Why Web Design Matters, Especially While Social Distancing

More and more customers are relying on the internet to obtain the goods and services they want and need during this time. The necessity of social distancing and limited face-to-face interaction due to the COVID-19 outbreak has only hastened this socioeconomic trend. Not surprisingly, study after study shows that if they only had 15 minutes to interact with content, the majority of internet users would rather view creative and tastefully designed web pages, as opposed to ones that are boring and generic, regardless of the content.

To catch the attention of your target audience, clean content is one step; however, an easy-to-navigate website that is visually appealing is a must. Your businesses’ site design is a key aspect of your online marketing efforts. To create a superior page, you first have to comprehend the integral aspects of web design.

Read on for a no-nonsense discussion of why web design is important, especially during the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as a handy reference detailing three essential design components that everyone in the private lending space should consider for their web page.

Why Smart Web Design is a Must

Before you start contemplating exactly how to go about revamping your website, here’s a quick look at why it’s such an important step in taking your business to the next level.

First Impressions Are Everything

When customers land on your site, it sets the tone as to how they perceive your entire business culture. This is a snap judgment that occurs over the course of just a few seconds—so you want to ensure that it’s a positive one. If your website is plain looking or outdated, potential customers will instantly be turned off, deterring them from completing any sort of transaction for your goods or services.

It Levels Up Your SEO Performance

There are all sorts of web design components and strategies that can impact how published content on your site appears, which subsequently affects how search engine algorithms analyze and categorize your website compared to the competition. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a catch-all term referring to a broad range of strategies and best practices that land your website at the top of internet search results. Simply put: If your on-page SEO game isn’t optimized, you’ll struggle to gain visibility on the internet and your bottom line will suffer as a result.  SEO is far from a straightforward process and can be daunting for even the most tech-savvy business owner to master. The good news is there’s no need to worry-Geraci Media specializes in perfecting SEO to maximize your visibility in a cost-efficient and hassle-free manner.

Consistency Matters

When you’re attempting to generate increased leads for your business, you want to establish your brand. That means acquainting your target audience with your company, so they pick you when they’re prepared to convert. Website designs are a key aspect of this process because they help produce consistency across your site. This consists of having identical fonts, styles, and formats across every individual page of your site. If you try and meld a bevy of different design components on each page, it will come across as scattered and unprofessional—hardly the image you want to convey to customers looking to trust you with their business needs.

Three Key Components of Successfully Designed Websites

Now that we’re all on the same page as to why web design matters for your business’s bottom line, here’s an overview of some essential web design elements you’ll want to integrate into your site.

1. Navigability

When potential customers land on your site, they’ll prefer quickly accessible information that’s clearly and efficiently organized. Your target audience—regardless of the specific demographic—doesn’t want to waste their time searching for what they want. If your web navigation isn’t optimized for a user-friendly experience, you’ll discourage them from completing the desired transaction. To combat online users’ short attention spans, try incorporating broad headings that cover several subtopics, so the site’s visitors can quickly get to the page they need.

2. Efficiency

With the advent of mobile technology, efficient web design is an absolute must. Your customer base will be accessing your webpage from a variety of devices, including cellphones, tablets and desktop modems. If you’re looking for these customers to stay on your site and actually purchase your products or services, you have to ensure that each and every one of them has a good experience. You can accomplish this in several ways. After you have leads on your site, you want to steer them towards conversion by using call-to-action (CTA) buttons. An optimally designed CTA link will be easy to spot and smoothly transition customers into the transaction phase of the purchase. You also want to ensure that your page speed is up-to-par. Audiences hate waiting for sluggish pages to load and could potentially lose interest if your page takes too long. You can spot check your page’s speed using Google PageSpeed Insights, then partner up with Geraci Media, who will make sure your site features instantaneous page loading while you focus on staying on top of your business affair. 

