The 10 Million Dollar Team

1614

Randy Reid, editor of Dojo Nation Times interviews mega -successful multi-school owner Master John Bussard. Enjoy!

DN:  First off, I want to congratulate you on your success. It seems like MAST is really the go-to place these days for summer camp and after school in guidance and consulting.

Dwayne: Thank you very much. We are excited to have helped so many school owners in such a short amount of time achieve a great amount of success in this industry. And it’s very rewarding.

Erica: Yes, thanks Randy. We appreciate the recognition and are looking forward to seeing it grow even more in the coming years.

DN: So I don’t remember, but when exactly did MAST launch?

Dwayne: MAST launched approximately, let’s say, about a year and a month ago.

DN: I was thinking it was about a year. And Ericka, as you know, I was kind of skeptical, being the editor of Dojo Nation Times, a couple of times a month I get calls from people who are going to be the next big thing in consulting or have the next must-have program for martial arts schools. I was kind of negative in thinking this thing was going to work, but you certainly proved me wrong ten times over. What do you think has made you guys so successful when so many others really haven’t done that well?

Ericka: I believe you lectured me for about 45 minutes telling me all of the reasons why MAST was a terrible idea and why it would fail. There are really three key components that have caused MAST to help our school owners be so successful. The first one is structure. We have a proven system that works in just about every state across the country. We have members in almost every state and the system works. The second key component is accountability and really creating a high level of accountability with our Mastermind members making sure they are following the system and have the support they need. The third component, which is the most important, is that we actually care. So, it’s really important to us to have the highest level of service for our members and for all of our members to be a part of what we call our MAST family.

Dwayne: Absolutely, I’d like to piggyback on that. We are also very selective in who we choose to work with. There is a level of exclusivity that comes with MAST. We want to only work with the top school owners who are committed to their success and who are willing to be action takers and see the big picture. They are the ones who impact as many lives as possible in their communities and they have to be a good fit for our culture. When that all comes together, success is virtually guaranteed at that point.

DN: I’ve been privileged to see a little bit behind the curtain because I’m very good friends with Ericka’s father. I got to know you guys, and I got to know you, Dwayne, a little last year. And I’m aware that you’ve gone so far to dismiss some clients and some that were pretty financially lucrative for you and you dismissed them from the organization because they just weren’t fitting your model and your values. That’s pretty impressive. Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of people come and go; they seem like their first order of business was how much they were going to make. They were dollar-focused. Obviously you guys are going in a different area and it seems to be working.

Dwayne: The biggest thing for us is that we maintain the integrity of our program so that we can meet our goals and continue to serve our clients at the highest level. Part of that is maintaining the integrity of the group. We have to have people to be action takers and people who merge well with our existing members. Because there is a very powerful mastermind that we’ve created, everybody has a high level of trust for one another. They all get along. They work together. As Ericka and I always say, we have a culture that as we climb, we lift people with us. That’s how we all go to the next level.

Ericka: And for us, that’s a virtual business dojo. If you have a student who comes through your front door and wants to pay you whatever they want to pay you, but they aren’t willing to learn and they aren’t coachable and good for the culture, it’s good for a school owner to dismiss that student. We encourage our MAST members to only accept the best and we lead by example. We only accept the best school owners who are coachable and willing to learn and give and collaborate and share with other high-level school owners.

DN: You’ve guys have let me in to see your MASTermind group and I followed what’s going on within that week. I’m amazed at a couple of things. Mostly I’m amazed at the success you’re having but just as importantly is that the martial arts dojo field is working together. You just don’t see a lot of that these days. Because of that, they are pushing each other and striving and you’ve got some real success stories. Not one or two– you’ve got a lot of them. I know a couple of people personally and a couple of my black belts are in there. They have improved dramatically from where they were. Let’s talk about a couple of your clients. I’ve seen a couple that have been involved in that and have been very successful. Rob Pushard. He’s out of a very small town in Maine if I remember.

Dwayne: That is correct. The hometown that he is in has an approximate population for 2,000 maybe 3,000.

DN: And he had just implemented this program hadn’t he?

