How to Plan your Offer Funnel

content-funnel

#1 Identify your most expensive product or service. This is the tip/bottom of your funnel and what all of your activities, products, and services funnel into.

#2 Identify the price for this product or service. It should be a fair price that meets demand and solves a high level problem and provides a substantial value.

#3 Identify a tiered product/service offering that gradually increases from free to your previously identified most expensive item. Each item provides value and builds upon itself to offer increasing value and benefit.

14-list

#4 Create a system to brainstorm your free content, the largest portion and top of your funnel. This includes all of the content you normally publish to generate awareness and drive traffic. You can use the following tools:

  • List
  • Mindmap
  • Keyword research
  • Google Alerts
  • Consumer surveys
  • Previously published content
  • Competition
  • Trends
  • Social media 

calendar

#5 Create a schedule and content plan for your free content. The content marketing strategy includes:

  • Blog posts
  • Podcast(s)
  • Video(s)
  • Interview(s)
  • Viral Report(s)
  • Guest blogging
  • Article marketing
  • Social media posts 

free-offer

#6 Create a freebie or free offer to introduce or pull people into the next tier of your funnel. The goal of this offer is to capture an email address.

  • Newsletter
  • eCourse
  • Report
  • eBook
  • Audio
  • Video
  • Tutorials
  • Webinars

up

#7 Create an introductory product or service that meets your target audience’s basic needs.

  • Ebook
  • Guide
  • Webinar
  • Group Coaching 

#8 Identify an introductory price for the product or service that your customers will be able to easily justify and part with.

ebook-reader

#9 Create a mid-level product or service that meets your target audience’s basic needs.

  • Ebook
  • Webinar series
  • Home Learning Product
  • Individual Coaching 

#10 Identify a mid-level price for the product or service that your customers will be able to easily justify and part with.

marketing-strategy

#11 Establish a marketing strategy to connect with customers as they move through the funnel to upsell and help them take the next step.

Use this plan for your offer funnel checklist to guide you as you plan your offer and create a system to introduce prospects to your funnel and move them through seamlessly.

30 Types of Content You Can Publish Online

When you think of creating online content, what flashes immediately into mind?  Most likely, “blog posts”.  But did you know there are at least 30 types of content you can publish online? Here they are.

1.  Blog Posts

We had to say it.  But take note that short blog posts are going out of fashion again.  Google has let it be known it will penalize blog posts that are so short, Google feels they are nothing more than excuses for ads and affiliate links.  Their emphasis on “quality, original content” has all the top bloggers writing posts over 500 words long and very often, twice that number of words.

2.  Infographics

Still at the height of popularity, the latest trend is to impart information in visual format people can absorb with a single glance.

 1-infographic

This works so well not so much because many people are visual learners, but because all of us internet-and-mobile age denizens have trained our brains to scan-and-glance digital content, to see if it’s worth spending time exploring further.

3.  Slide Presentations

Social platforms such as SlideShare make it easy for people to share slide presentations.  You can create these as stand-alone information modules… or as accessories for webinars you are holding.

2-slide-presentation

Plus you can have people follow you from SlideShare – and share your work across other social networks.

4.  Media Page

Every online entrepreneur should have a Media Page (section) on his or her blog or website.  Within this tab, radio hosts, news reporters and readers should be able to find:
  • Photos they can use (including your headshot)
  • Archived newsletters
  • Archived Press Releases
  • Bio information
  • The latest news about you/your business
And anything else you’d like them to share.

5.  Skype Chat Text Interviews

This is a brand new, dynamic and interactive way to present Skype interviews – a live link for people to join in and a blog transcript for those viewing the post after the call has completed.

 3-skype-interview2

Again, you can generate shares and follows for this type of content – as well as sharing your interviewer/interviewee’s website link, as Vera Raposo of Creative Biz has done with Kristen Eckstein’s Ultimate Book Coach site.

6.  Landing Pages

Short pages you send people to so they will sign up – either for your newsletter, a “freebie”, your website or blog – or a paid product.

7.  Sales Pages

Not-always-longer versions of Landing pages, promoting your paid offer.  Sales pages can come in many formats:
  • Traditional long letter format
  • Short landing page format
  • Horizontal
  • Vertical
  • Video
  • Audio
Pick the format that best suits your audience’s engagement style.