3. Content

Users access the internet for information, so it makes sense that featuring quality, insightful content on your page will give you a leg up in establishing your brand’s online presence—and ultimately generating more business leads. Publishing original, accurate content on a consistent basis builds trust with your customer base and increases the likelihood they’ll choose to purchase your goods or services in the future. 

Web Design + Geraci Media = A Winning Combo

Increased economic globalization will inevitably lead to a corresponding increase in online business operations. A key component of seamlessly transitioning to conducting internet transactions is web design.

Need help optimizing your site? Geraci Media has got you covered! Geraci Media Group is a full-service marketing, communications, and design agency created for the purpose of bringing brand awareness to your company. Our team of experts uses unique ideas and innovative techniques to create a branding campaign specific for your company. We understand that every company has different needs and goals, so we work with you to find the best approach to building and maintaining your brand.

Contact us today via phone (949) 379-2600 or visit our site to find out how we can assist you with all your web design needs.

Geraci Media Announces Online Conference to Bridge the Gap for Networking and Education in Private Lending Due to COVID-19

Lender Connect – Scheduled to Take Place in May of 2020

ORANGE COUNTY, CA – March 16, 2020 – Geraci Media recognizes the concerns and hesitations about networking at conferences due to the latest news and information about COVID-19. While many events have made the appropriate decision to cancel during this health pandemic, Geraci wants to ensure all private lending professionals that we are here to help.

On behalf of the private lending industry, Geraci Media will be providing an Online Conference to create education and networking opportunities for lenders, brokers, investors, and service providers in the space. Lender Connect will take place in May of 2020 and is currently seeking business professionals who would like to get involved. This one-day conference will provide valuable educational sessions, networking opportunities through our online networking app, and most importantly, the convenience to continue making deals and raising capital.

While this event is not made to replace any of our other conferences, Geraci Media wants to instill confidence that you can continue your day to day work virtually anywhere with the appropriate tools, mindset, and business partners.

Alicia Carter, Event Director at Geraci Media, stated the following: “I understand how important face-to-face interactions are when creating a new partnership, discussing potential deals and investments, and gaining insight from industry peers. However, with the current state of the nation, we understand that it is unsafe for these in-person events to take place. Therefore, we will be hosting an online conference with a networking component, where you can still network and learn with one another from the comfort of your own office or home. We want to ensure you that we are here to help and that we will continue to provide opportunities for you to grow and expand your business, as well as the lending space at large, in 2020.”

If you are interested in getting involved, please reach out to Geraci Media’s Event Director, Alicia Carter, at a.carter@geracillp.com.

# # #

GERACI LLP, the parent company of Geraci Media, is at the forefront of the ever-changing non-conventional lending space and caters to non-conventional lenders worldwide.

Our legal departments include Banking & Finance, Corporate & Securities, and Litigation & Bankruptcy, while Geraci Media not only organizes conferences and puts out a monthly magazine, but also provides a full array of media services to help raise your brand awareness.

Media Contact:

Ruby Keys
Vice President, Geraci Media
r.keys@geracillp.com
(949) 379-2600

How to Use Content and SEO to Your Advantage

Content and SEO are the peanut butter and jelly of the marketing industry—they just go together. When integrated correctly, they’re the ultimate dynamic duo when it comes to attracting potential customers.

What exactly is content? There are a ton of definitions out there, but from a marketer’s perspective, it is high quality information that is useful and relevant to a given topic. Unfortunately, all online content isn’t created equal. There’s a plethora of sub-par information out there on the internet.

So how do you ensure the content on your page is both high in quality and usefulness so that your SEO game performs optimally? Google handles upwards of three billion searches every single day, so it’s safe to say their content standards are a solid reference point. The undisputed king of search engines utilizes consistently evolving algorithmic applications to return the most relevant and useful search results in the blink of an eye.

Google’s Algorithm for Content

Google themselves have released content recommendations so that you can make sure that you have a chance of landing one of the coveted top spots on the search results lists. They advise your content to have:

Useful Information

If you’re building a website for a gym, you can list the address, hours of business, contact information, services, and a blog to highlight upcoming classes.

