Grab ‘Em While They’re Hot (or Even Luke Warm)
Like water slopping around a bucket visitors to your website are a fluid lot. Here today, gone tomorrow. It doesn’t take much for them to run away, in pursuit of the next magical elixir. Welcome to the world of marketing, internet style.
It’s the way the internet works; loyalty is hard to win and even harder to retain. Why so? Lack of real contact is one of the reasons. Let’s face it virtual contact is a poor substitute for the real thing.
Another is due to the massive deluge of information online. It’s overwhelming for all of us, and so easy to get distracted. Before you know it your visitor has jumped onto someone else’s site. Poof – they’re gone.
Despite all of this, it’s obvious that some of your competitors have mastered the art of converting mere lookers and curiosity seekers into loyal fans and hot prospects.
Bear in mind that when I say ‘some’ I’m talking about the hallowed few, a tiny percentage of the massive number of sites in your niche.
The owners of these sites have cracked the code – they’ve finally figured out how to not only attract visitors in the first instance, but to hold them long enough, so they see the value, enjoy the experience, and develop a hunger for more.
They’ll be back.
So what’s the formula? Or is it just a trial and error deal – stumbling along in the dark till finally you see a shaft of light?
The good news is there are some practical things you can do to make a dramatic difference to your bounce rate, visitor ‘stickability’ and even your sales conversions.
Before I get into concrete and practical strategies, first up I want to give you some clarity about the game we’re playing here.
What Are People Looking For?
A Solution to a Problem. Do you see yourself as a problem solver and a solution provider? It’s important you do – chances are your audience have problems and are looking for some pain relief. Will you be the go-to person in your niche for these people? If you make the grade, you’ll be rewarded with more customers than you dreamed possible.
The Promise of a Better Tomorrow. Not all of your website visitors have a problem. Some of them have big dreams and wants. For example, your product or service may offer more fun, lifestyle, or ego satisfaction. When someone walks into the Ferarri showroom it’s not because she has a transport problem she wants to solve. Nope. For her, it’s all about ego and the ‘look at me’ factor. So if your product can be leveraged to appeal to these and related motivators you have the potential to extract big dollars from your customers.
Someone to Believe In. Are you familiar with the ‘know, like and trust’ rule? People will not do business with someone who doesn’t satisfy these requirements. Even if you’re an online marketer people still need to feel they know you. It also helps if they like you, even if they never meet you personally. You can establish likeability in the minds of visitors by using effective messaging techniques.
Regarding the trust issue, well, of course, it’s critically important they believe in you and your business. When people believe, the decision for them to move forward and send money in your direction becomes easy.
A Place to Call Home. Your business a home? Yes, why not? People want to feel part of something that gives them what I sometimes call the ‘warm fuzzies.’ They often also want to feel part of something that is bigger than themselves. If you can engender those kinds of feelings, you’ve got it made – no doubt.
8 Ways to Lock People To You – and No One Else
You can talk till you’re blue in the face about your products and services and how wonderful they are. But most people will not buy if you can’t prove that tangible results will match your promises. You can demonstrate competence (or business fitness) in many ways such as using case histories and testimonials. If you have qualifications show them. If you have test results, that prove efficacy, shout about it
If you have a tangible product, demonstrate product competence and effectiveness with pics and especially video, which is a dynamic way to prove that your claims stack up.
Stories motivate, stories sell. Simple as that. We grow up with stories; we love them. Share stories about your products, services, customer experiences, your team, and even yourself. The other type of story you should regularly feature is your overarching narrative. This is the story of you and your business. It can include your philosophy, your vision and your purpose. Always frame your story in a customer centric way – don’t make it too ‘you’ focused.
You can read more about the power of stories on my recent blog post How To Influence and Persuade With Powerful Story Telling
Use Humor If It Fits
Humor is an excellent way to show your human side. Of course humor is subjective – what one person finds hilarious, someone else may find it decidedly unfunny. Some may even be offended by it. But if you’re the sort of person who revels in making people laugh the judicious use of humor can work well. In particular, irreverence can be used to good effect, but be careful how you do it, or it could backfire.
