Sales Funnels vs Marketing Ecosystems
the last thing I want to cover when it comes to building a marketing strategy for your service based business, is marketing ecosystems. Now, building a marketing ecosystem is a beautiful thing because it requires very little thought now. What you might have heard about in the past is a sales funnel or a marketing and sales funnel. So I want to kind of compare and contrast for you. The difference between what I mean by a marketing and sales funnel versus a marketing ecosystem with a marketing and sales funnel, the idea is that a new prospect finds out about your business. They take a series of steps that you have carefully do designed to walk them through and little bit by little bit, you know, folks trail off, right, they don't want to take that next step. They don't need that next step. They realize that this isn't really the thing for me. And by the time you get to the end of that sales funnel, you've whittled down that initial group into a group of customers who are ready to buy. Bu...
t the whole process is really planned out, really thoughtful in terms of moving people through a particular journey and that works. Sometimes. Sometimes it works to build out a sales funnel, but service based businesses especially do not need sales funnels instead, what they need is marketing ecosystems a marketing ecosystem means that those different kinds of marketing activities that we've been talking about. Discovery activities, evaluation activities, conversion activities. That instead of trying to plan them out in some, you know, pre thought out plan that you're gonna guide every new perspective client through. Instead those activities are sort of just out there ready for people to engage with them on their own time. And what that allows for then is for people to move pretty quickly from a new prospect into becoming a client. But if they're not ready to move fast that's okay too, they can move through it on their own time. So more so simply put a marketing ecosystem is how the media and messaging you put out into the world, work together to attract the right people earn their attention and lead them toward your offer. So whatever it is that you're putting out into the world to help people discover your business, evaluate whether they want to work with you and then convert into a new client. A marketing ecosystem is a much more holistic client driven way to think about how a prospect is going to engage with your business before they're ready to buy. One of the really great things about a marketing ecosystem is that it makes it easy for people to find you when they need you. Instead of trying to start with a prospect who maybe isn't even thinking about buying, they're not thinking about working with a business like yours. And then walking them through step by step to the point that they are thinking about working with you. A marketing ecosystem is really fantastic for people finding you at different phases, they might find you when they are fed up and ready to buy or they might find you when they're excited and thinking about buying or they might find you when they've started to notice this problem. And they're in the very beginning phases of seeking out whether help might be right for them. When you build out a marketing ecosystem, you don't have to worry nearly as much about attribution. There's a lot of talk in sort of marketing strategy circles about understanding where your leads come from. Did it come from this web page or that button or this subscription form and that's really valuable for our businesses that are marketing at scale or businesses that are spending a lot of money on advertising. Attribution helps you know, that you're putting your energy and your finances in the right place to get the right results. But with a service based business attribution frankly, matters very little. Instead, as long as you're getting clients in your pipeline and you're keeping your capacity where you want it to be, you can sort of have a more loosey goosey kind of approach to attribution? I think it's always helpful to ask a new client how they found out about you. Was it a referral? Did they read a blog post after they searched for something? Um did they just happen to come across your website randomly? There's all sorts of different ways that people might find out about you and it's good to get that information, but I worry way less about what particular article it was or what particular search they put into the search engine and instead just kind of take that high level information as further guidance and and further affirmation that my strategy is working. The other thing about a marketing ecosystem is that it's focused way more on practice rather than perfection. When we're talking about a sales funnel, we're often talking about optimizing that sales funnel, making sure there's as few leaks in that sales funnel as possible. It's all about perfecting it, making sure that you can get your conversion rates as high as absolutely possible with the marketing ecosystem. Instead it's about building habits. It's about approaching marketing with a practice mindset and really thinking like, how am I doing this day in and day out or week in and week out so that you know that the business is always getting its marketing needs met and then finally creating a marketing ecosystem makes it easier for your prospects to self serve. What I mean by that is that they can go at their own pace. This is great because what I've found over the years is that a lot of service based businesses assume that the pace their clients want to go out or their prospects want to go at is a lot slower than their prospects actually want to go. So if all of the information that your car client needs to hire you is right on your website or it's in a workshop that you're doing or it's in a case study in a pdf that you've put out, they can self serve, they can go through that process as fast as they want to go through it. And that means that you go from prospect to client much more quickly than if you would have designed it yourself. So here's what a marketing ecosystem can look like in practice. It might mean that you're cultivating a habit of doing say three coffee chats per month. Those coffee chats can be a great way to connect with a client who completed with you maybe a year or two ago and see where they're at, see how they're, can be a great way to get in touch with new people. Maybe find brand partnerships or other service providers that could act as referral partners for you. But really thinking about building that habit, building it into your schedule so that every month you're doing something to connect with new people. Another thing could be creating a practice of creating one standout piece of content per quarter. So, you know, I talked about those long form pieces of content and those long articles on our website at Yellow House media. Uh, this could be the time that you carve out to make something like that. It does not need to be by the way as long as my articles, but maybe you create just that really killer piece of content once per quarter and that's the practice that you use. It's not a lot of work but done once a quarter, it's gonna help you fulfill your goals. Maybe also once a quarter you decide to touch base with former clients, Maybe you make a list and you kind of cycle through them, you shoot them an email, see how they're doing and just remind them sort of that you're there, that either you can be rehired or that someone that they know might be looking for someone like you to help them out. So that's another really good way to touch base with former clients. You might also develop a practice of using social media for networking, say to time times a week, again, this is not about broadcasting that constant churn of content instead it's about going on a platform and actually discovering people you want to connect with, leaving comments, sending them direct messages, finding out more about what they're up to and actually talking with them about that either publicly or behind the scenes, That's a phenomenal way for a service based business to use social media as opposed to broadcasting constantly. Um, and then another piece of your marketing ecosystem might just be the F. A. Q. S on your website or even your about page or your services, page, your website provides sort of this phenomenal landing pad that prospective clients can use to find out what they need to know before they're ready to invest with you or at least have a sales converse with you. Now. Marketing ecosystem has a bunch of other benefits as well. The more you cultivate that marketing ecosystem, the more the marketing activities you use will be nurturing and valuable for people who will always remain non buyers. I don't want to spend tons of time, right? Thinking about, well, how do I create valuable things for people who are never going to buy from me? But I do want to make sure that what I put out into the world is useful even if someone doesn't want to buy from me and a marketing ecosystem helps me do that. A marketing ecosystem also helps buyers and non buyers alike feel welcome and included. They don't feel like they're being school squeezed through that sales funnel instead they can kind of come and go on at their own pace whenever they've got questions or whether they're thinking about the kind of work that you do or the kind of goal that you can help them achieve. And then finally, a marketing ecosystem is gonna help you make the most of your resources by encouraging everything you do to be interconnected with other parts of your strategy. When you're thinking about that ecosystem, again, it's very holistic. You can think about how each thing you do each activity that you go through on a weekly, monthly quarterly basis is feeding into other parts of that strategy. And so it really becomes this sort of beautiful system that makes sure your business is functioning the way you want it to function.