As I help my clients launch their businesses online, I’m noticing one main question they need to ask themselves across every piece of marketing material.
- This question gets asked on every page of copy they (re)write.
- This question gets asked for every newsletter they send.
- This question gets asked for every business-opening-announcement email they craft.
- This question gets asked for every day of their 5-day opt-in.
- This question gets asked for every Instagram post they share, for every video they record, for every speaking gig they book or podcast pitch they email or webinar they prepare.
And that question is (did I build it up too much?):
“What will the reader do next?”
You answer that question with a CTA
CTA is short for Call To Action.
The thing you want your reader, follower, prospective client, interviewee, or fan to *do*.
Every single page of your website should have a call to action like you’re the reader’s guide to where they go next.
The home page and about page leads them to your services page, the services page leads them to fill out a form or make a purchase, the contact page leads them to, well, contact you. You get it.
Every single newsletter should give some direction to what they need to do next: click over to your offerings, book a consult, hit reply with their big takeaway, join your private Facebook group.
Every single new-offer-announcement email needs to ask for the introduction, or give that friends & family discount, or pass along copy and images for them to share on social media.
Every single opt-in email should ask for a direct response, lead them to learn more about you, or let them know how you can work together.
Every social media post should have a purpose, whether it’s to spark a discussion, convey a tip or lesson, share a resource, or give insight into who you are as a person and what it would be like to work with you. Think about it before you start writing.
Every video recorded – whether it be for a Facebook Live or an Instagram story or a video blog post – should conclude with asking the watcher to do something, even if it’s in the copy below the video and not at the end of the video itself. If they’re watching this video and it’s helpful, you know what else will help them – following your Instagram account, signing up for your free webinar, grabbing a spot in your upcoming program, etc.
Every speaking gig booked or class taught is an opportunity for your right people to get more help from you. Now I’m not talking about “selling from the stage” – yuck gross, even if it is allowed by whoever put it together – but about letting your audience know how they can keep hearing from you. Don’t be shy about putting your url and logo on every slide of your presentation, or mentioning your offer or product in the talk itself.
Every podcast or guest post pitch emailed needs to tell the reader who you are and what you offer. Obviously the CTA here is for them to reply to your email so you can book your interview or submit your article, but we can also see the CTA as your “hook”, your mission statement, your unique perspective. The call to action is to get their listeners or readers to rise up around the mission of XYZ. If it’s the right fit, the recipient will be in once he or she pictures their audience getting that message.
Every webinar you prepare should talk about your offer(s), and not just in a throwaway line right before you hit the disconnect button. Don’t be shy to bring on a former client to chat for 3-5 minutes about what it’s like to work with you, or to make testimonial slides with the direct url for your service or shop, or to speak directly to the value of your offer. This should ideally happen before the Q&A section so people stick around.
And in case it’s not clear, all those things listed above are their own CTAs, prompting you to do whatever I mentioned. So take a few minutes now to tweak, add, or create whatever’s most pressing for you so you can make the most of that marketing effort.
And if you really want to take this question and run with it, block off a couple of hours now where you can go through your copy, opt-in, social media strategy, and pitch template and make sure your CTA is clear.
And once that’s done we can call *your* marketing strategy a CTA: Communication (set) To AwesomeTM.