Before I dive in, I want to share why I know what I’m sharing today. I have been a Wedding + Branding Photographer since 2009. Before 2009 I was working in corporate America working for a Fortune 500 company in a marketing capacity for 15 years and managed a large team helping them to market to bring in business. Ok – lets do this!
Creating a system that is replicable and easy is the key to consistently bringing in leads. Learning how to capture that online traffic and convert it into actionable leads is essential to growing your business.
Today I’ll be covering the basics like what lead generation is, what it looks like, and 6 methods that work and convert.
What Is Lead Generation?
Lead generation can be a bit of a mystery to some people. It’s often seen as this dark art that only the most experienced marketers know how to do. But lead generation is really quite simple: it’s the process of proactively attracting leads, with the aim of converting them into paying customers.
There are a number of ways to generate leads, but one of the most effective is content marketing. By creating high-quality, informative content, you can attract leads who are interested in what you have to offer. Once you have a lead’s attention, you can then work on converting them into paying client.
Lead generation primarily consists of two types—inbound and outbound.
Anyone who is attracted by your marketing and comes to you is an inbound lead. The interest could be through:
- Sending a DM
- Sending an email
- Filling out the inquiry form
- Downloading a lead magnet
- Requesting a consultation
Sending messages to the target audience, whether they have expressed interest or not, is called “outbound lead generation.” This can take the form of:
- Cold calling
- Cold emailing
- Mass emailing
- Direct advertising
- Social media advertising
Inbound vs. Outbound: Which Strategy Is Right for You?
Each of these two strategies has its own advantages and limitations. Outbound marketing gives you better control over how and when the prospects engage with your brand. With inbound strategies, you allow the prospects to choose how they wish to engage.
Today we will focus on inbound marketing strategies
How Online Lead Generation Works: 4 Simple Steps
This is how the online lead generation process for gathering inbound leads typically works:
- Your Ideal client discovers your business through one of your marketing channels (social media, blog, website, Youtube, podcast, webinar, etc.)
- They read your information and then choose to sign up for your “freebie” in exchange for their email.
- They get the freebie (making sure it’s a quick win or easy to take action) and are now on your email list
- They continue to read your weekly emails and take action by filling out your contact page form or signing up for a free consultation.
To be successful, make sure these things are in place:
Have a call to action on all content. It could be to read your blog, watch your youtube, send a dm, sign up for freebie, etc.
- Ensure that your landing page is clear on the next steps and any sign-up or get the download or work with us button is at the very top, bottom, and middle of the info.
- If it’s a freebie, ensure you are sending out emails on a regular basis like weekly or monthly.
- If they fill out your contact form, ensure that you have a system to view them and move forward every day. Even if it’s an auto email letting people know about the next steps and things to review before you connect with them. Nothing is worse than waiting a week and most potential clients won’t.
3 Ways Lead Generation Helps Your Wedding Business
Inbound lead generation helps wedding businesses in multiple ways. Here are just a few:
Build brand awareness and visibility
As any wedding business knows, brand awareness and visibility are essential to success. Unfortunately, they can also be difficult to achieve. One way to build brand awareness and visibility is to partner with other businesses in your industry. This can help you reach a wider audience and tap into new markets.
Another way to increase brand awareness and visibility is to take advantage of online tools and social media. These platforms provide an excellent way to connect with potential customers and promote your business. By taking a few simple steps, you can give your wedding business the boost it needs to succeed.
Clarity on your keywords
Keywords are everything. You want clarity on the wedding day, of course, but you also want clarity when it comes to your keywords. That way, when brides and grooms are searching for wedding services online, they’ll be able to find you easily. The right keywords can make all the difference in getting your wedding business found by potential clients. One mistake wedding pros make often is not using location-specific keywords.
Consider, the city, area, state, and areas in and around your location. You can also do this with wedding or engagement sessions you do in other areas for that blog. With a little effort, you’ll be able to attract more business.
There are plenty of opportunities for collaborations. Whether it’s working with other wedding pros to create an inspiration shoot to have content to share on social media for the type of wedding you want to attract, or doing a join social media giveaway to help grow your social media, there are endless possibilities for collaboration.
Also, make sure when you share the wedding or engagement session on a blog ensure you include the wedding vendors with outbound links to their websites. This means Google will be happy with you having outbound clicks and your blog will get more traffic and you’re being kind to your wedding vendors!
