Marketing First-Steps: Creating Your Path of Engagement
Imagine I put you in the cockpit of a Boeing 747 this afternoon and said, “Take us to Dallas”.If you are like me, you’d be looking at all those knobs and screens and switches thinking “oh sweet Jesus, we’re all gunna die. ”...and immediately searching youtube for every video ever made on How To Fly An Airplane.Like that’s going to save us all…99% of the earth’s population wouldn’t even know how to turn the plane on...much less navigate airport traffic, take off, cruise at altitude, communicate with air traffic control, and land safely at our destination.About 75% of the time when a small business owner, brand builder, or pastor wants to chat with me about building their online platform, they feel much like a highly-unqualified airline pilot. The online space is big, scary, and ambiguous. They understand they need to be doing something but they have no idea where to start.So today I want to help break down some of these barriers and show you what I believe to be the 3 most important first steps if you want to see the biggest impact in your online marketing in the shortest amount of time.Ready…?Sweet.
The Path of engagement.
First, I want you to think of this like stepping stones on a path that leads toward your main objective.While you’ll find that this idea is similar to a “marketing funnel” I want to make a few distinction in the mental approach:
- A funnel implies that you throw as many people into the top as possible with the understanding that only a percentage of those remaining will reach the bottom. It immediately changes your approach to that of a “numbers game”. While that’s a perfectly acceptable approach for later on in the process, I want us to start off thinking about how to strategically approach our audience, not about the numbers.
- A Path implies that we are on a journey with our potential customer. We don’t just want them to give us money. We want there to be an exchange of value in our products and services that leave a lasting impact. So as they begin to interact with our message, we begin to travel with them down this path towards the sale.
For now, I want to discuss 3 crucial pieces of The Engagement Path.
#1. A Great landing page (The first Date)
Most people think they must have a big elaborate website before they can sell anything or have influence online. And as someone who works on websites for people (and makes money doing it), I’m telling you having a $10,000 website isn’t necessarily the most important thing for your business. If you don’t know how to build a website yourself, it will cost you money. And if you do, it will cost you a lot of time.And what I see is that people hide behind their website and get lazy. I did this for a long time. I had a great website that people thought was cool and I expected it to do the work for me...yet I never made any money.On the other hand, later on, when I started making money in a different business, I didn’t even have a functioning website before I got my first 2 paying clients.Maybe you already have a great website, awesome (here’s how to find out if you do)!Maybe you don’t...don’t worry. There’s good news:Having a SINGLE great landing page is the BEST alternative to procrastinating and spending tons of money on a website.But, this landing page needs a couple key things.A - Your landing page needs to pass the First Date test. I won’t spend a lot of time on this because I’ve written about it before. But It needs to communicate 1) clearly what you offer, 2) how it makes your customer’s life better, 3) and how they can get it. Find out exactly how to do this here.[caption id="attachment_6386" align="aligncenter" width="631"]
My website's above-the-fold section. Passing the First Date Test.[/caption]B - You have to offer something valuable for free on this landing page in order to get people to Step. Which leads us to the second step on The Path of Engagement.
#2. A high value “lead magnet” to create Opt-in (Sending the flowers)
A lead magnet is value-added content you offer for free in exchange for someone giving you their email address. This may be an eBook, Toolkit, PDF guide, short video, etc.I also like to call these secondary calls to actions or low-commitment calls to actions because even if someone isn’t ready to buy or give you money for a product or service, they might think what you offer is interesting enough to want to know more about it. And at this stage, that’s what we want.So where your main call to action could be “buy now” or “work with me”, your secondary call to action might be “download my free toolkit that includes my favorite 5 productivity tools” or “watch this short video where I reveal 5 easy-to-set-up tools that 5x’d my productivity at work”.[caption id="attachment_6387" align="aligncenter" width="662"]
Example of a lead magnet from my homepage.[/caption]Having their email is important to grow your email list and get ready for step #3.
#3. Nurture Sequence (Late night conversations)
As you start getting these valuable new leads, we want to “warm them up” or “nurture them toward” the end result.The best way to do this is with an automated email campaign.[caption id="attachment_6388" align="aligncenter" width="597"]
Example of my Automated Nurturing Sequence after the opt-in takes place.[/caption]Again, these people probably aren’t ready to buy yet, so we have to add lots of value as we help them along the path. Notice that we also want to help them down their own path towards what they want to achieve, which is what this journey with our customer is about anyways.I like to approach this step with the motto of “Give. Give. Give. Give. Ask.”If you consistently make helpful information available to them for free, the recipient starts to think “Wow, if this person gives so much information for free, I can’t imagine how valuable their paid product/service is”.
So let's recap.Step #1: Publish a simple landing page that clearly states 1) what you offer, 2) How it makes your customer's life better, 3) How they can get it. I suggest using a service like LeadPages.net, but you can also just edit the existing homepage on your website.Step #2: Create a value-added lead magnet and link to it on your landing page.Step #3: Setup in your email service provider an email sequence that is automated sent to new leads when they sign-up to receive your lead magnet.If you want to see exactly how I set this process up on my own site, check out this bonus video. Ill show you:
- How I design, edit, and layout my landing pages
- Examples of my lead magnet and how I move opt-ins directly to my Email Service Provider.
- The exact tools I use to make the Path of Engagement work like a charm