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Sales funnels may sound like a confusing term if you’re not familiar with them, but when it comes to making money while you sleep, they’re incredibly valuable. My next guest is a digital marketing architect who will tell us what you need to know to crush it with sales funnels.
What You’ll Discover About Sales Funnels (highlights & transcript):
* Dos and don’ts when creating sales funnels [4:48]
* The key components of successful sales funnels [6:45]
* The critical role of list building in digital marketing [7:58]
* How often to email your list [10:04]
* What to look for when hiring someone to create sales funnels [14:28]
* The mindset necessary to succeed with sales funnels [20:02]
* And MUCH more.
[00:00:00] Sales funnels may sound like a confusing term if you’re not familiar with them, but when it comes to making money while you sleep, they’re incredibly valuable. My next guest is a digital marketing architect who will tell us what you need to know to crush it with sales funnels.
Announcer: [00:00:16] This is Business Confidential Now with Hanna Hasl-Kelchner helping you see business issues hiding in plain view that matters to your bottom line.
Hanna: [00:00:28] Welcome to Business Confidential Now, I’m your host, Hanna Hasl-Kelchner, and today’s guest is Jason Wright. He says he can simplify your sales funnel while skyrocketing your results with marketing automation. Jason is an author, entrepreneur, consultant and digital marketing architect with a passion for helping startups and small businesses with their sales funnels. He also prides himself on his ability to connect with people and speak to them in language they understand, which is very good, because when you start talking about the Internet stuff and especially backend automation, it can get very technical, very fast. And unless you enjoy that type of thing, it’s easy to push it aside. So some plain talk is very refreshing.
Hanna: [00:01:15] Welcome to Business Confidential Now, Jason.
Jason Wright: [00:01:18] Thanks for having me. I’m excited to be here.
WHAT ARE SALES FUNNELS?
Hanna: [00:01:20] I’m excited to have you. I mean, sales funnels, the role of sales funnels and digital marketing is something not all small businesses or even medium sized businesses may be fully taking advantage of to grow their business. So just to be clear, in the simplest terms, what is a sales funnel?
Jason: [00:01:40] I mean, the way I’ve been describing it lately is it’s really it’s kind of your customer journey right from the time somebody discovers you or your brand to the point where they make a purchase in the shop.
Hanna: [00:01:53] Ok, so what steps are involved there?
Jason: [00:01:58] Yeah. Step one is having some kind of offer, some kind of a way to attract people into your world. When I think your world its generally, you know, getting them onto an email list in exchange for value.
Jason: [00:02:11] So let’s be honest. Join my list to get my newsletter is not too valuable in 2020. So generally there’s, you know, some kind of a lead magnet. There’s some kind of a value exchange there. And once you have the ability to establish that new relationship, you have the ability to lead with value. Then over time, you can gain trust and you can make a sale or make repeated sales as well. So it’s really a way of moving people online to your landing page on your Web site, get them on your email list and most importantly, keep that relationship going.
Hanna: [00:02:46] All right. That’s a great overall 10,000-foot view. Thank you for simplifying it so we all speak the same language about what sales funnels are trying to accomplish. OK.
Jason: [00:03:00] Yeah.
Hanna: [00:03:00] Now your business tagline talks about simplifying a sales funnel to skyrocket results. So simplifying is good. Do most people overthink or overengineer their sales funnels? Help me understand that simplification process.
Jason: [00:03:16] Yeah, I mean, like you said in the beginning of the show, I think a lot of people have heard of sales funnels, at least conceptually at this point, Click Funnel is doing a good job of getting that word out there. I think a lot of people, as soon as they start to think about it, they kind of freeze up and they’re like, I don’t have time to learn new stuff. I don’t have time to think about things I don’t really understand. I think it’s one of those things that feels important, but people avoid it because they assume it’s going to be too complicated and that they’re not going to have time.
Hanna: [00:03:46] How do we conquer that fear? Because it sounds like they’re important.
Jason: [00:03:50] Yeah, they’re very important. What I try to tell people is, you know, if you think of marketing as relationship building, the same thing you do with the brand-new next-door neighbor, it’ll become much easier for you. So at some point, there’s an introduction, right? Hi, I’m Jason. Hi, Hanna. Nice to meet you. And where most businesses fail as they do that, and then they never speak again, and then they come out of nowhere and say, hey, you want to buy my stuff?
Jason: [00:04:13] And people are like, who are you? What’s your name again? Who are you? I don’t know how you are. So they kind of miss that whole getting to know you. But a good sales funnel can bring people into your world. It can allow you to have a very comfortable, very conversational getting to know you period. And then over time, as value is exchanged, you know, you can sell your products and your services. So if you think of it kind of as a path that people can take consistently. Anybody can take the same path. It’s a really good way to kind of build your list, increase that engagement with your new audience here and hopefully make more sales as well.
