A First Look At My New Book (and why I’m writing it)
In today’s post, I want to share with you some details about a book (my first) that I’m working on. The book is going to contain step-by-step guidance on how to use content marketing and marketing automation to attract new clients.
If you are a small business owner, marketing consultant, or run a small agency and you are struggling to attract new clients, I’m writing this book for you.
In it, you will find proven strategies and tactics for client attraction.
Some of the ideas will come from my own experience, some will come from the experiences of the many successful entrepreneurs that have been on my show. Regardless of the source of the idea, I promise you this: these ideas will all have been field tested! No theories here.
Before I share more information about the book, I’d like to share with you an experience I had the other day while speaking to a room of about 70 or 80 small business owners.
As I gave my talk and asked the audience question after question, I realized that there are still a massive number of entrepreneurs who don’t yet know what content marketing is, and, even worse, they have absolutely no idea of what is possible with marketing automation software like Infusionsoft (this is what I use and that is my affiliate link).
So, with my pre-amble in place, here we go…
Outbound is Dead
Back in 2001 when I started my last company, I used a lot of cold calls to grow the business. I grew my business almost exclusively from cold calling. It was what I knew, and initially it worked. However, over time, the effectiveness of these cold calls slowed and then stopped. In fact, in 2007, in an effort to expand the business, I spent 67 hours cold calling.
I didn’t get a single client from it.
I stopped cold calling at that point, and focused on other forms of marketing. Now, I spend the vast majority of my time focused on learning, testing, and improving upon the latest marketing strategies. As the host of the Bright Ideas podcast, I have been fortunate to have interviewed over 80 incredibly successful entrepreneurs, all of whom are making extensive use of online marketing, content marketing and marketing automation. Because of the time I spend in my own work and in talking with other marketing experts, I sometimes assume that most other business owners have the same mindset.
Then there are times when it becomes clear that I could not be more wrong.
Most Small Business Owners Are Still in the Dark When It Comes to Marketing
Recently I was asked to speak to a group of about 70 or 80 small business owners near my home in Bosie, Idaho.
When I first sat at a table for lunch I didn’t introduce myself as the speaker. Instead I simply asked people questions about their businesses, about marketing and about the things that they were doing to attract clients. Most of the people that I spoke to were solo-preneurs or owned very small businesses with just a handful of employees.
Much to my surprise, the way that most of these people were using to land new clients was similar to what I did when I built my last business well over a decade ago. They were making cold calls, sending boring direct mail, and calling their existing clients to hit them up for referrals.
Suffice to say, I was kinda stunned as I thought people had abandoned ineffective tactics like this quite some time ago.
After about 20 minutes of these one on one conversations, the host of the event formally introduced the session, and called me up on stage to give my talk. I briefly introduced myself and then asked the audience a series of questions.
Here’s What They are Doing Wrong
First, I asked those who were making cold calls to find new clients to raise their hands. Approximately half the room did so.
Next, I asked those who were using direct mail to identify themselves by raising their hands. This time about one third of the people raised their hands.
Next, I asked people to raise their hand if they received cold calls on regular basis. Three quarters of the room raised their hands.
I followed up by asking how many were receiving direct mail, and about one quarter of the room raised their hands.
Then, I asked how many people actually enjoyed receiving cold calls or receiving direct mail.
No one raised their hand.
I concluded my round of questions by asking the people who were making the cold calls and sending the direct mail to raise their hand if they were getting measurable results.
No one raised their hand.
In other words, we had a room full of people who were making cold calls, almost none of whom were getting any results whatsoever, and the same room was full of the same people who are receiving cold calls and they all found it very annoying and intrusive.
This is How People Shop Today
Over the next hour, I spent a great deal of time helping the audience to think about how people shop in today’s economy. Since everyone is a consumer, I simply explored what they did prior to making a purchase.
Most were very quick to realize that the vast majority of people use the internet extensively to perform research and to gather information prior to making a purchase. In other words, they used online content to help make their purchase decisions.
It didn’t take my audience very long to realize that content marketing was something that could work very well for each of their businesses. What they didn’t understand was how to actually implement content marketing in their own businesses and so I spent a great deal of time walking them through the step-by-step actions that they would need to take to become content marketers.
By the time I got to the end of the portion of my presentation devoted to content marketing I stopped and I asked that if the presentation had ended there, if they would have found it worthwhile.
Every hand in the room went up.
A Live Marketing Automation Tutorial
I then shared that I had spent approximately three hours that morning setting up a very short marketing campaign using some of the latest marketing automation tools. I explained that these tools do not require an understanding of how to write code, or any other special technical skills.
Instead, all that was needed is a desire to learn, and to not be afraid to experiment.
At this point I asked my audience to pull their cell phones out of their pockets and to text the word ‘Trent’ to 585858. (go ahead and do it now so you can experience what they did)
Within about a minute of sending the text each person then received a text message back from me containing a link. When they clicked the link, they went to a landing page where they could opt in to be an insider and get early access to the book that I’m about half way through writing (yes, I actually plan to finish and publish it this time!)
Once they entered their name and email address into that opt in form, they were redirected to a page with the video of me thanking them for signing up and explaining to them what I wanted to them do next.
While they were watching it, I explained that I had created automation that would take further action if they watched at least 75% of the video. This extra automation caused them to receive another email, but I told them that I could have programmed it to send me a text message, or put a task in my task list, or send an email to me or pretty much anything else that I liked.
(at this point, most of the people in the audience looked pretty amazed that this was even possible to do)
Tracking Video Engagement
Around this time, anyone who had watched 75% of the video received the next email. I asked them what they thought would happen if they were able to be notified when a prospect of theirs watched most of one of their videos.
Did they think they would do better than a cold call if they were to call the prospect right at that instant?
Virtually every hand in the room went up.
Following my talk, there was time left for Q&A. To say that I was bombarded with questions would be an understatement. I did my best to share what I know about content marketing and marketing automation in the limited time that I had. Of course, there was a lot more that I could have shared if I had had more time, including the nitty gritty details of what it takes to implement these strategies effectively into your business.
After the talk was over, a member of the audience asked me if I had a book that covered all this stuff. She said that if I did, at least half the people in the room would have bought it.
Say no more.
The Book That I’m Writing Will Help You
I have been thinking about writing a book for a while now. In fact, about half of it is already written.
Seeing that there is still a huge opportunity to provide substantial value to small business owners who aren’t yet aware of the benefits of content marketing and marketing automation, I have decided to charge full steam ahead and finish my book as fast as I can.
If you’d like to learn more about the book, have an opportunity to get sneak peaks and have your opinions heard (as well as get a discount on it when it’s released), then just head over and get on the early bird list right now.
Trust me when I say, you will be glad you did :)