Photo by Sergio Mena Ferreira on Unsplash

So I thought that today, I should open the curtains and talk about our past failures. Exactly what we did wrong.

And of course, I’ll tell you how we fixed this.

The funny thing is (and this shouldn’t surprise you, if you’ve been following my recent posts): as far as type of funnel and steps are concerned, it’s the same funnel we used, both when we couldn’t generate sales and when we started getting a lot of sales.

So what was the difference?

The elements of both versions – especially the Offers!

(Quick note: an offer isn’t just what you sell or ask people to buy; anything you give in exchange for whatever action you require from a prospect is an offer. For example, “click here to read my blog post on X topic” is an offer! Action required = a click. What they get in return = information. This is an entire lesson for another time.)

Other than the offers, well, we worked on our messaging – the stories we tell, messages we pass, and even words we use.

And all these changes were made possible because we took the time to study our ideal customer and what she wants – basically how we can be perceived as the best thing that ever happened to her. Another lesson for another day!

So…without further ado, let me start with the structure of the funnel.

Funnel Structure

Unlike most funnels out there, ours consists of four (4) basic steps:

1. Blog post

2. Opt-in page to download lead magnet

3. Sales page

4. Upsell page

5. Follow up

Blog post

Like I was saying earlier, most funnels start by simply sending people to an opt-in landing page (or squeeze page) through ads.

Ours starts with a blog post, and I’m grateful I took that step (thanks to DigitalMarketer).

This type of funnel has a lot of benefits. Some are:

  • Positions you as an authority and earns you some trust
  • Low entry barrier: Since you’re giving free information and not selling anything – not even asking for a sign up, more people would be less suspicious, and therefore, click on your ads
  • Ads like this are ideally cheaper, since you’re only asking that they go read (I said ideally, because the kind of ads I make for these are still conversion ads – Google is your friend! Even at that I still enjoy cheap clicks.). But generally, the bigger the action you require, the more expensive your ad gets: so ‘click to buy’ will be more expensive than ‘click to read’.
  • [BIGGEST] You can basically sell ANYTHING in ANY niche when you throw a harmless blog post at the front of your funnel. We sell skincare products, and we have to use before-and-after pictures in order to make good sales, but Facebook doesn’t like those. Yet they’ve NEVER flagged or banned us after almost three years of advertising. I don’t think they’ll ever make any bot that can jump through the hoops of scrolling to the bottom of our blog post, clicking our CTA, opting in to download our report, before finding our sales page.

For a top-of-funnel blog to work, we basically try to educate readers on their problem or on solutions.

Opt-in page

Once you click our ads and get on our blog post, we try to deliver value and then make a call-to-action telling you to download a free eBook that educates you further on same topic.

Sales page

As soon as you opt into our list, you’re redirected to our sales page. And this is when and where we do ALL the selling.

Upsell page

Once you place an order, you’re taken to a One-Time-Offer (OTO) page, where we try to sell you even more of the same products. Our OTO however remains valid for 24 hours.

Follow up

Each stage/step of the funnel has its own follow up emails, starting from the opt-in.

So if you opt into our list without buying the product, you get several emails trying to sell you the product.

If you order for the product, we start sending you emails to ensure you don’t feel buyer’s remorse and you eventually receive your product. Also to ensure that there are no request for refunds in the future.

We also try to upsell you on the 24-hour offer.

And if everything goes well and your products get delivered, we send follow-up emails to ensure you use the product well and get value. We then check up on you after two weeks to ask about your experience with the product.

We do several other things too, but ultimately, after a month, we try to sell you a replacement product via email. Beauty of selling consumables!!

And that’s the funnel structure.

While this post is to tell you how this funnel failed, I had to first deal with the structure part, just to get it out of the way, because it wasn’t the structure that made it fail.

We still use exact same structure till date.

(I must warn that this funnel, which I now call Authority Funnel, is very risky…because apart from the fact that you can easily mess things up and lose people at different stages when the steps are long – just as we initially did, sometimes the more steps you have, the more people fall off. It’s just natural funnel sense.)

So…what made it fail?

Are you wondering too? Because I wondered a lot: everything looked perfect. With great offers too – or what we thought were great offers.

Well, after going back to the drawing board and learning how to really sell, the major person I ran back to – my savior – is my audience. My dream customer.

I simply submitted to her humbly and made her to show me the way to her heart.

It’s like swearing sincerely to your lover: “I’ll do anything for you; I’ll give you whatever you want”, and then actually keeping your promise!

I’ll go into details in the future, but majorly, what we did (sorry I’m jumping gun) was to go back to each step/stage of the funnel, and changed the offers (of course, except our product) in order to take her to the next step. We found EXACTLY what she wants, and then we gave her, one after another, from small to big, at each stage, just to get her to the next.

