Developing an Authority Site – Develop a Lead Magnet

This is the fifth a series of nine blog posts that was written by Herb Nordmeyer for this blog customermagnetin 2013.  

So, what is a Lead Magnet?

Sylvia loves to laugh at me. When I was doing some writing recently concerning Lead Magnets, I had a senior moment and called them Idea Magnets. As she reviews this blog before we send it to Erica, she will correct any slips I make in terminology.

A lead magnet it is something you will give away in return for a person opting-in on your website. It can be anywhere from a page, to a chapter in a book, to an entire book. It can be physical or it can be digital. If it does not have a perceived value, it will not entice a person to opt-in and give you their e-mail address. It is usually cheaper, works better, and much easier if the lead magnet is digital. That way they can get instant gratification and you save the cost of postage. A person who is willing to give their e-mail address may not be willing to give their mailing address.

Twenty years ago if I had gone to a website and been asked to sign in for literally any reason, I probably would have done so. Most others would have done so as well. Then as the years passed I found that when I gave out my e-mail address that the people who received my e-mail address would often pass it on and suddenly I would be receiving e-mails from all over the world, even from Nigeria. Those from Nigeria were special. They always were someone who had at least five million dollars tied up so they could not get to it and offered to give me half of it if I would help them by giving them my bank routing information. I never responded to one of those wonderful Nigerian offers, but I quit giving out my e-mail address to so many people.

Only when there was something that seemed valuable to me would I give out my e-mail address. When I gave out my e-mail address, often I would give out the address of an account that I seldom used. That way I could periodically go to that old account and discard almost everything that came in.

For a while I signed up for free webinars on subjects such as how to sell more books, or how to build a mailing list. Most of these free webinars started off with a few minutes telling me about what they were going to tell me, they then moved into testimonials. The last 55 minutes of a 60 minute webinar was a strong sales pitch to buy a $497.95 series or a $997.95 series that would teach me the things that had been promised in the sales page leading up to the free webinar. 7 times in each free webinar I would learn that if I hung on to the end, there would be a free prize. Often that free prize turned out to by a 10% discount for the over-priced offer. I learned not to sign up for the free webinars because at one point I was receiving up to 100 offers per day for free webinars that would make my life so much better. I would go thorough and unsubscribe and suddenly I was back on the list because someone with my e-mail address had sold a list.

I, like most others, quit giving out my e-mail address unless there was a desperate need to give it out. The Lead Magnet is that need. It needs to be valuable to the person receiving it. It needs to be discussed in a sales page (often sent out to e-mail lists) that gives truthful information about it. If the Lead Magnet does not deliver, most people will unsubscribe immediately.

So the question comes up, what has value? For the GrandpaHelp.com website, we want grandparents to opt-in to receive our newsletter which besides providing useful information will provide information on our series of books which they may want to purchase for their granddaughters. As we develop our website further, we want them to subscribe their granddaughters to our forum so the granddaughters an discuss issues in a safe environment.

We need a sales letter and lead magnet which delivers what the sales letter promises.
For GrandpaHelp.com we have decided that a good Lead Magnet would be a quiz concerning how good of a relationship a person is in. Over the next several months we may vary the quiz. One version would be for grandparents and granddaughters to take and compare how they think their relationship is developing. A second version would be for the young lady to take to see how healthy the relationships she is having with young men are. We would have the sales letter and the chance to Opt-In on our website and on our FaceBook page. We would also send out copies via various mailing lists. The goal would be to develop mailing lists of grandparents who are interested in developing deep relationships with their grandchildren and young ladies who would like a little help in navigating through their teenage years.

The lead magnet is just one step in developing your authority site. Next we will talk about developing a website.

Developing an Authority Site – Just What Do You Want?

what-do-u-want2If you do not know where you are going, you can rush to get there and expend considerable energy and you may never get there. If you do get there, you may then wander off without realizing that you have gotten there.

We have talked about your market. You have selected your market. How will you entice your market? What do you want your market to do? If you state that you want them to spend an average of one dollar per week at your site, you have not accomplished anything. Why? Because you have not specified stated HOW your market is going to bring your dollar per week to your site. Additionally you have not done anything to get them to get them to your site.

Remember, if you cannot clearly state what you want your market to do, they will not have a clue. If they do not have a clue, they will not do anything that will help you.

Develop a name for your site, and register it. Ideally the name should be related to your market and it should be easy to remember. Http://www.3point 14159265359.com/ might work if your market were mathematicians, but it would probably not work for anyone else. Http://www.GrandpaHelp.com would be a good name if you wanted to develop a site for grandparents who want to help their grandchildren, but it is taken.