Dwayne: That’s correct. When he had originally come to us, he had never hosted a full-scale all-day summer camp. He quickly sold about 500 weeks. In his second summer, he’s approaching 1,000 weeks. This is incredible. He has already sold out his after school program from the 2016/2017 school year. He has taken more vacations in his life in the last year than he has in the last 10 years. Most importantly, in my opinion, is that he’s had the opportunity to empower his oldest son to run the entire business. His son’s name is Caleb. He’s still a teenager and he’s doing a phenomenal job. So this has really changed their entire lives both for their business and personal lives. It’s been incredible.

Ericka: Rob is in year two. In year one, within 9 months I believe, he generated about an additional $160,000 of revenue just by coming on board with MAST and of course taking lots of action, following the system and implementing. That was just in adding after school and summer camps. And on our MAST campus, which is what we call it, we take school owners and put them through college courses for after school and summer camp business models but on our MAST campus, we have a three- to seven-year path path and Rob is in year two of that. He’s a really good representation. Year one is to implement the system, get the team familiarized and getting everything including the structure in place. Year two is where we really see school owners like Rob blow it up. They register a ton of kids and their profit goes through the roof. It’s systemized, running well, which is why he’s able to take vacations. In year three is where most school owners look to expand to multiple locations and that’s where we see them hit the seven figure mark.

Dwayne: Most of the members that we’ve had that are major action takers, have easily added $100,000 or more additional revenue to their business within the first year of being part of MAST.

DN: And then you have another guy, Max Hein. Where is he from?

Dwayne: Max is from Binghamton outside of Syracuse, a rural upstate New York town. When Max originally joined us, they had also never done summer camps or hosted a large after school program. I mean they were basically getting started for the very first time. He had a Tae Kwon Do background and a moderately successful Tae Kwon Do school. And we joined forces and they’ve done an incredible job. He and his wife run the company together. An interesting statistic is that last year their growth during the summer months was $6,500. This year during the summer after they’ve joined MAST, they’re approaching $160,000 in revenue just in the summer months.

DN: $154,900 in 90 days – that’s a big switch!

Ericka: Yeah, that’s just from summer camps. That doesn’t include their martial arts. When they came on board with us, I believe Max said his revenue was between $2,500 and $3,000 per month total. To date, the last time we spoke with him and went to visit his school in Binghamton, he’s growing about $20,000 per month.

DN: Wow, good for him.

Dwayne: He purchased a new house and a new BMW, and again it’s been a huge life change for him and his wife.

Ericka: And they are having a baby!

DN: So this success couldn’t come at a better time for them. When you hear stories like that, I think when you are in a small town, you are limited based on demographics and population. Being able to bring in another revenue source, I don’t care where you are at, is always amazing. I know my girlfriend’s school is doing very well with her after school and summer camp programs, too, so they can really be a big asset on that. What is your feeling for the direction that his after school summer camp market within martial arts is going to go within the next few years?

Ericka:  I really feel, just like anything, that there is an evolution that happens in all businesses. After school and summer camp are the next evolution for the martial arts industry. Let’s face it, the whole overcoming objections and enrolling students for evening classes and building value has played out. The next wave for successful school owners is going to be the ones that are ready to step up and evolve and ready to tap into the necessity. Parents will always need after school care and they will always need summer camps because there will always be jobs whether it’s a good economy or a recession. So a smart marital arts school owner will see the trend and will understand that if they want to make their business recession-proof and wildly successful, they are going to need something that taps into the need like after school and summer camps.

Dwayne: One thing that’s really exciting is people who are willing to take action. We have proven systems, accountability, expert coaching and an amazing mastermind. When all of that comes together with their action ability, success is bound to happen. What we have really encountered is that we see a lot of martial arts school owners who are burned out. We see people who have lost their spark and forgotten the reason why they wanted to open a martial arts school in the first place. Yet after they’ve met with us, they’ve been motivated and inspired to level up and take a quantum leap and move forward to setting larger goals than ever before. The after school program has been a vehicle to help them get there. It’s creating more income, more opportunities. They are creating more jobs in their community. It’s a win-win all around and these owners feel invigorated and they get that drive and that motivation back and that’s what’s important.

Ericka: And on the other end of the spectrum, we are also attracting a whole new breed of younger school owners who are very passionate about martial arts. They’re very passionate about changing lives. There are even some millennials who have opened schools because they have been inspired by their instructors. I see what’s happening in the in the industry is these younger school owners who are savvy with the social media, who are coachable, who follow the system and who are driven, are going to become the super powers in martial arts. And the school owners who are unwilling to change, who have been burned one too many times in the past, who aren’t coachable and think that they know it all, they are going to see a major decline in business unless they decide to make a change…and decide to become a while belt again in a new way of doing business.