Valuable Directives

If you’re writing about how to grill the perfect steak, ensure your post offers more insight or a unique perspective compared to other articles about grilling.

Credibility

Solidify your page’s credibility by featuring original research, citations, links, reviews, and testimonials to enhance the trust and reputation of your business’s online presence.

Superior Quality

The content on your page should be highly specified and unique. It shouldn’t be an amalgamation of copy-and-pasted information from third-party sources.

Captivating Features

Inject energy and style into your page by incorporating pictures of your goods and services, your employees, or the owners—just don’t go overboard on this point to where customers are distracted from actively engaging in the transaction itself.

Optimizing Content for Your Target Audience

Ticking off the aforementioned steps, however, is only the starting point. To be truly effective, content must be optimized from an audience-centric perspective. How exactly to do you go about accomplishing this? Here are a few general rules of thumb to ensure your content is presented in a way that is highly palatable for your target audience and will maximize your chances they will purchase what you’re attempting to sell.

Research Keywords & Specify Your Topic

This action ensures that your content can be located via search engine algorithms. When you’re selecting your keywords and topic, try to use long-tail keywords, steer clear from overly generic keywords, and harmonize your topic and keywords.

Make Readability a Focal Point

Be sure to format your main content so that it’s separated into small, easily digestible sections. The modern-day online user has a notoriously short attention span. A good general rule is to keep paragraphs between one and two sentences and under 300 words.

Stay on Track

When you start drafting your content, remember that it is essential that you keep the content on topic and weave in the target keyword you settled on. Resist the urge of writing every single thing about a given topic in a single post and targeting tons of keywords.

Incorporate Backlinks

Google has made it explicitly clear that credibility matters in terms of SEO rating, so linking to on-point, credible and authoritative sources can enhance your content in the ‘eyes’ of search engine algorithms.

Optimize Title Tag, Meta Description

The title tag is the clickable title that they view at the top of every result. They’re important in that they could be an influencing factor for which result a user ultimately chooses. To optimize your tag, ensure that you make it less thank 60 characters, don’t overuse keywords, specific the topic of the content and focus your keywords at the start of the tag. The meta description is the short blip of text that is under the title tag and URL in the search results. Make sure it’s fewer than 160 characters and offers a brief, concise overview of what topic the content is about.

Need a hand on syncing up your content and SEO? Look no further. The experts at Geraci Media have you covered when it comes to upping your search engine ranking. We’re a full-service marketing, communications, and design agency created for the purpose of enhancing your company’s brand. Our dedicated team of experts will work with you to create the perfect SEO plan custom-fit for your business in a hassle-free, efficient manner. Get in touch with us today online or give us a call at 949-379-2600.

Does your fund really need a pitch deck?

In short, yes. A pitch deck is essential. Considering that 29 percent of small businesses fail because they run out of cash, and 14 percent fail because of poor marketing, a good pitch deck is key for raising capital and convincing business partners to work with you. Even huge companies like Facebook and Google started with a pitch deck.

Why bother with a pitch deck?

Think of your pitch deck as your business card that presents the essential information about your company to investors. Your pitch deck should be a short presentation of your business plan that outlines all the key elements of your business, including your business model, your team, and the purpose of your company.

Some startups prefer to pitch their business case over the phone. Although this might sound like a great way to share your ideas without giving confidential information to a stranger, big-time investors won’t take you seriously without a detailed pitch deck. Most investors don’t like lengthy phone calls. They want a quick explanation of your company that helps them decide whether it’s a good fit for their investment portfolio. They’d rather flip quickly through a deck and ask questions later, if they find the business idea interesting.

Put your best pitch forward

Now that you know a pitch deck is a necessary tool for raising capital for your fund or startup, follow through with a well-designed, structured deck. Relevant information should be laid out in a way that’s easy to understand, and a professional layout helps you stand out from other startups. If you want to raise money, spending time producing a great pitch deck is well worth the effort.

