A 30% Growth in Revenue… In as Little as Three Months!

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Even in the face of a global pandemic and one of the worst economic downturns in history, startup business activity increased in the United States (and around the world) in 2020. The record growth is rarely mentioned in the same articles as the “Great Job Migration”.

Startups rose from 3.5 million in 2019 to 4.4 million in 2020, a 24 percent jump. The 2021 growth in self-employment has been significant as well. However, local businesses are losing money because they don’t understand the Internet. Here’s how to change that.

Many people think they can start a successful business on a shoestring and make it work. It’s difficult and even less fun after the five-year mark. Business can be complicated. There are a lot of moving parts and what you don’t know can easily throw you in the bankruptcy court.

I’ve worked with small businesses in various capacities for over 30 years. In my estimation, the Internet has been one of the biggest assets that many small businesses overlook. The fact is, small business owners don’t have time to understand how to make this thing work for them. Unfortunately, they don’t see the value in hiring a consultant to take full advantage of its potential.

Of course, it’s not their fault. When you mention the word accountant to a small business owner, they understand the value and the need for someone to handle their finances. There is no equivalent to the IRS to come knocking on your door if you don’t understand the Internet. These days, my job is to show small business owners how to squeeze an extra 30% in revenue without going crazy or broke doing it.

It’s Difficult Making Money for Others

If I stopped you on the street, and told you I would get you a 30% raise in pay, you would be a little suspicious. Of course you would. I’m a stranger getting into your private business. That’s what happens to consultants who are trying to connect with local businesses.

I wanted to break the process down so that it could be easily understood without digital marketing experience. I came up with a simple multi-step process. If a small business owner wanted to do this on their own, I needed to explain it without speaking geek.

I use the analogy of the NASA moon landing. The aim is pretty simple; take a guy from the earth and safely put them down on the moon- then bring him back home. That seems simple enough.

By following a series of steps, a small business can increase their revenue by 30% or more within one or two quarters. The process is broken down into 10 steps. If they follow the process step-by-step, it still wouldn’t be easy, but they could accomplish this on their own.

The local business MOON SHOT project:

1. Determine your current annual revenue.

2. Establish your average customer lifetime value.

3. Get a complete digital marketing assessment.

4. Create a digital marketing and advertising blueprint.

5. Optimize your Google online presence.

6. Develop a social media marketing plan.

7. Establish a video content marketing outlet.

8. Create your blog or site content.

9. Produce a lead generator funnel.

10. Set up an email marketing system.

Once these factors are in play, a small business will increase their prospecting, lead generation, and conversion. Each one of these 10 steps has their own challenges. However, a business owner who understands the basic process of each of these disciplines can outsource the work.

There are local agencies available to do this kind of thing from start to finish. However, a local pizzeria may not consider the digital marketing agency’s fees to be practical. They may not justify investing $8,000 a month in digital marketing services.

Determine Your Current Annual Revenue

So, let’s get to the numbers. This is your framework for establishing everything related to generating income. If you’re just starting out and you haven’t had a full year in operation, you’re going to come up with an estimate. This number is just your gross revenue.

Your sales process may be complicated. You may have a dozen or more products or components to your service structure. That’s okay; we just want to insert an estimate on the spreadsheet. We’re looking to establish the goal.

Establish Your Average Customer Lifetime Value

In business school and marketing classes, they all talk about customer lifetime value. There is even a formula for determining CLV. You might have a complex set of products and services. When you conduct your estimate, just do your best.

The Simple CLV Formula

Calculate CLV by adding the revenue from the customer (annual revenue multiplied by the average customer lifespan) minus the cost of customer acquisition.

For example, your average customer spends $500 a year. Your advertising and marketing costs per customer comes out to $25. The average customer sticks around for five years. So, your average CLV is $2475. It’s okay to go with a simplified CLV formula at this point. We’re just looking to plug in some numbers to determine a goal.

Get a Complete Digital Marketing Assessment

So far, it’s just been fun and games. We’ve just been experimenting with the fantasy at this point. Now, things get real. It’s time to get an audit. We’re going to need to understand the current health and wellness of the company’s online presence. For more details, look at my series on digital marketing audits.

This is very important. We’re going to determine what is needed to get you up to speed. The audit will reveal the current structural integrity of your branding, your advertising, and your marketing position online. Without this in-depth review, there’s no way to improve your situation or determine the cost.

Create a Digital Marketing and Advertising Blueprint

In the previous module, we look at your position in the marketplace. We’ve also looked at your competitors. We’ve done quite a few things:

· Keyword research.

· Brand comparison.

· Marketing penetration.

· Unique sales proposition.

· Demographic assessment.

· Pricing strategy.

We’ve been very busy beavers throughout the previous module. Now we’re going to take a little time to sketch out a plan of action based on the information we gleaned from the previous assessment. We’re going to look at the tools and lay out tactics to attain our goal.

Optimize Your Google Online Presence

Here are some steps to take when optimizing your GMB account:

· Create a Google My Business account (if you haven’t already).

· Complete every section.

· Be meticulous with contact information.

· Write your “from the business” description.

· Select from one category.

· Choose the attributes.

· Upload a few appropriate images.

· Seek positive Google reviews.

· Set up the messaging system.

· Reply to questions asked.

· Respond to customer reviews.

· Add your products and services to the list.

