Top Challenges Facing ExpertPreneurs®
by Sheryl Wolowyk
Ever read a biography on a well-known, successful Entrepreneur and think, “they must be lucky?”
You wouldn't be alone. Most people believe those who've achieved their dreams and “made it” are cut from a different cloth than the rest of us. They're more talented, more driven, more able… and they deserve more.
It's an unfortunate way of thinking. If you believe success only comes to a select few, and only because they are “lucky” or “better than” others… you are setting yourself up for failure.
Those people who are really successful didn’t get there because of innate talent or luck. Most didn't have a breezy, straightforward trip to the top, despite what you might think.
Success usually happens when people are able to overcome three major challenges in their businesses.
Today, I'm sharing the three challenges ExpertPreneurs® face. Obstacles so huge, they could stop you in your tracks. Overcome them, and everyone will be reading stories of your success.
I'll show you how to land a steady steam of potential clients, and keep it flowing no matter what…
The key to turning your prospects into profits…
And, finally, increasing “LTV”, an acronym that means big money for your business…
Getting (And Keeping) a Steady Stream of Potential Clients
Probably the most vexing problem for any Entrepreneur is lead generation. Getting and maintaining potential clients interest in your products or services.
All it takes to generate a steady stream of prospects is a consistent effort to draw them in. A system you develop to get your message in front of your target prospect, so they think of you first when they need help with what you specialize in.
Many ExpertPreneurs® rely heavily on JV and Affiliate relationships to make this happen. They team up with other Entrepreneurs to cross promote products, seminars, courses, etc…
This is all well and good, to a degree. However, if you rely solely on those relationships to generate leads, you risk distilling your positioning and focus as an ExpertPreneurs®. Ultimately alienating those on your list… your prospects and clients.
The first thing you must do is identify who your target prospect is. What are their fears, frustrations, problems? What are their hopes, dreams, and desires? And In what way can you give them what they want?
Then you need to find out where they hang out. Do they prefer social media? Email? Forums? Perhaps they don't use computers much at all.
Once you've compiled this data (and you should take as much time as you need to get it together – it will affect a multitude of decisions you make in your business from here on out), you are ready to put the beginnings of a lead generation system in place.
Your critical first step would be to create free content of value called a “lead magnet”, addressing those points you researched. A targeted piece providing valuable intelligence your prospects want, to entice them to your website and to join your list.
An example would be, offering seven Hollywood tips on getting a flat stomach. Or techniques on how to cope with the loss of a loved one. Whatever it is, it doesn't have to be in-depth; it just needs to pique their curiosity, appeal to their self-interest and provide value.
It also needs to be related to your area of expertise so that it positions you as a trusted advisor and demonstrates your insight and knowledge. So you wouldn’t share 8 tips for packing light on your next holiday, if you were a financial planning expert.
The information can be in the form of a report, ebook, podcast, video, checklist or something else that is easy to access and consume. In fact overtime you should have many lead magnets, on a variety of topics and in a number of different formats, to appeal to different preferences.
For now, let’s get you started on getting the first one done.
After you've finished creating your lead magnet, the next step would be to create a targeted landing page on your website (which you absolutely must set up) to attract and capture the contact details of potential leads. This page would address those fears, problems, frustrations and hopes, dreams, and aspirations that the lead magnet addresses. The landing page will also have copy that encourages the prospect to opt-in (by giving their name and email address) for your “lead magnet.”
These leads who “raise their hand” to receive that lead magnet become your prospects.
Of course, in addition to this tried-and-true method, you also have to be persistent in getting your face in front of your target market. Hang out where your prospects hang out. Speak at events. Go to networking meetings. Attend conferences and tradeshows.
All of this effort will pay off, when you finally have a steady stream of leads coming in, just waiting to spend money with you. Then it's your job to take what you did to attract those leads and convert them into prospects, and create an automatic system from that process. Tweaking it along the way to maintain and increase the flow of leads to your website.
Turning Prospects Into Clients
So you've got your lead magnet, you're putting yourself in front of your target market, and you're starting to generate prospects. Now it's time to turn them into paying clients!
First of all, you need to set up an effective marketing funnel. A marketing funnel is the path of communication you take each lead through to ideally turn them into a paying customer.
Your lead generation system and your lead magnet are the first steps. Once they've given you their contact information to the lead magnet, you have to follow up.
Your best bet is to develop an email series congratulating them on their download, that encourages them to consume it (by providing reminders about valuable tools or resources within your lead magnet), builds a relationship with your new prospects, and ultimately leads them to offers for your first product. If you do this well, there's a good chance they'll buy!