Keep in mind what information is most important to investors – the business case, market opportunity, and return on investment for them. Unfortunately, many startups pull their content together at the last minute, resulting in crowded slides and missed KPIs. If an investor or business angel needs to spend too much time finding the important information, your deck will probably get tossed.

Don’t let your deck end up in the waste bin! Not only is a professional pitch deck is a great asset for investor meetings, creating a deck forces the founder to systematically analyze every part of their startup’s business model. By combing through your ideas step-by-step, you can identify loopholes and defects before bringing the business to market, setting you and your company up for success. For more specifics on what should be included in your pitch deck, check out 5 Keys to a Great Pitch Deck.

Geraci Media is uniquely positioned to help fund managers succeed with a well-designed, compliant pitch deck. Check out our past work here, and reach out to us here to get started.

5 Keys to a Great Pitch Deck

Pitch decks are a vital part of any new fund manager’s toolkit. People retain 80 percent of what they see, 20 percent of what they read and 10 percent of what they hear, so pitching your business idea on paper or over the phone just isn’t going to cut it.

When meeting with investors, visual aids can bring cohesion, clarity and even entertainment. The best visual tool for communicating your business plan to angel investors and venture capitalists is a pitch deck. A well-prepared pitch deck helps fund managers present details in an organized and visually appealing package.

Now that we know why a good pitch deck is important, let’s jump into the 5 things you can do to create a killer presentation.

1. First impressions matter

Your opening slide is your first chance to catch your audience’s attention and pique their interest. Begin with a quick summary of what your startup is about. Some companies find it easiest to pose a comparison to a better-known company (e.g. Postmates for groceries). While this can help your audience grasp the concept quickly, if you use a comparison be sure it makes sense.

If there is no comparison that fits your business idea, a concise summary will also work. Imagine you’re writing a Twitter post or Instagram bio for your company. How would you describe it in 140 characters or less?

2. Present the problem and your solution

This is a concise and clear explanation of what your company does. To help your audience understand, provide scenarios where your product or service comes in to address a pain point.  Make sure the scenario captures what you’re trying to do and why.

3. Show the numbers

It doesn’t matter how great your idea is. At the end of the day, investors care about profit. If your business has already launched, bring out your data. Present number of early adopters, sales, paying users and any other relevant information. You should also show the size of your target market, particularly if you haven’t launched yet.

4. Do the math

Once you prove there is a market demand for your product, you need to exhibit how you earn money. This part of the pitch deck doesn’t need to be extremely detailed, but you need to be able to show who pays you and give a revenue projection based on your target market size – or current revenue increases based on the customers you’ve already secured.

5. Peel back the curtain

Investors know that a startup is only as good as the team running it. They’ll want to know who they’re giving their money to and that they’re qualified to handle it. Your pitch deck should include a slide with the quick background of each team member, or the management team if your company already has a good number of employees. This slide can include information like team members’ expertise, previous industry and other career-related relevant information. Keep it simple and elaborate during the meeting.

A good pitch deck is one of your most important tools when talking to investors. While the information it holds can vary depending on your startup’s stage of development, the deck should present important information in a tone that matches your company’s personality, and, in turn, your own!

Let Geraci Media help you reach your business goals through a well-designed pitch deck. Reach out to us here.

The Importance of a High-Quality Website

Why does website quality matter?

Think of your website as your digital storefront. Your website is often the first impression you give potential customers and in many cases your first point of contact with them. Before consumers see your store or your products they will see your website – so you want that first impression to be a good one.

The days of relying on phone books and word-of-mouth to find new businesses, products, and services are gone. In fact, 76 percent of consumers shop online, and 64 percent of consumers prefer the convenience of online shopping.

Customers will form an opinion about your business based on your website, which in turn affects their purchase decisions. When a customer searches for something you offer or specifically for your business, you want your website to be user-friendly, look great on mobile, and be well-maintained.

What makes a quality website?

