4 Tips to Generate Leads by Optimising Your Sales Funnel
This post is going to go into detail about what has changed when it comes to online marketing and what you need to start doing NOW to keep up.
Back in my day…
Back in my day (when I started blogging back in early 2013) I was able to post on Facebook and link through to a sales page for something I was selling and then people would buy. That’s right, they would easily go to a sales page and READ it and then conversion rates were high and I got a lot of customers from that basic funnel.
I didn’t have to pay for ads on Facebook, a simple post would reach 99% of my followers. I didn’t have to set up lengthy email sequences, people actual read the sales page and would be so excited about the offer that they most likely bought the online course or whatever it was that I was selling at the time.
Then I had to start getting a little more creative and I put more focus on my email list. Instead of sending people to a sales page I would send them to a landing page to ask for their email address in return for a free video training series (by the way this is still a great funnel that I have on one of my blogs and works great!).
THEN… Facebook changed it’s algorithm and the followers I had spent time to attract would rarely see anything I posted [insert sad face!].
We started moving into the whole pay-to-play on social media. This was a biggie for me. I was still in the early days of my blog and wasn’t making a great deal of money so I didn’t have a whole lot to invest.
Once I got over my little blocks of spending money on Facebook ads I leaped in and got GREAT results. I was spending around $1 per day and making around $1000 per month in my online courses. Brilliant right?!
Now we fast forward to today and all of this is just not the case and there are a few reasons why…
There is so much noise on social media now that our audiences are blocking out a lot of promotional material. The whole reason people go onto social media is to engage with their friends and family NOT to be sold to. This is something really important to keep in mind when creating content for your page.
The barriers to entry to ‘play’ on social media for businesses are so low that everyone seems to be an ‘expert’ in their industry.
I’ve been doing online marketing for 5 years and to be honest, my marketing degree barely seems worth more than the paper it’s printed on. I completed my degree before Facebook was even around… get your head around that. My whole degree was focused on marketing using television, print and other mediums that barely get a look in today for any business marketing budget.
With low barriers to entry people are able to set up a business in a few minutes and start selling so there is a lot more competition than ever before.
What are you doing that sets you apart?
What are you doing differently that helps you break through all the noise and really connect with your audience?
All of this means that YOU need to think differently. YOU need to stand out. And YOU need to start now.
Your audience is smarter
With all of this noise and the constant grab for their attention our audience has got a whole lot smarter.
Back in the early days you could ask for someones email address and they would be so excited to hand it over and they would jump to their inbox and see what free ‘gift’ they had received!
Now, we are having to create strategies just to get someones email address let alone getting them to open it.
Our audience is clued in on how the old email request works and they are pretty aware that you are likely going to sell them something somewhere along that funnel. There is a lot more work involved in the early stages of a funnel now to truly encourage them to leave their email address and if you aren’t putting the work in there then it’s going to be a real struggle to get people into your funnel.
So, what you need to do…
- Have a clear message
Your message needs to be super clear and specific to your audience. This needs to be emphasised in ALL of the content you put out there; social media posts, content on your website, emails that you send out and also in the services/products you sell.
This is part of the problem that people have when they come to me to get their funnels sorted out. They haven’t got a clear enough message so they can’t stand out in the noise on social media.
My business as a ‘Sales Funnel Architect’ is quite niche and very specific. If people come looking at my website they are going to instantly know that I’m all about the funnel. They won’t be confused. It’s right there on EVERYTHING I put out there.
Is your message clear enough? Is this the part of your funnel that isn’t allowing your conversions to reach their full potential?
- Be transparent and truly connect
With so much of our interaction being online it’s easy to just show the prettiest, smartest, funniest, nicest, most organised version of ourselves. BUT with so much photoshopped content out there our audience is actually CRAVING transparency. Being transparent allows you to connect with your audience even more which gains a level of trust that you can’t get go and create on Canva (BTW I love this tool, if you don’t know about it prepare to have your mind blown).
This also applies with the webinars you do or the emails you send out. Be transparent. Don’t dress up a sales pitch as a ‘Free Training’. If it’s a full on sales pitch just call a spade a spade and tell people that you want to share a great way for people to learn even more from you.
If you are promoting a free training ensure that there is a decent portion of the training that is ACTUAL TRAINING where your participant will leave feeling inspired and ready to take action rather than pissed off that you wasted 2 hours of their life just to sell them something.
