3 Reasons You Need A Sales Funnel.
You’ve got a passion and you’ve turned it into a product or service. But now you’re struggling to find your ideal customers online. Wouldn’t it be great to get your passion project noticed, loved and bought by your dream customers … whilst you sleep?
Welcome to Sales Funnels 101. In this 3-part series I’m going to show you how to use the fundamentals of online marketing to build a sales funnel that will bring you customers on autopilot. Plus I’ll show you how to create this funnel in just 10-days. Sound good? Then lets dive right in.
What exactly does a sales funnel look like and why do you even need one?!
The 2 Mistakes Most People Make
But before we get into the nitty gritty, there are some important foundations to lay. Important, because you could create the most wonderful sleek sales funnel, but if you don’t have the following things in place it will not work.
So what are these crucial mistakes you must avoid?
If your business has been running online for a while, you will probably breeze through this part. But if you’re relatively new to online business then take a moment to ask yourself the following:
1) Who, exactly, do you serve?
2) Which of their problems do you solve?
At this stage in the funnel it’s vital that you are crystal clear on who you serve, you understand their problems, and you have the ideal solution (your product or service).
If you know instantly the answers to the above then you are likely to already have strong consistent branding, a good reputation, authority in your market and social proof that your online product or service works.
It’s vital you have these in place now.
If you’re not yet quite there with the branding and testimonials don’t stress just yet. This can take time, but remember – as long as you know you need to work on your foundations, you are half-way there.
If you are super sorted and 100% proud of your products – but don’t yet have a system to turn strangers into customers – then read on.
A sales funnel is a simple concept, which can sound incredibly complicated. But in this 3-part Sales Funnel 101 series of blog posts I’m going to make it simple and clear so that you can put it to the test.
Sales Funnel 101: A Simple System
That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains. Steve Jobs
To make this simple to understand, let’s take a random stranger off the street.
I want you to walk right up to them and immediately ask them for $47 to buy your shiny new product…
What do you think might happen if you did this? Probably either:
a) They’d laugh in your face and run a mile or,
b) They would politely scuttle off pretending they didn’t see you!
The chances of them wanting to bite-your-arm-off and buy your product is slim.
That’s because you’ve missed two crucial stages of marketing. You are essentially walking up to a complete stranger and asking them to snog you! (Or so it might feel from their side).
Quite simply, the online sales funnel is a system that takes someone from being a random stranger, to being aware of you, to engaging with you and liking you and then to (eventually) buying from you:
OK? Make sense so far? Now lets break down what you need to do at each stage of your funnel.
Step 1: Awareness
This is where you introduce yourself. Building awareness is the first step in getting your business, brand and message in front of the right people.
The thing about this stage is that you need the reach the right people.
Its no good putting your healthy eating meal plan for busy mums into the hands of an 18-year-old body builder. The most important thing to get to grips with at this stage is exactly who you want to become ‘aware’ of your products.
Who is your ideal customer?
If you’re not quite sure yet, try working through this customer profile worksheet to help you fine-tune your exact target audience.
This first step in the sales funnel is where your content, marketing, advertising and promotion happens – it’s the part where you aim to get your brand in-front of as many of the right people as possible and in part 2 I’ll show you a simple way to set up and increase the number of people who are aware of you.
Step 2: Engagement
This is the contact bit, where you build up trust and authority with the people who’ve just found out about you.
They could get to know you through a blog post, a Facebook group, a video, your website ‘about’ page, an email, webinar, guest post or any other type of content that you publish.
You want to capture people’s attention quickly and spark enough interest that they want to know more or stick around, come back or share your content (the ultimate flattery).
Building engagement can be tough if you’re a small business. You need to be consistent with your content, because you’re competing for people’s precious time and attention. Did you know humans now have a shorter attention span than goldfish – at just 8 seconds! (Goldfish can hold their attention for a whopping 9 seconds!)
Don’t believe me? Take a look at your Google Analytics data. Check out how many of your website visitors come back every month? For most sites it’s around 20% which means 80% of web visitors never, ever return.
But, all is not lost!
There are a few ways to engage with your audience on a regular basis. You can’t rely on them to check your latest blog post or have to publish new content every single day.
An popular way of doing this is by creating a community or group on your customer’s favourite social media channel. Facebook Groups are a phenomenal way to engage with your prospects if you are naturally good at leading and nurturing a tribe and can be active a lot.
But if you’re not a natural on social media and can’t be online 24/7 to coral and support a group then there is another way. This other way allows you to engage with your audience and get them to like and trust you automatically.
All you need to do is capture their email address.
Because now you can engage and entertain them. You can inform and captivate or serenade them in a sequence of emails that you create and send out on autopilot. (More on this in part-3)
Step 3: Purchase
This is the magical moment when someone who’s found you and liked you, now takes the leap to buy from you wohoo!
No, this won’t happen with all your subscribers and yes, you will need a useful and valuable sequence of content before people buy from you.
Purchases will happen if your prospects trust you, if they believe you are the authority in your market. They will buy from you if they like you and can see that others like and trust you. These are just some of the emotional triggers you will need to include in your content sequence. But don’t worry, I’ll walk you through exactly how to set up your funnel in part-2 of this series.
But first let’s recap on why you need a sales funnel in place…
It’s easier to understand by looking at an example – here’s a simple sales funnel for an online blog:
Now can you see how this system leads someone who has just become aware of you, to liking you through your great and useful content onto eventually trusting you, and then buying from you?
It doesn’t have to be complex or overwhelming and it doesn’t take super human tech skills to set up or months to put into motion.
But it is essential to have all the elements in place. In fact this is something that you could have up and running in the next ten-days.
Find out exactly how in the next part of this blog series here.