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 calendar, attracting leads is a must for any business. These leads will not only become email subscribers and social followers; eventually they will become paying customers. Service businesses grow when leads come in the door, so do a quick analysis right now. How is YOUR lead generation process performing?
The good news is thanks to software and technology, a lot of this lead generation process can be automated. But so many entrepreneurs are confused about where to start automating so let’s look at that now.
Start off with automating your welcome email sequence.
To attract leads onto your email list, you need to have a free gift to give away. Most people are used to receiving something immediate in return for their email address so a checklist, templates, or eBooks, are all good options.
Start by having your team set up a landing page for your free gift to get people onto your email list. You’ll need to offer your subscribers something quick to digest but which offers tons of value. Ask yourself these questions:
What’s a quick and easy problem you can fix for your subscribers?
What action steps can your audience take RIGHT NOW to achieve success or at least put themselves on a path to success?
Write up this information (or record it as an audio or video if you’re more comfortable speaking).
Next you’ll 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 freebie. If you don’t already have an email provider, do your research, and compare features and pricing. Some programs have more bells and whistles than others. A word of cation, this is not the place to cut corners and go cheap. Any money you save will be lost in the time you (or your virtual assistant) spends working and in loss subscribers due to an inferior system.
Now think about the very first email your new subscriber will receive with their download gift. The first email in the welcome series should be short and sweet: Welcome to the family. Here’s your download link. Here’s where you can find me on social media.
The other emails in the series – usually 5-7 emails – are often delivered over the course of that first week. These offer more information about your business, your background, why you love your work, and what products and programs you currently have to offer. These emails can be set to automatically deliver daily or at any frequency you prefer after that first welcome email is delivered.
Every email you provide should include valuable information around your niche or topic, but these first emails are crucial to begin building that client relationship. Introduce yourself to your new leads (and help them start to view you as an expert) and position you/your service as the solution to the problem that led them to grab your freebie in the first place.
Now that you have your landing page, free gift and email series set up, how do you expect people to find it?
Promoting it yourself is useful but will you really reach a vast number of leads doing it yourself? Here’s where automation comes in to save the day!
1. Facebook Ads require a little set up time in advance but once you have chosen your demographics and your ad is approved, it’s up to Facebook to deliver those ads according to your settings. Instead of YOU living on the computer and manually posting, trying to reach many thousands of leads, Facebook technology can do that for you, in the background, while you focus on your current clients. Just be sure your lead magnet (aka your freebie gift) is exciting enough to gather those clicks and sign ups. 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 schedulers will regularly post content with a call to action to your freebie. You can write this content yourself and reuse it–or you can have a VA or content writer create this content. Meet Edgar is a social media tool that is programmed to post your evergreen content automatically, which cuts down on your scheduling time considerably.
3. Evergreen webinars (aka on demand webinars) are another way to drive leads to your landing page to gather email addresses. These types of webinars are pre-recorded and allow the viewer to choose the date and time to watch that best suits THEIR schedule. Some people don’t realize these are pre-recorded but overall they are popular simply because viewers don’t feel stressed about fitting a webinar into their busy schedule.
If you want the best results from an evergreen webinar, consider using a replay of a live webinar in which you saw results. If the webinar got sales with a live audience, your chances of making sales with the on-demand version is pretty high. You’ve already tested it with your audience, so now it’s just ‘rinse and repeat’.
Some people who are nervous about hosting a live webinar might prefer to record one without the live audience and release it without any testing. While this is certainly an option, you’re kind of ‘flying blind’ not knowing if the information or call to action will yield 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 branded template, so you don’t have to recreate them every time you want to create a new training.
Facebook and Instagram ads will drive traffic to your evergreen webinar, just like we did with your freebie landing page. Use that same demographic ad setup and ask your Facebook Ads expert to assist. They may also complete the ad copy, manage the ad performance and duration, as well as handle the graphics creation. If an expert isn’t in your budget yet, then hire a graphic designer to create branded graphics or ask your VA to put together your ad copy and graphics so all you have to do is approve or tweak a few things.
Once you’re settled on creating an evergreen webinar, even that can be set on autopilot, thanks to automation software like GoToWebinar and EverWebinar. Once you approve the webinar video, delegate the setup tasks to your trusted VA.
During the setup process for your on-demand webinar, you’ll be collecting email addresses upon registration, but you’ll also need to link your chosen email provider with your webinar provider. Many of the big names already work well together but this step will assure that these new webinar registrants will receive your newest follow-up email sequence to continue to help you make sales after the webinar is over.
Another task you can delegate to your VA is tracking the metrics for this webinar to ensure it’s still working. You’ll want data on:
- Facebook ad spend / click-thru rate
- Webinar landing page conversions
- Attendees vs. sign-ups
- Sales made during the webinar
- Webinar follow-up series metrics (email opens, email click-throughs, purchases, etc.)
Just think of all you can accomplish while your VA compiles a report with this data instead of YOU sorting through it all yourself!