Last week I introduced you to our freelancer friend, Michael.
He had just recently hit a huge “money milestone” in his business and was taking some well-earned time off to relax and celebrate. But after the buzz of his win wore off, Michael got to thinking about what a successful business really looked like to him.
After an eye-opening moment of self-reflection, he realized that even though he was doing well financially, his business wasn’t affording him the freedom and flexibility he wanted. Over the last few months, his workload has become increasingly demanding.
As a result:
- He hasn’t been reading or exercising at all
- He hasn’t been seeing his wife enough, and
- He rarely makes time for friends or a social life
He was sick of not having any time to wind-down, work on his personal projects, or think about what’s next for his business. And now that he was making more money, he was finally going to do something about it.
Paying for the upgrade
In the early stages of business, we tend to have more time than money. And our goals reflect that; we do the things that increase our immediate income first.
But what happens when we break free of the beginner struggles and enter a more fruitful financial period?
When a lack of money is replaced by a lack of time, you have to shift your focus to making it faster and easier to do what you do. As a company of one, this means giving yourself permission to upgrade your systems.
Moving forward (faster) with automation and advertising
Over the next few weeks, I’m sharing a simple system for upgrading the way you complete two critical tasks in your business — getting more leads and making more sales. Because these types of business-enhancing upgrades aren’t free, we’ll be using advertising and automation to do it.
If you’re just joining us now, you should check out the first post in this series (here) We talk about how the strategy works and cover the first steps for getting started.
If you’ve completed the prep work and you’re ready to hear what comes next, keep reading right here. Because today we’re covering the next stage of our system upgrade; setting up an automated sales funnel (and using Facebook ads to power it).
Sales Funnels 101: Mapping your customer journey
To create and convert new leads you need a sales funnel setup. Without it, your investment in Facebook ads will be a waste.
But unlike many people think — your funnel doesn’t need to be complicated — it just needs to be effective. To make it effective you need to map your customer journey first.
Here are a few questions to help you do that:
- What happens when someone clicks on your ad? What do they see next?
- How does it entice them to submit their email address?
- Do they need to move out of Facebook to receive your offer?
- How do you deliver your lead magnet? What’s the next step once they get it?
- Once they’re on your list, what’s your offer how will you make it?
- How will you stay in touch and keep the lead warm?
- How to close an actual sale?
Don’t worry if you don’t have all the answers yet. This next part will give you a simple framework to work with.
Building the System: Five must-have elements for setting up your sales funnel
Instead of creating your sales funnel from scratch, you can use this simple five-step framework to form your foundation.
Funnel Step 1: Your Facebook lead ad
Your lead ad sits at the top of your funnel; it’s the attention-seeking step.
You want to attract and dazzle your audience with your offer. So much so that they stop scrolling, take a look at your ad, and feel compelled to hand over their email address.
Provided you’ve created an irresistible lead magnet, it’s not a difficult step to pull together. But you don’t need to worry about completing it just yet. Set the rest of your funnel up first.
(We’ll cover how to create a cleverly targeted and high-converting ad in the next part of this series.)
Funnel Step 2: Your Facebook lead form
Traditional sales funnels require a landing page. But that’s not the case when you’re using Facebook lead ads (which we are).
When someone clicks on your ad, rather than being sent to a landing page on your website, they’re presented with an opt-in form — inside Facebook — with their name and email pre-populated.
The advantage here is that by using Facebook’s built-in form you reduce friction in your funnel and save your user time. And by eliminating the landing page, you remove at least one extra task from your to-do list.
Funnel Step 3: Your website Thank You page
The “Thank You” page is the third touchpoint in your funnel. Your new customers have clicked through from your Facebook form and have landed on your website. They’re wondering what the next step is and it’s your job to tell them.
Here are a few questions to answer on your page:
- Do they need to do anything else? Like confirm their email to opt-in?
- Will you be sending them an email with their lead magnet?
- If it’s downloadable, will you provide a download link directly on the page?
- How can they contact you if they don’t receive your offer?
- Do you have an upsell you can easily slide in?
You can find some excellent tips and examples of Thank You pages here.
Funnel Step 4: Your lead-magnet delivery
When you make an offer you have to be able to deliver. Now that you’ve successfully sold your lead magnet (for the price of an email), the next step in your funnel is getting it to them.
Which is where email automation can start working its magic.
At this stage, you have to integrate your Facebook account with your email software. So that when someone submits their email address via your ad — the rest of your sales funnel is triggered.
Technology makes this step incredibly easily. You can use a tool like Drip to deliver your lead magnet without any issues (or effort on your part).
Here are a few things to remember when delivering your lead magnet via email:
- Keep the email short and to the point — give them what they signed up for and nothing else
- Never send an attachment, always a download link — you don’t want to get stuck in spam folders
- Don’t ask them to do anything other than to view your lead magnet — you can engage them again later. Now is not the time.
The idea is to keep this step simple — and all about the customer. You don’t want to spook them with any kind of sales talk or distract them with questions that stop them from looking at what you’ve gifted them.
The best performing lead magnet is one your prospect actually uses.
Funnel Step 5: Your follow-up email campaign
It’s important that once you get new leads that you don’t let them run cold. Which means you must have a strategy for keeping your new audience members engaged with you and your business.
Of course, how you nurture your list from this point is going to be specific to your product or service. But at the very least, your follow-up campaign should include consistent contact and an offer for your services.
Here are three ways to stay in contact with your new leads once they’re opted-in to your ad:
- Send them a sales focused autoresponder series — offering more valuable content and ending in a pitch for your services;
- Send your new subscribers a “cookie question — to start some dialogue and get to the bottom of their biggest problems;
- Add them to your weekly email newsletter — so you can continue providing value, soft-selling your services and even testing out some affiliate marketing
For email marketing to work (and for your advertising to be worth it), you need to build the relationship with your audience and keep them interested in what you do.
So talk to your list, find out what they want more of and get cracking on creating the kind of content they crave…and the kind of offers they’ll pay for.
As you scale your email list, you’ll find that some email software products will limit your ability to fully unfold your potential. Don’t let tools limit your success. Check out our list of best email marketing services for your small business.
STOP! Check off these tasks before spending any money on your ad
If you fail to get the prep work done and your sales funnel set up — you’re guaranteed to lose money with Facebook ads. This style of lead generation requires strategic preparation and planning. And includes multiple steps that cannot be skipped.
The initial setup is just as important for the success of your system, as the testing and experimenting that comes later. Over the next few days, focus on getting the framework of your funnel set up.
That way, when the next lesson of this series rolls around, you’ll be ready for the final steps for going live with your ad.
P.S. To save yourself time and keep your Facebook ad project on track — download this free four-week guide + checklist: How to Create Your First Facebook Ad from Scratch (no email required)
Additional reading in this series: