Are your clients consultants, solo business owners or small businesses?
If you want to help them generate a steady stream of leads coming into their business, nurture marketing is one of the most powerful tactics you can employ.
It’s also a very useful service for you to add to your virtual assistant business. Nurture marketing projects take 5-20 hours a month, and they need to be done every single month – it’s a project that never ends. So you are able to build a predictable and reliable revenue stream for your business.
What is nurture marketing?
Nurture marketing starts with the belief that people do business with people they know, like, and trust.
Before anyone will give you money, they need to get comfortable with your business. They need to understand what you offer, how it will help them, and why it will be safe to do business with you. It takes time to get to that level of knowledge and trust.
So nurture marketing involves sending a series of messages over time.
- If you nurture using email, you would typically send one email newsletter a month.
- If you nurture using social media, you might post updates daily (or several times a day).
- If you nurture using SendOutCards, you might send cards monthly or quarterly.
It is called “nurture” because the focus is on taking care of people you are reaching out to. You educate them, you share things, and you build a closer relationship with them.
Nurture marketing works because it fits the way human brains are wired. Repeated contact helps break through the clutter and obtain mindshare. Repetition also demonstrates reliability and increases the comfort level people have with your business.
4 ways to use nurture
Here are four different ways to use nurture marketing to help your clients. The first use is the easiest place to start – virtually every business wants more referrals. The second is the most traditional, useful for any business that has leads they want to stay in touch with. The third is often the most profitable for your clients, since existing customers are the easiest to convince to buy more. The fourth through sixth have significant value for your sales and marketing team.
- Get more referrals
Most businesses get a significant proportion of their customers from referrals, yet few businesses have formal referral programs in place – largely because no one likes to ask for referrals. But with nurture programs, you no longer have to actually ask people for referrals. The nurture program does the work for you.
- Maintain mindshare with leads
Up to 95% of the people who come to your client’s website are there to do research – they’re not ready to buy. A nurture program lets your client stay in touch with them in a low-key way, gently feeding them the information they need to understand how their products and services can help, proactively overcoming common objections, and getting them comfortable enough to buy.
- Encourage customers to buy more
Customers who feel appreciated are more likely to stay and more likely to refer business. A nurture marketing program can show them that your client values their business – and provide a good way to introduce them to products and services they have not yet tried.
- Reach VIPs
Who does your client want to meet? You can identify potential partners, editors, bloggers, or any influential person and reach out to them regularly with interesting information. The repeated contact is effective in introducing your client to them and obtaining mindshare.
As you can see, nurture marketing is highly flexible. Once you learn the basic technique, you can use it to solve a wide range of problems for any type of business. You’ll love the possibilities!
Try using one of these nurture programs to promote your own virtual assistant business. Once you get started with nurture marketing, you’ll find more and more ways to take advantage of this strategy, both for you and for your clients.
Judy Schramm is the CEO of ProResource, a company that teaches virtual assistants and their clients how to use nurture marketing to grow their businesses. Judy has more than 15 years of experience doing all types of marketing, and is passionate about making marketing simple, inexpensive, and wildly effective. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.