Category: Blog

9 ways to convert leads into paying clients

You landed your dream domain name, built an SEO-friendly site, and people are starting to find out about your freelance business.

You thought you had done the hard part…

But, now that you have some interest, how do you turn these people into paying clients?

Whether you’re offering a specialized service to local consumers, or a broader offer for remote clients around the globe, attracting paying customers can be challenging. This is particularly true if you’re a freelancer just starting out.

Luckily, you’re about to learn nine tips to help you do it.

email, likes, and checkboxes

Communicate well

While it’s obvious that you must communicate with your customers-to-be, it’s not always easy to know what to say or how to say it.

1. Be active on social media (but not all platforms)

New businesses often feel like they need to be on every social network, from Facebook and Instagram to TikTok and YouTube. This is usually not the case. First, as a small business or freelancer, there aren’t enough hours in the day to be omnipresent, and second, you need to work out whether your customers are even using these platforms.

You also need to consider the type of content you’re producing. Beautiful photos are ideal for Instagram and Pinterest, but snappy and striking video content works well on YouTube and TikTok. Lengthy, informative, and educational posts are perfect for LinkedIn, while quick facts and tips are popular on Twitter.

Post daily, whether you’re promoting something, spreading industry news, or sharing customer testimonials. Create a social media calendar so you know when important dates specific to your industry are happening or when a summer sale will start.

Respond to questions in a timely fashion. In this modern, always-on world, people expect answers to their inquiries, and the faster you can attend to their needs, the more positive their brand experience will be.

Facebook Groups and LinkedIn Groups can allow you to connect with truly interested people. It’s easy to spot new customers asking questions and offering them help and advice, giving a great impression of how you would be in business.

If you’re looking for more tips, check out How to boost your social media strength.

2. Send relevant emails

Sometimes prospective clients will sign up for mailing lists, especially if you promise terrific content that will benefit them. Freelance writers may offer tips on writing Google ad copy, and illustrators may share how-to guides on drawing products.

According to Statista, it is estimated that over 376.4 billion emails will be sent and received each day, and the number of global users will reach a total of 4.6 billion by 2025. In other words, email marketing is here to stay. So how do you stay relevant to potential customers in an overcrowded inbox?

One way to connect with your customers through email is to set up welcome auto-responders so that when they sign up to your mailing list, they will automatically be sent a message. You can personalize the message as they will likely have signed up with their name. It’s also an excellent opportunity to include a money-off promo code or alert them to any sales you have running.

Make them feel cared for. If your client fills out a form asking questions about your service, make sure that an automated reply is set up to tell them when they’re likely to get a response. This shows them you’re thinking about their needs and helps manage expectations.

Do your research. What do your customers want to learn about? Create educational emails to share new services, industry news, and content that will make them realize that you understand them and their needs. Before you hit send, read the email back. If you’re bored by it, your customers will be too.

3. Conduct prospect surveys

There’s no point guessing your customers’ thoughts about your brand, product, or service. The easiest way to find out is to ask them. Prospect surveys are a surefire way to gain valuable insight into what customers want and reach a new audience that hasn’t been converted.

Don’t send a survey for the sake of it. Perhaps you want to know what features people expect to see or pricing. Once you have your reason, it’s easier to shape your questions.

Use multiple-choice surveys and give people a chance to answer open-ended questions. Let your potential customers ramble on about a great or terrible experience they had with other companies. You’ll get a much-needed glimpse into their feelings.

The more you conduct surveys, the better you’ll know your audience, and the greater your service will become. Read Best practices for creating surveys for more top tips on creating your own.

percent of a candy bar

Reward customers

People like to feel special, and rewards can help with that. Whether nibbling a chocolate sample in the supermarket or receiving a money-off coupon for that lawn mower you’re obsessing over, rewards make us light up and think more favorably about the company that’s giving them.

4. Offer deals

Whether you’re offering a coupon, discount, or a free product, deals are a time-honored way to make people feel valued. Everything must be planned. How long are you running the deal for? Will it be a regular sale? Your offer should have a purpose, whether it’s shifting old stock or highlighting a new service.

