This post originally appeared on neilpatel.com
Businesses live and die based on leads.
Without leads, no one converts. Without conversions, no one pays. Without payments, your business dies.
But generating leads is easier said than done.
Social media requires a lot of attention, and banner ads don’t really work very well these days.
So what’s the answer?
For some of you, Quora might be your next best lead-generation hack.
As of March 2016, the platform was up to 300 million monthly unique users.
But, I don’t want to assume that you’re familiar with the platform.
Maybe you’re new to Quora or have never even heard of it.
So let’s take a moment to talk about exactly what Quora is.
What is Quora?
Quora is kind of a social media platform, but it’s far different from most.
Quora is similar to Twitter in that you can follow other people, but it isn’t nearly as free-flowing.
It’s similar to Facebook because you can interact with other people, but not through direct messaging.
Quora’s individuality is what makes it so effective for lead generation.
In its most basic form, Quora is a social media platform for asking and answering questions.
You can play on either side of the coin. You can ask questions you would like an expert to answer or you can answer questions that other people have posted.
For lead generation, you’ll play the part of the expert more than the asker.
Starting to see why the platform is so effective for driving traffic and leads to your website?
It allows you to interact with your customers and prospects, answer their questions, and communicate with them in a way that no other social media site does.
But those are just a few reasons.
Here are a few more.
Why is Quora Good For Lead Gen?
Yes, Quora allows you to communicate with your customers.
But it’s more than that.
After all, you can communicate with your customers in a lot of different places.
Email, Facebook, and Twitter are just a few ways the Internet allows you to contact your prospects.
However, there’s something that Quora offers that helps it stand apart from the other platforms.
Namely, it’s the ability to interact with prospects and customers in a place where they are asking the questions.
While email, Facebook, and Twitter all have notoriously low click-through, open, and response rates, Quora doesn’t.
On Quora, the consumer starts the interaction rather than your business, which means that they are already invested in the conversation.
On Quora, your prospects and customers are already asking questions — questions that you have the answers to.
Here’s another reason to consider Quora for lead gen–their audience is more likely to have a college degree, be a manager, and have a higher income.
If that’s your target audience, then Quora is a good place to be.
If you join the platform and play the part of the expert, you’ll quickly enhance your brand’s image in the eyes of your target audience and drive leads to your website.
How, exactly, can you do that?
Specifically, here are 11 ways to make the most of Quora.
1. Create a Compelling Profile
The very first thing you need to do on Quora is to enhance your profile.
When someone sees that you’ve answered one of their questions, what’s the first thing they’re going to do?
That’s right. They’re going to click on your profile to see who you are, where you work, and what you’re an expert at.
If a user clicks through to your profile and sees something unoptimized, they won’t trust your opinion, even if you answer a question with detail and expertise.
In other words, the answers you provide for people are only as good as your profile’s optimization.
Here’s what my profile looks like.
For the most part, Quora will walk you through all of the optimizations you need to create a trustworthy profile.
But let me point out three important aspects of my own.
First, notice the part that says “Forbes Top 10 Marketer and NY Times Best Selling Author.” That immediately establishes a lot of authority.
People think, “Wow! This guy really knows what he’s talking about.”
You want to do the same thing with your profile. Include a few noteworthy accomplishments in this section.
Second, look at the credentials and highlights on the right side of the screen. Be sure to include your location and your business title to add some personality.
And lastly, choose your profile image carefully.
When someone sees your profile image, they form an opinion of you.
They could assume that you’re friendly, arrogant, approachable, or lazy all based on that little photo.
So, you need to make sure that you include an image that expresses how you want to be perceived.
Ideally, your profile picture will make you look professional, approachable, and smart.
Once you optimize your profile for visitors’ eyes, you can move on to these next tips.
2. Follow Relevant Quora Topics
Setting up your profile to communicate your expertise is the first step in your Quora lead gen journey.
The next thing you need to do is follow any topics that apply directly to your target industry.
This will allow Quora to consistently update you on relevant questions that people are asking.
That means that you won’t have to go searching for them. You can simply look at your home dashboard.
