If you aren’t a natural sales person, how do you find new customers?  There are plenty of ways to connect to your target audience:

  • Cold calls
  • Networking
  • Advertising
  • Social media
  • Referrers/advocates

The right strategies all work – but my favourite of all is the sales funnel.  Why?  Because:

  • Once you’ve built it, it continues to work in the background while you do the stuff you’re good at
  • It showcases your expertise, educating your audience about your knowledge and experience
  • It moves people from free to paid to long-term on automatic pilot.

Given that I am never going to pick up the phone and make a cold call, I have not yet found an ad that really works well and I already do networking, social media and value my referral network, I like the sales funnel.

It’s what could be described as influence marketing, but it’s more reliable than just hoping someone will like what you have to offer and get in touch.

The lead magnet myth

Most business people have come across the odd lead magnet or two.  This is where you’re offered a free document or webinar of value to you, in return for your email address.  If you haven’t actually got one, you’ve probably signed up for one somewhere along the line.

However, many people think that’s all they need – a decent lead magnet and people will not only put themselves on your list, but also pick up the phone and call you for the kind of help you offer.

This only works in fairyland!

In the real world the lead magnet is only the beginning.  You need the foundation sitting underneath to make it an effective marketing tool.

That means:

A series of automated emails, giving more value and signposting your next offer – generally something low cost (i.e. less than £50)

The low cost item – which might be a book, a webinar, an ecourse or online event.

A series of automated emails, following up the purchase and adding more value, with an invitation to join your next level offer.

The second level offer – usually delivered one to many.  This could be a subscription to an information source (usually a regular email), a membership of a knowledge platform, or a course over a specific time frame.

This also needs following up to ensure that people are getting value from their purchase.

The final level in most marketing funnels is the premium level 1-2-1 service, where you work directly with the client offering a bespoke, personal service.

If you get this all set up you’ll have a system that virtually runs on its own.  Everything is created in the set up process and is automated (until you get to the final level).

What’s not to like?!