Send out emails and schedule social media posts to alert everyone about your deal. Give them a warning, tell them when it’s started, and remind them when there are 24 hours left. You can’t expect them to stumble upon your sale without being told it exists.

Don’t forget to upsell and cross-sell. Upselling is what happens at McDonald’s when they ask if you want to supersize your meal (upgrade), and cross-selling is when you’re shopping for a jumper online, and a pair of jeans is suggested to go with it (a related item ). Both methods help create a better customer experience and increase sales.

5. Provide helpful content

Positive experiences with your brand promote a deeper connection. One of the ways you can improve the impression potential clients have of your brand is to deliver valuable content they can digest.

Let’s imagine you’re a freelance cycling journalist. Sure, you may share screenshots of your best articles, but if your website offers recommended printable cycling routes through France, or monthly tire maintenance tips via email, you’re offering something extra that customers will love.

Here are some examples of some great content you can create:

  • Book/eBook
  • Learning course
  • Infographic
  • Podcast
  • Templates
  • Blog
  • Industry tools
  • Interviews with industry experts
  • Case studies
  • Resources
  • News

Not only does it enrich your future buyer’s experience, but it helps position you as an expert in your field.

If the thought of writing a book excites you and you’re bursting with great ideas, discover why writing a book is good for business and get inspired.

6. Start a loyalty program

Although they take some planning, loyalty programs are a great way to make a prospect feel special. They can help you increase sales and brand engagement — and are a valuable way to gain insight into your customers’ shopping habits. So, how do you get started?

When you think of a loyalty program, you may have a favorite. Try to think about why. Do you receive personalized offers? Are you offered early access to a new product? Is a freebie up for grabs when you’ve spent a certain amount?

A prospective customer nervous about spending with an unknown company will be interested in a first-time offer like Buy One Get One Free (BOGOF) or 50% off your first purchase.

Loyalty programs are great for attracting new customers and can help influence them into making a purchase, but everything must be clear and easy to understand.

Cool hedgehog in dark glasses

Be authentic

If you want to charm a potential client, it’s crucial to be your true self. Stackla reports that 88% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding which brands they like and support. Authenticity means trust — and trust improves loyalty and, in the future, advocacy.

7. Build your brand

Branding can be powerful and sometimes last a lifetime. It’s a business identity and is achieved by research, developing a brand personality, and keeping your message consistent through your design, copy, and communication touch points.

You may be loyal to a particular brand of trainers or only buy a specific brand of coffee from a specific store. Why? Is it how the brand makes you feel, or does their way of thinking align with your way of thinking? Branding is how you present yourself, and a strong brand is a successful brand.

Read all about branding in Developing your personal brand and How to build a successful business brand online now.

8. Network

Connections are vital if you want to succeed in business. Whether that’s finding like-minded people who make you feel inspired or a shoulder to lean on when you feel stuck for ideas, networking helps you create business relationships and can improve your reputation in your industry.

The people you meet may have heard of your business — but meeting you in person may lead them to search online for your service and make that first purchase.

Conferences can seem overwhelming at first. Do research, and don’t be afraid to ask for help on Twitter or LinkedIn. People love to share advice if they’ve been attending them for many years. Look out for apps that include a list of attendees, and keep a note of businesses you want to speak with.

Explore Meetup or search for local groups on LinkedIn. You never know who you might meet or the types of things you might learn over a mid-morning coffee!

Learn how to connect in Five ways networking helps you succeed and How to network at conferences.

9. Show social proof

We know that group influence is powerful. That’s why review sites like Trustpilot exist. Stories from other people matter to us — we want to feel accepted, so we do what everybody else does.

One of the ways you can do this is to share testimonials on your website. Show that your customers are real by using genuine photos. Case studies are long-form social proof and can help customers understand how other customers interact with your product.

Showcase your awards. If you’ve been shortlisted or won an award, then make sure it’s on your homepage, in your blog, and on your social channels. Awards evoke confidence and help to build trust.

