In every conference I speak at, I am usually approached by different individuals who started to offer conversion optimization services but are struggling to get new clients. They are finding difficult to land new business and to sign up new clients. The following are some steps I recommend reading carefully and implementing to help anyone in the CRO field to promote their services.
1. Optimize Your Offer
If you are trying to do too many things for too many people, you will most like fail. I mentioned in a previous post, how we tried to offer large number of online marketing services when we first started. However, we find a more effective approach was to become “specialized,” and experts at a small set of services. The more specialized you are, the more value your potential customers will put on your services. The smaller your operation is, the more important this becomes. Most clients will not trust a person who offers PPC, SEO, CRO and design services. Each of these fields is complex and requires a huge time investment in it before one can become an expert.
2. Know Your Audience
Who doesn’t know their audience? It’s actually pretty common that companies cast a wide net to who their actual target market is (any large company, or any company in the midwest). But the more specific you can become, the more successful your targeting will be. Which audience are you targeting? Are you going after small, mid or large size companies?What are some common characteristics that your target customers share? Even when we talk of small business, what revenue your potential customer should be making? A company that is generating 100k in annual revenue is vastly different from a company that is generating 5 million dollars in annual revenue, although both of them are considered small businesses. Determining your audience helps decide on the best channels to reach them. You also should decide who the right target person to sell to within a particular company. Who is the person you will be selling to? are you selling to the business owner, CEO, CMO, CTO?
3. Iron-Clad Methodology
Without having a methodology for your conversion optimization work, or any marketing initiative for that matter, you will be randomly guessing what to optimize. There are plenty of CRO frameworks available at this point: our Conversion Framework, the LIFT model from Wider funnel, Marketing experiments methodology, and Bryan Eisenberg’s method of CRO. In all honesty, they are all very close to each other. Choose one that you are comfortable with and use it when you re selling to customers and when you are conducting CRO work.
4. Social Proof
Listing the clients you have done work for in the past is a great way to increase potential customer trust in your service. If you are just starting out, your list of clients will be small. But as you grow your service offering, make sure to show your client list very clearly on your website. When we first started Invesp, we had a very small client list so we decided to offer a small number of large companies our services at a discounted rate. We were very clear with them. Our goal was to increase the number of clients on our website. Neil Patel did this also in the past and had great success with it.
5. Help your Customers Relate
Demonstrating the results you can achieve for your clients is a great way to sell to your customers. If I want to show what I can potentially do with a customer, the most successful way is to show it through a success story or case study. A well presented conversion optimization case study can do wonders in convincing someone to hire you. A good case study will provide the reader with: background information on the client, the problem you were trying to solve, your approach to solving the problem and the results you achieved.
6. More Social Proof Tactics
Case studies are great, but client testimonials are even better (and combining the two is a gold mine!). Written testimonials can convince a potential client that you are the right person for them.
7. Putting a face and voice to social proof
You want to supercharge your client testimonials? Go for video testimonials. When we first sign a client, we tell them that if we achieve the results we are promising you, we will ask you for a video testimonial on our CRO work. Many clients agree and the result is that we have a great video library that shows our clients talking about our services. If you are going to use video testimonials, don’t go cheap. It is worth hiring a professional video grapher to record and edit the video for you.
8. How to become an “expert”
Usually, an expert on the topic is someone who is an authority through their experience and production. Writing a book will certainly give you that authority. A book will set you from the rest of the competition. You do not have to start with printed book, you can choose to write an e-book to get started. However, you must invest time and effort in writing, editing and designing your book. The more case studies you include in the book, the more value you will provide to you readers.
9. Content is Gold
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of blogging regularly. It helps you demonstrate your skills, slowly convincing people of your authority on the topic and eventually getting clients from you blog. When we first started the Invesp blog, we had less than 100 subscribers. At this point, our email list has about 25,000 people in it.
10. Distributing your Golden Content
Create a list of blogs and reach out to them pitching them ideas for guest posts. But please do this the right way. The goal from guest blogging is not to get a link back to you website. The goal is to reach new audiences. So, make sure that your guest posts provide great value to the reader and that they demonstrate your expertise in the field.
11. Casting a wider net
If you have your target market clearly identified, then choose a magazine which your potential clients read and get an article published there. Keep in mind that magazines require a lead time anywhere from 3 to 6 months. A well thought article establishes your authority in the field.
12. Connect, Learn, and Grow
I divide conferences into two categories: marketing conferences and non-marketing conferences. Our goal for attending marketing conferences is to connect with others in the field, learn from their experiences, and grow as a result. Some of the best marketing conferences are SMX, PubCon, ClickZ, ad Tech, e-marketing association, and Adtech. The audience in these conferences varies tremendously. So, research them carefully before making a decision. Non-marketing conferences are a great way to get the conversation started with potential clients. To decide on which of these you should attend, look back at your target market and determine which conferences they attend. Don’t think that every person who attends these conferences is a potential client. That makes you look too desperate. Conferences are about establishing human connections.
13. More on becoming an “authority”
Speaking at conferences will increase your exposure and establish you as an authority in the field. Make sure to choose the right conference to pitch to. Your speaking proposal should focus on what the audience will learn by listening to you speak. Make sure that you carefully study the topics listed in the conference and that your speaking proposal fits with what the conference organizers are looking for.
14. Flaunt it!
Make sure that your website displays clearly different media outlets you have featured at and the conferences you have spoken at. These pieces are great to share with you email list as well.
More Authority and Lead Generating Tactics:
Regular conversion optimizations webinars that cover specific topics in our industry have three main benefits:
1. Help keep the connection with potential clients,
2. Generate a great number of leads that are interested in your service
3. Continue to establish yourself as an authority. Marketing experiments monthly webinar is a great example of a company that used the webinar strategy effectively. Your webinars should be done about 4-6 weeks intervals. Make sure to pay close attention to technical details such as sound quality.
A growing industry, podcasts have recently gained popularity with series such as Serial and Start-Up. However, if you choose to podcast, look for a new angle. The goal is not to put on another show that will be lost amongst the other hundred podcasts out there. What would keep someone listening to a 30 minutes podcast? Even better, what would make the person subscribe to the podcast and tell his friends and co-workers about it?
17. Local Training
If you re targeting local business, then offering them straining establishes you as an expert in the field. You should invest a lot of time preparing your training material. Don’t shy away from sharing your knowledge.
Regular emails that share information with your audience are a great way to keep you connected with them. Most companies take sometime before deciding to hire a conversion optimization company. By sending them regular email that provides new insights on the CRO industry, you will continue to be a “familiar” name when decision time nears.
19. PPC Ads
Some companies have great success with this. Instead of hunting for business, the potential client is giving you his contact information and telling you that they are interested in your service. Remember that not every person who contacts you via a PPC ad is in the purchase stage. Some are still gathering information. Others might comparing potential service providers. Since PPC can be costly, make sure that you track your budget very carefully.
20. Facebook Ads
Facebook ads can very tricky. They are also very different from PPC ads. PPC offers you a way to connect with people who started buying cycle. Facebook on the other hand is more for establishing social connections. It is not a medium that supports direct selling in the B2B realm.
Social Media Tactics
Similar to Facebook, Twitter is a great way to connect socially with potential clients. Again, do not try to sell customers using it. Instead, take the time to invest in the relationship and sales will eventually follow. Make sure to follow industry leaders as well as potential clients. Engage them in conversation.
Linkedin is a must have for anyone offering services to other business. LinkedIn formula is simple: 1. Identify potential clients, 2. connect with them first, 3. offer them value, and 4. move the relationship to the physical connection when it is the right time to do so.