Sales Funnels for Speakers: An Introduction to the Basics
Sales funnels (sometimes called marketing or conversion funnels) are vital for all kinds of businesses, and public speaking is no different.
If you’re aiming to become a successful product speaker (as opposed to a fee-only speaker), then creating a successful sales funnel is critical to your success.
While you might have heard of sales funnels, I still think it’s a good idea to run through the basics so you have an understanding of how you should set your funnel up for success.
What is a Sales Funnel?
In its most basic form, a sales funnel is simply a series of steps that you, as the business owner or public speaker, put your potential customers through to convert them into paying customers. The steps can be anything from providing free content (like an ebook or a helpful guide) to offering a free webinar.
The idea behind a sales funnel is to provide potential customers with the necessary information and resources to make an informed decision about whether or not they should buy your products or services. As they move through the funnel, your job is to gradually remove any barriers that might prevent them from booking your speaking services or purchasing your products, or coaching/consulting services.
What are the Different Stages of a Sales Funnel?
Generally speaking, there are four stages of a sales funnel. They are as follows:
- Awareness: A prospect becomes aware of their problem and starts researching potential solutions.
- Interest: The prospect expresses interest in a particular group of products or services that solves their specific problem.
- Desire: The prospect shows interest in a particular brand or product and begins to evaluate whether it meets their needs.
- Action: The prospect decides whether that brand or product meets their needs. If it does, they become a customer. If it doesn’t, they continue to evaluate until they find a brand or product that does.
Now you’re familiar with each stage, let’s look at what you need to be doing as a speaker to create successful strategies for each stage of the funnel, from initial awareness to purchase.
The Awareness Stage
This stage is defined by a potential customer becoming aware that they have a problem that requires a solution. Your job at this stage is to position yourself as an authority on that chosen subject and, therefore, a worthy solution.
The problem could simply be that an event planner needs a speaker or that an organization needs help in improving employee satisfaction strategies. Either way, here are some of the most common examples of attention-grabbing strategies to gain customer awareness:
- Social media content
- Email campaigns
- Blog articles
- Free ebooks or guides (lead magnets)
The Interest Stage
The interest stage of the sales funnel is defined by your prospect becoming aware of your company and your services. They then start to look at all the possible solutions to their specific problem.
For instance, if a potential client was looking at delivering training on improving employee communication, they may review options such as having an in-house HR team deliver the training, having someone like you come to speak to their team, or sending their employees on a teambuilding excursion.
Your job at this stage is to convince them that you’re the best option out of all the potential solutions. Hammer home the advantages of choosing you over other possibilities.
The Desire Stage
Once the client has progressed through the interest stage, they arrive at the desire stage of the funnel. This phase is characterized by the client deciding your method of solving their problem is the best way, and they are comparing and contrasting you to other similar providers.
To refer back to the example above, they have decided to hire a consultant/speaker/trainer to handle a workshop on improving employee communication.
Now it’s your job to sell them on what makes YOU unique. Why are you a better fit than other speakers? Do you have more experience, do you have more expertise or qualifications? This stage is all about you and what makes you better than anyone else at what you do.
The Action Stage
After your continued nurturing, this is the stage whereby your prospect decides to “take action” and make a purchase or booking. At this point, you should focus on helping potential customers choose the best product or service from your brand and demonstrating why it’s the best solution.
Let’s say you offer a coaching service, a mastermind group, speaking services, and workshop capabilities. It’s about learning enough about your client to suggest the perfect solution to their problem.
While the interest and desire stages are usually conducted via automated emails or direct mail campaigns (after you’ve captured contact information during the awareness stage), you might need to physically get in contact with your client at this final stage of the funnel to ensure you do everything you can to nudge them over the line. A quick discovery call can make all the difference at this pivotal phase of the process.
Sales Funnels for Speakers: A Quick Recap
So there you have it, a quick guide to sales funnels for speakers. How you construct yours will depend on numerous factors, and I can work more closely with you to develop a winning strategy for your specific business. However, the fundamentals always remain the same and generally fall into the aforementioned AIDA framework.
I put together a short course on how you can easily find the right speaking gigs.
There are thousands of speaking opportunities every day; some are paid, and some are free, but there are a TON of them. Knowing what you’re going after and staying consistent is KEY.
So, sit back, and watch Wendi’s training. Make sure you have a pen and paper handy. Better yet download the How to Find Speaking Gigs workbook to complement this masterclass. You will also find a bonus, the Gig Tracker to help you stay focused and on track.
Meet Wendi McNeill
As the Founder and Owner of Charli Jane Speaker Services®, Wendi has been “Opening Doors of Opportunity” for speakers since 2002.
Charli Jane Speakers provides speakers with support, exposure, tools, tips, speaking and media leads, coaching/learning programs, and much more to assist them in growing their speaking business.
When it comes to Wendi’s clients she is very passionate and laser-focused about how they can grow their speaking business to levels of great success and fulfillment. They work together on strategies to quickly & easily position them as the top expert in their subject matter.
The results are success, financial freedom, and limitless lifestyle choices. Her primary objective is to help speakers/experts properly position themselves so they can get found easily, fill their speaking schedule and increase their income to incredible levels. Also, through the development of multiple streams of income, her clients learn how to rely on more than speaking fees alone to sustain their businesses.
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