As a small business, are you scared of numbers when it comes to leads & conversions? Don’t be. They can be a fun and powerful tool for connecting to the right clients.
All you need to do is sit back and look for the numbers with the best stories.
This is a story about marrying our messages with numbers. Spoiler: it ends with something fun I created so you can do just that.
Game of numbers
I remember we had this blue workbook at school and every day we had to complete a chapter. Each chapter would take us further into the world of numbers. Plus, minus, computation… the 10s tables, 100s tables…
I whizzed right through them. It was so easy – in just a month’s time I had gone through the entire workbook.
I was kind of embarrassed, thinking I must have been doing something naughty speeding ahead like that. I was also kind of bored.
And then one day, a nice woman came and called me – and my classmate, Philip – out of the class. We sat in the hallway having no idea about what was going on. I thought my filled workbook might have gotten me in trouble.
The nice woman told us that she was there to play special number games with us because we seemed to like them so much.
For the rest of the year, an excited Philip and I would be taken out of class for an hour or so every day and there we would play games about money, time, and patterns.
It became my favorite time of the day.
By the time I had completed elementary school at 10, I was top of my class in English and just below Philip in math.
But she knew I was a deep thinker with a tendency to drift off.
She would often solve that by conjuring up an element of fun – re-focus my energy with a challenging exercise disguised as a game. She got it. Numbers had to be fun. Because they are.
But she also got that I really was a numbers girl. I loved numbers. And I was really good at them. Did I think I would be happy in the advanced class?
She knew the teacher. He expected the class to sit quietly and just work in their workbooks. And to do it quickly. No games.
I said I wasn’t sure. Clearly, she took that as a no.
So, I turned thirteen, started middle school with the regular stream, got bored because it was too easy, and drifted off into my dreamy world.
Sometimes, I would approach the teacher at free time to ask for different exercises. He would pat me on the head and say perhaps I was just better with words.
And so ended my reign as Numbergirl.
Enter Words Girl
I embraced my new title as Words Girl. I was in the Honors English stream, the Gifted & Talented program, I was cast as the lead in my school plays, sang in the State choir. I thought I had left the world of numbers.
Little did I know numbers would still find their way into my life. Hiding in the patterns of my poetry, sneaking into the music I could read, guiding me in the structure of grammar, words, sentences, stories…
They would even show up boldly once in a while. 1st place for a play I had written at 16. $22,000 – what it would cost (at that time) every year to go to one of the best schools for writers in the US. 90% – the scholarship I won to go there.
23 – the age I was when I got my first real job doing communications for a BIG Dutch Bank where I would be surrounded by numbers all day long.
It took me a while to understand why and how that happened. But now I do. I had to get my numbers on again. And that I did.
I eventually left the bank to slowly move from communications to copywriting to content strategy & marketing. I wanted to open my world back up to numbers. Not just for my work. For me.
I wanted to embrace the interwoven relationship between words and numbers. I needed to find out how one single digit could have a whole story attached to it. How one single story could be boiled down to one single number.
There is a reason the word ‘figure’ can mean a number or a person. And in that relationship, you have feeling. You have life. You have a message. You have a story. And that is what can makes numbers so darn fun.
That right there? You need to get that.
You see, as little business owners we need to open ourselves to the challenging but fun game of numbers.
If you want to grow your leads, conversions, client base and ultimately profits, you are going to have to pair your most compelling story with an ability to listen to the story behind the numbers.
And that is what content strategy & marketing is all about.
Happily ever numbers.
The Little Big Mouth 1:1 Storytelling intensive is a a fast, furious and above all FUN way to bring out your unique brand message, turn it into a story, and create a powerful campaign around it.
But that is not where it stops. The Little Big Mouth 1:1 Storytelling intensive is also a solid introduction to the power of content marketing – which is essentially the art of learning to read the story behind the numbers.
This is the part that ultimately can turn your campaign into gorgeous figures: leads, sign ups and opt-ins that are also real, living breathing people you have the power to transform into loyal readers and clients.
In fact, I did just that with this very campaign.
I read the numbers. I found their stories. And this how I did that:
1. I pre-launched this campaign right before the New Year’s – first to my newsletter and client list and then through broadly targeted Facebook ads. Those are adds that go for reach and big numbers.
2. I watched what happened, reading the analytics – who opened my email, who clicked through to the program page, who watched the video, who opted in to the program.
3. I checked all the engagement (likes) I received on my Facebook posts. I looked at their Facebook pages and Googled them to find their stories.
4. I measured their stories against my client personas – these are client descriptions I created around who I would want my ideal clients to be. Too many didn’t completely match up. Why?
My clients for this program really get that they need to invest time, funds and some challenging work into their business in order to grow – and they also want to do it as authentically and organically as they can. They are very down to earth, determined, and above all like a FUN challenge.
5. I made adjustments to my program based on what I thought was missing after reading those numbers and reviewing the personas. This included some additions to the progam: a follow-up call, a clearer description of the content marketing element, and bonus content marketing materials.
6. But I realised I also needed to pump up the fun a bit more.
7. In fact, I credit my 6 year old daughter who – at 1:00 in the morning in the midst of a spell of jet lag hunger – had the brilliant insight: “Mama, you should not just teach your clients how to write you should play games with them. ” Talk about a full circle moment!
8. So I added a gaming element.
And then I officially launched the updated 2015 program – adding one more element. A gaming element.
A raffle contest that would give participants the opportunity to win a 1:1 Storytelling intensive for FREE… and increase their chances by earning points through extra engagement options.
These include signing up for the newsletter, reading about the program, following me on Twitter. It is a great way to find those clients who are really serious about learning how to take their brand message to the next level and match the way I mentor. Which is the ultimate factor when it comes to who my ideal clients are.
And then I started really targeting my Facebook ads. I thought of the stories I had written about my ideal clients. I started turning on settings based on their likes, backgrounds, needs, hobbies.
I saw the reach get smaller and smaller. I saw those reach numbers going down. And I realised that was actually really cool.
Because they were giving me amazing clues about who my potential clients are, what they really need, and how I can keep fine-tuning to answer to those needs.
Suddenly I was getting more Facebook likes by those people with stories that matched mine. I was getting a smaller reach, but more engagement, more contest entries – and more completed contest entries. Which shows me that those participants are inspired, interested, motivated and determined.
The kind of clients I want.
But those numbers also told me something else:
I needed to let my contest run a little longer. Following this behavior was really giving me insight as a starting business into what my potential clients really need. And I meant offering more prizes suited to where these clients are in their business story.
So that is what I have done. The contest has been prolonged for another week AND I am now offering FOUR 30% discount prizes instead of just one – in addition to the free giveaway and the 10% discount.
And the fun has just started. Are you ready to be part of it?
Enter the contest below – and, who knows, perhaps you and I will get to play together.