The entrepreneurs that understand it thrive.

Those that don’t die.

It’s as simple as that.

I’m speaking about marketing, and when I speak with some entrepreneurs, you would think I’m speaking in another language.

I’ve repeated this sentence now four times throughout different blog posts, so hopefully, the message is starting to kick in:  

If you’re trying to figure out how marketing and sales work well after you’ve opened your business, it’s no wonder that your business is struggling, your sales are stagnant, your business isn’t profitable, and you’re having a problem keeping the lights on.

There are, of course, multiple disciplines when it comes to marketing, each an expertise of its own.  Branding is very different than outbound marketing, which is different than SEO, PPC, content marketing, social media, and so on. One of the hardest to master is inbound marketing—specifically developing tactics that will drive traffic to your website.

Driving traffic, whether paid or not, and preferably organic, is like the holy grail of building a business. The more traffic you can drive organically, the more leads you will bring in, which will hopefully translate to more sales.

To that end, I have listed 4 ways to drive more traffic to your website.

1. Build and Take Advantage of Your Email List

There’s gold in them thar hills (an expression, you can find the meaning of here).

Building an email list takes time of course, and your email list is like gold.

The first day after you open your business you might not have an email list, but you will want to build your list, ideally segmented by customer interest, so that you can market appropriate content.

Let’s say you own a retail store in the lighting business. You might sell different types of fixtures to different types of clients. Ideally, you should be tracking your clients by these segments. For example, you can keep track of the following customer type:

–        The retail shopper who buys lighting for their homes

–        The commercial shopper who buys lighting for their commercial properties

–        The designer who buys lighting for their client

–        The budget shopper who is always looking for a sale

–        The high-end shopper who likes to buy antique lamps

Hopefully, you get the point.  Once you’ve segmented your list, and attached tags to each contact, you can then market appropriate marketing campaigns, newsletters, and content to each customer type.

According to this chart I found on Marketing Charts, you will notice the ROI of email marketing is exponentially higher than four other marketing channels.

Once you have your email list properly segmented, you can send relevant blog posts, news, store updates, and sale information to your list.  If your store is having a sale, you can send the traffic to a custom designed landing page that looks like this:

That page is a sample of course, but notice how the page is optimized for conversion with a big green button that says, “CLICK HERE NOW!”

Your email marketing package should provide you with traffic data so you can see how many clicks you received, who is clicking, and which campaigns your customers are interacting with the most. You should study that data and then replicate what works and tweak what isn’t working by constantly doing AB testing.  It’s even possible to automatically tag a customer who clicks on a page but doesn’t buy, and then you can retarget that customer with Facebook ads, or another email campaign for those customers specifically.

Take advantage of the marketing data. After all, that’s how you are going to improve your communication and learn what works and what doesn’t.

2. Improve Your Presence on Social Media

There are so many social media channels that it can be overwhelming.

On the above chart there are over 75 various channels, and unless you’re running a marketing team for a large brand like Coke, you will need to pick your social media battles.

The obvious contenders are Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You have to pick your social media battles because you can’t tackle the entire list.

You can’t just set up an account, post your company or personal picture, and walk away. You need to remain active on these channels by posting relevant content daily. For example, the lighting store can post new and exciting designs that have arrived in the store.

You can capture video of you speaking about one of the new lights or perhaps of you explaining the difference between halogen vs LED lighting.

You can post blog posts to your company blog and then repurpose that content in various other forms, and in different ways, across all of your social media channels.

Again, you want to drive this traffic back to your site, ideally with some call to action.  It could be a free lighting guide or some other call to action magnet that requires the individual to enter their name and email address in order to gain access. Once you have that info, you can market relevant content to them.

3. Blogging

Content marketing is king.

Not only is there relevant SEO from all of the content that you’re releasing, but you will also, hopefully, provide your readers with thought leadership.

The lighting store can write about some of the changes in the lighting industry and how it’s impacting the new and latest designs or about the differences in using light indoors and outdoors. There’s no shortage of ideas, but the point is, you need to be out there with new and relevant content, posted multiple times a week.

