Social media alone is not a marketing strategy! There are other ways that you should be using to market your business and reach potential clients and customers. This week I wanted to get into funnels - what exactly they are and why you need one. A lot of business owners are pretty clueless when it comes to setting up funnels that convert for their businesses. A good funnel is going to provide value for potential clients and encourage them to make a purchase.
Beyond Social Media: Funnels - What Are They & Why You Need Them
Welcome to Strategy for Creatives: Business Minus the Bullshit. Whether you're new in business or find yourself in a season of change, get ready to build a strategy, create an action plan and crush those goals. I'm Sasha, host a strategy for creatives. And I help female led businesses grow their brands in authentic, measurable and meaningful ways, without the stress. There's no sugar coated here, I'm serving up real tips and actionable steps you can take to help get you organized, get off the path to burnout and grow your brand like a boss. So go ahead, pull up a chair, grab a notepad, and let's talk business. Welcome to Strategy for Creatives: Business Minus the Bullshit. I of course, am your host Sasha and today will be our final episode in our beyond social media series. Today we are going to tackle funnels, why you need them what they are and how they can help your business. So if you haven't listened to the first two episodes of the beyond social media series, I do encourage you to go back and listen to those. I talk about why you should be blogging in your business. And then last week, I hit upon why you really need to have an email list and why email marketing is super important as a business owner, and why you should be engaging in those. So make sure that you head back to those two episodes. So you can listen to that find out what your action items are. So you can start knowing those two things in your business. But today I wanted to talk about funnels, what exactly they are, why you need one, and how funnels can really help grow your business. A lot of business owners are actually pretty clueless when it comes to setting up funnels that convert for their business. We all think that we probably have funnels in our business right now. But the point of actually having a good funnel is that it converts people into potential clients. A good funnel is going to provide value for potential clients and encourage them to make a purchase. So let's talk about it. What is a funnel? Funnels, more commonly known as sales funnels, it is actually the journey that a person takes in becoming a client or a customer. So let's think for a minute that you are in a shopping mall, right? I know a lot of us haven't really been out a lot, maybe malls really aren't even a thing I know I personally do all of my shopping online. And when I do go out my preferred store is Target. But occasionally I will go to a mall or I'll go to a shopping center. But let's pretend that you are an owner of a brick and mortar candle shop and that you have your.. you have a store or you have a shop at a shopping center, the people who are walking past your store. That's the people who are at the very beginning of your funnel. Of course, a certain percentage of those people are going to walk inside your store and a certain point will keep going. The people who walk inside your store are the people who enter the next stage of your funnel. From there, they are now a potential customer. And let's say that they see a display with candles on sale. You got all these different scents and this person is going to start picking them up, smelling them, figuring out which one they like, you know more than the other. They've now entered the next stage of your funnel. They ultimately decided to pick two candles and head to the register, which is entering the last step of your funnel. If all go well, they make a purchase, they've completed the funnel. That's all that a sales funnel is. It's a customer's journey from when they first realize that you are an entity in which they can make a purchase from all the way through making a purchase. It is the same in both the physical and digital space and can be used the same way. So when you are building a funnel, you want to think about your customers journey. You want to think about what's going to entice them to come into your store, into your shop at the mall. You want to figure out what's going to entice them to go to a certain display, in this illustration it was the candle display. You want to entice them, how do you get them to start figuring out which scent they want? And then ultimately, how do you get them to the register. That is what a funnel is. A funnels journey takes you from making a purchase and understanding how your customer, how a potential client goes through that funnel, can help you figure out how to optimize your sales funnel, and better figure out how to convert. So there are essentially four stages of a funnel. Don't worry, I'm going to go through these one by one. Make sure that you have, I always say at the beginning if you hear the beginning intro, I say have a notepad and paper. This is the part where you actually might want to start taking some notes because these different parts of the funnel are important to helping you understand how the funnel can work. So first up, we have awareness right? The awareness stage is almost like you're trying to get someone to swipe in a dating app. Now if you're like me, I have actually never used the dating app. I have been married and have been with my husband for way before dating apps were even a thing. But this is where you are going to try and catch a person's attention. It's either through a Facebook post, maybe an Instagram reel, or Google search. Or maybe it's even just being mentioned in a conversations, aka, a customer or client of yours mentions you in a conversation. This is where a person becomes aware of your business and what you have to offer. In a perfect world, of course, that person would immediately become a client. They love so much what they see and they immediately go and check out. The person is being recommended from a friend, they immediately book with you. But more often than not, you're gonna have to do a little bit of work. You're going to have to slide into the DMs, if we're using our dating analogy, in order to keep their process moving. So that goes into the next stage of a funnel, which is the interest stage. This is where you've piqued their interest. If we're still talking about dating, they have now swiped on you. And so here's where you're going to be doing a little bit of work to kind of get that client to go out on a date with you. So this is where the potential client might start doing research, they might be comparison shopping, they might be looking at other options. So you'll want to give them content at this point that is valuable and helpful, but isn't necessarily selling. When you put products or services at the beginning of any funnel, you're going to turn potential leads off. Again, nobody likes being sold to. We've talked about this and a couple of episodes at this point, no one wants to be sold to. They want to build that like. know, trust factor. And so we have to give that to them. We have to at the interest stage, we have to create that value and keep them interested without turning them off. So the goal here is to establish yourself as "dateable". You want to establish yourself as an expert and guide them into making informed decisions. This is where the interest stage can be longer, right? This is where you're going to provide that value. Get to know them, get you know, that client potentially interested in you. Let them know what you have to offer, why they need your services or your product. This stage could take a while in a funnel, but this is where you're going to start providing that value. The next stage of a funnel is called the decision stage. Will they date you right? They swiped on you, you slid into their DMs, they're getting to know you. You've asked them out on a date. Will they date your business? Here's where a client decides to go from a lead to a client. They probably have had several options, but they've decided to pick you. This is where you're going to make your best offer guys. You want to offer either free shipping, or bonus gifts. Time back in their day. If you're having a service, an extraordinary client experience, if they book with you, whatever you're offering make it something that the this lead feels that they need to take advantage of right now. Especially at this time of year. This episode is coming out right before the end of the year. If your prices are going up next year. I know a lot of us in business, our prices are going up next year. If your prices are going up, this is how you can encourage people to make a decision. You know book, book, your 2021 pricing before 2022 and prices go up. Book your day and keep 2021 pricing before prices go up. You want to give people a reason to book and take advantage of an offer right now without discounting because we talked about that in our pricing episode without discounting what your worth, why should they book with you? Why should they date your business? Why should they be with you? Give them a reason that they have to take advantage of. And lastly is the action stage. Hopefully, during this part of the funnel, that lead has now said yes to dating your business. This is the final stage of the funnel, where the lead takes action, they've made a purchase and now they are in your business's life cycle. But this is not where a funnel ends. A funnel does not end once a client has make a purchase. Because ideally, we want clients to turn into repeat clients. And so once they have completed a purchase with you, we want to focus on client retention. And that can also mean even if you have a service in your business where maybe it is a one time service, you still want to focus on client retention because that's how it turns into client referrals, maybe coming back at a different stage in their business. For example, if you are a graphic designer, and you branded a business, right, we can think that that's one stage in their business where they need you. They may not come back. They don't need you often as a graphic designer. But maybe they've grown and now they need to rebrand. We want to keep showing up for them to focus on that client retention so that way, when they do need our services again, they think of us. So express gratitude for a purchase, invite them to give feedback, make yourself available for additional support. This is where client retention, focusing on that client retention, can help you make sales down the road or even lead to referrals, word of mouth to get more people into your business. So, you know, the four steps now of a funnel - awareness, interest, decision, action. What does that look like in a business? And how do you create a funnel that works for you. I want you to think about your own business and maybe a funnel that you have in your own business. A lot of us, when we think of funnels, we think of lead magnets. And that really is for most businesses how a funnel starts. A lead magnet, for most people is a freebie of some sort that entices people to sign up for your email list. If you listen to last week's episode, I talked a lot about why email lists are important. And they are very good at helping people go through funnels in your business. If you have a lead magnet, it needs to be enticing for people to sign up for it. So what is something of value that you can give away to potential clients? That's going to make them stop and come into your store. That's going to make them stop and sign up for your email list. It has to be something of value that you are willing to give away for free. So in my case, in my business, my email list freebie is an organized business checklist. Of course, that makes sense for my business. I'm a business strategist. I'm all about stratgizing, action planning. And one of the ways to do that is to make sure our business is organized. And so I offer a checklist that has weekly, monthly, yearly quarterly, to do's to keep your business running smoothly. And that way you can be on top of your game as CEO of your business and making sure that you're doing the things that really relieve stress in your business without, you know, feeling overwhelmed or that your business is too much to handle. So that's what the beginning stages of my funnel is. That's what's going to entice people to come into my funnel, they enter their email list, now they are in my funnel. What happens after that is they aren't just thrown into my email list at that point, because that's not really how we build awareness. Remember, the first stage is awareness. The second stage is interest. They become aware because they're now on my email list. But now I want to build interest to them. And so a good funnel, if you're utilizing the email list funnel, is having a nurturing sequence, a welcome nurturing sequence. Typically, that's a series of three to five emails, where you're introducing yourself, you're introducing your business, you're introducing why you have this business, the whole reason why you wanted to start this business who you serve. And then in that last email, you're going to entice them with some sort of offer. This is where often stage three happens. That decision, right? This is where you say, for example, I'll just show you tell you what mine is about. So my first email is all about me. Welcome to the email list. My name is Sasha, here's who I am. And this is what I do. My second email in my nurture sequence is what By Sasha is, why I started this business, who my family is, who purchases help support, why I wanted to do this business. And then