I know this to be the case because on one of my other blogs I sometimes write irreverent and cheeky blog posts about my travels to foreign lands. While some people love the style, others do not. But that’s ok – I don’t mind losing people, as long as I end up with fans who love what I do. That’s the main thing.
Show your human side! I don’t care what type of business you run – even a boring old accounting practice – you need to show people that you are a ‘real’ business with real people working in it. You can convey warmth in different ways:
- The warmth of your text-based content
- The warmth in your videos (if you use them)
- The warmth in your images. Include a few pics of you and your team at work and also at play
- The warmth in your website design. Different colors and even font styles can make a difference.
Don’t forget – people don’t care how much you know they only know how much you care. So show your caring and warm side, and draw people to you and your business.
Stay on Message
While it’s fine to go off message from time to time (particularly if you’re showing the human side of your business), when it comes to the main game – attracting and retaining customers – you must stay relentlessly on message.
If you don’t, you’ll confuse your audience. This, in turn, will reduce their confidence that you and your business have the commitment, and the focus to deliver on your promises.
This is the test of relevance – so stay relevant always.
Show Social Proof
I wrote about this topic in a previous blog post. But essentially, social proof is about giving people evidence that your claims are valid and that you deliver on your promises. Social proof can come in many forms, but the most common way to do it is with the good old customer testimonial. Other examples of social proof are as follows:
- Case Histories
- Customer Stories
- Endorsement from niche authorities
- Being interviewed
Showing social proof is not just about demonstrating competence. It’s also about showing people that others regard your business highly and are happy to share their experiences with others. It gives prospective customers reassurance that they are making the right decision.
Start a Blog
Got a blog yet? No? Tsk tsk. Quick – get one fast! It’s one of the best things you can do to turn mere lookers and tire kickers into regular visitors – and hot prospects. Before you do anything more, read my recent post on this topic Why Every Business Should Have a Blog.
The beautiful thing about a blog is that the content is not static – new content is added regularly. The other sweet thing about it is that visitors can leave comments (see this blog for proof) and share it on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Pinterest.
Does a blog work? Well, the mere fact that you are here right now, reading this, suggests that YES, blogs work.
Traditional business owners are often loath to use video in their online marketing activities. Fortunately, things are finally changing. People love to watch videos. Look at the extreme popularity of video platforms like YouTube.
Because it’s probable that few of your competitors are using video, a window of opportunity is open for you right now. The efficient use of video will not only keep visitors on your site for longer it will instill belief – belief that your business is the one they want to deal with and buy from.
Do yourself a big favor – embrace video today.
Your Turn – Time to Comment!
What was your biggest takeout from this post?
What methods have you been using to convert mere lookers into fans, and customers?
Make a comment below!
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28 thoughts on “8 Ways to Convert Uncommitted Lookers Into Hot Prospects Online”
Hello there Kim,
Really well done mate. You sure picked a post title that will attract many, many readers.
I mean who wouldn’t want to convert more of our casual visitors into hot prospects?
What’s interesting about online marketing is the rapidly growing trend of “virtual friends” such as on Facebook where sadly, many folks spend all their time and energy maybe
trying to make up for some loss of “real life” relationships.
But I agree with you that these virtual contacts will never show great loyalty and it would be folly to try and build an online business based on these types of relationships.
The key message I got from your excellent post was if folks are online seeking solutions, promises of a better future, people they can really relate with and believe in, then we have to go the extra mile in our engagement and communication efforts with them.
The 8 points you provided were superb and if we followed them we would definitely be a long way down the road of differentiating ourselves from our competitors.
It’s interesting as a relatively new blogger, to have recently received blog comments and emails from my subscribrs, who were thanking me for guiding them successfully though their “start up” stages online and to be making their first sales.
I loved this feedback – it was all new to me.
I mean we all have to start somewhere so this feedback was very special to me.
Obviously I shared this feedback as it helped to show my competence to others as you so rightly stated. Unlike you, my track record is limited in time so far, but I’ll be keeping all these “testimonials” for later use, not just for competency but also for social proof..
