3 Ways to Leverage Your Contacts for Leads

3 Ways to Leverage Your Contacts - photo of person drawing social media circles on chalkboard

You may think you don’t have enough reach, a big enough email list or enough leads.

But you are actually sitting on a goldmine. And you might be ignoring it.

Recently, I learned the importance of clearly reaching out and communicating your work to people you know. Yes, just took me more than 11 years in business to learn how to be proactive on this! #latebloomer

All of us have networks of former colleagues or clients. All of us have some quantity of people on our email lists, be that 100 or 10,000. All of us are connected to people through social media, especially LinkedIn. You might think some of them can’t help you get more clients and customers, but they can.

This is your lead and referral base. Time to start nurturing it!

Here are 3 ways to leverage your existing network, client base or email list for more leads and revenue opportunities.

  1. Reach Out: This year, I’ve committed to reaching out to 5 contacts. Just a short, sweet note of connection. These could be folks from my corporate life, colleagues I’ve met at business networking events, former clients. People who may or may not need my services right now – but may know someone who does. I’m letting them know what is going on with me and inviting them to coffee or a Zoom call so we can connect and help each other. This is not just about you being selfish: Reconnecting with your network is a great way for you practice generosity and see how you might be of service to them. Remind them that you exist and you may just unlock new business or yourself…or for them.
  2. Tag Emails and Posts with a CTA: This is a technique that works so well for sales coach Leah Neaderthal of Smart Gets Paid. You may have noticed in recent emails or social media posts, I’ll occasionally mention “3 ways I can help” and remind fans about my 90-minute Brand Booster sessions, free private Facebook community they can join for entrepreneurial advice (MOMENTUM for Savvy Entrepreneurs) or DIY digital course for marketing success, MOMENTUM Pro. This has helped kick start folks into action. We are all busy. No one remembers everything you do, so it’s on you to continually remind them! As my good friend and colleague conversion copywriter Betsy Talbot always says, “You have to tell your clients how to buy from you!”
  3. Love Your List: I don’t care how big your email list is. You need to love on them! Quality beats quantity any day.  These are your biggest fans, so make them feel special. Offer exclusive content, provide free trainings, heck, send them an inspiring playlist! Not sure how to love on them? Grab some templates and ideas from CLIENT LOVE, so you can love the fans you’ve got and attract even more. When you love your existing tribe rather than always striving to “collect” new subscribers to clients, you turn them into brand evangelists!

People are busy. They forget about you or what you do. They don’t keep up with every new launch, rebrand or product you have to offer.

Don’t waste your existing network, fans or client base: Remind them you are there and how you can help.

Proactive generosity and connection will always bring you success. (TWEET THIS!)

5 Tools That Run My Business

5 Tools That Run My Business

While I might be a branding expert with years of experience in consulting and marketing, when I started out in 2008, I was not an expert at running a business. I cobbled together my operations and processes over the years.

Since then, I’ve learned a lot about running a business and working for myself. And that includes slowly finding many of the tools I use to run my business on a daily basis.

If you’re wondering what tools, software or apps might help your business run just a bit more smoothly, let me share my 5y favorite go-to’s with you. Full disclosure: A few of the links below are affiliate links, so if you decide to buy, we both win. You can trust me: I personally use everything on this list, almost on a daily basis!

Landing Pages:

LeadPages has changed my life. Yes, I used to build pages off my website and add a clunky little button and have to manage and maintain it, etc. I finally broke down a few years ago and quite simply, I can’t imagine being it. Landing pages are a breeze. Especially since the best performing landing pages are simple and uncluttered. You can add your branding and make them your own. A must if you want to build your email list and quickly and easily get new subscribers with different campaigns. I also use their Campaigns functionality, which operates as a shopping cart and integrates with Stripe (see Payment Processors below)

Email Marketing:

You’d better not be sending marketing emails from your personal email list and BCC’ing everyone – you’ll end up on a spam blacklist! Get thee to an email marketing platform immediately. While MailChimp is free for simple uses for under 2000 subs, I pay for Aweber now and have for several years. I need more list flexibility than MailChimp provides. Their service is the best. I can ask them anything and immediately get help. Truthfully, I’ve had some issues with more complex tasks and being able to route different funnels to the same list, but they are adding functionality all the time.

