out people based on their activity (or inactivity). And that can not only help you keep your database clean, but it can also help you even further target the types of communications that might re-engage them. That leads me to my last point…

5. Never give up on a lead

One of the big things HubSpot has helped me do is to not give up on any of my leads. And it’s paid off with increased sales!

I’ve seen at times when I might send someone 2-3 emails and not get a reply. But in HubSpot, when I look at the contact details, I might see lots of opens on the emails and lots of clicks to the website. So even though I don’t see a reply, I might still see them being very engaged. That’s a signal to me to not stop! But if all I knew was that they weren’t responding to my emails, then I might be inclined to give up.

I also have a list that I move people to after they’ve finished automated sequences without any further engagement. These people go onto a list that gets a monthly featured “best offer” email to attempt to re-engage them. These emails regularly get these otherwise “cold” leads to pop up and end up becoming customers.

Persistence is the key. So having a strategy for how you will continue to engage (yes, even cold leads) over the long-term is incredibly important. And don’t take silence as a “no” because often it just means they’ve been a little too busy to respond at the moment. 

If you’re trying to increase sales revenue, then you’ll want to get every bit of opportunity you can find out of your leads. So… NEVER give up on a lead (unless they specifically unsubscribe).

 

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How You Can Increase Sales Revenue For Your Business

I don’t know about you, but as a small business, we like to increase sales revenue! And doing so cannot be something that adds expense (that doesn’t get a return) or complicate processes. That’s really been the best thing about switching to the right CRM.

While the CRM itself is free, we do pay a little bit for the Marketing Starter and Sales Starter plans. But the increase we’ve seen in sales more than pays for that cost. And we’re continuing to grow and increase sales even more! Here’s what this switch has meant to us:

  • Simplified our sales process
  • Improved our marketing effectiveness
  • Given us the information to have more meaningful conversations with contacts
  • Provides the data to help us commit to continual improvement
  • Saves us immeasurable time 

I’ve honestly always dreaded trying to figure out how we’re going to drive sales growth. Always sorting through sales strategies (and gimmicks) and trying tools that over-promise and under-deliver. I’ve earned more grey hair from trying to find the right formula than from any other aspect of running the business. But now it just feels right. I’m having fun trying things and watching the impact of our efforts. 

And we’re seeing the results.

So if you want to try the HubSpot CRM, and have questions. Then grab 15 minutes on my calendar to talk through it. Just use the scheduler below to get some time. (And FYI… that’s from HubSpot too!) There’s no obligation to talk, and I’m happy to just answer any questions you might have and see if I can steer you in the right direction with this.

#fistbump

FTC Disclosure: We are a HubSpot affiliate and receive a commission when you purchase. The results we share are our own and from our own data tracking efforts. We promote these tools and services based on our actual experience and confidence in the results they provide.

8 Reasons Your Business Should Use Social Media Marketing

8 Reasons Your Business Should Use Social Media Marketing

Did you know that 73% of American adults use YouTube? Businesses grow more when using social media marketing as part of their customer acquisition strategy. Regardless of your business size, you stand to gain more. But should your business use social media?

Don’t dismiss it yet.

With this guide, you’ll learn about how social media marketing improves your business. Read on and find out more:

1. It Improves Brand Awareness

Marketing using social media platforms is relatively stress-free and profitable. It’s a digital marketing platform used to make your business more visible. It’s easy to start since all you need is to make your business profile and network with other people.

Apply social media strategies to increase your brand recognition by a wide margin. It’s a proven fact that spending a few hours each week dabbling in social marketing heightened their customer experience.

The key to succeeding in this is to be consistent. An active social media profile means producing a wider audience for your establishment. That requires commitment, but it’s enjoyable either way.

2. It’s a Cost-Effective Method

Social marketing is one of the most cost-effective methods of advertising strategies. Making a social media account is free for almost any networking platforms around. The issue lies on which platform to focus on since it can become hectic otherwise.

Once you decide to commit, try out paid advertising on your chosen network. But it’s always important to make a small investment first. That way, you’ll know what to expect as you work with them.

With social marketing, you get a greater ROI. That means you’ll have bigger budgets for other marketing methods and business payments. You need only invest a small sum each time to increase your conversion rates.

Protect your social media presence. It’s all about methods of succeeding in social selling. That way, you’re more persuasive and natural.

