If a significant portion of your new prospects are not currently coming from online, you are missing out. In this podcast, business growth expert David Blaise discusses the importance of getting leads online and the 3 levels of content which will allow you to do so.

This month, the focus of our Inner Circle training is about getting leads online.

So often, I’m asked about websites: How important is my website? What kind of website should I have? How do I drive traffic to my website?

But ultimately, the goal is not to drive traffic to your website, the goal is to attract qualified prospects and convert them into clients. Your website — in fact your entire online presence — should be geared toward doing just that: Attracting qualified prospects and converting them into clients.

So ask yourself this question, what percentage of your leads are you currently getting online and how does that compare to last year at this time? The answer to that questions is a reflection of your progress; your progress at adapting to life online.

In our Inner Circle teleconference this month, we discussed the importance of knowing your numbers (and which numbers you need to know.) We talked about focus. We talked about paid ads vs. free ads, and the fact that online, even free doesn’t really mean free. We talked about the need for a lead capture mechanism and having a plan, because just being online and participating in social media is not a plan.

If you’re an Inner Circle or AIM SmartEQP member, I would encourage you to go back and review the audio or transcript for the teleconference, as we made very specific recommendations in there that you will find extremely helpful.

But today in our podcast, I’d like to introduce you to a concept that you can put to work for yourself immediately, and it’s related to the fact that there are really three levels of content you should consider when engaging in prospecting, social media, lead generation and getting clients online.

The three levels of content are:

1. Free
2. Protected and
3. Paid

Let’s talk for a moment about each.

First, your free content is material you make available at no charge to anyone. So if you have a blog, or a podcast, if you post content to your website that is readily available for all to see, that’s your free content.

All of your content should be designed to engage people, grab their attention and position yourself at the expert, and this begins with your free content.

Do your Facebook posts, tweets and blog posts accomplish these things? Do they engage people, grab their attention and position you at the expert? If not, you’re just schmoozing.

If you want to take a strategic approach, you will realize that a primary purpose of your free content is to encourage people to register for your protected content. That’s the second type of content. Protected.

So what is your protected content?

Protected content is material that you ONLY make available to people with whom you have established some sort of relationship. For example, if you put out a newsletter (print or digital) to people who sign up for it, that’s an example of protected content. They only get it because they signed up. It’s not available to just anyone.

Protected content can also include things like special reports, white papers, videos and other content that you only make available to people who identify themselves to you — providing contact information, ideally including at least a first name and email address — so you can continue to reach out to them.

Your protected content should be more in-depth than your free content, to further demonstrate your expertise, position you as the expert and encourage people to take the next step… to get access to your paid content.

So in promotional products sales, what’s your paid content?

Well, that would be any communication, recommendations, advice and guidance that’s only available to your paying clients — people who have purchased from you. For example, in the Top Secrets training material, I talk about the customer cycle — what happens AFTER someone has ordered from you — and I encourage all my clients to include an order evaluation step to find out from the client, how did the promotion go? What was the response? Did people like the promotional item? Did they comment on it? Did they acknowledge receipt? Did they DO anything as a result of receiving it? What was the purpose of the promotion and did the promotion accomplish its purpose?

This type of content — thoughtful, deliberative, consultative and valuable — is what your clients should really be paying for. And while you may provide tips, tricks, strategies and thought-provoking ideas to prospects as part of your free or protected content, you should ALWAYS save your very best advice for your paying clients.

Hence, the importance of exceptional paid content.

So how can you take advantage of this recommendation today?

First, think about where you will make your free content available to people and how you will structure it to encourage people to then take advantage of your protected content and your paid content.

How will simply knowing about the three levels of content impact your next Facebook post, Tweet or blog post? Do you even have a mechanism for capturing leads online, let alone a process for follow up?

If so, you’re off to a great start!

If not, you’ve got your work cut out for you.

If you need help with this or any aspect of growing your promotional products sales and profits, visit us online at www.topsecrets.com

OR, if you’re a smart, focused, independent distributor doing a reasonable volume of sales and looking to take your business to the next level, check us out at www.SmartEQP.com.

Join us, become an Inner Circle member and take advantage of all of OUR paid content.

I hope you found this helpful. Thanks for listening!

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