Submitted by Teo Graca
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Let’s talk about non-web ways to bring people to your website. One of the most effective ways to initiate and support drawing new visitors to your core web presence is to engage people face-to-face at networking events through organizations like your local Chamber of Commerce, or other business associations, and even your local church. Also, conventions and other educational events are effective opportunities to meet people and come away with contact information (generally business cards) for the people you meet. Ideally, you will be able to benefit from these contacts in some way through referrals from your contacts or through services you offer and provide the same referral benefit to them. Note that it is the people that your contacts know will more likely be seeking the benefit from your services, so your conversations are best framed in that light.
Generating Leads and Traffic
These conversations start with your elevator speech. Referral marketing relies heavily on proper business etiquette, because so many times improper business etiquette becomes the silent business killer, and people will generally not tell you when you offend them. Regarding elevator speech etiquette, your initial pitch needs to focus on others and not the person or people to which you are speaking. Think in terms of “I help people” instead of “I can help you” – the former is matter of fact, indirect and non-threatening, whereas the latter is directed at the person or people you are speaking to and makes it sound more like a sales pitch. Presenting a sales pitch in a casual conversation is not the way to get referral business and has more potential to offend. If you connect with 10 people that can provide you with 30 contacts each, your pitch should be to these 300 contacts, not to the 10 people that can connect you to them. Try using a “close” like “a good referral for me is...” to get your new connections thinking about potential referrals for you.
Once you make some good connections, it is very important that you follow up on them. For each contact, I tend to make a phone call, then send an email and finally set up a next date of contact, whether I get the contact on the phone or not. The email provides a second source of reference for this point of contact – a phone conversation or message and an email doubles and reinforces the effect of the call. I also use a contact management system that I designed and helped build over the last few years (and which we sell within the Net-Teams community management system) to set up a next date of contact, take notes and send announcements. It is integrated with the aWeber Drip Marketing system so that we can set up interconnected communications that continually generate interest in our products and services and visitors to our websites. Combining multiple communication techniques is a powerful way to create new and sustained business.
Face-to-face connections create the most powerful connection and can easily be supported through non-face-to-face technologies. These contacts can generally become your most effective referral partners, and your efforts in this area will ultimately generate additional traffic to your website(s).
Other ways to bring people to your website include search engine marketing, Internet advertising, pay per click campaigns (PPC), social media marketing (SMM), back links from third party sites, paper mailers, publicity, press releases, television advertising, etc. The key is to find an effective and inexpensive way to build traffic, and once you get the traffic, it is imperative that you convert them into prospects by capturing their contact information into your opt-in list. The two most effective flows of traffic to your website(s) today are through search engines and social media sites, which is the focus of this book.
From Teo's book:
Social Media Marketing and Syndication
The Evolution of Advertising
Copyright 2009 GLI Publishing
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Edition 1.0 eBook
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