I’m working on piloting a new training program about “How to Get Clients from the Internet” – and two of the biggest questions I’ve gotten so far is “how do I get more people to my website?” and then “how do I get more people to take action from my website?.”
I have been percolating on this topic for a few weeks, and realizing that there many possible ways to answer both questions; if you are looking for tactics. For instance, you could get more people to your site through various forms of lead generation, including through blogging, social media, video marketing, visual marketing, and so on. You could get more of your visitors to take action by using the best principles of web design and web conversion.
The challenge is that tactics alone don’t work forever. This is why you need to have an overall strategy, first, and the strategy needs to be based on an understanding of human desires and basic psychology. From there, you need to understand the fears and concerns web visitors have in terms of finding assistance online. You need to know what your desired goals and outcomes are. And then, once you’ve addressed those areas, you need to understand the technology well enough to know which avenues are most likely to offer the best return for your strategic and tactical investment.
If that sounds like it might require some work- you’re right.
So let’s start with designing an overall strategy first- and for ease of explanation, I’ll focus on the psychology, fears, desired goals, and outcomes in this strategy bucket.
Let’s start with your goals and desired outcomes.
#1 Why do you want more clients from the internet?
Generally, you want more clients because you want to work with more people and probably make more money. You might want to grow your reputation and be seen as an expert in your field. But why from the internet? Why not more clients from traditional marketing?
This is an important question to consider. In most cases, attracting new clients directly- such as through speaking, networking, referrals, or other live methods is going to be the fastest way to get new clients. So if you are in a rush, then building your client base from your local community makes the most sense. This also makes a lot of sense if your services are regionalized or limited by state boundaries. You don’t need to market across the whole internet if you can only serve clients in a certain geographic region. If your business or practice is limited in terms of where you can practice, you can use the local marketing and local SEO to get clients.
This is a key point to understand, as many local business owners invest in marketing services which are not targeted to their local area (such as building Facebook pages or Facebook communities.) You need to understand what technologies will actually bring you closer to your marketing goals.
Sometimes, people choose to market on the internet because they are too busy to do local in-person marketing, or because they are shy and introverted. (That second reason is actually how I originally began using the internet to attract clients.)
#2 What do your clients really want?
The better you understand what your clients want – and how they describe it- the more tailored you can make your message. This tailored messaging is crucial in order to build an engaged following online. In my business, what my clients most want is to stabilize the way they attract new clients, and to be able to be seen as experts in their fields. Messaging to this desire will help me get attention, which is the first step to making anything happen online.
How can you know what your clients really want? You can ask them. Barring that, you can spend time in relevant forums, in targeted groups, or doing some social media spying to help you understand what people are talking about.
#3 What are your clients afraid of?
This question is crucial. For the most part, people are afraid of failing, looking bad, or being rejected. They don’t want to lose money, they don’t want to make bad decisions, and they don’t want to have to work too hard to get the best results.
When you understand the specific motivations of your particular client group, you can also, then, think about what approaches and tactics are likely to resonate most for them. This will help you determine what technologies to use.
For instance: if I know that my (future) clients are driven by wanting to trust me, and wanting to see proof of results (which they actually are, just by the way)- then I can know that I might want to use video, audio, and proof of results in my marketing.
Given that writing is my preferred method for online marketing – I love writing blog posts, articles, and so on- you can see that I’d have to stretch myself, a bit, to start making audios and videos to build relationships with my target audience. I have done this some, and keep working on doing more. I am most comfortable when I am teaching as opposed to just doing straight to camera videos, so I am developing some webinars and trainings to help me work within my comfort area and still connect with potential clients.
#4 How will you know your marketing is working?
One of the biggest challenges in online marketing is the feeling of being in a vacuum. We write blog posts that nobody reads. We post on social media and nobody responds. Given that we are hardwired to seek connection and avoid rejection, it doesn’t take much to feel like we’re simply talking to ourselves. Yet, even for this, we have to have some metrics- ways to measure- if our marketing is working.
A key concept here is that of small wins. While it can be tempting to think in the hundreds or thousands, for most of us, we can’t necessarily activate that many people all at once. So, instead, for us, we have to think of it in terms of tens of people (and then, maybe, tens of tens of people.)
Look for the goals that make you feel good, and see how you can measure for those.
So, for instance, one measure I really like is seeing how many blog visitors I get, and how many return. I really like the idea of building connection and influence with people who read what I write, and return over and over.
Does every visitor buy something? No, definitely not.
But that’s not always the right next step.
As long as I feel that more people are coming to me, and my content is being shared, and visitors are returning, I feel confident that my marketing is working.
Remember, I don’t (and you don’t) need *everyone* to become a client. You just need, on a regular basis, a few of the right people to raise their hands and ask for more information.