DOS AND DON’TS WHEN CREATING SALES FUNNELS
Hanna: [00:04:48] Ok, so again, we’re talking in broad brush strokes here. What are some dos and don’ts in creating sales funnels?
Jason: [00:04:56] Yeah, in sales funnels you really need to know who you’re targeting and you need to know specifically who you’re targeting. And then the reason that’s so important is your headline and your messaging and your copy on your sales pages has got to speak to those folks in a way that actually gets their attention, hooks them and resonates with them. So, you know, you need to know who you’re targeting.
Jason: [00:05:19] You need to know what they want, not necessarily what they need. And you need to be adding value and taking away pain. So, you know, a lot of times, what converts well or what gets people’s attention is short-cutting the process; like, “hey, here’s a course that’s going to give you this result much quicker than if you try to figure it out on your own,” for example. Or it could be a physical product. Here’s a supplement that’s going to get rid of, you know, the gas or whatever you struggle with. And here’s why it’s great. So it’s a way to put the right message in front of the right audience and, like I said, in an automated way.
CAN SMALL BUSINESSES CREATE AUTOMATED SALES FUNNELS?
Hanna: [00:05:55] All right. Well, let’s talk about the automation part. What are what are the pieces? If the process is simplified, is this something a small business can do themselves?
Jason: [00:06:08] They can. But the problem is there is a learning curve. So the learning curve is oftentimes too great or too overwhelming for the average or small business owner to take. If they’re not in this business themselves like I am, they’ve got better things to do with their time. Right. So a lot of times what these folks decide is it’s easier to partner up with somebody. They can kind of be their guide and keep them moving along that path on their own. There are some people that love trying to do it themselves, and they can. It just requires time and some work outside of what they normally do to get a good competency with it for sure.
HOW MANY COMPONENTS DO SUCCESSFUL SALES FUNNELS HAVE?
Hanna: [00:06:45] Let’s break it down, because whether somebody is trying to do it themselves or is outsourcing, they need to know what they’re purchasing, so what the expectation is. What are the building blocks of a sales funnel? We talked about it conceptually, but in terms of the automation and putting pieces in place, tangible pieces in place, help me out.
Jason: [00:07:05] Basically three pieces. Piece number one is the front end. That’s the stuff you see: the websites, the landing pages, the sales pages, et cetera. That’s what everybody thinks of when they think of a sales funnel. They think it’s just the front end. The front end is important, but it’s not the engine. It’s not the most important piece because we’ve got that.
Jason: [00:07:23] Number two is the back end. That’s the thing that nobody understands. That’s where the real magic happens and that’s where everybody should be starting. That’s building the email list. That’s, you know, sending the automated messages and texts and all those types of things. And then the third piece of the puzzle is the traffic. How are we going to get people to land on the landing page or go to the website if you think of it in those terms. So those are the big three pieces.
Jason: [00:07:48] What I help people build is that back end, that front end, and then traffic is usually a mix of paid ads and organic strategies to drive people there as well.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF LIST BUILDING
Hanna: [00:07:58] I’m not a techie. But it sounds like we got a little bit of a chicken egg question here with that second step, that back end about building lists, because I kind of got the impression somewhere along the line and not necessarily from our conversation, but just sort of living and breathing in Web world and Internet world, that one of the purposes of having a landing page and having people sign up with an email is that it’s a list building process.
Jason: [00:08:29] Uhm.
Hanna: [00:08:30] So then you’re saying you need the list on the back end, but the list is being built on the front end. That’s what I’m saying, chicken/egg here.
Jason: [00:08:41] Yeah. The opt-in for the list is on the front end. So, for example, I meet people all the time that may be very successful in business, or not so much, and they’ll have the front end often on the website landing page, but it doesn’t go anywhere. So they’re having people opt in, but nothing happens because there’s nothing on the back end. It’s kind of like having a door. Once upon a time, my in-laws had a door behind their dining room and you would open it and if you would step out, you would fall 30 feet because they had a walk out basement and they lived in a hillside but they hadn’t built a deck yet.
Jason: [00:09:15] So now there’s a deck. You can walk out and, you know, walk around and everything like normal. But once upon a time, it was the “door to nowhere” is what we called it. So just literally you just fall down the ravine. So a lot of websites and landing pages, as crazy as it sounds, have the opt-in for the email list. But there’s no back end. Like, literally, it doesn’t exist. So people go nowhere.
