I’ve got a story for you (how unlike me). I’ve been in A LOT of sales funnels, as a prospective client, and here’s the one thing I usually do within the first few emails.
Now that’s the last thing you want prospective clients doing to YOU right? So why am I (and you?) so fast to hit the unsubscribe button?
I hate being sold to.
I know most people do too. We’re far too savvy for that these days. We don’t need the hard sell, the slimy sales pitches or the relentless email marketing ploys. Unfortunately the online world is full of them but we’re an evolved group of buyers and we can smell a sales tactic from a mile off. We simply want to find the right information and service for us and we’re actively looking for it from someone we can trust.
So what’s a different approach to offering genuine help to people who need it, and are looking for it? The following article will showcase a new approach to marketing content that I’ve developed with the help of ConvertKit, Gravity Forms, and a bunch of very talented contractors who have seen and believed in the vision. It’ll either resonate with you or it won’t.
It will appeal to you if you’d like to learn how to:
- give your clients specifically what they self-identify as needing, (instead of everything else you could offer);
- turn your content into a trust-building marketing machine;
- create a personalised educational sequence out of your content;
- market your content truthfully, while avoiding slimey sales tactics;
- maintain your integrity while ethically selling your products and services;
- use simple, cost-effective marketing technology (avoiding the cost and complexity of tools like ‘ConfusionSoft’ at all costs).
Sound too good to be true?
It only took a year for me to figure out; and in an attempt to save you the same 12 months of blood sweat and tears I went through, I’ve published the concept so you can adopt the same approach if it suits you and your content. No point squirrelling it away right?
So. Hard sell. Selling based on fear. Tricking people into thinking they NEED your product so desperately they’ll be screwed without it. Cultivating a culture of FOMO. The online world is full of it and it gives me the heebie jeebies. It always has. I tried some of their methods, they made my skin crawl. It wasn’t the way I wanted to do business and it just didn’t match up with my values or the way I wanted to operate in the world.
It’s much like when I’m in a shop. If the sales assistant asks me whether I need help? I’ll tell them honestly. ‘Yes please, I’m actually looking for X’. More often than not it’s more like ‘No thanks, just browsing’. End of story. If that sales assistant keeps pushing? I’m out of that shop faster than you can say ‘oh but this one would look GREAT on you’, and you know why? because I didn’t ask for the help, period, and quite frankly I don’t like being harassed.
And that’s what being in a sales funnel you didn’t really ask to be in, feels like too.
You signed up for the freebie because it hit a nerve, and you thought – YES – this will answer this question I have. You didn’t then expect to be hammered with emails in the coming days and weeks extolling the virtues of the author’s up and coming webinars, workshops, online courses or 5 figure coaching programs.
So let me tell you why I told the sales funnel experts where they could stick their slimy sales funnels… #truthteller…
So it all started with me going to some Facebook Ads gurus and saying hey, I really want to sell my thing – the Library – and them taking one look and saying WOAH LADY you can’t sell that as it is – it’s HUGE!
Who are we targeting? Professionals new to online business? Business owners new to training adults? Creatives who have too much content? People who suck at doing presentations? Professionals who want to leverage their time?
My answer (in a very small, sheepish kinda voice), was, well, all of them, and some of them, and sometimes it’s some of them but most of the time it’s only one of them and ….
Enter: blank stares and ‘Oh Maria, this ain’t gonna work’.
Enter: floods of tears. From me. It was like finally birthing something after 9 months of carrying, creating, developing and nurturing, then finding out it needed countless operations before it could even be given a chance at life. Devastating. Life’s work. Months and months of voluntarily working on something without a hint of any ROI then to be told it’s basically unmarketable.
I cried, a lot, then decided I wasn’t going to let that stop me, that there HAD to be a way of making this work.
And so, it didn’t. And I have. #persistencepaysoff
Enter: the Content Creation Quiz, and its personalised educational sequence.
I’ve worked with a number of marketing and sales people who have looked at the sheer volume of what I have to offer and shuddered; some of them have tried to help me simplify it, some have told me to completely redesign it, the last one told me if I wasn’t basing my sales funnel on a proven formula or a known guru’s system, I was simply ‘crap shooting’.
Needless to say he got given the heave-ho fairly swiftly.
Thanks, but no thanks.
I know I have a lot of content. That’s what I do. I help professionals who are at all different stages of the content creation process and that’s why I have 7 courses and 38 lessons that can help you – do you need them all? HELL NO!
Do you want a sales funnel trying to sell you all of them?
PLEASE DEAR GODS NO!
