8 Proven Ways To Generate Leads, Attract Your Ideal Audience and Market Yourself Online

11-05-2018

You’ve got a great course, product or service but how do you go about successfully marketing (and selling) it online?  This is a perennial challenge for many small businesses and freelancers.

Here are 8 effective tried and tested ideas you can implement right now to help ensure you get the results you desire:

1. Embrace the challenge

Run a free fun challenge that achieves a specific outcome/transformation for your target audience. This can be launched on the social media platform where the majority of your ideal audience hangs out.
The great thing about running a free challenge on social media is that you not only attract your ideal audience but you can also create your own special hashtags and get your audience to share their results.
Alternatively, it can be part of a private Facebook group challenge.

There are many pluses to having a Facebook group; they can build your authority in your niche, promote your brand, and the majority of members will, by definition, be your target audience if you do it right. 

At the end of the challenge, you can promote a special offer or even provide one of your services as a giveaway or part of the challenge.

Note: Your end offer needs to be aligned to the challenge and must be of benefit to your audience. For example: Don’t run a keep fit challenge and then offer a discount for a fast food restaurant.

2. Create a compelling lead magnet

Create a valuable free guide (aka lead magnet) you can send to new subscribers when they sign up to your email list.

This is commonly in the form of a pdf guide, cheat sheet or template (but can be anything — even a video series). The key is that the content should solve a problem/focus on the needs of your target audience and should also be relevant to your service.
Once subscribers are on your list, you can then create and send utterly compelling emails direct to your subscribers that engage, captivate and motivate them as well as build upon the know, like and trust factor.

Despite what you may have heard, email marketing is definitely still going strong and is an effective way to reach your audience, promote your products and provide outstanding value.
Want to know more? You can check out my free guides at the link here.

3. Pay it forward and share the webinar love

Run a free webinar where you share valuable tips to the attendees which are in some way related to your service. You can then use this opportunity to present a soft pitch or special offer at the end. The offer may even be a free consult call with you!

Webinars really do work best when you provide lots of upfront value as opposed to when they are merely thinly disguised shameless sales pitches.
Be respectful with people, provide them with as much value as you can, and you will generate trust and grow a loyal fan base.

Again, this is another excellent way to get people to subscribe to your email list or join your social media group or online community (which could be free or paid).

4. Create a short email course

Create a free mini email course.  Again, this should achieve a specific outcome/transformation for your target audience.

If you are promoting a course, this could be a shorter version of your signature course which will hopefully create a desire for the bigger version.
Alternatively, the email course can focus on the pain points/desired outcome of your audience that your service can solve.

This will generate trust and attract your ideal audience when done right.

Bonus Tip: Once you have feedback from your free course you can then improve and further develop it and make it into a paid course. Due to demand, I did this with ‘The Utterly Compelling LinkedIn Content Creator’.

5. Like the sound of sales? Then jump on board with the podcasters!

Be a guest on a podcast like this one here where you can share tips and news specific to your ideal audience.

This is a great way to get your name out there and promote your products in the show notes as well as on the show.  Or why not think bigger and launch your own podcast?

Again, this is a great way to attract your tribe.

6. Offer irresistible bonuses

There are many ways you can increase the value of your offer and entice people to buy your product with the bonuses you provide.  For example, you could offer free access to another course or product when customers sign up for your main offer.

Alternatively, you might want to add a free consult you know your target audience would find beneficial.
If you are a service provider, what added little extra could you provide to entice clients?

Remember: the bonus should be something which complements the main offer and something you would normally charge for in any event.
The bonuses need to be valuable in and of themselves.

7. Collaborate (because business isn’t always a competition)

Don’t compete, collaborate.

Collaborate with other industry professionals and create a unique offer together such as a course, event or product bundle.

The great thing about this is that you get to create some valuable relationships and cross-promote to each other’s audiences. It is also a fabulous way to boost your brand by teaming up with other well-respected entrepreneurs.

However, don’t just collaborate for the sake of it. Ensure your business values align.

This is one of several successful collaborations I’ve been involved in, so if you want to explore how we can collaborate — feel free to get in touch.

8. Be evergreen

Write evergreen share-worthy content like I’ve tried to create with this article that addresses the challenges of your target audience.

Evergreen content means that it doesn’t lose its value over time, i.e. is always relevant.

In any event, you can always come back and refresh it from time to time.

What’s more, the other bonus to creating compelling content that seeks to provide a solution to your target audience is that you can weave links to your offers into the content plus add a compelling Call-to-Action at the end.

Content marketing works, but to do it well it takes time and skill to cultivate and grow properly.
Like anything, consistency and providing value yields the best results.