3. It Helps with Customer Engagement

Social media gives a great avenue for your business to interact and engage with both prospects and existing customers. For example, marketing with Facebook is lucrative because of its sheer number of active users. On average, 2.45 billion people use the platform per month, making it the most populated social media network in the world.

With more audience communication, the better chances of conversion you get. It’s a two-way avenue enabling your audience to reveal their wants. That way, you can cater to their interests easier.

Also, customer engagement helps to win their attention. It helps them understand your brand’s message better. With that, your brand becomes more established with less hassle.

social media marketing, facebook marketing

4. It Improves Brand Loyalty

Having a social media presence allows your customers to easily find and connect with you. This enables you to get a higher level of customer retention and loyalty. Remember, making a loyal customer base is one of your main goals as an establishment.

In most cases, brand loyalty and customer satisfaction complement each other. That’s why you must engage your customers regularly. This lets you develop a deeper bond with them.

Social media isn’t a platform exclusively for product introductions. It’s also for cultivating promotional campaigns. Customers see this platform as a means of getting direct communication with their chosen business.

5. It Makes Customer Satisfaction Healthier

Your networking and communication platform won’t work without social media as one of its components. Your company gets a voice if you use these platforms. That’s why it’s an important method for improving your brand’s image.

Customers are appreciative when you reply when they comment on your page. It’s miles ahead than replying with an automated message. If you give the effort and compose your personal messages, customers will know you value them.

6. It Increases Marketplace Awareness

It’s more efficient to look at social media marketplaces to know what your customers want and need. Knowing what drives the sales without directly communicating with your target audience is one of the most valuable benefits of social media. You need only to observe their activities on your profile.

With this, you’ll know what interests your customers. The knowledge you gain from here isn’t obtainable anywhere else. It’s valuable data only achievable by having a social media presence.

Social marketing works as a complementary research tool. It gives insight into the current state of your chosen industry. After getting a larger following, you’ll gain access to more tools for examining other aspects of your consumer demographics.

7. It Helps Your Business Gain More Brand Authority

Brand loyalty and consumer satisfaction play major roles in increasing your business’s power. Achieving this often depends on how well you communicate with your chosen audience. When customers see you posting on your social media profile, they get a better impression.

When you reply to their questions and post original yet valuable content, customers build a more positive image of your company in their minds. It becomes proof that your company cares about what they have to say. That’s why building an audience of satisfied customers is important.

With these gruntled customers, they become more vocal about their positive experience. That will drive them to advertise your company to people they know. The best part is that these advertisements are genuine and credible.

8. It Increases Website Traffic

Social media marketing is also a great method of increasing organic customer traffic to your website. If you have a blog on your website, share the links on your social media account. This gives interested users something to click on and enjoy.

Ensure the content you share on your social media account has high quality. This ensures you get more inbound traffic from both new and existing customers. It also plays a major part in increasing your conversion rates.

Use Social Media Marketing Today!

These are eight concrete benefits of using social media marketing. It’s all about communicating with customers, so it’s easy to do. Think about these advantages if you’re deliberating whether it’s good for you.

Are you looking for a small business internet marketing company? Do you seek professional aid when it comes to social media marketing? If so, contact us today and let us help you. Or book a free consultation, and we’ll analyze your social media strategy and help you develop a plan to reach your goals…


 

7 Tips on Building an SEO Strategy for Small Businesses

7 Tips on Building an SEO Strategy for Small Businesses

How many times have you turned to a search engine when trying to find information? Google gets 63,000 search requests each second. So, that number is probably too high to count. Search engines have become our go-to places to find information, search for products, and locate businesses. Which is why SEO strategy is absolutely critical for businesses.

These tactics help you to be seen more often by the right type of customer. But nailing your strategy down can be a bit tricky. There are a lot of options and ways to go about boosting your SEO. That’s why you have to be sure to pick the right ones.

Follow our tips for a successful digital marketing strategy.

1. Stay True to Your Brand

As you’re working to create a digital marketing strategy including SEO tactics, the most important thing is to stay true to your brand throughout.

Your business’ branding and story are what connect your audience to your service or product. Creating a clear view of who you are and what you’re about generates brand loyalty, which drives up revenue.

There may be marketing tactics that have seen some success for other businesses but if they’re not in line with your brand’s story, you should steer clear of them.