I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes I’m guilty of not staying on message.
My posts are usually conversational and sometimes I do ramble on a bit in my enthusiasm to make a point.
However, I couldn’t agree more with you about the importance of a blog as far as being able to convert visitors into potenial prospects, readers, subscribers and maybe even future customers. I don’t know of any other platform online that can do this better than an engaged blog community.
And yes video is powerful – almost as good as face-to-face – and is a medium we should all be doing a lot more with.
Forget the ever-challenging pressure to get your videos to the top of the search engines. Sure this helps with traffic but its far more important to have videos that welcome your website visitors to your site, your mailing list and your offers.
This year I introduced a simple welcome video for every type of subscriber and the feedback has been very encouraging – and the email open rates have also improved.
Because I showed up as a real person, someone who has flaws like everybody else, and wanted my visitors-come-subscribrs to consider my place online as somewhere they could goand enjoy the experience.
Interesting days we are facing in the online marketing world and it fascinates me just how many of the “old-fashioned” offline maketing world success keys are coming into fashion online. People are looking not just for solutions but solutions from people they trust who have created a “pace on line” with experiences they can really relate with in safety.
Just recently I created a “Start Here” page on my blog aimed at making sure my message was crystal clear to all my readers. This has been a weakness of mine as I think I had previously sent out confusing messages.
Anyway, this page makescit very clear about what I’m all about and more importantly, what’s in it for them the visitor . I conclude by inviting them to “join my tribe” so I can help them overcome specific challenges. – wil be interesting to see the results.
As always really thought provoking stiff Kim – thanks
Best wishes from a remote Thai village blogger
What an awesome comment you’ve left here. It’s what I call a ‘blog post size’ comment.
Don’t apologise for the informal style of your content. People love it because it talks in a personal way, just as if you were sitting with them face to face, over a cup of coffee. I always remember this statement – people don’t care how much you know, they only know how much care.
Keeping our messaging on purpose is important. If people get confused about what we stand for and what we represent, all bets are off. People want clarity, authenticity, and a voice they can relate to.
Your decision to use video more, particularly on your home page is a wise one (despite your previous challenges with the temperamental YouTube). In fact, I am currently creating a new video to position on the home page of this site. Fingers crossed that people will like it.
Thanks again for your outstanding comment
Very lovely post indeed with a lot of food for thought for online marketers more particular who usually let many going and convert a little traffic into real buyers.
The tips you mentioned to increase the conversion are pretty awesome and with a little effort one can easily apply all of them to turn his dead business into a thriving one.
Many thanks for sharing
Have a great week ahead
Thanks for leaving a nice comment, Mi
Right on Kim! Can’t help but think back to my early days as a blogger and entrepreneur – it’s almost embarrassing to see how bad I was but in a way it’s inspiring because it shows how much I’ve improved, grown, and changed.
Before I really had a clue about selling or about how business worked at all for that matter, I made mistake after mistake. I blogged as my brand and ‘me’ as an individual hardly showed through. I didn’t tell stories. I didn’t show warmth. My content sounded like it came out of a textbook. How could people want to buy from me if they couldn’t even connect with me on any sort of emotional level?
I did get a little bit better with this over time with other projects, but even when I hit the point where I was attracting several thousand visitors a day, I hardly made any sales because I didn’t follow much of the advice laid out in this article. I’m glad you shared it because honestly these are mistakes I didn’t even realize I was making, I didn’t really know any better.
Thanks Kim, this is one I really would’ve wished I had found when I was starting out, and even for a while after that because I went on for so long without following this advice.
– James McAllister
Mistakes are grist to the mill of future progress. I just made that up! ha ha
Seriously, you’ve done pretty well for yourself so clearly you keep moving forward partly because you learn from your past experiences.
To me, business is like baking a cake. First you need a recipe – but the problem is we don’t always get the right recipe when we start out. So we have to experiment with different ingredients, different proportions etc. After plenty of trial and error, finally, we have a nice cake to be appreciated and devoured.