DN: I agree and you guys have taken a lot of these people who thought they couldn’t get into this business or were afraid of it or didn’t have the knowledge base, to take that step, and now they are kind of coming out of the woodwork. I know you guys are absolutely swamped in your business right now. Speaking of your business, tell me about the future of MAST. You guys have been extremely successful in the last 12 months. I mean you’ve just had a shooting start. Where do you think this is going to head in the future or is it a secret?

Dwayne: No, we are happy to share. First we’d like to acknowledge that our success is directly related to the amount of success that we’ve helped our clients to achieve. We wouldn’t be where we are today as a company if it wasn’t for the system, the accountability and the coaching and the success that they have received. So, first and foremost, we’d like to thank them. Where we are going in the future, we are going to continue to work with the top school owners. We are going to work with people who are well-established, with people who are just getting started, but who are coachable. And we are going to continue to evolve our culture into being the best school owners in the industry, providing the best summer camps and after school programs and really just revolutionizing the way the entire industry looks at after school and summer camps. We will continue to keep doing what we are doing.

Ericka: Yeah, and I can tell you that MAST is becoming more exclusive. That part I’ll leave a little secretive. But we are. We’ve had so much success with our clients and so many people who are trying to come on board. Just like anything, just like after school program, when you are sold out, you start creating limiters for people who are really most motivated to be successful and to be a part of the program. So we continue to grow our culture because that’s what it is. We are a culture of always growing, always moving forward and as Dwayne said earlier, lifting others as we climb the ladder to success.

Dwayne: One thing to look out for, to add to the calendar, to look forward to, is our upcoming 2017 three-day conference. We host where we go in-depth on after school and summer camps. This is going to be one of the largest events in that particular industry. More details will be coming out soon. We do anticipate a complete sold out audience for that event. It’s going to be life-changing.

DN: Do you have a date for that yet?

Dwayne: It will be February 10-12, so again, a three-day event and that will be hosted in Tampa, Florida.

DN: Ok gang, once again, you guys are the first people to be on Dojo Nation Times twice and the reason I did this is strictly based on the feedback from your clients and the things you do for them. I find it encouraging and enlightening to see somebody have this many happy people who are being guided and helped in the right way by good people. That’s why I thought it was important that we talk again.

Dwayne and Erica: We are honored. We appreciate you, Randy, and Dojo Nation Times. Our goal is to align with the other leaders in the industry who are looking to serve at the highest level. We know you are doing the same thing and we appreciate you.

Why You Should be Doing SMS Marketing Right Now

204
Diverse people holding emoticon

What does your marketing mix include?

If you’re like most local businesses, you’re probably doing a mix of online and offline marketing. You might be engaging with customers on social media, hosting local events, blogging, and advertising in the local paper. Perhaps you’ve even targeted mobile customers by using Facebook’s “Call Now” button on your ads.

But guess what? There’s one thing that you’re probably not doing that could help you connect with customers when they’re most likely to stop by your business. And you might not even have considered it.

I’m talking about SMS messaging, more commonly known as text messaging.

More than 2.5 billion people worldwide own a smart phone that’s capable of text messaging. That’s a staggering number – and it begs the question:

Why aren’t more small businesses using text messaging for marketing?

Texting by the Numbers

Text messaging has the potential to be a marketing superstar for your business. To get an idea of just how effective it can be, check out these statistics:

  • 89% of people always have their smart phone accessible
  • 97% of Americans text at least once a day
  • Texting is the #1 communication method used by people under 50 years old
  • 82% of text messages are read within 5 minutes of receipt

That last statistic is particularly important, especially when you consider that consumers open only about 25% of the emails they receive.

People send and receive text messages. They give them priority over other communication, and they spend more time texting than they do talking on their phones.

In other words, text messaging is arguably the best way to ensure that the people in your target audience read what you send them.

