Do you ever feel overwhelmed with marketing your business? That’s probably a question with an obvious answer, because it’s what pretty much everyone I talk feels stuck with the most. You feel that there are strategies and information that’s pulling you in a thousand different directions, and you don’t know how to focus and figure out what’s wrong and where to go right.
Usually, one of the biggest mistakes I see entrepreneurs making in their businesses is that they focus on quick and simple band-aid “solutions” that never really end up solving anything. It’s important for you to be able to diagnose your business as a whole and then build out strategies that will help you grow and have the impact you are looking for in the long-term.
At the root level, every single successful business out there, from the Facebook superstar coaches, to Fortune 500 companies, all follow the same 5-step marketing and sales funnel to drive their own business. If at any point of your entrepreneurial journey you feel stuck, all you have to do is revise this list to identify which part isn’t working for you.
In my experience through working with hundreds of entrepreneurs in pretty much any field you can possibly imagine, I have found that the most successful businesses are the ones that are constantly working on upgrading their marketing funnel by evaluating each step within it. In my own experience, I have also found that it’s so important to constantly tweak and refine in order to grow.
So, follow along to find out the 5 steps you need to follow to build an effective and simple marketing system and funnel.
Also, here’s a guide I created for you with 25 points you can do in order to boost your business and sales.
Step 1: defining the foundation
It always begins with building and understanding your brand from the inside out. This is what I ALWAYS tell my clients because I have found that without this particular step, it’s almost impossible to have lasting success. The reason for this is that you are setting up the context behind your business, not only for your clients, but also for yourself.
Building a Brand that Attracts starts with having clarity and confidence, and gaining that comes from a clear definition of the foundation of your business. For this you need to be able to answer the following questions:
who are you?
what do you do?
who do you serve?
why do you matter?
Of course, defining these things for your audience is important. In fact, it’s crucial. After all, they need to discover who you are, how you can help solve their problems, if they fit for you as clients and why they need to choose you.
However, what I have found is that sometimes answering these questions can be even more important for us as business owners than our clients. The reason for this is that the clearer we are about us as a business, the more clarity the have to what we need to do and what strategies need to be in place for us to grow. Plus, if we know exactly the reasons why we matter, we have even more confidence to charge what we are worth. I talk about that extensively here, you should check it out for sure.
Personally, I have found that the clearer I am on the foundations of my brand, the better I get at bringing ideal clients into my business.
The answer to these essential questions need to be presented on your website. I would suggest trying to to it on your homepage as a means to capturing the attention of your ideal audience quickly. That’s exactly what we did for Beth from Navigate HR. On top of communicating what they do, we also focused on sharing reasons why they matter and how they understand the needs of their clients.
Step 2: establishing your credibility
When I had to relaunch my business at the beginning of 2017, one of my biggest concerns was being able to build trust and establish myself as a credible source for entrepreneurs. I found the tools to make that happen and fortunately, I have been able to effectively establish my authority within my niche. However, it’s funny that it’s one of the most common concerns I hear when talking to new clients.
How do you establish yourself as a credible source (that can charge premium pricing), when you are technically starting out?
Here’s what happens, before people make the decision to hire you or buy from you, they need to believe that you understand their problems and that you are the solution and expert they need.
In order to make that happen, a few things need to be in place. First, you need to be able to share content that shows that you know your business. This means that whatever specific marketing strategy you use, whether it’s blogging, emails, or social media publications, you need to share content that establishes you as that credible source.
The key to this is communication. Finding the way to position yourself correctly. To bring together all the points from step 1 into your messaging so that you can differentiate and establish your expertise.
Secondly, it’s also about making sure you look the part. This means having a brand that visually represents who you are. If you want to establish yourself as a credible source, you need to look like a credible business as well. Think about the brands that you admire. The most successful businesses out there have brands that are well designed and consistently shared in the same way. This of course also reflects back to having a website that also does the job of building your credibility. Have testimonials? Share them prominently on your page. Media mentions, or places where you have been featured? Show that as well. What are the common results that you give your clients? What are the ways you can feature that information on your page?
Also, if you are looking to work with premium clients and charge premium prices, you need to make sure that your brand looks premium as well. This also is true if you want to collaborate or work with other bigger businesses as well. This was the case of Hola Soy Rey, a travel blogger that wanted to build a stronger relationship with hotels, travel agents and other big brands. In order to make this happen, we needed to give a pretty big revamp to his brand and site, making his business look like an established credible source as well.
This is what his brand and website used to look like before. A little amateur and not truly captivating for his audience, as well as lacking the image of a strong business –not just a blog.
After the redesign, we completely changed his look to reflect a brand that is established, and a truly credible source for travel. These changes make his business jump to a next level in terms of build the trustworthiness necessary for an effective marketing funnel.
