Webhook in action?
Hi, is there a way to call an API as an action?
I understand it is available as a trigger, but can I call a webhook as an action?
Hi, is there a way to call an API as an action?
I understand it is available as a trigger, but can I call a webhook as an action?
Hello everyone, I need your help. For some reason the Facebook connection is no longer working. It crashed and started showing a timeout message
On facebook APIWAY is connected and with permissions.
Srs., Help-me please!!!!
I already deleted the connection on both APIWAY and facebook.
When making a new connection to APIWAY to restart the whole process, I received the message YOU ARE CONECECTED. But, in the process of returning the Facebook environment to APIWAY, it seems that an error occurs.
after being successfully connected to facebook, on return I am redirected to the url below
After several seconds, I return to the APIWAY page with the following message:
Application is not connected. Error:cURL error 35: error:140773E8:SSL routines:SSL23_GET_SERVER_HELLO:reason(1000) (see https://curl.haxx.se/libcurl/c/libcurl-errors.html)
It took more than one day to get complete leads on google sheet. Why so?
We cant wait that much time.
please solve this ...slow responce from appy way team
How can I connect BotHelp to my apps? It's written "BotHelp already connected", but it is not
I have made the integration of sending contact from activecampaign to monday.com and I have this error.
Parse error on "for" (IDENTIFIER) at [1, 97]
Parse error on "for" (IDENTIFIER) at [1, 97]
I connect from facebook leads to active campaign and everything is fine, then I want active campaign to create an item on a monday.com board and it does not generate
when I update the woocommerce avaiable fields only appears "Id_Webhook"
The configuration is correct like the video tutorial
How can I add 2 Facebook page "leads" to the same account?
Every day dozens of new startups are launched around the world. Many of them are launched at Product Hunt, but most will die a couple of years after launch.
So what makes a startup successful?
What's the innovation?
If you ask startup founders "What makes you better than your competitors," most of the time you'll hear an answer like
"We have feature A, and they don't have it. We're the ones who do it better than them."
I call this approach "We're better because we try harder." It's not always the most effective strategy.
When I started my first startup, I just watched what the #1 player in the niche was doing and bluntly copied it. This sometimes leads to positive results, but doing the same thing makes it impossible to beat the leader. He already has brand recognition, market share, and the resources to compete.
There's only one way to beat a big competitor.
Do things differently.
I call this approach "Columbus Thinking." As we know, Columbus wanted to sail to India to break Venice's monopoly on the spice trade (he wanted to hack the CAC). His words were: "To reach the east, you should sail west." There’s a big sense in these words, which can help startup founders look at the world differently.
If we analyze successful startups, most of them competed by business model, not by features.
Whatsapp messenger is supplanting email because it transmits information much faster and more conveniently. SalesForce moved all information to the cloud. Youtube made the format "TV on Demand" and allowed everyone to have their media and express themselves. Uber allowed drivers to become entrepreneurs and made it easier for passengers to order a cab. There are plenty of examples like this.
In the 1990s, the business model of selling software licenses was widespread. A company could buy the software once and use it for many years. In the 2000s, SalesForce revolutionized the industry and invited everyone to move to the cloud using the SaaS model. This is commonplace for us now, but imagine what it looked like 20 years ago.
You go to a large corporation and offer to store data on your servers. The software vendors of those years couldn't be envious. I am sure they faced misunderstanding, but 20 years later, the advantages of the SaaS model are obvious to all.
The 2010s saw a heyday for SaaS companies with a bottom-up model where employees start using software for free, and then they confront top management with the fact that they have to buy it because they are already using it. Before that, the software was sold to the top management. So the employees were just told that they would use this software. Outstanding examples of such companies are Basecamp, Trello, Slack, Zapier, Dropbox, and others.
What will happen in the 2020s?
In my opinion, the next trend is combined business models. Every SaaS company will become a micro media, and vice versa, every Media will make its own SaaS product. Marketplaces will mutate into Community first projects, and communities will mutate into marketplaces. Maybe it will be separate social networks of interest, where you can buy products related to that niche.
For example, Zoom opened its marketplace for events, Mercury bank seems like a simple bank for startups, but it is more likely it will be a venture capital fund, which hides under the guise of a modern bank. Instagram is becoming a marketplace where you can find and buy things. It would seem that what are the similarities between "photo album and amazon"?
The next trend to come is FTLM (Free Tool As a lead magnet). Traffic is getting very expensive. Today it is easier to create a free useful tool, which people will tell each other about, than try to squeeze the maximum out of Google ads. A great example of this strategy is Hubspot CRM. They provide free CRM functionality while competitors have paid.
The main thing is not to confuse the Freemium model with Free Tools as a Lead Magnet. In the Freemium model, you are giving away some of the functionality for free and trying to make money on advanced features. In the “Free tool as a lead magnet model”, you give away a full-featured product for free and make money on a completely different one. It's kind of like movie theaters. They advertise movies and make money on popcorn.
When we started Apiway, we chose the simplest strategy SaaS. People paid us for subscriptions to do API integrations. But at some point, we started to realize that no matter how hard we tried, we couldn't beat Zapier. No matter how much we fooled ourselves, reality always won out. They have a better product, they have more integrations, they have more money, they have everything better...
Every day we asked ourselves, "How can we differ? What can we do differently? What do we need to do to make users realize that we're better?"
At some point, we came up with the idea. What if API integration was free, and we could make money on something else? We started talking about this with other SaaS startup founders, and many of them said we were crazy. The first rule I learned for myself - you have to ask yourself:
All successful startups did something that most people disagreed with in the beginning. The kings of European countries disagreed with Columbus about sailing west. Why sail west when the road to the east is clear? The top management of large enterprise companies disagreed with SalesForce that data is more convenient stored in the cloud. Many investors disagreed with Hubspot and Wix that you can build billion-dollar companies in the SMB segment.
When you suggest to your customers to add a feature, they will agree with you. They'll say, "Yeah, this feature is going to be useful to me, it's going to be great, I'm going to use it." And then they won't use it, and they won't go away from a competitor because of this feature.
When you suggest doing something different, people won't agree with you in conversation, but the opposite is true. They, without realizing it, start using your product, even if it's a bad one.
When we decided to provide integrations for free, the question arose, "How to make money?". In the beginning, we wanted to frame affiliate links to other SaaS vendors. We put ads in the interface and made a couple of sales. But that wasn't enough to make the unit economy add up. We needed to find another way to monetize the product.
We started thinking, "What are people already doing when they use the software?"
The answer was simple.
People choose it in the beginning. And then, they look for someone to implement the software in their business.
We analyzed how people choose software. They rely on marketplaces and software review websites. Also, they post on social media, "Guys, which CRM is best for my business?". Automation experts answer them. And, as a rule, from these same people, they choose a performer who will implement a CRM system.
So we had the idea to cross the Free API integration platform and automation expert community, where users can create different Software battles. Those who choose software can get information. Those who implement software can write an expert opinion and find clients for CRM implementation services.
So you can ask yourself a second question:
It seems to me that in the 2000s, the most vital skill of a technology businessman was to choose an empty niche. Today, it's the skill of "putting a picture together from ready-made puzzles."
It's like lego, where you have different puzzles: the Media Puzzle, the Community Puzzle, the Marketplace Puzzle, the Puzzle-SaaS tool, etc.
Your task is to find out which one your competitor has the best and which one they don't have at all. Then you consciously take the puzzle your competitor has the most and do it for free. And the puzzle they don't have, you can use to monetize your product.
In our case, Zapier's puzzle is 3,000 paid integrations, but they don't have a B2B software marketplace. So we chose to provide integrations for free and make money from SaaS vendors.
But there’s another problem. A competitor can see your success and copy the same thing. A prime example is Stories copied by Facebook from Snapchat. The point is that Stories are a feature, not a unique business model.
That's the whole point of being able to pick out the right puzzle from a competitor. The competitor won’t be able to replicate your moves if that puzzle is big. In our case, Zapier can't be free, but we can because we have a different business model.
Based on that, we can ask the following question:
In my opinion, if a startup founder thinks about these 3 questions every day, sooner or later, he will solve the question.
How to compete with the business model, not with the features?
The email marketing strategy is based on your goals, approach, and type of business. If you want to predict correctly the strategy, you need to understand which approach you will use in the beginning. In fact, you can use two at once, but for simplicity, we'll start in turn.
The main thing is to understand that email is a communication channel, a technology. With the help of it, you can bring some of your ideas to people.
This technology can be used in different ways, tasks can be different too. For some business, the task is sales, for another, it's warming up, and for the third, it's just a way to remind about themselves.
Email marketing can do two main things.
You can generate leads by sending cold emails. To some extent, it looks like spam.
The main difference is that spam is sent to everyone, and cold emails are sent to people who potentially need your product. This is called "outreach sales".
You find the email addresses of potential customers and start sending out your offer. Some people will throw you out, while some will buy your product. This method works great in B2B but doesn't work at all in B2C.
But in this article, I want to focus your attention on "classic email marketing" that works in any niche. The task of classic email marketing is to bring people back to your sales funnel, nurture leads and make additional sales. In this article, we will review several strategies that can be put into practice.
Let's imagine that we build cottages from glued beams and our client is a family man of 40-60 years old who wants to build a house from glued beams.
To choose the right email marketing strategy, you need to understand your customer's avatar. Try to answer these questions and write the answers in a notebook.
There can be hundreds of questions and answers. Now the main task is to understand the principle of how it is done.
Now our task is to understand how to build a database of contacts. The easiest way is to start sending emails to those who are already in your database. These are the people who have communicated with you.
You sent them commercial offers; you corresponded with them by email. Every business has such lost leads.
Companies often make the same mistake. They create the Name and Phone fields in the sign-up form on the website. But don't create an Email field. The conversion from this doesn't fall much, so you can safely make the input fields with Name, Email, and Phone.
But now let's think about how we can collect more emails. A certain number of users visit your website.
How many of them leave a request on the site? I think about 1-2%. What can you do with the 98% of site visitors? You have already paid for them. Do you want them just leave? Your task is to come up with a reason why they need to stay in your pipeline.
Most people think that customers just like to leave their contact details or subscribe to your "News".
I will disappoint you.
Your "news" isn't interesting for anyone. People have a lot more other interesting news in their profiles of Facebook and Instagram. The only way in which you can get their attention is to give something that they will not find on social networks or will not be able to ask their friends.
Your task is to come up with and provide such information for which the client will "pay" with an email address. Marketers call it a lead magnet. There can be a lot of options for lead magnets. This can be a step-by-step guide, video tutorial, eBook, etc. The main thing is to understand the essence.
Your task is to exchange information on contact details.
We return to our construction company, which builds cottages. We take one of the pains that you should have written to your notebook. If you haven't done it yet, I advise you to do this exercise.
For example, I will take the pain "How much does it cost to build a house". I will make an estimate for one of the cottages in advance, beautifully pack this information into PDF files and make a lead magnet. My suggestion would be: "Download an example of a house estimate and find out how much it will cost you to build".
For the technical implementation of such a mini-pipeline, you need to sign up in the email marketing service and in the pop-up services. When a site visitor stays on the page for more than 30 seconds, the system will automatically show him the pop-up. Nobody likes pop-ups, but they work.
There are some statistics. In one of the projects, the conversion of providing email to pop-up was almost 5%. The company received 289 leads only because it used the pop-up and lead magnet. It works in any niche!
Pop-up is the easiest way to collect emails. Also, there are plenty of other lead magnets that you can apply. Now the main thing is to understand the essence of the strategy for collecting email addresses.
Now it's the final part of our email marketing strategy. This is the return of users to our pipeline.
Imagine that we learned how to collect a subscriber base, but now we need to learn how to engage them in our content.
Many companies make a mistake and try to sell something right away. Such a strategy works well in the short run, but it is disastrous in the long one. Email marketing is a marathon, not a sprint.
By sending emails, we break into the personal space of a person. Each touch is a mini alarm.
Our task is to make a sensation from "These guys are getting annoying with their spam", in "They send me really interesting insights. I didn't know that. This is just what I need right now". This can only be achieved by creating useful content.
Let's look at the nearest example, I mean, this article. You have already read several pages of text and haven't left. So this information is useful to you.
Imagine the situation: you went to this page and saw "Buy an email newsletter service. You need it". Most likely you would leave in the first 5 seconds. But you have already been reading and consuming useful content for a couple of minutes.
Your task is to create useful content that cures the pains of customers that you wrote down earlier. In our case, we return to the construction of cottages. We have 5 client pains. Now we can create 5 articles on this topic.
Now we can post these articles on our blog. Also, you can record short videos with the same information and insert the video into the article.
Someone likes to read, someone likes to watch, and someone likes to listen. So, you will have information on all channels of perception. Also, if a person watches a video on your site, he stays longer on the page.
This is a good signal for Google and it brings your article to the top.
When you have created the content you can make a welcome email series. When a user subscribes to the newsletter and downloads your lead magnet, the system will automatically send him emails with links to your content.
You can make such a chain of emails in the email services. In these emails, you can place links to your useful content. Thus, you will return users to your website and pass them through the content.
Our email marketing strategy is to create a useful lead magnet, exchange it for an email address, and then send emails with useful content with a certain frequency.
After we have decided on a strategy (creating useful content and notifying about it via email), we can proceed to tactical actions. The goal of tactics is to improve your results in a quick way. But it's important to understand:
If you need to do very complex tactical actions to get the result, something is wrong with your strategy.
I've seen many companies that honestly collect a database, create good content, and do an easy mailing to the entire subscriber base. They get good results. And there is a flip side of the coin.
Some companies send out promotions, burn out their base, but constantly do A / B tests, trigger mailings, dynamic content, and other advanced features. And their results are much worse than those who simply send useful content.
You must understand that strategy is not separable from tactics. But let's look at a few tactics that will help increase the open rate.
In any email service, it is possible to do an A / B test of email headers.
You send emails to 1000 subscribers.
The system at the beginning sends 100 letters with one heading, 100 letters with another, then it waits for some time. Then the email that won in A / B testing is sent to the remaining 800 subscribers. You can test not only the headers but also the body of the email with clicks on the link.
Let's return to our case.
Topic 1: "How to avoid mistakes in the building of the house.
Topic 2: "Top 10 mistakes in the construction of cottages".
It seems to you that the result is obvious. This is a typical professional mistake in any niche. Actually, the result is unpredictable. Many times I thought that people would read one thing, but in fact, they were interested in something completely different. You never know what will be more effective. You always need to test.
This is a separate issue, as it is very deep. But in a nutshell, I'll try to explain what it is. You will get a much better result of the open rate if you send emails at a certain moment.
For example, when the user opened your commercial offer, or when he visited certain pages of the site. Also, trigger mailings based on lead scoring works well. When the user scored a certain number of points, the system sends him a trigger email.
Sometimes, the open rate reaches 76%. In most cases, this technology is included in marketing automation services.
Imagine that a user has read 4 articles on your blog and left the site. The system will automatically send a letter with an article that the user hasn't read.
The system automatically substitutes content depending on data from CRM. For example, men will see products for men, and women for women. This approach requires accurate work and segmentation, but it gives multiple increases in click rate in the emails.
When you write an email, it is usually without pictures and looks like plain text. In mailing services, you can make a beautiful design. For different niches, you can use a different approach. On the one hand, beautiful letters are good for visual products, and if you sell services, it is better to send letters in the "human-printed" style.
Here is a letter supposedly written by Neil Patel.
Here are some examples of HTML emails.
It is important to understand that the creation of good content and the correct choice of a client's avatar is much more important than A / B testing, trigger letters, and other tactical features. It is very easy to "drown" in interesting technologies and at the same time forget about the main thing - to be useful.
Any event promo begins months before it. In the case of such occasions as The Oscars, preparations can take even more than a year.
This is the period when a marketing team focuses on spreading news far and wide, generating the momentum for registrations, ticket purchases, donations, or peer-to-peer fundraiser sign-ups.
Let’s look how marketing pros do that.
In the US, Content Marketing World 2021 is a noteworthy event in the realm of content marketing since 2011. (No, it is really not an ad.)
The conference will be hosted at the end of September in Cleveland, Ohio. Due to post-pandemic trends, the organizers provide digital sessions as well. More than 3 000 attendees from 250 companies and 225 speakers are expected.
How to draw marketing pros’ attention to the event?
There are many options. You can send last year participants emails, advertise on industry-specific platforms and media outlets, even try telemarketing. However, most likely, your first idea will be an SMM campaign around the event. It is no wonder that the CMW team has launched one.
The idea that if you create a great product the users will come with no extra effort is still often debated in the IT communities. Yet, most SaaS companies choose to get better at marketing their products rather than wait and hope for the best. For a good reason: the market is booming. There are plenty of truly good products: it’s genuinely hard for the audience to bump into yours if it’s not marketed well.
Besides, there’re always companies that use marketing to its full potential. It becomes impossible to compete with them if you’re not on the same popularity level.
This post gives you some examples of how SaaS companies rocked specific marketing strategies, attracted millions of users, and became top in their respective niche. Surely, the strategies described won't be the only ones that led to success. And it goes without saying that the products of these companies are truly great products. However, sometimes it's also an idea, a specific campaign, or a general marketing strategy that gets the engine running.
Canva is a graphic-design tool website. It’s a freemium tool and a total lifesaver for companies that don’t have an in-house designer or anyone that has to do design without any skill or knowledge.
While the brand has indeed become popular due to its unique product and freemium model, its most successful growth method was influencer marketing. They went online and discovered brand evangelists: people who’ve talked about their brand, YouTubers that made video tutorials and even taught classes using Canva. At some point, they’ve also discovered that Guy Kawasaki’s social media graphics were designed with their tools. So naturally, they contacted him. Now Guy Kawasaki is Canva’s brand evangelist. His sole advocacy helped Canva double its users' numbers.
People don’t trust advertising, they ignore banners, and organic reach on social media is declining every day. Or so it feels like. Word-of-mouth, where each person tells their friend how good the X product is, is priceless. It's every marketer's life goal. However, how often do you discuss file hosting services with your friends even if you really enjoy yours?
Dropbox, a file hosting service (surprise, isn’t it) used a great way of facilitating, if not forcing, word-of-mouth. It used incentives: for example, it would give out a 500MB increase to both you and the person you referred to join when the signup process is pending. Dropbox also makes it very easy for users to tell one another about the product - you don’t have to take any extra steps to get your incentive.
According to Houston, referrals increased Dropbox signups by 60%.
Eager to get more SaaS marketing ideas? Check out three more stories on our blog!
Facebook conversation is not the platform is most popular i hop to add it ASAP
The number of Makers who create marvellous products on Directual is growing, so is the flow of feature requests. Users used to come up with ideas and bug reports on our live-chat, facebook group or Telegram-chats.
The Directual team realised that the process needed to be streamlined. We craved to make it transparent in order to build trust with the market and with our users.
The best solution for that was to build a public product development roadmap.
There were some ready-to-use products like Trello, Jira or fancy Notion but they did’t meet our requirements. The only way to create the proper roadmap was to build it on Directual platform.
In the current post we are revealing the details about our project and are telling how to build an ideal roadmap for yourself!
We described the list of our needs as follows:
We have tested almost all of the popular solutions: Trello, Jira, Asana, Notion, etc. And none of them covered all our needs. That turned out to strengthen our belief in no-code approach. Applying Directual we managed to craft 100% suitable app less than in a day!
Here it is: Public Directual Roadmap
Any visitor sees three groups of tasks: planned, under development, released. Features are marked with green stripes, bugs—with red ones. Number in the corner of a task card is the number of upvotes. Cards with tasks under development contain the development progress bar.
Released tasks are grouped to releases, details of which are on the second public page — Release notes.
If the visitor wants to upvote or to watch the features, he has to sign in or to sign up. Authorised user has an access to the additional pages, where he can:
The latter requires email address confirmation. The features, added by the user are watched by the author by default. If the request is declined, its author will receive the update, including the reason of decline (the most frequent one is the request double).
Have a look—you are welcome to participate!
As we’ve mentioned above, anyone can do the same — can create the roadmap app, which matches the business needs for 100%. Directual platform is an ideal choice for such internal apps!
The tutorial is a live-workshop. It consists of a few steps. The total time of the workshop is about 2 hours. Remember, that you can develop different features, having the tutorial just as an example.
The tutorial covers the essential topics of developing on Directual:
Moreover, you’ll find a new free template on the app management page in the platform.
Thank you for reading! Feel free to reach the Directual team — we are always happy to chat with the Makers!
Original source: https://www.directual.com/post/how-to-craft-an-ideal-public-roadmap
In this article, I want to talk about the most important element of the business.
This is a product matrix.
The essence of making a product matrix in a business is that it is often difficult to sell an expensive product to a customer immediately.
But if you start the sale with a free or inexpensive product, the probability of a deal greatly increases. And after the client tried your free product, appreciated the work with you, you can offer him to go to the next level and make a more expensive sale.
TAs a result, you should form a line of products, in which each product automatically sells the next product in the line. Let's look at how it works.
The first step begins with a lead magnet. A lead magnet is a free product that brings benefits to a potential client that you exchange for the client's contact information.
The lead magnet can be a landing page or a pop-up window on the website with a suggestion to download free useful information that solves one of your client's small problems.