There’s a method to this, and I’ll probably share it all here on my blog or Facebook someday, but the fastest way to get instant access to this system is to take my coaching program.

I digress.

So…now that you know what we did to turn our failure around, let me now go into what we did wrongly, at each stage of our funnel.

Blog

We (me and my first partner/first business student, Lola…who later became my coaching business coach. Life!) basically just asked ourselves, what skincare topic sounds good enough towards what we were selling?

You see the problem there? We were focusing on the product we were selling; not the person we were serving.

Of course, as expected, we came up with several topics…and we published the first Lola actually wrote, while I wrote the concluding (sales) part.

Now that I’m looking at it, we’d have been better off just sending people straight to the opt-in page (which unfortunately was another laughable goof! :D)

When I studied my dream customer and really thought about what she needed at that point, I could’ve come up with several articles too, but I came up with just one post.

And it became an instant hit.

Two years and nine months, and four different products later, we are still using the exact same blog post at the front of our funnel.

Funny thing is that this blog post that became the ONE is far simpler than ALL the posts we creatively came up with initially.

Lesson learnt: follow a process; you don’t have to task your brain or be creative!

Opt-in page

Really, I’m almost ashamed of myself as I’m about to share it. BUT I thought it was a very smart move; you’d probably think the same. But numbers don’t lie; it failed woefully! 😀

I practically tried to force people to get our product.

I created a guide for using that product and offered it as our lead magnet.

I designed the book cover 🕺🏽😂

I did this with the thinking that: if you have a guide on a solution that helps you solve a very important problem (like acne and dark spots), you’d automatically want (or even crave) that solution.

So, I gave people a guide to using our soap to remove acne. It drove me nuts that people weren’t rushing to get our miraculous product after they got a guide to using it!

Does it sound smart to you? Let me know in the comments 😀

So how did I (yes, I. Was just me by this time) fix this?

I simply asked myself what the next reasonable step to take would be, for someone who’d read my blog post.

And then I provided them with that next step.

And now we’ve had over 40,000 downloads of this new lead magnet (also an eBook).

Sales page

This, and other pages (and emails), became easier. It was all just about the next reasonable steps my dream customer would take after getting my lead magnet.

The lead magnet served as two things: a segmenter that showed people’s interests, and a pointer to what these people would need next.

Remember: every solution births a new problem! (Just keep solving these new problems at every stage.)

The major change I made here, however, was to include a relatable story of transformation.

My spokesperson was where my dream customer currently is, and then she took steps my dream customer most likely took but failed…until she found a solution, which my dream customer is yet to find.

And that is the solution being presented to my dream customer on the sales page, because it changed my spokesperson’s life drastically and she’d want same for my dream customer.

As for how I structured the story, thanks to my eCommerce guru friend, Mo Yusuf, for giving me a proven sales letter to swipe!

Others

Like I said, it simply became a matter of the next reasonable steps my dream customer would take!

Almost 60 to 70 percent of my emails are from proven scripts — same I now use for my clients — so it was easy to just edit and plug in our own messages and personality.

Pheew!

Now you’ve seen the mistakes I made that cost us a few months, several hundreds of dollars in ads, heartaches and near-depression, imposter syndrome, and a lot of sleeplessness.

The easiest way to make your funnel work is to focus entirely on your audience. Who they are, what they need, what they want, their wildest dreams and desires, their fears, how best to package your offer, how best to communicate your offer, etc.

I call it Audience Intelligence.

The information you get on your dream customer or client will then guide you into creating a profitable funnel. The only thing left to create a perfect funnel would be testing and optimization.

I’ve done this in several niches for several businesses and it simply works. Ironically, it reduces your stress than if you do it any other way.

The method

Like I already said, there’s a specific method to all these. A failproof method. And it is currently ONLY available to my coaching clients.

And, mind you, Audience Intelligence is just one part of my 7-pillar system, which is called The Septuplar Sales System. By the time we install this and the other six pillars of sales and business growth that make up this system, you’ll have a solid business that will scale quickly and give you the freedom you desire as an entrepreneur.

If you need my help as your coach (who wouldn’t let you be, till you succeed), then send me an email showing your interest at [email protected]. And I’ll take it from there – first step is usually to determine if we are a good fit for each other in a coaching relationship.

As soon as that is determined, I’d be more than glad to help you take your business to the next level, where you too can easily get a return of 4x, or even 10x, your investment in marketing and advertising.

In the meantime, fall in love with your dream customer; get to know them, and then give them just what they want – from the beginning to the end of your sales process (or funnels).

Cheers to sales and business growth,

Oludami!

PS: What do you think about today’s post? Let me know in the comments!

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