To follow different topics, type into the search bar any subjects within your industry that you want to engage in.
Then, click on the result with the word “Topic:” next to it.
This will take you to the topic page of your selected result. All you have to do now is click on “Follow Topic” on the right side.
Now, Quora will notify you about conversations going on under this topic.
Do the same thing with any other topics that you want to follow. Remember that you want to choose as many subjects within your industry as you can.
The more you follow, the more opportunities you’ll get to engage with customers and prospects and drive leads to your website.
3. Show Your Expertise on Quora
When you’re answering other people’s questions on Quora, you need to be sure to establish yourself as the expert.
You might answer a lot of questions, but you also need to give people a reason to trust those answers.
Unfortunately, they aren’t going to do it just out of the kindness of their hearts.
There are several ways to build expertise when answering a question.
The first way is to make sure you have a professional looking profile picture. Something like this, for example.
Also, you should write like you’re a professional who knows what they’re talking about.
If you write like you deserve attention, more people will listen.
But if you write timidly, then more people will be nervous about trusting you. Here’s what writing professionally might look like for you.
The final ways to establish expertise with your answers is by starting off with a brief explanation of why you’re an expert.
Quickly explain why you know a lot about the topic or why people should trust you.
You do something similar to what Da Zheng does with the beginning of his answer.
Regardless of which tactic you use to establish yourself as the expert, make sure that you take the extra time to explain why you know a lot about the given topic.
Then, when people are upvoting answers, yours will be at the top.
4. Be Genuinely Helpful
Before you get carried away with establishing yourself as an expert, remember that you also need to be genuinely helpful.
The people who gain the largest followings on Quora are the same people who provide authentically meaningful answers about topics they are actually familiar with.
The last thing you want to do is talk about why you’re an expert and then have a cruddy answer to the person’s question.
You’re the expert, so be the expert.
Answer questions in a way that will actually help the people on the other side.
Otherwise, you’ll waste your time.
Consider the value that Tanya Russell gives in her answer to a question about social media.
Her response is remarkably long, and I couldn’t capture the whole thing in a screenshot.
But here is the introduction.
She goes on like that for quite some time, providing true value with each new point.
Your answers should do the same thing.
Consider this response from Joyce del Rosario.
Again, this is just the introduction.
Joyce includes lots of images, bolded text, and helpful advice to guide her reader.
If you do the same thing, it won’t just help your readers, though. It will also establish trust with your prospects, build brand awareness, and even drive traffic to your website.
5. Contact Your Quora Followers
On Quora, you can only direct message people who have their settings adjusted accordingly.
Unfortunately, that’s going to severely limit how many people you can get in touch with privately.
However, you have another option as well.
Instead of direct messaging your prospects and customers to learn about their questions, desires, and pains, you can ask them a question publically.
Doing so is quite simple, and it’s a great way to learn about your target market.
All you have to do is click on “Followers” on your profile page.
Then, you’ll see a list that looks something like this.
Decide who you want to ask a question and click on their name.
This will take you to their profile. From there, you can click the “Ask Question” prompt and start engaging with them.
You could ask them about what they think of your business, what their favorite online tools are, or how they would rate your customer service.
And the best part is that, since the question is public, other people can comment and engage in the thread as well.
6. Track Your Quora Analytics
Unlike most social media platforms, Quora also has an analytics dashboard for all of its users.
You can see your number of upvotes, views, and shares all in one place.
And checking this dashboard regularly is critical to your Quora lead-generation strategy.
After all, if you don’t know how well your current tactics are working, then you won’t be able to learn, adapt, or iterate.
So make sure that you check your stats dashboard at least once per week.
Doing so is simple.
Just click on your profile image at the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Then, click on “Stats.”
You’ll see a dashboard like this that is full of valuable information for you to digest.
When numbers are good, try to identify what you’re doing right and replicate your actions.
When numbers are low, identify what you’re doing wrong and learn how to avoid similar mistakes in the future.
Either way, you can learn and iterate your marketing strategy.
7. Leverage Trackback Links
To leverage all of the benefits that Quora has to offer, you need to understand what trackback links are.
