When it comes to building a business online, the critical element to success is your funnel. You need a funnel that attracts prospects to your business and then brings them right through to a paying client.
The beauty of an online funnel is that with some thought, any business can set it up once and run on autopilot. So, even while you sleep, clients are enrolling into your service or buying your product.
Once you have successfully positioned yourself as a figure of authority in your profession, you are ready to build your funnel.
There are 5 key stages:
Remember how in “How To Position Yourself as a Figure of Authority” I stressed the importance of acquiring a loyal group of followers?
Well, one of the best ways is create a gateway product. The purpose of this product is two fold:
Just create a free product right?
You could do that, but what message does it send? More importantly, what type of lead does it attract into your business?
A lead that has already paid something is far more valuable than someone who acquired you product for free. Here are some ideas for gateway products:
Needless to say, this list is not exhaustive. So, right now, go grab a pen and jot down 5-10 ideas you have for a gateway product. Research these ideas. Select one. Then commit.
It’s time people got to know who you are!
I know some of you out there dislike the idea of selling. Well, that’s precisely the point of the Irresistible Offer. It’s so irresistible it does the selling for you.
Don’t confuse your this offer with just another special offer either. As Mark Joyner, author of the Irresistible Offer claimed:
Special offers come and go. They’re made for the moment, not for the long term. The Irresistible Offer, by contrast, is central to product, service or company. It is the lifeblood. It simply cannot be separated by identity.
Your Irresistible offer applies to all, not just some of your products. There are some key elements to keep in mind when creating this offer.
It should be:
Unless you give your audience an irresistible offer, you are not giving them enough of a reason to choose you over your competitors. Don’t assume either that the value is apparent. Ensure it delivers on the four key points I mentioned above and you’ll be well on your way.
Entrepreneurs are well aware of the importance of traffic in their business. Indeed, it is the lifeblood of just about every business. However, when it comes to generating traffic, entrepreneurs repeatedly make the same mistakes.
They try and generate traffic from too many sources, too soon.
Instead their goal should be to focus on and test just one traffic source at a time, tweaking and optimising as they go. Once they have built one successful traffic source, then it is time to add a second, third, and fourth source.
In the online world, traffic is typically generated in 2 ways:
Another consideration is the nature of the traffic you can expect to generate from a particular source. For example, if you are targeting business professionals, LinkedIn is an excellent resource.
For more on LinkedIn, Trevor Turnbull does an excellent job at Linked Into Leads.
Meanwhile, if you were looking to reach out to consumers with a specific interest (i.e dog products consumer), the data accessible to you through Facebook is astounding.
Laura Betterly is whiz when it comes to Facebook marketing. You can check out the course she co-created, Traffic Genesis.
Once you have identified and put into practice, your traffic generation pillar, the next question is where exactly to direct this traffic?
One option, of course, is to send prospects directly to a sales page in the hope they will buy. However, the problem with this method is if they don’t buy, you are left with no means to ever follow up with these prospects again.
Think of it this way.
Lets assume you are a financial advisor and you attend a investment conference full of high net worth individuals. Rather than immediately trying to sell these individuals something, the first thing you would look to do is introduce yourself and convince them of the value you bring to the table.
Next, you would look to swap business cards. So even if you don’t close a sale at the conference, you have their personal details on hand to follow up a later date.
It is no different in the online world.
Your funnel needs to be set-up in such a way that once you are able to grab someone’s attention, the next step is to offer them value, in exchange for their personal details (i.e. name and email address).
This value proposition might be a free report, a series of free videos, a free or low cost trial to a product you are offering, a free consultation call etc.
The value proposition itself is presented on what it called a landing page or opt-in page. To get a flavour for how these pages look, check out this excellent post from Hubspot – 15 Great Landing Page Design Examples You Need To See.
Last but definitely not least is the follow up. Once you have demonstrated the value you bring to your prospect, it is time to follow up. This is a area where most online businesses fail, leaving staggering amounts of money on the table.
What’s more, these follow ups can actually be automated, meaning there is no valid excuse for not having a follow up process.
The Machine, an email autoresponder system course from Ryan Deiss of Digital Marketer, recommends a 5-pronged series approach:
Meanwhile, products such as Infusionsoft and Ontraport offer a more robust, CRM type service. Although the costs are higher with the likes of Infusionsoft and Ontraport, the benefits are tremendous if your business can easily absorb the monthly cost.
James is a digital marketing consultant and online business strategist. He helps coaches, consultants, and solo professionals market their business online so they establish authority positioning and predictably generate 5-20 high-ticket, new clients every month.