Product Growth Manager @ AgentFire.com - 7+ years in marketing & design. Addicted to user experience / behaviors. Pretty serious obsession of 80s nostalgia.
That's sales! ahah!
I can't count the amount of times I have thought someone was a perfect fit to move forward to learn they are just tire kickers... and some that seemed to be a long shot that closed.
If it is not happening frequently then you can stack it up as a anomaly - however that never feels satisfying.
What you need to do is look at your sales pipeline and try to understand where things went wrong.
Now the best way to find this out is simply ask that lead...
Noone really likes to do this, but it works. If you know they have decided to go a different direction then reach out to them with a follow up email to wish them all the best, let them know that if anything changes you will still be there and most importantly use it as an opportunity to ask them why they decided not to move forward with you. Ask what you as a business can do in the future to remedy it!
Now if they have fallen off a cliff and you can not get a response you will have to look at your sales pipeline and try to identify similarities between these lost deals that you can improve. This is why it is super important to leverage a CRM.
When it comes to marketing it really does need to be personal. I think to recommend the correct strategy one would need to learn a bit more about your business, industry, audience / consumers.
With that being said - let me start by answering your questions:
1. Pricing is a loaded question without understand things like your profit margins, purchasing cycle etc. With that being said do not under value your product. There are no winners there. It is easier to price high and then reduce than the other way around. However, if you are looking at pushing volume - introducing a reduced "limited time" price to help get a foothold in your market could work.... but beware, those "discount" customers who do buy are typically lower value from a retention standpoint.
2. To help push conversions you need to think of your brand as a community. Target an audience and relate to them. Consumers look for that connection between them and a brand. Continue to build relationships with the right consumers and don't always make it seem like you are pushing only your narrative (ie. sales).
3. Honestly before you go out and hire thousands of dollars in marketing services, first take a look at what you can do in house. There is a lot you can manage on your own from an organic side that can really help build your brand equity and convert it into sales. To start I would invest into people and content. Leverage things like social (fb, insta, youtube), blogging and events to capture an audience. Place those captures into tools like mailchimp or autopilothq to help nurture them into sales. Rinse / repeat.
Now this is of course a real macro perspective of things. If you want to dive in a bit more feel free to schedule a call with me.
It sounds like you are on the right track. In today's world, people consume so much content every day that it makes very difficult for businesses to break through that clutter and get their attention.
The big takeaway I think you should continue to focus on is making your message more relatable. If you want to get someone's attention you need to perfectly target their interests, pain points, wants, needs, lifestyle etc... and gear the message to where it feels like you are speaking directly to them.
Now this isn't always easy when you are dealing with lists because you have to be broad. However, one thing you can try to do is get really niche with your segments.
Take that list and try to isolate various groups so that you can hit them with a revised message that is more targeted to them. These "sub" segments could be based off of geographic area, gender, age etc.
With a better understanding of your offering and audience I can certainly provide better examples and other tips here if you would like to book a call!
I think with most, the challenge is in the expectation. We need to stop treating / valuing SEO in the same way we did 10 years ago. The sad truth is the dynamics of SEO and the role it plays in your marketing has changed a lot over the years but unfortunately most businesses are not realizing this and it is creating a tonne of waste for them.
To keep it simple - in today's marketing climate there are far better investments for your time and money. When it comes to SEO (or the end result of organic) you should be focusing on building your social presence and leveraging a relevant blog.
With these, it doesn't always take much to get results. I work with a company where blogging was an afterthought. However, even though we invested zero into SEO, by just having a few well written, relevant blog posts, they started generating hundreds of unique visitor a month... and yes they are converting into clients. So lets just say now we are now allocating more money into community and content :).
There is no shortage of proof that you do not need to spend a bunch of money on crappy SEO services, hacks, back-linking etc. to get results.
My name is Luke, I work for start up and I should be able to give a little more insight from the employee perspective as I am in a similar situation right now!
I think what you will find in this particular situation is there is no one right answer. Only you will understand the relationship you have with this individual and how you believe they will want this to be approached.
I think the best way to prepare for this it to try and get an idea of their expectations. If you have a rough idea how they see themselves valued, that should help better bridge the gap in your offering.
I know from my perspective as an employee I would want to come into that meeting with no bs and have a well though out offer ready for me.
For you, I think it is important to base this off not only on what that person has done / their role now but also identify what you expect from them moving forward and give him the opportunity to communicate the same things back!
If you have any more questions for me from a "employee perspective", feel free to book a followup call.
My name is Luke, I am a Product Growth Manager and specialize in building, marketing and growing tech!
For your question here there are a few things you will want to do first:
1. Establish A Budget
--This is extremely important to do because it will dictate the direction in which you build your company and ensure that your resources are going to the most important things first.
2. Identify Goals
--Jot down your short term goals and how you hope they translate long term. This again will help shape your marketing strategy so it is focused on an end result.
3. Identify Your Audience
--Create a "avatar" of who you feel your typical visitor would be. This is important to do so you can ensure that your design, ux, marketing, messaging etc. speaks directly to them.
Now here are a few suggestions on how you can better build and monetize a classified business.
1. Focus on a niche
It will be very tough to succeed if you go too broad because there are just too many big players to complete with. Plus, on top of that you have things like Facebook Marketplace and independent Facebook groups that are killing it right now. By setting up a classified site to focus on a niche (ex. electronics) you will have a better chance at establishing authority within your market.
2. Embrace the "support local" movement
Focus your branding on your specific town / area. By doing so you are going where the big guys can't. You are a member of the community and make sure they know it. This should give you an edge and allow you to better build a local audience.
3. Build an audience
Getting someone to post a classified on your site really won't be the hard part... the hard part is getting an audience that is interested in what your site is offering.
Establish a social presence on Facebook and Instagram. Build out mailing lists from your site (ex. listing update alerts). Hold contests, take part in local events, blog etc. etc.
Once you build that audience / community around your brand, you will be able to more easily monetize it through things like paid classified posts, boosting / marketing classifieds, advertised posts / emails etc.
This is just a real macro overview of things but if you would like to talk more feel free to schedule a followup call with me!