An efficient way to start a business is to build a landing page and get some people to join a list. A lot of businesses start that way, because ultimately, you need to have someone to sell to. In this interview, Tanya Brody explains how to use landing pages in the beginning stages of a business.
Mandy: Tanya, why are landing pages so important?
Tanya: Whether you are writing a blog or you’re selling a physical product or virtual product, you can’t do it without an audience. The place you really have to start is building your audience.
Mandy: How do you build an audience with a landing page?
Tanya: The standard way is to come up with what is commonly known as a lead magnet. A digital piece of content that you can give away for free. People can download it and they give you their email address in exchange for that thing.
For example, my lead magnet is an article with five copywriting tips. A restaurant could give away a coupon that people could print out and bring in. As you know, our friend Bob Sands has an emotional intelligence assessment that people can take. You want something that relates to whatever it is you are doing and that will make people want to have it enough that they will give their email address in exchange for it.
Mandy: I have a book called “How to get customers”
Tanya: Exactly. So you could give that book away or a chapter of that book away as part of your lead magnet.
Mandy: Once you have your lead magnet, how hard is it to create the landing page?
Tanya: It can be as complicated or as simple as you want it to be. It can literally be a picture and an opt-in form with a headline. It could be that simple or it can be more complicated with a bunch of information about what people will be getting and that option form. It depends on how much information you feel like you need to give to get people to respond.
In my “other life” I am a musician and I give away a free song. So my landing page is a picture of me playing the harp and says, “Download my free song”.
Mandy: I love that picture of you.
Tanya: Thank You.
Basically it’s just a box that says download the song and they click on the box and there is this thing that says, “Tell me where to send your free song.” People enter their email address and their first name and they click on the box. The system I use is Leadpages. Leadpages automatically delivers them the mp3 of the song. That’s one of the reasons like Leadpages. They have an automatic delivery system so you can upload a file and people can download it automatically.
Mandy: What if someone has invented something or created some sort of new technology. How can a Leadpage work with that?
Tanya: Well if you’ve invented like a software technology, for instance, offer a free trial. Say try our software for 15 days and then since you already have that person’s email and you can email them and say, “You’ve got 5 days left on your trial, are you interested?”
The point of having someone’s email is that it allows you to keep in contact with them, whether they are ready to buy right now or not.
Mandy: What happens if people join your list and they don’t really want to buy?
I use CoSchedule’s headline analyzer whenever I write a headline. Just so I can get some information about how people will respond to it, so I can just hone down what the best headline will be. I am not going to use CoSchedule because I am not at the point in my business where I need that, but I really love their headline analyzer. But they put their headline analyzer behind a sign-up wall. They used it as a lead magnet. I went ahead and signed up. Now I get a whole bunch of emails from CoSchedule and I am okay with that because they send me some interesting stuff, but I am really only going to use the headline analyzer and I am aware of that and I am okay with that.
There are going to be people like that on your list. There will also be people who are completely read to pay. When I signed up for free trial for another scheduling program, I knew I was going to buy this product from them, but I wanted to give it a try just to make sure I was happy. So when they emailed me to say, “Hey, your trial is almost up,” I’m like, “Yep, here’s my credit card information.”
Mandy: So sometimes the people who give you give you their emails will be your customers and sometimes they won’t.
Tanya: And sometimes it may take them awhile. Two years from now, I may totally want to use CoSchedule.
Mandy: When you’re ready for it?
Tanya: That is the question. Will I actually be ready for it? You have to consider where people are in the buying cycle when you build a list and you have to accept that not everyone is going to jump on the bandwagon at the same time. Which is why you collect their email addresses and you nurture those leads.
Mandy: Yes, that is so good. Can people make a landing page where they just ask for the sale?
Mandy: What’s the value of getting the email address and when do you first start to ask for the sale?
