The digital marketing landscape is changing so much that it’s become a game of chasing the latest trends, adapting to new strategies, and trying every possible way to get to the right people at the right time. Kris Reid, the Coolest Guy in SEO, knows this side of the business all too well, so he’s the right person to ask about the digital marketing sales process.
In this episode of Craig Campbell’s Digital Marketing Podcast, the owner of Ardor SEO shares some insights that you could use for your business.
Craig Campbell’s Digital Marketing Podcast
Craig Campbell has been an authority in search engine optimisation (SEO) for the last 18 years. The Glasgow-based SEO expert offers a wide range of SEO and digital marketing services, as well as courses and speaking engagements. Craig started his very own digital marketing podcast to offer an avenue to talk about different topics under digital marketing and other business-related subjects.
In his podcast episodes, Craig talks to different people who are authorities in digital marketing, SEO, and business themselves, where they discuss important tricks, strategies, and insights on how they achieved success.
Kris Reid and Ardor SEO
Originally from Brisbane, Queensland, Kris started as a software engineer who worked in the finance industry in Europe for 10 years. When the 2007-2008 Global Financial Crisis hit, Kris found himself travelling around the world for two years wondering what he should do next. He eventually went back to Australia to develop an online game, which led him to learn about SEO.
When Kris discovered SEO, it was all about the backlinks. As he learned about how backlinks worked, he ditched his online game and started building some software to organise backlinks, which started his business.
Since then, Kris’ company, Ardor SEO, has become one of the leading SEO companies in the world with remote teams in the Philippines and in Saigon, where Kris has been based for the last eight years.
With his remote team and a core staff of only seven people, Kris has closed several deals for his company.
In this podcast episode, he shares how he generates leads and what the other strategies he uses for his digital marketing sales process.
Generating Leads for a Digital Marketing Company
Lead generation is such a crucial step in the digital marketing sales process, but it’s also one of the trickiest. Kris starts with a famous quote from John Wanamaker that says, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The only problem is I don’t know which half.” Kris points out that this has been a problem for traditional marketers, but not for digital marketers because everything is already measured.
The challenge here is how to get your point across and let business owners understand what you’re trying to sell. If you tell someone that you’re selling SEO, they wouldn’t give you five minutes of their time.
However, Kris has a good way of explaining the importance of SEO to potential clients. He says, “And if you explain to them, it’s like having a business card, right? If it’s sitting in your pocket, it’s not doing anything. If people can’t find your website, then it’s not doing anything… But if you put it in front of where the people are actively searching for exactly what you do, what the hell is more powerful than that?”
Kris also points out that SEO isn’t the end-all-be-all of digital marketing, which is why it’s very important to get a broad range of visibility.
Here are some tips he shares:
Getting a range of visibility
As a digital marketer, you should never set your sights on just one tactic. Instead, you have to broaden your scope of visibility from Facebook ads to podcasts and even YouTube videos. It’s also very important to build a network where you can get introductions for people who matter to your business.
Adding value while selling
If you’re at a point where you can give some of your services for free, do it to the right people. Kris says that he once helped a guy with his SEO, and that person knew a lot of people who helped him get into speaking engagements, which would have otherwise been impossible to get into. It’s not always the monetary benefit, but the networking that will give you more returns.
Practising due diligence to customers
Of course, you can’t just give away your services for free to anyone. This is when you need your due diligence to know who you’re selling to. Bigger entrepreneurs are used to getting things for free, but their influence is beneficial to your business.
Using LinkedIn to connect
Kris swears by LinkedIn as a powerful tool for lead generation because it allows you to connect to anyone. And by anyone, he means the key decision-makers in companies.
According to him, it starts with a nice, personalised message that could work wonders for you. Although you won’t get an answer from all of them, you’ll surely get some business from some big companies if you’re persistent enough.
Pitching to someone on LinkedIn
As a believer of LinkedIn, Kris has come up with an effective means of pitching into prospect clients through LinkedIn Helper. He believes sending casual messages prompts people to respond, and asking questions allows anyone to send a follow-up.
With your contacts being CEOs, business owners, and digital marketers, everyone is worth your time and effort.
Generating leads through paid ads
Paid ads, along with a good SEO strategy and social media channels like LinkedIn, effectively generate leads.
However, Kris believes that the more important strategy that marketers need to focus on is closing the deal because it usually takes time to master. People turn to different ways of doing so, including packaging all services into SEO bundles just to close a sale but don't work most of the time.
Closing digital marketing deals
Kris says that instead of hard selling, he’s always focused on understanding his market first because it allows him to say the right things to his clients. When you get to the right person, you have to give them a perspective of what you can do for their budget and the things that they want to achieve.
Building relationships with clients
Sales aren’t just about generating leads and doing the selling, but are more about building a relationship with a client so they will trust you enough to do business with you in the long run.
Kris also invests in good sales presentations that allow clients to understand what he does and how his service could be beneficial to their business.
Crushing your sales presentations
Kris believes that there must be a written form of what you have in mind, for example, the rates of your services. People are inclined to everything they see on paper, as it gives them a sense of trust in the company that will take care of their campaigns.
Coming up with a precise strategy
A precise strategy allows you to move forward and present your ideas to your clients with ease. But, how much are you willing to show them during your presentation?
Giving your all during the first meeting would mean your client would know up to when they’ll generate results from their campaigns, which also means they’ll stop using your services at that certain period. Now, Kris believes that showing them another client’s strategy with positive returns is a good way of enticing them to hire you for the long term. After all, they would trust in your capabilities to deliver consistent results.
Planning digital marketing steps
According to Kris, the digital marketing process at Ardor typically starts with lead generation, strategy presentation, and closing the deal. Once the client is in, they will be passed on to the SEO team where they will handle the rest.
Getting a good sales team
Due to some bad experiences with his sales team in the past, Kris believes it is difficult to find good salespeople who have integrity. However, there’s always light at the end of a tunnel. When things got rough, he still found one person who helped him bring his visions to life. According to Kris, the key to finding the best people to work for you is to have a reliable hiring process.
Hiring the smartest bunch
So, how can you build the best team? According to Kris, you should hire people who are smarter than you. He’s had his share of bad team members, but now he has the right people working for him.
Remember that you’re not going to be good at everything, so it’s good to have some people to help you with your weaknesses and make sure that everything in your business is well balanced.
Best Books to Read
The discussion between Craig and Kris ends with a question as to why Kris has excellent communication skills. Kris goes on to say that he has been reading books that are all about sales, marketing, and communication, particularly audiobooks by Grant Cardone. He thinks that if you live and breathe the books that you’ve been reading and listening to all these years, smashing that sales call would be an easy feat.
You can listen to the entire conversation between Craig and Kris at Craig Campbell SEO and get more ideas on how to run an effective digital marketing sales process for your own business.