How a Dentist Used Social Media to Reach 7 Figures in Revenue

Her social media strategies also helped patients overcome their fears.
August 5, 2019 2 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In this interview at ClickFunnels’ annual Funnel Hacking Live conference, Entrepreneur Network partner Emily Richett sits down with Dr. Anissa Holmes, a dentist and entrepreneur, to learn how she used social media marketing in her business and helped other dentists boost their practices.

Dr. Holmes uses her social media marketing experience to help other dentists bring in more patients and make a greater impact in their communities. Through funnels, Facebook ads and coaching services, she’s helped dentists scale their practices by 30 to 50 percent per year.

Holmes says it all started with her own dentistry practice. Her new patients would tell her about how her social media helped them overcome their fears of going to the dentist because it highlighted other patients’ great experiences.

Holmes says that social media marketing was the key to getting her practice in front of people, which helps them fight their fears. She says, “If we can unpeel and show them that we are impacting lives in the community, that our patients are having really good experiences, we can connect with them and change their life as well. And that’s the power of marketing.”

Holmes also said that the main motivation in her business, Delivering Wow, is serving her colleagues. She adds, “In order to serve people, you have to have ways to serve them. And so that’s what I’ve been able to create, again using this amazing software with click funnels.”

Related: How This Entrepreneur Achieved His Greatest Success After His Worst Failure

How You Can Still Reach Customers Even as the Backlash Builds Against Robocalls

As the consumer robocall-avoidance backlash continues, legitimate businesses are being caught in the crosshairs. Here are three strategies they can take.
June 26, 2019 6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) adoption of a new policy to give wireless carriers more authority to block robocalls and unknown callers is expected to further impact legitimate businesses already affected by consumer reactions to robocalls.

Related: Stop Annoying Robocalls During Work With This Well-Reviewed App

According to industry research, Americans have already received about 25 billion robocalls this year — which works out to about 76 calls per person. The new policy, aimed at providing consumers some relief, allows phone companies to block suspected illegal and unwanted calls “by default,” which means they don’t need a customer’s permission — as long as customers have the ability to opt out. The policy will also allow consumers to block unknown numbers themselves.

Some companies had asked the FCC to delay the move because they are worried about phone companies blocking legitimate automatic calls, such as those from banks and credit unions calling to confirm a suspicious credit-card transaction. The new FCC policy, however, gives more freedom to wireless carriers to offer call-blocking features and implement call-blocking at the carrier level, even going as far as offering a “white list” feature that could block calls from numbers that are not stored in a consumer’s phone.

Consider consumers’ frustration.

The FCC’s policy is too new to accurately assess the full impact it will have on businesses, but it is clear that consumers and regulators are ready to hang up on robocalls.

Related: Nearly Half of All Cell Phone Calls Will Be Scam Calls in 2019, Report Says

According to Consumer Reports, 70 percent of people of those surveyed said they no longer answer calls they don’t recognize, in order to dodge spam calls. Consumer and policymaker reactions to robocalls have implications for businesses of all sizes, making it challenging for them to develop relationships with prospects.

What can business owners and entrepreneurs do in an environment where cold-calling prospects is losing its effectiveness as a way to fill sales pipelines? The answer is a personalized, multichannel approach that includes email, texting and social channels like LinkedIn; all are key to helping businesses navigate the challenges of establishing relationships with new customers and maintaining relationships with existing ones in this era of call blocking.

Personalize Your email outreach.

Email is one channel businesses can use to connect with customers they don’t have success reaching by phone. Email, after all, is a proven communication channel in sales. However, considering that the average person receives 125 business emails a day, businesses must find a way to rise above the noise. According to Salesforce, “the batch-and-blast method doesn’t work on connected customers.”

Instead, the company’s research found, when evaluating purchases, customers weigh a company’s level of personalization equally compared to how they weigh its reputation.

Those emails that are most effective in starting a conversation offer timely, personalized content. Potential customers respond best to emails that deliver relevant content addressing their specific pain points and offering solutions for overcoming those challenges. Personalized emails generate a median ROI of 122 percent according to the Data & Marketing Association and Demand Metric.

Tip: Depending on how much information you have on a prospective client, personalize everything from the subject line to the content of the email. Make the content specific to recipients — whether it’s based on birthdate,location or something else — to deliver content that catches their attention and engages them.

Send a text that doesn’t feel invasive.

