How to Get More Leads in Your Sales Funnel With Lead Magnets with Jeff & Lori Poole
Getting Clients to Notice You
Last month in The Business Corner, we talked about leveraging your blog to offer tantalizing and useful content to your client avatar. But there’s a little more to this marketing plan than simply hoping people stumble across your blog and decide to book you. In order to take a more proactive approach, it’s time to understand your sales funnel.
What Is a Sales Funnel? Do I Need One?
A sales funnel is simply a conceptual representation of the path that people take from “lead” to “client.” Since literally every client was once a lead, every client came through your funnel—even if you didn’t know you had one. As such, it only makes sense that you take the time and effort to understand your funnel and figure out how to make it better.
Stages of the Sales Funnel:
The lead becomes aware of your service. They are in the “just browsing” phase. You should be working to create brand awareness and affiliation. Perhaps they’ve seen your social media posts or visited your website/blog. Ideally, you should convert this lead to a prospect by getting their contact information and helping them move on to the next stage. Keep reading to learn more!
The prospect is price shopping, researching their options for photography style, etc. You’re not the only photographer they’re checking out. How do you make them want you over everyone else?
Use Know/Like/Trust content to get the prospect emotionally connected to your brand.
Encourage your prospect to take action with an attractive offer, thereby becoming a client.
Are you utilizing all of these steps? Many photographers expect a lead to go straight from Awareness to Action. To translate, this is like a lead seeing one of your images on Instagram (having never heard of you before), and deciding to book you on the spot. This rarely happens—they’re usually going to at least do a little research and/or think about it first. The better you understand this process, the more you can utilize each step to take them from “I need a photographer” to “I need THAT photographer!”
Converting a Lead to a Prospect
Most photographers already inherently understand the Awareness stage, even if they don’t know it by name. This is why photographers work on their SEO to be found on Google. Actually, it’s why they even have a website in the first place. It’s why they post pictures on social media. It’s why they relentlessly research hashtags, form pods, create VIP groups, and attempt other strategies to beat social media algorithms. It’s all an attempt to get noticed by prospective clients. But once you get noticed, what do you do next to actively get the sale?
Imagine that your photography business is like a retail store. A lead walks in and begins to browse. Would you silently stare at her and hope she buys something? Or would you greet her, engage her in conversation, and show her the products that are best suited for her needs? Of course you would do the latter—and, ideally, educate her on why your products or services are better than the competition’s. You would share with her your unique value proposition, so that she’ll realize she needs you and nobody else. In other words, you would convert her into a prospect by starting a conversation, and you would use that conversation to guide her through the Interest, Desire, and Action stages to become a client.
Visitors to your website, blog and social media are just like that lead. They’re just browsing. And if you’re like most photographers, you’re standing silently in the corner, hoping they will make the next move. How can you start a conversation with them and convert them into prospects that you can guide to Action? And how can you get more prospects into your store to convert them to leads?
Enter the Lead Magnet
A lead magnet, by definition, is something that attracts leads. More specifically, it is something that attracts your ideal client and is attractive enough that they will give you their contact information to get it. Whether you realize it or not, you’ve probably seen dozens of these magnets aimed at attracting you.
- “Learn 10 Posing Tips for Images Your Clients Will LOVE!”
- “Get the Light and Airy Look With These Free Lightroom Presets”
- “Free Guide to Shooting in Difficult Lighting Situations”
These are just a few examples of lead magnets that are all over social media, aimed at photographers. How do they work? Why are they giving away something free? Is it out of the goodness of their hearts? No. Here’s the trick: in order for you to get the free thingie (the magnet), you have to enter your email address. Guess what? You just entered their funnel as a lead. They will now use your email to nurture you through the Interest and Desire stages, so that you will (hopefully) take Action on a product they want to sell you. This is all just a very high-tech version of the fast-food employee at the mall who hands out bits of chicken on toothpicks. If you like the sample, maybe you’ll buy.
What kinds of magnets can you create to attract your client avatar? Luckily, you’ve probably already done a bit of homework in this area. Last month, we talked about evergreen blog posts that target topics in which your prospective clients are interested. If you’ve written one of these blog posts, you can use the same content as a magnet.
I won’t review the entire article here—I highly recommend re-reading it and watching the bonus video for topic ideas (see August 2019 article, “Blogging: You’re Doing It Wrong”)—but here’s a quick review of evergreen content, as well as some additional information specific to lead magnets:
- Address a pain point or solve a problem your client avatar faces.
- Be specific. Don’t be too general with the problem or solution.
- Keep it bite-sized. Deliver a quick solution in an easy-to-digest format.
- Demonstrate your expertise and/or your unique value proposition.
- Provide valuable information.
The primary goal of the lead magnet is to offer something so tantalizing to your lead that they will happily provide you with their email address in order to get it. Once you have their email address, it will be your job to nurture the lead into a paying customer.
Where to Post Your Magnet
This one is easy—everywhere! Post your lead magnet directly on your home page, on your social media, at the foot of your other blog posts, in your email newsletter . . . throw that bait anywhere you think a lead might find it! But what you’re sharing is not the magnet content itself—it’s the offer for the magnet. You’re essentially advertising that your magnet exists—another facet of your Awareness efforts—and driving leads to a place where they can get the magnet. That place is called a Landing Page.
Landing Page: Gateway to the Magnet Content
A landing page is a simplified web page with a contact form. If you’re web-savvy, you can design your own landing pages within your website. If not, there are tons of services out there that will host your landing pages and manage your leads’ contact information. Either way, the important thing to know is that it’s nothing more or less than a simple web page with a specific purpose.
The web page should describe your lead magnet, explaining to the lead why they want it. It should then have an extremely simple form where the lead can input their email address, and possibly their name. The lead should not have any other actions they can take on the page—there should be no menu, links to your portfolio, links to your blog, or anything else. It should be straight and to the point: enter your information if you want this amazing free goodie.
Once their information is entered, two things should happen: 1) the lead receives the magnet content, and 2) the lead’s contact information is entered into your email marketing platform for further nurturing (which we will discuss in next month’s article).
This Sounds Complicated and Scary
Not to worry! There are a ton of programs and services that help you set this all up. In the bonus video for this article, Jeff is going to share with you some of the tools we use in our studio to seamlessly move a client from prospect to lead with landing pages, to deliver the magnet content to the prospect, and to nurture the prospect toward a sale with additional emails. Either way, we’ve found that the best way to get your funnel set up is one step at a time. Start by writing one magnet. Build your landing page. Write your email sequence (see next month’s article on this). Finally, advertise your magnet with a link to the landing page. Once you have that funnel set up for your first magnet, the next one gets easier.
Lead Magnets Are Bait for Your Sales Funnel
Once you realize that every lead enters a sales funnel to become a client, you’ll naturally want to learn how to optimize each step in your funnel. You’ll also want to figure out how to get more leads into your funnel in the first place. Essentially, that’s what marketing is! So, create a magnet to draw leads in to become prospects, and start filling your funnel. Join us next month as we explore shaping that funnel to guide those prospects to become clients.