· Keep your business profile up to date.

This is going to be crucial to qualifying for the coveted spots that Google gives on a small percentage of businesses. That is the Google 3-Pack. If you’re not familiar with the Google 3-Pack, let me give you a quick overview.

In Google’s local search results, the 3-Pack is the method they used to display the top three local search results. By using the location of the user it makes the search relevant to the location at which the query was submitted. Google 3-Pack displays three nearby pizza parlors if a user searches “pizza near me” for example.

The Google 3-Pack emphasizes links to business websites. Mobile users will navigate the 3-Pack by seeing business hours and addresses. This is free promotion!

Google is trying to make search more relevant and convenient. They also realize that the premium space they reserve for their paying customers is extremely valuable. The Top 10-Pack became the Top 7-Pack, and now it’s the Top 3-Pack.

Develop A Social Media Marketing Plan

When I wrote the book “Double My Revenues in 12 Months or Less”, Facebook wasn’t even a thing. Although I still contend that social media marketing on its own is hit or miss, it’s still vital for attracting people to your content.

Your choice of social media platforms to engage in should really be determined by the choices of your chosen demographics. You should go where most of your prospects are. If most of your target audience frequents Twitter, place your emphasis on that platform.

Establish A Video Content Marketing Outlet

“The play button is the most interesting call-to-action on the web.”

-Michael Pitt

The power of video lies in its ability to connect your message emotionally with your audience. You create an emotional bond with a customer when you establish a business relationship. Creating likability and trust will increase your chances of winning new customers.

· A video message is kept 95% more by viewers than a text message.

· 66% of video advertisements were 30 seconds long at the end of 2019.

· People will spend 100 minutes a day watching online videos in 2021.

Compared to articles, infographics, eBooks, and presentations, 68% of consumers prefer watching videos to learn about new products or services. Almost 82% prefer to watch live videos over social media posts.

Social media or blogging aren’t dead! Using both forms of content is crucial for any digital marketing strategy, particularly for SEO and reputation management. The optimal length of YouTube videos is 6–10 minutes.

Consumers who view a user-generated video on an e-commerce website are 184% more likely to buy, and spend 45% more. Mostly, Google displays a video thumbnail next to a search result, so users are more likely to click it.

Create or Develop Your Blog or Site Content

You’re going to need content; relevant content. This is what both Google and your audience want from you. They don’t want ads; they don’t want hype. They want to know that when they have questions that you may have the answer to, they can trust you to deliver.

The content on your website, video channel, or blog sends a consistent message about your brand. It is directed at very specific audiences. If your video or article on 7 ways to get rid of that middle-age muffin top gets shared, it’s because someone with a middle age muffin top is sharing it with other middle-aged friends.

Produce a Lead Generator Funnel

Let’s go back to your goal for a second. All this complicated stuff needs to circle back to the one thing you want; more sales. We want to get the folks who consume your content to get more perks. They need to trade their email address for an ethical bribe.

This means that you need to have something they can exchange for something of value. From the research you conducted earlier, you should have some ideas. Your target audience must have an interest in making this transaction.

You’ll need an offer page, also known as a squeeze page. This will be the face of your marketing funnel. This page will present your offer to your prospects, where they will exchange their email address for something they perceive to be valuable.

The automated system will send them a thank you email. If you’re sending them a free report or other digital marketing material, this will be done automatically at this point. Now, their information will be in your email marketing system.

Set Up an Email Marketing System

This communication should be two-way. What most email recipients get from companies is a canned sales pitch. Your process will be different. Use your email connection to ask questions as well as provide answers.

Send your prospects information on the products as it relates to their issues. Instead of selling them in your email, lead them back to your website. Let your website do the selling on the sales pages. Send out emails with surveys or updates on relevant topics. Include a link to more content or actual sales pitches.

You can create an automated system that sends out regular content to your email list based on when they signed up. Move them through the sales funnel process this way to ensure that you develop trust and rapport. Email marketing is also a great way to follow up with prospects and customers on autopilot.

Email marketing is an essential tool in your bag of tricks. One of the most effective ways to increase your CLV is through email marketing. Through email communication, you’ll be able to more accurately segment your subscriber list. You’ll be able to focus on customers to extend the life of their engagement with your brand.

Summary

Ok. You’ve gotten this far in the production line. You’ve looked at what it will take to increase your traffic. You now understand how to attract new targeted prospects, convert them into customers. You know how to automate the follow-up process with your customers to increase their sales lifespan.

Keep Google and other search engines happy and they will reward you with targeted traffic. Feed them new material. Do seasonal advertising through Google, Bing and Facebook. Send that traffic to a page that offers something attractive for your prospect’s email address. Your email list is gold. Treat it with care. Never abuse the privilege.

Don’t take your eyes off the numbers. Track your traffic stats, improve your content to get more mileage out of your existing assets. Create new content every month and make adjustments after testing.

The level of success you receive will depend on how thorough and faithful you are to executing your plan. The process has two major objectives; create new customers and improve their experience to keep them longer. More conversion and greater retention will guarantee your goal of a 30% revenue increase.

If you want to learn more about this process, I post short training videos on my channel. I also conduct private consultations to help small businesses achieve their revenue goals.

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Dennis Francis

Retired content marketing consultant. Author, artist, husband, father and owner of ContentMarketingMagic.co. Still helping small business owners daily.