I’ve been connecting with influencers across the web to get a better idea of what’s working in the world of digital marketing lead generation.
Below are tips provided by 35 different influencers across the world of digital marketing. I hope you enjoy reading their tips as much as I enjoyed learning from them!
Tip #1: Raz Chorev
What I found the most effective for marketing OrangeSky online, is first and foremost – walking the walk.
As a marketing business, having a website and other online properties that are well designed (visually), have clear and concise message and purpose, and leave a memorable impression, is what people expect us to deliver.
We have to, first and foremost, make sure we deliver and fulfill the same expectations our prospective and existing clients have, about the benefits we’ll do for them, that we do the very same for ourselves.
I found that being authentic, true to who we are, and transparently articulating a value proposition we truly believe in, has a fantastic effect on our marketing efforts.
Tip #2: Cristina Juesas
The naked truth is that you can’t lie forever so your best deal is just to be yourself. Period.
Don’t try to copy or imitate others. You have to be you, therefore, you need to find yourself online, in the same way you find yourself offline. Who are you and what do you want others to think about you? Answer these two questions and you’ll find your brand. Express yourself. Don’t be shy. Follow your instinct.
Are you concerned about a global problem? Why shouldn’t your business be concerned too? If, as Cluetrain Manifesto states, markets are conversations, then businesses need to converse. Go and find your niche. Re-invent yourself. Surprise your followers. And surprise yourself too! Have fun!
This is something we are rarely told when we are students, but it’s key to success. If you are not having fun, then your job becomes a torture, and that’s not the best way to market anything.
Tip #3: Hugh Briss
The power of social media is not in selling directly, but in inspiring and motivating others to do it for you. No one will follow a business that posts nothing but sales pitches, so be helpful and share real information. Interact with those who comment on your posts and work hard at building a tribe of brand advocates. They are the people who will tell their friends about your product or service. If you focus on providing a solid product, excellent customer service, and a willingness to share online, you’ll turn some of those advocates into evangelists who won’t just tell their friends about you, they’ll tell everyone.
Tip #4: Dominique Jackson
By far, the most effective tip I can give for marketing my business online is to showcase your expertise and authority through blogging and content marketing. Nearly every writing/content marketing client I’ve gotten has come through people reading my blog, or content I’ve written on other sites. Creating content that your target audience finds helpful brings them into the sales funnel and introduces them to your brand. From there, you can cultivate the relationship (through social media, email marketing and more content) and eventually turn them into a client/customer. Give as much value as you can for free, and it will result in revenue.
Tip #5: Lisha Yost
Twitter is the lifeblood of my business. I not only help people with their Twitter accounts, Twitter is how I get 82.6% of my traffic, so I know it works, and I know that how I use Twitter works. I also know that the combination of a blog and marketing it on Twitter can exponentially increase traffic, leads and sales. To implement this strategy:
- First create a Twitter account and optimize your profile. Follow relevant people on Twitter every day.
- Create a blog on your website and write at least one relevant evergreen article on the blog per week (or per day). Evergreen means the blog post will remain relevant for a long time (unlike news).
- Tweet your blog posts as you publish them by syndicating your rss feed to automatically Tweet your blog posts (you can use Hootsuite, dlvrit, etc).
- Continue to tweet old blog posts using a plugin such as Revive Old Post (formerly known as “Tweet Old Post”).
This ultimate marketing combination of using Twitter plus a blog effectively gets unique visitors and repeat visitors to your site over and over again, and the more they can learn from you, the more they will see you as a go-to source and eventually become a customer or client.
Tip #6: Eden Spodek
Three tips I’ve found most effective in marketing my business online:
- Be helpful. When people ask questions or share pain points, help them in a sincere and authentic way—they are more likely to remember you.
- Curate valuable content. Sharing useful information related to your business will help you be recognized as a trusted thought leader.
- Network offline. Go for coffee. Attend events such as meetups, conferences and speaking engagements, etc.
Tip #7: Carrie Morgan
The wonderful thing about online marketing is that we have total control over our own messaging, branding and visibility… if we chose to take advantage of it. Awareness and messaging can spread faster and be more targeted to a specific audience than ever before in the history of marketing. It’s incredible.
So out of all the tools and opportunities, what’s important? Basic SEO is one of the most inexpensive yet effective starting points that is commonly underestimated. Dollar for dollar, it’s an essential starting point to build traffic and grow reach – especially if you are already blogging. SEO is suitable for almost every business and industry. Otherwise, online marketing should be carefully evaluated and strategized to fit your specific needs. You need to know where your audience is, what their needs are and how your product or service aligns with those needs, then craft tactics and content that works with your own budget, resources and goals.
There is no “one size fits all” approach that works universally. No strategy = no success. My new book, Above The Noise, dives into this in great detail, along with some simple strategies that are very effective in growing your visibility.