Hanna: [00:09:35] So you’re saying there’s just no follow up emails, there’s no continuous contact in any way, shape or form?
Jason: [00:09:41] Yeah. In some cases, people won’t even go into a list. They’re just there’s an option that looks like it works. And it may take you to the next page, but there’s literally not even a list.
Hanna: [00:09:50] Oh!
Jason: [00:09:51] Yeah.
Hanna: [00:09:52] All right. Well, that’s interesting. That’s definitely . . .
Jason: [00:09:56] I see that a lot more than you would think.
Hanna: [00:09:57] Wow. OK, somebody needs to check their links, not just to have them go to nowhere or fall out the dining room door.
Jason: [00:10:04] Absolutely.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU EMAIL YOUR LIST?
Hanna: [00:10:04] OK, well, let’s talk a little bit about the back end and what is a good frequency for people to stay in contact with their list. Fine they’ve got the initial opt in offer, but what else can they say in those continuous emails? Because I understand that that can be automated. It can be preprogramed. So one goes out, you know, on a Wednesday or whatever day you pick. Question: how frequently would you recommend and how do you come up with content for that?
Jason: [00:10:38] So it’s a great question. And I’ll tell you, a vast majority of businesses and entrepreneurs dropped the ball here. So if you go back to that relationship building piece, “hey, I’m Jason you know, come be my friend and I’ll give you this great resource, this book, this video series to help you do X.”
Jason: [00:10:53] So a lot of companies will do that then, like you say, after that, it’s awkward. There’s nothing else to talk about. Right. So I’m a fan of weekly communication, so I love automation. I have tons of stuff automating my business. But I also see the value in ongoing actual manual written content. The reason why? The world marketing environment business changes all the time. So it’s not going to feel real if you try to automate all of that because it’s you can’t make everything evergreen.
Jason: [00:11:23] So just like the relationship piece I have to actually put in effort. Sometimes I educate. Sometimes I entertain. Sometimes I do make a sales pitch. Sometimes I ask questions and say, “Hey, respond, let me know what you think.” So you have to actually put an effort to build that relationship with this new list, just like you would a person in real life. It’s literally no different.
EMAIL CONTENT IDEAS FOR GROWING YOUR SALES FUNNELS
Hanna: [00:11:45] That’s good advice. Is there any place that people could go for tips on how to provide information or content for those back end emails?
Jason: [00:11:58] So that’s a great question. I mean, are you asking for, like, a resource of my own or what are you asking for in that regard?
Hanna: [00:12:04] Sometimes people just need, maybe this is a tip list that maybe you have or could create, where people are looking for inspiration for that. They’re coming up with a blank and just give it us a couple of ideas. Educate. Well, like what type of education? Would it be a video? Would it be a download of a list? Or is it just here’s a little case study. We just came across this and if you’ve had this in your business, we could help you with X, Y, Z. The entertainment? How far out on a limb do you go?
Jason: [00:12:41] That’s great. I get what you’re saying. So all of the above. Yeah, I like the variety. Some people like to read the written word. Some people like video. Videos are pretty powerful. So mixing it up with both of those is a great idea.
Jason: [00:12:53] Here’s a nice thing about email. There’s no rules. I would encourage everybody listening, don’t be scared to show your personality. Writing. The more authentic you can be with your true self, the more conversational, you can be, I think, the better you’ll like the result.
Jason: [00:13:08] There’s always those people who say, “But Jason, you don’t understand my business. It’s different.” It’s not really. Right. We’re dealing with people. It’s still relationships. I’ve worked with tons of different people in tons of industries and this stuff does work.
Jason: [00:13:19] So you’ve got to try different stuff, right? You’ve got to create headlines that get curiosity. What I do for the content side, especially like with our blog and our business and this could spill over to email as well is my team and I come up with like five different contact buckets.
Jason: [00:13:35] All right here’s our brand, potentially inspirational. What do we talk about and focus on? It’s not just marketing that’s too boring and narrow. There’s got to be more. So like with us, it’s startups, it’s entrepreneurship, it’s digital marketing, it’s motivation, and its mindset. Right. So it gives us the ability to kind of Venn diagram and have a little bit of overlap with our core brand, but mix it up a little bit week to week.