Tanya: I think that depends on what you are doing. There are a lot of people, myself included, who have landing pages out there that go straight for the sale. I have a landing page geared towards selling landing pages. How crazy is that, right? I have it out there so that when clients say to me “I am interested in your landing page services”, I can send them there and they can say, “That’s what she does. That’s the package I need.” Boom, there we go. But, by the same token I also send out a regular blog mailing list and a regular newsletter just to keep my clients interested and reminding them that I exist. So I do both.
There are people out there who all they’re doing is selling stuff. So all they are going to put out there are sales pages and that’s fine. You can still get email addresses from that so you can so you can tell people about your next special, your next sale, your next coupon … whatever that is.
We are all at the point where we realize that we are going to be marketed to wherever we go. We may like it, but we all recognize that if we are given something for free that you are going to be marketed to. Someone’s collecting your information to be able to market to you.
Mandy: Why are landing pages becoming more important?
Tanya: We have to recognize that marketing has become much more of a two-way street now. It used to be one way. It used to be you put an ad on television, you put an ad in the paper, or you had an ad on the radio, and all it did was broadcast out and there was no way to respond.
When you are doing things like landing pages and emails, that’s a way for people to respond and so we have to recognize that.
Same thing with social media. People will respond and so you have to remember that it’s a relationship now and you really have to nurture that relationship.
Mandy: So this is really like starting a relationship-you are getting the phone number and then you are going to start to call and set up your dates.
Tanya: Exactly. So once you start that relationship, you need to make sure that it’s not just about you. It’s also about them. That’s why I write my blog every week… to make sure that I am giving my potential customers useful information. Sometimes that information drives them towards hiring me. Sometimes it’s just information they can use in their own marketing because I want them to be empowered to do their own marketing. Sometimes they lean abo something that actually works, but they may not have time to do it and so they think, “Maybe I should get her to do my marketing.”
Speaker 1: Yesterday I saw someone with a really familiar face… I see her all the time. I’m always smiling and nodding and saying Hi. We know each other but I don’t know why I know her. You know what I mean? A long time had gone by and it was getting really awkward for me because I couldn’t figure out what we had in common. Turn out she has been on my list for two years.
Tanya: Oh my goodness. That’s wonderful!
Mandy: When we originally met I was about to have a baby, so we didn’t connect in person. It was like a relationship that wasn’t really getting off the ground. But I had this list. And so she joined my list and then she kept getting my emails. So then when we talked the other day, it was as if the relationship wasn’t just thrown in the garbage. It was like we kind of know each other now.
Mandy: Or she knows me a lot more than I know her.
Tanya: Yeah, and honestly I have had several people who have joined my email list who wants to be copywriters contact me and go, “Hey, can you give me some advice about getting started with this?” And I will absolutely help them.
Mandy: She was a writer too. So, we are both kind of working in the same space.
Tanya: Yeah, but you know I have had people contact me and go, “You’ve done this. Talk to me about what I should be doing.” And I’m happy to take the time to do that because again, that’s nurturing that relationship. Then if I have a client who I don’t want to take on because it’s not in my field, I can pass it on to them and they’ll do the same. Again, it’s just nurturing that relationship.
Mandy: That’s really important. Does it lead to sales?
Tanya: Yes, it does.
Mandy: You mentioned that a landing page can be just a picture with a headline or it can be really complicated. Do people make it too complicated?
Tanya: Oh, I’m sure people make it too complicated.
Mandy: How easy can it be?
Tanya: Honestly, a landing page can seriously take you 15 minutes to put together if you make it that simple picture, headline, contact box. It can be that simple. This is not rocket science. You are not trying to sell them a car. You are trying to sell them … Give them information. If you make it clear, this is free, I am giving this to you because I think it will help you.
I have a landing page. It’s out there. It’s on my website. It’s on my Facebook, but I don’t ever draw any traffic to it necessarily and every time I do, I have people opt in because they are interested in those five copywriting tips because they are good copywriting tips.
Mandy: How to you go from giving away free stuff to making a sale?
