So you want to learn how to sell online and how you can start generating more leads and sales for your business using online marketing strategies?
Great! You’re in the right place.
This checklist was created to help you understand not only the steps involved to ensure you maximize opportunities online to grow your business, but to show you how straight forward and simple growing your business using online marketing can be!
In fact, what I want to show you is that even if you haven’t sold a dollar online before, you can get set up and ready to sell in as little as 2 hours. AND – you don’t need to hire expensive consultants or “experts” who take your money and never promise results.
In fact, my mission is to empower as many small business owners as possible in that generating leads and sales for your business using online strategies is not beyond your reach. Whether you operate your business as a one-person show – or whether you employ a small team – getting set up quickly and seeing results fast is totally possible.
Yes – this will require effort your part. To follow through on this checklist requires focus, concentration, and the ability to follow instructions. It doesn’t require technical skills, or to be an expert in marketing.
And before we get into this, I want to emphasize something very important:
This checklist applies to ANY kind of business
You can sell physical products, you can be a realtor, you can sell insurance, or you could own a bakery or a food truck. It really doesn’t matter!
You even can be brand new and use this system to promote other people’s products and services and earn income as an affiliate!
Every business owner can leverage the power of online marketing to promote and sell their products and services, and this checklist applies to those who want to capture sales online or attract prospects into your physical location.
And here’s the best part: In order to follow through on these strategies and go through the checklist, you don’t need to add staff, redesign your website, or work more (except maybe up front to get things set up).
The online tools available today are amazingly comprehensive and simple to use. With minimal investment of time and energy, you can start leveraging these tools to grow your business.
INTRODUCING THE EXPERIENCE FUNNEL
Let me ask you a question:
If you sell something (be that a product or service), do you consciously think about your buyer’s experience?
Or to be more specific, do you methodically work to craft, shape, and create your buyer’s experience?
If not, you should!
Being control of the experience you take your prospects on — aka “the customer journey” — is the key to customer acquisition and sales. And you do this (offline or online) with a process commonly referred to in recent years as the “sales funnel”.
But I have a new twist to the “sales funnel” I’d like you to consider, and it’s really just to shift your mindset, which can greatly impact your results.
I like to refer to the sales funnel as the “Experience Funnel”.
That’s because as business owners or marketers, we have a responsibility – or you can even call it an obligation – to help our prospects through the buying process and help them determine whether you’re offer is the solution they need. We do this by creating an experience for them.
The AIDA Strategy
- A – Attention
- I – Interest
- D – Desire
- A – Action
The AIDA strategy is the best formula to follow in order to create that experience.
At the top, or opening of the funnel, your get a prospect’s attention. That pulls them into your funnel. As they enter your funnel (and as the funnel gets narrower as you lead them towards the sale), you work to generate interest, build desire, and ultimately call to them to take action – or buy.
Once your prospect gets to the bottom of your funnel, they only have two choices – to either say “YES” to your offer or “NO”. If you’ve targeted your audience correctly, your job as the business owner/marketer is to create an experience through your funnel where the only rationale option is for them to say YES.
The Strawberry Experience
If you’re running a booth at a farmer’s market, this could be as simple as giving out a sample of your sweet strawberries and then asking if they’d like a basket or a flat.
Your prospect’s attention is sparked upon reading your sign “FREE Sample: Sweet & Juicy Strawberries Harvested this Morning”
Then they see that if they opt-in to join your mailing list, they’ll get a 2 for 1 special, so they become interested.
And once they take a bite, they desire more strawberry. They gladly hand over their email address. You’re giving them exactly what they want.
Your only remaining job at this point is to ask them to take action – “would you like 2 baskets for the price of one?”
The Strawberry Experience Online
If you’ve never thought about marketing and selling your business online, then you may be surprised to find out that the process online is remarkably similar to the process of selling at the farmer’s market.
In fact, you’re going through my experience funnel right now!
The checklist I’m about to share with you is the sample strawberry, and my goal in crafting this experience for you is that if you’re genuinely interested in learning how to best market and sell your products and services using the internet, you’ll:
- Gain valuable insights via the checklist I share, which will generate interest in learning from me how to apply the checklist to your own business.
