Using Social Media and Blog Articles to Sell Merchant ServicesMay 07
If you are reading this article it is because you found me through my social media presence or my blog. In a niche industry where I can only target agents who sell merchant services, I have had almost 50,000 YouTube views, I have 7,000 twitter followers (@James_Shepherd1) and I get over 4,000 visitors every month to this website. What many of you may not know is that I learned all of this as a way to generate leads for my own credit card processing business. Below I am going to share with you a simple list of procedures that I put in place a long time ago that generated a lot of business for me in my local community. I have never spent 1 penny marketing online for merchants or agents and if you are willing to work hard and do the things I list below for an extended period of time, you can experience the same success.
There are a few things I have done specific to our industry and I would like to share those with you. This is a list of procedures you can follow to generate inbound leads through blogging and social media.
- Visit Blogger.com to create a free blog. I recommend starting with blogger because it is free and because google hosts it and so it shows up in their search results faster. Name the blog using the words of your nearest large city where you sell and the words “Merchant Services” this will create a blog named yourcitymerchantservices.blogspot.com and this is a great way to start your blog. If you are on my team and consistently getting 12+ sales per month and you would like to do the things I talk about here, Contact Me and I will pay my web designer to make you your own custom blog on WordPress (like mine) with your own domain name. But, if not, you can easily use blogger to get started and see excellent results.
- Once per week, post a blog article with a title that matches a local search keyword that you want. For instance, I might create a blog called, “Top 10 Mistakes Altoona Business Owners Make When Choosing Merchant Services” This way, if someone types in “Altoona Merchant Services” into google, my article has a good chance of showing up. I might also create a post like, “Why my Merchant Services Business is based in Claysburg Pennsylvannia” Claysburg is a very small town which means I will not get much traffic to this post but, it also means that once or twice a month when someone does search for it, I would be at the top of the results.
- Make your blog posts personal and interesting. Post a blog about how much you enjoyed meeting a certain business owner and put in a plug for his business, then email them a link to the article saying, “I really enjoyed meeting you, I posted a blog article about my visit. I hope you enjoy the article and I hope it sends some new business your way!” This will go along way in taking a prospect and turning them into a client. Don’t use the blog as a sales tool rather, use it to show that you are a professional, use it to drive traffic and then make sure your contact information is prominently displayed.
- Create a Twitter feed where you post once or twice per day about a business owner you met. This feed should be very possitive about how much you love your business, love credit card processing and should include some helpful tips along with a link to any new blog posts.
- Create a facebook business page and Google+ profile and do basically the same thing but, add pictures to your posts of businesses you went to, have an employee take a picture of you with a new client and ask their permission to post it online along with a plug for what a great business they have.
- Update your LinkedIn profile and follow my instructions in “Using LinkedIn to Sell Merchant Services” in order to generate new leads from that and also post links to new blog articles on LinkedIn and see if there are any groups you can join for your area like, “Small Business Owners in Altoona” would be a group I would want to join. If there are not any groups yet, start one and DO NOT SELL IN THAT GROUP!!! Simply post interesting business tips good business books, talk about business owners you have met in the area, etc. If you join someone else group become an active (but not annoying) participant in the group.
- Lastly, start reading up on video blogging and creating podcasts to see if this is something you could do. All the same principles apply. Create videos and descriptions that are geographic in nature and watch your videos come to the top of the search results for those keywords. Create a podcast for “Business Owners in Mycity” and after a few months you might start getting some subscribers.
Understand that it will be at least 3 months of consistently doing everything I just mentioned before you will see any results at all. Understand that it will be 6 months before you really start to get significant traffic and realize that it could take a year before your content is creating a steady flow of 4 or 5 leads per month but, think about how much of an impact this could have on your business if you had 5 sales every month without even trying? Think of what this would do for your reputation in your community? Think of how many leads you would be getting in 3 to 5 years if you followed the procedures above consistently?
Take some time every week to begin building your online presence for your local community. I personally stopped doing all of this about a year ago because the recruiting now takes most of my time but, I can tell you from experience there and also from experience in recruiting agents that these strategies and procedures do work. They take a lot of time and it is very disheartening when you post your 10th article and realize that not one person has even looked at your site but, keep going. Within 3 months google’s search crawler will notice you and you will start to creep into the search results. Next thing you know you will have 40 or 50 business owners per month reading your posts, following your twitter profile and connecting with you on LinkedIn.