All It Takes is a Series of Small Steps

All It Takes is a Series of Small Steps.


All It Takes is a Series of Small Steps

Posted on December 17, 2012 by 



Just increasing certain aspects of your business by only 10% will move "mountains".

Just increasing certain aspects of your business by only 10% will move “mountains”.

I’m still a little surprised every time I meet a relatively new photographer who’s just overwhelmed by how much they have to learn and what it takes to build their business. Seriously, with the exception of winning the lottery, overnight fame or recognition is hardly something that happens for any of us. What I love though, especially about business success, is that it’s a series of small things you do with the focus being on consistency that will increase and build your brand awareness.

A couple of years ago my wife got me into WalkTheTalk. ( I’ve shared a few of these gems with you over the years. They’re short reads with a point. In the past I would have misjudged their potential, thinking there wasn’t much to get out of these little motivational books. How wrong I was!

One of my favorites is “The Power of 10%” and the subtitle says it all, How small changes can make a big difference..

Just think about the impact a 10% change would make on different aspects of your business. Most of us tend to do the same thing. We’re not moved to do anything in 10% increments. We don’t even consider a 10% discount on a sale at most retail stores to be very exciting. We tend to apply that same lack of enthusiasm in our “outgoing” efforts as well. We don’t want to move anything only 10% – we’re greedy and we want no less than 25% or more!

Now think about what 10% could do in your business. What if you set a goal to contact 10% more potential clients through direct mail and social media? What if next year you were going to attend 10% more workshops to improve your skill set? How about the decision to contact 10% more businesses in your community each week in order to make sure everybody knows there’s a great photographer in town…YOU! Suddenly 10% more on a regular basis becomes pretty amazing.

You don’t need to reinvent yourself and do the full makeover to see dramatic changes in your business. Just focus on small steps, one at a time and in the process you’ll see big results.

There’s a great quote in the book from Vincent Van Gogh: “Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together!”

Illustration Credit: © La Fabrika Pixel S.l. |


The Three C’s of Successful Entrepreneurial Teamwork

Shannon Waller explains the Strategic Coach three-part winning formula for team leaders and team members in an entrepreneurial organization: communication, cooperation, and collaboration.

Communication: The ability to get ideas across.

Cooperation: A willingness to work with others.

Collaboration: The courage to put out individual ideas, along with the flexibility to develop and refine them collectively.

Entrepreneurial lessons from Samuel Adams — the beer

Chris Spinelli and Jon Mervine, who have a brewing company, are among the entrepreneurs who have received advice from Jim Koch, the man behind Samuel Adams beer. “It’s like being a left-handed guitarist and getting the opportunity to jam with Jimmy Hendrix,” Mervine said. It’s important for entrepreneurs to be patient when it comes to growth, develop a great product and follow their passion, according to Koch. Fox Business Small Business Center (12/6)

How to get more young women into entrepreneurship

More women are getting involved in entrepreneurship, but there is still a gender gap, writes Candida Brush. It may be possible to encourage more women to start companies by helping them view entrepreneurship as a worthy pursuit, she notes. “Further, we need to disseminate the stories of women entrepreneurs, and provide more role models of women entrepreneurs of all kinds,” she writes. Forbes (12/5)

11 Simple (But Critical) Tips for Creating Better Landing Pages

From the HubSpot Blog

Posted by Pamela Vaughan
Tue, Dec 11, 2012 @ 08:00 AM

There’s no question that landing pages — and the lead-capture forms that come with them — are two of the most important elements of lead generation. Without them, marketers would be much more limited in their ability to convert website visitors into leads — and generate reconversions, too. That’s because landing pages enable us to direct site visitors to better targeted pages that have the ability to capture leads at a much higher rate than forms on other web pages.

Landing pages also focus your visitors’ attention on one particular offer, limiting the distractions of everything else on your website. Visitors are on a landing page for just one single purpose: to obtain an offer by completing a lead-capture form.

But converting visitors into leads, even with landing pages, is much easier said than done. In fact, there are quite a few best practices every marketer should consider when setting up and optimizing landing pages. So to keep you on track, here is your landing page tip list, excerpted from our newest ebook, The 30 Greatest Lead Generation Tips, Tricks & Ideas.

11 Top Tips for Creating Better Converting Landing Pages

1) Include All Critical Elements of an Effective Landing Page

Landing pages, sometimes also called “lead-capture pages,” are used to convert visitors into leads by completing a transaction or by collecting contact information from them. In order to make these transactions happen, it’s critically important that your landing pages consist of the following components:

  • A headline and (optional) sub-headline
  • A brief description of the offer that clearly emphasizes its value
  • At least one supporting image
  • (Optional) supporting elements such as testimonials or security badges
  • And most importantly, a form to capture visitors’ information

landing page elements

2) Remove the Main Navigation

Once a visitor arrives on a landing page, it’s your job to keep them there. So if there are links on the page that enable visitors to move about your website, you run the risk of distracting them, which creates lead generation friction and increases the chance they’ll abandon the page before even converting. And, let’s face it: No respectable marketer wants that. One of the best ways to reduce this friction and increase your landing page conversion rates is to simply remove the main navigation from the page. Simple as that!

