Whether it is entrepreneurs or small to medium size business owners, many people get stuck in the overwhelmed feeling of how to successfully market their businesses. They lack systems and effective strategies to keep their funnel of potential clients full. In order to avoid the overwhelmed feeling of not marketing your business properly, you must have a systemic approach that starts with a simple philosophy; “don’t sell to strangers.” What I mean by this is to focus on building relationships first, and only sell to people with whom you already have a relationship. Think about the last time you made a purchase for a major item such as a house or a car. Did the agent or salesperson, try to get to know a little about you before attempting to sell you? More than likely, the answer is yes if they were good at their job, that is. You get the point, right? Building a relationship with your prospects will help them to know, like and trust you and eventually want to buy from you. Fortunately, setting up a system to “get to know” your prospects is precisely that…a system.

There are 3 components to this system, and each must be completed in order. Please resist the urge and temptation to focus on step 3 before you do steps 1 & 2. To reiterate, the system works best when followed in order.

Step 1: Create a catchy, compelling and cool offer on your website. Go to your website now. Is there a “compelling” offer of free information that is prominently advertised on the home page? I’m not talking about a “sign up for our newsletter” or (“join our mailing list” box.) This is the crucial step #1. According to web analysts who track such things, up to 96% of visitors who come to your site, aren’t ready to buy or contact you for more information. With that said, they probably aren’t willing to leave their email address unless there’s something in it for them. Therefore, if you don’t have this great “compelling’ free offer, you will not have a chance of building a relationship with people who have a small amount of interest in you.

So the first thing you need to do is create that great free “compelling” offer. Remember “pull” tactics that are hooky in nature, catch the eye and work best. Do not simply say: “Here’s what we do”.

Step 2: Create interesting follow-up messages that you send after people request the free offer. This message is not the newsletter or e-zine. This message is called “drip marketing”…it is something unique. Perhaps the message offers a personal story giving the prospect an idea of your personality. Of course, you can certainly supplement the personal messages with a newsletter. You want to have your drip messages have a tone of intimacy as if they are being written to a single individual (even though they may be sent out to dozens, hundreds or even thousands of people over time). Drip marketing messages are critical regardless of whether you’re selling business to business or business to consumer. Building the emotional connection is key and it’s these messages that will do just that for you. Utilizing these messages will assist you in converting prospects into paying customers.

Step 3: Now it’s time to promote. After steps 1 & 2 are done, and only after you have completed those two steps for a few months, then began to focus on driving traffic to the web page. There are lots and lots of options: S E O, paid advertising on Google, Facebook, Linked in, article marketing, videos, Slideshare, direct mail, speaking, etc. The opportunities are endless.

Most small business owners tend to jump to step 3 without spending proper time and focus on step 1 and 2. It makes no sense to obsess on traffic to your website when you don’t have anything there to draw or pull people into your business. The idea is to get your prospects to self select when they land on your website’s home page. By the time they glance at your home page for a few minutes, they should be intrigued enough to learn more about you and begin considering a relationship with you. Therefore, the focus should really be on steps 1 & 2 which are the most crucial in building the relationship.

Once you have this system in place (the compelling free offer and the drip marketing sequence) now you are in a position where you can put as much-or little-marketing muscle into getting people to the site. What you finally have is a SYSTEM. If you work this system repeatedly, you will get results which means, more clients, make more money and get more visibility.

© 2012 Quality Media Consultant Group, LLC – All Rights Reserved

This article is written by Lori A. Manns. Want to use this article for your website, blog or newsletter? No problem. Here’s what you must include: Lori A. Manns, CEO of Quality Media Consultant Group your marketing and sales success mentor, and founder of ABC’s of Successful Sponsorship Sales System;TM  that shows you how to get more sponsors and sales for your business, guaranteed. To purchase consulting  services on marketing, advertising or sales and, learn how to increase your revenue and grow your business; please visit www.qualitymediaconsultants.com.