Chances are, successful online marketing and lead generation are fairly new concepts for your company.  Unless you are one of the very few that has a sales funnel in place that brings you multiple new leads every day and a website built to capture these leads, then you may have a web presence, but you don’t have an online marketing system.  Here’s something simple that may help you.

Perhaps Seth Godin (arguably the world authority on marketing) states it best…

“In the Mad Men Era, we added marketing last.  We produced a product or a service, and then spent our time figuring out how to promote it.  But today, we’re in the Connection Era.  We need to view our marketing as part of our serviceThis is especially true on the internet and those who adapt will thrive while those who resist are failing fast.”

So what does this mean and what should you do?  Here’s a simple strategy that is proven to be effective online.

Start solving problems for your customers- before they become your customers!

Yes, I’m sure that you and your business are wonderful at solving problems and providing solutions for your customers after you’ve been hired or after the client has purchased your product/service.  But consider changing your paradigm.  Ask yourself these questions:

“What is the most challenging issue that most of my clients face?  What is it that they really want to know?”

This is hitting them where it hurts.  Identifying their problem and offering a solution- without needing to get paid for it.  In fact, doing it in a way that simple and easy for your prospect.  They shouldn’t always need to “Schedule a Free Consultation” just to get a few answers.  Yes, sometimes it may be necessary but it should be the exception, not the rule.

Listen, if you’re good at what you do, then you probably know what they are going to ask you before they even ask it!  So use your experience to build some rapport, build some credibility, and build your database at the same time.

How do you do this online?  There are a number of ways- and this does NOT mean simply asking people to “Join Your Email List” or “Sign Up for Your Newsletter”.  Trust me, no one wants your spam, regardless of how great you think it is.

Instead, consider writing a white paper or an eBook and give it away to prospects.  You could shoot a 60 second video which provides a simple solution to a common problem.  You can record a webinar or a slide show presentation and give your web visitors free access to it.

The beauty of this method is that it’s “win-win”.  The internet was built to provide free information to its users and that’s why people are there.  They will voluntarily provide you with their email address so you can send them your free information- as long as it’s what they need.  In addition, they’ll gladly remain on your list as long as you continue to send them useful information.  You’ll be building a bond with someone you’ve never even met.  Eventually they will become your customer, refer you to a friend, or both!  But even if they don’t, your good will and willingness to serve will project a positive image for your company and your service.