Book points businesses to the Web

Kate Kettler
Contributing Writer
Posted

John Leavy wrote his eighth book for two different types of people.

“Outcome-based Marketing; New Rules for Marketing on the Web” is for people who are already on the Web and wonder how to grow and those who are still saying, “Gee, my business should be on the Web but I don’t know how to get started.”

As a Digital Marketing Strategist Leavy does not offer a one-size-fits-all formula to every business he encounters. Instead he evaluates the myriad of marketing options available and customizes a course of action for that particular individual.

“My advice to any business owner is, ‘You should be doing the things which get the best results,’” Leavy said. “Before I say, ‘You should be using social media,’ we have to see if it's appropriate. A business selling caskets is not going to reach its market using Facebook and Twitter.”

Leavy’s book breaks down his Internet marketing strategy into four parts. Building a strong Web presence begins with having a solid website.

“It’s got to be professional looking, easy to navigate, with great content and great offers. Ninety-five percent to 97 percent of people who visit the site are not ready to commit. Your job is to educate and nurture clients to a place where they are ready to make a decision,” he said.

Leavy encourages CEOs to create visitor-focused websites. For example, one home remodeler had a website for years with few hits and even fewer customers. Leavy directed the company to remove the home page information about their years of service and how thankful they were to be working in Virginia. Instead, the home page became direct links to services and products for people looking to remodel their home. When potential customers visit the site now, they find specific information on gutters and down spouts, sunrooms, doors and windows. The website directs each shopper toward the answers to their questions.

“It’s not about you,” Leavy tells business owners. “I would remove every occurrence of ‘we,’ ‘us,’ and ‘our.’ It’s all about the customer.”

The second section in Outcome-based Marketing is about being found in all the right places. Leavy advises businesses to discover who their customers are, where those people are on the Web, and how their business can gain visibility with that demographic.

“The strategy of, ‘If you build it they will come,’ doesn’t work. You need to know where your ideal prospects are and go there,” he said.

Leavy took his own advice by publishing an excerpt out of his book on www.Entrepreneur.com. His article was viewed by thousands of readers and was picked up by MSNBC. When it ran on MSNBC, Leavy gained millions of readers, who all became potential clients.

“You have to go to where the people are,” he said. “It makes more sense to sell ballcaps at a baseball stadium than waiting for people to come to an ineffective website.”

Part of understanding where clients are comes via Leavy’s third section in the book, which concerns being social on the Web.

“I am on Twitter all the time,” Leavy said. “But it is not all about making money. I enjoy mentoring people and passing along helpful information.”

Leavy admits that part of the reason he is on Facebook and Twitter is to attract people back to his website or blog. However, he also registers for the latest social networking tool like Google Plus just to see where it will go.

“Before a business decides to create a fan page on Facebook, they need to ask, ‘Should I go there?’People can have marketing presence in many areas and be on the web for many years without measurable results. We need to take the time to ask, ‘Where am I today? Where do I want to be tomorrow? And, how do I get there?’” Leavy said.

Finally, Leavy’s book leads a discussion on generating closable opportunities.

“Nobody wants to talk about actually generating revenue,” he said. “Making money or recruiting members is like a job review. It helps us ask, ‘Did we accomplish our goals?’”

It was this type of performance review that inspired Leavy to dive into Internet marketing 10 years ago. He was working with websites for Ft. Carson when he discovered Google Analytics. The program allowed him to see how many visitors were using the sites he had created. To his surprise, there had only been two visitors.

Leavy was obviously not satisfied with this result. He quickly discovered search engine optimization and completely changed his philosophy toward educating and nurturing the clients.

“Now I can help people understand how to measure the campaign and find out: are we there yet?” he said.

Leavy had already seen the shift happening where even small business needed a presence on the Web. Between his own experience of 26 years operating a small business and his new found success in Internet marketing, he knew he had something to offer.

“You are either on the Internet or you are going out of business,” he said. “It is so helpful to have a method whereby we empirically measure success and progress of a marketing campaign.”

For more information visit www.johnleavy.com.