"It's all about your funnel." "You gotta have a funnel in place." "This tool will help serve all of your funnels." A lot of people say a lot of different things about funnels, so let's take a step back and look at what exactly marketing funnels and why they are fundamental to your business.
More importantly, learn why there is no one-size-fits-all approach to the subject and how you need to be creative in designing funnels that truly serve and deepen relationships with both your prospective and present customers.
[03:07] What Are Funnels?
[04:40] How Do Funnels Works?
[06:55] The Process of Looking at Funnels
[09:41] Other Definitions of Funnels
Aside from the traditional definition of funnels, what are the other definitions that apply to funnels?
[12:15] Why Retargeting Is Effective?
[13:09] How to Build Relationship With People
Building relationships with people and your target audience is critical if you are trying to offer products and services to them. How do I do that?
[14:44] Converting General Public to Your Customers
How can I convert a general person into my customers? What are the ways I can convince him/her to buy my product?
[15:43] The Advocate Stage
[17:40] Ways of Building Funnels
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Everybody's talking about funnels, but what exactly are they? Why are they important? And what impact can they have on your business? Let's take a deep dive into funnels on this episode of The maximize your social influence podcast. Welcome to the maximize your social influence podcast with Neal Schaffer, where I help marketers, entrepreneurs, and business owners grow their businesses using innovative marketing techniques, leveraging the concept of digital influence throughout digital and social media. Hey, everybody, Neal Schaffer, welcome to episode number 205. of the maximize your social influence podcast. For those of you that are relatively newer to this podcast, I am a digital marketing consultant, speaker, author. And really, I like to use this podcast as a way for me to share my advice, the inspiration that I get often from helping clients as well as my community, which you're going to hear about more in this episode, and really trying to provide you advice to help you not only maximize your social influence, but really your digital influence to really help you leverage everything there is you can do in digital marketing, to help you grow your business, often with this unique perspective of influence. So with that in mind, and that introduction aside, today's episode is going to be about funnels. Now, the topic. And I think a lot of topics going forward, as I continue to help a lot of clients, I now have a new client base, which is from my own community, which thanks to your help successfully launched, on April 1, the digital first group coaching membership community, it's part group coaching, it's almost part mastermind, looking at the members that we have, and I know that a lot of you podcast listeners have actually joined the community. And I'm really thankful for that. So the community now, I have more people that I want to ensure are successful, and therefore that provides new content, new inspiration to allow me to serve you through this podcast. So with that in mind, one of the topics now I said we just launched April 1. And by the way, if you're interested, go to Neal Schaffer comm slash membership, there is an application process, I do accept people on a rolling monthly basis. So if you miss the last month, you might be able to get into next month, I really do it because like I said, I just launched April 1, and I really want to make sure that we have a strong footing a strong infrastructure, a strong way of doing things to over support our current members, before bringing on new members. But that being said, the earlier you get in, really the better support you're going to get because there's fewer people, it's just a natural, you know, we look at universities with student teacher ratio, although I am pretty confident going forward that with the members we have, it's going to allow all of us to scale as we begin to help each other. So with that in mind, I want to talk about funnels. funnels, I think are extremely misunderstood in marketing. And I use funnels as an analogy for a lot of different things. I'm currently working on an E book, which is going to be a preview of my next book, which I've told you on this podcast is called Digital first. So this ebook will hopefully be out in the next few weeks. I'm really excited about it. I'm in the final editing stages, before moving on to the graphic design. And in it I actually have two different images of funnels that I use that I'm going to explain here. But before I get to that I once had a client, and I was helping them with their digital marketing. And they said, Oh, you know, I just got to try to Click Funnels, it looks like I have everything I need to do. And Click Funnels is the first product. And by the way, apparently, according to this article, in Forbes of 2017 Russell Brunson, the founder, he's written a few good books, founder of Click Funnels, that businesses was worth $360 million back in May of 2017. wouldn't surprise me if that is worth over a billion dollars now. And the reason is that automates everything, it's like here are funnels, take one of these, edit out the copy, and boom, you have your own marketing automation funnel system. So and there's nothing wrong with that. And that might be fitting for a lot of people. But I think that a lot of people think that funnels are the answer funnel is a framework. funnel is a way of getting people introduced to your company, of helping them build like no interest of hopefully converting them on something and then using a lot of marketing automation, doing various upsells or resales or what have you. So in terms of a tool that all it does is just that clickfunnels is obviously a great tool. And I don't want to, I know many have been successful using it as well. I have nothing negative to say about the tool. But I do think that a lot of people don't really think about funnels before they start