Are you following through? Use a sales funnel.

It is easy to start a blog, join a social network or build a site, but if you don’t commit to its ongoing development and monitoring, you are wasting your time.

Play

When it comes to the web I see clients making the same two mistakes again and again. They either give up on projects too early, or carry on blindly without knowing if they are being effective.

Let me explain what I mean.

Giving up too early

All too often I hear people say “I just can’t find the time to blog” or “I posted on Twitter for a while but it didn’t really go anywhere.” They start something, but fail to follow through. They don’t see instant results, lose their enthusiasm and give up.

Blindly carrying on

Others have more strength of will and struggle on publishing posts and updating social networks. However, they have little idea of whether they are achieving anything. They push content online, but the business benefits are nebulous.

Sure, they have vague anecdotal evidence that it might be helping, but nothing concrete.

What both groups need to do is monitor and follow through. Its something I am very conscientious about here on Boagworld.

Monitor and follow through

I spend a huge amount of time blogging, speaking and writing. It is important to know it is worth my time. I want to be sure that it lead to more work for Headscape.

Sales Funnel
I use a sales funnel as a way of tracking the effectiveness of my marketing efforts.

I achieve this through the construction of a sales funnel, which I monitor carefully. This funnel consists of the following steps…

Establish awareness

People first encounter me through numerous methods. They may just come across me via a Google search, hear me speak at a conference or read one of the posts I write for other sites. They might even come across me via one of my books. Once that contact has been made my aim is to always encourage them to visit this website.

Using Google Analytics I can monitor the various ways people become aware of me. For example, when I speak at a conference I always give out a unique website address. This means I can tell if people heard about me from the conference.

Build credibility

The Boagworld website primarily exists to demonstrate my credibility. Hopefully when people read my posts they are impressed by my expertise. The idea is that they learn something from reading my posts and that motivates them enough to signup to my newsletter.

Analytics allow me to see which posts encourage the most signups. This helps me to tell what I should be writing about and to see whether blogging is worth the effort.

Make a connection

When somebody signs up for my newsletter they are sharing their email address and name with me. This allows me to look up who they are, based on their email addresses domain name. From this I can quickly identify prospective clients.

Those that look interesting I mark as VIPs in Mailchimp. This allows me to send out customised newsletters just to them. It also allows me to monitor their open rates and click throughs which helps shape the newsletters I send.

Finally I try to build an individual relationship with these VIPs.

Nature a relationship

As well as marking certain signups as VIPs in Mailchimp, I also add them to my customer relationship management system. I use a CRM called Nimble because it can find people on social networks and connect with them. This is great for building a one to one relationship with potential sales leads. This is hopefully the first step towards winning work with them.

Why a funnel matters

The reason this approach is so important is because it helps me understand how we win work. Where does that work come from? What marketing channels work and which ones do not? It also shows me if there are any weak links in the chain. For example, for a long time I was great at building credibility, but people wouldn’t signup for my newsletter. They weren’t moving past that point of the funnel.

Having a funnel like this not only justifies what you are doing to management and enables you to get better results, it also motivates you. Nothing is more demoralising than doing a job without knowing whether you are achieving anything.

I realise that this system is not perfect. For example, many people use gmail addresses and so I never know if they are a VIP or not. However, it gives me something to measure. Some sense of whether it is worthwhile and I believe that is better than nothing.

“Converting Leads To Sales” image courtesy of Bigstock.com

Headscape

Boagworld