Basically, they are Quora’s version of backlink, or links that go from an external website to your website.
When this happens, that link tells Google that an external website trusts your URL, which can massively influence your SEO.
In fact, generally speaking, the more backlinks a website has, the better they’re going to rank on Google.
Now, let me clarify.
I’m not telling you to constantly stuff backlinks into your answers so that it becomes annoying.
I simply want you to be aware of trackback links so that you can include backlinks to your website tactfully in your Quora answers.
Remember, the whole point of answering questions on Quora is to provide genuine value. If you stuff hyperlinks into your answers, that will hurt any trust you’ve built up with prospects and customers.
Here’s what a trackback link looks like on my profile.
Here’s what it looks like in an answer to a question.
Include these links to win some SEO benefit, but don’t go over the top. You want to insert links where it will be genuinely valuable for other users. Otherwise, leave them out.
8. Create Content Around Quora Questions on Your Website
One of the greatest benefits of Quora is that it tells you what your target market is looking for.
Often, marketers have a difficult time discovering the true desires, concerns, pains, and knowledge-lacking areas of their ideal customer.
With Quora, you can discover those things instantly.
All you have to do is type your target industry or topic into the search bar.
Then click on the result you want with the word “Topic:” next to it.
This screen will show up.
You can repurpose all of those questions into titles on your own website’s blog.
Since these are the questions that people are asking regarding your industry, you’ll attract a lot of people by answering them.
Simply take a title, alter it a bit, and create a piece of content around it.
9. Share Your Most Popular Quora Answers
As you engage more and more on Quora, some of your answers will perform better than others.
Every once in a while, you’ll hit a goldmine of attention. Users will view, upvote, and share your answer more than any of your others.
The last thing you want to do is let all of that potential go to waste.
While your Quora followers will pay plenty of attention to the answer, you can gain even more attention by sharing the answer on your social media channels.
Go to your profile and click on “Answers” on the left side of the screen.
Then, find an answer that is particularly lucrative and click on the share buttons in the lower right-hand corner.
From there, you’ll be able to share your answer, generating more traffic to it, and even drive traffic to your website if you include a backlink.
10. Automate Your Quora Process
After you spend some time on Quora, you may find yourself buried under piles of strenuous and monotonous work. There’s no way around having to spend hours researching relevant topics and keeping track of answers.
Although Quora is relatively easy to navigate and has some impressive build-in analytics features, you may want to try ad hoc tools for streamlining the workflow.
There’re not many tools that feature necessary tracking and question-research capabilities. One of the few working solutions is QuestionsPro, a software that aims to automate lead generation on Quora.
The best thing about QuestionsPro is that find questions relevant to your website, Quora profile, or even a YouTube channel. This tool also incorporates several valuable metrics, that will help you estimate the traffic you get by answering this or that question on Quora.
11. Use Quora Ads
Most of the strategies I’ve included here are organic–you answer questions and drive traffic over time by offering value.
However, there is a quicker Quora lead gen strategy: Quora ads.
Just like other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, Quora also lets you pay to reach their audience by paying.
The platform allows you to create ads based on objective, including conversions, traffic, and, yes, lead gen. Then you define your budget, audience, and select your bids.
Quora uses native ads, which disrupts the user experience less.
Quora ads can be used as a stand-alone strategy, or you can supplement some of the organic lead gen strategies above with a few ads.
Quora is a fantastic platform to grow your business’s bottom line.
You can generate the leads that your business requires to survive and thrive.
To leverage all of Quora’s potential, though, you need to understand how to use it.
Start by creating a compelling profile and following relevant topics.
Then, answer questions while showing your expertise and being genuinely helpful.
Finally, ask your followers public questions, track your analytics, leverage trackback links, create similar content on your website, and share your most popular answers on social media.
Don’t forget about Quora ads — they can be incredibly helpful at driving targeted leads to your site.
Do all of that, and few competitors will be able to keep up with your lead-generating Quora activity.
How do you use Quora to generate leads? Have you tried Quora ads? What results have you seen?
The post Need Leads ASAP? Quora Marketing is the Best Lead Gen Hack appeared first on Neil Patel.