using the tool. Because really, the tool should serve your funnel and not the other way around. And I think by the end of this podcast, you're going to understand a little bit more what I'm talking about. I also want to address sometimes they get, you know, messages from people like LinkedIn, or Instagram or Facebook or Twitter like, hey, Neal, a lot of them come not from the United States from around the world, they could come from any country, but you know, hey, I, I've been doing this like social media thing for few months, I haven't really made any money, what should I do? And I always say, What do you have a product, right? And that that is going to be a topic of another podcast, but what is your product or service? If you don't have a product or service, then you can't create a funnel. The whole idea of a funnel is you're trying to get people to convert to something. Right now, I suppose if your nonprofit, you get people to convert to becoming an advocate, or or someone that donates, right, that's, it's still conversion, right? But if you don't have that product and service, like I said, and this is the interesting thing is that I never really had a b2c product or service before this community. So you know, you could spend money on ads. But what's the conversion for me, right? It's primarily b2b speaking, consulting up until now. And it's a very, very niche thing to try to run ads for, as you can imagine. So with the community, now I have something I could run that routes for, because there is a conversion point, and there is going to be money associated with that. And I can begin to see the cost per conversion, my Rojas or the ROI, per adspend. And really go from there and scale things. But until we get there, we need to have a product or service, obviously. And then we need to consider the funnel. Now, my early days of looking at a funnel, really began with looking at a pipeline. This is for those of you that know me, I have a b2b sales background. So we have the concept of pipelines. But it's in some ways, it's sort of similar. Now sales is one to one, marketing is one to many fundamentally speaking, PR is also one to one. And that's why a one to one marketing, like influencer marketing, begins to be sort of a quasi PR quasi marketing operation. I'm sort of digressing there. But if we get back to what I was talking about, in terms of the pipeline, it's this notion that first of all, you know, I had to reach out to dozens of people, before I would get someone that would be interested in meeting me. And this is back in where we actually physically met people back in Japan back in the day in order to generate a lead. And obviously, from there, some of those people that I met might be interested in the semiconductors or software that I was selling at the time. So what is the next step in that journey that that buyers journey? Well, the next step is, they're now interested in my company, and they have already sort of vetted that the solution I have might fit their needs. The next step was obviously, well, I should say, usually, a technical checkpoint, technically, could they use the product, it might be a demo, it might be like a free 30 day evaluation of our software, it might be sending them to our headquarters, but the time it was in Ottawa, Canada for for the last company, sbl, that I worked at a lot of different things. But there was always a technical checkpoint. And sometimes in parallel, sometimes after the technical checkpoint, there was the commercial checkpoint. And then there was the legal checkpoint. And I'll tell you, I've negotiate I negotiated with some fortune 500 companies, and we agreed on the technical and on the commercial, but we couldn't agree on the legal and we had to walk away from some business, but that happens. But you see, with this with a funnel, now I know this is a pipeline, right? Where you're looking at like 100, different deals that you're trying to close and you're trying to push each one of them forward towards closing. But at the same point, it's sort of like a funnel, you you start with a lot at the top, and it gets less and less and less as you go down. And after we get go through the legals that is just a matter of, you know, timing budget, I'll never forget we had one six figure contract that was cancelled because of hurricanes or tsunamis in Japan. And I'm not talking about the Fukushima ones, but other ones just stuff happens. They change management, they get bought out and then boom, the deals the deals lost. This happens in b2b sales. A lot of man a lot of you know, stories that I can tell you the next time we have a chance to meet in person after this whole Coronavirus nonsense is overweight. But anyway, I digress quite a bit right now. But it's really you know, from my perspective, the same concept. So, when we look at funnels, we look at the traditional marketing definition of a funnel. And if you were to look it up in the internet, it's often the ADA model, right? Attention, interest, desire action. The whole idea is that hey, nobody knows about you. You got to get their attention. And in the past that was done through a lot of money on TV. And radio, magazine newspaper. A lot of that money now is being done on Google social media and working with influencers. But it's the same idea unless people know you unless you have what is called brand awareness around your products and services, no one is going to buy from you. That's the top of the funnel, traditionally speaking, then we want to get people that are interested in doing business with us. And then there has to be this desire, that there's an interest, but is theirs are they actually going to buy from us? Can we get them one step closer to pulling the trigger on buying from us. And then obviously, the action of them actually buying from us. Now, there's all sorts of different variations of this funnel that are out there. But in the simplest form, that is the way we want to think about it. Okay, so how does this translate into what I call digital first marketing, and what I'm going to be talking about today, and it translates in an interesting way, from my