It is important to understand that a lead magnet must have a low cost or no cost at all. It can be a digital product: article, video tutorial, drawings, commercial offer, price list, etc. Even if you sell physical products or services. The lead magnet should be scaled easily.
The lead magnet can be a landing page with a capture form, where it's proposed to leave contact information in return for useful information that you will send by email after registration. Testers also can be the lead magnet if you sell physical products.
Share the necessary information that will be really useful. Entrepreneurs make a big mistake when they give away unnecessary information for free. Give useful content! It's very important. People immediately feel the catch.
The essence of the lead magnet is to exchange useful free information for contact information. Most often this is email and phone number.
The next product is a tripwire.
The task of this product is to change the client's status from lead to buyer. It's a cheap product, buying which the client gets much more than he pays. The basic idea is to make the client start paying.
We specifically lower the first price to reduce stress. Payment is always a stressful action. When a client pays you a second time, it is less stressful.
The essence of the tripwire is to start a monetary relationship with a client. No matter how much he paid. The main thing is to start exchanging money for some products.
The task of the tripwire is to close the small need of the client and discover the main problem.
His needs are completely satisfied with the core product. This is what you sell right now. The next step is the profit maximizer. This is upselling with the highest margins. A vivid example is chargers for a laptop, headphones, cases, etc. In the automotive industry, this is a different configuration.
The task of upselling is to get the maximum margin.
And the key element of the product matrix is recurring payments. Every successful business tries to make repeated sales. Analyze all the giant companies. They sell products "by the subscription model." We buy the same toothpaste once a month, we buy the phone every two years, and we buy a car every 5 years.
The task of marketing automation is to ensure that the customer begins to buy these products in a certain sequence, and to offer a re-purchase at the right time. In the Internet business, it's very easy to implement, so for the sake of better understanding, I'll give an example for an offline business.
Recently I bought lenses and got into a very competent pipeline with a well-built product line. I walked around the mall, and near the store, the promoter hands me a leaflet with the headline: "Find out if your eyes are healthy. Check your eyesight for free".
It was a lead magnet.
I hadn't tested my eyesight for a long time, because I already knew that I had it bad. But this time I decided to find out how bad everything is. I went to the store and checked my eyesight. I was also offered to check the retina on a special laser device for $ 2.
Such a device looked very tempting, and it was really interesting what was going on with the eyes. It was a tripwire.
I paid, passed the test, and my poor eyesight was discovered right there. Now, attention. On the one hand, tripwire solved the problem (I found out what was going on with the eyes). And on the other hand, tripwire discovered it and sold the core product.
I was given an opportunity to try on lenses, and I immediately began to see at 100%. I had never worn lenses, but decided to give it a try. This was the core product.
In addition to the lenses, they sold me storage container, solution, and remover tool. So they increased the bill due to profit maximizers.
But they failed on regular payments. They should have taken my contacts and entered them in CRM, made a pipeline that would have sent me useful content with eye exercises while keeping my focus of attention. And in a month they could offer me new lenses with delivery directly to my home, as mine was already out of date.
But this is a mistake of an optics store that sells these lenses.
The correct product line is structured so that consultant managers don't need to strain and learn sales. The pipeline itself sells the next product. In my case, the consultant's task was to put me in a chair, connect the equipment and help to pick up the lenses.
Your task is to start thinking about recurring payments. Decide how to get into your consumer's pocket on an ongoing basis. Analyze all your purchases. Each brand crawled into your wallet.
McDonald's once a month for $ 10, Coca-Cola twice a week for $ 1, the state once a month with the taxes, Levis, Nike, New Balance once every six months, etc.
If you don't have recurring payments, no matter what pipeline you have, you won't be able to earn millions.
I will give an example of a case that happened to me in an Asian bazaar. There I met the best seller I've ever seen. He didn't read sales books, didn't attend courses, but effectively used the sales strategy described above.
Some people are natural sellers. The harsh Asian market taught him to feel customers. If you've been to an Asian bazaar, you know how it looks. They try to sell you anything, catch your hands, and persistently offer products you don't need. They all sell the same product and don't differ from each other.
But the person I'm writing about was different. He was selling hookahs. To attract people, he put up a large two-meter hookah right in front of the shop.
My friend loved hookahs and had never seen a hookah bigger than a human in his life. I don't like hookahs, but I also became interested. I hadn't seen anything like this.
The first problem was solved. The lead magnet caught our attention, and after that, we were already studying this hookah and asking questions. Next, the seller said that no one smokes this hookah. Then he pointed to the hookahs in the display case and said that these were also bad and that real hookah lovers wouldn't smoke them.
Then he asked us: "Do you want to see real hookahs?". He took advantage of our curiosity, and next, we were already inside the shop. Then he took out the supposedly best hookah which wasn't placed in the display case from a secluded place. He said this was an exclusive thing special for us.
Then he began to tell us why this particular hookah is pretty good. He told in detail about the pipe, ceramic bowl, and the iron rod of the hookah. He compared it with other hookahs and told what is good and what is bad.
He taught us to understand hookahs. He involved us in the process and made my friend breathe into the pipe to make sure that this pipe was really good. Then he got his feet on the metal part of the hookah and jumped on it. Demonstrated the quality of the metal, it didn't break. He was selling us a product at the logical level.
We are men.
We need the thing to be strong, clear, functional, and so on.
But then there was another shot. He took hookah tobacco and gave it to my girlfriend as a gift.
It was the "reciprocity" trigger.
That is, I hadn't bought anything yet, but I had already received something. How could I leave and buy nothing? I would be ashamed.
Naturally, he made a discount, and we bought. While he was wrapping a hookah, he told stories and kept our attention. It's very important that there's no silence at the time of packaging. Then he joked well and made another brilliant move. He said: "You're so cool, don't you want me to get you a Bedouin tea?" Naturally, we agreed.
We were taken to his friend's tent, where we fell into a new pipeline.
We were given tea.
While the tea was cooling, 15 minutes passed, and the seller perfectly warmed us with the content. He told stories and thereby inspired trust. As a result, we spent 45 minutes in these two shops. There were 8 of us.
Each of us brought out two bags of tea, spices, oils, and other Asian things. But the apogee was that the next day we walked around the same bazaar and met him again.
Just by chance.
He treated our girlfriends with figs. We left with packages for the second time. I thought about this story for a long time and came to the conclusion that the chance to get to the same seller in the Asian bazaar is minimal. But he did it.
This is what it means to feel the client.
It would seem that everything is fine. The guy knows how to sell. I am sure that he has a crazy conversion from visitors to buyers. But he will never earn millions of dollars.
He doesn't have technology that will allow him to get recurring payments.
Let's imagine that he's invented it. Every day he gets 20 new customers. Multiply by 300 working days. These are 6 thousand customers a year. Multiply by 10 years. These are 60 thousand customers.
Imagine that all these people pay at least $ 1 a month to this guy. And if it's $ 10, our guy is a millionaire.
It may seem a little thing, but the business model of recurring payments affects the success of the business, and the automation marketing allows you to remind people about the next purchase in time.
The main idea of this story is that if you sell once, two times - you will never become a millionaire.
