We recently celebrated our ten-year anniversary here at Leadpages, and in honor of this achievement, we’re sharing knowledge we’ve gained over the last decade.
Leadpages was founded with the idea of making entrepreneurship easier. This all started with our no-code landing page builder that allowed anyone (even complete beginners) to get online and start collecting leads and sales. We’ve since added countless features to further this mandate, including a Drag & Drop Builder, A/B testing tool, and our new AI Engine.
We also firmly believe that the best way to empower entrepreneurs is through education. This is why we hold weekly coaching sessions, provide free onboarding, and offer expert feedback on websites and landing pages to all our users. But we’re not stopping there.
After working with over 434,000 entrepreneurs (and growing our own business) we’ve identified a few key elements that greatly improve your chances of success—and today we’d like to share them with you.
Whether you’re a brand-new entrepreneur, or an experienced business owner, these important lessons could be what takes your venture to the next level.
So, without further ado, here are ten small business insights we’ve learned over the past ten years.
Find your niche
You’ve heard the saying “when you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one.” Well, the same is true in business.
It’s better to be really good at one thing, rather than be average at a lot of things. This is why successful entrepreneurs get as specific as possible. A narrow niche provides a number of benefits, including:
- Making it easier to identify your ideal customer.
- Building a stronger connection with your audience.
- Limiting your competition.
- Creating more targeted products and services.
In our experience, finding your niche also usually marks a turning point for your business. Just look at Laura Smith, a Leadpages user who turned her blog into a thriving online business. She started blogging about multiple topics, but it was only when she narrowed her focus and started concentrating on home organization that her business really took off.
So, find something specific that you’re an expert in and build your business around that.
Giving something away for free is great for lead generation
This might go against the idea of starting a business, but for many entrepreneurs it has proven to be the best way to grow a loyal audience.
In a recent poll of our users, 52.9% said lead magnets were the number one strategy they used for generating leads for their business. Lead magnets are free content that people can access by submitting their email. The idea is that you create something that solves a problem for your audience and in return, they give you their contact information so you can start building a relationship with them.
In fact, many entrepreneurs got their start by sharing their knowledge for free. World-renowned social media strategist Ashley Ann built her following by holding free social media workshops before building her multi-million dollar enterprise.
If you consistently provide value and help your audience achieve some quick wins you’ll earn their trust—and eventually their business.
Tip: Leadpages offers a built-in lead magnet delivery system and seamlessly integrates with all the most popular email marketing platforms, making it easier than ever to deliver lead magnets to your audience.
Choose something you’re passionate about
No matter how good your business idea is and how solid a plan you have, you’re going to face tough times as an entrepreneur. And it’s during those hard times when many would-be business owners call it quits.
The best way to make sure this doesn’t happen to you is to create a business around something you’re passionate about.
Why? Because you’re much less likely to throw in the towel when you genuinely enjoy what you’re doing—even if it’s not successful right away. On the other hand, if you’re only in it for the money you’ll likely bow out if it takes too long to see a profit.
Leadpages user and six-figure business coach Kathryn Calhoun put it best:
“If you have the entrepreneurial bug sometimes you can get excited by any idea, even if it’s not something you’re personally interested in. But what I found is, those businesses didn’t have any staying power. Not because they were bad ideas, but because they weren’t connected to what I was about.”
Know what you’re selling
If you’ve ever done any kind of sales you know that in order to be successful you need to know what you’re selling inside and out. This goes for anything, whether you’re selling coaching services, digital products, or a live event.
You might be thinking “but I created my product, obviously I know it.” True, you know what it does and all the features. But do you understand why people should want it and what the benefits are? Because that’s what you’re really selling.
Take the Leadpages Affiliate Program for example. This program allows entrepreneurs to promote our software and earn a commission every time they refer a customer to us. What we consistently see is that affiliates who are also Leadpages users make double the commissions of those that aren’t.
Sure, if you’ve never used the product you can check out our website to learn about all the features. But you won’t be able to accurately describe the benefits because you haven’t experienced them yourself.
Meanwhile, someone who’s used the product can draw on their experience and offer a more authentic recommendation.
Know what you’re selling so you can accurately convey the what and the why.
Make customer service your #1 priority
Leadpages is primarily a lead generation platform that provides accessible software solutions for entrepreneurs. But if you read our reviews you might think we’re a tech support or marketing education company.
That’s because the majority of our testimonials focus on our excellent customer support. Even though we provide our users with everything they need to get online and grow their business, it’s how we help them use and understand those tools that wins us the most praise.
“I use other systems where I submit a ticket and I don’t get a response until four days later. With Leadpages, if you submit a ticket you get a response within 24 hours.”
Geni Ramos, Leadpages user and CEO of La Consultoría Digital
What we’ve learned over the years is that the support you provide is just as, if not more important than the product itself. Your product is what brings customers in, but your customer service is what keeps them coming back.
Educated customers are more likely to buy
We recently started offering complimentary onboarding sessions to Leadpages users during their free trial. The idea was that if people had a better understanding of how to apply our product's capabilities to their business, they’d be more successful with it and want to stick around longer.
Turns out our hypothesis was correct. 64% of those that signed up for an onboarding session ended up becoming paying customers, compared to 34% that didn’t participate in a call.
