Step 1 Create content
To let the world know what you have to offer, you need to put your product or service in the shop window. You do that by creating content. You have to have enough content, because we know that potential customers don’t come to you right after reading your first blog article. We use the rule of thumb that you need between ten and twenty blogs, vlogs and/or podcasts to get and keep your potential customer interested. When you have more than ten you are ready for step 2.
Step 2 Optimize your content with SEO
If you have enough content, you need to make sure that your content can be found by your target audience. For many prospects, their search begins on Google. So it’s important to make sure your content is properly optimized for search engines. You do this by researching what search terms your target audience is using and how you arrange your content accordingly. For example, we use Semrush, but there are more tools in the market that facilitate this.
Step 3 Expand your network
You have enough to tell the world. It is time for the next step. Make sure your content is distributed through the right channels. This can be done through digital channels (Linked in, Facebook or other platforms where your customers are active), but also through analog channels (publications or outdoor advertising)
Step 4 Broaden your network
You need to work on a broader network. You can do that through a number of channels. The fastest way is to contact prospects directly. This is recommended in this step. By approaching prospects personally, you also directly test whether your story resonates with the target audience. Create a list of companies that fit your target market and collect the contact information of key contacts. You can also make personal contact through channels such as LinkedIn. Keep in mind that this is slower than direct contact.
Step 5 Approach your prospects in an automated way
You have plenty of prospects. Now the key is to keep them regularly informed of your content. After all, not every prospect is ready to start doing business with you the moment you approach them. You have to make sure that the moment a prospect wants to do business, he thinks of you. Make a good newsletter schedule for the new year (enough to be interesting and not too much to be annoying). Also make a good schedule when to approach people on LinkedIn and when to send prospect your (digital) flyers. By automating this, you don’t have to worry about it yourself and can concentrate on your work.
Step 6 Entice your prospects to contact you
If you have more than 500 prospects, it’s time to put your prospects to work themselves. We told you earlier that prospects need time to become “ready to buy. In some industries, it takes years for a prospect to become a customer. Having to call that prospect regularly for several years to make him a customer costs you a lot of time and money. Therefore, it is better not to approach a prospect until he is ready to buy. To determine when that is, follow a prospect and see how he interacts with your content. A prospect who reads your content often is probably interested and ready to purchase something. To track prospects, several tools, ranging from e mail automation to complete marketing automation, exist that allow you to track your prospects’ behavior on your website and other channels.
If you follow this step-by-step plan, your network will expand quickly. In doing so, you create a “stockpile” of potential new customers that you can draw from in the coming years. Even if you are busy with existing customers now, you need to work on next year’s new customers and the year after, to achieve a well-regulated supply of new customers.