Why What You DON'T Know About Business Is Your Secret Weapon
By Shana Lynn Yao
If the words "sales funnel" makes you cringe, I'm going to shed some light on why and why knowing this could be not only be freeing but when put into action, could be your secret weapon to attracting your business besties with a marketing strategy that works.
F*ck the funnels. As someone who has been doing marketing for 28 years - working with multi-million dollar retailers, shopping centers, and creating marketing campaigns that have not only brought in millions but won awards, I'm here to tell you what you don't know about sales funnels may be an advantage over the checked out, over-programmed and auto-piloted "big guns" in the entrepreneurial world.
The truth is, the word "sales funnels" makes ME cringe. It puts the process of delivering a valuable product or service from a heart-centered entrepreneur who wants to do good work in the world into a COLD, mechanical and UN-feeling process of exchanging money.
Why Sales Funnels Are Confusing
Most people who don't understand how sales funnels work actually don't understand what a sales funnel is. According to Google, a sales funnel "refers to the buying process that companies lead customers through when purchasing products. A sales funnel is divided into several steps, which differ depending on the particular sales model."
Yet if you explore further into various entrepreneurial business that sell funnel courses, many of them define a sales funnel as - "a series of emails and content that lead your new email subscriber from casual reader into raving fan and then excited customer. A funnel can be made up of webinars, emails, video content, or any other kind of content that you feel comfortable producing." (direct quote from a popular sales funnel course sales page).
Whoa - those are two VERY different definitions. No where in the actual definition of a sales funnel does it mention that it has anything to do with email, courses, webinars, and other tactics.
So I'm here to deliver some good news to you heart-centered entrepreneurs, bloggers, and people who want to do what you love, love your clients and business besties, and just want to do good work in the world.
Instead of a sales funnel, the real funnel you want is actually a FEELINGS FUNNEL.
The purpose of any marketing strategy - as the grandfather of marketing (in the business world) Peter Drucker said - "The purpose of marketing is to create a customer."
You see, when you think about what a marketing sales funnel really is, is understanding HUMAN BEINGS. Just like you, the business owner, your customers and clients are HUMAN. Just like you, they have human needs. They hurt. They cry. They doubt themselves. And they seek out people and environments that "get" them at this human level.
This means, a feelings funnel - if you know it has to lead people who "get" you to you to buy what you sell, then you have to know who you are, why you are here in this business, and what are the needs, wants, problems you yourself have had and how can you position that into your marketing strategy so that the people that "get" you want to come closer to you?
Instead of an email sequence, webinar, and sales script - how do you buy? When you go to the store and buy something - what makes you aware of that thing? How do you know it's something you need? Do you open and read emails? Would you buy from one?
Turning The Feelings Funnel Into A Sales Funnel That Works
Knowing how you yourself like to buy, who "gets" you and needs what you sell, and how you best communicate - whether it be via email, video, in person, in writing - and then building a marketing strategy around that has NOTHING to do with emails, webinars, or any other tactic you may know. It CAN include those things but knowing the difference between necessary and not necessary is important.
Real life is that there are very few actual "rules" in business. You have to solve a problem that helps people. You have to have a way to exchange money. And you should want to do good for other people (although that is not a requirement it should be your goal).
So what does that look like when you go to plan your "feelings funnel" to attract your audience of potential buyers who "get" you?
AWARENESS: If you know you need to reach a large group of people and help them understand that you guys "get" each other - where can you do that and shine your best? For me, my jam is INSTAGRAM. I'm a visual person, love my style and fashionista self, and (as you can tell) love to write witty and thought provoking articles in the areas of business, holistic health and style. It's no wonder I've grown my Instagram following over 10,000 people in 4 months.
INTEREST: What do you love? Seriously - I just told you I love fashion, health and happen to know business and marketing like the back of my hand. So when I use my creativity on Instagram and on THE DAILY - it attracts people who "get" me and builds interest around what I do. (see the human connection)? How can you build interest in where you build awareness towards what you do and sell?
DECISION: How can you help people make a decision towards your product or service? Once you build awareness and interest, now is what is referred to as a "selling process". Some people may do that in a webinar, a sales letter, a pitching process (if you are pitching bigger brands). This decision process helps your business besties understand why they need what you sell and what happens if they buy the product or service. It's the "educational" process.
ACTION: Once you have built awareness, garnered interest and have led them to understand the decision process, you need a way for them to buy from you. Whether it's a conversation in a consultation, a phone call, or a sale page, at the action phase you have done the work and NOW you are at the bottom of the "funnel". You've moved them to the emotional decision that sits at the core of your feelings funnel.
And there you go! When you understand what marketing really is, it's about getting real with yourself, your customers, and your LIFE.
So if you're ready to f*ck the funnels, tell us below where your feelings funnel will start. Where do YOU best show up to your business besties? Tell us below in the comments and share this article with others. Let's empower everyone to making this world a less checked-out, cold, and automated stuck place.
LET'S CONNECT AT MY OTHER HOME - INSTAGRAM!
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