Wow, you’re now on the Expert level. As with the previous tasks they follow a similar format but will be suited to business regularly promoting their business or those who’ve completed my Foundation and Pro levels.
Jump to a specific category:
- Audience & Planning
- Stats & Analytics
- Website Design & Development
- SEO & Content
- Social Media
- Email Marketing
Audience & Planning
Review progress against business objectives
Review where you are right now and work out what changes you need to make to meet your business objectives.
Sounds like you’ve done this before? Your right this was the first task in the Pro level. It’s good to review your progress against your business objectives every few months so you can congratulate yourself if you’ve done well or re-align if things are going off course.
Watch IMC #1 Planning your marketing strategy
As an extension to the previous task, make your review a little wider to cover all your marketing efforts. Watch the first half of this video for advice on how I look at my marketing.
Look back at the previous year
- What worked well? Do them again or ditch?
- Incorporate the good ideas back into plan
Review social and blog efforts
- Which networks gave you most engagement?
- Check your profiles are up to date
- What are your most popular blog posts?
Review ad campaigns
- Are you getting the return you expect?
- How do you measure this?
Review your Vision / Objectives
- How do we want to be thought of?
- Long term objectives, blue sky visions New products or more family time
Review your Mission
- Quantify the vision.
- What are the numbers? e.g. sell 10 tractors a week
Review your Audience
- What are their problems and how can we help them?
Review your Competitors
- Who are they?
- What do they do well?
- Where do they fall short?
- What events can you get involved in?
- Partner with businesses who have same audience?
Ask customers why they made their decision to buy from you
After you have made a sale with a new customer, ask them why they decided to buy, what they liked about your product and how they would recommend you to a friend.
Add these benefits to your Product fit and use your marketing material.
Watch IMC #14 How to make fab client testimonial videos
To help with the previous task make discovering why customers buy from you part of a testimonial video you can share with leads.
Refine your customer persona
Review and refine your customer persona as you learn more about why your customers buy from your and what they say about you to others.
From this review the buying stages. How can you better reach your target market?
Stats & Analytics
Identify two actions to increase website visits
After reviewing your GA stats think about two or more things you can do to increase visitor traffic.
Some actions I have chosen in the past are:
- Write more blog posts based on topics that already get lots of traffic
- Add links from high traffic blog posts to key landing pages
- Share a blog post twice in the week it’s published plus a few months later as a catch-up
Review your stats on YouTube
If you are using video to promote your business then reviewing your stats on YouTube can review
Watch IMC #3 YouTube Engagement
Understanding YouTube analytics and getting more engagement from your channel.
Review stats on website landing pages and goals
Look over your Analytics data to find out:
- Where your visitors come from?
- How long do they stay?
- What pages do they land on first?
- How many bounce?
- How visit succeed in a goal?
- Which sources convert best?
- Where do people get stuck?
- And where do they drop out?
Review email clicks, which campaigns are working the best?
Look through your email software to identify ways to improve engagement.
- Measure results. Did you get more leads?
- Compare over last 3 sends
- Test different subject lines or content to find out what works best. Don’t change too much
Website Design & Development
Watch IMC #10 WordPress walkthrough
If you use WordPress, up your game and get to know your way around the block editor so you can create pages and posts with ease.
Add the benefits of your product to your landing pages
Take the list of benefits or reasons to buy that customers from your persona and add them the relavent landing pages.
Offer a free trial or consultation
Offer a free trial of your service, a free consultation or sample. This will encourage visitors to submit information.
One of the primary benefits of offering something for free is that it generates traffic. The free product introduces the business and hooks likely buyers, with the result that the expense of handing out the free samples will be more than counterbalanced by the resulting sales.https://ratherinventive.com/blog/give-away-free-3-ways-can-help-business/
Add customer case studies
Case studies are a great way to demonstrate the benefits of your product through the eyes of your potential customer. Make sure to explain the initial problems as well as how your product solved them.
The easiest way to create a case study to to ask your customer questions leading them through the before, during and after of using your product. Even better record this on video and (with their permission) share with your potential customers.
Add a page to the website for reviews or case studies (if one does not exist already) or add them directly directly to each Landing page.
Add an interests drop down to enquiry form or newsletter sign up
On your enquiry / subscription forms, add an interests tab to clarify the product/service they are interested in (for segmentation).
Begin to add CTAs to blog / news content
Add a clear call to action (subscribe/enquire) to blog posts. You can even ask customers to give you feedback on blogs through the comments, social media or email.
Watch IMC #25 WooCommerce walkthrough
If you are looking to sell online and have a WordPRess site then the free WooCommerce is for you. I walk through setting up the plugin to products, discount vouchers and shipping and order processing.
