Okay, so first off, get excited. Your ideal audience member is a “Step-by-Step Sue” and I have a ton of information on this page to explain what that means and to help you create content that will drive your audience towards action.
Due to the epic way you answered the questions on your quiz, I was able to place your ideal audience member into something I call the Audience Readiness Matrix—which is how I was able to tell they’re a “Step-by-Step Sue.” (Psst–Or “Simeon” if your ideal audience member is a guy.) This is the position toward the bottom left of the Audience Readiness Matrix (shown below) . . . but don’t fret. I have a content prescription for you . . . really a funnel prescription . . . to help motivate and educate Sue/Simeon.
The Audience Readiness Matrix
Right now Sue needs to know more about your product’s or service’s industry in general and become more aware of her need or desire for what you have.
Wait, Regina . . . what is the Audience Readiness Matrix, really?
That’s a great place to start. Let me tell you. It’s a framework I created to help you visualize where your audience is in terms of two things: (1) their education on (and awareness of) your industry, topic, and the outcome or benefits your product or service caters to, and (2) their level of motivation (desire to act or change) and sense of urgency about your niche/product.
Look at where Sue is again, and then we’ll get into the “why” and the “what this means” stuff.
Grasping where your audience is in this matrix will help you create the types of content and sequences of content to move your audience toward an action or purchasing decision. It can also help you know what types of products your current audience is most likely to go for.
Let’s take for example (a silly example, perhaps, but you’ll get the point) someone who has only worn jeans their whole life. They live in Jeans City of Jeans Country and denim jeans are all they know. Well. You sell yoga pants. And, as stated earlier, Sue needs to know more about your product’s or service’s industry in general and become more aware of his/her need or desire for what you have.
You’re going to want to make Sue aware of the facts:
- other types of clothing exist
- other types of clothing serve different purposes
- in many cases, other types of clothing can fit Sue’s needs better than her jeans
- jeans are not bad, they just aren’t the only solution
- yoga pants exist
- yoga pants allow for more freedom of movement
- . . . and so on
In addition to educating Sue, you’re going to want to motivate her. You may do this by communicating that:
- it’s best to buy yoga pants in the current season because ____
- wearing yoga pants during just 1 of her workouts each week, will increase the amount of time he’s able to spend in the gym and her ability to stretch properly before workouts
- it’s easy to make the switch to yoga pants, you can do it in three steps . . .
- a lot of people in a similar position to Sue have switched to yoga pants
- when you yourself (the brand owner) started using yoga pants instead of jeans, it completely changed the way you saw your world and your fitness goals
- he’s possibly suffering from some of the drawbacks of always being in jeans without even knowing it—“Take this 5-question quiz to find out if jeans are actually limiting you.”
- . . . and so on
Since Sue is in one of the most “beginning” places possible inside the matrix, but is “evenly” educated and motivated right now, I recommend a content funnel that delivers one piece of educational (or awareness) content, then one piece of motivational (or change-oriented) content, and then repeats that pattern once or twice more (you’ll have to judge based on audience reactions, views or open rates on your content, and unsubscribe rates).
Want to make a little more sense of this diagram? Keep reading, ninja.
What is a content funnel and how can it help me?
Word of mouth is still an amazing driver of sales for any business—whether that word of mouth is taking place in person or as recommendations and social shares across the web.
But. When you’re building a business that you want to make up the majority (or all) of your income, it’s important to have reliable, predictable ways to find new audience members (or, “generate leads” as marketers like to say), some of which will turn into your customers.
What type of system can you build that is always “ON” and always working for you? How can you, even while asleep or on vacation or helping another client, generate new potential friends online who are tuned into what you have to say and who are learning to trust you and love your content?
Content funnels, my friend. You probably don’t want to become so reliant on client referrals that you can’t grow without them. You want something that can work for you, continually.
Example. I have a good friend who is a freelance graphic designer. She’s very talented, but, before she set up even the most basic opt-in content funnel, she was struggling to fill her client list to the level she really wanted to. After she invested some time in herself by putting into place a funnel we planned out (not even as full or long as the example below), she started attracting the right types of clients. She then built a few more funnels and eventually got to the place where she could turn down work she didn’t want and only take on the projects she did. Funnels don’t only work for information product sellers.
The example above shows several pieces of content that a web designer could host or send out (over a few days or weeks) to drive people towards investing in a library of DIY resources or hiring them for a package. Note: This is not your exact funnel prescription or order, just an example. Remember: the gray boxes indicate content that educates and the teal boxes are content that motivates people. Also note: the content in the boxes is interchangeable for other types of content (as an example: you might not want to offer free consultations for your type of business, so you could do a pre-recorded training or mini-course instead).
See? Funnels can be your friends. Especially when they’re set up with your client and what they need in mind.
Psst. Remember that Content Prescription Quiz you just took? Well, in addition to the information above, I have some battle-tested tips and ideas on types of content for you based on what you said your audience’s habits and motivations are.
Let’s talk more about content, please.
Okay, one of the questions you were asked in your Content Prescription Quiz was whether your audience liked to:
- Learn by taking part in high energy or social events?
