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Before we jump into sales funnel modeling, the 4th step in eliminating up to 95% of the “trial and error” in the digital marketing process, lets quickly recap on what you should have working for you so far:
1) You should know who your perfect customer is and have created their customer avatar by answering the questions in the Know Thy Prospect And Win Big blog post as best you can, given them a name and have written their story. Now every decision you make will be based on if it’s something this one type of person would like or respond to how you want them to. The DotCom Secrets book I told you about earlier will help tremendously with this as well.
2) The sales and marketing copy you create for your ads and funnels should be based on the principles discussed in the Copywriting That Converts To Sales blog post to give them the maximum effectiveness possible for engaging your perfect customer. Sales and marketing copy play one of the biggest roles in your ad and funnels being successful. If you want save yourself a lot of time and frustration by having it all written for you in under 10 minutes then check out the Funnel Scripts software mentioned at the end of the previously mentioned post.
3) Now that you know who you’re marketing to and what to say to them creating funnels will bring it all together so you can present your offers and lead your prospects down the scent trail all the way to purchasing your product or service. As a huge bonus, you don’t have to learn how to design webpages, program anything or pay a $1,000/mo. for all sorts of testing software, integrations or someone else to manage it for you. I’d recommend using the ClickFunnels software mentioned in the Marketing Funnels That Make Sales For You blog post. You’ll thank me later.
Once you have all that working for you, the next step is to ethically take advantage of all the blood sweat, tears and money that your competitors have shed to figure out what already works in your industry or niche… so you don’t have to. This process is often referred to as “funnel hacking” which is a term popularized by Russel Brunsson who also happens to be the founder of ClickFunnels mentioned throughout my various blog posts. He says that, “When you learn about each funnel type and understand how it works you can funnel hack that and model it, you can dramatically speed up your success. That’s the power of this whole funnel hacking process.”
In other words, don’t reinvent the wheel. Find a successful competitor and ethically model what they’re doing because chances are they’ve spent way more time figuring out what works than you ever could let alone would want to.
There are legal and ethical ways to do this so be sure to pay attention to the guidelines given below otherwise you risk losing your credibility and getting sued. Copying anything that is copyrightable is considered stealing. Focus on modeling the process because that’s at least 50% of the funnel’s success. The other half belongs to copy, you can model that as well but it needs to be your own version of it!
Locate an established competitor’s funnel :
Whatever market you’re competing in or product/service you are selling you can locate their funnel easily by doing Google searches for their company or product name or liking the Facebook page for their company or product. This way you will have a greater chance of seeing their Facebook ads or retargeting ads for their funnel once you’ve seen it.
If I was selling a course on how to help marketers make their lives infinitely better by using all their competitor’s time, effort, trial and error to their greatest advantage and success then I would ethically hack the Funnel Hacks program!
The first page of their funnel is a video sales letter backed up by text sales copy that eventually leads to their CTA (call to action) at the bottom of the page. After watching the video I noticed what it does is answer 4 basic questions: Who? What? Why? How? And the sales letter does the same thing in text form with the addition of tactics like testimonials, urgency and eliminating risk.
There is also no optin page used here so they are not collecting email address in order to use emails to remarket to page visitors that don’t buy. Does that mean that you should or shouldn’t use one in your funnel? Not necessarily, but keep in mind there is a reason they designed it that way. Now, all the copy on the page, color scheme, button placement, image placement, order of the tools and tactics on the page and so on need to be hacked so there’s a lot more to it than what I mentioned just now. This is an example to give you the basic idea of the process.
Get Access to Their Entire Funnel :
The Funnel Hacks page shown above is only the tip of the iceberg. Most commonly you’ll either see an optin page that leads to a sales page or be taken straight to the sales page from the ad. This is only the very beginning of their funnel process.
To see everything that’s happening behind the Internet curtain you’ll have to open your wallet and buy their first offer at the very least. That is what will get you access to the back of their funnel where the majority of the magic happens and the money is made, in most cases, through upsells, downsells and crossells.