I’ve been on those lists. Nothing makes me unsubscribe quicker than getting sales emails full of stuff I simply don’t need and haven’t really asked for. Yuck. They drive me bonkers.
So what to do with it all?
Without having 7 individual marketing campaigns #shudder for each course, what was the solution?
How to simultaneously market what I do to all the different types of professionals who might need different facets of the help I can give them?
I know you don’t need all of it and I refuse to clutter your inbox with stuff you don’t need. The clients I work with also come from a vast range of different levels of experience in teaching, training and running businesses so there’s simply no ‘one size fits all’ approach to educating them about what I do.
Most of my ideal clients have been working with adults for years, and some of them need basic teacher training, but some don’t. Some need help developing resources, others don’t. Some need to understand their options for getting their content online, some don’t. There’s no rhyme or reason to it so there’s simply no existing ‘funnel’ out there that will do the job.
It took some time, but I found some phenomenal copyediting and technical professionals who saw what I was trying to achieve and not only GOT IT, they believed in it.
They’re the same as me, they don’t believe in the horrendous slimy-snake-oil-seller-sales-
Mine isn’t based on ANY formula, other than the age old principles of best practice teaching and learning.
Give people the ability to
- CHOOSE exactly which parts of your content they need,
- achieve the OUTCOMES they desire,
- at the BUDGET they can afford
- in a TIME FRAME that suits THEM,
… not simply gain new knowledge that sits on the shelf with all the other half finished courses they’ve purchased on the spur of the moment.
So what’s the technical set up and how does it work?
It’s simple (and no, you don’t have to sign up to a free webinar to hear all about it #haha). Think of it less as a marketing funnel, and more as a trust building educational sequence.
There’s a 32 question quiz that you answer YES, NO or NOT SURE to. The questions all revolve around the various stages of quality content creation and delivery, so finding out what you are confident with, and what you’re not yet sure about.
The quiz takes about 3 minutes to complete. Based on your answers to the questions, if you don’t know how to do something, or you’re not sure about it, you’ll get an email with
- a shortcut summary on how to get it done quickly,
- a link to a free article (which is basically like a mini lesson) that explains a bit of more of the process, and then
- an invitation to the full lesson that gives you all the worksheets, tutorials, extra readings and audio recordings.
You’ll only get the emails that you signed up for, not all 32.
Not the stuff you know because you’ve been there, learnt that, done that already. And YOU get to choose exactly which ones you want.
It’s that simple.
Content delivered to the people who actually asked for it. Nothing less, nothing more, no revolting sales funnels in site. Three levels of service, for each of the issues that clients of mine face regularly – free advice, low cost lessons or one-on-one support.
If, after reading the emails and articles the quiz takers choose to go ahead with the lesson, or working with me one on one, then that’s the next natural step they will take – if that know, like and trust factor has been built, and they’re ready to take the plunge.
And if not? Well it wasn’t meant to be – but it hasn’t cost me any extra time or effort to have them go through the quiz and use the information they’ve specifically requested, so no harm done right? Fancy giving it a go?
Will it work?
It has to. By WORK, I don’t mean making millions with my online passive income stream #whateverthatmeans #incomeisnicebutnotmydriver. That was never the intention of this Library, or this educational sequence.
By WORK, I mean it will help people who want to create quality content. It will answer the burning questions they’ve got (I’ll know this because they will have personally ticked the box saying they need that specific piece of help).
I know it will steer them in the right direction, away from the rookie mistakes and the brain frying culdesacs they can find themselves in when it comes to creating quality content quickly, efficiently and cost effectively. That’s what the Library was designed to do in the first place – help my clients with good quality, accessible information, without having to fork out for personalised coaching.
Personalised service is ‘the new black’.
Even McDonalds is letting you create your own burger combinations. Why? Because everyone is different. It applies to food, just as much as it applies to how and what people need to learn.
It’s the fundamentals of best practice adult teaching and learning.
- Ask the student.
- Let them tell YOU what they need.
- Deliver what they ask for.
- Be ready to help with the next question they ask.
Self directed, student centred learning, the most efficient way forward when you’re helping adults master a new skill set!
Know this sounds right for you and your content, and need some one on one support?
Otherwise, there’s a lesson on how to build outcomes based training below that might appeal to you too.
Ready to create discrete modules of learning that have client centred, realistic goals to work towards?
Great! Because I’ve got a short tutorial and a worksheet that steps you through the process of creating a course outline that will demonstrate to your clients exactly what outcomes they’ll achieve by doing your program.
The lesson is available here.
Click on the above link to be taken directly to the Lesson. If you’re already a member of the Curriculum Development course, make sure you’re logged in! If you’re not, you’ll be redirected to the page where you can become a member.