Are you losing patience with your home business waiting for the profits to start coming? Are you seeking more leads, sales, signups, clients, and cashflow?
Or maybe you’re just considering getting started with your own home business and don’t know where to begin.
If you’re ready to convert your home business from being just a “hobby” into a profitable machine that will help you and your family have a more comfortable life, it’s time to gear up! No more hitting your head against the wall as you wonder what’s wrong with you and why everyone else seems to be succeeding!
You’re not alone if you’re tired of wasting time and money without anything to show for it. It’s not your fault! In all likelihood, you are missing one of the critical elements you need to build a profitable business. And, if no one told you before which critical piece is missing, how could you expect to succeed?
It all starts with online marketing funnels. When you understand what a funnel is and how it works, you will discover the 5 critical elements you might be missing. Let’s start by taking a look at a typical internet marketing sales funnel.
What is a marketing funnel?
If you’ve been a marketer for long, you realize that a profitable business begins by developing people’s awareness of you. You can’t have a business if people don’t know you exist. They need to know you’re in business, and what you do. The intent is then to continue engaging with them periodically, as they continue their journey of discovery, evaluation, and eventually making a purchase. Once you’ve built the relationship beyond the point of their decision to buy, you then focus on repeat sales and retaining those customers by providing them even more value. You then have raging fans who will be customers over the long haul.
Visualize your online business as a funnel like this. At the top of the funnel, you bring in traffic. By traffic we simply mean visitors, people checking out the content you are sharing and, ultimately, what you have to offer. Of course, not all people taking a look are prospective buyers of your product. That can be a mistake we make when first getting started, which leads to wondering why NOBODY seems interested.
So, it’s important not just to get traffic, but to narrow that to a targeted audience, consisting of those people most likely to be interested in your product, service, or business opportunity.
Next, from that targeted audience you want to develop leads. That term, leads, refers to people who give you their contact information. Once you generate a lead, you can contact them periodically, get to know each other, and develop a relationship. From those leads, you find out those who are qualified, that is, those who are really interested in what you have to offer. Then, your sales and sign-ups will follow.
5 Stages of an Internet Marketing Sales Funnel
Let’s look at the 5 Stages of an Internet Marketing Sales Funnel and why they are critical in building a profitable business online.
Internet Marketing Sales Funnel Stage 1 – Getting Traffic
There are various ways that we develop traffic. Ultimately, we want to bring people to our website. Our website is our personal home on the internet, a place where people can get to know us, learn from us, and see what we have to offer. This could be a blog, a hub page, a sales page, or even your YouTube channel. It’s the starting place as you begin to brand yourself, not your product, not your company, but yourself. For example, to draw people to a blog you must consistently create content that addresses your audience’s challenges, pains, and problems. You position yourself as a solution provider.
Before people even get to your website, however, you might start by developing an audience on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or a variety of other social platforms. Our primary interest on these social media platforms is to pique curiosity, give out small doses of value, and then to direct people to our website for more information. We are generating traffic.
Social Media, along with Paid Ads, SEO or Search Engine Optimization, or Partnerships are our primary traffic sources. Now, you don’t need to use every type of traffic source, but you do need to master at least one! If you don’t know a lot about this, keep reading for more tips and tools.
Internet Marketing Sales Funnel Stage 2 – Develop a Targeted Audience
The next step is to develop a targeted audience. There’s a common cliché in marketing: if you’re marketing to everyone, you’re marketing to no-one. So, you want to target those people most likely to be open to your product or business opportunity. To narrow down that target audience, it’s important for you to think clearly and carefully about a series of questions.
First, who am I to the marketplace? Who am I here to serve? How do I want to position myself? How will I be viewed by my potential customers? This is a critical step to be clear on.
Second, start thinking about who your ideal customer or avatar would be, and develop a clear picture of who you are marketing to. How old are they? Are they male or female? Single or married? Children? Do they own a home? What kind of education do they have? What kind of work do they do? What are their dreams and desires? What are their problems and challenges? The more detailed and clear a picture you can develop, the better!
Third, think through what solutions or benefits you can provide for this target market with your product or service. How can you solve their challenges and help them realize their dreams?
Marketing is all a matter of matching your message to your market and then clarifying not just why they should buy, but why they should buy from you. The better you know your target market, the better you can craft your message to speak directly to your best prospects’ needs! Instead of pitching your product or service, you are adding value to their lives and building trust.
If you aren’t clear on any of these three sets of questions, you might want to consider hiring a coach. We have had great success with a coaching program offered by our affiliate marketing system, have worked with private coaches, have been certified as coaches ourselves, and take delight in helping others. To learn more about finding the right coach for you, see What to Look for in an Internet Marketing Coach.
Internet Marketing Sales Funnel Stage 3 – Generating Leads
Now it’s time to generate leads and build your email list. Frankly, the #1 asset of any business owner in any industry is their list of customers and prospects. So, out of our target market we want to attract people to come forward and offer us their contact information in return for something.
You might be asking, what can I offer? That’s what we call a lead magnet; a lead magnet is simply something of value to your prospects that you can give in exchange for a lead. Your lead magnet might be a cheat-sheet, a how-to checklist, a training video, an e-book. Just use your imagination and ask “What would I want if I had [this challenge or need]? Make it irresistible, something they can’t live without. For more help with lead magnets, see How to Create a Lead Magnet to Entice and Serve Your Audience.