Much of a purchase decision is made online without ever contacting a sales person. Our online tactics need to hook prospects and engage them in those moments we can’t actually speak to them.
Tip #8: Maren Kate Donovan
I’ve found the best way of marketing a business online is to create value through good content first. This can be a longer road but it’s infinitely more effective than traditional interruption marketing. Zero in on who your target customer is, what they care about, then create content that will help them in their journey—whatever it is. Also choose your vertical carefully, some people are best on video, some at harnessing audio through podcasting and others thrive using the written word.
Maren Kate Donovan
Tip #9: Henneke Duistermaat
When talking about online marketing, most people discuss tactics. How to get more search traffic, how to grow your email list, how to write a good blog post, how to be effective on social media without it becoming a time suck, etc. … But the foundation of a successful marketing campaign is understanding who you want to serve and how you can help them improve their lives.
Tip #10: Kristin Luna
Maintaining a professional image online and connecting with editors at publications I’ve wanted to write for has been my key to staying successful in magazines—what so many deem a “dying industry,” but one that I have found not only fulfilling but quite lucrative—for so long.
I’ve been approached for assignments through LinkedIn and Facebook; I’ve “met” editors on Twitter and Instagram by simply following them and engaging with their content. But just like anything else, social media is a relationship-building exercise over time—and it’s key to remember that it’s not a sprint, but a marathon.
Don’t reach out the second an editor follows you back and ask what they can do for you; start a conversation, continue that conversation, don’t rush things—you’ll know when the time is right to go in with a pitch. First and foremost, you want to cultivate an online relationship before ever attempting to transition it to a working one.
Journalist & Influencer
Tip #11: Keri Jaehnig
Online marketing – especially social media marketing – is always changing.
So, you have to be prepared to learn something new every day, every week, every month, every quarter, etc. to stay positioned to out-pace the competition. It’s almost impossible to keep up with all the changes and trends, but we need to stay in-the-know to adjust where needed to stay visible to our target markets and achieve goals. As entrepreneurs and small business owners, we are conditioned to be frugal where we can be. There is a temptation to cut corners.
However, with online marketing, it is actually more expensive to short-cut the tried and true methods:
* Own your own domain and hosting — Keep the control in your hands.
* If you are not a web developer, hire it out so it’s done right!
* Get an email marketing account and build your list
* Don’t wait to blog – Start yesterday
* Use a sales page and landing page tool for sales funnels
* Invest in social ads with a targeted approach
On social media, have an active presence where your target market hangs out online. In other words, “fish where the fish are.” So, if your ideal customer is 40-55, Snapchat might not be your highest priority. On the other hand, Pinterest could be more fruitful for you, depending on the niche.
Also collaborate, collaborate, collaborate.
Not with direct competitors, but with those in complementing niches. Two heads are better than one, and the results will be multiplied if you work a smart plan. Perhaps most importantly, use your strengths to build our business, but employ advisors and marketing help where you are not as strong. Trust your experts. In the end, your business will grow more, and at a healthier pace, than if you do it all yourself.
Founder & CMO, Idea Girl Media
Tip #12: Allison Nazarian
What I have found is that the best way to effectively market your business online is to always keep in mind that marketing online includes many different components and that no matter what the nature of your business/product/service, it is ever-evolving.
So for instance, your ideal approach may include a lead magnet; consistent posts and engagement on several key social media platforms; involvement in online groups that include your peers and/or members of your target market; and interacting within an (online or offline) networking group or professional association that leads to online connections.
Your “sweet spot” combination may be configured differently but the point is the same: You have to keep tweaking and recalibrating and then taking consistent action, evaluating, following up and then starting all over again. A great plan is nothing without execution, while at the same time execution without thought or reason behind it is likely a waste of time.
Allison Media Group
Tip #13: Rachel Kay
Effectively marketing your business online means leveraging a variety of networks and platforms to ensure exposure through multiple touchpoints, and including a healthy mix of paid and unpaid promotion to get the biggest bang for your buck.
That might mean creating expert commentary that you post on Linkedin about subject matter important to prospective clients, coupled with a laser targeted Facebook advertising campaign that reaches fans of your competitors.
In addition, engagement should be an important facet of any digital marketer’s plan, as modern marketers have the ability to engage directly with customers providing a unique opportunity in each interaction to educate and provide value.
Repeated exposure of your message and brand as well as these authentic conversations will drive name recognition, resulting in more inbound leads as well as more return phone calls from cold call efforts.
Rachel Kay Public Relations
Tip #14: Mel Kettle
Over the last 5-6 years, the most effective online tool for me in terms of lead generation has been twitter.
I use it as a platform to share my knowledge of marketing and social media (via commentary as well as my blogs), meet new people, engage in conversation and ask and answer questions.