Influencer marketing can help change your brand perception and provides highly regarded social proof. And it’s not just A-list celebrities. Different levels of influencers can engage niche audiences, which might be perfect for your brand. Read about Why small businesses need social media influencers and find where to start.

Go forth and get your customers

Hopefully, by now, you feel inspired and excited to start turning your prospects into buyers. Above all, it’s about creating a positive brand experience that your customers-to-be will love. Remember to listen to them, whether that’s on social channels, feedback emails, and surveys. To listen is to understand!

To recap, the nine ways to turn first-time buyers into repeat customers are:

  1. Be active on social media
  2. Send relevant emails
  3. Conduct prospect surveys
  4. Offer deals
  5. Provide helpful content
  6. Start a loyalty program
  7. Build your brand
  8. Network
  9. Show social proof

Please feel free to add your ideas in the comments below. I’d love to hear them.

Want to learn more about building a business? Delve into the recordings from our past Namecheap Summits, where you can learn from business experts and entrepreneurs:

Watch Namecheap Masterclasses now


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wpadmin July 12, 2022 0 Comments

Movement Lab: Subscription, Retention, Success 

Andrius Česnauskas is the founder of Movement Lab, a boutique fitness studio that is looking to change the way people think about exercise. Movement Lab was designed to be that much more than the average gym. “The most important thing for me is to create a space where people can feel good.”

Few subscription-based businesses are harder to maintain than owning a gym. Clients sign up, train three times a week for one month, once the next month, and then cancel their membership. It’s the kind of joke you hear all over the world. Andrius Česnauskas believes that the reason most people give up is not that training is hard, but that the regular gym environment is just not suited to modern client expectations.

“There are a lot of trainers who have fitness studios, and they work very hard themselves. But if you ask me, most trainers don’t realize how to make a business out of it.” For Andrius, that meant realizing that most clients don’t want to become bodybuilders. “Our clients are not just thinking about their immediate image, but also their future. They want to feel healthy, happy, and enjoy exercise.”

Creating a Concept

Ambiance proved to be the key to unlocking the potential of the business. “We are trying to incorporate sport into a person’s lifestyle because our clients already have lives of their own. They don’t want the gym to be the core of their weekly schedule, they want to exercise to reduce chronic pain, get a better night’s sleep, and have a better quality of life.

The interior of Movement Lab, a boutique fitness studio.

“The niche itself is quite narrow, but by making sure that we are really giving our clients personal attention, creating a space with lots of daylight and high-quality coffee for like-minded people to chat and relax pre-and post-workout, we have developed something special that works.”

Client Retention

Movement Lab is aimed at a more professional audience than most fitness studios. “Our clientele is roughly 70% female, and the average age bracket is around 30-35 years old. They tend to have stable jobs, most have families, and they are definitely not looking for a place where people are always showing off – that’s important.”

Andrius believes that his concept is the first of its kind in Lithuania. While his niche is small, he recognizes the fact that the success of any subscription-based business model is built on retaining clients. “Luckily, I guess, our clients are forward-thinking, they want to live a long life,” he jokes. Still, the best jokes are always steeped in truth, and for Andrius, that truth is self-evident: “Our clients want to feel good and that is the basis of everything we do at Movement Lab.”

While SaaS businesses might talk about reducing churn, Andrius prefers to think about building a community. “In a regular gym, you’re just focused on yourself – it’s quite a solitary experience. In our studio, there is no such thing as exercising on your own. Our clients work out with a trainer in small groups of up to 6 people.”

The business case for the success of Movement Lab is clear: take small groups of like-minded individuals, create a tasteful space, offer high-quality services, and people will want to return.

It’s well known that people who go to the gym together tend to be more committed. “We chose the small group format because it is quite expensive to work out with a personal trainer one on one. This way, we can offer our clients a personalized fitness routine at a lower price point. Regardless of the fact that our clients are in the same workout session, they do different exercises according to their individual needs and desires for the program.” In essence, Movement Lab offers bespoke personal training while also cultivating the sense of camaraderie that keeps clients coming back.

