There once was a time when I looked at business as a simple process, I was very naive and figured that business essentially boiled down to provide service get money and that was that. Those that did a better job got paid more and other than that everything pretty much evened out. That was also how I saw book writing. I figured an author wrote something that he wanted and then boom if it clicked with others he made money, if it didn’t then back to the drawing board to start writing some more. When I looked at those who were successful with their books or other business I figured they just had higher quality and that’s what got them to top.
However on closer inspection I found that that was not the case. As a matter of fact many times those at the top weren’t even that good. Hell a lot of them even seemed to be hacks. But while they may have been hacks when it came to content and other areas they certainly were not hacks when it came to marketing. In particular using marketing funnels. Everyone who is successful in business has a marketing funnel of some sort in place. From the most anti-marketing (a strong marketing position) blogger to a person who has Mr. Money in his name they all use sales funnels, even unknowingly.
And you should be to. I understand if you’re skeptical. After all aren’t sales funnels used by scammy internet marketers to take money from unsuspecting people? And in a word yes, yes they are. However they do not have to be used that way. Just like a hammer can be used to build a house or kill a innocent person on the highway. It’s a tool what matters is what you do with it. Alright now with that being said you’re already using a funnel of some sort it just may not be effective. Many say they don’t use funnels but have just renamed it something less markety to make themselves feel good but the same purpose is served. But we won’t get into that, what we’re here for is the funnel.
The top of the funnel is obviously the widest part and so it’s the same with the outreach portion of your marketing funnel. This is the advertising, guest posting, and brand building activities you do to get people to pay attention to you. These activities are performed so that people know that you exist and that you have a service or product to offer. For example there are plenty of men out there struggling in life who would just about kill for the content contained in the books I write, they’d happilly fork over ten times the asking price if they just knew that they existed. But that’s the problem they don’t even know that I exist. And that’s quite a problem to have as someone looking to make money in any field.
Even though the desire is there and it’s white hot, nothing is going to happen if they aren’t aware of me. Likewise there may be others who have perhaps seen one of my articles on Return of Kings or another site I have written an article for. They thought “Oh that’s nice” and then went on there way. But then later that week they saw me retweeted by someone they followed and then checking out a book on Amazon they see Man Up listed in the also bought section. Now they’re intrigued. So far they’ve seen me with many people they like and respect so now they’re wondering if I’m worth checking out. So they head over to the blog and head into the next level of the funnel.
The next portion of the funnel is the bonding portion. This is where a relationship is formed between me and the potential customer. Perhaps they comment on a blog post asking a question and I respond to it or perhaps they just come back to the site every now and then checking out the new stuff. They get a sense for my world view and find that it meshes pretty well with their own. They’ve also learned some valuable things that they can implement right away furthering their attachment to me and me to them. After hanging around for awhile they decide to send me an email asking some questions and for some clarifying thoughts. After some back and forths they come to a much deeper understanding of the subject material.
They now go and tell their friends about me. Perhaps one is a little over weight and is directed to the articles about weight loss and nutrition. Another is struggling with women and is directed to that section. And so on and so forth. Now not only has there been a connection between me and the reader but in addition to them finding value in what I have written they have found further value by giving this information to friends and family who are open to it. The reader continues to read getting to know me on a deeper level with each article read and understanding my world view and personality as expressed through my writing.
After having “bonded” with me as much as one can online the reader may transfer to a customer. They see my latest book release and if the marketing doesn’t interest them (an outreach function) they may simply buy it because of the value I have given them throughout their time reading the blog. This is also the stage where if I had a higher end coaching program they may decide to become a part of. This is the bottom part of the funnel and where most content producers hope you end up. Usually this is so they can sell you on their high end items. Things such as coaching, courses, and the like. Where many of them make their real money.
Like I said this is a funnel, everyone uses it, and it can be used to mislead and dupe people as well as used to give genuine value to people. Joel Comm has a good way of putting it (or at least he’s the one I first heard this from) and that is people go from not knowing you to knowing you, knowing you to liking you, liking you to trusting you, trusting you to buying from you. Of course at any point in the funnel some are going to fall out. Some aren’t going to like you and that’s fine. You have the screen for those that are going to be good customers for you and who you’re genuinly going to be able to give value to.
For example my blog (as you can tell from some angry comments) is going to screen out all feminists, many trad cons, and a whole bunch of other groups. And that’s fine, I don’t have anything in common with those people, they don’t like me, and that’s fine because it filters through the people that do like me and will find value in what I write. When you’re a content producer realize that everyone has to go through these stages for maximal conversions. Build relationships and do good marketing and the rest will take care of itself.
If you have any questions you would like to see answered in a future post send them to me at charlessledge001 (at) gmail (dot) com. If you found value in this post then I would encourage you to share this site with someone who may need it as well as check out my books here. I appreciate it.