Every move you make should be conscious to target an audience and bring them in by being true to who you are.

2. Focus on Keywords

The whole idea behind SEO is to add keywords that will bring up your site during regular online searches.

These keywords are ranked based on their ability to bring people in and the frequency of use. They are added into regular blog posts, product descriptions, and other online content. As people search for those keywords, they’re more likely to find your site.

Finding the right balance in keywords is a critical part of a good SEO strategy. You want to add in keywords that will draw people in but don’t want to stuff your content too full to become too generalized.

A little research upfront will help you to develop a list of a few keywords that will be most beneficial for your business. Stick with those to begin with.

Suggested Resource: Discover the best keywords for you using our $5 gig on Fiverr

fiverr seo, seo keywords

3. Build Page Authority

After you’ve created your list of keywords, it’s time to start implementing them and building page authority.

Page authority is an important marker of successful SEO strategies. It’s a measurement of how well a website page will do in search results, meaning how often it will come up high in the search results.

There are many factors to getting a good page authority score but it will ultimately look different for every company. But keeping this score in mind and making changes to improve it can help you get where you want to be.

4. Pay Attention to Image 

We’ve already discussed how the content you’re putting out (especially the keywords) needs to be representative of your brand. But everything you put out as a whole needs to send the right message.

It doesn’t do much good to work hard to get great SEO strategies going and drive traffic to your site to then have people immediately leave it.

There are many elements to a successful website (design, content, images, ease of navigation to mention a few) and they all need to portray the right message to any visitors.

One of the biggest benefits of SEO is that it draws people in who will actually be interested in your company. So you need to keep them around with the full package.

5. Work with a Professional

On the surface, SEO strategy seems very simple and a straightforward way to getting your company more customers.

But in reality, there are so many nuances and details that it can be easy to overlook something that would make a big difference. This is why it’s often very helpful to work with a trained SEO and marketing professional.

These professionals have a very clear, educated understanding of all of the factors that go into a successful campaign.

They can help you to narrow down your focus, give you the tools to write engaging content, and put your brand on the map. Having an outside perspective can help give you a clear understanding of where you’re at and where you can go.

6. Track and Measure Traffic

There’s no way to know if your SEO efforts are working if you don’t take regular measurements. And there’s really no point in making such efforts if you don’t know how helpful (or not) they’ve been.

One of the key elements to track is the traffic your site or page is getting after it has been optimized.

Most website hosts have backend options to handle all of the tracking and measuring for you. But you need to know how to read and analyze them beforehand to get a real, accurate picture of the progress you’re making.

7. Keep Current on Trends 

The online business world is always changing. It evolves with new technologies, current events, and popular business operations. To stay current you have to stay updated on trends and changes in more efficient marketing strategies.

You can do this by attending or participating in seminars, webinars, and classes focused on digital marketing strategy.

Sometimes it’s easy to think that once we’ve done something for our business it’s permanent and the only option. But in reality, things are much more fluid and can change often. Being flexible for changes to adapt to trends can help keep you current and in the public eye.

Building a Strong SEO Strategy

Getting your name, brand, and product into the world for new customers to discover you is critical to success. SEO strategy is a great way to grow your audience organically by making sure people can find you.

Each company will need to utilize different strategies and tools to get to their goals. But the key is to make conscious efforts to be putting out quality content that boosts your traffic.

If you’re interested in getting started and working with a professional to develop your unique strategy, contact us today!

How to Create a Webinar and Online Expert Events

How to Create a Webinar and Online Expert Events

I’ve always been a big believer in the power of webinars! Not only do I enjoy learning from them, but we’ve also been building a library of webinar content of our own for years. And with recent shifts to moving more digital, webinars can be a great tool to help you expand the reach of your business. But the average business owner has no idea how to create a webinar.

So you know when one of my favorite resources, SEMrush, hosts a Twitter chat on the subject, I had to be there. The SEMrush webinars are some of the best out there, and they’ve helped me stay on the cutting edge of digital marketing for several years now. And having their Head of Global Marketing, Olga Andrienko, and their Head of Video Content, Anton Shulke, on the chat was a huge bonus. They are the real deal!

And because the focus of this chat was so valuable, I thought I’d share the highlights of the conversation here. I also thought it would be a good place to add a few bonus tips and resources if you’re exploring how to create a webinar for yourself.