A customer journey map is a way from the appearance of the need for the consumption of your product. It's crucial to realize that the journey doesn't start from the interaction with your website, store, salesman, etc. This is the consequence. The journey begins with the emergence of the need for your product.
Let's imagine you own a jewelry shop.
It seems to you that the journey begins with the a-woman-decided-to-buy-earrings moment. She comes to your shop and presents a discount voucher. How has she got hold of this voucher? It means that there was someone who had failed to choose a gift for this woman and gave her the voucher.
Perhaps, the customer journey starts with the moment when a man has no idea for a present for his woman?
Have a look at the example of a customer journey of Starbucks. It starts with the moment when someone gets the idea of drinking coffee in the office; then, they discuss with their friends where they are going to drink coffee, drive, park their car, enter the cafe, wait in the line, and so on.
The customer journey is somehow similar to the sales funnel but on a global scale. It can be calculated for years. A funnel is a small part of your business, and the client's journey is a more scaled task.
Let's investigate how to analyze the customer journey in your business. I'm going to describe a client's journey for an online kids clothing/shoe store. This example won't be a very detailed one as for now it's important to get the concept of such an approach.
First, we have to track the starting points of your clients' journeys. The more points, the better. You need at least 5-10 of them.
This list may be even longer. I mentioned the first ones that have come to my mind.
Having identified the major stages of the customer journey, we need to understand the way clients perceive these stages: what they feel, what they see, hear, what good things and bad things are happening, and how you can improve the latter ones.
The best way is not envisioning but observing people's actions. If you ask people, "What would you want? What would you do in this situation?," they will lie to you.
Like in the most famous quote attributed to Henry Ford: "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses".
What they feel: Interest, care about their child. Visual satisfaction and desire to possess this product.
What they see: Other children having this product.
What is bad: The clothes worn by other children may be dirty and fail to draw the attention of other potential buyers. A future client may pay no attention to new goods worn by other children.
The owner of the product may fail to tell of it and inspire curiosity among others and desire to possess the goods.
What can be done: Come up with a reason why the mother of the child wearing the product would say to another mother, "We have some new clothes. How do you like them?" (If you design only this step, the money you're going to receive will double).
What they feel: Interest and occasional search fatigue. Disappointment caused by the inability to find the product at once.
What they see: Lots of other offers.
What is bad: It's hard to understand where and what to look for. The customer may come across your competitors. There are many similar offers. The client was searching for a certain product but ended up buying something different.
What can be done: Come up with the idea of how googling can be avoided and provide direct visit of the online store from the smartphone right after the information was received on the playground. Give promo codes to product owners so that they share the information about it through the grapevine.
What they feel: Get distracted by other things. Various feelings are possible.
What they see: Other offers from different areas.
What is bad: They forget about the product and might never think of it again.
What can be done: Show retargeted ads following the keywords.
What they feel: The need for the product. They realize how good it is and start longing for it.
What they see: The advantages of the product.
What is bad: There is no chance of remembering the website where this product can be purchased right away. They have to search for it again. They might come across your competitors.
What can be done: Send emails reminding of the goods. The client should remember immediately that they can buy this product from your website and there is no need for any alternatives on the Internet.
What they feel: Excitement about the future purchase, the anticipation of satisfaction. They might get angry after searching for a long time, due to the absence of any information, feel irritated about inconvenient websites of your competitors, etc.
What is bad: They go to the competitors.
What can be done: Remind of yourself through emails, develop a user-friendly website and product descriptions where everything is understandable.
What they feel: Anger after searching for the product for a long time. Puzzled by the price, product availability, absence of product characteristics, etc.
What they see: Small pictures. Few pictures. A bewildering interface.
What is bad: Everything is incomprehensible. An inconvenient website interface, lots of categories and unnecessary goods.
What can be done: Send out relevant emails getting rid of the need for navigating the entire website structure. Improve the usability and design of the website. Increase the website loading speed, implement additional navigation widgets that will show the previously viewed items and encourage the visitor to make a purchase.
What they feel: Confusion about the product and desire to compare it to other goods. They ponder on the price and value. Have doubts about the purchase.
What they see: Few product characteristics, have no idea about its availability.
What is bad: No video reviews and detailed descriptions. A high price. The customer is not entirely sure they really need the product.
What can be done: Add comments, make a video review, launch a pop-up with a discount if the customer visits a page several times. Improve the usability of the product card.
What they feel: Opportunity to find a similar product for less money.
What they see: Other websites.
What is bad: The client may buy goods from your competitors.
What can be done: Send out triggered emails, tune up retargeting. Anchor the customer's attention. Make them quit the idea of visiting other websites.
What they feel: That they have already looked here but failed to find anything.
What they see: Your website through the lens of other websites they've visited. Is your website good or bad when compared to others?
What is bad: Your website may appear to be worse than those of your competitors.
What can be done: Work on the usability. Add "You're back" pop-ups.
What they feel: Anticipation and need for the product, interest.
What they see: Your website or other goods. They may also go to your competitors.
What is bad: They are waiting.
What can be done: Improve the speed of the answer to the application, draw the client's attention to something before the manager calls. After the application, display useful content related to the product and keep the customer engaged until the manager's call. Enable payment without the manager.
What they feel: Sympathy or antipathy for the person's voice and accent. Subconscious analysis of linguistic intelligence.
What they see: They'd rather look at the product under discussion.
What is bad: No physical contact. The user needs to talk to a manager. The manager's competency, speed of responding to applications.
What can be done: Introduce funnel automation and start selling without managers. Develop scripts for managers. Come up with good content marketing to let the customer get answers through video reviews and articles and not through managers.
What they feel: Unrest and doubts.
What they see: User-friendly or puzzling payment system interface. Beautiful or ugly design. Feel that they might be deceived. Need support.
What is bad: They may get distracted and fail to finish the payment process.
What can be done: Obtain the banking details by selling tripwire and thus win trust before selling the main product. Provide convenient payment by several methods. Provide a video tutorial for payment. Add comments to the payment page.
What they feel: Anticipation and anger if the delivery is delayed.
What they see: The focus of attention disappears.
What is bad: The focus of attention disappears.
What can be done: Improve logistics, provide content on the use of the product during the delivery period to retain the focus of attention.
What they feel: Joy.
What they see: The product itself. (Here you can design catchy packaging, etc. For example, MacBook: the packaging brings out emotions even before you try using the device).
What is bad: Everything depends on the product. You can't see the moment of product consumption.
What can be done: Make constant improvements to the product itself. Provide instructions on the efficient consumption of the goods.
What they feel: Joy or anger.
What they see: Other potential users of the goods.
What is bad: They might tell about the drawbacks of the product and dissuade others from buying it.
What can be done: Come up with ready-made stories, share them through content marketing, and get people to retell these ready-made stories to others.
What they feel: Trust and loyalty to the brand.
What they see: Revisit the website.
What is bad: Might not buy again.
What can be done: Marketing automation for constant sales stimulation. Create a chain of emails after selling the product. Create separate chains with cross-selling of other goods.
With this example, I chose not to dive into the essence of the processes but only showed the methods of how to do it. If you've got the gist, you might notice that at certain stages of the map you'll have serious holes. Your task is to find the hole that makes you lose too many leads, which they buy from your competitors.