You want them to opt into your site so you can build a mailing list. That is easy. Just ask them and of course they will jump at the opportunity to give you their email address. Do you notice the sarcasm dripping from the previous sentence?

If you want them to opt-in you have to make it worth their while. Usually that involves furnishing them with something they perceive as valuable. This is a lead magnet. We will talk about a lead magnets in a future blog.

Meanwhile, how do you get the people to come to your site and later come back to your site? You need to set up a schedule and write blogs that are relevant to your market. I guess I should write a blog about how blisters on the left thumb impact juggling armadillos if you are left handed.

Maybe I should title it Blistering Armadillos. But then maybe I shouldn’t. If I cannot write passionately about this topic, I need to go back and develop another market. I should probably give up the market of left handed armadillo jugglers since I cannot be very passionate about it.

Eventually you are going to want to have guest bloggers, but until you have a series of blogs and people are reading your blogs, it will be difficult to attract guest bloggers if you do not have the cash to pay them. So you need to keep blogging with relevant information and keep spreading the word about your blog site. This can be done with FaceBook, and convincing everyone who likes your website to tell their friends. You can use AdWords to bring people to the site. If you bring 100,000 left handed armadillo jugglers to your site and all they find is information about what you are going to do in the future, they may not come back when you actually have something that is worthwhile on your site. Make sure the first blog you post is worthwhile and end your blog with a lead in to your next blog. If you are relevant, this will help bring them back.

So you can have continuity, write blogs ahead of time so you always have a blog or 5 in the pipeline.

Just because someone comes to your site each week to read your blogs do not expect this to result in them opting-in. They are getting all you have to offer and getting it without sharing their e-mail address. At this point you are trying to build a following.

At this point you are in a quandary. How can you attract quality guest bloggers if you do not have a large mailing list? At the same time, how can you build a mailing list if you do not have quality blogs from not only yourself, but also from guest bloggers.

Our next blog will talk about lead magnets.

Notice how this blog ended with information which is intended to get you to come back next week for the next edition.

 

Developing an Authority Site – Your Market

tourism-nicheIn the last blog, we talked about the market. Now we are talking about your market. There is a substantial difference between the market and your market. Your market is personal.

For example, Oprah Winfrey is marketing to ladies who are concerned about children, about their health, about their spouses, and are in a certain socio-economic group, etc., etc., etc. If you were approaching the same market, your market would be very different from Oprah’s. That is because you bring your unique point of view to your market. It would be nice if you could bring Oprah’s unique point of view to your market, but that’s not likely to happen.

You will notice that Oprah is very protective about her market, and she knows them extremely well. If you were talking with her and proposed an idea, she could immediately tell you whether her market would be interested in it or not. You need to know your market of left-handed armadillo jugglers so well that you can immediately make a determination as to whether they would be interested in a topic.

They need to know you well enough so that when they need information on a subject, they will come to you. They didn’t come to Oprah because of her knowledge of psychology. They came to Oprah because she had identified Dr. Phil as an expert in his field who could relate directly to her market. There might have been other experts who were better than Dr. Phil, but chances are they could not have related to her market as well as Dr. Phil.

Why would a left-handed armadillo juggler come to your site? Since Herb is not a left-handed armadillo juggler, he has no idea as to why they would do that. But if you have a passion for this subject, you probably have an idea, and you need to proceed to expand on that idea.

Can you monetize your market? That is a fancy way of asking if you can make money from your site. You may have a reason for having a site that you want to develop into an authority site, and you’re not interested in making money. This is fine. Identify what you want to accomplish with your site, and that becomes the currency by which you measure success.

It would be nice to have a site with 1,500,000 subscribers, with each subscriber earning you $10 per month. Actually, that wouldn’t be very nice, because you would end up having people taking potshots at you. Every time you opened an email or went out in public you would be inundated with demands for help, and the government would be busy collecting taxes on your income.

Instead, aim for developing a site where you have 1000 subscribers, and each subscriber is bringing you about a dollar a month. If you can get to that point during your first year of operation, then you have learned the process of developing an authority site, and you can do the same or more during your second year of operation.

What can you do to monetize the site? You can develop products you can sell; you can acquire products you can sell; you can sell advertizing; you can use your mailing list to market other people’s products.

