The Internet is my best friend for attracting new prospects. In a flash my name and an article I’ve authored have “gone viral”. I’m promoted all over the world and I’m suddenly the expert everyone wants to talk with. Leads start flowing in from people I’ve never met and new opportunities abound.
Is it magic? No! It’s Web 2.0, and you can do it too with little investment other than your time.
Don’t know what Web 2.0 really is, and therefore afraid you can’t leverage it? It’s simple. According to Wikipedia and expert Tim O’Reilly, the first person to really start talking about it, Web 2.0 isn’t a new technology. Rather, it’s a change in the way people use the Web. They leverage it as a platform to facilitate communication, secure information sharing and collaborate.
And that’s what makes it such a great tool for alluring potential buyers to you.
Your objective is to get your name out in front of your target audience and raise yourself to expert status through your message. Once your prospects know of you and your company, they start listening, and when a problem arises, you’re there in front of them.
Here are some of the cool options available to keep you close without much effort.
Articles and Blogs
As sellers we write emails and proposals sharing our ideas as part of our everyday job. Turn your sales writing into short articles you can post online and have e-newsletter sponsors solicit from you. Some great sites to post articles are www.evancarmichael.com, www.myventurepad.com, and www.ezinearticles.com.
Write one article at a time, then post it to multiple sites. Ask your clients which sites they frequent and what newsletters they subscribe to. Work to get your articles posted to them.
Post your articles on your own website or blog, too. Put them on yours first so that your site is the initial place search engines find them.
If articles are too much work right now, try blogging. If you already have a blog, great! If not, write on other people’s blogs. I find that a comment I’ve posted to another person’s site often prompts a 250 word response or an exchange with different readers, and before I know it, I have an article with little effort. At the very least, my name is now present in other locations on the Internet.
Stretch yourself beyond articles and put your sales presentation ability to work for you. Create a few quick 2 to 12-minute podcasts for your website.
Make them relevant tips for today’s challenging times. Reference them in articles you write and offer them to the article websites.
For people who prefer to listen more than read, you’ve hit the mark. The added bonus is that anyone who listens hears your personal style and professionalism and beings to get to know you. That’s the first step in attracting new prospects.
If you haven’t already, set up a profile on LinkedIn or Facebook. As your title, include a descriptor of your areas of expertise. Saying that you’re an IT security expert means more than noting you’re an account executive. If new prospects check you out before calling, and they will do it, they’ll get a clear picture of your capabilities.
Get some recommendations. Testimonials freely posted in a social network carry more credibility than the ones you post on your website or include in proposals. Not only that, but they’re available for anyone who views your profile. Ask your best clients to post references for you.
Start posting recommendations for others. People who see your recommendation may click on the link to your page to learn more about you.
Update what you’re working on or thinking about once or twice a week. Estimated effort, two minutes, and anybody in your network who looks will know. Mine currently says “Kendra’s helping a group of technical reps improve their referral gathering and prospecting approaches.” It keeps your connections informed and if they have similar issues, they’ll contact you. I’ve received leads from people who’ve only read that little tidbit.
Use Web 2.0 to get your name out in cyberspace and become the expert others turn to. Before you know it you’ll be attracting new prospects who have prequalified their need for your assistance simply from the snippets they’ve heard. Those are the leads we all strive for!