Here’s the conversation…

Q1. Free or paid: How do you decide whether to charge for your online conference or webinar? What other ways have you found to monetize online events?

The big thing with how you use them is determining what your goal is for them. Generally, free webinars can be great for lead generation and nurturing. But there’s also a sales opportunity for deeper and more exclusive content too. Here’s what Olga and Anton had to say about it too…

I definitely agree with the idea that with a slowdown with in-person conferences, many are going to find ways to do more online. This certainly represents some great opportunity to innovate and reach more people with premium content.

Q2. What platforms and software are best for hosting online events?

Specifically, I use the OBS Studio software to manage what my live webinar video feed looks like, but YouTube Live can be broadcast with just a webcam. This can also be accomplished with your mobile phone and Facebook Live. You’re really pretty unlimited with options for how you broadcast a live event online.

Ultimately, the software and platform you use will depend on your goals. If lead capture is important, then that needs to be part of how you set it up. It doesn’t need to be complex, and often the simplest way to get started is to get the registration done by creating a landing page for the event on your own website. Then you can communicate with that email list as the event approaches. This way you can point them to anywhere you plan to run the broadcast.

Q3. Checklist: How do you ensure the quality of the stream?

I saw some chat going on about connecting via wi-fi. And the only time I would suggest that is when you’re conducting some sort of live stream from your mobile phone. But if you’re planning to create a webinar a little more formally, then run it from your desktop and make sure you’re directly connected (if possible). I would also suggest that if you’re just getting started, then don’t sweat it with getting lots of fancy equipment. If you have a webcam with a mic, then you can do it. As you get into it over time, then consider upgrading to improve quality and performance.

I definitely appreciate the focus on the setting you use when you create a webinar. Things like lighting, background, etc all can make a huge difference in how your broadcast comes off to a viewer. The big thing here is to show that you cared enough to put the effort into creating a good environment for your viewers.

Q4. Self-hosted or including guests: What makes some formats more successful than others?

Really, the bottom line for me here is that adding more people to the webinar broadcast (remotely) adds an additional layer of complexity in pulling it off. It’s not super difficult, but it is an extra layer. And ultimately, I haven’t seen the difference in goal performance when I have others on with me or not. So I tend to just keep it simple, and create my events. But that doesn’t mean I’ll always do them solo.

This is really another one that depends on your goals. I can also say from my experience that it’s difficult to keep people’s attention as a solo presenter for longer periods of time. If I’m on an hour-long webinar, then having multiple people in a conversation certainly helps. But I’ve been experimenting with doing shorter 20-30 minute webinar sessions, which is more manageable for the viewer when I’m going solo. But the key here is to test some variations, and measure how they perform. The data will tell you what you can reasonably do.

Q5. How do you measure the success of the online event?

When measuring success, things like the number of registrations I get tell me how helpful the topics are. And success is mostly determined by the number of inbound leads it generates. I’m not looking for instant sales either. But the inbound lead gets some follow-up and an offer for a free consultation. If they don’t bite right away, I don’t sweat it. They end up on my “webinar club” mailing list and get notifications of upcoming webinars. And I’ve seen some of these people reach out to us after viewing several webinars asking us for help with their projects. Ultimately it’s a long-game, and then just continuing to work my email list over time.

I also look at the long-term usefulness of each webinar. I evaluate how much I direct people to webinars in other ongoing sales and support conversations. Even old, recorded webinars carry a great deal of value over time as I support the conversations we have with clients and potential clients. That’s not to mention how we can trim out sections of the video to repurpose for some short-form social media posts. I love repurposing content!

Q6. Social media, paid promotion, third party platforms, affiliate network… How do you promote your online event or webinar?

Promotion is mostly about two things for us. First, nurturing the existing Webinar Club email list. The people on that list who are already clients appreciate the expertise and perspective we share. And people who aren’t clients (yet) get more exposure to our brand as one they can trust as experts in the field. Second, social media, boosting/advertising posts help us get exposure to new potential audiences with very targeted interests.

And I love Olga’s point about lookalike audiences (in Facebook Ads). I can take my existing client email lists and my Webinar Club email lists and have Facebook target other people who are like these people. It’s a great way to focus on an audience who is most likely to engage with what you’re offering.

