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3 7 Examples of the Power of Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is a powerful tool.

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Photo courtesy of Sally Hogshead

Being invited to contribute content to an established blog is an opportunity to be introduced to someone’s network. When you share useful information and demonstrate command of a subject in this environment, it is a chance to create referrals and even clients.

But more than anything else, writing guest content and inviting others to do the same for you is one of the most potent forms of digital networking available today. Despite Google’s recent moves to crack down on “junk guest posting,” done organically it is the best way to generate valuable links and social signals. It is how you begin to develop strategic content and traffic partners that often lead to co-marketing and joint venture opportunities. It’s how you turn content into an authority building asset.

There’s nothing easy about it, you have to produce content people find valuable, you have to establish relationships with people who want to publish your content and you have to work equally hard at building a reputation for sharing and promoting other people’s content. But the payoff, over time, is substantial.

Below are seven examples of guest posts that members of my “network” ran in support of my book launch last week. This is small demonstration of how the power of networking online pays substantial dividends.

5 Reliable Ways to Use Content as a Referral Tool

I’m guessing you do great work. You add value everywhere you can, and people want to refer you on their own. Clients who get what they expected and have a great experience in the process want to tell their friends, neighbors, and colleagues about us. It’s a behavior that many people are simply wired to do. But, let’s be honest: we’re all busy. Read the rest at Copyblogger

The Sales Hourglass: The new way to approach selling

The Sales Hourglass is about taking customers and prospects on a journey they weren’t aware they were going to travel. I’m talking about a dramatic shift in the sales process. It’s not about tricking the customer or wasting their time; quite the opposite. It’s about making sure they arrive at the most helpful destination of all. If we look at our job like we are going on a journey with our customer, instead of simply leading them, it can really make the entire sales process quite a remarkable one. Read the rest at Freshbooks

Guiding the Customer Journey

Just a few years short years ago marketers were still heavily focused on broadcasting their message to create demand for their products and services. Today, a kinder, gentler form of marketing called inbound marketing relies primarily on the creation and distribution of content in an effort to “be found.” The foundation of the inbound approach is based to use heaps of content to draw people into you marketing funnel. And, while this has proven effective, many marketers simply interpret this to mean you create more demand by creating more content. Read the rest at Brian Solis

5 Ways to Generate the Right Kinds of Leads

Instead of sitting back and waiting for just any lead to “request more information,” you can significantly increase your chances of growing your business with the right customers when you understand how to define and attract ideal leads. By narrowly defining what makes a prospect an ideal lead, you can create processes for finding and attracting more of those. Read the rest at SuccessNet by BNI

Building Your Content Tool Box

Content is one of the most important (if not the most important) tools for marketing and sales pros today. Essentially, from a marketer’s point of view, content is about writing for the purpose of turning interest into purchase. There are many forms of content that must come into play to accomplish this. Content that creates awareness, trust, education, engagement, and conversion. Read the rest at Convince and Convert

Projecting a Great Customer Experience a Half Year Ahead

The hunt for new customers often starts with an attempt to make the phone ring or generate a click on a website. Yet the best way to generate calls is to focus on making an existing customer thrilled. What if your first thought in designing a new marketing campaign were to be about what you want the customer to think, say and feel about the product 180 days after purchase. Read the rest at Entrepreneur

How Salespeople Can Build a Superstar Online Reputation

If we’re being honest, we all prefer to do business with people we know, like, and trust. In today’s online world, however, trust building means something very different than it once did. Reputation and trust building used to be controlled by marketing. Now the Internet and social media give customers a bigger say in the creation and communication of how a company is viewed by the rest of the world. Read the rest at Salesforce

3 How To Build Your Own Leads Group

Leads groups have been around for quite some time. They differ from networking in that they are all about passing active leads to members of the group. There are many formal leads networks, such as BNI, and many informal local breakfast groups that offer the opportunity for business owners to build their business via lead sharing.

Leads Groups

Image GorillaGolfBlog via Flickr CC

I think this is a great tactic for many types of business, but the complaints I often hear are that some groups work and some don’t depending upon the make-up of the group. Many traditional groups require a big commitment in terms of time and meetings. It’s hard to control the quantity and quality of the leads.

My advice to business owners and sales folks alike is to take the best from what works and build your own leads network.

Hand pick your team

This is perhaps one of the most important step and it should start with your current customers. You can build a best of class team for your leads group by asking your current customers what companies they like to do business with or what companies and individuals they already refer. This way you can find team members that come recommended and that you already have a common bond with.

Create a map of all of the needs for products and services that your current clients have and look to fill your leads group with 10-15 businesses and individuals that fit into that list.

Set goals and expectations

One of the things that formal leads groups are pretty good at is setting rules and regulations. While I think that is pretty important to get established right up front, it’s your selection process that might be more important.

As you are selecting team members paint a picture for how you see the group operating and talk about goals and expectations, such as how often you’ll meet and what people need to do to stay active.

Integrate technology

One of the downfalls with current traditional groups is meeting requirements. Some groups require 90 minutes every week, with stiff penalties for missing meetings.

Technology today can take away a great deal of the need to meet as frequently face to face. I think it’s still important to do so, but I also think you should employ a tool like LocalBase to help facilitate lead sharing, tracking and scoring.

This way people can share and track leads in real time and measure and analyze the ultimate contribution of every member in the group very easily.

Create opportunities

Another way to make your leads group stand out is to think beyond pure lead sharing and expand into the area of creating opportunities for the entire group. Once you have your group members all sorted out, why not look into ways to create content sharing opportunities like a group blog. Or, pay to have an eBook created that the entire group could pass around their customer base that lists all the group members.

Think about ways that your group members could work together to create online and offline events or offer special discounts, product samples and gift certificates for services for each other.

Meet Up

Make sure that you keep the “in real life” aspect of your local group alive by meeting at least once a month to share leads and expand upon the ideas to grow the group. You might even consider asking group members to invite other potential members to these meetings.

Another powerful way to enhance your monthly meetings is to turn them into networking events as well so that members of the leads group can invite and meet prospective clients.

The control that this approach gives you also allows you to create the feel to the group that really suits your way of doing business. If you like have wine at your leads group you can. If you want to give your group a fun or educational or even exotic travel retreat feel, you can do that too.

The other thing that successful implementation of this approach can potentially do for the business or salesperson that originates the group is significantly elevate your status in the community as a business leader and innovator.