Keep the users in mind

People want quick solutions to their problems and quick answers to their questions. Your website should make it easy for them to find the information they need, in a visually appealing package. Good websites are clean, well-organized, easy to navigate, clear and concise, modern, functional and branded. Key information like business hours, location and contact info should be easy to find. In short, your website should motivate the visitor to do business with you.

Make sure it’s mobile-friendly

A quality website looks good and functions well on a mobile device. U.S. customers spent roughly $177 billion in 2018 online shopping through their smartphones. Sales made directly through smartphones are expected to increase by 56 percent to hit $209 billion by 2022. You don’t want to miss out on those mobile spending dollars, so make sure your website is properly built and designed for optimal mobile use.

Professionalism is key

The best websites are also well-polished, meaning no spelling or grammatical errors, no outdated art or design, no pixelated images and no loose ends. Content should be complete and visually appealing, and fonts and colors match across the entire website.

Your website is a powerful tool. Geraci Media can help create or update your website to draw interested and engaged clients to your brand. Reach out today to schedule a consultation.

Geraci Media Now Offers Video Recording and Editing Services

Irvine, CA., October 18, 2019 –Geraci Media is excited to announce the addition of video content creation as part of their growing suite of products and services. This offering encompasses the entire filming process from beginning to end, including creative consulting, scripting, recording, and editing.

Video content marketing has become one of the most effective ways for brands to grow their audiences and increase prospect engagement. A growing number of companies have caught on to this trend, and are looking for ways to incorporate it into their own marketing strategies. The only problem is that many of them do not possess either the resources or the know-how to execute their visions; and that is where Geraci Media steps in.

“We understand the importance of really getting to know the company you are working with, and we want to help lenders and those in the private lending industry tell their story,” said Ruby Keys, the Vice President of Geraci Media. “Videos get people excited and allow them to visualize and understand who you are as a team and as individuals.”

Whether you are looking to create promotional videos, educational content, or more creative projects, Geraci Media is here to help. They guarantee state-of-the-art video and sound quality, lighting, production, editing, and the same high standard of professionalism and customer service that their clients have come to expect. If you’re ready to produce quality video content for your company or you have more questions about how the Media team can help you do it, please visit https://geracimediagroup.com/ or reach out to Ruby Keys by booking a call.


Media Contact:
Ruby Keys
Vice President, Geraci Media
r.keys@geracillp.com
(949) 379-2600

What Not to Do When Building a Pitch Deck

What Not to Do When Building a Pitch Deck

A pitch deck is a slideshow or presentation – created on PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi, or a similar software – that presents your company, goods, and services to an audience. Creating an effective pitch deck that keeps investors engaged and helps you achieve your business goals takes time and effort.

Anyone can throw together some slides in a matter of hours, but consider this: for every 100 pitches an investor hears, he or she will fund only 10 of them, which means most pitches get lost in the crowd. We’ve told you how to design a perfect pitch deck; now, here are 10 things to avoid to ensure that your pitch deck is at the top of investors’ minds.

1. Overcomplicate the presentation

Chances are, your investor does not know the ins and outs of your business’s industry. Avoid using technical jargon that will confuse your audience. Stick to simple words, animations, and transitions to convey complicated ideas. Create your presentation so that even someone with little knowledge of your industry and company could understand it.

It is important to note, however, that there is a chance your audience may be knowledgeable about your industry. Preliminary research is paramount to this point, as oversimplifying your presentation may appear as though you are talking down to your audience.

2. Use old-fashioned design

You don’t need to be a professional designer, but you also don’t want to present plain white slides. Your deck should convey how forward-thinking and modern your ideas are. Take advantage of the templates that PowerPoint and other presentation-building tools offer, and be sure to add custom touches, like your company’s logo and simple graphics. If you want to go above and beyond, hire an agency who can make your pitch deck in a more advanced software, such as Adobe Photoshop or InDesign.