8.  Podcasts

You can make your website more interactive by providing Podcasts — .MP3 audio files your visitors can listen to (or download, if you let them).

 4-podcast

They can listen in real-time, if you provide a teleseminar phone link – and then enjoy the recording in podcast format on your blog.

9.  Newsletter Archives

Everyone who owns a blog or website should have a newsletter – and archive old newsletter editions either on a Media page or in an Archives page. Newsletter provide an instant history of your business.  People can go through each newsletter, from your very first one, and see where you started out – and where you are now. If your newsletters are high enough in value you can even choose to keep them in a hidden section for paid members of your membership site.

10.  Templates

People will return again and again to your site if they know you have great resources such as templates at your site.  These can be blog post templates, review templates – even HTML templates.

11.  Tip Sheets

This is another desirable type of content to offer as a sign-up incentive on your blog or website.  The key is to make it highly specific to their most pressing interest at this time – or to new technology that is affecting their niche: (E.g.  “30 Tips For Making the Most of Facebook Changes”).

12.  Images

We don’t just mean “stick a picture in your blog post”.  Image use should be an integrated strategy you use to brand your business and tell your story. They should consistently support your online identity and “voice”.

13.  Animated Gifs

There’s been such a prejudice against “distracting” animations, this is not a method most people think of, when it comes to content creation.  Yet under the right circumstances, they can be used effectively. There are two keys to creating a positive rather than a negative effect: a)     Choose a “loop” that looks natural repeating (e.g. a candle flame flickering, water gently tossing in a bay), rather than a moment in time endlessly replaying. b)     If you just want to catch attention, simply set the animation to repeat only once, as laid out in this Yahoo answer. 5-looping-once-yahoo There are many free sites that allow you to create animated .gifs.  Two that are easier than most are Lunapic and  Makeagif, with tutorials and wizards respectively. (Click on this link for an example of the sort of thing you can do.)

14.  Video

Every online entrepreneur should make videos and share them across platforms like YouTube, Pinterest and Vimeo.  The real issue is what type of video best supports your business?
  • “How to” demonstration
  • “Talking head” update from you to your followers
  • Animation
  • Recorded webinar with slides
  • Video blog entry

Nicole Munoz Youtube

15.  Downloadable .PDF files

You can offer eBooks and reports in .PDF format as sign-up incentives for subscribing to your blog or website.

16.  Checklists

Another great sign-up incentive – or bonus.  People love checklists – it helps make them feel organized in a world of chronic digital overwhelm!

 6-checklist

17.  Google Hangouts

You can host a meeting, interview or seminar by creating a “Hangout” within your Google+ account.  Ask fellow Circle members to join you. Better yet, choose the live streaming option to help it go viral, if it’s something you want everyone to see, and it will automatically be recorded and uploaded to your YouTube channel.

18.  Logo

A Logo that captures in a blink the essence of your business (and helps people instantly think of it) is essential, if you’re branding your business rather than you, yourself.

19.  White Papers

A “white paper” is much like a report, but is usually a formal presentation of statistics or a document analyzing something of great importance to your website visitors. If your target market are corporate-minded, white papers are usually deemed of more value than “reports”.

20.  About Page

This is one of your best pieces of online real estate.  While you are talking about yourself, you are doing so to build identification and rapport with your ideal visitor, so even when talking about yourself, it should really be all about her. Use your top keywords in your About page contest.  And it’s a great spot to put a headshot, if you haven’t done so anywhere else on your site.

21.  Bonuses

Bonus downloads and perks add value to your offers, blogs and websites.  These can take any format – video, .MP3, tip sheets, reports… And they can be created by you… or by a JV partner.  Or simply purchased as Master Resale items to share with your list.  (Pick the format your target customer or client would love best!)

22.  Coupons

A coupon can also add value to your offer or website.  You can make them printable, if you have a local business… or give a coupon code at checkout to sweeten an offer. Just be sure to set a start end date (and limit the number), to keep your ROI in the black!

23.  QR Codes

Are your best paying customers avid Smartphone users?  Then put QR codes on your website, blog, business cards, flyers, merchandise – and more. You can also set this digital bar code to take people straight to:
  • A telephone call (your number)
  • A text message
  • Your website
  • A coupon or special offer

24.  Cartoons

You don’t often see cartoons  in digital marketing – but that’s all the more reason to consider using them, if your niche members are highly visual-oriented.