Text-messaging is another strategy businesses can use to develop and maintain relationships with prospects and customers. Once exclusively reserved for personal communications, this digital channel provides a more direct way to reach customers; it also meets customer expectations for a convenient, frictionless way to interact with companies. According to a sales communication survey from my company Lunar, texting is now a widely accepted and expected form of business communication.

Texting also offers the advantages of being instant and mobile — two attributes that make it easier for businesses to reach and engage prospects. With an open rate of 98 percent, text messages are one of the most powerful strategies businesses can use to drive customer engagement.

Texting’s personal roots, however, make it easy to commit a business texting mistake: Specifically, texts should be short and easy to understand. So, if you’re texting about complex topics or need more than a yes or no response, you might want to use text messaging to schedule a call.

Tip: You also shouldn’t send a text message without an introduction or attempt to use another means of communication. The first communication a potential customer gets from you should never be a text, as that can feel invasive. Instead, texting is a great follow-up tool.

Use LinkedIn messages as your new cold-outreach tool.

The challenge for businesses using cold-calling — made significantly more challenging in an environment of robocall blocking — is being able to connect with the right person. Companies can use LinkedIn as another strategy to successfully reach prospects. With more than 630 million members, including 90 million members who are senior-level influencers, LinkedIn can be a go-to-resource for cold outreach, building relationships with potential customers, and establishing expertise to convert leads into buyers.

Companies can become active on relevant LinkedIn groups as one strategy for connecting with prospects. This activity not only helps businesses identify prospects, but can help companies establish expertise on a topic and pave the way to building a relationship with group members as a trusted expert. Businesses can realize the most success from this tactic by consistently posting in these groups and generating discussions on new issues and innovations in an industry.

Tip: InMail, a paid feature on LinkedIn, is another effective way enterprises can reach prospects without resorting to the phone. As is the case with email, personalizing these communications is key to developing an ongoing dialogue with a prospect. Response rates are highest when these messages are crafted to start a conversation and provide a target prospect with valued, relevant content.

As policymakers work to curb robocalls and the consumer robocall-avoidance backlash continues, legitimate businesses are being caught in the cross hairs. What can they do?

Related: Dish Fined $280 Million for Illegal Robocalls

Clearly, those operating in this environment must reduce their reliance on cold calls and find new ways to connect with prospects by taking a personalized, multichannel approach to drive customer engagement. Email, texting, and LinkedIn should all be part of any company’s engagement strategies to effectively establish relationships with prospects and maintain relationships with existing customers.

Add Photoshop to Your List of Skills and Reach for a Creative Career

The Complete Photoshop 2019 Master Class Bundle can help you create stunning marketing materials and gorgeous photos.
May 8, 2019 3 min read
Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

There are thousands of job listings across the web hunting for candidates with one very specific skill: Adobe Photoshop. Adobe’s photo editing juggernaut is a must-have for growing companies, but it can seem overwhelming if you’ve never had to do any design or photography work.

You can always hire a graphic designer or outsource your needs to a freelancer, but you might need to conquer Photoshop yourself if your business is still on a shoestring budget. The Complete Photoshop 2019 Master Class Bundle will have you crafting your visual online presence in no time.

7 Photoshop Web Design Projects: Learn Web Design By Doing

This 12-hour class is jam-packed with hands-on projects to propel you past “newbie” status. You’ll learn how to retouch photos, transform ordinary pictures into works of art and facelift your entire website.

Photoshop Fall Edits For Outdoor Portraits & Landscapes

Outdoorsy types will appreciate this course. It shows you how to use layers, layer masks and blending modes to bring out the best in fall foliage. You’ll also learn a three-step editing process to keep your workflow on task.

Photoshop Light Effects: Let There Be Light!

In just one hour, you’ll learn how to add more light, enhance existing light, bring more color to your sunsets and sunrises, create lens leaks and add lens flares. You’ll never have a poorly lit photo in your collection again.

Photoshop Cinematic Photography Effects

Take an average still photography and transform it into a cinema-quality image with the tools in this course. An hour of content will demystify color grading and correcting, plus you’ll learn time-saving keyboard shortcuts for a faster workflow.

Photoshop for Busy Entrepreneurs

This masterclass is a one-stop shop for entrepreneurs who needed to learn Photoshop yesterday. Each project will teach you new skills. You’ll learn how to customize templates for faster results. You’ll also learn how to create your own custom graphics, logo, flyers, brochures and more — giving you complete control over your company’s visual branding.

Photoshop Made Easy

This expert-led course helps you master Photoshop’s interface, tools, and pro-level features. Editing essentials, creative layering, and photo retouching are all covered. You’ll even learn how to convert color photos to black-and-white for a classic look.

