Thank you for continuing to read the full article.
As you read through it, note number 3. It’s important because this is a new funnel that is still being set up.
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1: Don’t do what the gurus say.
You know the guys.
Ferrari driving, jet-setting supposed millionaires that all tell you how to build a massive list and make a mint… Smiling in the Facebook adverts with a cityscape backdrop behind them. Or showing off their success on the tropical beach with golden sand stretching out behind them…
Often reminiscing about when they had nothing … But now look at them! And of course, if they can do it, so can you…
The really successful ones had a HUGE advantage … that you don’t.
And that is … they started a long time ago. When it was far easier.
- Opt-ins were cheap.
- Joining an email list was a novelty for prospects; whose inboxes weren’t overflowing with a deluge of so-called ‘helpful’ emails screaming “buy my offer!!”.
- There was far less competition and people didn’t so readily see sales pages for what they were…
Meaning the gurus have built an audience of avid followers giving them social proof to leverage. Plus they have the money to invest in massive advertising campaigns and a network of partners to cross-promote products with.
But because you’re starting from pretty much scratch, you’ve got two hurdles you need to instantly overcome.
First, the people outside your network won’t trust you … simply because they don’t know you…
When they see your adverts and opt-ins they will have all sorts of ideas go through their heads. Such as: “Stranger danger! No such thing as a free lunch. What’s the scam here? What do they want from me? Another annoying advert from a wannabe selling regurgitated rubbish”
Even worse… before you even get to that stage you’ve got an even BIGGER problem you need to crack.
That is, secondly, people are drowning in information and stimuli overload…
Regardless of the time of the day or whatever they’re doing, something or someone wants a piece of them.
Sponsored posts and banner ads scream for their attention online, billboards as they drive by, adverts in the in-flight magazines and business journals. At work, phone calls interrupt them, text messages beep, emails ping, work colleagues ask questions. And it doesn’t stop at home. The partner wants to talk, their kids crave for attention, the adverts on the TV or radio chirp away in the background…
The list is endless…
So the only way for our brains to cope is to focus on exactly what is relevant at that exact moment.
We have to filter everything else out … Else it would be overwhelming.
So how does this relate to what you’ve tried in the past?
Simply, because your prospects are busy. Meaning you’ve got to grab them in such a way that breaks their attention and interrupts whatever they are doing…
… is where many of the gurus and so-called experts so badly let you down…
You hear them exclaim that grabbing attention is all about the headline. Then they give you a handful of formulas to work with. And just tell you to just fill in the blanks.
Such as “How to X by Y without any suffering the pain of Z.”
So you end up with something like “How to win more high value consulting clients using the internet without the pain of having to do anything techy”.
Or “The top X mistakes that lead to Y unless you Z”.
But you’ve probably seen a million adverts like this….
Or rather, I should say, you saw it the first few times. Maybe even clicked on it in the past. But since then, your brain has filtered it out a million times. Often so well you don’t even consciously register it anymore.
Meaning that if you tried to use these kinds of messages a few years ago to build your lists, it probably would’ve worked.
But now… it most likely won’t. Not to the level you need… Because your prospects are experts at filtering out what they’ve seen before.
And far more sceptical too!
Meaning they won’t click on the ad. Or if they do, and they see a lead page saying something similar to what other people have said before, they will simply click away. Back to Facebook so they can watch another cute kitten video. And donating another quid or two of yours to Mark Zuckerberg’s coffers.
Leaving you frustrated and with less money left in the pot.
You see, it’s not the headline that is important…
Or the fact that you need to highlight emotional benefits and the pain that they will encounter if they don’t listen to you…
It’s about being different.
And sharing something they’ve not heard before. Something highly relevant to their situation. And something they can’t compare to anything else.
2: The slippery slope
Joseph Sugarman, one of the world’s top direct response copywriters said: “Your readers should be so compelled to read your copy that they cannot stop reading until they read all of it as if sliding down a slippery slope.”
And it’s exactly the same with your entire online sales process.
From the initial advert right through to your new customers reaching for their wallets when they are convinced enough to buy your product, With each stage should being a smooth or seamless transition, congruent to the last.
The process should be designed in such a way to build trust by showing that you know what you are talking about. And it should help solve a problem or, at the very least, show them why something hasn’t worked in the past.
And unfortunately, this is where it often goes wrong.
Because of the complexity of putting together a smooth sales funnel, it is easy to lose the flow. Or make mistakes and cut corners in the rush to try and get something to work. Especially if feeling a little desperate because it is not working.
Ending up with an opt-in that attracts an audience of prospects with a specific problem. But are then engaged with a series of emails that are kind of in the subject area, but not quite. And sent to a sales page for a loosely related product that the audience isn’t interested in.
A real-life example I saw only recently was an opt-in along the lines of “the top mistakes N made when advertising on Facebook” which then pretty much instantly took you to a sales page for a product on “making money with banner ads”.
Both to do with advertising.