perspective. Now, when I look at digital marketing, it is still based on what we've been talking about this notion of a funnel, right? You got to get people to know you at the top of the funnel, therefore, you have the general public, right. And the idea is that you want everyone in the general public to know you. It's like my good friend who ran for mayor of San Francisco, he unfortunately lost currently a California State Assemblyman, but you know, he's like, No, I want everyone to follow me on Twitter, I want every like San Francisco resident to follow me on Twitter. And that should be you know, you want all of your targeted, relevant potential customers, to find you to follow you. And the way that happens digitally, today is that there's only two different ways that happens, they're either gonna find you through a search engine, normally Google, or they're gonna find you on social media. Now, I mean, they could find you through an advertisement as well. And you could still do that. But here's the thing. Advertisements can help move people from one stage of the funnel to another stage, you could also use them for general brand awareness. But the lesser people know about you. The last effect of that paid advertising might be paid advertising works best. When it is done to people that already know you. That's why we talk about retargeting being so effective, because you're already repeatedly touching the people that already have some sort of know, like, and trust, they already have interest, they already have awareness, they already have some desire, and we're really trying to push them towards action, real easy way to think about it. So here in my digital first, and I have this this image that appear in this first free ebook, when it comes out, called the funnel digital relationships. When we want the general public to know about us in digital first marketing, it comes down to search and social. And right now we're still just talking organic, right? I mean, it could be paid social, it could be paid search, through display advertising as well, the free ways of doing this, obviously, is organic, social, an organic search, through blogging, content creation on your website. But that's how people get to know us well. Now that, you know, they get to know us, what do we do next? We need to build a relationship with them, we need to build like no interest. Two ways of doing that, right? They find you on a Google search result they go to your website, then they leave no action taken. Man there, there is no asset for your company when that happens. So what can we do, we need to get them to stick best way to do that. This is where email comes in. Right? This is where somehow we work to get an email address from our visitors so that we can keep them better touch with them. Because they could find us in Google search, they may not find us again, they may find us. And also they may not find us again, now we can get them to follow us in social media as well, which we should be doing. The problem is the way the algorithms work, we're just not going to be seen again in social media, even if they follow us. Now I know it's different for different platforms, and some have more organic impressions than others, I get it. But email really becomes critical here. If you want people to get to know you better. So now you begin to build this funnel, nobody knows you. Now you have email, maybe they're following you on social. But now we have assets. So we can target people who are on our email list. We can target people that like and engage with us on social media. And we can also begin to build look alike audiences. We can also target the people that are visiting our website. They come from search engines, and we can build look alike audiences for any one of these to let the algorithms in the social networks best find people that might be interested in what we have. This is obviously the paid approach. We're still in the organic funnel though. So next up, we're from the general public, those that know us now, through email and social, we want to convert them to customers. Now, obviously, search does not play a role. Your website can play a really really important role of trying to convert them but it's really The emails that allow you to get the multiple touches that you need, in order to be able to convert someone and to be able to respond, really, before they raise a technical objection, be able to mention that in an email and respond to it, and let them know that it's okay or commercial objection, talk about it in your emails, create sequences, use marketing automation, and bring people closer and closer to becoming a customer. Social media can be used for that as well especially paid social media with with promotional events. But either way, there is a way to use that to help convert people, although I think email is really going to be the best way to help convert people into becoming customers. And then the final stage that most people forget about in the funnel is the advocate stage. This is where for those of you that read the age of influence, we try to convert our customers into becoming our advocates, we try to convert influencers into becoming our advocates. And we try to convert advocates into becoming more influential, for lack of a better analogy here, these sort of all work together. And that, to me, is the funnel of digital relationships. For me digital first marketing, there's a anomaly in the word and you think digital is actually digital, right. But I believe that digital first marketing requires more analog relationship building to be successful going forward. And every step here, whether it's email, whether it's social, or even search engines, we are digitally building a relationship with people that we need to continue to build upon, in order to convert them to becoming a customer. That, in a nutshell, is the funnel. Now, depending on where you are, if you have a robust list of email subscribers of fans of engagers, of website, visitors, I think becomes a lot more easier to accelerate people through stages of the funnel through advertising, but then again, what