Advantages of SMS Marketing

You know people are likely to read your text messages – but what are the other advantages of incorporating text messages into your marketing mix? Here are five that I think are key:

  1. You can track SMS messages the same way you would any other marketing campaign using web-based tools like SlickText.
  2. You can collect data about your text list by creating interactive content that allows them to reply to your messages quickly and easily.
  3. Text messaging provides nearly instantaneous results and stats for you to use to fine-tune your campaigns.
  4. Text messaging can be casual and personalized with direct language and even emoji to build a relationship with the people you text.
  5. Text messages are a great way to connect with your audience when they’re most likely to be in your area or in the market for what you’re selling.

A good example of time-sensitive text messaging might be a restaurant or bar texting out a Happy Hour coupon at about the time most people are getting out of work. They might be planning to head out for a drink or a bite anyway, and you can provide them with a nudge to choose your establishment over others in the area.

How to Get Subscribers for Your SMS List

By law, you cannot send a text message to anybody who has not signed up for your list. That means that you must find ways to attract new subscribers. Here are some helpful suggestions to get started.

The first and potentially easiest way to find new subscribers is to add a cell phone field to your existing opt-in form on your website. You can include a message letting people know that if they choose to provide you with a cell phone number, they’re agreeing to receive text messages from you.

Another option is to promote your SMS list in store with large print posters, flyers and other print media encouraging your customers to sign up for exclusive discounts & offers.  Make sure to mention what some of those exclusive offers might be.

You may also want to send out an email to your current email list and give your subscribers a link to sign up to receive text messages from you. Here again, it’s a good idea to tempt them by letting them know you’ll be sending out special coupons and deals via text message.

Using these methods, it shouldn’t take you very long to build up a sizable SMS messaging list.

Tips for Successful SMS Messaging Campaigns

Text message marketing has a lot in common with other forms of marketing. To be successful, you must conceptualize a strong campaign based on your knowledge of your subscribers, create compelling content, and track your results. Here are some tips that may help you.

  1. Understand your audience. You may want to create a quick survey for your email list or social media followers to find out what kind of content they would like to receive via text message.
  2. Keep your messages short and sweet. People are more likely to read your messages if they’re brief and compelling. A good rule of thumb is to make them about the same length as a Tweet – no more than 280 characters.
  3. Offer mobile-exclusive deals to your subscribers. These might include exclusive coupons, discounts, and sales especially for your mobile customers.
  4. Use casual language that speaks directly to the recipient. Most important, use “you” and “your,” which underscore that the exclusivity of your list and make customers feel valued.
  5. Don’t be afraid to bring some humor into your texts. It’s a casual form of communication and people like to laugh – but of course, keep it PG-rated and steer away from controversial topics.
  6. Add a few emoji to your texts. People use them in their personal texts and they can add personality and fun to your marketing campaign.  
  7. Track your results and tweak your campaigns as needed.

Some text messaging providers to try include SlickText, SumoText, and SimpleTexting. You want a provider with affordable prices, an intuitive dashboard, and great analytics.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that if you’re not using SMS messaging to reach your audience, you’re missing out on a chance to build brand loyalty and increase your sales. Text messages are inexpensive to send and easy to write – and they can help you grow your business.

How Much Are Your Customers Worth? (Hint: It’s More Than You Think)

188

You’ve got to spend money to make money.

That’s they say, right? And yet, for some small business owners, a generous marketing budget just isn’t in the cards.

You can skimp on marketing, but I’m willing to bet you haven’t considered something that you should be thinking about…

And that’s the lifetime value of each loyal customer you attract with your marketing campaigns.

You know that it costs more to attract a new customer than it does to retain an existing one – but how much can you really afford to spend to attract a new customer?

Knowing the lifetime value of your customers is the key to creating a workable budget for marketing. That number should dictate how much you spend. Spend too much and you’re losing money in the long run. Spend too little – and you’re missing out on an opportunity to grow your business.

How to Calculate Your Lifetime Customer Value

Don’t know how to calculate the lifetime value of your customers? Here’s a simple, five-step process to get to the number you need.

  1. Start with your company’s total revenue in the past year and divide it by the total number of purchases in the same period. The resulting number is your average purchase value.
  2. Next, take your total number of purchases in the past year and divide it by the number of unique customers who made purchases. The resulting number is your average purchase frequency rate. (Note: if you make a log of cash sales and don’t request an email, then this number may not be accurate.)
  3. Take your average purchase value and subtract the average purchase frequency rate from it. That gives you the customer value per year.
  4. Calculate the average number of years a customer continues to buy from you. If you’ve been tracking unique purchases this shouldn’t be difficult. This number is the average customer lifespan.
  5. Now, multiply the customer value by the average customer lifespan to get the lifetime value of your customer.