Building for Success

According to Andrius, clients come to Movement Lab because they didn’t find what they wanted anywhere else. “My perspective on fitness is to approach everything through the prism of wellness.” For many, the key to wellness is balance, and a large part of that is reflected in the space itself, which Andrius created with a team of interior designers. “When you first come in, you feel at home. You see the sofa, the flowers, and the coffee machine – I asked the designers to make it look nice, to make it Instagrammable, and I made it functional, ergonomic, and practical.”

Once Andrius has a person through the door, he is sure that he will be able to turn them into a client. Yet, he understands that people come across his business online. “Every single Movement Lab client came to us through our website – it’s the core of our business growth.”

For Andrius, keeping Movementlab.lt online at all times is vital. Like most small business owners, his main communication channels are on social media. “That’s how my marketing funnel works. I buy paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram and it leads directly to my website.” After that, he makes sure that the first section of his website represents the concept of the studio. Then it’s about the trainers who work there, the pricing list, and finally a registration form. “It’s really simple, and this way I save time, I have a very high conversion rate, and I get high-quality contacts from social media advertising.”

Training taking place at Movement Lab, a boutique fitness studio.

With so much of his success dependent on his website, Andrius had to shop around to find web hosting that could match his ambition and dedication. “I’ve been using Hostinger as my business web hosting for the past two years now, and I also use it to buy domain names. What I like about Hostinger is that everything is integrated – I like having everything in one place. Compared to the hosting services I’ve used before, I find that Hostinger offers me more information while also being easier to understand.

“I find it very user-friendly and very simple. At the moment I have about 15 domains in total because I see their potential and I might use them in the future. For example, personaltrainer.lt currently redirects to my main Movement Lab page. When Hostinger makes it so easy to manage your domains, I think it makes sense to take them if I think I’ve had a good idea for a name.

“Your web page is your first impression and a huge part of your business image as a whole. When my clients google Movement Lab, what do they see? They see the quality of the website, they see how fast it loads, and they see how well designed it is. I believe it’s the little things that make up the big picture. It’s how I manage my online presence and it’s how I run my business too.”

Have you used Hostinger? Want to appear on our Customer Spotlight? We’d love to tell your story. Reach out at spotlight@hostinger.com.


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wpadmin July 11, 2022 0 Comments

Getting started selling website maintenance services

Keeping a website running can be a lot of work. Whether it’s updating software, ensuring everything is safe and secure, or even day-to-day revenue generation, website maintenance involves many moving parts. Not everyone has the time or know-how to do it right.

That’s where an expert like you comes in. Many website owners choose to put the day-to-day care of their website into more capable hands, making website maintenance services a valuable business proposition for those with the expertise.

Whether you’ve already dipped your toe in the world of maintenance services and are looking to expand, or you’ve been considering starting to provide them, this article should prove helpful. We’ll be going over what maintenance services are, the broad scope of what they can entail, and the tools you’ll need to provide them.

The value of maintenance services

If you already offer web design or development services, offering maintenance services is an excellent way of monetizing existing clients and securing a steady monthly or annual revenue stream, rather than just one-off jobs. For clients, they’ll have the peace of mind that their website is up-to-date and safe from any potential breaches. Plus, they’ll likely refer other clients if they’re happy with your services.

Hedgehog teaching about privacy

What maintenance services can offer

The scope of website maintenance services can run the gamut and will depend on your area of ​​expertise and whether or not you have a team of staff on hand to help you. You can basically break it down into two categories:

  1. Services for keeping your site secure and running
  2. Services for the day-to-day running of the site and customer retention

Both categories can encompass a variety of tasks, but standard maintenance services for keeping your site safe and running typically include:

Software updates

As a web professional, you’re likely well aware of the importance of keeping website software up-to-date. Clients can often have difficulty keeping up with updating CMS, plugins, themes, and any other tools they use on their site, leaving their site vulnerable to security breaches, errors, and more. You can take care of all this for them, executing updates and dealing with other technical issues that arise.

