Why Sales Funnels Are Good for Your Community

Welcome to episode 318 of Hit the Mic with The Stacey Harris.

All right, guys. We’re going to talk about sales funnels today, because I have been getting some push back on the idea of sales funnels. I was actually in a Facebook group, and I was talking about sales funnels, and stating that one of my goals was improving my sales funnels for Hit the Mic Backstage. I got some negative feedback about how sales funnels were, like, manipulative, and it was really, really interesting to me. I wanted to talk about this, because sales funnels are actually an amazing thing for you to do for your community, because they serve two purposes. One for your business growth, and one for your community. I want to break down those two things, and I want to just quick and dirty get rid of this illusion that sales funnels are bad. Sales funnels are your friend. All right?

First, let’s talk about how sales funnels serve your community. Here’s the deal. No one, no one at all, knows your business, knows your offerings, know how you provide value as well as you do. No one but you knows all the Tweets that go out and the Facebook messages and the e-mails and the content you’ve done. No. It’s just, no one knows it the way you do, because you’re inside of it. From the outside looking in, I still get people who ask me about a launch that I’ve been doing like crazy a month after the cart closes. I still get people who are like, “You have a membership community?” Yeah, I’ve had one for like 14 months, and I talk about it all the time. No one is paying as close attention to your business as you are, and that is true just universally, so you have to accept it. In having sales funnels, it allows you to guide the people who need you through a process. It allows you to say, “Hey, yeah, here is a small solution to your problem. Here you go. Oh, you need a little more help? Here. How about this?” “Hey, you want to go all in on getting help on this? Here you go.”

That’s really all a sales funnel is. It’s just a path from lead to customer. That’s it. It’s not some sort of, like, magic trick. It’s not some sort of massive manipulation. It’s just guiding them down a path. It’s no different than sending up a follow up e-mail after you’ve been to a networking event. It’s just part of having the relationship grow. It’s just part of having your value become clear to them. I want you to just release the idea that this is some sort of trickery, some sort of sorcery to get people to do what you want them to do. Really, ultimately, your sales funnel is not about you. It’s about your client. It’s about, “How can I provide value in this focused way to get them from A to B so that they go from problem to problem solved?” It’s that simple. Not everyone goes all the way through the funnel, because not everyone needs to go all the way through the funnel.

There are absolutely people who click on one of my ads that is at the top of, let’s say, the Facebook Ads funnel that leads into Backstage, and they listen to a podcast where I talked about Facebook Ads, and they get what they needed, and that’s fantastic. There are people that go a little further and download the checklist and the Facebook Ads Guide, and that’s as far as they go, because that’s all they needed. Awesome. Great. You got what you needed. That’s ultimately what I care about. Then, there are people that go all the way into Backstage, and go through the Rockstar Guide to Facebook that’s in there, and they ask questions during office hours in our private forum. Great. I got to help those people too. Ultimately, this is about serving your community in a really focused way. It’s impossible to do that when you don’t have the pieces of a funnel in place. Yes, the funnel ultimately leads to you making money, but guess what? That’s what makes this a business, and not a hobby. Yeah, I know. It’s crazy to say, but it’s okay to be making money on the end of this. It’s okay to be financially rewarded for solving people’s problems. That’s called commerce, okay? That’s called capitalism.

Here’s the deal, guys. This is about you being able to serve your community. If you don’t guide them down the path, if you just put up your sales page, or you just start writing your blog posts, and you never do anything to get people there, to tell people that this is where the value is, to invite them to get their problem from problem to solved, why exactly are you doing this? Seriously. If you’re not going to spend the time to help people get from problem to problem solved, then you’re never going to be able to help them solve the problem. You’re kind of wasting your time, and you’re kind of wasting your corner of the internet, and your voice, and your skill. Embrace the sales funnel. Yes, it’s a tactic word, and yes, it’s a business thing, but that doesn’t mean that it’s slimy. That doesn’t mean it’s sleazy. There are a ton of poorly executed, extremely sleazeball like funnels. I am not going to disagree on that front. There are a ton, but there are also a lot of really amazing, authentically built, value-driven, incredibly community-serving funnels.

I like to think mine falls somewhere in the middle there. I don’t know that mine is like, you know, the holy grail of funnels. It’s something I’m constantly working on. It’s an important part of my business development as I grow, and my business model evolves, and my membership community grows. It becomes more and more obvious to me that this is a part of my business that will continue to need to be worked on, but ultimately it’s about me making sure that you get the value you need. If this podcast is all you need, awesome. If you want to know more about sales funnels, there’s a training in Backstage. Go get it. It’s that simple. It’s about me telling you where to go.

Now, from a business perspective, a sales funnel is going to help you get people from, “I have a problem,” to, “Can I give you money to solve it?” That’s how they get from problem to problem solved. Build this piece of your business. If you’re somebody who is running around in this roller coaster of income, and saying, “Yeah, I had my best month ever in June, and now it’s October or November, and I haven’t made any money in 30 days,” it’s probably because you don’t have a sales funnel. It’s probably because you don’t know where you’re getting leads, you don’t know how to cultivate your leads, and you don’t know how to get them to the end point of purchase. I say “end point of purchase” because that’s where they shift from lead to client or lead to customer. I’m not saying that that’s the end of the relationship.

For me, I feel like my funnel never ends, because once I get you in the membership, it’s my job to keep you there. It’s my job to make sure I continue solving your problems. When you’re talking about a four week course that you have, it’s my job to make sure that you then evolve to the next level, or another program, or whatever it is in your business. Maybe it’s getting people from a low level membership site to a higher end coaching problem, to a super high end one on one. Maybe that’s your process. That is not a funnel where this drops out the bottom. It becomes more of a circle, and that’s okay, but if you don’t have anything, if you don’t have any track of, if you can’t tell me where your clients come from, if you don’t have any track of, “Okay, so they meet me here, and they end up here, and this is where they become clients,” then you’re going to have a really hard time getting consistent income.

Sales funnels aren’t just for passive income. They’re not just for group programs, and membership sites, and things like that. In fact, I think that’s probably one of the most important things I wish I had learned early in my business. It never occurred to me that the things I was doing when I was a VA, or the things that I was doing early in Hit the Mic Marketing, which is now The Stacey Harris, when we were doing exclusively social media management, it never occurred to me that I was moving people through a sales process that was, in fact, a sales funnel. Had I given it the same amount of knowledge that I have now, I probably would have been even more successful. I probably would have been able to do even more and move more clients through that process, because I would have had that knowledge of, “Oh, this is how I serve them. This is how I give them value every step of the way, at every touch point, so that I can expedite the value they’re getting, so that I can increase the value they’re getting, and so that I can really make a difference in their business quickly, and ultimately make a big difference in my business quickly.

Again, this serves both ends. This serves your community, and this serves you, because guess what? If you can’t keep yourself afloat because you’re on this roller coaster of revenue generation, you’re not going to be there to solve their problems. You’re not going to be there to help them with the things they need help with. Make sure that you are spending a fair amount of your time paying attention to how customers get from lead to client. Make sure you’re spending a fair amount of your time knowing exactly where they get value throughout the relationship, so that a real difference is made, so that you can actually take them from problem to problem solved.

It was kind of a soap boxy, ranty show. If you want to know more about how to actually execute sales funnels, and trip wires, and automation sequences for follow up, and things like that, do check out Hit the Mic Backstage. We have an entire training in there on sales funnels, and of course you can ask me questions any time in the private community. If you’re ready to take that next step, and you’re ready to really embrace this tool in your business, come join us. It’s going to be the place to do it.

Otherwise … Well, really, either way, I will see you on Friday.

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