 7-evil-cat

25.  Statistics

Sharing statistics can be a huge draw for many business niches.  You can share them in:
  • Chart format
  • Graph format
  • Tables
  • Lists

26.  FAQ Pages

Having a list of Frequently Asked Questions on your site is a great way to please visitors – and cut down on repetitive emails. A FAQ page is also indispensable in your Affiliate section, if you have affiliates.

27.  The Legal Stuff

If you are an affiliate marketer, you’ll know you need to provide a Disclaimer or Disclaimer Page, stating that you may receive compensation for recommendations. Other types of “necessaries”:
  • Terms of Service
  • Privacy Policy (this one’s a “must” too)

28.  Maps

Indispensable, if you’re a local business and want people to either visit your premises or see your range of service.

8-map

29.  Reviews

If you are recommending products, use a review template to provide consistent reviews. Your aim should be to become a trusted resource for people in your niche, so that yours is the site they turn to first, when looking for  product information.

 9-review

30.  “How to” Tutorials

These can be in video, diagram, audio, graphic or written format… or a combination of any of these.  (An added bonus: “How-tos” turn your site into a resource.)

 10-How-to

There are many more content types you can use on your website – but whichever you choose, be original, unique – and tuned in to your visitors.

How to Boost Your Conversion Checklist

websiteWhen it comes to online business, many people are always concerned about getting more traffic and a bigger list. But did you know there are many things you can do to start earning more money without any extra traffic or subscribers? This handy conversion checklist will help make sure more of your prospects say YES to your product offers.

 

 Website Layout

 

  • Keep Design Simple: The more information, ads, bells and whistles you display, the less likely your reader is to take action. Keep them focused on one topic and a specific conversion goal at one time. As much as possible, keep the items on each page relevant to the actual topic of that page. This generally means keeping a tidy side bar or not having one at all. For sales pages, you may find your best choice is to remove sidebars.

 

  • White Space: Give a generous portion of your web design to nothing at all…white space. Having a clean design and plenty of space in margins makes it much easier for readers to concentrate on your content and sales message and content.

 

  • Limit Navigation: It’s natural instinct to want to showcase all our great content and information, but excessive navigation simply causes confusion and lack of action. If necessary, use sub-categories to eliminate the need for large and complex navigation systems. If you are trying to create navigation that makes it easy for search engine spiders to make their way through your content, use a site map or place the more complex navigation at the bottom of the page, where it doesn’t serve as a distraction for your visitor.

 

  • Limit Outside Links: If you’re blogging and sharing content, that’s one thing. But if you’re trying to convince a prospect to purchase a product, don’t send your traffic away and avoid linking to outside pages.

 

  • Keep it On One Page: While some may abhor the 1-page sales letter, it is placed on 1 page for a reason and that’s reader retention. The more you ask your reader to click through or navigate through multiple pages for more information, the more likely they might just click away altogether.

 

contentCopy 

 

  • Use attention-getting, benefit-driven headlines: What is the one thing your prospect really wants from your product? Highlight that in your big, bold headline.

 

  • Subheadlines: Break up your copy further by using bolded subheadlines to show separate sub-sections of your sales page. It makes it easier to read and can grab the attention of someone who is scanning and about to leave your page.

 

  • Bullet points: Bullet points are also your copy’s best friend. Bullet points are easy to scan and read. Use bullet points to tap into the pain your prospect may be facing, illustrate benefits and more.

 

  • Write directly to your audience: When writing copy for a sales page, email or anyone else, imagine your ideal prospect on the other side of the screen. Say “you” and focus on your reader more than yourself. We all know Internet users have a short attention span, so it stands to reason, if you’re talking about yourself…they will just tune out. But if you’re talking to them and about them, they’re more apt to listen.

 

  • Know and continue to learn about your target: Even though we think we have a good understanding of our target market, there is always so much more to learn. Keep studying them, asking them question and tracking subjects and products of interest to them to grow your knowledge.