Now, this doesn’t mean you have to get on a one-on-one call with all your leads in order to convert them into paying customers. But you should find ways to educate your audience as much as possible, whether that be through group webinars, FAQs, guides, or other resources.
The more informed your leads are, the more likely they’ll be to take you up on one of your offers.
We helped our customers drive 6.6 billion web views, so what did we learn?
When you’re building a business it’s natural to want results as soon as possible. But when it comes to entrepreneurship, patience really is a virtue.
Nowhere is this truer in marketing than with traffic generation. After helping our users receive over 6.6 billion web views we know a thing or two about generating traffic. But we were curious what other business owners had to say. So, we polled Leadpages users and here’s where they said most of their traffic came from:
What do all these channels have in common? They all take time to build.
Sure, you can pay for Google and Facebook Ads and receive some instant results, but relying solely on those traffic sources will eat into your budget (and your profits). Organic traffic sources require more work, but they’re much more sustainable
The quality of your traffic will also be better. Organic audiences are usually more familiar with your brand, so they’ll already have a certain level of trust in you and be more likely to take you up on your offers.
The long game is harder and requires more patience—but it’s totally worth it.
Tip: Use Leadpages’ search engine optimization settings to edit your SEO titles and descriptions to include relevant keywords and give yourself a better chance of ranking for important search terms.
How we've helped 3x conversions (540 million and counting)
Entrepreneurs have access to more marketing software than ever before, so it’s important to choose wisely. Not all tools are created equal, and the right technology can literally triple your results.
For example, across all industries the average landing page conversion rate is 2.35%. However, over our ten-year history Leadpages has generated 540 million conversions on 6.6 billion page views, meaning our users have enjoyed an average conversion rate of 8% (with some experiencing conversion rates as high as 81%).
And it makes sense. All of Leadpages’ templates are optimized for conversions, and the full suite of easy-to-use conversion tools simplifies the lead generation process.
“Leadpages converts so much better than any other software. I’ve tried custom-built pages, and I’ve tried pages with Kajabi, Wix, WordPress, Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, Constant Contact, and ConvertKit. There’s still not a page that converts better than Leadpages.”
Ashley Ann, Leadpages user and world-renowned social media strategist
While there’s an added cost to using a piece of marketing software, the right software will pay for itself and then some.
Tip: When building a landing page in Leadpages, the Leadmeter gives you real-time conversion advice to ensure you’re maximizing your leads and sales.
Productize your skills
The quickest way to put a cap on your earning potential is to trade your time for money. Don’t get us wrong, you can certainly earn a living charging an hourly rate. But there’s only so much time in the day and only so much people are willing to pay for your services.
Eventually, you’ll hit a barrier. That’s why the most successful entrepreneurs find a way to productize their skills.
Leadpages user Asiya Miart is an excellent example of this. Her education consulting business had so many clients that eventually she couldn’t keep up with all the requests. She realized that if she wanted to keep growing she needed a business model that was scalable.
So, Asiya started developing online courses and downloadable PDFs that her clients could use to learn on their own. This meant that both her reach and earnings potential were unlimited.
If there’s any part of your business that you can turn into a product, do it. You can still meet with clients one-on-one if you like, but your digital products will mean there will never be a cap on your income.
An online presence gives you flexibility
3.2 million landing pages and 36,000 websites have been built with Leadpages. But there’s still a lot of work to be done, as 40% of small businesses still don’t have a website.
It’s well-documented that online sales continue to rise and a growing number of consumers search for products and services online. But the pandemic showed us another critical reason why having an online presence is so essential: it allows you to be flexible when unexpected situations and events prevent you from doing business in person.
Here’s a story a lot of entrepreneurs can probably relate to:
Before the pandemic, digital marketing and social media consultant Laurie Wang relied heavily on in-person consulting and speaking engagements for her income. But when the pandemic hit, she was able to pivot and focus more on her digital offerings, ensuring that her business didn’t suffer.
As Laurie puts it:
“If anything, the pandemic proved to myself and many of my friends in similar businesses that having a strong online presence protected us from the worst-case scenario.”
The fact is, with drag-and-drop website and landing page builders like Leadpages, business owners have no excuse not to get online—if not for the added sales then for the security and insurance it provides to their revenue.
Here’s to another 10 years of supporting entrepreneurs
A lot has changed since Leadpages was founded a decade ago.
We started out as a group of scrappy entrepreneurs looking for an easier way to help businesses generate leads and sales. That bootstrapped start-up quickly evolved into a growing business that turned heads in the marketing industry.
Leadpages’ success eventually caught the attention of Redbrick, who purchased us in 2020 and has been our valued partner ever since.
The product itself also looks very different from our initial release. What was originally a no-code landing page builder has grown into a complete lead-generation platform, equipped with all the tools necessary to find your audience and grow your business.
Our team has changed.
Our office has changed.
Our logo has changed.
But one thing has remained the same: our unwavering commitment to creating technology that empowers entrepreneurs and helps them turn their ideas into sustainable businesses. And it’s this passion for building and elevating small businesses that will continue to drive us for the next ten years and beyond.
A big thank you to everyone who has been a part of our journey so far. And here’s to many more years of helping small businesses reach their full potential.
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