Jason: [00:14:01] So I would encourage everybody to think of their business that way. Say, OK, what are you? What three to five different areas that kind of overlap still reflect the business accurately that we can talk about, joke about, share tips on and keep things interesting. Just like if you’re my neighbor, I don’t want to talk about the weather every single time I see you. Let’s mix it up and talk about something else once in a while as well. So going back to that conversation, that relationship building idea.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN HIRING SOMEONE TO CREATE SALES FUNNELS
Hanna: [00:14:28] Now earlier you said that the whole automation and the back end, and maybe even setting up the opt-in page, can feel overwhelming for people who are in business. And, you know, they’re not necessarily techies. They’re not inclined. It scares them for whatever reason. And they want to be able to hire somebody to do that work for them. What kind of questions should they be asking when vetting somebody?
Hanna: [00:14:56] Because, you know, a lot of people, they talk a good game. You know, how they can do everything. They can do this. They can do that. And then, you’re spending a lot of money. It’s like, OK, what are we got here? And there’s always tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow. It’s like, OK, well, guess what, tomorrow just came. That was yesterday. Now, what have you done for me? How do you like short circuit that process? I don’t mean time wise because things do take time. But to make sure you find somebody with the proper skill set that can deliver. What should we be looking for?
Jason: [00:15:26] That’s a phenomenal question. I can feel a little bit of your own pain in that question, and that’s not abnormal. A lot of people will tell me about the horror stories they’ve had with folks that “do what I do.” So what I would recommend if I were in that position, looking for somebody like me or something like that, I would Google the name of the company, check them out on major social media platforms, not just one.
Jason: [00:15:50] I find that when a new client comes to me, they generally check me out because I ask, “where did you find me?” Did you just go there and find me or are there more steps? I really ask. And I find its generally two to five stops before they jump on a new call. So it’s really interesting and it helps them understand the customer journey.
Jason: [00:16:06] So I would say Google, the name of the company, look for reviews, not one or two. See if you can find a bunch. Right. If some of these prices seem really cheap, that’s a huge red flag. You’re not going to get good outcomes in this business with low prices. They just don’t go together. So that’s a big red flag. If you feel the need to ask for, “can I speak to a referral or someone you’ve worked with.” Go for it. You definitely want to see examples of their work. You want to understand what the plan is, what the timeline is, anything you can, some kind of a kickoff conversation is really important as well. But those are all things I would be looking at before pulling the trigger myself.
Hanna: [00:16:45] So those are things to be put into a proposal because you’re not just going to hire somebody blind and say, yeah, come on by and just send me the invoice.
Jason: [00:16:54] That does happen though I’ll be honest with you. So,
Hanna: [00:16:58] OK. All right. All right.
Jason: [00:17:00] I want a conversation like that today, actually, but it happens sometimes. But some people are a little bit more cautious and more structured. I actually don’t even use written proposals anymore. I make a screen share video and I draw on a Web whiteboard type of thing and say, like with pictures, like here’s what we’re talking about here, what we’re going to do. Here’s a timeline of the price. If you want to do it, here’s how it works. If not, no problems.
Jason: [00:17:22] So I’m kind of a I’m kind of a loosey-goosey with it that way, but it works really well. It is my personality and I’ve been doing it a while. So I do deliver. So we’re all different. We get that creative freedom in that regard. And if it works for you, keep rolling with it you know.
Hanna: [00:17:40] No, and actually your video proposal is just another way of managing expectation. You’re just using a different format, whether it’s written or whether it’s in video or whether it’s PowerPoint, I mean, I don’t care what medium you use. The idea is to be able to set expectations. So it’s not just a black hole that somebody is pouring money into, hoping they’re going to find something at the other end because what they’re expecting and what the person who is being hired maybe expecting could be two totally different things, unless you have that conversation to really make clear. Here’s what we think we can do. Here’s how we’re going to go about doing it. Here’s what you can expect and what time frame.
Hanna: [00:18:21] So doing it video, I think is great because, again, as you said, it helps build the relationship because it’s very real.
Jason: [00:18:29] You give me another thought that I think is really important to what we’re talking about.
Hanna: [00:18:33] What’s that?
Jason: [00:18:33] Sorry to interrupt you.
Hanna: [00:18:33] No, go ahead.
Jason: [00:18:34] So any time I do a new client call, I always use Zoom and I always am on video. I don’t care if the client’s on video or not. I’m on video because when I’m talking, you’re watching me, you’re judging me and you’re deciding do I think this person? Is he believable and do I think they can help me? Whether you like me or not? Doesn’t really matter. You’ll still hire me if you don’t like me. Although I would guess most people like me. I don’t know why they wouldn’t; but really, the point is, if I put myself out there on video and I show up on time, that’s a good sign.
Jason: [00:19:06] If somebody refuses to have a call with you, you can’t actually hear their voice and speak to them. I wouldn’t hire them. I would be like, there’s something wrong here. Is this person really who they say they are? There are a lot of people that will pose as a funnel builder and they’re just going to pass it off to a real funnel builder and try to make a mark up on it. So you have to be very careful of that as well.
Hanna: [00:19:26] That’s a really good observation, because the thing is that that tells you something about their communication style. If the sauce hits the fan, how are you going to communicate with them?
Jason: [00:19:37] So there’s a lot of people overseas that do this type of work and there’s nothing wrong with that. But if it were me and my money, I want to go have a conversation with somebody. I don’t want it to disappear in a bunch of forwarded emails and never get a get a resolution. And I see that stuff happen all the time.
Hanna: [00:19:54] Right. The buck has to stop with somebody that is accountable that you can actually contact. So, excellent point. Thank you.
THE MINDSET NECESSARY FOR NURTURING SUCCESSFUL SALES FUNNELS
Hanna: [00:20:02] You talked a little bit about mindset as being something that your team talks about and actually uses to help build rapport. It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed by digital marketing and the feeling that with every new article or podcast like this that you hear, “oh, my God, we should be doing this. We should be doing that.” What advice do you have about staying focused and motivated?
Jason: [00:20:26] That’s a good question. You know, it’s funny, recently and I would say maybe today’s Thursday, earlier this week, I was sitting here at my office. I was looking out the window and said, “do you know what? I’m coming full circle with this.” I’ve been doing this business for five years and five years and a month. And I’m back to where I started thinking the foundation of all of this, even marketing, is actually mindset because to do it properly, you’ve got to say, “OK, this is who I’m targeting.”
Jason: [00:20:54] This is a customer journey, and I’m going to make that consistent effort to build relationships and nurture them and keep them going. And you’ve got to be in a resilient state of mind to do that. Well, you’ve got to be confident. You’ve got to have fun with it, because if you’re none of those things, you’re not going to do it. You’ll find reasons not to do it. So mindset is super-duper important with marketing, I would say keep it simple, start small.
GIVING VALUE AND SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
Jason: [00:21:17] I would say set up an email list and say, “OK, how can I give value?” Getting people on the list is the most basic thing. I’ve got friends that have phenomenally successful businesses that are all fueled by social media, and I always tell them if that platform gets crazy or the algorithms change or it shuts down, what are you going to do? You’re building a castle on sand and rented sand at that.
Jason: [00:21:41] So the email list is still the ultimate asset that you own online. I would say start very simple, put your personality and use conversational language in videos and copy and in your social media and your emails as well.
Jason: [00:21:57] Do you need to be everywhere on social media? No. If your target, if you’re a business to business, you know, LinkedIn is probably going to be important for you. Facebook’s probably going to be important. Surprisingly, TikTok might be important for you as well. If your business to consumer, LinkedIn is not going to be really important to you. Twitter’s probably not going to be super important to anybody, in that I’m not a big Twitter fan. But there’s people that will argue with me. My point is you can have success with all the available options out there, but email is going to trump all social media as far as what’s the actual value long term for all those reasons I just mentioned.
Hanna: [00:22:32] Wonderful. Thank you so much, Jason. This has really been an interesting and informative discussion, and I appreciate your insights and your time. Thank you.
Jason: [00:22:41] No problem. Thank you.
Hanna: [00:22:42] That’s our show for today. But don’t go anywhere. I have a really easy ask for you. Would you please open your podcast app and give us a five-star review and leave a comment about what you love most about the show? I do read them all and it’ll take you less than a minute. And while you’re at it, share this episode. Tell someone about it, because the best way to grow our audience is by word of mouth, and if you want the detailed show notes, links to connect with my guest or cool stuff that we talked about, even if you want to ask a question, have a show idea. Come on over to BusinessConfidentialRadio.com.
Hanna: [00:23:14] I’ll catch you on the next episode. And in the meantime, have a great day and even better tomorrow.
Guest: Jason Wright
Jason is an author, entrepreneur, consultant, and digital marketing architect with a passion for helping other startups and small businesses with their sales funnels. He also prides himself on his ability to connect with people and speak to them in a language they understand.
Which is very good because when you start talking about internet stuff, especially the back end automation, it can get very technical very fast and unless you enjoy all of that tech talk it’s easy to push aside. So some plain talk is very refreshing.
Jason’s marketing automation expertise includes ClickFunnels, ActiveCampaign, Facebook Ads, Zapier, ManyChat, and Digital Marketing Strategy.
Jason is also a podcast host of the Intentionally Inspirational Marketing Talk and the author of The Backward Route To Forward Progress: 7 Solutions For Crushing Fear, Self-Doubt And Limiting Beliefs.
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