Business systems and automation are essential to running a business without working 24/7. One of the first processes you will probably want to start simplifying is the lead generation process because even if you have a full calendar, attracting leads is a must for any business. Not only will these leads become email subscribers and social followers; Eventually they will become paying customers. Service businesses grow when potential customers come in, so do a quick analysis now. How is your lead generation process performing?
The good news is that thanks to software and technology, a lot of these lead generation processes can be automated. But a lot of entrepreneurs are confused about where to start automation, so let’s take a look at that now.
Start automating your welcome email sequence.
To attract potential customers to your email list, you need to get a free gift to donate. Most people are used to receiving something instantly in exchange for their email address, so a checklist, templates, or e-books are all good options.
Start by having your team set up a landing page for your free gift to get people on your email list. You’ll need to offer your subscribers something that is quick to digest but offers a lot of value. Ask yourself these questions:
What is a quick and easy problem that you can solve for your subscribers?
What action steps can your audience take now to achieve success or at least set themselves on the path to success?
Write down this information (or record it as audio or video if you feel more comfortable speaking).
Next, you will need to connect your landing page to your email marketing system. You can use email automation software that allows 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 prices. Some programs have more bells and whistles than others. Cation word, this is not the place to cut corners and cost cheap. Any money you save will be wasted on the time you (or your virtual assistant) spend working and losing subscribers because of a poor system.
Now think of the first email your new subscriber will receive with their download gift. The first email in the welcome thread should be short and sweet: Welcome to the family. Here is your download link. Here you can find me on social media.
The other emails in the chain – usually 5-7 emails – are often delivered over the course of the first week. These provide more information about your business, your background, why you love your work, and the products and programs you currently offer. These emails can be set to be delivered automatically daily or at any frequency you prefer after the first welcome email has been delivered.
Every email you provide should include valuable information about your specialty or topic, but these first emails are essential to start building that customer relationship. Introduce yourself to new potential clients (and help them start seeing you as an expert) and position you/service as the solution to the problem that caused them to grab your freebie in the first place.
Now that you’ve set up your landing page, freebies, and email chain, how do you expect people to find it?
Promoting it yourself is helpful but will you really reach a large number of potential customers who do it yourself? Here comes the role of automation to the rescue!
1. Facebook Ads It requires a bit of setup time up front but once you’ve chosen your demographics and approved your ad, it’s up to Facebook to serve those ads as per your settings. Instead of you living on the computer and posting manually, trying to reach several thousand potential customers, Facebook’s technology can do it for you, in the background, while you focus on your existing customers. Just make sure your lead magnet (also known as a freebie gift) is exciting enough to collect these clicks and signups. I also recommend outsourcing this as it will save you a lot of money in the long run.
2. Social media tools or scheduling Will post content regularly with a call to action to your freebie. You can write this content yourself and reuse it – or you can have a VA or a content writer create this content. Meet Edgar is a social media tool that has been programmed to publish evergreen content automatically, reducing your scheduling time drastically.
3. Evergreen webinars (also known as on-demand webinars) is another way to get potential customers to your landing page to collect email addresses. These types of webinars are pre-recorded and allow the viewer to choose a date and time that suits their schedule. Some people don’t realize that this stuff is prerecorded but it’s generally popular simply because viewers aren’t nervous about fitting a webinar into their busy schedule.
If you want to get the best out of an evergreen webinar, consider using a replay of a live webinar where you’ve seen the results. If your webinar generates sales with a live audience, your chances of making sales with the on-demand version are very high. You’ve already tested it with your audience, so now it’s just a “rinse and repeat”.
Some people worried about hosting a live webinar may prefer to record one without a live audience and release it without any testing. While this is certainly an option, you don’t know if information or a call to action will produce results.
Slide templates are a necessary part of any webinar and allow you to put your logo and/or colors on them so people start recognizing your brand. Your team can create a standard, branded form, so you don’t have to recreate it 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 the giveaway landing page. Use the same ad demographic setup and ask a Facebook ad expert for help. They can also complete ad copy, manage ad performance and duration, as well as handle graphics creation. If he’s not an expert on your budget yet, hire a graphics 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 edit a few things.
Once you’ve settled on creating an evergreen webinar, this can be set on autopilot, thanks to automation software like GoToWebinar and EverWebinar. Once your webinar video is approved, delegate setup tasks to your trusted VA.
During the on-demand webinar setup process, you will collect email addresses upon registration, but you will also need to associate your chosen email provider with your webinar provider. Many of the big names are already working well together but this step will ensure that those new entrants to the webinar will receive the latest follow-up email sequence to continue helping you generate sales after the webinar is over.
Another task that you can delegate to the VA is to track the metrics for this webinar to make sure it still works. You will want to get data on:
- Facebook ad spend/click rate
- Webinar Conversions Landing Page
- Attendance vs. Subscriptions
- Sales during the webinar
- Webinar follow-up series metrics (email open, email clicks, purchases, etc.)
Just think of all you can accomplish while the VA compiles a report with this data instead of sorting it yourself!