When a Blog Begins to Become a Business
Despite having a blog full of engaging content and a community of followers, Amber didn’t have a way to convert those clicks into...well, cash. “I had a blog, but there was no information about my programs, no way for me to talk about my programs—there was nothing."While she knew she needed a website, she admits, “I had no money and no time to even think about it. So I said—I’m just going to build it myself on Leadpages.” And she did. She built her business’s primary website and a collection of high-converting landing pages all on the Leadpages’ platform—how’s that for crafty civil engineering?
A Marketing-Optimized Website, Built With Leadpages
Given her background in fashion and branding, Amber wasn’t about to compromise on the look and feel of her website—she also wasn’t eager to pay thousands of dollars to get her business online. So she took a Leadpages template and (brilliantly) turned it into her homepage, connecting to her WordPress-hosted blog and other key landing pages, which she links to from the primary navigation menu. Take a look at how it turned out!
Now that Amber had the means to display her programs and capture leads, she needed a method to get the message out and make sure her new leads would stay engaged until they were ready to purchase.She needed a marketing funnel. To create her system, Amber drew from every aspect of her unique strengths and diverse professional experiences:
- The former civil engineer in her built a data-driven system
- The former fashion editor and stylist knew that every successful business is grounded in a powerful, consistent brand
- The former TV presenter knew that to build a community, she’d be most at home in front of the camera and crafting video-rich email nurture sequences to sell her services
These strengths would become the key ingredients of what is now her freedom funnel.Today, Amber spends less than 10 hours a week at her office because she uses a series of automated webinar funnels and Facebook ad techniques (she refers to as her super-ninja secret sauce), both of which build her business while she enjoys her life. Granted—she didn’t get here overnight. In fact, she estimates that her first funnel took her a grueling 6 months to build, but now she’s cranking them out in just a couple days—and training her clients to do the same. This funnel, in particular, has been fine-tuned and tested for years, as she a/b tested dozens of elements from the timing of an email to the color of a call-to-action button.
New to Automated Sales Funnels?
Whether you’re running a service or product-based business, automated sales funnels are evergreen (set-it-and-forget-it) campaigns that bring in a steady influx of new leads and nurtures them with new content and upsell offers.
Amber was kind enough to deconstruct her dynamite funnel into 10 simple steps so that you can learn from her strategies and apply them to your business.
9 Steps to Funneling Your Way to Freedom
Step 1: Filling the funnel
Amber fills the top of her funnel by driving cold web traffic from three primary sources:
- Facebook Advertising
- Public Relations (free publicity)
- Content Marketing
Trendy as it is, Amber doesn’t encourage entrepreneurs to over-invest in content marketing that’s slow to translate into bottom-line growth. Instead, Amber spends much of her time creating Facebook video ads and appearing as a guest on podcasts that cater to her target audience of female entrepreneurs. In order for Facebook ads to truly be successful, they’ve got to have an excellent creative concept paired with spot-on targeting. Amber counsels her students to always keep in mind that you can have the best creative in the world, but if your targeting is off, your ad will bomb. In her own business, she favors video ads that range from 30 to 60 seconds. She then split tests the copy between longform (3-4 paragraphs) and short form (3 short lines). For businesses just getting started with Facebook ads, Amber recommends that every business owner should be running retargeting ads in order to get back in front of the people who have already heard of your business. New marketers can start with retargeting to website visitors as well as to users who have engaged with a Facebook Fan Page or Instagram Page. “That’s the place to start,” says Amber. “Once you have a solid list together then you just run Facebook lookalike audiences. I would stick to these, don’t try and get too fancy, and don’t go too broad. I target really specifically.”
Step 2: Lock ‘em in with a lead magnet or webinar registration
To transform her cold traffic into email subscribers, Amber relies on two tactics: driving traffic both to an “irresistible freebie” (also known as a lead magnet) and directly to her webinar registration page.
Video Series Lead Magnet
To make her lead magnet truly irresistible, she uses a free video training series because, in her experience, video quickly establishes the know-like-trust factor that primes her audience to purchase later on down the line. Check out Amber’s lead magnet and landing page and after 18 months, it’s still converting at over 50%!
High-Converting (Webinar) Landing Page
People that access her video lead magnet or come in through a Facebook ad campaign, will eventually arrive at her webinar registration page: where Amber offers a live training session.
Longtime Leadpages customer and advocate, Amber is passionate about helping her students create better-converting pages and encourages them to carefully consider every brand touchpoint throughout the course of a campaign: “One of the reasons my landing pages convert so well is because of my branding. People see my ad, see my landing page, and it all has the same brand ID and persona.”
Still Sending Leads to a Static Website? Amber Says: Stop.“Often a homepage or website is not optimized for lead generation. Visitors might read a blog, click through a couple articles, and then leave. But with a landing page or pop-up, they either click and give you their email address or click and close the tab.”
Almost immediately after Amber collects leads through her paid Facebook advertising, she offers her new leads a unique opportunity for $7-15 purchase that strategically recoups the ad spend (and essentially list-builds for free).
She does this by having a one time only offer on the thank you page, directly after someone registers for the freebie lead magnet.“If you’re serving ads and losing money, you’re doing it wrong,” says Amber. “I make anywhere between $4-5 for every $1 I spend on Facebook advertising. So my whole business model revolves around earning more money so I can put it into Facebook and 5x it.”
