The most important thing that anybody & everybody will pay for is if you’re able to make them feel special about themselves. When people feel special by doing something, they get addicted to it & want to do it again & again. So, make them feel special & take their money.
Sales Funnel is the journey of a customer which increases your brand value as they go through the journey. Customers are not likely to convert if you try to sell them directly, so businesses use sales funnel to make their potential customers aware of their business & takes them through the funnel, build a good relationship, filter out those who’re unlikely to convert & ultimately approach for sales who reaches the bottom of the funnel. Every business has their own sales funnel. One can create their sales funnel from tools like Click Funnels, etc.
Though sales funnel strategy will differ from business to business & industry to industry, I have put down a rough 7 layer funnel to understand the concept better.
Step 1: Positioning – The first thing to do is position yourself as the market leader in your business category because when people hear about a certain business category or feature, a particular brand comes to their mind which is the No.1 brand in that category or feature, not too many people remember who’s No.2 & thereafter. To do so you need to have deep clarity on who exactly your audiences are, which location you’ll be targeting, etc. Shout out loud what is that thing that makes your brand unique. If you already have other brands that’re well known & established, you can transfer some brand value to your new brand.
Step 2: Branding/Awareness/Knows You – After you’ve positioned yourself at a certain level, the next thing to do is to make people aware of your brand. You can increase your brand awareness by having active online presence i.e. being active in social media handles, video streaming platforms(e.g. YouTube), blog & maintain consistency in creating content & provide value so that your followers & subscribers continuously get to hear from you, the more they hear from you, your brand would get embedded in their head. .
If your SEO is done properly & you’re able to rank your website & blogs against keywords that are likely searched by your potential customers, people would eventually discover your brand.
Other possible ways of branding includes running brand awareness campaigns in social media, pay influencers having good followers(more importantly engagement rates) to talk about your brand, guest posting in other blogs or publications, speaking in events(webinars, offline events, etc.), organise events, sponsor sports teams, publish books(for individual branding), interviews, reviewing related tools, etc.
Step 3: Audience Building/Lead Magnet/Follows You – One of the best way to build audience is to create quality blogs or content, rank them in search engines & generate leads naturally by making them subscribe to your newsletter or offering them something for free like ebook, guide, etc in exchange of their email or contact details. Your social media handles can also help you get audience organically if you create quality content & maintain consistency.
However, this may seem difficult & time consuming to most. For less work & quick results, you can generate curiosity, survey form, live demo, free sample, free audit or consultation, discounted access to an event & collect leads, run paid ads & give something for free or lucrative offer in an attractive way to attract leads & build subscribers or audience. You can also collect leads from followers(social media, blogs, other platforms), blog visitors, memberships, website visitors, audience exchange, organic traffic, etc. You need to keep in mind to target the right audience.
Step 4: Audience Engagement/Consideration/Interest/Pay Attention – This is the stage where you have built an audience base & want to nurture them by engaging with your content or sending something similar in their inbox. Whatever you offer, do it in such a way so that they start taking interest in your business & considers to convert. If they’re genuily interested in your brand, they’re most likely to engage with your content. Customers are more likely to get convinced by articles or content rather than by showing them ads, because when they read articles, they’re usually looking for some help or curious & in a mood to learn. For the audience to pay you money & become your customer, you need them to pay their attention first. If you can’t make them pay attention, you obviously won’t be able to make them pay money.
You also need to focus on organic traffic to your content for new audiences to discover your brand & content & eventually submit their leads & get into the funnel. Content should be presented in a way to also increase trust for your brand. Try to send more personalised messages or content through emails or chatbots.
It depends what you want to show or offer to engage your audience. Its recommended to create content to provides value & not just only promotion, because if the subscribers don’t get value, they’ll stop consuming your content & eventually unsubscribe. Consistency in creating content is required to make them consume & engage with your content on a daily basis.
Content may include micro videos, showing off your lifestyle, contests, events & workshops(where participants can get a discount voucher), invite guests/experts for interview, etc. Ask questions to your audience, give tasks or challenges to engage them further. You may also retarget ads on these audiences who engage with your content.
You can further filter out the inactive leads.
Step 5: Tripware/Action/Pay money – This is the stage where the first transaction happens & plays an important role in trust building. Before you approach to sell the main product/service, you offer something at a very cheap price like an ebook, audiobook, basic online course or something very basic where the online transaction risk is less. Whatever you offer at this stage should not be to make profit but just for further nurturing. If the audience pays, then you have already increased your brand value to a certain level for them & built trust. The audience gets a glimpse of how much value they get by paying. Customers who found value here have higher chance of getting converted for the actual sale & are also likely to engage more with your content.
Step 6: Core Product – After Trip Ware stage, take the feedback & if the customer is satisfied & found value in what you offered, approach with your core product/service for sales.
Step 7: Profit Maximizer If they convert, you can further approach them with something more expensive & exclusive you have to offer & put them in your brand ecosystem.
By creating a chain of sales like this, you can trap your customers into your brand ecosystem, which if properly strategized can make your customer difficult to get out from that ecosystem, the best example of which I can give at this moment is Apple. First they make customers buy the iPhone, then the Mac, & their customers keeps buying their product & gets deeper into their ecosystem & will have difficulty to get out of that ecosystem.
You’ve to craft brand experiences for your customers & it is done inside out. It starts with your employees who you can refer to as “internal customers“, unless your employees do not embrace the value of the brand, your customers won’t. Once your employees falls into this ecosystem, they finds pride in working with your brand & eventually become the brand ambassadors. They’ll become your brand’s face & help in brand communication, marketing, etc. & help you achieve results to your brand’s full potential.
When people says that they’re addicted to something, they’re actually addicted to certain sensations in their minds which makes them feel good, & in order to get that sensation again & again, they start doing that same thing again & again which triggered that sensation, & this process is called addiction.
To create a brand ecosystem, you have to trigger such a sensation in your customer’s mind which makes them feel good & take pride in using your product or value they’ve got while using it. This positive sensation in their mind can also come from how you have promoted your product. Once you have successfully captured your customer into your brand ecosystem, they get a sense of pride when they’re using your products. In order to keep on triggering that sensation of pride further in their minds, the customers continues to buy your other products & keeps falling deeper into your brand ecosystem. Customers are now taking pride in using your products just by you successfully triggering a sensation of pride or feel good in their minds while they use or are surrounded by your product & often creates an emotional bonding with your brand.
Step 8: Retain – Today the business is not just about closing the sales & forgetting about it. Today it’s about building a community or tribe of your customers(Tribe Building) & continue to provide them value & support for lifetime.
You can also turn them to affiliates by giving them commissions if they sell your products so that they also promote your products in their circles, & people are more likely to believe their promotion as they themselves use that product & will also be able to share their experiences. If they converts, you can grow your affiliate network & increase your sales. You can also use platforms like CJ & many more to increase your sales through affiliate marketing.
Word of mouth has become a major factor in reaching your business to new audiences as in the digital age anyone can reach with their words to the whole world. So, if it’s positive, then it will help you in promoting your business & if it’s negative, the whole world’s going to see that as well.