Let’s start with the Internet lead generation, because that’s where just about everyone is looking to do business. But first, one big caveat:
Do NOT rely solely on ‘online’ methods. One big secret of successful Internet entrepreneurs is that they use ‘offline’ marketing methods as well as online.
The big attraction with the Internet is that it can be free, easy to manage, and the cost per customer acquired can be low depending on your niche.
With traditional offline marketing, postcards, direct mail, etc, you have mailing costs, there’s more work involved, and so on.
But your offline marketing will often make you more money than your online efforts, if you allocate equal time and resources to both. Here’s my theory:
A sales letter allows you to sell in a ‘vacuum’, that is, they’re not shopping around with a bunch of your competitors, it’s just you and them. Plus there is the trust factor, people know by now that anyone can start up an Internet business, whether they plan on delivering any product or not.
But when you’re sending emails, driving people to your sales page website, to ask them to buy, it’s a little different. For a start, there’s no vacuum, because if they’re on your list, then they’re on some other lists as well, maybe everybody’s list, so they are choosing who to spend their money with. Of course, if you’re the main person in your niche, or better yet the only person, then that’s different.
But do not let this determine whether you do online OR offline, do both! The Internet opens up the entire world to your business, unless you can fork out for international mailing costs. And offline marketing has certain aspects which appeal to people who still distrust the Internet.
You’ll see these ads down the right hand side of the Google search engine, when you do a search for something. Other search engines have these ads, but we’ll start with the most popular of all. They can also appear on other people’s websites. (google.com/adwords)
When you click on these ads, you go to the advertiser’s website. When you click on the ad, the advertiser pays for that click, leading to the name ‘pay-per-click advertising’. Different companies have different ways of figuring out how much you pay, and each keyword has a different price based on how many people are searching for that keyword.
The key is to write compelling ads that get the clicks. Google even helps you refine your ad. They have strict guidelines as to what you can use in the ad. Plus, the small space forces you to write refined copy.
Google Adwords is by far the best PPC search engine on the planet and it’s where you should start your PPC campaign.
There are also many other ways to drive people to your website. You can advertise in an ‘ezine’, basically an email newsletter or magazine, you can buy ‘banner ads’ or links on other sites, you can use more traditional ‘offline’ marketing, you can write articles and put them on article websites, there are a million ways to do it.
For example, if you are targeting Boomers, you may want try a search for ‘boomer forums’ or ‘forums for seniors’ and see what pops up:
As you can see above, there are several websites that you should consider registering with. Why? Because you can find out:
What they are discussing. Research is key. This way you uncover all kinds of information that will help you in your advertising and marketing efforts.
How to advertise. Most of these forums will allow you to advertise, and it’s probably really cheap.
Post articles and comments and see if you are getting positive responses. This way you will know if you are getting to know the market, and as a result you’ll find yourself writing more compelling copy. You may even get a client or referral out of your posts (if you put your website or contact information in your signature, be low profile about it. You don’t want to come off looking like you are trying to sell something. Solve problems and the traffic will come).
Other search phrases to consider: ‘senior forums’. ‘forums for seniors’.
Lets look at another niche market. How about the mortgage industry. If I type in ‘mortgage forum’ I get some results. But it turns out there are twice as many searches for ‘refinance forums’.
You can do the exact same research, article posting, and advertising as discussed above.
If you are in the high tech industry, insurance, financial planning, etc. you can do the same kind of research, post articles, and advertise on the forums.
What if you are strictly local? No problem:
Search using your town and/or city name in your search queries.
Look up local newspapers, magazines, and trade journals and see if they have forums and spaces to advertise.
If you want to target baby boomers read this article.
After you get a feel for what your market really wants, you have to create your report or guide and then offer it as bribe for your target markets contact information.
Be certain that your report is so good that people would be willing to pay for the information in it. And do not make it boring.