A steady stream of warms leads is most businesses idea of nirvana. A sentence I often hear is:
“I convert over 50% of the leads I get in front of, but I can’t get enough leads. Help!”
These businesses often have multiple marketing streams feeding prospects into their sales and marketing funnels. But the funnels are either not generating enough leads, or the leads are lukewarm at best. What’s going wrong?
Usually it’s one or both or two things and they are related to a very important adage:
Most businesses are familiar with the finance side of this. Turnover is no good if it isn’t profitable. But even profitable businesses go under without adequate cashflow. The social media equivalent is also true. You need connections, followers etc. But unless they are engaged they won’t become leads.
Back to the funnel. Most businesses use social media to drive prospects into their marketing funnels. That is where the first problem occurs.
- The wrong prospects.
It’s easy to get followers, connections, Facebook likes etc. You can even ‘buy’ them off the internet. There are so many people offering x’000 followers for $20 etc. etc. But these followers have little or no affinity with, or interest in, your business.
You need to have a clear vision of your target market – who your ideal customer is. You then need to work out where they hang out and then go to their place. Then you need to offer them something enticing to come into your place. That way you get much better quality leads coming in to your funnel. It’s the first step in Market – Message – Media, the mantra of all good marketers. Know your market. Give them appropriate messages through the most appropriate media and you’ll get them into your funnel.
Once they are in the funnel, problem no.2 occurs.
- Poor engagement
Engagement is sanity. Are you engaged with your followers or connections? Too many business focus on getting prospects into the funnel and then forget about making real engagement. They have a couple of drab e-mail exchanges and then start pumping out the offers and then wonder why the leads don’t buy. You need to be able to identify which of the prospects you’ve enticed into you funnel are the hot prospects.
The clue is usually in their engagement with you. So you need to monitor e-mail open rates, social media likes, re-posts, comments and other interactions. Then you need to respond to those interactions and in as personal way as possible.
You see people like to buy from people and if they see you personally interacting, they know there is someone really there. Not just an auto-responder or Direct Message generator.
You need to start conversations.
The LinkedIn Advantage
LinkedIn gives you a distinct advantage over other social media and marketing activities in solving these two problems.
- Targeting the right prospects
Most people treat LinkedIn like an online cv and then use it to connect with old colleagues in a similar line of business. Well cv’s are stuffed full of the keywords you need to search for your ideal target prospects. So that just made finding good prospects easy. Better still, if you are connected to your best clients, who do you think they are also connected to. Old colleagues in a similar line of business – your next ideal prospects. You could even get your existing client to recommend you and then introduce you. How easy is that?
- Easy engagement
Having found your ideal prospects, LinkedIn tells you all about them.
- You can see shared connections offering the possibility of introductions.
- You can see their interests – a great way to start a conversation
- You can see and comment on their posts
- You can see which groups they belong to and join them there in the conversation
- You can comment on their current or past roles
In short, there are any number of ways to strike up a conversation and get connected. And once that happens you can start to build a rapport and that all important trust.
From that engagement you can also judge where the prospect is in the buying cycle, enabling you to focus your efforts on the hottest prospects. In other words, turning engagement in to genuine leads.
Don’t just pile followers into the funnel. Have an engagement plan and turn followers into genuine leads. If you’d like to learn more about how LinkedIn can help you do this, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me and the message me on LinkedIn.