It isn’t enough to just post one blog post a month and leave it. You should be posting one, or more, relevant long-form content pieces a week. Once you have that info, you can email it to your clients and repurpose it on multiple channels.

The following HubSpot chart should speak for itself.

The more channels you can repost your content to, the better. I use Medium, Quora, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and each one sends traffic to a unique landing page with data that I track.  That way I know which site provides the best results.

For example, here’s a repurposed blog post that I posted to Quora. Notice that it generated over 274,000 views.  Although there was no link in the Quora answer to my book (a Quora no-no), people checked out my Quora profile and downloaded my free book on investing for entrepreneurs.  That day alone, I captured 230 new email addresses. (you can follow me on Quora here).

The same thing has happened with Facebook, LinkedIn, and so on. All of the traffic sends the readers back to my site to download my free (and Amazon best selling, #1 in business and non-fiction by the way) book.

One a somewhat related note, I am now the most viewed writer in the business section of Quora and number 2 in entrepreneurship. That definitely helps to drive more traffic back to my blog as well.

4. Videos

Videos are another form of inbound marketing that can drive awareness of your brand and, in turn, traffic to your site.

It’s a medium I have yet to focus on but intend on doing so.

** I am looking to get into doing videos. I would be willing to coach an entrepreneur, for free, struggling in some area of their business with the understanding that I will use the videos to post to social media. If you are interested, please connect with me. My preference would be to coach an entrepreneur who is located in Toronto so we can do the videos in person but remote would also work.

I tried doing some videos by standing in front of the camera and speaking. It didn’t feel natural for me, so the videos I do will be of me speaking with someone else about an area of business that they’re struggling with.

As you can tell from above, different strokes for different folks. Find the style and format that works for you, and remain consistent. Again, drive the traffic back to your website with at least one, and preferably more, magnets.

As you can see from the graphic below, taken from Coredna, video is a dominant source of content marketing, and it’s hard to ignore the potential benefit of adding videos to your content marketing strategy.

Again, if this isn’t something you’re currently doing, then there’s no better time to start than the present.  And please don’t use the excuse that you don’t have an amazing camera and mics. You can produce awesome videos using your smartphone.

Watch Your Forms

Throughout this post, I’ve mentioned a number of times that you want to drive traffic back to your site.  The idea is that you want to capture the client name, email address, and as much content as the client will provide. It’s important to note that the more form fields you ask the client to fill out, the fewer submissions you will receive.

Have you seen this chart (from Brandongaille)?

As the chart suggests, the ideal number of fields is 2 to 4, and you should recognize that if you have too many, you might lose the client.

Conclusion

Here’s how I started this blog post. Driving traffic, whether paid or not, and preferably organic, is like the holy grail of building a business. The more traffic you can drive organically, the more leads you will bring in, which will hopefully translate to more sales.

Hopefully, you can find some good information from some of the methods I’ve listed above and use that to drive more traffic to your site.

More traffic means more emails, which translates to more potential leads and customers. And that is how you build your small business into a thriving, and hopefully profitable, bigger venture.

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Linkedin is for networking … you can connect with me on Linkedin here.

If you want to follow me on Quora, you can find me here.

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Are you interested in learning more about marketing and how I built my blog? You can read this post: How I Grew My Email List from 0 to 5,000 in 8 Weeks, and Designed a New Landing Page That Produced a 147% Conversion-Rate Increase

And for those entrepreneurs looking to create wealth, you might be interested in this post:  Are You Really Cut out to Be Rich? The Average Net Worth to Make it Into the Top 1% and How to Get There

Want to know more about me and read some of the other interesting small business growth, profit and wealth stories I’ve written.

Here’s one of the first articles I wrote:  My Journey Post Business Sale as I Sail Into a New Harbour.

Are you a younger entrepreneur? Here’s another interesting article I wrote:

My Response to an 18-Year-Old Who Wants to Become a Millionaire by the Time He’s 30.

My goal is to help entrepreneurs scale their business, improve profitability, and then, use those profits to create massive wealth. Subscribe to my blog to receive my latest thought on scaling your business and creating wealth.

Download my book and Amazon bestseller (number 1 in business, number 2 in non-fiction).  You can get your FREE copy here.

You can connect with my on Linkedin.

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