Tanya: There are always going to be people who want to do it themselves and there are always going to be people who want you to do it for them, whatever it is. If you make and repair guitars, you could put together a list of the five ways to diagnose and fix the tuning problems with your guitar and there will be people who will be like, “Oh, this is exactly what I need, thank-you!” And they will be excited to get more free tips from you. And there will be people who are like, “Thank God someone who knows how to do this. Here take my guitar.”
There will be people who will buy from you when they are ready and when you present the right product. So that person who was really excited about being able to fix their own guitars? If you write a manual on how to maintain your own guitar, they’ll buy that.
But then there are people like me, who don’t want to screw up their guitar. I’m going to hand it to you and say, “Make it better!”
You have to recognize who your audience is and what they want from you. That will help you decide how to create your landing page and your lead magnet.
Just ask: What is it that you are selling? What is it that you are giving your audience that will be the best thing to attract them.
Mandy: You’ve worked with Leadpages for a long time and you’re an expert at putting these landing pages together. What features does Leadpages offer?
Tanya: Sure. The great thing about Leadpages is that they’re offering you hundreds of templates and you can just stick words and images into the templates. That’s why it’s so easy. You can build a landing page with their drag and drop builder or from scratch.
Mandy: The template will have a picture you can put a different picture in it to make it your own.
Mandy: There is a headline and you can exchange the headline with you own headline and then you’re done.
Tanya: Right, but the beauty of what Leadpages does is they have fully-optimized templates. They’ve already done the research. They already know about how big the headline should be and where the image should go and what the layout should look like. You get to go in and change the colors and the images and decide if you want a picture or a video and write your own headline and put your own text in
Tanya: Of course, you have to the pictures and the files ready. Whatever it is you are going to upload. You have to know what you are going to write. But after that, it’s ridiculously easy to do with their system.
The other nice thing is you can publish it on your website. They have a plug-in to use with WordPress. You can download their plug and you can basically stick your landing page onto your website. You can download the html and download it to your website if you don’t happen to use WordPress. You can actually publish your landing page to Facebook so that you could put it into one of those tabs on your Facebook page
Or if you don’t happen to have a website yet, because you are just getting started, you can actually publish it on Leadpages server.
Mandy: Will they give you a long link?
Tanya: Yeah, and they’ll just give you a link that you can use wherever you want and you can shorten it with Bitly or Hootsuite and stick it wherever you want to. You can actually build your own full website out of Leadpages which is kind of nice because it’ so simple.
Mandy: Yeah, making a website seems like kind of an undertaking, but making a Leadpage is easier.
Tanya: Yeah, Leadpages actually has template that are like a full scroll-down landing page and you can actually just make your standard home page one of those things where it has all those different sections and there’s a menu at the top and when you click on the menu it just takes you further down the page to that section.
With their templates, it’s all built in. It’s all coded for you. You don’t have to think about any of the coding and for me, since I don’t do coding, it’s perfect.
Mandy: Cool. What are the components of a good landing page?
Tanya: You need a compelling headline. That headline needs to tell people why they are at your landing page, what you are offering them, and what the benefit is. Believe it or not, you can actually cram that in in 5-10 words. You need some sort of image. Human beings are very visual so you need something to catch their eye to keep them attracted. Always remember you have between 5 and 10 seconds to grab someone’s attention on any page on the internet.
Once you grab their attention, keep their attention by telling them again and again what the benefit to what they are getting is. How will it help them?
One of the cool things about Leadpages is you can actually duplicate your page. So if you are sending someone from Facebook, you can specify that they came from Facebook. If you are sending someone from a Google ad, you can specify that they came from a Google ad with this key word. If you are sending them from a page on your website, you can say, “Hey, you were just on my website looking at this” All you have to do is hit the duplicate button and change the text a little bit.
It’s much faster than having to build the whole thing over and over again.
When you get ready to build your landing page, you need a compelling headline, a good image, and text that tells people why they are there, what they are getting, and how that will benefit them. Really those are the components of any good landing page and that will at least get you started.
Tanya Brody is a copywriter and a Leadpages Certified Conversion Expert. You can find more articles about copywriting and marketing at Tanyabrodycopywriter.com.