Keep pushing the envelope James!
These are great suggestions for pulling people into your business flow.
I especially love using video, it’s the best way to really let people know you. And of course, as a pro blogger, I always get my students and clients to understand that blogging is the most important thing you can do to build your business online, to establish your authority, and to build a serious following.
Video is awesome! A superb way of connecting with people other than a phone call or a personal meeting
Thanks for dropping by
Yep, I agree with everyone else. What a great post and terrific topic.
With the flood of people coming online today it’s getting harder and harder to get people’s attention, keep it and then of course convince them that they should buy from you.
I love how you broke down though that not everyone has a problem and you’re right. Take me for instance, I just love to learn because I know it’s going to benefit me moving forward. So it’s not an actual problem that I have but I prefer learning from people who I enjoy the way they teach, their knowledge that they share and who they are as a person. Yes, that all truly matters to me. With as many people as I have to chose from today online to learn from, that’s what will keep me coming back each time.
I agree with the stories too, I find the content more enjoyable although I do like hearing how what they shared has benefited others too. Just a combination I guess for what it is that I’m searching for at that time.
I love all the different ideas you gave us though and I’m with you as for them getting a blog. Amen to that.
Wonderful share Kim, thank you so much and I sure hope you’re having an amazing week.
Ahh, thanks for the nice words, Adrienne!
You’re right – the marketplace is highly competitive now. How do we stand out from the pack with our websites? Nice branding and aesthetics, and great messaging, as always. It’s a continuing challenge for me and for everyone else, I think.
We have to ‘hit the spot’ with our audience, otherwise, they’ll click off quicker than I can say ‘classy Texan’!
Thanks again, Adrienne.
that’s perfectly targetted to our audience.
Great tips that I will take on board (all except making videos LOL). Tried it – all gone into the bin 🙂
I like to use my blog for recording solutions to the problems I had when I started my online business – because the chances are, if I had that problem, there will be other people looking for that solution too.
Perhaps I should take more on board the message that people are looking for a better tomorrow. I’ve not done a lot of that for fear of appearing hypey – because I know that making a success on an online business is tough. I hope that by telling people my progress and solutions to past mistakes they will see that it can be done.
When I first started online I really thought I must be the only one not making mega-bucks, so hopefully by sharing my solutions people will be encouraged to stick with it – and use good training methods.
Great post as always, Joy
You’re doing a great job with your blog – showing people solutions to problems and doing it in a simple, user-friendly way.
The main thing is to stick to your guns – do what you’re good at; the best way to attract more followers.
I would like to add that sometimes it’s also great to reveal some personal stories or even some mistakes that you made, it makes you seem more human and people can easily relate to you. It’s an idea that I tried on my website with my About page.
Anyways, thanks again for the great tips!
Good point Tim,
Yes, you are right.
It’s important to show the human side, including mistakes that have been made. I do it all the time – it works
I love the way you list the strongest of human needs first and then seamlessly flow into the ways we as marketers can address them.
Most of our needs and wants are fuelled by our emotions and yet far too few people pay attention to them. Yes, I want to belong somewhere, find a learship figure that I can trust and help me solve my problems. Once I have those I have safety and safety brings confidence to strive for and work at building a better future.
Don’t try to chase the money. You won’t catch it. Be a leader and money will follow you.
Humor, proof that we are trustworthy and using the right tools to get the job done are all so important. Thanks for pointing that out.
Great point. ‘Don’t chase the money – be a leader and the money will follow you’
Thanks for dropping by
It’s not just that there is a lot of content online, it’s that 95% of it’s garbage. It means nothing and it helps no oone.
As I was reading your post I was thinking about the importance of leadership.
Leadership only looks internally for the purpose of betting oneself or organization.
When it comes to cracking the code, the goal is to be so relevant and compelling that a site visitor says “OMG, how did you know…?” and is ready to take action.
That’s where messaging is vital. I’m working with a client right now who is realizing that he thought we was being specific, but in reality he was being too broad in content.