Let’s look at an example. Here are your raw numbers:

  • $100,000 in annual revenue
  • 250 purchases
  • 150 unique customers

Your average purchase value would be $400 . You would then take that number and divide it by 150 to get your average purchase frequency rate, which is 2.67.

Next, you would subtract your average purchase frequency rate from your average purchase value to get $397.33, your customer value per year. If you kept your customers, on average, for 10 years, your customer lifetime value would be $3,973.30.

That’s a very simple example but it illustrates the point. This business has a lifetime customer value of nearly $4,000.

How to use Customer Lifetime Value in Marketing

You know your customer lifetime value – now what?

The short answer is that you’ve got a piece of information that can help you attract more customers and make better use of your marketing budget.

But… what does that mean in practical terms? Here are some actionable ways to use your CLV to your advantage in marketing.

Identify Your Most Profitable Customers

If you’ve been tracking unique customer data, then it’s worth your time to crunch the numbers and learn about who your most valuable customers are.

For example, you might look at your LCV by:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Location
  • Income

These basic demographics can help you do a better job of targeting your marketing campaigns to the people who are most likely to be profitable to you in the long run.

Identify Your Most Profitable Marketing Channel

You should also calculate your most profitable marketing channel based on the number of new customers you acquire.

Perhaps you have been running marketing campaigns on:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Google AdWords
  • Pinterest

Crunching the numbers might reveal that your spending on Google AdWords is earning you a significantly lower return than your Facebook advertising. Knowing that can help you take the next step.

Increase Your New Customer Acquisition Spending

It costs more to attract new customers than to retain existing ones, but once you know your LCV, you may discover that your new customer acquisition spending is on the low side.

You don’t need to send your spending through the roof. However, you can and should look at what you’re spending compared to the LCV you’ve calculated. If you’re spending only a tiny fraction of the LCV to acquire a new customer, it may be worthwhile to spend a bit more in that area going forward.

Allocate Your Marketing Budget to Maximize Customer Value

Your lifetime customer value might not be as high as you want it to be. The good news is that there are things you can do to increase it.

For example, say that you have learned that the people who follow you on Facebook are your most engaged and profitable customers. That’s great information to have.

Instead of sinking money into something that might not be getting you a big return, you can allocate more of your marketing budget to Facebook. Some if may go toward attracting new customers, but you should also spend some trying to get existing customers to buy more frequently and spend more money.

One way to do that is to offer return customers discounts or to create a loyalty program. If you can inspire your existing customers to buy more often, then you’ll be driving up your LCV every time they do.

At the same time, incentivizing your existing customers may also attract new customers to your business. You can encourage your followers to invite their friends to your page or allow them to share a discount code or coupon with their friends.

Your Customers Are Valuable

Every customer you have contributes to your company’s success and profitability. Understanding just how much each customer is worth to you can help you do a better job of attracting new customers, increasing their lifetime value, and maximizing your profits.

Facebook Groups – The Foolproof Way to Get Around Facebook’s Page Algorithm

274

In February of 2018, Facebook announced plans to prioritize personal content and de-prioritize content from pages. That means that if you’ve got a Facebook page for your local business, your content is only being seen by a very small percentage of your followers unless you pay to promote it.

Nothing to be done, right? It’s one of those things that you can’t control… or is it?

It turns out there’s a super-easy (and FREE) way to connect with both existing and potential customers on Facebook without paying to promote your content. It involves creating a Facebook group to promote your brand. Here’s what you need to know.

Group Content is Prioritized Ahead of Brand Content  

The first thing you need to know is that Facebook has downgraded content posted by company and brand pages. However, it still prioritizes content from groups.

Why? Well, the short answer is that people must voluntarily opt in to a group.

You might be thinking that users have voluntarily followed your page, too – and that’s true. But Facebook views groups differently than pages. It has to do with the purpose of a group:

A group’s purpose is to promote conversation and build a community.

You might want your page to do that, too, but Facebook assumes that the primary goal of a page is to sell a product or service. That’s an important distinction.

