You want your business to grow — more leads, more customers, more money.
But the only way to grow a business is to market a business, to spread the word about its products and services, build rapport, and show proof-of-concept.
It’s not as hard as it sounds.
To help the rocket leave the launchpad, here are 14 creative ways to market your business for maximum impact.
1. Find Your Blue Ocean
Before you market your business, you need to understand your niche.
This will allow you to easily and effectively identify, find, and craft messages for your target market. It’ll also help you understand how your business and its products or services differ from competitors.
Ideally, you’ll niche down enough that you find a “blue ocean” — this is a section of the market with very few sharks (i.e. competitors) in the water… where you’ll be the alpha.
Start by choosing a market: health, wealth, or relationships.
Then, choose a submarket, for which there are many — here are some examples…
- Health —> Weight Loss, Strength Training, Nutrition
- Wealth —> Investing, Real Estate, Finance
- Relationships —> Dating Advice, Marriage Advice, Love
Once you’ve selected a submarket, go one layer deeper to find your niche (or your “blue ocean”).
This can be anything — here’s one example for each market path…
- Health —> Weight Loss —> Personalized Meal Planning
- Wealth —> Finance —> Paying Off Debt
- Relationships —> Love —> Going Through Divorce
Take the time to go through this process. It’ll help you understand who you’re marketing to, how you can get in front of those people, and what messages will resonate with them.
To learn more about this process, get a free copy of Traffic Secrets.
2. Identify Your Dream Customer
Before you can create effective marketing campaigns, you need to understand who you’re marketing to… not in a general well-they-are-just-interested-in-what-I’m-offering sort of way.
You need to understand your dream customers — your ideal client or target market — better than they understand themselves.
You have to understand their…
- Deepest desires
- Deepest fears
- Deepest held personal beliefs
… all of it.
The more you understand about your dream customers, the easier it is to find and engage those people. So it’s worth taking a little time to fill out a form like this…
That’ll get you started.
You might even want to find a picture via Google of someone who looks like they can represent your dream customer — this will help you and your team visualize your target market and treat it more like a single person rather than a group of people.
For a more detailed exploration of your dream customer avatar, get a free copy of Traffic Secrets.
3. The Dream 100
The Dream 100 is a process that Russell Brunson used to grow ClickFunnels from a little-known startup that launched with $0 in VC funding to a well-known company worth more than $360 million.
And the best part is, anyone can use this process.
You’ve found your blue ocean and identified your dream customers… The Dream 100 process is built to help you get in front of those people (regardless of your advertising budget).
Start by making a list of places where your dream customers already congregate online. Identify…
- 10 websites and forums they spend time on
- 15 active Facebook groups they participate in
- 50 influencers they follow on Facebook and Instagram
- 30 podcasts they listen to
- 40 email newsletters they subscribe to
Once you’ve got that list, it’s just a matter of using those places and people to put your messages where your dream customers will see it — driving them to your sales funnel and generating leads and sales.
For each item on your list, you can either…
- Work your way in — This means you’ll be emailing people, building relationships with key decision makers, and looking for collaboration opportunities. You might guest blog for a website that your dream customers read, be a guest on a podcast that they listen to, engage in forums where they spend time, or trade mentions with influencers.
- Buy your way in — This means you’ll pay to get attention in these places. You might pay to display advertisements on a specific blog, sponsor a podcast or newsletter, or run Facebook Ads to people who follow a specific influencer.
Knock ‘em out one at a time and watch what happens. For a more detailed explanation of the Dream 100 process, pick up a free copy of Traffic Secrets.
4. Sales Funnels
What is a website except a digital brochure where people can browse, learn about your business, opt-in, or buy?
It’s just a virtual storefront.
Unfortunately, most websites give visitors far too many options and far too much browsing freedom — because of that, they don’t generate many leads or many make many sales.
It’s the difference between having a salesperson guide a customer toward conversion or having a brochure do it…
The salesperson is always more effective.