the last email in my sequence is about what I offer. I'm a business strategist, here's how I help businesses, here's how I can help you. And that's where that decision comes into play. Because I then follow it up with, if you're feeling stressed out in your business, if you feel like you don't have a plan in your business, if you feel like you don't really know what to do in your business, let's chat. Book a discovery call, let's figure out how we can help your business. This is where you're offering that potential leads to now become an actual client. This is where you're giving them a call to action. You've now generated interest in them, they are aware of your business, they are now interested in your business because hopefully they've been opening these emails, they've been reading, they've been learning, maybe they've been clicking in your website, because it's also in my email sequence. I do offer blog posts where you know, you can read more about my business and things like that. So now they've become aware of my business. And hopefully they've made the decision to now become a client. Once they finish that funnel though. this is where sometimes people get a little stuck when it comes to their funnels because what happens if they don't make a purchase? Now in an ideal funnel, that decision has been made. They're now a client, they've now booked with me at some point. But not everyone does, of course. So this is where you focus, you can have a split in your funnel where once they become a client, they now go into that client retention where we're focusing on gratitude, how we can help them after services or products have been rendered. But you also want to lead it to a different part of your funnel, which focuses on building that interest stage. So maybe they didn't make the decision then, but you have now funneled them into your regular newsletter list. You've now funneled them into for example, mine, a strategy leads list. I know these people are interested in strategy because of how they came into my funnel. So maybe they're filtered into that list. And now I'm going to start providing content in that email list that I know that these people are you interested in. How you can build strategy in your business; maybe you should listen to this podcast; maybe you should join the Facebook group. I'm going to start providing them more and more value through this email list as they're continuing through this funnel. And then hopefully, at some point, they do reach the end of the funnel. There are always opportunities along the funnel, where they can decide to become a client. That's the purpose of a funnel. So again, in an email, it will look like a lead magnet, a welcome and nurturing sequence and then either they become a client, or you continue to build that interest stage and give them multiple opportunities to make the decision to work with you. Now, a lot of times people struggle with this, because they don't really know what funnels should look like. So your action item for today's episode is to take a look at your funnel, but look at it through the eyes of a customer. Imagine that you are coming upon your email lead magnet, or whatever your lead magnet is, and what's the customer's journey? What's enticing them to make a purchase from you? After you have gotten them into your funnel, are you providing valuable content for them? Are you building that interest for them? Are they getting to know you? Are they getting to know your business? Are they getting to like you? It all goes back to this like, know, trust factor I've talked about in multiple episodes. But are they getting to like you? Are they getting to know you? Do they trust you as a business owner? And are you giving them the opportunity to make a purchase from you. A lot of funnels fall short on that or push it too early on in the funnel. I'm sure you have seen; you have entered into some funnels. And you can tell instantly that it's a funnel. And don't be mistaken. People know that they're entering into an email funnel when they when they've entered an email address, right? They know that that's what they're signing up for. But you may have entered into an email that you signed up for at some point. And the first email right off the bat is come join my program or come buy this or I'm trying to sell you something. That's a turn off. So look at your funnels through those eyes. Look at your funnels through a potential clients eyes. Are you selling too early? Have they gotten to know you before you are pushing that sale, because maybe that's where people are coming out of your funnel. They have certain software out there, Click Funnels, for example, that allows you to build these types of funnels. And you can see where people are falling off. If it's stage one, step two, step three, you can see where in your funnel people check out. And that's where you want to do some of that analysis. And so, why people aren't making that purchase. Maybe it's your call to action isn't clear; maybe you haven't expressed the value that you're offering if they decide to book with you; maybe it's the price point of your product; maybe you just haven't sold it the way that you think you're selling it; maybe you actually aren't selling anything. And you're asking people to take a leap, without giving them all the information. If your call to action at the end of your funnel is just to visit your website, you're not telling potential clients what you want them to do. People need to be led sometimes. And so we have to tell them, book with me, book a discovery call. Let them know what the next step should be. Give them a clear call to action. So is your funnel doing that? So I want you to go back and look at your funnels and see if they are actually doing what they need to be doing. And if it's providing a good customer journey from that awareness stage, from the moment they see you on their dating app. Do they want to swipe on you? Are you sliding into their DMs making them interested in your business? And are they going to finally decide to date your business? That's what a good funnel does. So go back and look at your funnels and I really want you to think about how you can build a better funnel that's going to help your business grow. And that is going to give you and lead potential customers on a journey to turn into actual customers that will refer you to people that will keep coming back and that will ultimately help your business grow. Are you ready to uplevel your business? Join the five day be your own CEO challenge. All the details are available on the website at www.by-sasha.com. If you liked what you heard, make sure you rate and review. It really helps other people find the show. And of course following subscribe on your favorite podcast platforms. Want to follow me on social? I'm on Instagram and Facebook at Strategy By Sasha. Make sure you tune in next Tuesday for more business tips.