Check Out Amber’s Top 5 Facebook Ad Tips:
- Use video: video ads will always outperform other creatives.It doesn’t have to be fancy, record on your camera, with good lighting and audio. Upload it. Get it out there
- Let the pixel do the work for you. Make sure your Facebook tracking pixels are installed properly and that you are correctly optimizing (Leadpages places your pixel automatically). Your tracking pixel will collect data over time and drive down your advertising costs.
- Make sure you’re optimising for the right conversion.Because we want people to register for a webinar we only optimize for offsite conversions.
- Start with retargeting ads first. Work with retargeting ads and get them optimised and profitable, then expand into lookalike audiences.
- Test, test, test and then test some more. We do extensive split testing at really low budgets. We start at $5/day testing two different creatives then testing that with audiences. We do this over and over and over again to get the best creative for the best audience. Testing is the key. Don’t ever assume you know the best formula.
Step 4: Nurture Registrants & Encourage Attendance (at Webinar)
After a new lead registers for the webinar, Amber’s automated email nurture sequence kicks into high-gear. During this brief waiting period, Amber lavishes her audience with video training sessions that deliver marketing know-how and develop the know-like-trust factor that builds familiarity with her brand, encourages participation in the live webinar, and fuels the desire to remain engaged over the course of the customer journey.
Step 5: Deliver the Webinar (or Other High-Value Offer)
When the date of the webinar rolls around, Amber doesn’t settle for a run-of-the-mill slide deck: she puts on a high-value, high-energy, don’t-change-the-channel-or-you’ll-miss-something-major, entertaining event that is a key pillar of her brand. “My webinars tend to be very high energy, with a dance party at the start,” says Amber. “I try to make it fun and be relatable, stay action-packed, talk really fast, and teach really deep.”
While Amber is drawn to live webinars and training events, she teaches her students that this touchpoint in the funnel could easily be swapped out for a 3-part video series, a coaching call, or a product sales pitch.The key element?Deliver even more value and include your key offer.
Step 6: After the webinar, segment your email list into attendees and no-shows
By segmenting your email list into two groups (people that attended and those that no-showed), you allow everyone to continue progressing in their customer journey at their own pace and ensure that no new lead gets left behind.
Step 7: Send no-shows into a re-engagement sequence & retarget them with Facebook ads
Just because someone says no to buying your product or service, doesn’t mean they’re never going to be ready—most of the time a ‘no’ is simply a ‘no, not right now.’So fear not, because you can easily re-engage with these leads and offer more information and education in the meantime. When registrants skip out on the webinar for whatever reason, Amber initiates an automated re-engagement email sequence that invites them to catch an encore performance of the webinar they missed or attend a different one. She also keeps her brand top-of-mind by launching a Facebook ad retargeting campaign for this unique audience. This way, Amber’s brand will show up online for her webinar no-shows so that they can be reminded “...oh yeah, Amber Renae...I’m really interested in what she has to say.”
Example Follow-Up Email
SUBJECT: NAME, What Happened?!
I just wrapped up the most epic training sesh %FIRSTNAME% It was jam-packed full of insider strategies that no other entrepreneur in the entire world will ever share with you!! But I noticed you didn't join us for the full training, I'm guessing one of these might sound familiar:
- Amber, my internet freaked, so I couldn't watch the full class!
- I wish I could've joined you live; I have so many questions for you!
- I already had commitments, when will you be hosting this class again?!
You ask, I listen %FIRSTNAME%. I know how much it means to you to learn seriously smart strategies to running a profitable business, and getting your brand the attention you know you deserve, which is why I'm running the class again. Just CLICK HERE to save your spot
Walk Attendees Through a Step-by-Step Sales Funnel & Re-target Them with Facebook Ads
On the other side of the funnel, Amber actively engages with webinar attendees by kicking off a step-by-step sequence that leads people through a buying funnel that plays on psychological factors that trigger buying decisions (by layering elements such as scarcity, urgency, and reciprocity).As a reward for attending her webinar, she delivers this group a special deal to purchase whatever was pitched during the webinar (in this case, an eCourse or mastermind group). And, once again, she keeps her brand top-of-mind by launching Facebook retargeting ads specific to webinar attendees so that her brand messaging and tantalizing offers are present on multiple digital channels. In fact, she has 9 different Facebook ads that get served to webinar attendees, answering every possible question they might have and handling every possible objection.
Recycle & Repeat With a Fresh Piece of Core Content
But—what if they still don’t make a purchase? Then, the pipeline continues. She simply offers a new webinar and recycles her traffic back up through the top of the funnel.“Nothing in this funnel happens by chance. It happens because of a strategy.” Because so much of Amber’s funnel is architected for fire off automatically, the 10 hours per week that Amber spends running her business are dedicated almost exclusively to filling the very top of the funnel: participating in free PR opportunities (primarily as a podcast guest) and refreshing the content on her Facebook ads.
Meet Amber Renae Founder, Amber Renae Civil Engineer, serial entrepreneur, motivational speaker, and digital nomad Amber Renae inspires women to re-discover their 'Wow' factor through presentation, personal branding and self-love.Ready to increase your income and influence, and see Amber’s freedom funnel in action, save your spot here: http://www.amberrenae.com/impact