By now, you’ve likely heard of the flywheel, the new approach to customer acquisition that’s quickly replacing the traditional sales funnel. The funnel places an emphasis on driving customers in and converting them, but lacks a focus on what comes after conversion. In today’s hyper-connected digital world, the post-conversion stage is when you truly cash in on the value of your customers. Yesterday’s sales mindset sees customers as dollar signs, as names waiting to be signed on a check; while companies view their clients in terms of their network and their ability to provide you with additional work in the future.
The flywheel incorporates three stages, allowing you to conceptualize and strategize your customer interactions to ensure that you are creating a recommendable brand: Engage, Convert, and Delight.
The earliest phase of the flywheel involves engaging with potential customers. For marketing providers, it can feel almost impossible to stand out from the ever-growing crowd of competitors willing to undercut your prices. In order to be successful during the Engage phase, you should approach it with two tactics: visibility and credibility.
Customers are the force that make your flywheel spin. But how can you put your business in front of more eyes? In truth, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to achieving visibility; however, the most successful marketing providers utilize a number of common practices that help grow their presence.
First, and most importantly, the most successful marketing service providers focus on web presence. Before focusing on driving leads, you need to consider where you’re sending them. It takes roughly .05 seconds (that’s 50 milliseconds) for a user to form an opinion about your site and whether they will stay or leave. Does your website make the cut?
Having a well-designed website with a great user experience will help you achieve success in a variety of marketing efforts later on, but having strong organic search fundamentals is equally important. Your website should contain thoughtfully-organized, well-written content that is highly relevant to your audience’s needs; your pages should all contain optimized metadata and keyword-dense body content. Beyond your website, ensuring that your business appears on online directories, like Google My Business, and vertical-specific directories, like UpCity, as well as across relevant social media channels, is key if you hope to achieve the highest level of visibility. Ultimately, your goal should be to engage with users and begin telling your brand narrative regardless of where a user searches.
Once you’ve begun to grow your visibility, you’ll need to start considering your credibility in the eyes of your audience. It’s not enough to provide great service; customers today want to partner with a provider that is credible and well-respected in the industry. Without social proof and continued nurturing of the client relationship, your marketing efforts are dead in the water.
Guest posting for publications like UpCity, Forbes, Inc., and others is an excellent way to get your name in front of a larger audience so you can demonstrate your expertise, Earning awards, like UpCity’s annual Excellence Awards, can help prove credibility to potential customers. With that being said, most marketing providers simply overlook the wealth of offline potential lead generating opportunities in their local area. Speaking opportunities at local business events and networking with your town’s Chamber of Commerce are two excellent ways for early stage marketing businesses to build credibility and gain qualified leads at a lower cost and faster rate than some online marketing methods.
Once you get a new lead through the door, it’s time to start thinking about nurture and conversion.
Customers will usually spend a relatively small amount of time in the convert phase. In such a cluttered market, there’s simply no time to waste when it comes to engaging new leads and moving them towards conversion. Following up with every lead immediately ensures that you don’t leave any qualified business on the table, but you shouldn’t stop at the first phone call. Optimize your convert stage with automated email nurture campaigns and scheduled phone calls.
Too many businesses focus on selling a service, but forget to consider the “why.” Business owners have thousands of other options, so what makes your business different? Don’t just sell, tell a story. Help customers understand why they need your services through informative content and carefully planned talking points; show them how you’ve helped similar businesses in the past with case studies and reviews; close them by demonstrating why you’re the right fit for them. Your salespeople are your storytellers, but they shouldn’t be working alone! Support them with email nurture campaigns, social media posts, and paid retargeting ads.
Once you’ve converted a customer, it’s important to keep the conversation going or risk being forgotten. It goes without saying that you need to provide the highest-quality service possible in every customer interaction, but too often marketing providers don’t reap what they sow. E-commerce companies have long understood the power of product reviews, but service-businesses have been slow to catch up. Customers these days are more likely than ever to leave a review for your business, but you have to ask! Capitalize on the excellent quality of your service by asking for reviews. For those that are further along in their growth, building out case studies can help communicate your brand narrative to potential customers and close more deals.
Spin Your Flywheel with UpCity
No matter where you’re at in your marketing company’s growth, UpCity has the solutions and the expertise to help you spin your flywheel. UpCity has helped thousands of marketing service providers across North America drive more leads, foster great customer experiences, and build their credibility by offering solutions for each stage of the flywheel. Learn more about becoming a Certified Partner and take your UpCity experience to the next level!