Draw or mockup their funnel flow:
This can be done on old fashioned paper or with any number of mockup programs available online. The program used to create the examples used in this blog post were done with Balsamiq Mockups. The point of the mockup is to approximate the funnel flow more than specific details about the funnel. In other words, what is the goal of the page because this will determine how it’s going to persuade the page visitor to do whatever it is we want them to do (subscribe, donate, download, buy etc.). The example funnel flow from our coaching funnel example in Marketing Funnels That Make Sales For You illustrates this part of the process well:
The funnel hacking process is one of the most effective ways to get ahead and experience success with your marketing efforts more quickly and the reason for this is simple. You don’t have to know a lot of what works and why to get started. In fact, some of the resources mentioned in the book like, Funnel Scripts and ClickFunnels will do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. If all you did was read this article and take advantage of those services then you’d be in a great position to quickly and effectively hack your most successful competitor’s funnels. When it comes to funnel hacking, it’s better to stand on the shoulders of giants than try to be the first one out in the mine field. After you’ve made a bunch of money modeling their funnels be sure to send them a nice thank you note or fruit basket for eliminating most of the guesswork for you.
Back in Marketing Funnels That Make Sales For You I talked about the purpose and importance of each funnel page used in the coaching funnel mockup example:
- Optin page
- Email sequences
- Sales letters
- One time offers (OTOs)
- Thank you pages
This is not every type of funnel page there is but they are some of the most commonly used so it is a good idea to take the time to get acquainted with them.
Build Your Mockups as Webpages:
This is where the metaphorical rubber meets the road. It involves analyzing the look, feel copy, content and context of everything on every funnel page. You don’t necessarily have to understand why any particular part works right away but after doing a few you’ll start to know what does work and knowing is the half the battle.
After studying the entire funnel and how you want to approximate it as closely as possible without illegally copying it you have a choice to make:
- Learn WordPress or website development to acquire the skills necessary to create the actual web pages that look like that online
- Figure out how to program the pages to change interact with your prospects based on their actions.
- Set up shopping cart software and properly configure it to work with the funnel just so you can get paid
- Pay for and integrate analytics software into it so you can actually measure and track how prospects interact with it…
- Integrate and pay for autoresponder software to send your emails to your lists
If you don’t want to do all that yourself you can always pay other people thousands of dollars to do it for you before you even run your first ad to start driving traffic to it AND around $1,000 in monthly fees for all the different software services you’ll need… but it doesn’t have to be that way because ClickFunnels takes care of all of that for you for only a fraction of what it would cost to use separate software to do the same thing.
To see the actual funnel page click here
Ethical Guidelines to Funnel Hacking:
The key word in funnel hacking is “modeling”. You want to approximate the funnel you’re hacking without straight up copying anything because that can get you in serious legal trouble. Imagine if you outright copied the funnel of a competitor whose making 100k or more per month with just that one. They would probably have the means to make your life miserable and all it would take is for one person who knew someone that knew someone at their company to say something before you’re caught. There would also be the added consequences of losing your credibility in the marketplace. It’s way harder to come back from something like that than it is to start over with a clean slate or do things properly. People who don’t consider themselves to be “creative” need to be the most vigilant so they aren’t temped into illegal and unethical behavior.
The people who consider themselves the artists, the creative types, will experience the urge to put as much of their own flavor into the funnel as possible and therefore render the hacking process useless. It’s so tempting to think that you can make the page so much more beautiful or the copy so much more flowing and elegant but keep in mind that they’ve probably spent more time, money and effort figuring this out than you ever want or desire to.
The parts you’re allowed to ethically model are:
- Funnel flow (like in the mockup)
- Look and feel
- Is it dark or light themed?
- What type of font are they using?
- What colors are they using?
- What is the context of their images?
- Placement of content
- Where are the CTA’s and how many are there?
- If they have a video sales letter in the upper left corner then you should too
- How do they display the headlines on their upsells or downsells?
- Tone (fear, curiosity, relief, excitement…)
- Relative length of content
- Font type
- NO – word for word copying! Be creative enough to approximate without stealing!
Once you have successfully led a prospect to becoming a customer or subscribing to your email list the look and feel of how you nurture your relationship with them over time is something that you could take more liberties with. At that point you can still benefit from modeling their funnels but lead them there with your own creative flair if you want to try new things or be more original.
These are the basics and guidelines of funnel hacking and it sounds rather straight forward right? You could rush off to find your most successful competitors funnel and start deconstructing it pixel by pixel because what could go wrong? Well… everything. Funnel hacking is a combination of science and art. The art is how to model correctly without stealing. The science is understanding why what they’re doing works so you can preserve that in your modeled version of their funnel. Otherwise you might hack any one or many pieces to their funnel incorrectly, not know which part is wrong or why. You’ll be closer to the light but still in the dark.
