482: Sales Funnel Strategies That Will Convert This Year – 2023 Marketing Mastery #3

It’s day 3 of my 2023 Marketing Mastery series, and today I’m discussing funnel strategies. More specifically, sales funnel strategies that WILL convert this year. Live launches, lead generation, downloads and bundles, free webinars, how-to programs, and paid workshops…it’s enough to make your head spin if you don’t have clear direction. 

I cannot stress enough just how important it is to find the right strategy and tailor it to meet the unique needs of your business. If you aren’t quite sure what strategies you need to implement this year, tune in! You won’t leave this episode without a game plan.

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READ THE EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Emily Hirsh:

So you can look at, okay, how can I actually solve a small problem or give clarity to something that somebody is confused on in order to create an ideal customer for my main offer?

You are listening to the Not for Lazy Marketers Podcast, episode number 481.

Hello everybody. Welcome back to the Not for Lazy Marketers Podcast. We are doing episode number two this week of our series, of our 2023 Marketing Mastery series. So every single day this week, I’m going to actually release an episode and they will all be around what is working right now in your marketing, but also what you really need to pay attention to and focus in on so that you can master it, so that you can actually get results and actually move the needle in your business. Because for a lot of you, successful marketing is the missing link right now in your business. So I’m coming at you from Colorado after a full day on the slopes and playing with my kids in the snow, and now I’m hiding in the master bedroom of our Airbnb to record this. And it’s just funny, like I just am so grateful, like, so grateful for this life to be able to travel and have this freedom and then still be able to create this content and show up in this way.

And I just, I’m so grateful and grateful for you guys, grateful for you guys tuning in and for the messages I get when I do these series and already got messages today. So thank you. All right, so today’s episode, the second episode in this series, I’m gonna talk about content and I’m gonna specifically talk about organic content, valuable content, and how to use that to strategically convert people into buyers. And I recently did an episode about content on the podcast maybe about two weeks ago, a week and a half ago. So I did just talk about this, but I feel like as I was putting together this series that I couldn’t put this together without an episode about content because it is so critical and crucial to your success. So I have a handful of things we’re gonna go through and talk about. And the goal with this episode is for you to just take a step back, think about how you show up, how you’re creating content, how you’re delivering value, how you’re building your audience, and where there is opportunity for you to improve.

And anytime you listen to my podcast, what I want you to do is have one actual action item that you can walk away with leaving the episode. One thing that gave you clarity, one thing that you can change, one thing that you can implement, because action is where the results lie, not just information. Okay, let’s dive in. So the first thing, the first thing is, I titled this, using your content to convert into convert buyers, right? And that’s what everybody wants to do. But one thing you have to get really clear on is understanding that in order for that to happen, your goal with content creation has to actually be consistency first, like the actual conversion of sales and new customers that you can directly correlate with content. And when I say content, by the way, I mean a podcast, videos, YouTube channel, social media, any place you are creating valuable, free content and you’re releasing it and you are putting it out there, and it is building an audience and it’s building trust and it’s building relationships for you.

The goal with content is consistency. And here is the biggest thing that is so hard for people to wrap their minds around. So much of marketing, you have this direct correlation in KPIs that you can track. So you have, okay, I got a hundred leads and two bought, or I paid, you know, a hundred dollars and I got 15 leads. Like whatever. It’s right with your content creation, you don’t get those KPIs because it is impossible for you to fully see how somebody reacted when they, when they watched your content, right? Like if someone’s scrolling the feed and they saw a clip of you and then they watch your YouTube video, or they listen to your podcast, you don’t know the exact journey that they’re gonna go on to becoming a buyer. And so therefore the goal needs to be consistency because I can tell you, if you show up consistently this year and you just make your goal, the number one thing I wanna do is I wanna show up consistently, and I wanna create content that is so good.

People would pay for it, and it’s gonna stand out and it’s going to give people takeaways. It’s going to give them actions, it’s going to make a difference in their life. And I’m gonna do that every single week. You will make progress this year, period. Okay? The next thing is to make sure you create focus within the content that you create. And so this is another big mistake that people make, is they know they need to make content. They know they need to, to show up, they know they need to be consistent, and they often times get really overwhelmed and try to be on every single platform or on multiple platforms, and they don’t have a team and they burn themselves out. They try making YouTube videos and turning that into a podcast and then posting every day on social media and trying to be on four different platforms.