- Desire my offer and see it as the right solution for you once I show you exactly how I can help.
- Take action and say yes to one of my offers when you determine that what I offer is exactly the solution to help you get where you want to go.
I operate and believe in full transparency, and I think everyone that uses the internet to grow their business should as well. So I am not interested in tricking anyone into something they don’t need to buy.
Selling is Helping
Selling is helping… and if I do my job in creating products and services that genuinely help my audience achieve desired results, then it’s also my job to provide the marketing experience that attracts my ideal customer to me and my offers.
So without further delay, here’s the promised checklist. This 10 Step Checklist is meant to provide you with the foundation of getting started with your own experience funnel, which will help you leverage the power of the internet to grow your business.
By following this checklist, you can be set up and ready to either generate leads or capture sales for your business in as little as 2 hours.
And after you review the checklist, I’ll share with you an opportunity I have created in order to help you implement and take action upon these x steps – making the whole process a lot easier for you.
2HRS to ONLINE SALES CHECKLIST (EXPANDED)
There are 11 steps in this checklist, and by following each step (and going in order), you can be up and running and ready to generate leads and sales for your business in as little as a few hours. Don’t overcomplicate things! Just follow along. And if you want to download a 1-sheet checklist that you can print and mark off as you go, Click here.
THE IDENTIFICATION STAGE
The first 4 steps of the checklist involve spending time getting all your ducks in a row. Before you start building anything, you need to first identify what it is you’re offering, who you’re offering it to, and why.
>> 1. Identify Your Target Audience & Identify Where They Hangout Online
This is where you drill down your specific customer demographics (i.e. gender, age, location, income, interests, profile, etc) and come up with a list of places where they hangout online (most any business can find their audience on Facebook and/or Instagram these days). Example: A full service day spa and salon would identify their target audience as women ages 25-45 within a 50 mile radius who earn at least $60K per year, who have a college degree, and who are gym members or frequent yoga studios . This demographic is on Facebook, but spend more time on Instagram and follow beauty brands like Glossier.
>> 2. Identify The #1 Problem That Your Business is Going to Solve
Your business may address and solve several problems for your customers, but when marketing online, focus on one at a time. Each experience funnel you create will be singular in focus. Example: Most spas are too expensive and are considered an indulgence for women in their target demographic. This full service day spa and salon provides women within a 50 mile radius the most upscale spa experience at an affordable price.
>> 3. Identify Your Primary Revenue Generating Offer
Once you have identified your target audience and the #1 problem you’re going to help them solve, now it’s time to identify what your primary revenue generating offer is.
Example: Online Special Only: 60 minute full body massage and aromatherapy steam shower for $72
>> 4. Identify Your Lead Generation Offer
Here’s where a lot of businesses miss an opportunity. Instead of just presenting your prospect with your Primary Revenue Generating Offer, entice them to give them your email address and/or contact information by presenting them with an enticing opportunity (aka “lead magnet”, “ethical bribe”, or what I referred to above as the “strawberry experience”).
Once you have their email address, you can start nurturing a longterm relationship, and even if they don’t take you up on your Primary Revenue Generating Offer, you may capture a sale from them further down the line.
Example: Sign up for 20% off your first spa visit.
THE BUILDING STAGE
Now that you understand your mission and know who you’re going to help and how, now it’s time to start assembling your offer and getting it online.
>> 5. Blueprint Your Experience Funnel
Before you build your experience funnel, you need to map it out so that you can see the big picture. This ensures that you remain in control of your customer’s experience and no one falls through the cracks! I like to map out my experience funnels visually on paper so that I see how the flow works. Elements of a basic experience funnel (in order of how they would appear) include:
- Traffic Source (i.e. Facebook Ad) >
- Lead Generation Offer >
- Primary Revenue Generating Offer >
- Followup emails
- To those that purchased
- To those that did not purchase
>> 6. Build Your Experience Funnel Using Easy-to-Use Software & Pre-Made Templates
Once you have your Lead Generation Offer and Revenue Generating Offer identified and your blueprint outlined, you can start building your offer using easy-to-use online tools and pre-made templates.
