In the online world there are multiple customer buying journeys for those who want to purchase your services.
Some people who stumble across your business will be ready to invest in your services immediately. Some in the next few months, and others could take 2 years or longer to decide to work with your firm.
It is because of this that we need to build relationships and provide different content paths for prospects. These content paths will guide them through the stages of making a purchase decision.
Since visitors who are unaware of their pain when they stumble across your information (be it through social media, advertising or a Google search) are unlikely to buy from you immediately, you need to nurture them and build meaningful relationships so that they turn into buyers/clients in the future.
The key is to do a great job of staying in touch with them, and staying front of mind during this period. The act of nurturing a lead, and building a trusted relationship will likely ensure you are at the top of their shopping list when they are looking to invest.
I launched my business in 2009. I quickly built my email list through visiting networking events and referrals, but at any one time new leads only converted at about 3%. Those leads were not always ready to buy immediately.
The majority were keen to invest with me though, once they had been educated further on their pain, and the solution to their pain. It could take up to 2 years or more for these leads to convert, but because I had content marketing in place to nurture them they became clients.
Once I analysed these buying cycles my business changed a lot. I developed The Traffic Light Method™ to help me, and my clients, take a prospect from unaware of their pain, to taking action.
The Traffic Light Method™ is a strategy that when implemented, changes the way communication and content was delivered. Let me outline it to you in more detail:
The Traffic Light Method™ consists of three stages. Red, Amber and Green. These stages have different actions to help move a prospect from unaware, to aware, to action.
A prospect who is at red doesn’t yet know they have a problem. You know they have a problem as they fit your buyer persona. But right now they don’t know that they need your services.
When your prospect is stuck at red it is your job to educate them about their problem. You need to highlight the pain that they are feeling, but can’t pinpoint at this moment in time.
At this stage in the education journey you will never talk about you or your firm. What you will do is highlight what they are going through and reassure them that there is a solution.
Stage: Awareness – Educate them that there is a problem, and educate them on what needs fixing.
When a prospect is stuck on Amber they are completely aware that they have a problem and they know what this problem is. However, they want to know more about it. During this stage we show them that they are not alone, we reassure them that this problem is “normal” and then we educate them on how to fix the problem.
A prospect who is on Amber will want to consume information. They will be hungry to find out more as they are feeling the pain in their business/life.
Stage: Consideration – Educate them on the solutions available, and demonstrate your expertise through insights and quality content.
A prospect at Green is ready to buy. They are feeling the pain and are looking for a solution – fast. They know what the problem is, they know how to fix it and now they are looking for suppliers to help them.
A prospect at Green needs to know certain things. These are 1) what makes your firm different from other accounting firms and 2) Proof that your firm is able to help them overcome the pain.
Stage: Decision – Make sure you have a USP and case studies/brochure to convert a prospect into a client.
The Traffic Light Method™ uses two concepts that are important to your online marketing. The customer buying cycle and triggers.
To maximise your online marketing efforts, we suggest:
- You get super clear on who your ideal client is
- You understand what their 3 dominant pains are
- You have a full and remarkable solution to their pains
- You create content that takes them through the 3 stages of Red, Amber and Green – from stop to go!
- You have content that you give away in return for an email – enabling them to join your email list
- You have nurturing content in the form of email, events and webinars for those who are at Amber and Green lights.
- You approach your marketing strategically, rather than relying just on referrals
When you have this in place you will be able to implement The Traffic Light Method™ and convert more of your prospects over the next couple of years and catapult your firms growth.
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