I talk about a lot of different topics, professional and personal, good, bad and ugly. I show my true personality (frankly, it’s too hard not to be authentic) and I’m not afraid to share an opinion or have a robust discussion. This has allowed my many followers to know, like and trust me, and this is what enables them to confidently refer work to me.
Tweet me @melkettle if you want to know more. I’d love to hear from you.
Tip #15: Don Martelli
You know what it takes to effectively market your business online? A good story and one that you can tell both online and offline. Consumers are swamped with marketing messages all. flipping. day. long. Companies need to know their customers personalities and know them intimately. These insights should allow companies to create honest exchanges that drive success online.
Tip #16: Graham Todd
When creating your online marketing it’s your job to keep people interested – just enough to keep consuming your content until they’re ready to buy from you.
There are people out there right now who will be in the position to buy from you in a month, a year, or whenever they realise they need what you have to offer.
All you have to do is stay interesting (and interested in them) enough so they remember you when they are ready.
You can’t force people to buy from you, but you can turn them off from you with sales-led content. Keep them interested with useful and interesting content that helps them. That’s all I’ve ever done.
Tip #17: Meryl K. Evans
Help others without expecting anything in return.
It can be as simple as searching for questions in your area of expertise and answering them without selling your product or service. For example, if your company sells CMS software, do a search for “CMS ?” on Twitter to find potential questions.
Meryl K. Evans
Content Maven for Hire
Tip #18: Gregg Blanchard
The best online marketing tip I can offer is patience and hard work.
Despite what gurus like to claim, getting good, quality traffic to your site is really, really hard. And it comes by consistently doing the sometimes mundane tasks of writing, networking, optimizing, link building, partnering, sharing, testing, spending when you have to, and constantly looking for new ways to get a potential visitor’s attention.
If you can put in not a day or a week’s worth of effort, but a year or two of consistent hustle, you’ll find that all those daily efforts start building on themselves to create marketing momentum that drives true online success.
Tip #19: Jeff Gibbard
Honestly, and this might be counter to popular opinion but…the most EFFECTIVE tip for marketing a business is to focus on individual connections over mass reach.
Instead of trying to reach more people, I’ve found that doing the work to connect with an individual each day is far more impactful on the long term success of my business, the quality and frequency of word of mouth, and ultimately, the number of incoming leads.
We get dazzled by big numbers and hoards of followers, but many of those people simply don’t care. To get an audience to care about you, first care about them.
President & Chief Strategist
Tip #20: Sherilynn Macale
You could have the best idea in the world, but you’re not gonna profit from it if no one knows it exists.
The top 3 best ways to get your product or business seen are:
- Press: Assuming your business has a story or angle that’s entertaining or interesting enough to publish
- Digital Advertising: Target an audience that actually converts
- Social Media: Free exposure that can set the tone and voice of your brand.
Lock this golden triangle down and you could be on your way to your first million dollar campaign.
Sherilynn “HeyCheri” Macale
Tip #21: Rachna Jain
There are three tips I’ve found to be most successful in marketing my business online.
The first is being relevant- sharing information my audience cares about. This is a necessary prerequisite to gaining attention and then engagement.
The second is being consistent- connecting and interacting steadily over time so that people grow their awareness of me and have continued positive experiences with me. This also increases likeability- the more familiar you are to people, the more they like you.
The third is inviting them to opportunities/events where they can learn more about the work I do- this could be individual consultations (short), webinars/trainings, podcasts- anything where I am sharing my ideas and inviting them to contact me to learn more.
This three step model has been very effective in helping me grow my business, and has worked successfully for my clients, too.
Chief Profitability Strategist
Tip #22: Nathalie Lussier
One thing I always recommend is to begin marketing your business online by focusing on email list-building techniques.
Some really successful techniques include creating an eBook or using a free webinar as an opt-in gift.
After your opt-in offer is ready, you can start building a list through social media activity, reaching out personally to other professionals in your industry – and some paid advertising, if you have the budget for it.
Of course there are other methodologies, but list-building is a solid way to ensure that you are targeting your ideal clients right off the bat.
Growing a healthy email list is an incredible way to increase the visibility of your business without having to heavily invest a lot of money in marketing … at least, not until you want to!
Tip #23: Danny Dover
In order to set yourself apart, you need to be willing to do something that no one else will. I have found the most valuable option for this is being uncomfortably transparent and authentic.
Everyone has the ability to do this but few have the courage.
Intriguing Ideas LLC
Tip #24: Tiffany Lambert
The most effective system I’ve found for building sales into six figures is to build a genuine rapport with your followers.
That means personalization, social networking and consistency in showing up to help others. It trumps bonuses, SEO and book smarts any day.
Tip #25: Esteban Kolsky
Bigger is better (iphone 6). Less is more (short emails). Nobody is perfect (typos).
Tip #26: Debra Ellis
The turning point in my business came when I shifted from a global marketing online effort to connecting with people on a one-to-one basis.