Final Thoughts On How To Create a Webinar (or Other Online Expert Event)

If you’re focusing on generating leads for your business and are a subject matter expert on a specific topic, then running a webinar can be a great tool in your marketing plan. Great webinars can help you engage with potential (and existing) customers in real-time, and they can build your brand and credibility. Contrary to what you might believe, they aren’t too difficult to pull off! However, you should have a plan for how you’re going to promote your webinar and capture the people who have an interest in the topics you plan to discuss.

Do you need help figuring out how to get something like this implemented? Need someone to help you brainstorm topics or a plan for how you move forward with this? Let us know! Grab some (free) time to talk with us, or hit us up in the online chat here on the website. We’ll get you on the right path to creating your own webinars and using them to generate leads.

 

6 Best Fiverr SEO Gigs To Drive Better Results

6 Best Fiverr SEO Gigs To Drive Better Results

If you’re looking to improve your visibility on search engines and drive more traffic to your website, then Fiverr SEO gigs can be a great way to get you some good traction. The Fiverr Marketplace makes finding the services you need easily accessible and affordable. That means you can explore and try different services without making a major commitment to an SEO provider.

However, SEO is a process, not just a one-time event. It’s important that you’re strategic in your approach.

That’s what this guide is about. It’s designed to help you start from the beginning, and understand (at a basic level) how to use various types of SEO gigs to get you the kind of results you want to see.

But first, let’s explore briefly why using Fiverr SEO gigs can be a good approach to fulfilling your needs.

Why Fiverr SEO Gigs Can Be Good For You

The platform started as a marketplace for $5 services from freelancers. You could find anything from logo design to animation videos to SEO services (and much more). Buyers for these services could find and compare options to meet their needs, all with a very low investment to get the work done. It’s been a great tool for startups, entrepreneurs, bloggers, and just about anyone trying to build a brand online.

Over the years, the platform has evolved to make it even more robust. While it’s still the home of the $5 gig, you can find many more advanced services (full website design, etc) which can cost much more. This means the level of talent there isn’t limited to freelancers who are only willing to work for only $5. It’s not realistic to find a web designer who is only willing to build your website for just $5. But you can find highly rated freelancers who also offer web design services (at often still affordable prices).

A few factors that make the Fiverr platform a great place to find talent are:

  • Its affordability makes many services more accessible to brands who don’t have monster budgets.
  • Gigs are typically scalable. That means you can get an entry-level service for a low price, or you can upgrade for more features and/or faster completion timelines.
  • The built-in review system means that every gig is rated by the buyers. This gives the freelancers a high level of motivation to deliver well on all of their gigs or risk not getting the work they desire.
  • Seller levels also show you who is consistently delivering at a high level. This means you can pick someone who has proven themselves over and over again.

With that, let’s take a look at six Fiver SEO services that you can use right now to build a stronger presence on search engines.

1 – Technical SEO Audit

fiverr seo

The first thing you should be looking at when trying to improve your SEO is the technical structure of the website itself. Some of the most common factors that limit websites are technical issues resulting in broken links, slow page load speeds, missing code/information on pages and posts, and many other issues.

Therefore, getting a deep scan on your website can reveal specific actions you can take to ensure you have a technically strong website.

Many of the issues have easy fixes, especially in a WordPress website with good hosting. A good technical SEO audit report will also prioritize the importance of the issues for the greatest impact. If you have a little technical knowledge, you might be able to correct the issues on your own. But a good upgrade to this report includes having the experts to take care of everything for you.

Recommended Fiverr SEO Gig: I will do a technical SEO audit on your website

  • Basic: Technical SEO Audit Report ($5)
  • Standard: Audit Report and WordPress Cleanup ($50)
  • Premium: Plus Homepage Optimization ($135)

2 – Keyword Research

fiverr seo, seo keywords

Once you have a strong technical foundation with your website, the next step is to understand the keywords people are using to get there. And this is more than the simple term(s) you use to describe your own service. The key here is finding the terms other people use to find you.

With an SEO Keyword Research Report, we start with the core keywords you use to describe what you’re offering on your website. Then we look at exact match, phrase match, broad match, and related keyword terms.

From this data, we’re able to prioritize the keyword phrases by things like total monthly search volume, keyword difficulty, and potential click rates. That information can inform several other aspects of your SEO strategy, including overall website architecture, topics for blog posts, and terms used in link-building strategies.