3. Get off to a slow start

Even if your business idea is incredible, if you can’t capture your audience and keep them engaged, your deck will get lost in the crowd. A strong, memorable introduction will keep investors wanting to know more about your company and how they can benefit from their investment in you. After all, they’re trusting you with their money; hook them at the beginning to ensure they stay with you through the end of your presentation.

4. Give a lengthy pitch

Show respect for investors’ time by finishing your presentation well before your meeting time is up. You don’t want to make your audience antsy about missing their next appointment, and you’ll leave time for any follow-up questions. You can shorten your presentation time by shortening or altogether omitting your startup’s history or founders. Keep them wanting more – share details later.

5. Fudge the numbers

It can be tempting to bluff data in your pitch deck, but it’s important to resist this temptation. This is a very poor business practice that misleads investors and wastes everyone’s time. Getting caught exaggerating in your pitch can ruin your reputation and lead to lawsuits down the road. Before you even pursue funding from angel investors and venture capitalists, gather concrete data that supports your business case. They’ll come knocking at your door!

6. Leave out your mission

Many startups fail because investors can see that their ideas are great, but their founders lack a compelling vision. When pitching to investors, your goal is to convince them that they’re going to make it big by investing in you, and there’s no better way to do that than selling them on your mission. If you don’t get much traction at first, don’t be discouraged. Rethink your vision and make sure it’s grounded in reality.

7. Forget to mention your story

Everyone loves a good story, especially one with a happy ending. For investors, that happy ending is when their investment pays off! Make your business story relatable and weave it throughout your deck for a compelling presentation. However, be careful not to overdo it – make sure your story relates to your overall business model.

8. Involve disclosures and NDAs

You know your ideas are worth a lot, which is why you’re protective of them. Many people think that the best way to avoid having their ideas stolen is by asking investors to sign an NDA before pitch presentations. The hard truth is that investors have probably heard a variation your idea before. Legitimate investors who receive pitches all the time will rarely sign an NDA. For best practice, have an attorney who specializes in your space review your pitch deck to make sure it’s legally compliant.

Remember that investors aren’t your competition. They’re not going to invest in multiple competing businesses. So while you may be intimidated by the fact that they have the money and resources to build a better product than you, resist the urge to ask for an NDA.

9. Forget about your exit strategy

This one might be counterintuitive. Venture capitalists don’t want their money sitting in the bank. They want it to be used to create a high return on investment. One of the best ways to get their attention is to show them how high their ROI will be in a few years. When you present a good exit strategy, you’re showing investors that you’ve done your homework, you’re credible, and their money is in good hands.

10. Leave off your value proposition

At the end of your deck, your audience should be able to answer the following questions: Why are you better than your competitors? What makes you special? Why should they invest in your company?

Your value proposition should be relevant to your business’s market, present a clear solution to a problem, have tangible and specific benefits, and differentiate from your competition. Focus on your product’s benefits, not its features, and use your value proposition to craft your story.

As you’ve read, there’s a lot that goes into building a successful pitch deck. If you want to earn investors’ funding and respect, focus on your story, stick to the facts, and explain your value. If you are looking for a marketing team to help build your pitch deck, Geraci Media is your expert in the private lending space.

Schedule a call with Ruby today to discuss how Geraci Media can make you an outstanding pitch deck.

Building Better Products Through Collaboration

How to Build a Collaborative Team to Build Better Products

Most significant projects are not undertaken by just one individual; They require a team effort to conceptualize, strategize, and successfully manage tasks so that a stellar product can emerge.  Even activities that may seem like a personal endeavor almost always require some form of collaboration.

Collaboration brings together a diverse group of talents and minds all focused on achieving a common goal. Working within a collaborative team provides you with the assets needed to reach your project goals faster while creating a more dependable end product. 

Aligning Your Goals

Selecting the right team is a crucial component in creating a successful team. You should bring in individuals who have fully developed skills, such as motivational, organizational, and imagination, to be utilized fully for the creation of a value-added product.

It’s also important to assemble your team with members who are aligned with the goals of the project. Establish the ground rules and pass along clear guidelines for how your collaborative process will operate. Only after everyone is on the same page, can you continue with the process and work towards the common goal of solving the task at hand.