Step 3: systems for lead generation
The next step in creating a marketing system for your business is building a form of lead generation. Once you have established the foundation of your brand and have created enough credibility, you will have people wanting to get more information from you as well. When I relaunched my business, the first form of lead generation I created was a free email course called “The Brand Experience.” It was super cold, very academic and serious. I shared the basic information of what branding is and why it’s important for business. This is what the main image looked like:
I was completely convinced that once I would release my “masterpiece” into the world, people would be lining up to hire me. While I did get a lot of people signing up, I didn’t do a very good job of turning them into clients. What I have discovered over time is that it takes a few things to have an effective lead generation system:
- It’s important that whatever you do, it has to be jam-packed with value. This is your one opportunity to get people into your funnel, if you give them something mediocre, you will instantly lose that credibility you have worked on so much to establish in the first place
- Whatever you do, it needs to have your voice as a brand. It’s not enough to share valuable information, it’s about giving people something that will allow them to also connect with you. It can’t be cold and distant, it needs to be humanized and real.
- Do Not think that adding a little box that says “Sign up to my newsletter” is a lead generating system. It’s not. Not ever. The online world is already pretty crowded and people are getting tons of emails in the inbox day in and day out. You need to find creative ways to invite people to become leads.
- Whatever you create, make sure it’s something that your audience actually wants. Don’t create things nobody will ever download and care for.
- You have to assume that people don’t know much about what you do. This means that it’s important for you to educate them and take them through system that breaks down any objections they might have.
- Your primary marketing strategies should be focused on generating leads for your business.
Ultimately, lead generation is what will be the process that will take traffic or audience into becoming potential clients. So yeah, you need to focus on making this happen.
Jo from Joiness for example is a client that came to me with a business idea we developed from scratch. Once we had established the foundation or her business and how to build her credibility, we worked on creating a funnel that was on brand, AND on audience. Jo is a marketing project manager that helps entrepreneurs find smart solutions that moves their businesses forward. Essentially, she helps entrepreneurs have more TIME to grow. So, her lead generation was based on a guide that would help entrepreneurs save more time!
I talk about different specific strategies you can follow to boost your lead generation and income in this guide. Make sure you download it here:
Step 4: making sales
This is what it ultimately comes down to. Each step leads to making those sales. However, before you get to the step of making money, you also need to make sure that you are qualifying your leads.
Have you ever had to work with nightmare clients? Trust me, it is never worth the money. Even though I have been mostly lucky in my business to work with pretty amazing people, there have been a few times where bad apples have slipped through the cracks. And let me tell you, it’s not nice. Not qualifying ultimately truly hurts your business. Why? Because you are limited to doing your best work, you are time consumed with someone that might not be committed and they simply don’t end up getting the best results.
So yes, qualifying is definitely important.
The next part is actually turning those qualified and interested leads into sales. Sales can sometimes be a tricky subject. I have personally taken a few sales trainings, but I find that the best ways to make them happen, is to make sure that you feel right about what you are offering. So, if you know that you are amazing at what you do, if you have the expertise and have a person you know you can help, you start “selling” from a place of actually serving them. For me, sales calls are always a great insight and look into the lives of other entrepreneurs. Sales are about bringing down objections and making sure they understand that you are the best solution for their business.
If you are struggling with making sales, look at all the other previous steps we have mentioned to make sure you aren’t missing anything. Remember, before sales happen, you need to build that trust, and for that to happen, you need to have an established foundation, credibility and a great lead generating system.
Step 5: nurturing your brand
By this point, you should have established credibility, the foundation of your brand, have a website that looks like a million bucks and basically brought in clients and income to your business. Some entrepreneurs stop the process right here. Please don’t! You want to constantly look for opportunities for growth and expansion in your brand. Yes, enjoy the success, enjoy where you are, but an effective marketing system is one that is looking for opportunities.
Here’s what you don’t want to happen: you don’t want to sit around under the philosophy of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Why? Because business and the world are constantly evolving. If you don’t stay up in front of trends and what your market is expecting from you, you will be left behind.
Nurturing your brand means looking for what your already existing client base need and creating more solutions for them. It also means using your brand as opportunities for engagement.
Continue to build and establish relationships that allow you to grow to where you want. Build communities where your audience can share more and create a relationship that is authentic and lasting.
Here’s the great thing, anytime you feel that you are stuck in your business and marketing, you can look back through this 5 step framework to discover what isn’t working. You just need to ask yourself these questions:
Am I not effectively communicating my essence?
Am I not doing a good job of sharing content that establishes me as a credible source?
How can I improve my lead generation?
Are my leads qualified?
Am I making sales?
How is my engagement with my audience?
You simply look back one my one and determine which areas need your attention. This is what has worked for me personally and what works extremely well for my clients as well. Looking back through each one of these steps will answer questions and give you clarity on where your marketing funnel needs to be tweaked.
Remember to download the guide and checklist with 25 ways to boost your business and brand today.