advertising will help you do that the best? What promotional things will help you move people through the funnel? For my own business, I never really had a funnel until I develop this community product. And it was really interesting seeing how, just like I'm teaching you all here, I believe that email was the killer differentiator. We do weekly group coaching calls in the digital first community. And on the call today, a podcaster was saying, should I should I have a blog and he was selling and he still is selling informational products and how small businesses can launch their own podcasts? And I said, Well, where do they buy the product? Where do they find out more about you so that they can trust you? It will normally happen on a website. And Case in point, those of you that are and I know you've heard me talk about this. So apologies for repeating myself, but those that are listening that were on that call this morning, know that, you know, you're able to subscribe to my digital first membership community from my podcast, because I had a website with a link, leading to how you can apply and then another link leading how you can pay and another link leading to the actual community itself. So this is where you know your digital gateway becomes your website for lack of a better word. And it email becomes an integral part of how you build this funnel. So there are many ways of building funnels. What I talked about here is the organic I think what we see a lot these days is a lot of paid funnels. So one of the most popular techniques is to use video ads, video ads on Facebook especially, can be very, very inexpensive, like one to five cents per view. And I'm talking about through play true views, you know, 15 second views. And we can now retarget those people that saw the video, so you have some people creating intricate funnels, from a paid media perspective of once people see the first video, they retarget those people to send them to a second video, and those that successfully saw that they retargeted and then go to a third video, we see funnels where people almost convert, but they don't convert then therefore we retarget them with abandoned cart emails, or similar types of retargeting ads in social media on Facebook, where we can retarget people that viewed their cart, for instance, or abandon their cart, similar thing to these abandoned cart emails. So it really comes down to your products and services. What value are you going to add? where and who? and constructing everything you do with your marketing? As at what stage are we trying to help people through the funnel? What are we doing or how to help them? So that's why a lot of people say hey, if you're just gonna do a Facebook Live camp light campaign, you better have a strategy behind it and they're right because that may not necessarily generate the same like know and trust, then seeing a video of you or providing an E book for people to download or giving them even a 10% coupon which is a popular lead magnet that people use some some way To get people subscribed to your email so that you can begin having that conversation with them. And that my friends, I think, is really the easiest way to look at funnels it. Sometimes it sounds like, Hey, you know, I'll just buy Click Funnels and for others, it can be very, very confusing. But I hope that this gives you more thought, whatever product or service you have, you really want to think this through? What are the different touchpoints? What are the different ways, especially with paid media? What are the different ways in which we can retarget people that have brand affinity for us, that's really the way we want to think about it. So I'm going to keep today's episode a little bit more brief, I think the subject actually is a little bit more simpler than maybe some of the subjects I might talk about, although we could go further on funnels. But I'm hoping that that gives you all sort of the right mindset when it comes to funnel. So it's not a tool, it is a process and a process that has to be personalized and customized not only for your products and services, not only your target, you know, avatars or target personas or customers, but also the value that you can continue to provide them to get additional touches, to help move them through in sales, what we would call the pipeline. And obviously here in marketing, what we are calling the funnel. I hope you enjoyed this episode. As always, I would really appreciate if you had a minute to spare, I know that there's way more people that listen to his podcast than the number of ratings I have, at least on Apple. So whatever app he listens to on, I'd really appreciate just a quick five or 10 seconds to introduce this podcast to others do a review. It really is what fuels sort of the algorithms that we have on Apple and the other podcast players, it would just be a tremendous help. And I would really be appreciative if you could spend your precious time to do that on my behalf. I also as usual, want to thank those people around the world that Listen, this podcast, this podcast has always ranked better in countries outside of the United States than in the United States. And I have no problem with that whatsoever. I'm very proud of the international community that I built. I want to thank those in Great Britain in Germany, Spain, Japan, New Zealand. I also see India, Brazil, China, and we have been doing better in the United States charts as well. So, you know, not only people in those countries, but especially people in those countries. I know that you're listening a lot to this podcast and helping driving it up the rankings. In the marketing channel for Apple podcasts. I wanted to thank you very, very much. And once again, if you're looking for some accountability, some feedback, some training, access to myself, a little bit of help when you don't know who to turn to visibly digital marketing. I really hope you'll check out my membership site. Neal Schaffer comm slash membership, we'll put the links in the show notes as well. Until next time, my friends, make it a great virtual social day. Bye Bye everybody. And SEO nada