SEO & Content
Register your business on 5 high quality online directories
Find more high quality business directories that offer free listings and add your business. Take your time to include add a company overview, examples or your products and testimonials if you can.
Perform deeper competitor research
To get to page one on Google your pages need to be 10x better than your competition. To do this you need to research what your competitors are doing and how you can make your page better than theirs.
Here’s my process for each keyword I’m optimising for
1. Search for the keyword on Google
Use a private browsing session this helps to hide your browsing history from Google. And make sure to take a screenshot for future reference.
2. Review the first three organic result snippets (ignore the ads)
Take a screenshot and ignore the ads.
Does the snippet include the exact keywords you searched for in the title tag and URL? Where are they placed? What text do they use in the meta description. Does your landing page include these keywords?
3. Visit each of the first three results
What do you like? What are they doing well? What can you do 10x better?
As with the snippet look at their placement and use of keywords. How much copy do they have? Do you enjoy reading it? Is it interesting?
What other content to they have: images, video, PDF downloads, links, data tables etc
4. Compile your results
Gather together the best of your research and use this to add depth and details to your landing pages
Conduct a review of your landing pages
Make sure that your content is fresh, relevant and uses keywords.
I recommend taking this page by page to make the task more manageable. Start with your lowest performing landing pages and review the following:
- There are keywords in the url, title, description and heading
- You are using headings, images and space to break up the content to make it easier to scan
- You are using a variety of words within the same topic as your keywords
- For each title or key statement ask your self ‘So what does hit mean to me’ as if you were a customer
- What additional information can you add that will help your customer? Data table, PDF downloads, Examples videos etc
- There is a CTA (Call to Action), Click, Signup, Find out more
- Add more related words to your landing pages with textoptimizer.com
- Get an expert to review your site content for you
Watch IMC #20: Blog Content Consolidation
How to review your blog to find the best-performing articles and which ones need cutting away.
Arrange guest blogging to build credibility & backlinks
Find websites have a blog and are related to your industry or product and ask if you can write a guest post for them and link back to your website.
Add additional topic related words to your landing page or blog content
Improve your page content by including extra words that relate to your core topic and keywords. A useful tool for this is Text Optimizer which can highlight missing words on your page that may add depth and topic relevance.
Write another two blog posts
Write another two blog posts using one of the following ideas. Remember to link the post to a landing page.
- Help someone – Hints and tips
- Questions you get asked a lot – FAQ
- Misconceptions people have of your industry
- Insider info / secrets
- Mistakes people make and how to avoid them
- Things you wish more of your clients knew
- An insight into you and your business
- Customer interviews and case studies – Testimonials
- Benefits of your product – What makes you different?
- Share something you found interesting
- Answer a question on LinkedIn
- Promote another businesses product or event
Remember you can also use Answer The Public to identify questions that people are asking on Google.
Develop a sharing strategy for social
Build into your schedule time to share remarkable content in a variety of media with your social and email audience.
Ideally it should be delivered in a consistent format and on a regular schedule. For extra reach to more people also ask your friends and partner companies to share it with their audience.
- Start a weekly Facebook live where you share one thing you learned in the week
- Record a Zoom interview of your clients about their business, life, pets or favourite coffee
- Share a tip each day on Twitter that will make the lives of people who use your product easier
- Take a misconceptions that people have of your industry and explain it
Make your social posts remarkable
If you want to be seen you have to create regular informative, useful and remarkable content and ‘remarkable’ is the operative word.
‘Remarkable doesn’t mean remarkable to you. It means remarkable to me. Am I going to make a remark about it?
If not, then you’re average, and average is for losers.’Seth Godin 2007, https://seths.blog/2007/01/how_to_be_remar/
However remarkable doesn’t have to be big. Here are a few ways you can be remarkable to one or more people with small gestures.
- Saying happy birthday
- Giving a referral
- Asking people questions
- Interviewing people
- Saying thank you
- Doing someone a favour
- Sending a gift
- Sharing amazing advice without expecting anything in return
- Sharing a secret
Show awareness of ideal clients sector
Demonstrate that you understand the challenges faced by your clients by sharing articles or announcements and showing interest in their sectors or industries.
Introduce video into marketing activites
Share videos of testimonials, interviews or product information on your site and on social media.
