A couple a years ago I had a conversation with a colleague of mine about movies and TV shows. When I told him that I didn’t see Mad Men he was appalled that a movie buff and a video producer like myself didn’t see one of the best shows of the new millennium which won 4 Golden Globe awards. Then he paused and said: Man, how I envy you! When he saw a question mark above my head, he clarified – At one point you’ll be binge watching 7 seasons of Mad Men!
The time went by. I stayed away from Mad Men spoilers and internet memes and waited for my time. With fatherly duties and building a business, time was (and is) my biggest enemy. But finally this summer, with the airing of the series final episode, I started my virgin relationship with Don Draper! With two seasons behind me, I can say that the show creator Matthew Hoffman Weiner did an outstanding job. I was immediately immersed in the marketing world of the sixties with all the drinking, smoking, wife dissing, affair having and saying fuck you to political correctness…
Since then everything and nothing changed in the advertising business. Indeed, women are not just secretaries but CEOs, smoking is demonised, drinking in the office is a big no-no (unless that friday happy hour 😉 ) and you have to be careful of the type of words coming out of your mouth before being denounced as a chauvinist. But at the same time success still comes from standing out rather than fitting in, you have to make things simple yet significant, and above all you have to know your target audience.
Somewhere during second season one quote from Don Draper stuck with me. “Peggy, listen to me, get out of here and move forward. This never happened. It will shock you how much it never happened.” He was talking about the ability to move on from the mistakes you make. And there’s no question about it – you will make mistakes! Just remember it’s not the mistake that’s important, but rather how you learn from it, and then overcome it.
With that in mind, I think that it’s good for you (both as a professional and as a person) to make some mistakes. You as a person will learn not to dwell on them, but move on, and you as a professional will gain more experience and become a better asset to your company and clients. Learn how to minimize your mistakes, and try to avoid cardinal ones all together. In the end you’ll see more leads and grow your business.
Here are five pointers for you to look out for:
Pitfall No.1 You do everything in all channels
The key word here is – focus! If you don’t have an appropriate digital strategy defined it’s really hard to tell where your target audience is and which channels are essential to reach them. Do you really need ALL channels such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest? With more channels you have to do more work and spend more time and money randomly. Form your digital strategy and let it guide you. Use the Pareto Principle and identify the top 20 percent of your traffic sources that generate 80 percent of good results. Focus your budget on that.
Pitfall No.2 You’re not blogging
Don’t make this mistake! Start creating original content for your website. According to Hubspot, businesses with websites of 401-1000 indexed pages get 6 times more leads than those with 51-100 indexed pages. This is not rocket science, the more content you have – more keywords you have. The more keywords you have, paired with smart SEO tactics, your blog will become a lead generator monster. With that said, creating quality content is not an easy task! If you’re not word savvy, recruit talented writers and make them a part of your team. It will pay of in the long run. Also, frequency matters! Determine your blog strategy and time frame and stick to it. Naturally there’s a big difference in acquiring customers through blogging every day or on a monthly basis but don’t rush it. In my opinion quality always overpowers quantity. Just remember that nearly 80% of companies that use a blog see a positive ROI.
Pitfall No.3 You have no digital activity around events
Is there a more potent way to directly connect and communicate with you target audience than a specialized event and its attendance? Those people have a big interest in a particular topic, so much so that they dedicate an entire day (or two) to be present and listen to lectures. Don’t miss out on this opportunity! Do your research and find out the sheer numbers and the quality of leads you can generate by investing in your sponsorship or attendance. Also try to connect with the organizers of the event. See if you can help in any way and create a mutual benefit. When you’re ‘inside’ think of a creative and innovative strategy to reach potential customers.
Pitfall No.4 You have a self-centered social media strategy
Are you forgetting the social component of social media? Do you just post your stuff and don’t interact? Remember that social media cosmos is a mutually dependent and unselfish place. Always remember to congratulate other people on their success and promote their content. They will reciprocate! Being a content curator you kill two birds with one stone. You give your followers something of value without having to create the content yourself and you build a better rapport with the original creator by sharing their work.
Pitfall No.5 You’re not using lead nurturing
Lead nurturing is basically the process of developing bonds with buyers at every stage of the sales funnel. Data analysts came up with a fact that more than 70% of leads never convert into sales. Do whatever you can to diminish that percentage. You’ve invested all that time and money in creating original content and social media outreach to attract new leads. Don’t let them go! Stay in contact with your prospects. Listen to their needs and provide suitable answers and solutions. For certain leads, buying process can take a long time. In the meantime try to educate them, so that when they do decide to buy something, your company will be much better positioned in their minds.