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3) Match the Headline of the Landing Page to its Corresponding CTA

Keep your messaging consistent in both your call-to-action (CTA) and the headline of the landing page. If people click on a CTA for a free offer only to find out there’s a catch on the landing page, you’ll instantly lose their trust. Similarly, if the headline reads differently than the CTA, it might lead to confusion, and the visitor might wonder if the CTA is linked to the wrong page. Eliminate any and all confusion, and make sure your landing page consistently reflects what you promised in your call-to-action — and vice versa.

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4) Remember: Less Is More

Many of you are probably aware of the phrase “keep it simple, stupid.” Apply that same philosophy to your landing pages. A cluttered page usually results in a distracted, confused, and/or overwhelmed visitor. Talk about landing page friction! Instead, embrace white space, and keep the text and images on the page simple and to-the-point.

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5) Emphasize the Offer’s Value

Highlight the benefits of the offer with a brief paragraph or a few bullet points. The best landing page description offers more than just a list what comprises the offer; it also clearly highlights the value of the offer and gives visitors a compelling incentive to download. For example, instead of “Includes specifications of product XYZ,” say something along the lines of, “Find out how XYZ can increase productivity by 50%.” In other words, emphasize how the offer addresses a specific problem, need, or interest your target audience cares about.

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6) Encourage Social Sharing

Don’t forget to include social media sharing buttons that enable your prospects to evangelize your content and offers. To limit cluttering, just be sure to only include buttons for the social platforms your audience uses. And don’t forget to add an email forwarding option, since people have different sharing preferences. Keep in mind that even if your social media contacts never buy from you, there’s always a possibility that someone in their personal network will!

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7) Create More Landing Pages to Generate More Leads

According to HubSpot’s 2012 Marketing Benchmarks Report, companies see a 55% increase in leads when increasing their number of landing pages from 10 to 15. The takeaway is simple: The more content, offers, and landing pages you create, the more opportunities you have to generate leads for your business. More landing pages also usually means more targeted content that better appeals to your various buyer personas, which can help to increase your conversion rates. To increase the number of landing pages you have on your site, invest in an easy-to-use landing page creation tool, create more offers, tweak the offers you already have to cater to individual personas, and repurpose content you already have. In fact, we elaborate on all of the above in this blog post about why you (yes, you) need to create more landing pages.

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8) Only Ask for the Information You Really Need

You might be wondering how much or how little information you should require in your forms. There is no magic answer to this, but the best balance is to collect only the information you really need to qualify leads. In general, the fewer fields you have on a form, the higher the conversion rate. This is because, with each new field you add to a form, it creates more work for the visitor, and thus fewer conversions. A longer form looks like more work and will often be avoided altogether. On the other hand, the more fields you require, the better quality those leads will likely be, because they thought your offer was valuable enough to warrant a form completion. Essentially, the best way to determine what form length works best for your business is to test it for yourself.

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9) Consider Whether “To Submit, or Not to Submit?”

That is the question most of your visitors are probably asking. That’s why one simple yet effective way to increase form conversion rates is to avoid using the default word “Submit” on your form button. If you think about it, no one wants to “submit” to anything. Instead, turn the statement into a benefit that relates to what prospects will be getting in return. For example, if the form is to download a brochure kit, the submit button should say, “Get Your Brochure Kit.” Other examples include “Download Whitepaper,” “Get Your Free Ebook,” or “Subscribe to Our Newsletter.” Here’s another helpful tip: Make the button big, bold, and colorful, and make sure it looks like a button, which is usually beveled and appears “clickable.”

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10) Reduce Anxiety With Proof Elements

People are even more resistant to give up their personal information now than ever before. It’s understandable, considering all the spam out there. Luckily, there are a few different features you can add to your landing pages to help reduce visitors’ form completion anxiety:

  • Add a privacy message (or a link to your privacy policy) that indicates visitors’ email addresses will not be shared or sold.
  • If your form requires sensitive information, include security seals, a BBB rating, or certifications so visitors know their information is safe and secure.
  • Add testimonials or customer logos. It’s a great way to leverage social proof. For example, if your offer is for a free trial of your product or service, you might want to include a few customer testimonials about that particular product or service.

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11) Make the Form Appear Shorter

Sometimes people won’t fill out a form just because it looks long and time-consuming. If your form requires a lot of fields, try making the form appear shorter by adjusting its styling. For example, reduce the spacing in between fields or align the titles to the left of each field instead of above it so that the form appears shorter. If the form covers less space on the page, it may seem as if you’re asking for less. And whenever possible, implement Smart Fields — dynamic form fields that automatically adjust to a shortened version if a visitor has already been entered into your marketing database.

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What other landing page tips would you share with marketers taking an interest in landing page optimization?

Want more lead generation tips and tricks? Download your copy of The 30 Greatest Lead Generation Tips, Tricks & Ideas today.

Image Credit: DarrelBirkett

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