You’re still ahead of the game because you were smart enough to use funnel hacking and stand on the shoulders of giants but you’re still missing a key ingredient for success. The real sense of knowing and security that accompanies money and success is in understanding why and how it happened in the first place. Without it you’re just a lottery winner because you can’t reproduce your success. And the same is true for building successful funnels as well.
Do you really want to treat your current and future success like playing the lottery? I don’t think so and the best news I can give you right now is that you don’t have to! There is a free webclass that breaks down how you can ethically knock off your successful competitor’s marketing secrets in under 10 minutes! During this training you also get to see inside a niche funnel that is generating $17,947 per day! I’d say that’s worth taking a look wouldn’t you?
If you’re reading this right now then this book is worth $10,000 or more to you easily because you’re the right entrepreneur to take the information inside and implement it in your funnel hacking practices to meld together the art and science of funnel hacking to win big!
Reserve your seat now before they fill up or stop giving away this information for free! I imagine they aren’t going to offer it forever…
After you’ve gained access to the Funnel Hacks webclass, now It’s time to build on the knowlege and expertise you’ve gained from this article by moving on to the next topic in the Digital Marketing Simplified series called Build A Massive Community Of Followers
This is where we’ll start exploring how you go about building a community or tribe of people who share your values and want to be part of your community. This is the best way to scale your business and spread your message throughout the world. Once you’ve discovered how to communicate your message in terms of your potential tribe members they will make your message their own and invite others like themselves to become a part of your tribe.
If you can build a rockstar business through leveraging your own efforts with just what has been discussed in this article and the other linked articles… just image what a core group of 1,000 plus passionate tribe members could do!
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Marketing is about changing what excites you in life from excitement into capital. This way you can do more of it and keep moving forward with it. That’s why it’s so important to really know and care about who your perfect customer and perfect prospect are because you’re not going to be excited about all of them and don’t necessarily want to do business with everyone who needs what you have to offer.
Once you have identified your perfect customer you will also know who your perfect prospect is. You’ll also be in a position to determine where to find qualified prospects, what to offer them, how to deliver on the value you’ve promised and what your value ladder should look like (more on this later).
Finding the qualified prospects that fit your product/service the most will keep your costs down, prevent headaches and provide more opportunity for profitability ($$$$) because they will want you to upsell them and provide them with more value. In fact, I would build into your perfect customer avatar (will cover shortly) that this person either have or be in the process of acquiring the financial means to take advantage of even a $100,000 offer for a product or service of yours.
This way, you’re not only going to be able to greatly simplify your marketing by appealing to a specific person but you’ll be building a community of people where a certain percentage of them actually could and will spend that kind of money with you…
One of the greatest old school copywriters of all time by the name of Gary Halbert said, “You are one sales letter away from being rich.” The reason for this is because your sales copy is what’s going to make or break you. Most people think look and feel is the most important thing but even ugly websites and funnels can convert well.
A good example of this are websites and funnels in the survival niche (emergency preparedness and survival skills). The best converting websites and funnels here are designed to be cluttered, use unappealing colors and bombard you with text. One of the most successful websites in this space is Survival Life which is owned and operated by DigitalMarketer. It generates over $1 million per month in revenue and if you go check it out then you’ll see that the look and feel isn’t the most important thing for your success in online marketing.
As the evolution of technology, online marketing and sales psychology advanced what Gary said has been modernized by Russel Brunson who said, “You are one funnel away from being rich.” If you’re unfamiliar with funnels then don’t worry, we’ll talk about those in the Marketing Funnels That Make Sales For You post.
At the end of the day It doesn’t matter how much traffic you drive to a website or funnel that isn’t converting because it’s going to cost you more to acquire customers than the revenue the funnel is producing. Great copywriting and sales copy is more important today than ever simply because people are savvy and their bull**** meters are finely tuned thanks to being bombarded with hundreds and hundreds of advertisements every day…
For those of you unfamiliar with marketing funnels, I’m happy to introduce you to one of the best friends you’ll ever have and if you already have experience with them then you know why I would be doing you a disservice to not to write a blog post about them.