Social Media Posting:

I use Buffer to schedule my social media posts in advance. I’d like to say I was uber efficient and plan way ahead with a fully stocked queue at all time, but alas. I’m working on it. But when I do think ahead, I can easily schedule posts for Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. They also offer Instagram. I don’t recommend using them for Facebook, as the Facebook algorithm dings you when you schedule with 3rd party apps (use Facebook’s native schedule for that). But Buffer is great if you plan in advance, want to set up promoting a colleague’s campaign, or even for when you are on vacation. I like to spend about 10-15 minutes stocking up my queue each week. But remember to still get on social media live every now and then to interact. It’s SOCIAL, people. Don’t just phone it in all the time!

Social Media Drip Campaigns:

I think I discovered Missing Lettr from another person’s blog post about productivity tools! Missing Lettr hooks up to your blog and when you publish a new post, it automatically sets up a year-long drip campaign. You can approve and edit all of the campaign posts, but once you do, BAM! You re-promote your content for an entire year without thinking about it. And it let’s you do some cool things, like create speech bubble images, which I kind of love. A huge promotional time-saver.

Payment Processing:

I use a few tools for this. PayPal is my standard for both taking and sending payments. It’s what I started out with. And you can set up subscription payments with them as well. But…I’ve started using Stripe for digital products because there is better integration for some marketing funnels I put together. Since I’m less familiar with it, I haven’t quite figured it out as easily as PayPal…but my VA knows, so that’s all that matters!  And when I sell books onsite at an event, I use Square on my iPad or phone.

Email marketing? Landing pages? Social Media sharing? Check out @redslice’s 5 go-to tech tools that run her consulting and online business!  (TWEET THIS!)

Photo Credit: Todd Quackenbush on Unsplash

Want To Build Your List? Love the Ones You’re With

Looking for list building tricks? Trying to build your list but not sure where to start? Click through for tips on how to build your list by loving the people who already love you!

We always want more, don’t we? We’re all looking for that perfect list-building trick that will unlock more clients, more customers, more money. 

We all know it’s a lot easier to nurture a large, warm audience and convert them into sales over time. So we collect people and names like we’re picking blueberries and dump them into our sacks as we hunt for more.

But what about those people who already joined your team? Did you just seduce them to get on your list or pay for your course and then you tossed them to the side?

Newsflash: No matter whether you have 5 or 5,000 email subscribers, 10 or 10,000 customers or 5 or 25 clients, these loyal people are your biggest advocates. They have already raised their hands to support you and are your best brand evangelists.

A list-building trick you’ve never considered: 

Love the ones you’re with. While you’re out there marketing to collect clicks, email names, or new customers, do not forget all those people you already have on your side. (TWEET THIS!)

We all start out at Ground Zero and you have to build a brand from nothing. To accelerate, you have to start where you are.

Never lose sight of those who already know, like and trust your brand. Give them VIP service and they will talk about you to others, forward your charming emails or dish about your next big event.

But how do you love on them? Here are a few quick tips:

  • Cherry pick a new subscriber: Every week, check out your new email subscribers and send one or two of them a personal note (“No, this is not a bot, it’s really me!) thanking them for joining your list.

  • Engage with a question: Use your Welcome email to instantly engage them. If you’re a massage therapist, ask them the last time they had a massage and how it made them feel. If you’re an HR consultant, ask them what their biggest retention or recruitment challenge might be.

    I promise, you won’t get 600 responses back to which you’ll have to reply, but those you do get will never forget you!

    My Welcome email asks folks to tell me about their biggest marketing challenge, and someone actually tweeted about how this was the best email sign up she’d ever seen!

  • Offer them a freebie…just because. Not because you’re launching anything or want them to buy. Occasionally surprise and delight them with free discounts, a new eBook, a fun video or even an inspiring playlist curated just for them.

  • Go old school: When a prospect schedules a call to find out more about you or someone refers a client to you, send a handwritten note to prospects you talk to or meet with.

    Assuming this is a reasonable number, of course, but if you have any business development conversation, take it to the next level beyond a thank you email and write them a handwritten thank you note. This personal touch will not go unnoticed.

For more practical ideas on how to nurture your existing loyal fan base, however small, to attract even more fans, followers and clients, please check this lovely little mini-course I cooked up for you, CLIENT LOVE.

Imagine: an army of adoring fans, eager to buy your next product, attend your next event, or hire you for your next gig! The course also includes lessons on getting great customer testimonials, creating a signature touch that gets people buzzing and curating connections so people love you even more.