And it’s all these, like, you should, should, should be doing this. And then they burn themselves out and what happens? They end up doing nothing. Okay? So the first thing is understanding what is your focus with your content? Like if I was like, Hey, you have to choose one platform to grow this year, just one, what would it be? And the answer should be based on where are your people? Where are they hanging out? How are they consuming content? There are some that really love podcasts, there are others who really love video, and therefore YouTube would be a good match. Like, which one is better for your people? Which one is better for you to create content and show up authentically and confidently? And which one are you gonna go all in on? And then on that note, it’s also creating focus within the actual content topics and your pillars.

So I’ve talked about this before, but one thing that people make a huge mistake on with their content is they create random content. So they will be like, okay, I feel like talking about this today, and then I’m gonna talk about this. And I see entrepreneurs do this where all of a sudden they’re talking to multiple ideal customer avatars and they’re talking about multiple problems and they’re sharing like personal development and leadership, and then they’re sharing, you know, their, their skillset. Like for me it can be marketing and, and they’re, it’s very scattered. And so about 90% of the time, not a hundred percent, but about 90% of the time, if somebody fell upon your content, scrolling the feed, somebody shared it, whatever, and they saw a video, they saw a podcast, they saw a post, whatever, they should know what you do. They should know the problem that you solve.

And if there’s confusion about that, then that is an issue. And I’m not saying a hundred percent because I do think there’s a percentage, like five to 10% of leeway here of the fact that when you grow an audience, sharing personal things, sharing behind the scenes, sharing things that aren’t directly related to the problem you solve, but help build relationships with your audience and create trust and connection is allowed. And that’s why you’ll see me often on my podcast. It’s about 10% of the time I will have an episode that’s more about my own development, that is about leadership, that’s about my team, that’s about a mistake I’ve made in business. And the reason is, one, I really enjoy sharing that and helping people learn from it. And I lean into what I feel very aligned creating. But number two, it helps people build trust with me.

It helps you know me, it helps you know my company, know my team and want to hire us. So the next thing you can do if you don’t have this is ask yourself, what are your three content pillars? And you can also think of these as categories, but they should be topics, things that you are going to bucket your content in. And this helps keep you focused. So I’ve shared this before, but mine is marketing strategy, marketing messaging, and paid Facebook ads or paid media in general. Those are my three buckets. And 90% of the time I stay within those buckets. And if you were to go analyze my podcast, you’d see, I mean, I don’t track this exactly like 90%, but you would see that probably every nine outta 10 episodes falls in one of these categories. And also, it’s okay to have one of these categories get a little bit more attention than others.

Like I put a lot into strategy because it’s the biggest hole that you guys have. So the next thing in, in being strategic with your content to summarize those two points is creating focus, creating focus on what platform are you gonna be consistent on? And then what are your content pillars and ca or categories and how are you going to hold your content to that so that it’s focused? And those categories should be, if I came across those categories, then I would know the problem you solve, what your business does. And I would understand that in order to know if I should hire you or I should buy your product, right? There shouldn’t be confusion. Imagine if someone brand new came across your podcast or your YouTube channel or your Instagram profile, would, if you were to go look at it right now, would they be clear on what you do and what problem you solve and who you are as a business?

And if the answer is no, you need to create some clarity within your content. Okay? The next thing, this is huge, okay, this was probably one of the biggest takeaways when I was doing my bootcamp, and that is looking at your content and looking at your social media and the way that you’re building your audience and understanding the goal with that content. And the goal with what you create and produce is to actually create ideal customers. So you can look at, okay, how can I actually solve a small problem or give clarity to something that somebody is confused on in order to create an ideal customer for my main offer? So for me, one of the biggest things is taking an understanding that you guys don’t oftentimes have a very solid marketing strategy, and that is a big problem for you. But if you had clarity and you could see the path to creating success with your marketing and that you’d be able to spend money and make money back, you become a more ideal customer for me.