GrandpaHelp.com was developed to help market the series Grandpa, Help! Answers to Questions a Young Lady Would Never Ask Her Parents. We have one book for sale and have others in progress. We are not selling it on our site at this time, but we are referring people to Amazon to purchase it. Amazon takes a commission, but at the moment we suspect that our market trusts Amazon more than they trust us on things financial. Soon we will have the next e-book in the series. Then there will be print books. We plan on starting a forum, where young ladies can go and discuss their problems. We plan on starting a forum so grandparents can go to discuss their problems. All of these things take time.

Sylvia has not told Herb that we will be selling Grandpa, Help T-shirts and coffee mugs, but if there is a demand, she probably will.

We have not talked about setting up a coaching program to coach grandparents in developing relationships with their grandchildren, but we have a book outlined on helping grandparents connect with their grandchildren.

Decide how you are planning to monetize your site, but keep a very open mind, because you may have to go to Plan G, after plans A through F do not work.
Next time we will discuss Just What Do You Want.

 

Developing an Authority Site – The Market

TargetMarket-300x300The two biggest failures in the market arena are failing to identify your market and two, failing to ensure that your market is large enough. Going back to last week’s blog about juggling armadillos, the market is not armadillos. The market is not juggling. The market is not teaching juggling. The market is people, specifically people who enjoy juggling armadillos. Your topic is what you’re selling. You might be selling a 26-week online course for $1997.97 payable in advance and of course nonrefundable. In building your site you would be going after bloggers who will provide information that people who are interested in juggling armadillos would either use or appreciate. They probably would not be interested in how to house-train your dog, but they would probably be very interested in a definitive blog on whether armadillos carry leprosy. This is furnished in the event you didn’t know that the Texas state mammal is a carrier of leprosy. Don’t be an authority on a topic; be an authority on a market. In selecting your market and your topic, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are your hobbies and interests?
  • What are some of your life experiences and achievements/
  • What problems, big or small, have you solved?

Sit down with someone who knows you and ask them to answer those questions concerning you. They often have insights that you do not have. If you do not have a passion for your market and your topic, you either need to find another market and topic, or you need to find a partner who has the passion to do the interacting with the public. If the person interacting with the public does not have a passion for your market and your topic, the public will know, and growth will be slow. Now you need to find out if the market is large enough. Develop 50 or so keywords concerning the market and try them out on Google Adwords to see if there is enough business. Look for 30,000 searches per month when you sum the searches for the top 5 keyword phrases. If there is no competition, then there probably is not a market. If the competition is high, you may be competing against well-funded big boys. In that case, refine your niche. Rather than armadillo jugglers, you may want to focus on left-handed armadillo jugglers. Use some common sense in selecting your market. If your topic is divorce, your market can be recently-divorced women, or it can be recently-divorced men, but it cannot be both. You could have separate sites for each and use most of the same information on both sites. Select your Target Market. It is a very focused market, and it is where you will be aiming your marketing. Your marketing will spill over into a larger market, the Qualified Market. With time you can draw them in, but do not start with them. There will be a little spillover beyond that into the Available Market Beyond that, there is the Potential Market, finally the General Population If you sell to everyone, you end up selling to no one. Next time we will discuss Your Market.

What is An Authority Site?

This post was originally published by Herb Nordmeyer, author of the “Grandpa Helps” series of books.  

An authority site is a website where people who are experts in an area post their blogs. This ends up developing the website so that when people need information in that area, they will go to that website.

Developing an authority site is not something that can be done overnight, it takes an awful lot of time. Before you can get an expert in your market to write a blog for your site, you have to have something to make it worth his/her while. So if your market is people who juggle armadillos (that is a Texas thing), you have to do something to entice Joe Smith, the self-proclaimed world’s leading expert on juggling armadillos, to post.

You might offer him $500 in cash. You might offer him 100 armadillos. You might convince him that your subscriber list of 100,000 people could bring him lots of business if he posted on your site. If you’re starting out, you don’t have any of these options.

This series of periodic blogs will discuss how you can build that authority site. And with building that authority site, you can build a subscriber list. Remember, nobody who’s been around the block is going to give you his email address if he doesn’t get something in return. So, we will talk about how you can build an authority site, how you can build your list of subscribers, and how you can entice people who are experts in a subject to write blogs for you at a very reasonable price.

In the end you will have a subscriber list of somewhere between 1 and something more than one. The size of your market is going to impact how large of a subscriber list you can build. Probably my website on how to be a grandparent will have the ability to develop a larger subscriber list than yours, if you’re limiting yours to juggling armadillos. For those of you not in the know, the 9 banded armadillo is the state mammal of the state of Texas.

Next time we will discuss The Market.