However, an effective marketing funnel isn't the only element to converting prospects to clients. You need to be consistently providing free, valuable content for them to consume.
Have you noticed how many free publications I offer on my Expert Elevation website? There's a blog, a newsletter, my radio show, and my ExpertPreneurs® TV show . All providing valuable tips and strategies for ExpertPreneurs® to succeed in building an Easy, Simple, and Lucrative business. (My E.S.L. Way)
Education-based marketing, as I like to call it, is truly the cornerstone of building a relationship as an ExpertPreneurs®. When you provide valuable solutions for your prospects' “top of mind” problems, they get to know, like, and trust you.
You become relevant and important to them. And it positions your expertise, transforming you into an authority in their eyes. They believe that because your free communications are so valuable, your paid products will be even better!
And that will bring their resistance to your first offer way, way down.
The key to understand here is you never want to bombard your prospects with offers right away. The temptation for many Entrepreneurs, no matter the industry, is to get excited when they get a prospect. So they bombard them with offers right after the first connection.
If you were on a first date, would you propose? I mean, even if you really liked the person and thought they might be the one, you most likely wouldn't take it that far on the first date. They would think you're a nut if you did.
That's because you haven't developed a rapport and built a relationship. Creating a strong marketing funnel, and consistently providing free, valuable strategies and tools does that for you.
When you share valuable free content, your prospects will reach a point where THEY want to buy something from YOU. They will practically beg for an offer, much like the partners in a long-term relationship waiting for a proposal. If you’ve been meeting your prospects needs and truly addressing their problems or helping them reach their aspirations they’ll want to continue the relationship.
Become that ExpertPreneurs® for your prospects, and you will be amazed at how your profits soar.
Retaining Clients Longer
The prospects you've worked hard to attract have finally become your clients. Through your consistent education-based marketing, effective marketing funnel, and persistent pursuit of new leads, your business is booming.
Now, it's time to get those clients to stick around as long as you can.
Many businesses only think about the short term when trying to attract customers. They generate leads well, and maybe even convert effectively. However, they assume those clients will just stick around.
Ignoring your average “customer lifecycle” (how long they remain a client) and your average customer lifetime value (LTV – How much a client is worth to you over time, on average) is suicide for your business. Yet many Entrepreneurs aren’t even aware of these financial metrics in their business.
These numbers are critical for understanding how effective your retention strategies are; the level of engagement and loyalty you have with clients; and even how much you can afford to spend on marketing. The longer your customer lifecycle, and the higher your LTV, the more you can spend on marketing to attract even more clients. This in turn affects how much money you earn each year and ultimately how much you can sell your business for.
The good news is… by having a well-thought-out marketing funnel, you already have a strong system in place to keep following up with your clients, and continually remind them of new, free content you're creating. This will keep them in tune with your business and on the lookout for more products and services.
The funny thing is, that's where many Entrepreneurs miss a golden opportunity. They don't have any more products for their current customers to buy!
As an ExpertPreneurs®, it is vital to ultimately develop a “product ladder” that works for your client base. A product ladder is simply an ascension of products that provide solutions to your clients as they stay with you longer.
Once that problem is solved, what's the next step? The second product would show you how to best reach those leads to get them as prospects. Creating a lead magnet, setting up your landing page, and creating your first marketing funnel. I also have a product for that.
Finally, the third product would be how to turn your prospects into paying clients. Getting them to buy their first product, encouraging them to not return it, and leading them down the path to making another purchase. And of course I have a product for that.
By solving one major problem per product, you allow for two things: One, your client is able to focus on one thing without getting confused by too many ideas. They'll be able to get the most out of what you offer.
Two, you will be able to make more products that tackle other issues. Allowing you to create a perfect product ladder for your business. And increasing the “LTV” of each customer you bring in.
Creating the Ideal Business
This may be a lot of to take in, but if you truly take the time to implement everything I've mentioned here, your business will be in great shape.
Of course, I realize there's a lot of work to be done. And one article isn't nearly enough to cover all of the details of how to put all of these pieces together.
If you are interested in taking your business to the next level, I urge you to check out my Income Acceleration Blueprint. It's for ExpertPreneurs® just like you who are looking to create a fool-proof system for generating clients and profits in their business. And it's free!
By taking the leap and implementing these concepts and systems, you'll position yourself to have the ExpertPreneurs® business of your dreams.