So I create a lot of content about giving you that confidence, giving you that clarity, and giving you that support. Because ultimately, even if it takes a year or two years, I wanna create ideal customers for my company. And so when you look at your content in the topics that you put out, ask yourself, what are small micro problems or small pieces of clarity that I could bring my audience to create ideal customers for my offer? If we look at a more B2C model, let’s say in the nutrition space, well, what do you think the biggest thing is that’s gonna hold people back from signing up for your program or your coaching? It is the belief that it’s going to be successful for them, that they can do it, that they’re not an anomaly and it won’t work for them. That this diet, this type of diet or this type of protocol or whatever it is, is going to work.

And so your content is going to create that belief, which ultimately is going to help you create ideal customers. Okay? All right. Now I have some more like tactical predictions for this year that I wanna talk about. So those are very strategic as it comes to content. So we talked about getting clear on your goal, understanding consistency is the goal that there are KPIs you can measure with content and engagement and social media, but really consistency is one of those things. And asking yourself, am I showing up consistently? Then the next thing is having that focus, creating those content pillars and understanding that your content is supposed to create ideal customers within itself. Now, I have some predictions for this year just to be more tactical. So first of all, I think, and I know that, and this is probably good news for a lot of you guys, the dancing lip syncing, trending audio reels and tos are phasing out.

They already have started to phase out. And the more authentic content, meaning you recorded it, original audio, it’s a tip, it is a voiceover of something. Maybe you used a song, a trending audio song over text, but that initial like draw to TikTok was dancing. Like it was a lot of more entertainment dancing. And it is, there’s still plenty of entertainment on TikTok, but those type of videos are really on their way out. And if you think about why, and you look at the experience on social media, once somebody starts seeing the same video as they scroll like 20 times, don’t you start to ignore it? I know right now I, if I was to go on Instagram or TikTok and I was to scroll through the videos, I scroll very quickly through those ones that are like, everybody recreated it right with the same audio because I’ve already seen it.

It’s not funny to me anymore. It’s not fascinating to me there, there’s no connection to it. But when I see an authentic story or a piece of advice or showing me something cool or giving me a tip or making me think different, I listen to that. And so that is really good news for content creators because this original content and this ability to create and kind of make your own rules about how you’re going to connect with your audience is really going to win this year. I know Instagram came back recently and was like, oh, we actually like photos <laugh>, you know, I don’t know if it ever went out. So I have seen that like a lot of text-based posts are working really well. So like those carousel posts that have text on each slide and give advice and tips throughout them, those have always done well for myself and clients.

And so it’s just kind of a lesson of like, Instagram might say something and obviously yes, the algorithms are strong and they’re controlling the algorithms and we, we want to think that what they say is accurate advice. But at the end of the day, like screw the algorithms, the value content and what people respond to and feel a connection to and feel that value came out of it is always going to win. So on that note, just the, the dancing reels trending, audios are going out. More authentic content meaning like you created it, you recorded the audio, you did a voiceover, that creativity is really being rewarded. The next thing is raw and real, like less filtered and definitely not overproduced videos. I can tell you hands down, we have tested this so many times with ads over the last several years. A video that is done in a studio or with a high-end camera or it looks overproduced always, almost always does worse than one recorded with an iPhone and outside casual.

Now, when I said this in my bootcamp, somebody asked it a funny question. They’re like, well, how Ron Real? Like, what if the audio is terrible and the camera’s all shaky? Obviously it needs to be a good quality that someone can consume it and actually hear what you’re saying or watch the video. But think about it. Why do you think Ron Real does better in the feed? Why do you think a video with your iPhone is gonna do better than a video that you pay more money for to create a higher quality, better looking video? It’s because it’s gonna stand out like an eyesore in the feed and it’s also going to raise red flags. Humans are designed to ignore advertisements, right? Like we are trained when you hear something come on the radio, which who listens to the radio anymore, whatever. But here it come on the radio, you turn it down commercial on the tv, mute it, right?

You see a billboard, ignore it. If you’re on Facebook, you’re on Instagram, same thing. Tiktok. If it seems like a blaring advertisement, you’re going to ignore it. And so if you see content, whether it’s paid ads or organic, and it looks like it’s an eyesore and it stands out and it doesn’t seem like all the rest of the content that you’re seeing from your friends and people you follow naturally, you don’t have as much trust in it. It doesn’t fit in with the feed. Okay? So this is good news too. You don’t have to go hire a videographer, you don’t have to get fancy with your equipment, you don’t have to get fancy with your editing. Literally the iPhone and the mic on the iPhone is good enough for videos. And I have data to prove time and time again that they actually outperform the other videos.

