Whether you’re a freelancer, side-hustler, or small business owner, marketing your business is instrumental for revenue growth.
Further, 72% of marketers say that content marketing alone not only increases engagement but also increases leads generated. The key thing that businesses need to take note of is that digital marketing is an incredibly fast and easy way to reach your target customers. You also learn quickly what works and what doesn’t. This allows you to pivot as needed while spending your marketing dollars wisely.
That said, I wanted to write about different marketing strategies that will help attract more customers.
Where to Start?
When it comes to marketing, clients who work with me tend to come in feeling discouraged because they’ve tried a lot of different channels — PPC, SEO, email, blogging, paid media, affiliate, and social.
However, their biggest missing piece is being purpose-driven and attaching succinct goals to each implementation backed by an ROI model that each execution can be benchmarked against.
With that in mind, my number one recommendation is always to start small, then scale. It is easier to track and analyze the performance of 3–5 initiatives than 50–100. And, to be honest, companies typically see their biggest marketing ROI coming from a few distinct channels, not 100.
Here are five strategies that will help attract more customers if you haven’t already tried them:
Run Virtual and Local Workshops
Did you know that 2–5% of webinar attendees make some sort of purchase, with 20–40% becoming warm leads, and that overall, 87% of businesses see them as an effective channel that yields positive returns?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned from webinars is the following:
- Just as you would do with your own blogging efforts, it’s important to present on a topic you are passionate about.
- Take time to develop your webinar presentation. Avoid using a ton of words on one slide. Be concise with the message you want attendees to walk away with.
- Make time to promote your webinar, which means putting in ad dollars too.
- Afterward, make sure that you follow up on the webinar with at least 4–5 emails to nurture attendees and those who missed it.
- Don’t be afraid to promote your webinar again, this time doing it as an “on-demand.”
The great thing about webinars is that they are fairly inexpensive. You also get to test out your own messaging and offering to see which drives the most engagement, leads, and sales.
After your webinar, you can take it a step further and launch a local workshop doing the exact same thing. The attraction for local workshops is being able to meet people who are interested in what you have to offer. My caution here is that you test and hone your content virtually first. Then you can justify running a more intimate local workshop.
In fact, here are some ideas for offers you can promote:
- Invite virtual attendees to join an in-person workshop and charge a fee for this.
- Invite virtual attendees to take a simple survey post-webinar and vet the people who are the best fit to become customers for your business; then follow up with a more personalized message to invite them to your in-person workshop.
- Do a deeper-dive virtual masterclass for interested attendees. Make the initial webinar free but charge a small fee for the deeper-dive masterclass for more serious individuals interested in your offering.
Attend Networking Events
Check out Meetup.com, join groups with like-minded individuals, and attend events that align with your interests. Attend these events with an eagerness to meet new professionals and learn about their challenges.
Here are some key things to keep top of mind when you’re at these events:
Make time to meet the founder(s) of the Meetup group. This is especially helpful because you can learn a lot from founders who have a large attendance and build an ongoing relationship with their attendees. Meeting the founder(s) can even open the door to you becoming a presenter at their upcoming events and tapping into their network.
Do not sell at someone else’s event. This is tacky. Don’t get me wrong. When I was younger, I had no idea what I was doing. I’d walk into these events and try to get people to sign on as clients with me. However, what I’ve found is that people who attend Meetup events really don’t want to be sold. They are looking to learn and network. So, go in with that intention: to build your network and learn.
Be engaged online too. Leave comments in the comments section and introduce yourself. Provide positive feedback for the events you attend that you liked.
Run a Relevant Giveaway
Giveaways are amazing. Everyone wants free stuff. But, be careful here. I recently wrote a blog post entitled, “5 Hard Lessons I Learned While Building a 10K Email List.” I had a number in my head that I wanted to reach, but this caused me to miss the forest for the trees, because even though I reached my number, I did not achieve my overall business goal: to gain new leads and sales.
To ensure that you run a giveaway that actually matters to your target customers, consider these ideas:
- Add swag, but don’t make it over the top. Consider giving away a book you love, t-shirts, or mugs. When you offer high price items, the motivation behind the giveaway becomes less about the context of your actual offering and more about getting free shit.
- Put some money towards Facebook ads and be as specific as possible with the personas you’re going after. This will only increase your chances of getting the right people on your email list and ultimately nurture future paying customers.
- Make your expertise the top offer. Instead of materialistic crap, look at how you can use your expertise to help make the offer what people want. People want to work with people they aspire to be like because that inspires them. I’d recommend making this your main offer. However, before you do, you have to also make sure you have some street cred — meaning case studies, success stories, and testimonials.
Create a Paid Subscription/Membership Site
There is just no such thing as having too much content. This is what people thrive on. It’s the learning aspect, and I truly stand by that. Being able to consume content that teaches entrepreneurship, marketing, and side-hustles is so much more valuable to individuals wanting to escape their 9–5.
Know your audience. Know what makes them tick. Know what triggers them to take action to join your subscription and even pay for what you have to offer.
Once you build up a big enough community, you can take your content output to the next level and provide a more personalized experience for interested individuals.
The way to do this? Offer a paid subscription.
It’s not as easy as it sounds, though. It takes a ton of work, organization, and discipline. However, once you are able to identify your super fans and give them the content they want to consume, they’ll pay for it.
Here are two clear examples you can check out:
I’ve followed Lewis Howes for several years now and have met him a couple of times as well as spoken on the phone with him years ago. One thing I’ve always appreciated about him is his authenticity — he doesn’t claim to be the absolute expert in knowing exactly what it takes to make money online, but he will show you how he did and what worked for him.
Now he has created Inner Circle, which is a place for other like-minded individuals to meet and learn about how they can grow their social media presence. The ultimate goal here is to take these learnings, apply them to yourself, and generate income.
SolidGigs is another pretty cool site. Once you sign up, they have a ton of videos where experts on blogging, social, freelancing, etc. are interviewed. These experts get really specific in describing the tactics they implemented to drive positive results. SolidGigs also curates freelance, contractor, and full-time gigs online that you can check out on the site and have emailed to you weekly. The cost is $19/month and the first month is free.
The thing about marketing is that there isn’t just one way to drive results for your business. That’s why I recommend as much testing as possible. Even when you’ve found that something is working, keep looking for ways to make more improvements and pay attention if you find that you’ve reached the point of diminishing returns.
Keep a log of what you do that works well, what doesn’t, and what needs more improvements. From there, you can develop a marketing roadmap to execute, collect more data, and leverage that data to make better decisions as you move forward.