In establishing the rules early and by clearly defining goals, team members can join knowing they can freely offer ideas and provide feedback that ultimately contributes to a successful product.

Removing Roadblocks

The enemy of collaboration is roadblocks. A roadblock typically occurs when employees don’t see eye-to-eye on specific aspects of a project. Anytime you get multiple personalities together in a room, there is generally some level of disagreement. However, limiting the differences to just that, and not letting them evolve into animosity or open conflict, is key to preventing time-wasting roadblocks. For collaboration to happen, a leader must emerge that has the strength to enforce it.

Finding a way to foster strong employee relationships helps reduce friction and leads to a more fruitful collaboration effort on behalf of the entire team. Building trust between all team members assists in driving initiatives such as floating ideas, facilitating change, meeting milestones, and fostering in-depth collaboration.

Increase Productivity

Writers get “writer’s block,” professional athletes fall into slumps, and employees sometimes suffer a creative block. Falling into a creative slump is frustrating and a waste of time. Collaboration can help solve the issue by getting a fresh set of eyes on incomplete work, followed by team input and suggestions that help get those creative juices flowing again.

The goal of most projects is to produce the best end-product for your customer. Whether that customer is internal or external, is immaterial. Through collaboration, you can harness the skills and ideas of many to propose, critique, and ultimately solve the problems that prevent the best product from emerging.

With strong leadership, and by keeping your team members looped into the progress of your project, you can eliminate conflicts, reduce overlap, and foster the creative instincts of your team members to produce fabulous results.

Tools such as Dropbox, Slack, or Google Docs help keep all your team members on the same page and engaged in the effort. By promoting open conversation and critique, you will gain the trust of your team while receiving an honest review of your efforts.

Setting Up For Success

A critical factor in creating a successful collaborative effort is nurturing the environment that fosters a culture of collaboration. Here are some factors that can help you define and promote a culture of cooperation.

Lay down the law – setting up ground rules for all employees, even if not part of a team, sends a message that the company promotes and welcomes collaboration. Established practices, protocols, and guidelines will demonstrate your willingness to facilitate cooperation and empowers individuals to lead those efforts as part of a team

Become a leader – nothing motivates better than leadership. Leadership starts at the top, with the executive committee, and trickles down to employees through all levels of management. By clearly defining your leadership role and empowering employees and team members to also embrace leadership roles, you’ll convince employees that they can openly share ideas that contribute to not only the growth of the company but to their personal growth, as well.

Open communication – through efficient communication, collaborative teams prosper. Whether its holding team meetings or sending out updates and group emails, transparent and open communication are critical to a collaborative culture. Providing an organized structure with collaborative tools to your teams will also help spur information sharing across platforms and between team members and supporting departments.

Building trust – open communication fosters a certain level of confidence, but your employees must also trust their ideas and critiques. Empowering employees to conceptualize and present new ideas will build trust in leadership and better facilitate a more open and constructive collaborative effort.

Collaboration not only provides an excellent strategy to produce the best products possible, but it offers employees a chance to shine. With a culture of collaboration, employees will feel more comfortable participating and contributing new ideas, suggestions, and the motivation to bring their very best.

With the right leadership structure in place, open communication, and team members that clearly understand their defined roles, your collaborative effort will lead to a faster and more successful effort to develop the best possible final product.

Geraci Media Group is a national private lending agency, which specializes in marketing and design needs. If you are looking to grow your business and expand profitability, let Geraci help you with your marketing today.

Know the Essentials on Gathering Qualified Leads

Before the age of technology, a salesperson would travel about their territory to meet personally with individuals, to get a “feel” on their sales leads. As is today, when they came across a person ready to buy, it was considered a “hot” lead. By comparison, a “warm” prospect is a person merely browsing for products or services, and a “cold” lead is someone who may not even know what you’re selling.

