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3 Strategies to Stop the Marketing Busywork and Focus on What Really Drives Results

Are you suffering from marketing overload scrambling to get it all done?

Not sure what marketing efforts are delivering new clients to your door (and which ones aren’t)?

You’re definitely not alone!

According to InfusionSoft, 55% of small business owners said they don’t have enough time to get everything done.

And those same business owners were much more likely to invest time (not money) into their marketing efforts.

Guess what?

Time has a cost too, but it’s easy to overlook especially if you’re not tracking your results.Click To Tweet

Surefire Signs You’re Stuck in the Marketing Busywork

It seems like everywhere we turn, there is a never-ending list of marketing tactics promising the key to business success, like:

  • Pinterest is the best place to connect with clients!
  • You HAVE to podcast – it’s the fastest growing medium to find clients and market your business
  • Facebook is the place to be – everyone is there and you can easily find your ideal clients
  • You MUST blog consistently so that your audience knows, likes and trusts you. AND you’ll attract new clients to your door
  • Guest blogging is a FANTASTIC way to get in front of new potential clients.
  • Build an audience on Twitter, and connect with influencers to get your message out.
  • Google+ is a great place to stand out.
  • YouTube videos will generate sales for you easily. Focus on creating great videos.
  • Everyone is flocking to LinkedIn to find new business because it’s so easy to get great information on your prospects.
  • Get out and network – you’ll get results so much faster by investing your time in-person

And on and on…

Are these great marketing tactics? Absolutely.

Should you be doing all of them? Probably not, because soon your week looks like this:

Monday:

  • Search online for great articles to link to for Facebook, Twitter and other social channels
  • Create graphics for all your social media
  • Begin to schedule posts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn
  • Spend time in LinkedIn groups, connecting, commenting, and sharing

Tuesday:

  • Brainstorm blog posts. Begin researching topics
  • Start writing posts for the week
  • Finish posts for the week, create/find graphic to use, post it to your blog
  • Attend networking event/meetup

Wednesday:

  • Check on social media – new followers/likes/mentions, retweet interesting articles, ‘engage’
  • Create email for your list, and send out with a link to your blog article
  • Brainstorm ideas for YouTube video
  • Create outline for video
  • Comment on blogs and forums
  • Spend time in LinkedIn groups, connecting, commenting and sharing

Thursday

  • Begin filming video
  • (15 retakes later) Begin editing video
  • Find music, create graphics for video
  • Upload video to YouTube, Facebook, your blog
  • Promote video via email, social media
  • Comment on blogs and forums
  • Attend networking event/meetup

Friday

  • Create weekly podcast
  • Edit + upload content
  • Create and send email to your list
  • Pitch ideas to three potential guest blogs
  • Spend time in LinkedIn groups, connecting, commenting and sharing

No doubt about it – that is a BUSY week full of marketing hustle.

The problem?

If you’re not tracking RESULTS from marketing efforts you may be wasting precious time that could be dedicated to revenue-producing activities.Click To Tweet

And you will find yourself stuck in a never-ending cycle of creating content, then wondering why new clients aren’t flocking to your door.

Following are three strategies to start measuring what’s working (and what’s not) so you know exactly which marketing efforts are worth your time.

Strategy #1 – Crunching the Numbers

There are some simple (and free) ways to discover valuable insights into what’s driving results for your business.

Google Analytics is one tool that every small business should use (it’s FREE). This is a powerful tool to quickly learn about your website’s traffic including how many people are visiting, their age range, gender, where they live and how they arrived at your site.

All powerful insights that can tell you a lot about your audience, what they’re looking for and where they’re hanging out looking for information like what you provide.

(Click here to learn more about using Google Analytics)

Another way to track your marketing efforts is to include a hyperlink to a landing page in your marketing activities (blog posts and social media especially).

Many landing page companies offer basic analytics such as conversion rates (# of opt-ins/ # of views). A conversion rate will tell you how relevant your offer is to your audience.

For example, let’s say you create a landing page to capture a name + email address before sending your (valuable) free giveaway to new potential clients.