It's crucial to be self-critical and take an unbiased look at what works well and what works bad. If your website is far from being user-friendly, you should be honest with yourself and quit inventing excuses about ignorant clients.
Lead scoring or lead qualification is a marketing term that allows you to determine the level of lead engagement and buyer readiness. To put it briefly, it is about breaking leads into hot and cold. If you've ever dealt with sales, you might know that warm clients are much more eager to buy your product than cold clients.
The task of a sales manager is to single out the customers that are ready to buy and pay maximum attention to them.
During a conversation, it is performed intuitively, and the manager senses the engagement level through the dialog, but this is not that easy when done on the Internet. It's like tomatoes at the vegetable garden.
You pick only red plants and leave the green ones to ripen. Lead scoring is a function that helps to determine the "ripeness of tomatoes." Most marketing automation systems include this function.
Naturally, such a technique appeared in the US and, of course, inside a large company named IBM. The company would have over 4,000 applications for their goods per day, and they needed lots of qualified managers to handle all of those. Even for IBM, it was costly, and they started classifying customers by scores to optimize the process.
For instance, they would assign 100 points to a CEO of an IT company and 10 points to a Stanford student.
Then, the system identified the number of scores of the customers and redirected them to managers. Chief officers would speak to top managers, and students would deal with the human resources department that would prepare them for working at IBM.
It resembles some kind of a test when you get scores, and at the end, if you have a sufficient number of points, you receive what you've wished for.
Those with a smaller number of scores have to continue studying. The same goes on in sales.
Today, this technique is widely used on the Internet. Cold clients receive emails, texts, push notifications, etc., and hot clients get calls from managers.
Every action of customers regarding your business has its value, and it can be estimated in both money and conventional scores.
For instance, a person visited your website (1 point), opened your email (2 points), followed the link in the email (3 points), or revisited your website (5 points). The evaluation system can be configured in any convenient way, and the system will assign these points automatically.
* In various businesses, the importance of actions differs. In real estate sales, a website visit is a significant event and may stand for 100 points.
If you run a cooking blog, a website visit is an ordinary action and may cost 1 point per visiting. You have to set marks for each action yourselves. In this case, there is no ready-made template that would suit everyone.
If you consider using this function with the online store, you may apply several scoring techniques for different categories of goods. The simplest method is distinguishing between female and male content. A visitor gets 50 points for male content and 5 points for female content. Consequently, you should send offers with "male products" to them.
You can also tune up various automation types in the sales department. A manager receives an application with the task to call a customer when they accumulate 30 points.
A manager calls only those clients who are interested, the so-called hot users, not just any users. This way, the scoring technique allows for discovering the engagement of a potential client and distributing the time of managers only between hot leads.
Lead scoring may be assigned by various factors. These are divided into several subcategories. I always like comparing sales with the relationship between men and women. Here, I'll also try explaining the heart of the matter in the technical and emotional aspects.
These stand for the way people behave on your website, how active their communication with your sales department is, how often they visit your website, which pages they open.
For instance, the lead that has visited your website 5 times during the past 2 days is most likely interested in your product.
The lead that has watched 10 washing machines is most likely to select a washing machine rather than a fridge. The lead that has called or sent emails 3 times is most likely interested in your goods.
In relationships, it may be compared to the way you can guess whether the woman fancies you by how she behaves during a date. If she is twisting her hair around her finger, biting her lips, and fidgeting a bit in her seat, feel free to assign points. Behavioral factors are based on the activity of the lead.
These data are provided by leads themselves. You may obtain them via telephone and save them in the customer's profile. Furthermore, our clients often receive such information from the filled out form fields, and the system synchronizes these data with the profiles automatically.
Fields in the PipeDrive customer profile
For instance, you work in the B2B niche and focus on communication with business owners or top managers. In some way, you obtain the information on the lead's position, and the system assigns a certain score to the lead.
In the romantic sphere, the man who says he likes children gains 10 points and the man who says he likes drinking and clubbing loses 20 points.
The system is to assign scores automatically and on its own depending on the activity of website visitors. The system is to analyze page views, openings and clicks in emails.
The simplest way to start using this function is to analyze the number of scores and call those having the biggest number of points.
Let's assume a sales manager comes to the office in the morning, opens CRM, and says: "I want to call those who have more than 50 points." They set the filter by the number of scores and get all leads that have accumulated above 50 points.
One can also specify several filter parameters. For example, the customers who have accumulated scoring points, have visited a webinar, are located in New York. A well-tuned system gives tasks to sellers automatically following a previously prepared template.
For educational projects, trigger emails suit perfectly.
Create a process with one condition: when a customer accumulates 100 points and hasn't bought anything yet, they receive a trigger email with a discount valid for 3 days. There may be lots of such options. You should work out yourselves what actions of your clients are important for your business.
Such a system reminds me of a spider and a fly.
A sales manager is a spider, and a customer is a fly. The spider spreads its net (the content on the website), and the moment the fly gets trapped in the net (the client reads several articles on the website), the net starts signaling the spider (CRM gives a task to the manager), and the spider grubs the fly (the manager sells the product).
Absent in some systems, this is an important and very useful function, though. It is the subtraction of scores in case the lead hasn't been involved with your content for a long time.
Imagine a scenario when the customer comes to your website and consumes your content during a week. The system assigns 143 points to them, and it is a hot lead in your case. Managers contact them, but the client says they will make a purchase later. In six months, the manager starts calling people who have many points again.
But 143 points then and now is a different rate of lead warming.
You should provide for the subtraction of a certain number of points in case the user doesn't visit the website for a week. This way, you'll always know your hot and cold leads for sure.
Boosting sales is always a relevant topic for any business, but companies often don't have enough money to increase website traffic. That's why you have to deal with existing audience using detailed segmentation.
In this case, marketers can find help in trigger marketing. Triggers are the base of marketing automation, and in this article, I'll tell how to use triggers in order to boost sales.
The level of use of different digital decisions will depend on understanding this concept. If you don't understand the concept of using triggers, all systems of marketing automation, CRM, mailing services and chat-bots will be similar for you. No jokes! How to boost sales without investment. Trigger marketing.
Trigger marketing consist of 4 elements
Triggers are the cause that launches some kind of process.
Triggers can be different, and the more options to launch any process, the better.
You already use trigger marketing in your business. For example, when a client leaves his request on your website and you call him – it's a trigger. Or when he just subscribes to your news and you start the automatic mailing. It's a trigger too, but the most primitive.
The more advanced soft you use, the more triggers are in your arsenal.
Action – after the trigger works, an action must happen. It can be sending emails, SMS, manager's call, dialing, texting in messengers, etc.
You should realize which user's actions show his readiness for purchasing. For instance, you see that someone has visited the page where you sell the fridge 8 times and hasn't bought it. In this case, it's appropriate to send him emails with a discount for this fridge, detailed review at this item or buyers' feedback.
Thus, multiple visits to a certain page are a trigger for you and sending an email is an action itself.
If / else filter is a segmentation function. It is the concept "If the event happens, do something". For instance, a contact has opened the mail. It's a trigger. After that system asks "Is this contact a client?". If yes, make an action "Send another mail". If no, make an action "set the task for a manager". You can segment clients by different criteria.