And I’m even going as far as saying, I think this is true for photos too. So I’ve always been somebody who got photo shoots. My team wants me to do it every quarter. I never do it every quarter. It’s like every six months because I hate it <laugh> because I have to get my makeup done and it like takes a whole day and I just hate it. But I think if I just made more time to like grab some b roll on my phone or take some selfie shots, which I’d never do that, but whatever, it would probably do better than my overly done photos because the direction we’re going in is that raw and real people wanna feel like they know you and you’re their friend. And people like also connecting with people that they feel like they’re alike. That is a proven fact. And there’s a lot, I’m reading the book right now, influence oh, I can’t remember the author, the authors, if you just type it, it’s a very like, well-known old book, but there’s tons of studies about how people will actually buy and take action if they feel like they are like that person.

And that is a proven fact. So when you go to create social media and you show the behind the scenes of your life, look at who your followers are naturally it’s people who share your values, who are like you because they’re attracted to that. So within your content, that is what people wanna see. They want to see the real you. And that can be many different ways. Like for some people that is showing up and and showing things that are really hard when they’re hard and it’s being really transparent and it’s being really vulnerable. It doesn’t have to be that way. It just means drop the masks, drop the filters and, and be real. And that’s the direction it’s going. Okay. a couple other things. So this is another kind of tactical prediction that I have, which is I think longer form content is coming back.

And I think that that is why, if you have it on your vision to invest in YouTube, I do think that that is a smart move. We actually offer YouTube ads now for our highest level clients. I still think the best place to start is Facebook. I know this is a content episode, but the best place to start is Facebook and Instagram. It is the least expensive, the most people there the best to reach. But if you’re looking to expand, I do think YouTube for paid is a good idea to test. However, from an organic content place, I do think YouTube is gonna grow a lot. I think in the next three years it’s gonna replace net Netflix and streaming sites. And I think people are gonna take their entire courses and material and give them away on YouTube to build relationships and trust and sell people into their core thing.

That’s just my prediction. I think we’ve gotten to a place where content has gotten as short as it possibly can with 15 second reels, it can’t really get shorter. And so people are starting to kind of find a middle ground where they’re okay watching a little bit longer of a video if it’s super valuable and if it’s super engaging. And so I, I don’t, you know, this doesn’t mean just run to YouTube. Youtube is a very big investment, not just ti money, but time. Mostly time in actu producing videos coming up with really good content. The, the title of the videos, the thumbnails, like there’s a lot that goes into it, which is why I haven’t launched my channel fully yet. I did, and I pulled it back last year if you guys watched, because I was like, I can’t focus on all this right now.

 But it is on my list for this year, but I have a team, you know, and you gotta look at the resources I have and I still haven’t done that. With that said, I do think that the free content you put out, the important thing to note here is the free content you put out is the the what, and you’re selling the how. Don’t worry about giving away too much because people will always buy having their handheld being handed a blueprint, having steps organized for them, and the people who are winning are the ones who aren’t really holding back and are willing to put out a lot of content and over-deliver in value with the what, not the how, because that’s overwhelming and that doesn’t serve your audience. So if you like longer form content and you like creating it and you have ideas and inspiration around that, I do think it’s gonna come back this year and already is.

And I think people are gonna really leverage that. Okay, I just have a few more notes I wanted to share. One, like one biggest thing is, is creativity. This just kept coming to me as I was planning out this episode. That the brands who are the most creative and actually set aside time for coming up with ideas for their reels, coming up with ideas for the content they put out and trying to be innovative, trying to set the trends instead of follow them. Like so much of TikTok and Instagram reels and content over the last year to two years became about like, oh, just jump on that trending thing. And I think that is getting old. I think people are getting too smart for that. And so if you can think about putting some time in your calendar, this is what I would recommend doing is setting aside like an hour for just creative brainstorming in how you could create connection and show up for your audience.

And then don’t be afraid to just go try a bunch of things, especially with content like you cannot lose. It’s not that you’re putting a lot of money into it. Like there are podcast episodes I record that I think are gonna be awesome and they don’t do as well. Then I record one and I’m like, that’s our most downloaded episode, right? And so if I’m not trying a bunch of things and constantly trying to see the feedback that I get on them, then I’m not learning what’s working or not working. And so be creative, set aside an hour a week of just ideation for your content. How could I create a reel this week or two that would really hit home that would really connect emotionally with my audience? How could I deliver this content differently? Like, what could I do differently? And set aside that time and then just go try things.