You blog about your free giveaway, schedule posts and engagements on social media and include links in your email newsletter. As a result, 100 people visit your landing page. (whoo-hoo!)

…but only 9 people (or a 9% opt-in rate) actually give you their name/email address.

Uh-oh.

Don’t panic! This is a good thing to know.

Instead of the ‘hope for the best’ business approach, you now have real numbers to improve your results. Now you can test different variables out like your landing page headline, your offer, and even the color of your call-to-action button. (Yes, sometimes the button color can make a big difference).

By diving into your numbers, you quickly gather critical insights to help you focus your marketing on the activities that are driving new potential clients your way… and either improve or ditch the rest.

Strategy #2 – Analyzing Your Sales Activity

In strategy #1, we gathered insights into the traffic sources and opt-in behavior of new potential clients. Now it’s time to take a closer look at how many of those new potential clients turn in to actual paying clients.

Here’s the basic formula to begin analyzing your sales activity:

Step 1: Set Your Goal

Your monthly revenue goal $________________

Step 2: Determine Your Close Rate

Your close rate is a simple formula – how many potential clients do you need to get in front of for each sale. For example, let’s use this simplified scenario only looking at new leads:

April 2015:

  • New leads = 132
  • Sales = 44
  • Revenue from each sale = $149

Total monthly revenue (44 sales x $149) = $6,556

In this example, the close rate is 33% (44 sales/132 new leads).

Step 3: Test and Improve Your Close Rate

Knowing your close rate will help you understand how many new opt-ins you need each month to reach your monthly revenue goals.

Once you know your current close rate or baseline, try different tactics to increase your monthly revenue. Click To Tweet

For example, you could:

  • Test different email subject lines to see if you can get more of your potential clients to open and read your sales emails
  • Test hosting a webinar or Q&A call to try and increase your effectiveness
  • Test different offers (like two options or payment plans)
  • Or anything else you think may affect your sales conversion!

This is when your business becomes fun – you can start to improve the direct connection between your marketing efforts and bottom line revenue.

If we go back to our example above, let’s say through testing you were able to improve your close rate from 33% to 38%. That would mean an extra $894 in your pocket with just a small improvement in your efforts. Imagine what you could do if that rate was 40% or even 50%?

That’s a lot more money in your pocket for the same marketing efforts.

Strategy #3 – Assessing Engagement Levels

It’s tempting to use engagement as proof that your marketing is working (and why many of those marketing tactics are so seductive).

Before you know it, you’re spending five hours a week creating great inspirational quotes that people like and share.

Yet, is all that effort to create inspirational quotes turning into clients? If yes, knock yourself out creating them.

But if not, take a hard look at what types of engagement actually deliver new clients to your door.

There are many ways to measure engagement.

Including:

  • Social proof: how many followers, fans, shares, likes, tweets, questions or comments your content received
  • Open rates: how many people opened your email
  • Click through rates: how many people actually took action on your content
  • Stickiness: how many people are returning to your site or social network, how many pages are they viewing, and how long are they sticking around
  • Amplification: how many people are sharing, linking to, and referencing your content independent of you
  • Attendance: how many people are attending your events (live or virtual), and sharing what they’ve learned with their network

The biggest danger with measuring engagement is mistaking social proof for revenue growth.

Social proof is important, yet if all those likes and shares aren’t resulting in new potential clients your strategy needs work.

How To Get Started

You know that marketing tactics are simply a way to get your message in front of potential clients. And not all marketing tactics deserve your time because they don’t deliver bottom-line results to your business.

Instead of believing the hype about all the various marketing tactics out there, you now have the tools to decide what actually works for your business (and if you’d like a simple step-by-step guide to dive in further, grab your free copy of the Simple Marketing Metrics Guide).

Whatever marketing activities you do, remember to always track what’s working so you can focus your precious time, energy and resources on areas that deliver new, paying clients into your business.

So, which of these strategies will you being using today? If you have questions about figuring out which marketing efforts are worth your time, just let me know if the comments below.

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