Start learning Photoshop today, you can get all six courses now for just $29.

6 More Ways You Can Use YouTube to Reach Your Intended Audience

YouTube can help spread the word about your business. Read more about using YouTube as a low-cost marketing tool in this second part of our two-part series.

March 21, 2018 4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The following excerpt is from Jason Rich’s book Ultimate Guide to YouTube for Business. Buy it now fromAmazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | IndieBound

Take a look at the following six ideas for using YouTube as part of your overall online business and marketing strategy.

1. Showcase Customer Testimonials

If you’ve been in business for a while and have earned the respect of many loyal customers or clients, using a YouTube video to showcase some of these people or companies providing real testimonials for your products/service can be a highly effective and low-cost promotional and sales tool.

2. Present a Call to Action

Because YouTube allows you to speak directly to your audience, you can use your videos to encourage viewers to take a specific action after watching your video. A video’s call to action is a request for people to take an immediate action—such as visit your website, “like” the video, subscribe to your YouTube channel, call a toll-free phone number, send someone an email, share the video’s link with their friends, make a donation, or make a purchase.

For a business selling a product, one potential call to action is to embed a link within your video to a website that offers a money-saving coupon or special offer for what you’re selling. This might be 20 percent off the purchase price (for a limited time), free shipping, a buy-one-get-one-free offer, or some other incentive to encourage someone to make an immediate purchase. Make it clear within the video that it’s an exclusive offer for people watching the video, and make the “special offer” available immediately at the end of the video.

3. Create Mindless Entertainment, but Use Product Placement

Many people turn to YouTube for entertainment because the service is chock full of funny, whimsical, and outrageous videos. You or your company can jump on this bandwagon and produce videos that offer mindless entertainment but, at the same time, include subtle product placements or marketing messages about your company or its products within the videos. For this type of video, creativity is essential, as what you post needs to be unique, engaging, funny, and entertaining. Again, taking a soft-sell approach is key.

4. Promote or Share Highlights from an Event

By default, any type of event in the real world that you or your organization participates in is held at some geographic location and will draw crowds from the surrounding area. However, by sharing videos shot at recently held events, you have the opportunity to share it with the world. Showcasing edited-down (shortened) footage or highlights from a previous event can also generate interest in and help boost attendance for future events.

5. Broadcast (Stream) a Live Event via YouTube

In addition to filming an event, editing and shortening the video, and then publishing it on YouTube via your company’s branded YouTube channel, it’s possible to broadcast live via YouTube Live or on other social media platforms like Facebook, YouNow, Twitch.TV, or Instagram Live. When you broadcast live, your video feed steams directly to your audience in real time. In other words, there’s no editing, no retakes, and no margin for error. As events happen, your audience sees it live.

Businesses can use live steaming to broadcast a special event, product launch, or press conference.

6. Pay to Have Your Product(s) Featured in Videos Produced by Popular YouTubers

Instead of producing your own video content, promoting that content, and using the time, manpower, and financial resources required to promote your videos and build an audience, one option that’s becoming increasingly popular is to pay an established YouTuber with a large following to incorporate product placements (for your products/services) into their video content. What you’ll discover is that the subscribers to popular YouTubers are extremely loyal. So, when one of these YouTubers endorses a product, their subscribers are often very willing to try it out.

Most YouTubers appeal to a specific demographic. So, if you’re about to launch a new line of lipstick or nail polish, for example, paying an established YouTuber, who is a beauty guru with a large following, for a product placement is a quick and easy way to promote your product and have it seen by many targeted viewers.

3 Ways to Reach ‘Generation Z’ this Holiday Season

Did you know that it’s not uncommon for this age group to create fake personas on Facebook and Instagram and save their real profiles for trusted friends?

For years, companies have been focused on marketing to millennials, but it’s time they also pay attention to Generation Z. Born between 1995 and 2005, this population cohort may still be young, but they’re already fierce: They comprise an estimated 25 percent of the U.S. population and control $44 billion in purchasing power.

Related: What Steps Can You Take to Make Your Brand More ‘Gen Z’ Friendly? Actually, There Are 8.

Furthermore, families have become more democratic in their decision-making, and 70 percent of Gen Zers surveyed for an IBM report said they believed they have a “strong” or “very strong” influence on their families’ purchase decisions. As these teenagers mature into adults, they are quickly becoming a powerful and influential consumer group. If marketers aren’t already thinking about Gen Z this holiday season, they should start.