Marketing funnels are designed for the express purpose of turning prospects into customers by using sales psychology and online marketing methods. They take your prospects through an actual sales process that is designed to market directly to them in order to increase the likelihood they will take the desired action you want them to like subscribe, download, purchase and so on. How is this different from just buying something on Amazon.com?
Funnels focus on solving a specific problem for a specific prospect. For example, if I’m wanting to start being and feeling healthier then I’ll go to Amazon.com and search “multivitamin” then see this…
I’ve been privileged to play a key role in building communities for several businesses now. One of them was for a software startup whose team grew from 3 to 15 people over a 4 year period. We never had any investment capital and were totally self-funded so everyone working there knew we we’re walking a tightrope without a safety net. In terms of size, we were ants compared to our competitors down the road (literally) who were 50 and 100 plus people strong and we also couldn’t compete with them in terms of starting salaries or benefits. When we would hire new people they would immediately start receiving emails and LinkedIn messages from recruiters offering them positions with our competitors. Normally an employer might freak out about this but it was actually a joke around the office that this happened all the time. Sometimes I would get copied on emails (cc’d) from someone in the office turning down the recruiters offer… Those were proud moments for me and those days were more fulfilling than the highest revenue days or years we ever had.
It’s easy to look at that and think, “Who were these crazy ass people that chose to work for us when there wasn’t really any logical reason for them to do so?” It wasn’t necessarily in their best interest but they did it anyway. The simple answer is that they weren’t doing it for us, they were doing it for themselves.
The right people were immediately attracted to working for us the minute they walked into our office for an interview because we effectively communicated what we believed and it resonated with them. The creative learning environment where we taught our junior developers and interns how to express themselves through sound software development design and methodologies would then be used in the real world to change the lives of our clients and bring their own ideas to life as well. The politics and blame free environment we created allowed everyone to become their best by growing from making mistakes and trying new things then contributing what they learned by sharing with the rest of us. It was such a fun environment that developers from our competitors would hang out with us at the office on Friday or Saturday nights to drink and play games. The sumo wrestler logo was a point of pride to wear in and out of the office. We had to constantly have more shirts made because our clients and their family members wanted to wear them. One client told our CEO that our shirts were all over their office which was really cool.
I would speak at events and introduce myself by telling people a story about how a project we did for a client saved a local business with 50 plus employees who would have otherwise lost their jobs but that didn’t happen. In fact the product was such a success that not only did no one get laid off, it added an additional $4 million per year in revenue to their bottom line. When everyone showed up at the office we knew that we weren’t software developers, we were a tribe of magicians creating magic and sending it out to transform the world. What we did mattered because we did it for ourselves, our clients just happened to be a catalyst to make it happen. We bought into what we did for ourselves, not for them and they benefited greatly because of it. If you say and do what you believe you will attract people who believe what you believe. This is how leaders inspire people to do what they’re doing.
What is a culture? What is a group? What is a company? It’s a community of people with a common set of values and beliefs. When we have these things in common with each other it causes trust to emerge and we are more likely to do things we wouldn’t otherwise do…
Are you an author, coach, speaker, teacher or entrepreneur that is aspiring to the next stage of your development by expanding your reach into the world, so that you can build a massive community, around your business or message?
There’s something magical that happens to those of us that are able to reach such heights by effectively penetrating the noise of the world with our divine messages…
…we transcend the way we think of ourselves and graduate from coaches, speakers, authors and teachers to healers, architects of lives and worlds, as well as philosophers and influences… of which the former parts are just a small but necessary piece.
The funny thing is that we often struggle with our own versions of the same things that our readers/viewers, students and audiences are struggling with.
Sometimes it’s about what our purpose is, what our message is, how to go about delivering this message and building success on top of the mounting frustrations that present themselves as challenges or obstacles to making a difference in first our own lives and then the world at large.
There is some good news though…all our previous failures are not unjustified wastes of time but rather opportunities that are on the way to the goals and dreams that we so desire. It just takes a new perspective and some creative thinking to fill in the gaps where we see holes in our lives, businesses and contributions to the world.
Here’s how we want to help each other succeed by focusing on new opportunities and thought processes to implement in ourselves and our marketing efforts. This is the foundation for building massive and profitable communities around our businesses and messages…