 

  • Include enough information to make a purchase decision: Sometimes we might worry about copy being too long, but it’s not length that’s important. It’s about providing enough information on your sales page that fully illustrates the benefits of the product, answers many of the frequently asked questions and even overcomes many of your prospect’s objections. Don’t be wordy as that’s not necessary…be useful and complete.

 

  • Be casual: Obviously, there may be some markets where a casual approach is inappropriate, but you’ll generally find that if you write how you speak, you can connect with your audience effectively. Avoid jargon in most cases and speak in plain old simple English.

 

  • Short, non-complex sentences, short paragraphs: Just as you want to avoid jargon, you want to keep your sentences simple and break up your paragraphs as well. Short chunks of text are easier to read, scan and grab the attention of your visitor.

 

  • Transitions: Keep your visitor reading through your sales page by including transitions between paragraphs and sections of your page.

 

Some examples of transitions:

 

  • And most importantly…
  • As you may already know…
  • As you may have noticed…
  • Aside from that, one thing’s for sure…
  • Bottom line is…
  • Here’s exactly why…
  • I’ll let you in on a little secret…
  • I’m sure you’ll understand…
  • In fact…
  • Just imagine…
  • Let me ask you this…
  • Let me explain…
  • The next step is…
  • Today, more than ever…
  • To prove it, here’s…
  • You’re gonna love this…
  • Power Words: Power words are part of an emotionally-charged language that is used to influence your reader. People react and buy with emotion, and these are words that help elicit emotion. They are often action words and create a mental picture for your reader.

 

Power words can be used everywhere in your copy. Here are a few examples:
  • action-oriented
  • advanced
  • all-in-one
  • amazing
  • breakthrough
  • complete
  • easy to understand
  • free
  • important
  • improved
  • latest
  • limited
  • low-cost
  • no strings attached
  • on demand
  • proven
  • responsive
  • save
  • time-tested
  • transform

 

  • Style Matters: Use selective bolding, italicization, etc to make text stand out. Strategically place images and wrap text so that they not only look aesthetically pleasing, but also draw the eye in and make it easier to read the text.

 

mediaExtras

 

  • Images: Use images to illustrate products. If they are virtual products, create virtual cover images or use other images that illustrate the benefits of the product. Images can create visual appeal, draw the eye in at key points of your copy and more.

 

  • Video: Whether it’s a slide show presentation, demonstration or you talking to the camera, video is everywhere. It can demonstrate things text can’t and can also create a more personal connection with your visitor who can see you as a flesh and blood person. If you’re using it with sales copy, test different lengths, but you’ll likely do well with a short introductory video that gets your visitor interested in learning more about the product.

 

  • Audio: Audio can also provide an introduction and create familiarity with your audience. Try a short introductory audio recording that invites your reader to learn more about your product.

 

analyzeTesting & Tracking

 

  • Track Your Links: Always track your advertising, email marketing and other links to your sales pages. Learn what works and what doesn’t…and do more of what does.

 

  • Split Test Your Sales Pages: Use split-testing software that allows you to test different elements of your sales page including headlines, offers, price and more.

 

  • Split Test Emails: Many autoresponder services come with split-testing capabilities as well. Test different offers and products with segments of your list.

 

  • Review Stats Regularly: Check your website statistics to see what pages people are viewing, where they are coming from and where they are navigating to. Review your link tracking statistics and results of your split test and adjust accordingly.

How to Repurpose a Press Release

pressreleaseYou’ve put together the perfect press release. Now what do you do with it? This handy checklist will help ensure you make the most of your story.

 

Publish the release on your website. Create a “Media” section of your website and ensure you post all your press releases. Make sure your media section includes:

 

  • Your contact information
  • An RSS feed for media updates
  • Email sign up for updates
  • Twitter and Facebook Pages dedicated to company news.

 

Distribute the release to your local media. Local newspapers, TV and radio programs are interested in stories in their community and are your best bet for good coverage. Visit the publication websites and find the appropriate editor or reporter to directly send your release to.

 

Distribute to trade publications. There may some international or national publications that deal directly with your industry. Find the appropriate editor contact to submit your story. You can begin your search at:

 

Build your media list with these online resources. There are a numbers of websites where you might research potential media contacts.

 

Also try for reference purposes:

 

Distribute your release to online press release sites. There are a number of press release sites where you can submit your release. Some include:

 

Distribute to corporate websites. Large companies who run websites may accept formal press releases. Look for their submission information and follow the steps required.

