When I shared on social that I pitch to companies and entrepreneurs, I definitely expected questions, but the one I generally heard the most was “But we’re in a digital space, do we still need to pitch? I thought people come to us?” and before we dive in today, I just want to tackle this so you know as well what I shared with her about this, because fair question!
- You can do absolutely anything you choose. People in this space can sit back and let business find them like a needle in a haystack, but that’s just simply not how I live my life you know? My job is responsible not only for people in my life but for the people who work inside of my business. I don’t have the luxury (because I chose it and prefer it this way! not being a victim here lol) to hope and pray business comes in. To keep the doors open, to scale, to reach masses and help women the way that I want to, I have to be more active than passive, more involved in my sales than hoping I get lucky. So for me, I choose to have both, but rely on my pitching to make the big bucks that keep the ball rolling.
- In this digital space, a funnel is pushed so hard — and rightfully so! Build a freebie, write some nurture emails, that sell a passive product, and make a ton of free content around that freebie! Sounds great right? I mean in theory, but how much time do you have to be present on content to have an engaged following? I would say nearly every day for six months. So then – let’s take a look at that freebie. Whose making that freebie? Do you need professional photography for it to stand out? Who is writing the emails? If you have to hire a copywriter, that’s going to add up. That funnel? Who’s building the landing page? And then once it’s up and running, you have to track it like a hawk. Where do people fall off? Are you running A/B tests on your emails and landing pages? Are you tracking customer journey from content->freebie->paid product to see how you can reduce that timeline? It’s a ton of work and I think its irresponsible to say that funnels buy nice cars and vacations when they’re extremely laborious and cost intensive.
- Funnels are a tech job, sales is a people job. So many clients later come to me feel like they’re just staring at numbers all day understanding the technology of their funnel and miss the human to human interaction. if you don’t love tech, funnels are going to be tough for you love. If you’re a people person who leads with your heart, I bet you’ll actually like pitching more than you think. It feels better, the rewards feel more earned, and you see the difference you made in front of you when you work with a client.
My point here – funnels are a f*ck ton of work. I would rather send 100 emails a day, then spend $5k-$10k + endless hours tracking to make my money. I now know how to pitch and convert my dream clients where, if I’m in a bind? I can make an extra $5k today. A funnel can’t do that for you, since to perfect a funnel you need months and months of time behind you. So if this is my stance why are we spending time on a digital funnel this week?
Because there’s a lid to every pot. Maybe you want a funnel. Maybe that method is better for you. But also, it’s best to know both ways, so that you can have both support you. I use both, but I let my funnel create bonus money, versus relying on it for my business. So this week will dive into the best practices of funnel building and how to create one that works for you.
Step 1: Create a stellar freebie that connects to your services.
In a standard funnel, a potential client or consumer will see a piece of content on IG, TikTok, Pinterest, FB or other, be led to a free download or training, receive pre-written emails over a certain period of time, and then be prompted to sell. The biggest way to win with the freebie is to make one that feels painful not to sell. “But Ashli, aren’t I missing out on money by giving it away for free?” No you’re actually creating my favorite thing: chatter.
There is nothing worse than downloading -what looks like- a helpful free guide or training, only to realize it’s gatekeeping, it’s not helpful at all, and it’s left you more confused. There’s no better way to create sales than to create a strong freebie that they know you could be selling because it’s just that good, but gave them actual real answers.
PRO TIP: Your freebie should be in some way connected or similar to your paid service or product. This ensures that they’re your target market. For instance, if you sell Dubsado builds, I beg you not to have affirmations as your freebie. What about 5 ways to add to the customer experience by showing care for your client in the customer journey?
Psst: Join The Doers for a free webinar on Wednesday the 17th at 5pm EST with my Build a High Converting Quiz template to create a quiz in your business.
Step 2: Write nurture content to fill the gaps between download + upsell.
Once they download your free guide, training, e-book, template, etc., they should receive the next few emails (this is general guidance – and there are many opinions of how to do this. This is my opinion):
- Here you go! – don’t sell, don’t even share too much in this email. Deliver what you said you would, and they’ll respect you enough to open email 2.
- 1-2 days later, send an email introducing yourself, giving a lay of the land, and inviting them to introduce themselves back whether through email or social media.
- 1-2 days later, send an email checking in with the freebie. “How’s it going? Have you gotten started yet?” Then go a step further. Maybe you share the best way to implement. Or give 3 more tips. Or reveal a case study of how you did the exact same thing and how it positively impacted your business.
- 1-2 days later, invite them to a paid service/product. This is when you sell yourself by sharing that if they need extra support, if they want advice or insight, or custom solutions, to download your digital product and/or book a call or service with you.
Some people love a longer nurture sequence, and that’s perfectly fine. I have not seen any success in my own business or with my clients’ businesses with longer sequences, so we stand by this method. If you have no funnel, this is a great place to start.
Step 3: A/B Test your emails + landing page(s) for optimization.
Once you have a funnel up, let’s optimize optimize optimize. Now this isn’t something you’ll do once. A funnel is far from “set it and forget it”. You’ll want to keep an eye on the following metrics or opportunities for better utilization of your new funnel.
- A/B test your emails with different subject lines, different body text/length, and even CTA buttons vs links. I know a lot of you use Flodesk so this won’t be able to happen in Flodesk, but I recommend if you are really leaning into a funnel, you switch to an email provider built for that.
- A/B test your landing page. You can either build two in your website builder and put the different links in different A/B test emails, or you could use a funnel building software that allows you to easily create A/B tests for landing pages. I’d pay attention to heading text, image usage, and messaging.
- Track the customer journey from free content through until purchase to minimize the timeline. For instance, if Courtney takes my quiz, and opens most emails, and later purchases something from the funnel emails, and in that time it takes 26 days, my goal may be to bring that down to 20, then 14, then 10.
Funnels are not for the faint of heart – but for me I love them because I’m a data, numbers, psychology girl. I also don’t rely on them, because it does feel like a gamble when it comes to sales. The awkwardness of sending an email is something I will always choose, but I do think having both makes you a bit of an impenetrable force.