When potential clients start a conversation, move quickly to personal messages.
Your blog, email newsletter, and social media platforms introduce you to potential clients. The key to conversion is the conversations and follow-up that happens after the initial meeting. Tips for making one-to-one connections works include:
- Be Prepared – Research the company and person before following up after the initial meeting. Knowing the problems they need resolved is required before you can start offering solutions.
- Be Authentic – Long-term business relationships begin with a good fit between client and consultant. Being authentic with all of your connections creates the foundation required for great experiences.
- Under Sell and Over Deliver – Positive surprises help convert prospects to clients and keep clients coming back. Quietly delivering beyond the promise speaks louder than all of the noise in the marketplace.
- Be Willing to Walk Away – Some prospects are not worth the challenges they bring. Be willing to move on to better situations as soon as you realize that the prospect/client is not a good fit for your services.
- Follow Up – Stay in touch with prospects and clients. They may need your services in the future.
Wilson & Ellis Consulting
Tip #27: Shira Abel
For our clients we’ve found producing well-written, helpful content that isn’t about us or selling has been the biggest lead generator.
The only sale action would be the CTA at the bottom of the post. By giving helpful information that isn’t about us, but about the needs of the end customer, we give people a reason to come back (nurturing leads) and build reciprocity and trust with our market.
Hunter and Bard
Tip #28: Adam Gray
Digital Marketing can be a maze.
I believe Facebook should be within the top 3 traffic referrals for any website, and yet many businesses are not getting clicks from Facebook to their website or blog.
Content that provides value to the reader is so important. Create sharable content that will continue to be shared long after the original posting date. Find out: 1) who your audience is, 2) where are those people online, and 3) target them through an optimized campaign.
Tip #29: Dustin W. Stout
The most effective marketing growth tactic I’ve ever used, and continue to use, is to build genuine relationships.
When you build a genuine relationship with your potential customers, fans and followers, there’s no limit to what you can accomplish.
Building a relationship means caring about them and their needs and doing whatever you can to meet those needs. By caring that much about the customer you gain insight that will help you serve them better.
By serving them better, they will keep coming back for more and have no hesitation to tell all their friends and family to do the same.
Dustin W. Stout
Speaker, Consultant, Coffee-Lover
Tip #30: Zach Bussey
The most effective way to market your business online is to participate, engage and deliver value in places where you’ll find your customers.
There’s a tendency to perceive social media as a channel to broadcast sales messages on, but taking that time to get to know and build a relationship with potential customers is a much better use of your time.
Blogger, Editor, YouTuber
Tip #31: Nick Nanton
Tell your story. In a world full of “me-too” businesses your story is the only thing that sets you apart from everyone else, and literally nobody else can copy it. Start using your story and you’ll see exponential results.
Best-Selling Author of “StorySelling”
Tip #32: Ross Hudgens
The best method we’ve found for marketing our business online has been creating keyword-driven content that’s best in class, and also reflects the services we do.
For example, we created a post on increasing website traffic that was a case study of three of our clients, that will hopefully rank for a long set of keywords at some point.
It did very well on its own, and resulted in 10+ leads at the time of this writing.
Tip #33: Chris Lake
I guess the number one tip is to really know your audience before you do anything.
That means figuring out what makes them tick, and knowing where they like to hang out. It means understanding their needs and having a lot of empathy with them.
You should do this before you do any marketing, in order to focus your efforts on the right people.
Customer research, user journey mapping and persona development can all help in this respect. The insights you’ll derive will guide your marketing strategy and help you get the most bang for your buck.
CEO @ EMPIRICAL PROOF
Tip #34: David Hooper
The most effective thing you can do to market yourself, online or offline, is to go beyond just the service or product and bring personality to the project.
If you don’t have it, you’re going to get lost because you’ll be just another commodity.
This can be YOU personally, if you’re the product, or it can be personality of the product itself, like the Thug Kitchen series.
Personality gives buyers an experience that goes beyond commodity, which means more money for the people (or products) that have it.
Tip #35: Kate-Madonna Hindes
9/10 of my business comes from referrals and keeping referrals going means always going out of my way to show a genuine, “thank you” to those that refer me, and to keep examples of great work online for others to see.
For me, a strong and engaged LinkedIn network and picking up the phone has been what’s solidified big contracts.
I keep a professional-looking site, with a portfolio and a strong LinkedIn profile with an abundance of recommendations.
Author: Joseph Terndrup Hi! I’m Joseph, the founder of Underdog Marketing. I am passionate about digital marketing, growing businesses, and start-ups. I’m an insatiable learner and a repeat entrepreneur. I love writing and I work on projects that I find purpose in with people who I believe in. I look forward to connecting! Connect with me on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter: LinkedIn: Joseph Terndrup Twitter: @undglife Facebook: fb.com/undglife