- Learn by receiving resources they can consume and revisit on their own schedule?
If high energy or social settings energize your audience and help them learn then, you may want to try content such as:
If self-paced resources and perhaps privacy (or limited/no pressure to communicate with others or make rush decisions) are what your audience seeks, try content such as:
And this is just some of the content you can put together in a path or funnel for your audience to help get them what they want and/or need.
Let’s do another one of the questions you just answered. I asked: “How would you say your ideal audience member feels about their ability/chances of completing or accomplishing what you teach or help with?”
And you picked one of three feelings:
- They feel very unsure or relatively unconfident about their abilities or how much they “deserve” it.
- They feel a little uncertain but generally believe they can have/do it.
- They feel confident they can have/do it.
If your audience member feels very unsure about their abilities to to have/do something (ex: lose weight, build a successful business, find a meaningful relationship, go vegan, homeschool their children, etc.) then they can benefit from small wins and actions related to your topic that you intelligently design for them. This will increase their self-efficacy (their belief that they can succeed at a particular task) and get them moving in the right direction (more awareness and motivation for further levels of growth and progress). Try content such as:
- Challenges or detoxes that give your audience baby steps each day/week to accomplish.
- A mini-course that has 10 lessons or fewer with one small action at the end of each lesson.
Content like the ideas above will help your ideal audience member feel successful and capable, even if it’s just on a small/beginner’s level. This may help motivate them to invest time into one of your more involved free resources or consultations . . . or perhaps to invest time and money into one of your paid solutions.
If your audience member feels a little uncertain but generally believes he or she can have/do it, try content such as:
- Self-evaluations or quizzes paired with your own stories (or client stories) to help your audience member see how possible it is and how it played out for other real people
- A fun online event (such as a seminar, summit, or conference) with a small or large community of people working towards the same goal—example: an online event with five speakers all sharing how they used Instagram to increase sales for their handmade items
If your audience member feels confident they can have/do it, try content such as:
- Worksheets or workbooks that help them in the planning stages of what you teach or provide–this will remind them of their goals and hopefully put them in the mood and mindset to continue on
- A live or pre-recorded case study on how much time it actually takes to accomplish what they want to accomplish, or one that shows people some of the exact steps you took to accomplish something specific, etc.—it’s always a good idea to provide your audience with some immediate next steps after a case study like this because they already believe they can do something and they just got great information on how someone else did that same thing
Isn’t this all seeming more doable and fun? Seriously, with some purposeful planning and a guided way to think through your audience’s needs and what content best fills them, you can easily create epic, intelligent funnels for your people. And they don’t always have to take a month or more to create.
Sure. I’ve set up a few pretty intricate funnels before (with multiple emails, workshops, and actions), but I also recently created the simplest little 2-email funnel for some of my eBooks that earns over $1000 per month by itself.
Once I saw a hole in how I was doing things and thought of a cool way to fix it, it took 10 minutes of work to create that sequence. This is the kind of stuff I want to share with you because even if you have a different type of brand or audience, I believe there are automations you can set up to relieve you of some of your sales work and provide a better experience for people.
Wow. I have so much more to say on this topic. And so many more ideas based on your specific answers about your audience and your own style and preferences. So. Guess what? I created a truly PACKED and easy-to-follow eKit (book, templates, video walkthroughs) out of all this information.
Profitable Funnels for Sensitive Sellers
This is a guide and resource unlike any other that you’ll be able to work through and use to implement sensible, delightful, useful, and most importantly, EPIC, funnels and paths for your “Step-by-Step Sue.”
Profitable Funnels for Sensitive Sellers comes in 5 downloads:
Plan (120 pages) covers all the outlining, brainstorming, and planning you need to do for a profitable, functional funnel.
Its chapters include: Understand Funnels, Define Your Audience and Brand Goals, Decide Who You Want in Your Funnel, Create Your Custom Funnel Outline (Quiz and Results), Select Your Funnel Platforms, Brainstorm Stories and Lessons for Your Emails.
Imagine (60 pages) includes 50 example funnel outlines (and 10 avatars/characters) to inspire you. This is worth over $100 by itself.
Create (20 pages) covers how to craft engaging, attractive emails and sales pitches for your funnels.
Its chapters include: Create Your Funnel Starting Point, Craft Engaging Story Emails, Create Sensitive Yet Effective Sales Pitches, Choose Your Funnel Tech and Tools.
Its walkthrough videos include: How to Craft an Engaging Audience Quiz and Results, How to Create Your First Email Course, How to Set Up Free Virtual Office Hours or Consultations (Using Automations), How to Create Attractive PDF Workbooks (that are Fillable + Printable).
Promote (25 pages) shows you the visuals and strategies to get your funnel in front of your audience.
Its chapters include: Craft Powerful Funnel Visuals, Learn 30 Free Ways to Get People to Your Funnel, Discover the 4 (no, 3) Best Facebook Ads Strategies.
Its walkthrough videos include: How to Create Mockups for Your Content and Products, How to Set Up Combination Pages on Your Site to Promote Your Funnel.
Borrow (20 pages) includes exact email scripts and funnels I’ve created.