Business systems and automation are essential to running a business WITHOUT working 24/7. One of the first processes you’ll probably want to start streamlining is your lead generation process, because even if you have a full timeline, attracting leads is a must for any business. These prospects will not only become email subscribers and social subscribers; they will eventually become paying customers. Service businesses thrive when leads arrive, so do a quick analysis now. How is YOUR lead generation process going?
The good news is that with software and technology, much of this lead generation process can be automated. But so many entrepreneurs don’t know where to start with automation, so let’s take a look at that now.
Start by automating your welcome email sequence.
To attract prospects to your email list, you must have a free gift to give. Most people are used to receiving something immediately in exchange for their email address. A checklist, templates or e-books are therefore good options.
Start by asking your team to create a landing page for your free giveaway to get people to your email list. You will need to offer your followers something that is quick to digest but offers tons of value. Ask yourself these questions:
What problem can you solve quickly and easily for your subscribers?
What steps can your audience take NOW to be successful or at least get on the path to success?
Write down this information (or record it as an audio or video if you are more comfortable speaking).
Next, you will need to connect your landing page to your email marketing system. You can use email automation programs that allow you to send a series of automated emails to your list, and the first email can be your giveaway. If you don’t have an email provider yet, do your research and compare features and prices. Some programs have more bells and whistles than others. A word of cation, this is not the place to cut corners and go cheap. All the money you save will go to the time you (or your virtual assistant) spend working and the loss of subscribers due to an inferior system.
Now think about the very first email your new subscriber will receive with their download giveaway. The first email in the welcome series should be short and sweet: Welcome to the family. Here is your download link. Here is where you can find me on social media.
The rest of the emails in the series – typically 5-7 emails – are often sent in that first week. These offer more information about your business, your background, why you love your job, and the products and programs you currently offer. These emails can be set to be sent automatically every day or at a frequency of your choice after the first welcome email has been sent.
Every email you provide should include valuable information about your niche or topic, but these first emails are crucial in starting to build that customer relationship. Introduce yourself to your new prospects (and help them start seeing you as an expert) and position yourself / your department as the solution to the problem that led them to grab your giveaway in the first place.
Now that you’ve set up your landing page, free giveaways, and email streaks, how do you want people to find it?
It helps to promote it yourself, but will you really reach a lot of leads by doing it yourself? This is where automation comes in to save the day!
1. Facebook Ads require a bit of setup time up front, but once you’ve chosen your demographics and your ad is approved, it’s up to Facebook to serve those ads based on your settings. Instead of YOU living on the computer and posting manually, trying to reach thousands of leads, Facebook technology can do it for you, in the background, while you focus on your current customers. Just make sure that your main magnet (i.e. your free giveaway) is exciting enough to collect those clicks and signups. I also recommend outsourcing this to an expert as it will save you a lot of money in the long run.
2. Social media tools or planners will regularly post content with a call to action for your giveaway. You can write this content yourself and reuse it – or you can have a virtual assistant or content writer create this content. Meet Edgar is a social media tool that’s programmed to automatically post your evergreen content, dramatically reducing your planning time.
3. Evergreen Webinars (aka on-demand webinars) are another way to drive leads to your landing page to collect email addresses. These types of webinars are pre-recorded and allow the viewer to choose the viewing date and time that best suits THEIR schedule. Some people don’t realize they’re pre-recorded, but overall they’re popular simply because viewers don’t feel stressed about making a webinar part of their busy schedule.
If you want the best results from an ongoing webinar, consider using a replay of a live webinar in which you have seen results. If the webinar generated sales with a live audience, your chances of making sales with the on-demand version are quite high. You’ve already tested it with your audience, so now all you have to do is “rinse and repeat”.
Some people who are nervous about hosting a live webinar may prefer to record one without the live audience and stream it without any testing. While this is certainly an option, you are sort of “blind” with no idea whether the information or the call to action will produce results.
Slide templates are a necessary part of any webinar and allow you to brand them with your logo and / or colors so people start to recognize your brand. Your team can create a standard brand template, so you don’t have to recreate it every time you want to create a new formation.
Facebook and Instagram ads will drive traffic to your evergreen webinar, just like we did with your free landing page. Use this same demographic ad setup and ask your Facebook Ads expert to help you out. They can also supplement ad copy, manage ad performance and duration, and manage graphic design. If an expert is not yet within your budget, then hire a graphic designer to create branded graphics or have your VA create your ad copy and graphics so that all you have to do is approve or modify some elements.
Once you decide to create a permanent webinar, even this can be set up on autopilot, thanks to automation software such as GoToWebinar and EverWebinar. Once you’ve approved the webinar video, delegate the setup tasks to your trusted VA.
During the process of setting up your on-demand webinar, you’ll collect email addresses during registration, but you’ll also need to associate your chosen email provider with your webinar provider. Many big names are already working well together, but this step will ensure that these new webinar registrants receive your final sequence of follow-up emails to continue helping you make sales after the webinar is over.
Another task that you can delegate to your VA is to track the metrics in this webinar to make sure it is still working. You will need data on:
- Facebook ad spend / click-through rate
- Webinar landing page conversions
- Participants vs registrations
- Sales made during the webinar
- Webinar follow-up series metrics (email opens, email clicks, purchases, etc.)
Think about how much you can accomplish while your virtual assistant compiles a report with that data instead of YOU sorting everything out yourself!