Turn your blog into a Lead Generation Machine with Side Projects
Everyone writes blogs and all your competitors are already doing it. And it’s boring
Let’s discuss what you should be doing instead of just writing blogs and generate leads. And don’t get me wrong. I love content marketing. It is great. But it takes huge amounts of effort and time to eventually start getting real results you need.
And for startups, that’s a rare resource: TIME.
Instead, we should use the limited time we have in driving our funnel and pushing it forward. By building a small side project which solves a problem for your target audience and gives it for free and generate leads from it. My studies have shown Side Project marketing getting a 100x ROI compared to blogs which means a single side project has the power-packed potential of 100 blog posts.
Pretty much anything can become a side project. It doesn’t have to be conventional, expensive, or mind-blowing, it just has to be something that really solves a specific problem for your audience. Side projects can be small tools, courses, calculators, curated directories, quizzes, generators, graders or communities. We can design these side projects in a matter of a few minutes. Let’s see how!
So let’s say you want to teach people how to create Buyer Persona, you can write a blog post and have steps to create a Buyer Persona or you can create a tool something like “Make my Persona” by Hubspot. (www.makemypersona.com), wherein the user enters the details of their information and you give them the buyer persona they need.
This is perceived as high value and you also get, 100% conversion on leads as with the blog you can have CTA or link but here you are getting the lead information for the user to generate the buyer’s persona. And this is very easy to make.
Step 1: Find a specific problem faced by your target Audience, look if you can solve it easily by taking information from them and then adding your bits and giving a valuable result.
Step 2: Now go to www.typeform.com and Log in.
Step 3: Pick up any questionnaire template and put your questions.
Step 4: Embed the form on your page, and setup Email triggers or you can also display the results directly after the user inputs their information.
I am not saying stop blogging, it works but startups really don’t have that much time to wait for results, so instead of just blogging, create a side project. Side projects are the new marketing channels for you.
But you don’t want to invest a lot of time in Marketing this side project as you want to focus on Marketing the main product. Following is the success formulae for marketing my side-projects, which I use.
Side Project Success Formulae:
Create a side project + use Typeform Tools + Product Hunt Launch + Twitter Influencers + Email Drip Campaigns + Soft Sell
Once I make the side project, I launch it on Product Hunt. I make sure that I am targeting Twitter Influencers, who can launch it for me as I am going to hack into their networks. As whenever an Influencer launches your product, their followers also get a message with a link to your product. Then I put all these people who sign up for this side project in an email drip campaign.
These people start getting my emails. Typically my drip Email Campaign looks like this.
Email One and two are free value. Email three is a soft sell. Email Four and Five is again free value. Email Six and Seven are follow-ups. (Use the hack in Chapter 20 to get more out of your Product Hunt launch)
Crew (an online marketplace for mobile/web creators), created Unsplash as a side project to attract customers to their main business. They listed free HD quality photos, shared the link on Hacker Noon and some more organic Marketing.
All this costs them roughly 20$ and a couple of hours of their time and the results were 50,000 site visits on the same day. The more valuable metric is, Unsplash is the number one traffic source for Crew and has given around 5 Million unique visitors. That’s how big side projects can be.
[Case Study Source: CrazyEgg]