Security

Maintaining a site’s security involves what was mentioned in the previous point, as well as performing regular site security scans, installing SSL certificates and keeping them up-to-date, installing and maintaining a firewall, and troubleshooting any other security issues that might crop up .

Website backups

Backups of your clients’ sites are crucial should they ever encounter a security breach that takes them offline. The frequency of backups depends on how often new content is posted to the site in question, but at least weekly at a minimum.

Back-end maintenance

Keeping a site operating at full capacity can involve a wide range of technical troubleshooting, from fixing bugs, errors, and broken links to optimizing site speed.

Weekly or monthly reports

Clients like to be kept in the know about what’s going on with their site. Regular reports can inform them about what you’ve been working on, fixes you’ve implemented, any security issues you’ve found, and sometimes even analytics feedback about visitors and trends.

Now that we have the basics covered, it’s time to think about what else a client might need for the day-to-day running of their site. This will, of course, all depend on what kind of site they have, but common extra services include:

  • More in-depth analytics, such as tracking marketing campaign performances
  • SEO considerations, like implementing keywords and technical SEO
  • Updating website UX
  • Developing new and updating old site content
  • Updating website design
  • Providing social media imagery
  • Scheduling social media posts

How to charge

Typically, the more services a client uses, the more you bill them. Many freelancers charge clients a fee per hour of work, but many website maintenance services charge a set monthly or annual fee for packages of specific services. Packages with tiered pricing models are standard, for example, splitting them into starter, basic, and premium models. Starter packages are usually the cheapest and offer bare-bones maintenance services, while more premium packages likely cover both categories mentioned in the last section. Prices can range from $15 to a few thousand dollars per month, depending on your customers’ needs and the number of sites they have.

For tips on pricing your services, check out The Foolproof Way To Price Your Solo Business. If you’re nervous about dealing with client expectations, this post is also a great resource.

toolbox with website items

Now that you know the potential of what you can offer, it’s time to think about how you’ll deliver it. What tools will you need to provide clients with the perfect package?

The skills and expertise

Be realistic about what you offer clients regarding where your expertise lies and the amount of time you have to allocate. If your skills lie in the technical side of things, don’t promise more than basic website maintenance. If you want to expand those services, consider teaming up with, hiring, or sub-contracting other experts, such as content writers and marketers, to amp up your package offering.

Another option is taking the time to train and learn new skills. There are a plethora of free and affordable classes online for learning the ins and outs of SEO, analytics, digital marketing, and more. Namecheap’s Guru Guides has numerous introductory guides to online marketing, such as:

Applications, plugins, and platforms

Many agencies have exclusive platforms that they use to maintain client websites. Creating your own platform is a pretty daunting task for anyone, especially if you’re just starting out. Fortunately, there are a wealth of free or affordable tools available online that you can gather to create your own personal website maintenance toolbox to help make your job easier. Here are a few ideas:

  • For WordPress maintenance, Wordfence is a great all-in-one security solution, Yoast is a go-to plugin for SEO, and UpdraftPlus is a backup plugin used by over 3 million websites.
  • UptimeRobot is a tool that monitors websites and lets the owner know if it goes down.
  • With Sucuri’s SiteCheck tool you can scan any site for malware, viruses, malicious code, and more for free.
  • For all your analytical needs, Google Analytics is a classic. Check out this list for some alternatives for WordPress.
  • Social media management is made a whole lot easier with apps like Buffer, Hootsuite, and Namecheap’s RelateSocial.

White label services

Is the thought of providing all the technical support or hiring extra support unappealing? Or maybe you just want everything you need in one place from the start. An alternative option is to partner with an established maintenance service provider for a fee to automate some services using their tools or platform, but always under your branding. Some options include Fixed and WPBuffs for WordPress sites.

Enter your maintenance phase

For anyone in the website development space creating websites for clients, offering maintenance services is a no-brainer. Perfect for generating an extra, regular income stream, your clients will also appreciate the added peace of mind that comes with knowing their website will be continually safe, secure, and running.


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wpadmin July 7, 2022 0 Comments