I can’t emphasize enough how easy the affordable tools that are available in the market are to use. You don’t need to know how to code, you don’t need to hire a designer, and you don’t even really need to know exactly what to write in order to draft compelling messages.
In addition, if you’re making sales online, all you have to do in order to capture a sale is create an account with a payment processor like Stripe and connect it to the tool of your choice with a push of the button. Two popular online tools used to build your experience funnel are:
Both of the above services offer free two-week trials.
>> 7. Write Your Sales & Marketing Emails
Once a prospect enters your experience funnel and opts in to get your lead generation offer, they’ll do one of two things: they’ll either buy from you when you present them with your revenue generating offer or they will not. Your job as the marketer is then two-fold:
- You have to followup with those who buy from you with an email followup sequence in order to fulfill on their order and nurture your new customer relationship.
- Write 3 emails to followup with your buyers
- Or you’ll have to followup with your new prospect, nurture that new relationship, and encourage a purchase later on.
- Write 3 emails to followup with your non-buyers.
Both of these email sequences can be written and prepared ahead of time because you’ll program them into your email auto-responder, which is the next step on the checklist.
>> 8. Program Your Emails & Connect Your Email Provider to Your Marketing Software
You cannot market your business via email using Gmail or Outlook. Once you start growing a database of subscribers and customers and want to send marketing messages via email, you will need to sign up for what is called an “Email Service Provider” (ESP) like Convertkit or Mailchimp.
The reasons for this are many, but here are the most important reasons you need an ESP:
- To comply with laws surrounding sending marketing email (you need to give your subscribers an easy way to opt out).
- To use the features in an ESP like email auto-responder sequencing, list segmentation, and broadcasting.
There are a ton of ESP options out there, and I recommend Convertkit for ease of use and affordability for nearly all businesses. Mailchimp is only an alternative recommendation if you simply cannot afford the monthly fee and need a free solution. Once you have decided what ESP to choose, you will need to do several things in order to make sure that your subscribers and buyers get their followup sequences.
If you join me for 2HrOnlineSales, I will walk you through this in exact detail (or you can use YouTube to find video tutorials to help), but you will want to do the following:
- Create a form and list for each group of subscribers (buyer and non-buyers)
- Upload your email followup sequences and connect them to the appropriate list, scheduling them to be sent a day apart.
- Connect your ESP to your marketing software (ClickFunnels or Leadpages) via API.
- Link your landing page in ClickFunnels to your ESP form (so that when someone opts in or buys, their info is transferred over to Convertkit).
>> 9. Test Your Experience Funnel
Now it’s time to make sure you have everything set up correctly.
Don’t neglect this step!
There are a lot of moving parts that go into your experience funnel, so you want to make sure that you go through each step several times as a user in order to catch any mistakes.
Test your pages, your opt-in, that you receive a test payment, and make sure that you receive followup emails as intended using a test email gmail account.
>> 10. Create your Enticing Promotional Graphics
When you’re ready to share your experience funnel (via social media, email, or in an ad), you will want to have a great graphic to capture attention and generate interest. unsplash.com is a great site to find royalty free photos to use in your visual marketing, but there are many sites that have free-affordable photos to use.
Just make sure you have rights to use whatever photos you choose. If you want to format the size of your image or if you want to put text over it, use a site like canva.com . You can create an account for free.
>> 11. Share Your Experience Funnel
Now it’s time to get your offer out there!
The easiest way to do this is to share the url to your Lead Generating Offer on all social media profiles where you’re active. Use the graphic you created in the previous step and write a brief intro in your post – outlining the benefits of why someone would want to click the link and grab your free offer.
After you get your feet wet, and begin seeing results (opt-ins and sales), then start considering investing into paid traffic like Facebook ads.
Well there you have it.
11 steps and you can be set up and ready to sell online in just a few short hours. In my opinion, steps 6, 7 & 8 will take up the bulk of your time, but don’t overthink this! Just aim to get everything set up and functioning first. Once you’re up and running, then go in and fine tune your copy (text), add in graphics, and make adjustments as you go along.