Qualified leads generally received more attention. Lunches, rounds of golf, or maybe a happy hour together would give the salesperson a chance to address their prospects needs and expectations to close the deal. On the other hand, warm leads maybe got a phone call as a follow-up.

With the Internet, much of that personal sales approach has nearly disappeared. Today, when shoppers are considering a service or product, they immediately go online with their smartphone or computer and browse for what they want, read reviews, and decide. This stage of engagement is regarded as a warm lead; but how do you best identify that prospect and convert it into a sale?

What’s critical to understand is how to capture that lead.

Many companies today have turned to automated software that helps identify and analyze a prospect’s engagement behavior and determine what stage they are in the lead qualification process. Technology helps, but you still need some key components in place to take advantage of the process.
To successfully qualify leads, you must have three critical fundamentals in place.

A Clear Definition of “Lead”

Defining what a lead means to you is a crucial step in determining whether they are qualified enough to move onto the next sales stage. Typically, anyone who is in the “buying stage,” meaning they are prepared or preparing to purchase a product or service, is considered a qualified prospect. In the age of the Internet, this could mean following your social media account, subscribing to a newsletter, or being a frequent visitor to your website.

Each business should have a unique process for identifying what defines a lead for them. In differentiating the types of leads you collect, you will be in a better position to determine who is worth pursuing, and who is not.

To define the types of leads your business pursues, first sit down with your team to discuss your target market. Next, identify who is in your current database and review their buying habits. It would be best if you also considered how your team determines when a lead advances from a warm to hot prospect.

Establish a Scoring System

A lead scoring system will also help you better assign values to prospects based on actions they take, their buying behaviors, or even their browsing habits. By doing this, you will have a clearer vision of which leads are ready for nurturing.

Here are the four categories for a lead scoring system:

Lead fit – This category includes collecting demographic information on your prospects, such as title, role, and location; collecting info on their business, such as industry, company size, and brand, and collecting BANT information on company purchases, such as budget, authority, timeframe, and inventory requirements. Much of this information can be captured through a simple registration form on your website or a survey.

Lead interest – By following your prospects’ engagement with your website and analyzing what they browse and how interested they are in your products and services; you can gauge their interest level to decide how much attention they need to turn them from a warm lead to a hot lead.

Lead behavior – A prospects behavior online often sheds light on their immediate buying stage. Signing up for a newsletter or catalog is an early stage prospect but browsing a pricing guide or product listing can indicate a prospect that is further along in the lead stage. By taking advantage of this information, you can nurture a prospect along, until the sale occurs.

Lead buying stage – Timing is everything. Understanding what stage your prospect is in and if it’s the right time to sell, will be dictated by the information you gather. Start by sending them information on your products or services and evaluating their response. By analyzing their response and assessing their interest, you’ll get a better idea of what stage they reside within the buying process.

Testing and Optimization

Now that you have a clear definition of your leads and have established a scoring system, it’s time to test and optimize. Testing should be a regular activity of checking your marketing plan to see what techniques are working and then optimize your website to take advantage of those systems.

You want to ultimately develop a system that delivers an engaging customer experience and allows you to nurture leads and drive sales. So, the best bet is to test everything to ensure it aligns with those goals.

Some of the things you can do to optimize your systems are:

  • Assess how different subject lines result in a different response
  • Check to see the difference in response rates for short or long emails
  • Check click-through rates to see how prospects respond to varying content
  • Change the designs of your email messages and gauge customer response
  • Change the frequency of your sends and keep track of audience response

Through testing and optimization, you can coordinate between sales and marketing to determine which approach results in the best conversion strategy.

As you work towards utilizing these three techniques to turn warm leads into sales conversions, keep in mind that with the Internet, marketing is always evolving and as such, you must always stay on your toes.

By using proven strategies and keeping an open mind to new and emerging approaches, such as AI-driven marketing platforms, you can ensure that your marketing efforts will result in a steady stream of qualified leads converting to sales. If you are a private lender looking to enhance your marketing, reach out to Geraci Media Group today.