In other words, by creating a Facebook group, you can build your brand and engage with customers without worrying that members won’t see your content.

Not convinced? There’s actually research to support the idea that groups are a better way to reach your audience than pages. A study by Digiterati revealed that groups get approximately 50% more reach than pages.

Creating a Group is Easy

You can create a Facebook group from your personal Facebook page. In fact, the process is very similar to the one for creating a Facebook page like the one you have for your business.

Simply go to the upper, right-hand corner of your Facebook page and click the little down arrow there. You’ll see an option to Create Group. Click it and follow the steps.

It’s important to choose a memorable, brand-specific name for your group. You don’t want to give it the same name as your page, but you do want it to appear in the search results when people search for your business.

The title should be inspired by the content you’ll be posting. So, if you run a dog grooming business, you might offer dog care tips and incorporate that into your group name, like this:

Fancy Dog Groomer’s Dog Care Advice

In other words, combine your business with name with some compelling, buzzy words to make people want to join your group.

Invite People to Join  

You’ve created a group… but what’s next?

That’s easy. It’s time to invite some people to join. Here are some easy ways to jump-start your group and get new members:

  1. Send group invitations to everyone who follows your business page.
  2. Send invitations to your personal connections on Facebook.
  3. Send an email to your list with a link to your group and an invitation to join.
  4. If you have a Twitter account for your business, Tweet an invitation to your followers.

It’s likely that a significant percentage of your followers will join the group. Once they’ve done that, you can also post content in the group encouraging members to send out invitations.

Create Compelling Content

Once you’ve created your group and invited some members, it’s time to create content. Remember, the primary goal of group content is to drive engagement. You want members to be talking to you and to one another.

Facebook has a tool to create Welcome posts. Underneath Members on the toolbar, click Write Post. Facebook will automatically tag up to 100 new members (in this context, new means that they have joined in the past seven days) in the post. If you prefer, you can write a general welcome post and ask new members to introduce themselves in the comments.

Here are some other suggestions for engaging group content:

  1. Inspirational posts can be a good way to engage your members. For example, if you’re a life coach, you might post something inspirational on a Monday morning and then ask group members what they do to keep themselves motivated.
  2. Tips and advice can also make great content. You can share things that you’ve picked up while running your business and then ask members if they have anything to add – or if they’ve tried any of the things you’ve suggested.
  3. Community discussions can drive engagement and make your group page a lively place to be. You might post a question or conversational topic and then ask members to chime in with their answers or opinions.
  4. Q & A posts are great for getting people involved. Creating a post can be a simple as saying “I know people have questions about ______. Post them in the comments and I’ll answer them!” Only do a post like this on a day when you have the time to respond promptly.
  5. Depending on the kind of business you run, you may want to share success stories from members. For example, if you do local marketing, you could share a story from a member who killed it with a marketing campaign. And if you sell a product, you could share photos of members using what they bought.

The content you create will have a direct impact on the success of your group.

Social Learning Groups

Do you have the kind of business that lends itself to the creation of video courses? If you do, you might want to check out Facebook’s new Social Learning Groups feature, which enables groups to add video courses to their group pages.

To add courses, go to the Edit Group Settings tab and choose Group Type. Then, select Social Learning Group from the menu.

From there, you can create new Units for your courses. They can be optional or mandatory, and if they’re mandatory, users will see a progress bar to track their accomplishments.

The great thing about this feature is that you can upload courses or webinars you have already created or create new content. You can find a full guide on how to use this feature here.

Groups Are the New Pages

The bottom line is that Facebook Groups are to businesses today what Facebook Pages were five years ago. They offer an inexpensive but effective way to connect with current and prospective clients, build your brand, and grow your business.

How to Turn Your Website Into a 24/7 Sales Machine

201

Having a great-looking website that represents your company is enough to keep your business healthy and growing – right?

If only it were that simple. The sad truth is that most local businesses aren’t doing everything they can to generate leads online. And, it all starts with their websites, which – let’s face it – aren’t getting the job done.

In fact, I’ll take it a step further. If you’re not opening your inbox to find new leads from your website every day, you might as well not have a website.

The good news is, you can change that. Your website might be basic or have all the bells and whistles. It might be years old or freshly designed. No matter what it looks like, you can make it better and turn it into a 24-hour marketing machine.