 

Repurpose Your Release for Further Distribution

 

Write informally to bloggers. While larger company websites may accept and prefer the press release format, bloggers will often appreciate a more informal approach. Take the information from your story and turn it into a personal email to the blogger. Make sure to include information on why you are contacting that blogger in particular and show that you are familiar with and appreciate their work.

 

Approach podcasts. There are plenty of online podcasts that would be interested in hearing from you. They might require an informal approach, much like described in approaching bloggers. Some places to find podcasts:

Nook Publishing Checklist

checklistSo, you’re ready to publish a book on the Nook. Not so fast! Have you covered all your bases? Miss one crucial step and you could botch your whole launch.

Before you upload your book, look through this checklist to make sure you’ve taken every necessary step.

 

Have You … Said Something Truly Unique?

 

For your book to really take off, it has to have something really different about it. People can’t pick up the book and think it seems like every other book they’ve ever read.

Becoming a bestseller on the Nook is only slightly easier than becoming a bestseller in paperback. Your book must stand out.

Give your book to a few people in your target market before launching. When they give you feedback, are they excited? Or do they simply say it’s good? Keep working on your book until people you show it to absolutely love it.

 

Have You … Formatted Your Document?

 

Formatting for the Nook is different than formatting for the Kindle or for the iBookstore.

One of the biggest differences is that you can’t use page breaks; but have to use section breaks instead.

Most of Word’s basic features, such as underlining, bolding and bulleting will work on the Nook. However, other features, like symbols or image wrapping won’t come out properly.

Make sure you’ve formatted your document properly before uploading. You can upload in HTML, DOC or TXT files.

 

Have You … Tested Your Cover Image?

 

Your cover will have a bigger impact on your sales than just about anything else in your description. Have you tested it to make sure it’s the best cover you can possibly have?

The best way to test your cover is to have 5-6 different covers done, then have your friends look over them. Get different opinions from 10 to 20 people and choose the one that people consistently say is the best.

Have You … Got an ISBN Number?

 

An ISBN number isn’t required to publish on the Nook. However, having one can add a lot of credibility for your book. If you’re serious about making your book a success, the $25 ISBN fee is a small price to pay.

 

Have You … Honed Your Pitch?

 

Why should someone buy your book? Barnes & Nobles advocates this approach to writing your description: Imagine someone asked you what your book is about at a dinner party. You have to “sell” your book in 30 seconds. What would you say?

Now take that pitch and turn it into your book’s description. It should catch attention, tell people what the book is about, hook their curiosity and get them to buy.

 

Have You … Got an Inspiring and Credible Bio?

 

Before someone buys your book, one of the first things they’re going to look at is who you are. Do you seem like a credible person? Do you have the credentials to write the book you wrote? Why should they trust you?

When you’re writing your bio, focus on the credibility building aspects. For example, if you’re writing a business book, people will care a lot less about where you grew up or what you’re passionate about than what your business track record is. Even if you’re writing a fiction book, you should still focus on your track record as an author.

Make your bio “snap” and fun to read, but make sure it also adds credibility.

 

testimonialsHave You … Collected Blurbs and Testimonials?

 

Blurbs and testimonials should go in the beginning of your book, as well as at the bottom of your description. They can help convey other people’s excitement and get your readers excited as well.

Getting testimonials is easy. Just send the book to a few of your friends, have them email you their thoughts and put those thoughts in your book.

 

Have You … Got Editorial Reviews?

 

In the Nook, editorial reviews get a section of their own.

That means there’s a huge opportunity to build credibility by adding a few editorial reviews.

An editorial review is a review by someone who’s respected in your industry. For example, a journalist, a well known author, an editor of a well known publication or a CEO of a prominent company.

 

Have You … Leveraged Bloggers, Reviewers and Reading Groups?

 

One of the best ways to sell a Nook book is to get a ton of reviews, both on the web and in the Nook store.

To get reviews on the web, contact bloggers and review sites that write about your industry. Offer to send them a free copy of your book to review.

To get a lot of reviews in the Nook store, look for reading groups. These are groups of people who read Nook books. They often focus around specific categories of books. Find one of these groups and offer your book for free to the entire group, in exchange for reviews.