Once you have a lead magnet, you need a way to “promote” it and capture the contact information. You need a capture page. A capture page is a simple webpage set up for only one purpose: to make an irresistible offer and capture their contact information. In summary, you need two tools for this Funnel Stage, a lead magnet and a capture page in order to get the contact information of people in our target market. Ideally, you will be able to create your own offers and your own capture pages at will … once you are truly dialed in to knowing your audience (Stage 2).
Now, if these terms are new to you and you don’t have the tools you need yet to make these things happen, hold tight and we will be happy to show you what we’ve been having success with.
Internet Marketing Sales Funnel Stage 4 – Engaging with Your Leads
Once you have offered a lead magnet and received someone’s contact information; you have a lead. Congratulations, your list is growing! This is not a once and done transaction. You have their contact information, now you need to stay in touch with them.
One of the best ways to be in touch with them is to send emails over a period of time. Check out our article on nurturing your email list for ideas on what to say and how to follow up for best results.
To email once and send to many, you will need an autoresponder to send out mass e-mails and to comply with federal regulations regarding mass e-mails. This will save you tremendous time from trying to send separate emails to each lead.
Each email you send is an additional touch and deepens your relationship as long as you continue to provide something that they regard to be of value. The goal is to keep them opening your emails so that they get to know and trust you. When they see you offering a solution to their problem, they recognize you as someone of value. Bonus tip: never forget that a lead is a person. A real person.
Internet Marketing Sales Funnel Stage 5 – Making the Sale
There are several effective ways of selling online. To begin, a small percentage of your audience may buy directly from your emails. However, a simpler and more effective way is to call your leads and speak with them directly. That’s right! You’ve probably heard, “The fortune is in the follow up.” Calling your prospects and leads is essential. There is so much that is lost in non-verbal interactions. Tone of voice, sincerity, etc.
You’ll want to spend your call time with those who are your best prospects, and don’t forget to ask for the sale. Ultimately, people buy from people; and when they can hear your voice, you become even more real to them.
How Do You Keep It All Organized?
Online marketing funnels are great tools for building a business. As you can see, you’re collecting a lot of information and may be wondering, “how do I keep everything straight? The best way to manage your online marketing funnel is to use a CRM, that is a customer relations manager. This is a powerful tool to keep track of your leads and your notes.
You can also use your customer relationship manager to check and see what offers they have signed up for and to keep notes on what they have said to you, schedule tasks and follow up appointments, attach tags, send out emails, keep a history of your interactions, rate their interest, and so much more. Just think, if Bob calls you back 6 months after your first conversation, and you are able to say “When we last talked, Bob, your daughter had just broken her leg; how’s she doing?” that goes a long way in building that relationship! And marketing is all about relationships; people buy from people they know, like, and trust.
Your Wish List Becomes Your Shopping List
If online marketing funnels are the stepping stones you need to get your business on the pathway to profit, the items above are no longer simply something that would be “nice to have” and be on your “wish” list. They are “must-haves.”
From top to bottom of the funnel, you need traffic, a targeted audience, leads, prospects, and sales. In order to move people through this funnel you also need certain tools, such as a lead magnet, a capture page, an autoresponder, and a customer relations manager (CRM).
Other necessities might include:
- Creating a blog or personal website. What better way for people to see the value you provide and create content that will last a lifetime.
- Training to learn how to use social media, not just as an enjoyable diversion, but as a powerful tool to develop traffic to your capture page or website.
- Forming an ad budget to grow your targeted audience
- Building your brand so that people will be attracted to you
- Training in marketing our products and services in such a way that people are glad to exchange their hard-earned money for the value we offer.
Help Is On The Way
Now that you know the critical elements you need to operate a profitable online business, you need to know where to find them. Without them, online businesses are destined to fail from the beginning.
As online business coaches, we have all of the critical elements in place and can show you how to assemble exactly what you need.
The focus of Step 6 of Your Pathway to Profit is to turn you into a “Bad Ass Guru” by using your own funnels to speak to your audience. We teach you how to set up a funnel that will warm up your leads into prospects, and from prospects into customers. Your Pathway to Profit is our signature solution for empowering solopreneurs like you with effective strategies to boost profitability of their businesses.
If you have not had a Your Pathway to Profit Assessment yet, schedule your complimentary call today. You will then know exactly where you and your business are in terms of the 12-Steps of Your Pathway to Profit. You might be surprised at the steps of success you have left out. If you leave out earlier steps and strategies, you will not reach your profit potential.
Schedule your Free Assessment and discover your own Pathway to Profit. You can learn what tools we use and bundle together for best results. Don’t reinvent the wheel or spend thousands of dollars unnecessarily. But, more important, what do you have to gain? — A whole new life, working from home as CEO of your own business!
Until next time – be well and be blessed!
David & Dana
P.S. – If Your Upline Hasn’t Given You A Clear Step-By-Step Blueprint For Generating Leads Online And Successfully Recruiting People On Social Media, This Will Help You – Click Here For Instant Access!
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