Waiting period - you always set the waiting period in automation. Here's an example. User visit the website page 5 times (it's a trigger), then the system checks "is he a client or a subscriber" (if/else). If he's a client, it sends a mail with a discount.
After that system waits two days (a function of waiting period) and makes checking again "has the client bought an item or not".
Now, if no, it sends mail once more. Here's another example. The client has signed up for a webinar and the system waits till 7 pm to send a message with the alarm.
Now let's look at the main types of triggers and actions. These features are in almost every CRM system or marketing automation service. Choosing the system, you need to pay attention to the number of triggers, filtering options and variants of actions. By the interface design, such systems are almost all the same.
Opened / didn't open the letter. Clicked / didn't click on the link in the letter.
It's the most common trigger. You send clients letters with your share. 20% of them have opened and seen your offer, and all the other hasn't. You can make a repeated mailing for those who haven't opened the previous one. Thus, you increase openability up to 40%.
In the system it looks like that:
Variable Automation in ActiveCampaign
You can also set up tracking for the number of visits.
For example, when a client re-visits a page with a description of your service, a trigger works - the client receives an email, and the manager gets the task to call this client. By analyzing the client's path through your site, the system or manager can understand what exactly the visitor needs at the moment.
You can also notice a repeated visit to the site and immediately call the client.
Tracking the client's actions in ActiveCampaign
I wrote about scoring in another article. Briefly, it is a system of awarding points for different actions. Opening the letter - 1 point, clicking - 2 points, leaving the request - 5 points, visiting the page - 5 points, etc. When the client scores a certain number of points that you set by yourself, the trigger will work and do an action.
It's possible to make combined automation. At the time of reaching 100 points, the system waits until Tuesday and sends a letter with a promotion saying that the client is active and can use the promotion code until Wednesday.
There is also a condition, if there is a phone number in the client's card, a notification will be sent to the manager and the task to call will be set.
A trigger based on the lead scoring
Different types of businesses have different stages of a deal. Someone sends an offer, someone makes an appointment.
For example, you have a template for a commercial offer, and after making the call you send it.
As soon as you transfer the client's card to another stage of the deal, the trigger will work, and the system will send to the client an email with all the important information.
Moreover, you can set another trigger: when the client clicks on the offer, the manager will receive a notification that the offer is being watched right now and he has to call the client. And if the client doesn't open the offer within the time you need, the system itself will send another letter.
Deal stage changes trigger in Pipedrive
It's a very useful trigger if your business is tied to certain events: birthdays, holidays, days of the week, etc. One of my favorite cases is an online store for children. You ask the young mother to indicate child's date of birth while she's signing up.
Now, when the child is one year old, the system will send offers to buy diapers, when the child is three, the system will send clothes when the child goes to school, the system will send goods for the school. The child grows so do your LTV.
Now let's talk about triggers at a specific time and day of the week.
Naturally, you can independently schedule mailing for a certain time and send it to the database. All mailing list services have this feature. But how is it possible to make the letters come to the subscriber on Tuesday at 8 o'clock in the evening? Firstly, everyone has different time zones.
However, our system distinguishes the time zone and automatically picks up. The same goes for the days of the week.
Every CRM system has fields you can create. But here be careful! In most systems, you create fields to filter the search for contacts and so that the manager can see the data when making a call. Trigger marketing allows you to use fields as a trigger, but for some reason, a lot of users miss this opportunity. I'll try to clear things up.
Let's take as example a business in which job segmentation is important.
Let's assume you want to send one information to business owners, another to sales managers, and third to marketers. So, a person has filled in a mini-questionnaire in the sign up form.
For instance, a person has mentioned that he is a marketer. It's a trigger for us and we'll send him content for marketers. The same goes for other fields.
It is important to understand that it's not a field where you can write something at random. We have variants of the answer. And the system perceives them as a specific trigger. If the contact field contains "marketer", you need to perform step A, and if the field contains "business owner", then perform step B.
Obviously, the triggers can be combined. You can set several conditions for action depending on the data on the client card.
For example, a client indicated in a sign up form that he's a business owner and has an online store. But the system also realized that he's from New York, he has visited one of the pages of the site more than two times and got 50 points in scoring.
And the system will send an email or perform some other action only to those people who match this parameter.
The more segmentation options, the better. The more triggers and filtering conditions, the better.
Today, there is a clear trend to open a mini SMM agency. Such a business model allows you to earn good money, be free and work from any place in the world with clients from different countries. In this article, we will talk about opening such an agency and where it's the best to start.
First, let's determine the criteria. By the word mini agency, I mean a team of up to 10 people. Therefore, all the information in this article will be directed to opening such an agency and starting earning first money without being an employee in the company.
First, you need to find out your strengths. They are hardwired in each person and are difficult to change it. It's easier to understand what is easy for you and build on that.
I divide marketing agencies into creators and technicians.
It is important to understand that one doesn't exclude the other. It doesn't mean that if you are a techie, everything is bad with your creativity. It's just something easier for you. And the sooner you understand, what comes easy for you, the better.
Creators - if you like to come up with the design, design profiles on social networks, draw beautiful pictures for posts, make cool stories on Instagram, come up with a strategy, create brands - then you are a creator.
Techies - if you like poking around in software, track metrics, count conversions, optimize processes, make A/B tests - then you are a technical specialist.
It is important to understand that the strategy for attracting customers will depend on this. If you are a creator, you will attract clients for whom it is important. And what's more important they will come to you from those industries where creativity is necessary. For example, businesses in the Beauty industry, design, etc.
It is very important to make this clear, because you may have problems, when you will propose to create beautiful pictures for the construction business, or suggest counting conversions, ROMI, ROI for those who are engaged in manual sewing of dresses.
I'll tell you a story.
My friend is an interior designer and he is a super system person. He has good management, he respects deadlines, etc. But he always loses tenders to design studios that are creative, they do design well, but are not effective in management at all.
The fact is that in the interior design industry, the main thing is to make a beautiful design, not to be effective in management. He uses his strengths in the wrong industry.
I will give an example of several directions.
Facebook ads expert (Targetologist) - the one who launches paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram. He isn't involved in the design of sites, profiles in social networks. He receives a task from the client like "I need 100 leads, to my site, for such a price." Technicians are suitable for this task.
Instagram profile manager - A person who maintains social network profiles. Mostly on Instagram.
His tasks include "To amuse subscribers", "feed" them with content, and during this sell the product to customers. He makes photoshoots, creates beautiful pictures and a content plan, comes up with promotions, responds to comments and direct messages, negotiates collaborations with bloggers to attract new subscribers.
For this task creators are the best.
After you have decided on who you are, you need to become a specialist in the field you like. If you are a techie, you should learn how to run Facebook ads, understand how to track conversions, etc. You must be well acquainted with Facebook ads manager or a similar system.
If you are a creative person, you should learn how to make beautiful post design, stories, and so on.
You need to become a person who can do the work from beginning to end with his own hands.
Today you can find many lessons about how to do this on YouTube. Take a few paid courses on the topic you've chosen. At the time of training, you will understand better what you have your heart for. Creativity or technology.
Technology is easier for me.
I can easily figure out the settings of any software, but making a story with a beautiful picture and heartbreaking text is a real challenge for me. You may be different.
