Collecting Leads Is Far More Important Than Getting Facebook Likes

I always say that without customers you don’t have a business. If you’re starting out in business, your mind will be flying at 100 miles an hour, full of ideas just waiting to be executed! And yes – you are going to try to do all of them yourself! One business idea you absolutely MUST implement in your 1st month of trading is your ability to collect leads, whether it be electronically or manually, off-line.

Typically, when I ask entrepreneurs, especially coaches and consultants, why they don’t have a system in place to collect leads they give me the following excuses:

  • My website isn’t ready
  • I’m too scared to take the leap
  • I don’t know what is the best lead magnet (opt-in) for my business
  • I don’t see it as priority
  • I have no purpose in creating an email list
  • I have a small list but I’m not doing much with it.

If you’re serious about building a business, which like your house, is an asset that can be bought and sold, then you really don’t have any excuses for not having a system to help you capture leads and build a database.

I prefer to have an email autoresponder with a built-in CRM database, that can automatically collect leads for my business, in both the online and offline environment. Having it online just means you can scale your business faster by doing some clever automation and integrations.

And for those who don’t know what CRM stands for, it stands for Customer Relationship Management.

Here’s a fun fact: Before anyone invented the term CRM, Tiffany’s, the world famous luxury jewelry shop, had been collecting individual purchase data from their customers and used this information to market to a segment of its customers since 1956 (Source: Luxury Retail Management book, 2012).

This is nothing new.

Even today, large corporations see the benefits of having a CRM. What’s new about it is that today’s technology has made this even more affordable for small businesses – you don’t need expensive mainframe systems to support enterprise level software anymore like SAP or ORACLE. You just need an internet connection and someone with a pulse to put it all together for you!

As you can see, I use Active Campaign because I think it’s the most flexible platform that meets all your business needs, especially when you’re starting out. It is reliable and it’s monthly cost starts from as little as USD$9. Before this, I used a free version of Streak CRM, which is built exclusively for Gmail users. And before this I trialed countless others!

I’ve met people who turn over $2,000 per month, but dish out $300 per month on expensive CRM databases. They pay for the privilege of having the Rolls Royce software, when they could be investing their funds into other areas of their business where they could be getting a better return on their investment.

I was prompted to write about the importance of having a CRM or a way to collect leads because I’ve been coming across a few comments recently being posted by entrepreneurs inside some of the Facebook groups I follow.

These questions are all around how to build a business on social media, by focusing on engagement. By ‘engagement’, I assume they are interested in getting likes, comments and shares.

Although it feels nice to have followers, liking and engaging with you on social media, what I think really matters is getting these followers OFF the social media platforms, and onto your platform, aka CRM.

Just because someone has 50,000 likes on their Facebook, it doesn’t mean they have 50,000 customers. For all I know, they could have paid for these likes (Yes, you can buy them on Fiverr).

When your followers exist on your platform, then they are YOURS and are not subject to the ever-changing Facebook rules and guidelines. Facebook could change their algorithm tomorrow, and you could lose 50,000 likes in a flash!

This is why I don’t think “trading” likes is a good strategy either; however having your own database of your own leads and customers can be a true asset for your business as many buyers find this a very attractive trait about your business (HINT: think of your competitors or non-competing industries with common target audience).

My advice to anyone starting out in business is to Google-proof and Facebook-proof your business early on. Yes we need these platforms to ‘do’ business, but we don’t need to run our businesses exclusively on these platforms.

If you need help selecting the right software, creating your own marketing funnel or you’re just starting out in business, you can apply for a free strategy session with me here

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