Case studies can demonstrate more effectively than anything else how your product or service can help prospects achieve their goals. Having someone impartial tell their story about your business and how it has helped them, will have so much more influence on a prospect’s decision to buy, than your words alone ever could.https://ratherinventive.com/blog/video-case-studies-social-proof-pudding/
Turn your what you learn into content
Use your experiments, failures, testimonials, problems and ideas into content that you can share with others. Not only could this appeal to your customers but it may also appeal to other people in your industry who will help you share it with others.
Watch IMC #15 How we make our podcast
Clare and I share everything we do to create our podcast. Including lessons learnt, stats and tools.
Setup a pretty Facebook URL
If you have over 25 likes, give your Facebook page a nice URL without numbers in it.
Related link: Your Facebook Web Address
Setup YouTube channel linked to Google +
Video can be quicker to understand than text, it keeps people engaged longer. Set up a business Google channel.
Related link: Create a new YouTube channel
Watch IMC 21: Mining LinkedIn to find prospects
Jack McCaughtrie and I look at how to use LinkedIn to find prospects and then how best to engage with them.
Create your Social Tribe
Build a close group of partner businesses who all have a similar audience and share each others content. It’s an idea I developed with Aidan Gibson about local businesses promoting other local businesses on the web and through social media.
Collect visitors data with a compelling offer
Using the email system you identified previously add a data collection form to each of your landing pages as part of or additional to the CTA.
Next create a compelling offer such as a PDF how to guide, a video with pro tips or even a free trial and give access to this after filling out the form on your landing page.
When a visitor subscribes send them an email with a link to the PDF or video as well as further details about your product and how to buy it. Remember though not to give the hard sell, just provide information.
Design a follow up email with extra information
Once you have an offer email in place. Create an an automatic email to send a follow-up after a few days.
Ask if they found the content useful? If they have any questions and again provide information on your product or your contact details.
Optimise your email layout for clicks
Review the layout of your email campaign to help focus attention on the desired action. Use a triangle layout to draw the reader down to a CTA.
Experiment with animated graphics or videos in your email
Using animated GIFs in your emails can be more attractive especially if they are used to give a taster of a video. I’ve found that using short extracts from a video that includes people has increased the number of clicks throughs to a link.
Use tools such as Giphy to convert short video clips into animations.
Design a specific email newsletter targeted at your ideal client
Design an email newsletter that will be of interest to the ideal customer and use their topics of conversation.
Test your emails to make sure they aren’t going into SPAM
Use a service such as Mail-Tester.com to make sure your email looks legit to SPAM servers.
Also make sure you:
- Use a real sending email address of a person and not just info@
- Avoid using spammy words such as ‘Act now’, ‘Certified’ or ‘Cheap’
- Get authenticated by adding SPF and DKIM records
- 100+ Common Email Spam Trigger Words and Phrases to Avoid
- Solving the Mystery That Is Email Authentication
- Email authentication in Campaign Monitor
- Set Up Email Domain Authentication in MailChimp
Review your customers in terms of price, profitability, ease of conversion, previous business
We all want better customers. Once we like to work with and who are most profitable for our business.
It’s worth reviewing your customers on an annual basis to find out which ones you don’t want to continue working with and the attributes of the ones you do.
You should review your persona to include this important information however subtle. For me I judge a good customer on whether they offer me a cup of tea or Coffee when I first meet them. Or when we have a Zoom meeting if they ask me about my week and want to have a little conversation before we dive into business.
Raise your prices by 10%
Every business coach will tell you this and it’s an obvious one but in order to be profitable you need to make profit, so review your price for all customer and increase them at the next available opportunity.
Focus on your best prospects first
Make sure your look after your best clients or leads who might become your next best client. Don’t waste time and energy on work that doesn’t appeal to you or people who insist on discounts.
Use CRM to track the nuturing process
Use a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) or task manager to track what stage each prospect is at in the process of buying.
I don’t use a CRM as such but rather a task list that’s part of Basecamp our project manager app. Either way I make sure I know what potential projects are the wings, contacts details for the client and key elements of the communication, so I know what we have agreed and what my next action is.
I like to track:
- Where the lead camp from: Web, referral, workshop etc
- The status: Lead, Briefing, Quoting, Follow-up (1-3): Won and Lost
- Contact details of the lead
- Any communications they send me. Usually a copy and paste of the email text into a Basecamp message
- Copies of the quotes I send them
- Notes I make after reviewing their website or marketing
- Next actions I have such as send quote, book call
- Any notes after actions completed such as followed up, nudged, not heard back etc
- And when won or lost I put a note in to say why (particularly if we lost out on the project. And If I don’t know I ask.
Expert stage complete 🎉
Congratulations! You have finished all the challenges I set for you.
Now’s the time to push things further. Arrange a no obligation call with me to chat over where you need help to do better.