We even made a video about how websites are dead for the purpose of marketing…
So what’s the alternative?
Where a website is like a digital brochure, a sales funnel is like a salesperson guiding the visitor toward a single all-important goal (opting-in, registering, or buying)… one page at a time.
There are different sales funnels for different things.
At ClickFunnels, we created the Tripwire Sales Funnel, which is perfect for turning cold traffic into paying customers…
The Product Launch Funnel, which is perfect for creating demand for (and selling) an upcoming product…
And the Webinar Funnel, which is perfect for building brand awareness, generating leads, and making sales…
Those are just a few examples of the 20+ sales funnel templates that ClickFunnels members get access to.
And they convert like clockwork.
But don’t take our word for it — try ‘em out for yourself with a free 14-day ClickFunnels trial!
5. Build an Email List
In Russell Brunson’s bestselling book, DotCom Secrets, he differentiates between three different types of traffic. Each is valuable, but “Traffic that you own” is the pinnacle of marketing effectiveness:
- Traffic you own — This is the best kind of traffic. It includes your email list, your followers, and your customers. In Russell’s words, “I can send out an email, post a message to my followers, or make a blog post, and I will generate instant traffic. I don’t have to buy it from Google or Facebook. I have to do any PR or SEO. This is my own distribution channel; I can send out messages anytime I want, with no new marketing costs. I can sell things to these people over and over again, and all of that money comes back as pure profit.”
- Traffic you control — This includes traffic that you pay for (email ads, pay-per-click, banner ads, native ads, affiliate and joint ventures); you can control where that traffic goes and where it comes from. In Russell’s words, “If I purchase an ad on Google, I don’t own that traffic (Google does), but I can control it by buying an ad and then sending those who click on that ad anywhere I want.”
- Traffic you don’t control — This traffic comes from various places and you have no control over it. Here’s Russell: “The last type of traffic just shows up, and I don’t have any control over where it came from or where it goes. For example, if someone mentions my book on Facebook, their followers may search my name in Google, and they may land on some random page in my blog. I didn’t have control over any part of that sequence of events.”
The savvy online marketer tries to turn as much of the other two types of traffic into traffic that they own — which usually means adding the person to their email list.
That’s why it’s important to always get the person’s email address at the start of your sales funnel — then, even if they abandon their cart, you’ve still increased the size of your most important asset: the traffic that you own.
Why is your email list so valuable?
Check out Russell’s explanation:
“As my list started to grow, so did my income. The first month, I was able to get about two hundred people to join my list, and I made just a little over two hundred dollars that month. When I had increased my list to about one thousand people, I started to average about one thousand dollars per month. When I got my list to ten thousand people, I was averaging over ten thousand dollars per month! And those numbers have stayed pretty consistent now that we have well over five hundred thousand people on the lists.”
In other words, you can expect to average about $1 per subscriber per month.
To learn more about how you can build an email list, get a free copy of DotCom Secrets.
6. Create a Soap Opera Sequence
Okay. So you have an email list and you know that you can make about $1 per subscriber per month…
But what are you going to send to that email list?
That’s what these next few marketing tips are about.
This first one is about creating what we call a “Soap Opera Sequence” — this sequence will be the first set of emails that you send to anyone who joins your list. It’ll consist of 5-7 emails, one email per day.
Although soap operas seem a little ridiculous to new viewers, they are undeniably effective at holding people’s attention.
They do so by creating drama — each episode resolves an open storyline arch from the last episode and ends by creating a new open storyline arch that makes the viewer want to come back for the next episode.
This is exactly what you want to do with your soap opera sequence.
Russell Brunson explains this in DotCom Secrets:
“We’re going to use the same story structure and elements to create your email sequence. The goal is to create an instant bond between your attractive character and the person reading the email. If your first email is boring, you’re done. They probably won’t open the next one. But if you give them something interesting and hook them with an open storyline in the first email, then they will look forward to the next one, and the next, and the next.”