Recommended Fiverr SEO Gig: I will provide SEO keyword research for your website

  • Basic: SEO Keyword Research Report ($5)
  • Extras: Action Plan (+$20)

3 – On-Page Optimization Report

fiverr seo, on-page optimization

The next step continues with the on-site SEO theme. Once you’ve corrected the technical foundation, and you know the keyword terms you should be targeting, then a good on-page optimization service will help you ensure the content on the page is well optimized for the target keyword(s).

These reports provide optimization ideas related to strategy, SERP features, backlink opportunities, semantic content, technical SEO, and user experience.

Additionally, these reports are great for any page you want to get ranked, not just the homepage. So if you have pages for core products, service areas, or other authority pages, then run this on each one to ensure you’re maximizing your opportunity to get found for a range of terms.

Recommended Fiverr SEO Gig: I will provide SEO on-page optimization reports

  • Basic: On-Page SEO Report ($5)
  • Standard: On-Page Report + Meta ($30)
  • Premium: Full Page Optimization Service ($85)

4 – Keyword Position Reports

fiverr seo, keyword positions

Now that you’ve taken care of all of the on-site elements, we can start evaluating how the search engines see your site. That’s where a Keyword Positions Report can help us see what terms you’re currently ranking for, and the positions you rank for them.

This information can be used in a variety of ways. Typically, when we build an SEO strategy for our clients, we look for low-hanging fruit in order to achieve some easy wins. The goal is always to get terms ranking in the top three positions on the first page, which is where over half of all clicks go. So we look for the terms in positions 4-10 on the first page and terms on pages two and three of the results. With these terms, we can try some of the more simple tactics that can get the site ranking better more quickly.

Exactly how we use this information can vary quite a bit, which is why a consult is a good follow-up to this report. We can help sort through the data to ensure you have the right plan for how to move forward.

Recommended Fiverr SEO Gig: I will provide SEO keyword position reports for your website

  • Basic: Position Report ($5)
  • Standard: Position Report + Site Audit Report ($10)
  • Premium: Reports + Consult ($50)

5 – Local SEO Business Listing Audit

fiverr seo, local seo, business listings

Link-building is still one of the most powerful signals we can send to search engines to show the value of a page/site. And while there are several tactics we use to create a strong backlink portfolio, there is one thing we’ve seen make a huge difference for local business rankings. Creating (or cleaning up) your local business citations has proven to be a crucial factor in strong rankings.

Basically, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of online directories that have (or could have) listings for your business. Yelp is a big one. But there are lots of those kinds of sites. And there are two keys to leveraging these directories. First, it’s important to ensure the NAP (name, address, phone) matches what Google and your website show. Inaccurate listings can damage your credibility, and therefore negatively impact your rankings. Second, each of these listings typically has a link back to your website. And quite often these are from higher-authority websites, which results in good credibility links boosting your authority.

The report shows you the accuracy of your listings on top directory websites. Then cleaning up those listings (or creating them where they don’t exist) is a high impact service we suggest for every small business.

Recommended Fiverr SEO Gig: I will do a local SEO business listing audit

  • Basic: Local SEO Business Listing Audit ($5)
  • Standard: Local Citations Building Starter ($295)
  • Premium: Full Local Business Listing Cleanup ($695)

6 – SEO Content Research and Template

fiverr seo, content research

As I mentioned earlier, good SEO is a process. That’s why having an ongoing content strategy is one of the best things you can do to increase your website’s overall keyword value. It not only increases the number of terms you can end up ranking for, but it also creates more entry points onto your site that can potentially reach the coveted top three positions.

Blogging for your business is tricky, though. By now I’m sure you can see how strongly we feel about leveraging the data and being strategic about the approach. That’s why we like to do a little content research using the target keywords.

Research like this can be done for every blog post you produce. And it’s the foundation for every blog post our team of SEO writers produces. Ultimately, the goal is to produce content that has search engine and social media value. This approach can help you build a library of great resources that can drive traffic for years to come.

Recommended Fiverr SEO Gig: I will provide SEO content research and template

  • Basic: Content Research and SEO Template ($5)
  • Standard: Content Research + 500-Word Post ($95)
  • Premium: Content Research + 1,000-Word Post ($170)

Final Thoughts On Fiverr SEO Gigs

It’s not super difficult to drive substantial traffic to your website through search engines. But you do need to be strategic about how you go about it.