When it comes to reaching these young consumers specifically, marketers should be striving to understand their preferred social media platforms, media-consumption habits, shopping preferences and world views.

If you’re one of those marketers, before you start planning your marketing campaigns this holiday season, here are a few ways you can appeal to this particular demographic.

Experiment with new marketing channels.

It should be no surprise that the members of Gen Z are hyperconnected, digitally native and active on social media, but they have also witnessed numerous hacking scandals, data leaks and cyberattacks in their lifetimes. The result is that they are staunchly protective about their privacy and personal information.

It’s not uncommon, in fact, for this age group to create fake personas on Facebook and Instagram and save their real, genuine profiles for friends they trust. Understanding this “trusted circle” element is vital to how marketers can reach this group.

Specifically, Gen Z gravitates toward newer platforms like Snapchat and Instagram Stories because through those platforms they can send content to carefully curated groups of friends. Gen Z is also wary of trusting traditional advertising from brands. Instead, they rely more on recommendations from their peers, followed by those of social media influencers. So, consider using peer group influencers in your digital marketing rather than traditional celebrity endorsers.

Related: 5 Ways to Use Experiential Marketing to Attract Generation Z

Be cognizant of how they consume media.

Next up is media consumption. Gen Z’s members still watch TV, but prefer watching on streaming services. Furthermore, Youtube is the most popular platform with this group; Gen Z watches an average of two to four hours of YouTube a day, and half say they “can’t live without it.”

To reach this younger audience, evaluate what your current media mix looks like and don’t be afraid to experiment with new channels.

Determine what percentage of your ad spend is allocated to traditional media vs. digital, and which social media platforms your brand is most active on.

Then, start testing different types of media for your ad buys, like streaming services, mobile apps, podcasts or gaming platforms.

Make shopping convenient and experiential.

Since Gen-Zers grew up in a digital world, they’ve never waited for web pages to load or for products to take more than a day or two to ship; therefore, they highly value convenience and take instant gratification to a whole new level.

When it comes to their shopping preferences, two-thirds say they’re comfortable shopping online, but still prefer to shop in-store for the instant gratification of not having to wait for their orders to arrive. Still, the shopping trend of buying online and picking up in-store is quickly gaining traction with this group.

If you’re a retailer, prioritize making both the in-store shopping experience and online and mobile user experiences as convenient and seamless as possible. Gen Zers often shop in physical stores as a social activity, so create in-store experiences that are engaging, social and entertaining. Many retailers have started hosting in-store events, incorporating interactive technologies into their fitting rooms and encouraging shoppers to share their experiences on social media.

Meanwhile, your online and mobile experiences should be easily searchable, shoppable and consistent across all devices because these youngsters are constantly splitting their time among multiple screens.

Adjust your messaging and involve them in the conversation.

Though Gen Z is young, they are a profoundly mature group. In their lifetimes, they’ve experienced terrorist attacks, economic downturns and shifts in traditional family structures. These cultural and social changes have shaped their world views and outlook on companies and other people.

Armed with nearly limitless access to information, Gen Z is the most diverse generation to date, and its members are open-minded, socially conscious and value-oriented. They are careful and deliberate when spending their money, and according to a Millennial Marketing report, 60 percent of Gen Zers in one survey said they support brands that align with their values and take a stand on social causes.

To cater to this audience, avoid telling them what to do, what to buy or what to wear. Gen Z shoppers have a strong sense of individuality and don’t want brands to define them. Fifty-eight percent say they want to make their own fashion statement and want brands to give them the tools to do so. When targeting this age group, don’t market to a certain stereotype. Instead, use messaging and imagery that represent different races, ethnicities, gender identies and body types. Design your products to accommodate an array of skin tones and sizes, too.

Finally, give Gen Zers a platform to express themselves and share their opinions. In an Accenture report, 40percent of Gen Zers surveyed said they give feedback, such as online reviews, “very often.” Whether they’re reviewing products or experiences on websites or posting opinions on social media, they want their voices to be heard.

In your messaging, then, rather than make a demonstrative statement, pose a thought-provoking question. Pique their interest, and see how they respond. If you start an interesting conversation, odds are they will participate.

Related: How to Use Authenticity to Capture the Attention of Generation Z

The secret to Gen Z is finding their watering holes and understanding their behaviors and mindsets. Avoid talking at them and pushing marketing messaging down their throats. Meet them where they’re at, involve them in the conversation and gain their trust. In turn, they will reward you with their dollars and loyalty.