However, if you’ve opted in to discover the top sins that are killing your Facebook campaign, then you would be more likely to put your hand in your pocket for a product related to Facebook. Rather than how to use banners ad on different and unrelated platforms…
This may sound obvious. But it is an easy trap to fall in to.
So you need to keep your funnel simple and focused on a specific area. And it is even more important nowadays because people are bombarded with distractions and adverts from every direction.
Which is why the next point’s so important.
3: Who are they? Really.
So lemme ask you a question…
Thinking back to your previous attempts at getting your funnel working…
How well did you know your prospects?
The people you wanted to engage.
Could you tell me what their dreams are?
As well as their fears. Their interests. Their level of knowledge. Their experience. Their aspirations. What people say to them. What adverts they see. What values they have. What they’ve tried before to solve their problem.
And I don’t mean at a surface level here.
Because the only way you can create a slippery slope that engages and qualifies prospects to buy your products. To be part of your mission. And future legacy… is to be in their heads.
At a deep level.
So that when they read your website, watch your videos and engage with your message they think “they understand me”.
And I’ll be open with you, it is so difficult to get right.
Because it is all one way.
And most people find doing all the research a ball ache. So they only pay lip service to the task of creating an avatar.
Skipping it as a task. Thinking I know them well enough.
Which is a mistake…..
Because get this stage wrong and your project is doomed from the start.
Most of my avatars for the different projects have taken days of research to get right. Interviewing my clients’ prospects, reading forums, working directly with my clients out in the field, reading related books and analysing competitors’ websites. Until I can eventually distil it all down to a detailed character profile.
You see, most people will consume content online without ever giving direct feedback on what they think. And if even you send them a survey, their answers are not necessarily what you want to hear. It’s what they want to tell you.
Meaning that if something doesn’t resonate, they just walk.
And they won’t tell you why.
Unfortunately, this means that if they detect an incongruence in your messaging or you go off track, they’re back to the videos of cute kittens on Facebook … or watching TV.
And it might even be something subconscious that has put them off… and they don’t even know why.
Which is why the MVF is so important.
Most often unsuccessful opt-in or lead pages are put together on a subject that the author thinks will resonate with their audience. They then spend ages creating some sort of detailed PDF or video that they think their prospect audience will crave.
Maybe even spending money on graphic design. Or hiring a professional video company to create a polished film on the subject.
Then excitedly they launch it. Regularly checking to see how many clicked they’ve had. And prospects opting in…
It doesn’t work.
Somewhere it’s broken.
Maybe no one clicks the advert. Or they don’t opt-in. Or don’t open the emails. Or don’t watch the video to the end. Or don’t take any action to get in touch or buy the product.
All because they made an incorrect assumption at the beginning of the project. And this is because working online is all very “one way”. Meaning your research and prospect profiling is critical.
And unfortunately when profiling we tend to taint the true picture with what we think the prospect desires, feels and fears. Our rose-tinted glasses affects our judgement. And we end up wasting valuable time and money on something that doesn’t work.
So to prevent you wasting endless time and money on a funnel that was flawed in the first place, the answer is to use an MVF or Minimal Viable Funnel.
An MVF is where you test every stage before going too far into the next stage.
You take baby steps.
And an agile approach to the entire project.
So, the first step is to do your research. This you can’t skimp on.
Then you have an idea of the avatar or profile, you create a number of adverts around an area which you think will resonate.
Each advert takes the prospect through to a lead page that is quickly put together from your prospect profile. And create a simple payload or bribe that will appease anyone if they opt in but which is quick to create – because you don’t know if it will work yet…
Then turn the advertising on and see what happens. Just to test.
Say £5 or £10 per day per advert.
Until a number of people start clicking through. Then use the gathered intelligence to improve the funnel by correcting any mistakes or incorrect assumptions.
Don’t make sweeping changes. Just optimise a little at a time.
And use the vast array of analytical systems available nowadays to help you see what your prospects are doing…
Because they truly are mind-blowing! From heat maps that show you how far someone has scrolled down a page through to tracking software that can show you videos of what your web visitors are exactly doing and by showing you in real time how they scroll up and down as well as where they point the mouse.
By seeing how far the visitor gets down the lead page will give you an insight into how well you’ve connected… And if people keep stopping at a specific point and leaving, that’s where you lose them in your message.
So focus on it and fix it.
Keep massaging it until they start opting into your page in numbers.
And then check…
Are they the right people!
Are they who you want?
Because you might be hoping to attract business development managers of larger companies and think your message is crafted exactly to them, but in fact, you end up with micro businesses owners.
So the easiest way of validating this is by doing some Sherlock type investigations. Search for their names and email addresses and try to find their LinkedIn profiles.
Because if they are the wrong people on your list, they whatever you try to help them with later may not work.
And only then when you are confident that it’s going to work do you go onto the next stage of honing the download or the video you send them to.
4 The rest is coming …
And now you’ve reached the end of this document.
For the moment.
Because this is my MVF.
So watch this space. And I’ll email you when the rest of the document is here…