So you’ve been blogging for a while and have a library of great resources, but are struggling to convert leads into paying customers? In this post I’ll walk you through each stage of the sales funnel and share resources and tools to help you sell your products, resources, and other offerings.
What is a Sales Funnel?
A sales, lead or revenue funnel refer to the process that companies lead customers through to purchase a product. The funnel is divided into different steps, which all have different goals and objectives in mind.
So where do we start?
1. Brand Awareness We start with brand awareness! Rather than telling your followers about your products across all your social media platforms, you build brand awareness through relatable captions, an inspiring Instagram feed, great storytelling, etc. Why? Because not everyone is convinced they need your products right away. But if you’re a great storyteller and embrace your personal brand, you earn trust and eventually the authority to sell.
Now imagine if someone clicked on your Instagram profile and all they saw were pictures of your products. They would think, okay this person sells x, y, and z. But NO. You are more than the products you sell. You are a brand. Your followers should follow you because #1 they love your brand and personality. Maybe they love your travel pictures or can relate to your journey of building a business. You earn trust by being authentic. Your brand can manifest itself in many ways, but the first step is to follow this formula:
build brand awareness by being authentic, to earn the authority to sell.
In regards to the sales funnel, brand awareness is at the top. It’s widest because not all of you followers are ready to buy.
2. Interest Now that you’ve earned trust and authority to sell, let’s talk about gaining interest in your products and offerings.
Let’s say you’re a photographer based in the Pacific Northwest. You have a large client base, primarily finding clients through Instagram and referrals. You’ve been blogging and coaching other photographers for a while now too, but with travel you’re finding it difficult to find time for all your coaching sessions so you publish an ecourse to meet the demand.
You recently wrote a blog post called 7 Photography Tips for Beginners. After a week you notice your blog post is performing well and you have a lot of page views. Great! But what now? How could you convert those followers and page views into paying ecourse customers?
We introduce lead magnets, which are free resources you share with a prospect in exchange for their contact information. These resources include checklists and guides that lead them through a process you’re knowledgeable or an expert about, video training or webinars, discounts, quizzes, and tools and resources.
At the bottom of your blog post, you share a link to a free mini webinar that gives your audience a taste of the real thing, your paid ecourse. (Mini webinar = lead magnet)
The visitor clicks on the link, which takes them to a landing page with more info about the webinar and a form to enter their name and email address for instant access.
Hopefully, they watch the webinar and think, “If her free content is this great, I wonder how much I’ll learn if I purchase her paid products?”
You’ve built interest in your products! But your audience still may not be ready to purchase.
Luckily, we have the lead’s name and email address so we can follow up through targeted campaigns. This might look like popping up in their inbox to say hello and share a new freebie you’ve created. The list is endless! We’ll cover email marketing in another blog post!.
But though persistence, an authentic brand, and the right process, you’re able to continue marketing to leads until they’re ready to purchase.
3 & 4. Decision and Action
One of your followers has been following you for awhile and loves your free resources. She’s so inspired, she even clicks on your emails religiously when they show up in her inbox! Nice work!
She’s decided to purchase one of the offerings you’ve shared with your followers the last few weeks. Maybe you try and up-sell additional content or offer a discount if she purchases by a certain time-frame (creating a sense of urgency to purchase).
Regardless, she completes her purchase and you’ve successfully leveraged your sales funnel to capture leads and drive sales. This is the decision and action stage of the sales funnel in a nutshell.
The sales funnel is broken into four stages: Awareness, Interest, Decision, and Action.
Not all of your followers are interested in your products, but by building and embracing your personal brand you earn the authority to sell when the time is right.
Lead magnets entice visitors by giving them a taste of the real thing. Landing pages help you collect a lead’s contact info so you can continue marketing.
Why I recommend Lead Pages for building a landing page
Resources to help you build Lead Magnets
Recording Your First Ecourse
How to publish a Webinar
Perfecting your Sales Funnel and Workflow
Keep track of leads with AirTable