The basic format goes like this…
- 1st Email: Set The Stage — This email thanks the subscribers for signing up, sets expectations for the upcoming emails, and builds suspense for tomorrow’s email.
- 2nd Email: Open with High Drama — This email starts with a lot of drama. You dive into an interesting story that immediately grabs the reader’s attention. You then tell them that you discovered the solution to the problem within your story… but that they’ll have to read tomorrow’s email to find out what it was.
- 3rd Email: Epiphany — Relating back to your story, you explain the epiphany you had, and the way you realized you could solve your problem (this is your product or service). You can then point them toward a free resource to learn more about your product or service.
- 4th Email: Hidden Benefits — This next email, the goal is to point out the hidden benefits of your product or service (i.e. your solution); the benefits that they probably haven’t even considered yet. Then you can point them toward your primary CTA.
- 5th Email: Urgency and CTA — Finally, you create urgency for the reader and push them to take action. Maybe your Webinar starts and ends tomorrow, maybe you have a limited number of products, or maybe you’re pulling the offer down soon. Urgency works. So use it!
Each email pulls the reader into the following email until, in the final few emails, the person is encouraged to purchase your frontend product or service.
It works like a charm.
For a more detailed breakdown of the soap opera sequence (with examples!), get a free copy of DotCom Secrets.
7. Daily Seinfeld Emails
Obviously, your soap opera sequence isn’t the only thing you should send to your email list.
The entire time that someone is on your email list, you should be sending out offers, updates, stories, and free gifts.
The more you engage with your audience, the more that they’re going to engage with (and buy from) you.
Of course, emailing consistently can be a bit of a chore.
That’s why Russell created the Daily Seinfeld email marketing philosophy — he sends one email every day that’s 90% entertainment and just 10% content.
“When I first started growing my list, I really struggled to send emails. What did I have to say that was important enough that people would want to open and read it? So I started focusing on writing great, content-packed emails that often took days to write. I thought that was the answer. But I later discovered that… what readers responded to was… 90% entertainment and 10% content… my readership, opens, clicks, and sales all skyrocketed with the change.”
Here’s an example of this philosophy in action…
He tells a story, ties it into his product, and ends with a CTA.
The best part is that these emails don’t take long to write since they can literally be about anything — the only requirement is that you offer your audience one of your products or services at the end of every email and, ideally, it somehow relates to the story you told.
Give it a try!
If you want to learn more about creating daily Seinfeld Emails, get a free copy of DotCom Secrets.
8. Build an Affiliate Army
What if influencers in your niche were selling your products for you?
Wouldn’t that make the job of marketing your products and services 100 times easier?
Well, that’s a strategy we’ve used at ClickFunnels — we’ve built an army of affiliate marketers who we pay up to 40% recurring commission for every customer they refer to us…
And it’s been worth every penny.
Now, if you search for “ClickFunnels review” in YouTube or Google or most other search engines, you’re going to come across quite a few ClickFunnels affiliate marketers who are selling our software for us!
You can use the Dream 100 process to create your own affiliate army — make a list of 100 or more influencers in your niche who you’d love to turn into affiliates.
Then put together your affiliate program, create a sales funnel your affiliates can use, pitch those influencers, and give them their unique links.
It’ll take a bit of time to set up… but it’ll be well worth it when affiliates are selling your products and services for you.
9. Master Copywriting: Hook, Story, Offer
Images might catch a person’s attention.
But it’s the words you say (whether through video or through writing) that convince a person to take action.
This is called copywriting.
And mastering copywriting is critical if you want to generate leads and make sales online.
Fortunately, it’s not as hard as it sounds.
After looking at hundreds of sales pages, Russell Brunson realized that all of his most successful sales copy followed the same format: hook, story, offer.
Check out the video below…
Here’s a brief overview of the hook, story, offer format (with an example)…
Hook — You hook the person with an irresistible headline that builds curiosity and makes them want to keep reading.