I’m not going to bore you with the same old advice you’ve heard a million times. You know that your site needs great content and a killer call to action. Instead, let’s dig into some of the next-level stuff you can do to kick your website’s lead-generating power into high gear.

Do a Complete Website Audit for SEO and User Experience

Audits. Nobody likes them, but they’re necessary if you want to fine-tune your website and get more leads than you are now.

A website audit should look at two things. The first thing is SEO. You want to make sure that:

  • Each page on your site is optimized for a local keyword
  • You’ve completed every tag and you’re using your keywords in them
  • You’ve written a killer meta description for every page
  • Your site is free of broken links and spammy links
  • You’ve got a good system of internal links

The second element of your audit should focus on the user experience. You may even want to hire testers to pinpoint roadblocks on your site. If your pages take too long to load or your site is difficult to understand, user testing can help you get to the bottom of it. You can find a list of effective usability tools here, including some that will allow you to create heat maps of your site even mimic the eye movements of users.

Use Responsive Content  

For many local businesses, creating one-size-fits-all content is the goal. It’s certainly easier to do that than to work on unique content based on the user’s preferences and needs. But I’ll let you in on a secret: it’s also holding you back in terms of conversions.

You have two basic options when it comes to tailoring your content to a visitor’s interests:

  1. Create separate landing pages for each product or service you provide and then craft a marketing campaign around them; or
  2. Have visitors to your home page check boxes to identify their interests and then display responsive content tailored to their selections.

The first method is the old-school way of marketing. The second is something that’s become increasingly popular.

Here’s a simple example of responsive content. This martial arts school prompts visitors to choose a program on the home page. Once they do, they get a page of content where they can choose “pain points” to see the benefits of the program.

Once they finish choosing, the page would display information related to their choices, including benefits and frequently asked questions like this:

Writing this type of content doesn’t take any more time than it would take to write individual pages of content. It ensures that every visitor to your site feels that they matter. You can even offer lead magnets that are tailored to each product if you choose.

Live Updates and Chat

What happens when someone visits your website outside of your regular business hours? If the answer is that visitors are greeted with a static site that does nothing to acknowledge their presence, then it might be time for an update.

Interactive and live content can help you engage new visitors to your site and give the impression that you’re there to serve them even if you’re at home with your family. There are two simple changes you can make that will engage visitors at any time of day.

The first is by providing live updates. That means displaying a notification any time someone new fills out your contact form or buys your product. This is something we’ve been seeing on some sales pages as well as on website home pages.

To see an example, check out the website for Inspire Martial Arts in Burbank, CA. They display a notification that reads, “Jane from Burbank requested information about our classes.” If your site gets a decent amount of traffic, these notifications will capture visitors’ attention and create a sense of urgency.

The second option is live chat. You’ve probably noticed live chat windows popping up on some of the websites you visit. They often have a greeting, something like “Hi! How can we help you?”

The technology behind this type of live chat is actually less complicated (and less expensive) than you might think. It’s basically a chatbot that can be programmed with simple answers to your most commonly asked questions. If you’ve got an online store, your chatbot can even make product suggestions.

It might surprise you to learn that there are programs that will allow you to design your own chatbot. Of course, you can pay a programmer – and you may need to if you want your bot to engage in complex interactions. But if all you want is a simple bot to give the impression that you’re available at all times, you can check out this article for more information on DIY options.

FAQs and Self Service

If it’s been a long time since you updated your FAQs, then reviewing them and adding some updated information with internal links to your lead forms and sales pages can go a long way toward helping your website generate leads.

Not sure which questions to answer? Try checking your social media pages for ideas. Your followers probably ask questions and if several people ask the same question, it should be part of your FAQ.

A related issue is self-service options. The more information you provide on your site, the more likely it is that visitors will want to buy from you. Providing articles, links, infographics, and other information can help you keep visitors engaged and increase your conversions.

Conclusion

There’s no reason your website shouldn’t be generating leads around the clock. In addition to the usual advice about your content, images, design, and call to action, the four areas we’ve outlined here can help you engage visitors, get more leads, and ultimately, close more sales.

Welcome to the DNT Family!

Just pop your e-mail in below, it's FREE!

Dojo Nation Times: Move Forward-Give Back

You have Successfully Subscribed! Click the square top right to close this window.