The only way we lead them to the “OMG, how did you know…?” moment is when we create one artice, for one person, who has one problem/need/desire and solve or fulfill it.
I am a big fan of video and audio. I now include both a short video in every blog post and an audio of the blog for those who prefer that format.
I’m finding that to be massively successful to this point.
Thanks for your insights Kim!
Have a great week.
~ Don Purdum
Thanks again Don
Videos can work very well – I’ve done great with my YouTube videos. But I use them sparingly on my blogs. There will always be a place for text-based content for no other reason than this: people can scan an article and see if it’s what they’re looking for, whereas people probably need to watch an entire video.
Agree with you about your point on leadership – spot on!
How are you?
Great post you have written
Will come very handy for us
In the future
Near or far, time will tell.
For now, we are new to blogging
And not expecting any sales
In fact, we are not even selling
On our blog
Just trying to figure
How to drive traffic to our blog.
Enjoy your week.
Best wishes and regards.
Providing you have the right strategy and are executing it well, you will make money. It may take more time, but it will happen
I’m late in the game here, but glad I came, because all of your points make sense.
I feel that the number one seller is solving a problem of course, because that involves the largest number of people. Someone with a problem to solve will save money to relieve that pain if they have too.
Then again, the promise of a better tomorrow is right behind.
As I was reading this I was thinking that my coaching business includes these two more than anything else.
Whether we like it or not, social proof is a seller. Look at famous people writing useless books that sell by the thousands, while some great unknown authors struggle.
Thanks for your great points.
Yes, you are right – solving problems is the name of the game. People in pain want some relief – fast!
Selling future hope is perhaps more difficult to execute for some marketers because it requires them to expand a person’s vision. But it never ceases to amaze me how much people spend when they get excited about a big idea.
Thanks for dropping by, Sylviane
I can remember when I first started online as a network marketer, one guy i was following use to say he was everywhere online and that’s how he got to the top.
So i tried that, and you know what?
It didn’t work LOL
Because i wasn’t applying any of the suggestions here. Especially with blogging, creating videos, getting social proof, having a message to convey and stay on, and showing real competence.
In other words I just wasn’t a person of value for anyone to become a follower or a lead. I was using tools to all over the internet, but my marketing sucked. I would have to say your suggestions is true online marketing, and I always suggest that everyone who wants to start a home business online or struggling to build one to start off with blogging and go from there.
Thanks for sharing Kim! Have a great day!
Blogging has always been my favorite. To me it is an easy place to make use of all other suggestions that you made to show your prospects that you are for real and that you are sincere about the benefits of your product or service. Video is one that I have often thought about but haven’t put very much time into yet. I think a big reason is that, despite how popular video is, I still prefer text. I like to be able to scan through an article at my own speed, skip ahead, or go back and re-read a part if I want to. I’ve also tried to watch some video blogs from bloggers who were popular several years ago but couldn’t get into them because they babbled on for 30 minutes to deliver content I could have read in 10 minutes if they have bothered to type it out and refine it. If I do videos they will probably be only 5 or 6 minutes long because that’s what I would be willing to sit through. What are your thoughts on video length?
Thanks for your comment.
I agree with your comment about video. Although watching video is now very popular there will always be =eople who prefer text-based content. You have given one reason why this is so – people can scan an article or read it all, whereas video is something that has to be watched in its entirety, more or less.
Regarding video length, most of the videos I record are less than 10 minutes. However if the video is more of a training video an hour or even more is fine. Sometimes you can’t do justice to a topic if the video is too short. But from a traffic and leads getting point of view, short videos are usually best (sometimes a short 30 second YouTube video advertisement for your blog post is all you need.
You are the magic man. Boy oh boy aren’t you amazing. Your information is not only abundant and good, it is real. What you write works. What you have written here is real stuff.
I can resonate with a lot of what you are saying Kim. It’s so nice to learn from others who are on the same page as you. Thus is a knockout post. Awesome- Jennifer
I’m blushing Jennifer!
Think I will frame your comment and show it to my grandkids
Wait. I don’t have grandkids. ha ha
Thanks for your insight and providing value in your posts.