You can leverage Fiverr SEO gigs to help you explore SEO services and drive more traffic to your website. It’s important, however, to not just go out and buy random gigs making big promises. You should know where you are with your website, where you want to go with traffic, and where your greatest opportunities for traffic can be found. Then build a plan that drives you towards your goals.

If you want to start by chatting through any of this, we’re always happy to talk (for free) and get you pointed in the right direction. You can schedule some time with us anytime. And feel free to grab some of the gigs featured here to get your SEO strategy moving in the right direction.

 

How To Fail (And Avoid Failure) At Social Selling

How To Fail (And Avoid Failure) At Social Selling

You’re probably already doing it. Failing, that is. Most small business owners I know fail miserably at social selling. They are incredible contractors, interior designers, real estate agents, and whatever else they do. It’s just that being great at your craft doesn’t mean you’re an expert in the nuances of social media marketing.

Here’s the deal. Most small business owners I know come at social media with a “sell it” mentality. Every post needs to be a homerun sales pitch. And then they get frustrated when they fall flat and fail to produce any results.

“Social media doesn’t work for us,” they say.

It may seem counterintuitive, but the best way to sell on social media is to stop selling. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn are not inherently sales platforms. They are social platforms. When you think about buying something, you go somewhere like Amazon. That’s a sales platform. When you get onto social media sites, you’re looking to connect with people. And in those connections, you share (and discover) ideas that help you shape your life.

That’s why looking to social media strictly for selling is the wrong approach. You should be there to connect. And if you’re really good, to tell a story about who you are, what you do, and how that intersects with your customers – and potential customers – lives.

The North Wind and the Sun (Aesop’s Fables)

There’s a great fable from Aesop that serves as a guide for how you should approach your social media strategy for business.

The Wind and the Sun are arguing over is stronger. Suddenly they see a traveler coming down the road. They decide to settle to an argument over whoever can get the traveler to take his coat off. The Wind blows as hard as it can, but the traveler tightens his coat up even more. Then the Sun softly shines its rays on him. The traveler suddenly feels hot and finally removes his coat. Declaring the Sun, the winner.

The lesson here is that persuasion is a far better tool than force. The same applies to your social selling strategy. You’ll get much further with a more kind and humble and gentle approach than you will by blasting at them.

Forcing It Never Works

“I want to get on social media and hang out with a used car salesman.”
– No one ever.

social selling

Here’s my big challenge to you. Don’t be that guy. You know, the one who tries to sell you a car just because you have a driver’s license.

Don’t get me wrong. You probably have a great product or service. And it likely could make people’s lives much better. The problem is in the approach, not the product. For car buyers, 60 percent of the process occurs online. People search third-party websites (78%) and dealer/manufacturer websites (53%). So much of the legwork for car buying happens like this because people don’t want to deal with the pushy salesman. We naturally reject that kind of in-your-face tactics.

If you go into your social selling approach like the North Wind, you’ll get the same result. People will pull that coat tighter and try to protect themselves from your blow-hard approach.

The Art of Persuasion

Social selling is about persuasion. And persuasion is about influencing convictions or beliefs. In our fable, the Sun didn’t force the traveler to take off his coat. Instead, he created an environment where that outcome was more likely. The traveler became convinced that taking off the coat on his own was the right idea.

In a social media setting, sales persuasion looks like:

  • Sharing your story in a way people can relate to
  • Establishing yourself as an expert in your field
  • Making them look smart to their friends by being a helpful resource
  • Being the fun guy in the room

social selling, fun guy

You’ll get to social selling opportunities when you present the kind of personality people want to do business with. Social selling is the result of creating the right kind of environment. When they decide the time is right, they’ll buy from you.

Final Thoughts on Social Selling

The bottom line is that there are customers out there to be found on social media. Lots of them! But winning at social selling is more about taking the softer and more persuasive approach than it is about forcing your sales pitch on people.

It’s also worth noting that social selling works best when you understand the differences between how people use each platform. What you do on LinkedIn should look very different than what you do on Facebook. They are different kinds of parties. The key is to connect well – and naturally – in the environment you’re in.

Get this right, and you’ll have sales rolling in through social media. That’s how we’ve done it. And hit us up if you want to talk through what might be the right digital marketing approach for your small business.