Is my small business really still growing at this rapid of a pace…in THIS economy?
Did I really just have the day that I just had?
The answers would be No, Yes, and Yes!
I am going to sum up today as one of life’s little victories.
I mean there are good days, and then there are GOOD days.
Today was one of them.
I share this story with you today not to brag, or rub it in anybody’s nose, but rather to open some eyes.
If any one of these given scenarios sounds like you, then this blog is just what the doctor ordered:
- My sales are flat, or down, and I can’t figure out how to turn it around.
- It’s the economy, nobody is spending, and I’m just going to hopefully ride things out.
- I know I need to do something different with my marketing, but I’m just not sure what to do.
- I recently redesigned my website, but it’s still not making the phone ring enough.
- I’m spending a lot of money of paid clicks, and just not seeing the results.
- I’m doing the social media thing-a-ma-bob, and I’m somehow sliced bread is still the next best thing!
People, if more than one of those scenarios applies to you, have no fear, I was right there with you. Luckily I was introduced to inbound marketing strategies, soaked it up like a sponge, tested it, measure it, and developed the little nuances that add up to big results.
I haven’t looked back since, and neither should you. Every day you wait is another day that a competitor is potentially creating content, getting found, converting visitors, taking market share, and eating your lunch!
Don’t worry though, it’s early in the game. Inbound marketing methodology is still very young, just as web 2.0.
There’s lots of room for everyone. When my company started with inbound marketing, there were already quite a few sign and graphics companies using inbound marketing strategies.
I didn’t care. Still don’t today. Most truly aren’t competitors, some are even my inbound coaching clients. In the end, there is more than enough business to go around.
The Day of an Inbound Marketer
I’m an early riser, and today was a 5:30am day. Shower, shave, dress, and then breakfast.
You may not know this about me, but I am a avid cereal mixer. I like to have at least four to six different kinds of cereal on hand at a time, and will mix no less than two to three of them. I consider myself the chef of cereal cuisine. Okay, TMI, I know. Back to the story.
6:15am check email, Twitter, and the previous days inbound analytics. There were six website leads that came in overnight. Not too shabby for being asleep when they arrived!
Inbound analytics look good. Traffic is up 10% month-to-date. Leads are slightly down this month, but trending towards positive territory.
7:30am arrive at the office. Get organized for the day and do a little follow up. When the team arrives at 9am we have a production meeting.
A little later we get a walk-in, which is not typical for my business. I notice on his truck that he’s local, so I figured he saw our roadside sign. Nope. Found us on the internet. Real nice guy. Ends up getting a vehicle wrap design and partial wrap for his truck.
While the work order is being drafted for his vehicle wrap, a current customer walks in to pick up his brand new box truck wrap. They absolutely love it! Guess what? Had found us on the web as well. They sit tight while we wrap up with the walk-in.
The new customer is all set and scheduled for his design consultation, so now we can focus our attention on the guys picking up their box truck. Like I said, they were absolutely thrilled with how it turned out which makes me smile from ear to ear!
We already took some photo’s of the completed wrap, so I ask if they wouldn’t mind if shooting a 30 second customer testimonial video. Without even a hesitation, they say let’s do it, and off we go.
You might be wondering, why is Adam talking about shooting a customer testimonial video? Remember, we’re talking about inbound marketing here; putting out little content magnets that are optimized to get found. The video will be used in many ways to help get us found…and make the phone ring! It will certainly give the client some great exposure as well.
We shoot the video in one take with my iPhone. Rich is an absolute pro, and I practically give him a bear hug for the great job he’s done!
After all that, how could the day get any better? It does. The phone rings. It’s an out-of-state call. And not just one -state away. How bout six states away, and they are calling about vehicle graphics for 30 trucks! No problemo, we’ve done many out-of-state installations.
How did they find us? Number one answer…..The Internet! Organically. Inbound marketing strikes again! We don’t use paid clicks. Tried. Didn’t get the results. Organic is where it’s at for us!
After checking in on the current design and production jobs, I grab a quick lunch. My afternoon has one appointment scheduled, and some followup phone calls.
The appointment is for a vehicle wrap design consultation (another out-of-state customer). Since you already know the answer, I’m not going to say how he found us. The other reason I mention again the nature of their being out-of-state is that I believe inbound marketing allows you to go beyond your local marketplace. Sure we can strategize of about taking market share locally, but if you really work hard on your most important keywords, there is no boundary to where you can do business.
At this point of my story, instead of me droning on about each little subsequent inbound victory that was enjoyed this day, I’ll just give you the cliff notes version. I think you’ll get the idea of where I’m going with this.
- Received an email contact form quote for an out-of-state lobby sign – Internet
- Received an email contact form quote for an out-of-state lighted sign – Internet
- Took a phone call for a local business that is relocating, and will need a monument sign, an awning, and some way-finding signage – Internet
- Took a phone call for a local company in need of a lobby sign – Internet
- Lastly, during the course of the day six more people became a lead by converting on one of our offers.
This was certainly a day not to be forgotten in the three plus years that Sunrise Signs has been in business.
So Who Cares?
Now, you might be reading all this and not be impressed at all. Perhaps a normal day for you is getting fifty or a hundred leads. The thing is, is your business growing? If that fifty or one hundred leads enough to support your business and see awesome growth?
What I’m laying out for you here is that for my business, before jumping in head first with inbound marketing, I was happy to get just one or two leads a day. Compare and contrast that to what your best days look like. Are they growing the way you’d like them to be, or are they stagnant, possibly even declining?
What are YOUR Next Steps?
If you aren’t seeing the website lead generation results that you’d like to see, here are a few pointers to get you moving in the right direction:
1. Take a hard look at your website metrics. Is your website seeing consistent traffic gains, and if so, what is your visitor to lead conversion rate? What is your lead to customer conversion rate? More often than not, most people don’t know these numbers. If you really want to get serious about website lead generation, start here.
2. Stop making excuses for not business blogging. It’s all about your mindset. When my small business wasn’t growing, and my back was up against the wall, I make the decision to stop fooling myself that I was working hard. I decided it was more important to turn off the TV if I really wanted to grow my business. If you’re already business blogging and not getting the results you desire, are you blogging consistently?
3. Develop compelling calls-to-action and landing pages other than your contact form and email subscription. Test those CTA buttons and landing pages to maximize your conversion results.
4. Take a good hard look at your email marketing efforts. Email is not dead is any way, shape, or form.
Those are enough action steps to get you started, and if done properly, will turbocharge your website lead gen efforts! The day I enjoyed today was awesome and made me feel great! But I’ll tell ya this, I look forward to the possibilities of tomorrow and every day thereafter.
Are you getting the results you desire from your web marketing efforts? If so, what here rings true for you? If not, what is holding you back? I would love to hear your stories!
If you felt that this story was of value to you, I would always appreciate some social sharing using the links below. Thanks for coming by.