6 Effective Methods For Outbound Marketing That Are Proven To Work
Below are effective techniques that are proven to work.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization can make or break your wedding business. When your ideal client is looking for information, they use the internet as their go-to resource and you want to be there! Using keywords in all of your content so when people do searches on Google, your content will show up at top position. More traffic equals greater chances of converting your ideal clients into booked clients. Some SEO tools that are free or have trials: Semrush, Keyword Everywhere (chrome plugin), SE Ranking, and Google Keyword Planner.
Sharing a lead magnet or freebie is especially helpful as it’s free to your ideal client which adds them to your email list to engage and nurture them to becoming a booked client. Note: ensure you are sending emails and that your lead magnet is highly actionable so they find it valuable.
Content Marketing (blogging + social media)
If you’re looking to send ideal clients your way, content marketing is a great way of doing so. You can accomplish this by creating useful and educational blogs and social media platforms. To convert those ideal clients, ensure you add calls-to-action (CTA) everywhere asking them to read a blog, reply to a poll, get a freebie or lead magnet, etc.
If your content solves their pain point, they are highly likely to sign up to receive your offer. Content marketing is a long-term game and you should expect it to take at least six to nine months for the organic traffic to turn into bookings.
Google My Business
This is especially helpful for location-based businesses. You have your information, this is where people leave reviews and you can post images and info every day, week or month to keep it fresh. A good workflow is each time you post to social media, you can take that content and post it there.
Weekly or monthly newsletters are a great way to keep your ideal clients engaged. You own your email, unlike social media so it’s definitely more valuable. Don’t just share “buy” type of content, ensure you are including educational + actionable content that they can learn from to build trust.
All marketing whether it’s inbound or outbound is focused on conversion. Do they convert from your newsletter to a booked client? Do they convert from your social media to opting in for a lead magnet or booking?
Conversions are the way to measure how effective your marketing is. Consider how many consultation calls it takes to book a client. Once you know that, you’ll know how many consultations you need to book and the number of clients you want each month.
If you keep track, you’ll know the percentages of conversions and know how much marketing you need to do in order to convert them. Typically CRM’s will have this report – if you haven’t yet, go look at it.
Here are some tips for increasing your conversions:
- At the end of a consultation, ask “Is there anything that is holding you back from booking? Any concerns or questions?”
- Call to Action (CTA’s) on each blog, social media post, etc. This way you are training them to take action.
- Have a button to book on each blog and every page of your website.
- On your contact page, include your email address and not just a form. This way if they feel pressure, they can also contact you via email. You can also include social media DM too.
- You might consider shortening your form also – I did and got way more inquiries that way. You can always ask some of the questions on the form in a consultation or via email.
- Include testimonials or social proof on all pages that you put a buy/book button and include your contact page too. Did you know that 89% of consumers check online reviews before making a purchase? 49% of consumers consider positive reviews one of their top three purchase influences.
- Include a Q+A on your contact page or somewhere else that includes often-asked questions.
- Ensure your website is optimized for mobile.
- Use fewer words or bullet points as many people skim.
- Improve page speed by ensuring images on your website are optimized for the internet so your page loads faster.
- Include keywords in every marketing content you have.
These are all great tips, but if you don’t take action, you won’t find success. So block some time on your calendar right now (yes do it now) so that you implement to increase your conversions by writing blogs or social media content.
Consistency is where people often make a mistake. Often people focus on this for a month and think “it’s not working”. The problem is that it takes 6-8 months of consistency to gain traction and make a difference. So build time weekly into your calendar to work on it. Consistency means that you’ll have a better stream of inbound potential clients.
6 Tips For Content Creation for Service Providers Are you a small business service provider looking to attract your ideal clients? You're in the right place! In this blog post, we'll share six powerful tips to help you craft content that not only engages your audience...
What people on Pinterest are searching for this week I’m back with the latest Pinterest trends and this week we’ve collected insights around the theme: Spooky Season. 👻Halloween is on the way! All across Pinterest, searches are up for tricks, treats, and all kinds of...
How Service Providers Can Shine Bright with Lead MagnetsIn today's competitive business arena, the quest for clients can sometimes feel like an epic battle. But guess what? There's a hidden superpower that can not only set you apart from the competition but also...