Like especially with content, it disappears after a little bit of time. Like it’s not gonna be there forever. You’re gonna post something and a week later people are gonna forget about it. So go try bunch of things and see what works and, and creating the ability to stand out through your content by getting people to go, you know, there’s a few pro profiles that I follow that I save their posts, that I love what they put out, that they really, to me, are doing such an excellent job at setting trends, but also standing out because of the high value free content that they create. And so that’s kinda the goal I think all of us should be shooting for, for our businesses. Okay, the last like two things that I had noted here for you guys is I do think that if you don’t have plans or have currently a podcast or a YouTube channel, not both, but one of those you should highly consider starting one this year because both of those are just such great ways to build relationships with your audience, to connect with your audience, to deliver valuable content and nurture, nurture your audience.

I wouldn’t do both at the same time. I know I’m gonna get this question, what about recording my YouTube videos and putting it on my podcast? You can totally do that. I don’t have data to back if that’s good or bad. I know that people do that. However, I just feel like both of those platforms are different consumption, like different types of people consume podcasts than YouTube. For example, I will listen to podcasts all day long. My husband will watch hour long YouTube videos and I would never do that, right? So it’s different people. And so whenever that happens, you have to create an experience for those platforms. And so that’s why I’ve never taken my podcast and put it on YouTube because I just, I just have not felt in alignment with that. And so I think in some cases, totally you can totally do that.

And at the least it helps you get clips when you record videos for your podcast for social media. And I think it could be good, but I don’t think that is like an easy shortcut. I think one of those, if you were to do that, I think one would probably do better over the other, whichever one you’re intentionally creating it for. So if it’s like it’s a podcast, but I just video it and stick it on YouTube, your podcast will likely do better. If it’s a YouTube video and you just strip the audio and you stick it on your podcast, your YouTube channel will probably do better. So I think if you don’t have one of those two channels going, this would be the year to seriously consider it and then just go start it and make consistency the goal. Make consistency the goal, don’t care about the numbers in the beginning and just show up for your audience.

Okay, the last thing I had noted here that I wanted to say is that in this era of digital marketing, attention is currency garnering your audience’s attention, getting new people’s attention on your brand. Because how much are people on their phones? How much are they on Instagram? How much are they on TikTok? It’s a lot. And so if you are able to garner that attention and get their attention and have even five minutes a day on you, you live in their brain, you have real estate in their brain, and when it comes time for them to invest in solving the problem that they have that you solve, they will choose you. And high value content is how you garner attention and how you create that currency in your business. So if you don’t have an intentional content strategy, now is the time to really consider that.

This is partly why we’ve also added, I haven’t really talked about this, but we’ve added a service for our clients as a, as an oli carte package option of coming up with content ideas and actually creating those ideas, creating those angles, creating those topic ideas, making sure that they are in their three pillars, that they are created for creating their ideal customer and successfully doing that. Because I think that in an ideal world, like having content work with paid ads and all of your marketing working seamlessly is the best option. So if that’s of interest of you at all, and you’re like, oh, I didn’t realize that you guys helped with that, and at any point in this series you want to explore getting our support, you can go to help my strategy.com just to explore all the different options, the ways that we support businesses and if you would like to get that support in your business. All right, you guys. So this episode turned a little bit longer than I thought it would be, but that is my episode on content. And tomorrow, tomorrow’s bonus episode, which is episode three of five of the series, is going to be all about the sales funnels, the sales funnel strategies that are gonna convert this year in my predictions there. So I will see you back here tomorrow.

Thanks for listening to the Not for Lazy Marketers podcast. If you love this episode and want deeper support with your marketing, head over to helpmystrategy.com to see how Hirsh Marketing can help take your marketing to the next level no matter where you’re at today. We help our clients scale faster than ever, find hidden leaks in their funnel, experiment with new creative marketing strategies, and help their business explode and be more profitable than they ever dreamed possible. Head over to helpmystrategy.com and see if you qualify for a free strategy audit with Team Hirsh.