Do you believe in your product or service but just haven’t found a way to properly monetize it yet? Sooo frustrating, isn’t it?! You did all the hard work. You KNOW you could help people big time – if only you found a way to get your offer seen and get people to buy it…
I find this to be the most challenging part of having your own business – maybe you can relate? This bit had me baffled for such a long time! HOW did everyone else do it??
Disclosure: This post might contain affiliate links. This means when you purchase something through those links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. It’s the cool online-kid way of tipping me – with someone else’s money. Thanks a ton!
To Sell Or Not To Sell…
Instead of actually looking into the sales strategy in more detail – as I should have done – I continued doing what I was doing: Creating more content and crossing my fingers. I can tell you that’s not a successful long-term strategy! LOL
So a couple of months ago, I sat myself down and me, myself and I had a bit of a conversation that went something like this:
I: “I don’t get the results I want – I need to change something.” Me: “Meh. Maybe all it takes is time… Keep going.” Myself: “No, I’m frustrated! I need change. And I’m not talking about small coins here…”
I: “Alright. But I’m afraid we’ll have to learn more about marketing and selling.” Me: “Eeeek! But that’s not what I wanna do!! I wanna help, inspire & motivate.”
Myself: “Ok, then help yourself first, practice what you preach, and inspire and motivate yourself enough to achieve your goals.” Me: “Darn…”
Ever had this conversation with yourself?
Moving Forward: The Sales Funnel
So finally I decided to look more into the whole marketing and sales side of having a business. After all, it really is CRUCIAL: No sales, no business.
Since then I’ve done quite a bit of research and I’ve come to the realization that building a sales funnel seems to be the best way to move forward.
I’ll share what I learned so you can judge for yourself!
Last week we already talked about the fundamentals of the conversion funnel aka marketing funnel aka sales funnel, what it is and why it’s great to have one.
So to make sure we’re all on the same page, you might wanna go back and read last weeks post, or watch this short video that summarizes the basics:
The 2 Funnel Basics
There are different kinds of funnels and things can get complicated very quickly, but for a VERY basic sales funnel, you don’t need much.
1) a landing page with your opt-in or front end offer to collect Email addresses and potentially start earning money, and
2) an automated email series to nurture your leads (= the people who signed up for your initial offer) so you can provide more value, build a relationship, and sell them on your other offer(s).
1. Landing Page
So the first step of building a sales funnel is creating your landing page.
Typically it’s a page without a sidebar or any other navigation to minimize distractions.
The goal is to get people to do ONE thing or leave.
Now there are several ways to do this.
WordPress + Plugins
If you already have a website, you can use it to create a special landing page.
I have to admit that I found working with the SiteOrigin plugin very frustrating. And that’s an understatement… If you are new to building websites – this plugin is NOT intuitive.
It took me forever and a day and a lot of help from my friend Google to build something that didn’t look like my 3-year old built it… On the upside: It’s free.
There are other plugins like Elementor that you could try too. Which seems amazing and might be more intuitive to use but somehow clashed with either my theme or other plugins, so I didn’t use it.
Email Marketing Services
Then there are some Email autoresponders/marketing services like
Sales Funnel Software
And then there’s ClickFunnels, a sales funnel software, that you can use to build professional-looking landing pages QUICKLY. The beauty of the system is that it’s drag & drop, you don’t have to code, and you have a ton of done-for-you templates that you can choose from or customize. That’s a huge time saver!! On the downside: It’s not free.
BUT you can get a FREE 14-day ClickFunnels trial and see for yourself!
And when you sign up for the free trial, you’ll get access to a ton of really valuable free training, that I found immensely helpful. Seriously, I’ve taken $495 marketing courses that delivered less value…
In fact, there’s so much free training that comes with the free trial, that I found it sheer overwhelming. If you do too, shoot me an email or comment below and I’ll talk you through which bits of the training I found most useful so you can make the most of your free trial. 🙂
Now inside ClickFunnels, or if you know how to do it in WordPress, you can do lots of fancy things after people opted in on your landing page: Upsells, downsells, cross-sells, ask for social shares…
You name it.
The sky is the limit!
But for today, let’s keep it REALLY simple and only look at the absolute bare minimum you need.
2. Email Automation
Once you have your landing page up and running and capture Email addresses, you need the means to follow up with those people, right?
Now there are a lot of Email marketing services you could use: Mailchimp, Mailerlite or AWeber, to name just a few.
If you built your sales funnel in WordPress, you’ll need to hook up your Email autoresponder to your website. Which usually requires you to install another couple of plugins.
If you try to do it as low cost as possible, you might even need another additional plugin that allows you to create multiple opt-in forms for different offers you might have.
And then you might want to split-test your forms…
MailOptin is a plugin that allows you to do both. While it’s not free, it’s not too expensive. I think it was around $60 bucks for one year.
If that sounds too confusing, don’t give up buttercup!
There is an easier way to do this: If you use Actionetics inside your ClickFunnels account, you don’t need any other autoresponder. You can build and manage your email list directly inside ClickFunnels.
Moreover, Actionetics will give you a ton of information on your subscribers so that you can create custom funnels for different types of subscribers based on their demographics or engagement.
That’s awesome, because customization improves conversion – the cookie cutter one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work in marketing.
Don’t over-complicate things in the beginning! When building your very first funnel – start with the basics.
There are countless options to create your funnel.
If you’re not a tech person and don’t enjoy spending a ton of time figuring out how to put a bunch of different tech puzzle pieces together and get them to work – a special sales funnel software like ClickFunnels might be the easiest way to get started.
ClickFunnels also runs a 30-day challenge where Russell and his team help you build your very first (or next) sales funnel. The goal is to build your online business and get results in those 30 days. To help you do this, you’ll get daily training, LIVE coaching and accountability.
Does this sound awesome, or what?!! I think it does and I’m super excited to give it a go!!! If you wanna do this together, you can check it out here.
The more, the merrier – I’d love to do this together!
This might be the fastest and easiest way, to finally kickstart your online business without having to pay a fortune!