Story — Then you tell a story that relates to the challenges and struggles your target market is going through. You show them that you understand where they’re coming from.
Offer — Finally, you reveal the solution you discovered (your products or services) and offer it to the visitor for an irresistible deal.
You can use this system to quickly create compelling copy for any sales page.
10. Host a Webinar
Webinars are one of our favorite marketing tactics here at ClickFunnels — they have probably driven more lead-gen and sales than any other mode of marketing!
Our Secrets Masterclass, for example…
… had a 30% conversion rate and has landed us tons of new leads and clients.
For obvious reasons, then, we recommend hosting a webinar of your own 😉
Of course, deciding what your webinar should be about, hosting an effective webinar, and making sales at the end is a science all its own.
Which is why we created our Perfect Webinar Training — for just $7, you can learn how to plan, promote, and host a highly profitable webinar.
11. Free Book + Shipping
On each of those sales funnels, the visitor is offered a free bestselling book. We just ask them to pay the shipping and handling costs (which is usually about $9).
Why do we use these so often?
For a few reasons.
First of all, they make conversion really easy. If you’re selling a high-value book for just $9 (when most bestselling books sell for closer to $20 or $30), that’s a pretty low pricing threshold.
Second of all, asking the customer to pay for shipping and handling covers all of our overhead costs — so we’re essentially generating free leads and giving the new customer a free product.
And finally, books allow you to provide value, build rapport, and indoctrinate your audience in a way that few other resources do.
All of Russell’s books are packed with tons of free value… but they also explain the need for sales funnels and why ClickFunnels is the best tool for building high-converting sales funnels.
In other words, with free book + shipping offers, we’re growing our email list, acquiring new customers, and engaging with our audience… all for free.
Try it out!
12. Start a Referral Program
Just check out these stats…
- 92% of consumers trust suggestions from friends and family more than advertising.
- 74% of consumers say word of mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decisions.
So why not encourage your existing customers to refer your products and services to their friends with a referral program?
Evernote does it…
Zenefits does it…
Wayfair does it…
And they do it because it works!
Consider building your own referral program where you reward customers for telling their friends and family about your brand — nothing is quite as powerful as a personal recommendation!
13. Run a Giveaway
For lead-generation, giveaways are a great marketing tactic.
If you promote the giveaway adequately, then you could generate thousands of leads for the price of advertising costs plus one item that you’re giving away.
Here’s an example…
However, a word of caution.
When you’re creating a giveaway, it’s important that you choose to give away something that only your target market (your dream customers) will really want.
Otherwise you could easily generate a lot of low-quality leads.
Imagine if you gave away a free laptop but your business sells dog treats… those things have nothing to do with each other.
So choose something that will appeal specifically to your dream customers and try hosting a giveaway. It’s a great way to generate leads and build brand awareness.
14. Facebook Ads (With a Twist)
Facebook ads are one of the best paid ways to drive traffic, generate leads, and make sales.
In fact, we run a ton of Facebook ads at ClickFunnels!
But how do you know what to say in the Facebook ad?
How do you know what sales copy is going to get the most clicks?
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could examine your competitors’ most successful Facebook ads and just mimic whatever they’re doing?
Well… you can.
Go to your competitor’s Facebook page, scroll down, and click on Page Transparency…
Then “Go to Ad Library”
From here, you can look at all of the ads that that Facebook page is running or has run in the past…
Pretty sweet, right?
Now you don’t have to second guess your advertising messages or strategy. Just look at what the competitors are doing and see if the same tactics work for your business.
To some degree, marketing a business is always a matter of trial and error — even if you pulled the idea from a niche competitor, it might not perform for your business like it did for theirs. Other tactics might generate sales and leads, though, in a way that they didn’t for your competitors.
So you’ve got to try.
And if it doesn’t work, you’ve got to try again… until it does work.
That’s the process.
Choose something from the list above, put on your work boots, and give it a shot!