Which version of that webinar do you think would actually convert an audience member into a paying customer?
If people feel inspired and excited then they are more likely to buy from you.
You still want to have strategies in place but things have dramatically changed over the years. People want to receive a whole lot of value AND they want to have a whole lot of trust in you before they will buy from you. I’m talking about more value and trust is needed than ever before.
- Nurture your audience
If you have been doing this for a little while you probably already have some great email sequences in place once people have opted in to your freebie which is GREAT. BUT now we also need to nurture our audience BEFORE they even optin to your email sequence. I’m talking about lots of love before asking for the email address.
I told you a bit about that earlier, you know, how everyone is asking for your audiences email address? Well, things need to shift for your funnel strategy. You need to love up on your audience before you ask for the email address so that they are excited and ready to give you their email address.
There are many ways that you can do this; be consistent with the content that you put out, reply to their comments and messages, connect with people via live video (Facebook Live or YouTube live), give content before asking for the email address. I’m going to share with you shortly a simple example of this in action so keep reading.
- Ask for the sale… again
People have an attention span of around 2.3 seconds (don’t quote me on that!) or something ridiculously short. It’s so short that a friend of mine will read something on her phone and get all excited about it and want to purchase said program. She will run to her office to go and purchase (because she finds it annoying to purchase things on her phone) and in the 5 metre journey will have completely forgot what it was that she was so excited about and move on to making dinner.
Ok, that woman in the example above is me! As embarrassing as that is, it’s true and I also know it’s true for people in my audience.
What does this mean for you and your marketing efforts?
It means that you need to ask for the sale as clearly as possible and ask for it on a number of occasions. I also suggest you ask for the sale on as many platforms as you see relevant (Facebook ads, email marketing, Instagram ads all come to mind).
You can automate this part using retargeting ads which I share in my free PDF guide which you can grab here>>>
(See how I did that?)
Now you might be asking ‘This sounds great but how on earth do I actually DO this in my business?’.
I’m glad you asked!
Here is an example that incorporates all of my tips above and I use it for clients, myself and when I’m doing my daily Facebook stalking I’ve seen many successful entrepreneurs doing it too.
Step 1: Facebook Live
Host a Facebook Live session on your Facebook Page. Introduce yourself and provide some value with a tip or strategy. This needs to directly relate to a product or service that you sell. Add your call to action throughout the video and guide them to a more in depth piece of content (step 2) and ensure that the link is obvious (in the comments below is most effective).
Step 2: In Depth Content
Create a piece of content that continues on from the tip or strategy you shared in the Facebook Live video. Go into real depth so that your audience will be able to get a lot of value out of it. This could be in the form of a blog post, webinar, podcast episode or video training.
Step 3: Landing Page
This is the part where you actually ask for the email address. This landing page is going to be completely aligned with your business branding, message and the topic you’ve been discussing this whole time! Ensure this is hosted on your website even if you are using something like LeadPages which I highly recommend. Sprinkle the link to this landing page throughout your in-depth content shared in step 2.
Step 4: Nurture and Ask
Set up a beautiful email sequence that nurtures your audience. This should go for at least 10 days and gives people even more value based on the topic you’ve been focused on. They also learn more about who you are and what you’re about. This is all about building trust. It is here and only here that you can start to ask for the sale. Be clear and repeat the request on several occasions. Ensure it links to a useful sales page or keep the sales copy in an email if you prefer.
GOAL: RAVING FAN!
Mission accomplished. This is the goal at the end of the day.
Yes… this is more work than the usual funnels that are out there.
Yes… this does take more time to put together.
Yes… it will require fine tuning once you work out what is working well for your audience in terms of content topics.
No… your list won’t grow as quickly (generally) however the leads you get from this process are going to be higher quality!
Now once you have set this up there are a few things that you can do so that you are promoting this automatically. Facebook ads are a key way to do this. I have put together a great guide on how to use Facebook ads to promote this funnel. If this sounds like something you MUST get your hands on then come and check it out HERE>>>
I know you’ve enjoyed this… otherwise you wouldn’t have read all the way to the end!
Every Wednesday I run a full tutorial on my Facebook page through a live video. This is based on the content shared here in this article. Be sure to check out my Facebook Page for past Facebook Live tutorials where I go deeper and share useful demonstrations on how to implement this into your business.