You have completed the courses and now you have skills. They are not perfect yet, but you can already do something. It will be difficult to sell your services without examples of what you did. People like to buy in the style of "I want the same as you did the previous one". But how can you do it without having a portfolio?
The easiest way is to become the best student on the course.
When you are trained by an expert, he can always recommend you to someone else. To do this, you need to be the smartest student in the class. Teachers of this kind always show their successful students in order to find new ones.
Typically, such people already have customers, but they have a lot of work or have high prices. That's why they recommend their students. Such a system has been running for thousands of years.
In the beginning, Leonardo Da Vinci painted portraits of everyone, but then only nobles. But he had "traffic" that could not pay him the full amount. Therefore, some of the paintings were made by students.
The second way is to do work for someone free. There is nothing shameful here. All artists in the beginning draw for free, and then they take money.
This is how the world works.
Make a couple of projects for free; ask in return a client's review. He will record a video about working with you. You will have examples of your work; you can show them to other potential customers.
Getting skills of working with the tools is much easier than getting the first clients.
Clients themselves won't come, especially the first ones. Therefore, you will have to make efforts to attract them. But the most important thing is to understand to whom and what you sell. Otherwise, you risk wasting a lot of effort without results.
In the first paragraphs, I've already said that you need to understand what you specialize in. But now it's important to understand what type of business you are targeting.
It's best to choose one niche and position yourself as an "expert in this industry".
For example, you are good at setting up Facebook ads for the construction industry. You study the cases of other specialists and go into this topic.
On the market, you must be the best specialist in "Lead Generation in the Construction Industry" or some other.
If you are a creator, then it's better to choose niches from the Beauty industry. For example, you specialize in maintaining Instagram for brands promoting hand-made clothing or some other women's products.
A big mistake is trying to please everyone.
I understand perfectly well that at the beginning you want to start earning in any way and you are ready to do everything. It's possible, but it's better to move consciously in one direction.
Maybe you will specialize in driving traffic to webinars or promoting a personal brand of different coaches.
Today, the SMM market is so saturated that you cannot do everything. A specialist who works in a narrow specialization will always win the competition for a client from those agencies that do services to everyone.
Once you have decided on a niche, you need to find clients. And to do this you need to understand where to catch them. Today, there are many ways to do it.
Business conferences - the easiest way is to visit business events and trainings. There are hundreds of them in every city.
You can open Meetup.com and see what events are taking place in your city. In the same way, carefully monitor advertising on Instagram or FB. The organizers of such events attract by launching advertising. You can attend such events.
You can read how networking works in other articles, as it's a very broad topic. I'll just say the main thing.
You need to come to people, get acquainted and say what you do.
Believe me, at conferences people are embarrassed and wait for someone to talk to them. When I go to the conference, I set myself the goal to get acquainted with 20 people.
I see a group of people or one person, I go up to him and say "Hello, let's get acquainted then, what are you doing?" And if it's a group of people, I always say "Hello, what do you think about the conference?" You need to ask a person a question, he answers it and the conversation begins.
The number of clients directly depends on the number of people you will talk with. When you talk with 20 people, you will stop being afraid. The main thing is to start.
Freelance sites - today there is a huge number of freelance websites like upwork.com. You can go there, look for vacancies and send an application. That's all. There is no secret. The more applications are sent, the more clients you get.
Content marketing is a more complicated and long way, but it gives the best results. You are blogging on your social networks and your subscribers will know that you are involved in SMM.
You can find new subscribers at the business conferences by exchanging subscriptions to your profiles. You can tell in social networks how you made a project, what problem you've faced, what result you've got.
If you do everything right, you will have many clients. At that point of time, you won't have time to do all the work. It's a good sign and you can start taking the first steps to build a marketing agency.
Delegation – you can find a person who wants to work but has no experience. Remember yourself in the first paragraphs. You delegate part of your work to him and supervise its implementation. When you already have enough orders you can raise the price. This will allow you to hire other freelance staff.
Transfer of leads to other freelancers - at some stage you will receive orders you don't know how to do (or don't want to do).
For example, you are a technical traffic specialist in the medical industry, and you receive orders for developing beauty brands. At that moment, you should have useful contacts with other professionals.
So, you can give the client to other specialists for a percentage.
Also, you can hire other specialists in this niche to your agency and expand the product line and target audience. Now your agency can do several types of work.
SMM Automation Service Promorepublic did excellent research on how much a marketing agency earns. On average, an SMM agency generates profits up to $ 30,000.
The question of partnership is very large, but I'll try to explain the basic principles.
At the initial stage, when you work as a freelancer, there is a great temptation to make partnerships with the person you like. Of course, this factor is very important, but your partner should complete those competencies that you don't have.
As a rule, we like people similar to us. Partnerships must complete each side.
Also, there is another problem.
You want to partner with someone who has other skills. For example, you are a creator, and your partner is a techie. This is better than creator/creator or techie/techie. But at some stage, when you have enough customers, you can "buy" competent specialists.
It is much more difficult to find a good manager or a person who knows how to sell and has a vision for development.
We return to the fact that we must first deal with ourselves. It is the most difficult part. You need to clearly understand who you are. Specialist? Charismatic visionary? Manager? At the initial stage, in any case, you need to become a specialist, but with the further development of the agency, you will either be a visionary or a manager.
The best variant of partnership is when one partner is an irrational, charismatic, visionary and seller while the other is rational, calm, tough manager.
There are two key processes in a marketing agency.
This is the attraction of clients and the implementation of the commitments. As a rule, a charismatic partner is engaged in brand promotion and sales, and a calm manager builds the process of making a product.
In your case, the product is services for setting up advertising, creating a brand for your clients, etc.
If you know how to do your work well, but don't know how to sell, you need to partner with a charismatic seller.
If you know how to sell, but don't know how to do monotonous work and meet deadlines, then you need to partner with a manager. This is extremely important. It's a big problem when partners have the same competencies.
I have seen how businesses broke up because of this dozens of times. My first 3 businesses were unsuccessful because I chose partners with the same competencies as mine.
Start with legal stuff, not clients. When people want to open a business, they immediately begin to make a company, hire an accountant, a lawyer, etc.
This all ends up after half a year when they run out of money and the company goes bankrupt. It's better to start with clients. Only when you have 5 regular clients, you should create a company.
Pay for advertising. At the initial stage, you should find the first clients in a partisan way, without investing money. I wrote earlier how to do this. Don't pay for advertising in the first stage.
Do all kinds of services to all customers. Today it doesn't work this way. You will always lose to an agency with narrow specialization. Become an expert in one niche, get a stable of clients and only then do other types of work.
Rent an office. Today, technology allows you to control processes remotely. Don't expand staff, don't rent an office. It's better to spend this money on promoting your brand.
Take people to the cadre. It's a big mistake when you first hire people and then look for work for them. You will have a constant headache to keep them busy. As a result, you will work for your employees, not other way around. Get started with freelancers. Pay for the completed project. In any case at the initial stage don't take people to the cadre.
Try to get big clients. It doesn't work. You are small and you need to start with small ones. If you try to sell your services to large corporations, you will waste your time. Start with a small business that employs 5-10 people.