As we continue our Introverted Freelancer series, we will take a closer look at those tools in the WordPress ecosystem that help introverted freelancers automate many of the marketing processes we need to expand our customer base. Automated marketing funnels support a freelancer’s use of Permission Marketing (permission— engagement — call to action) to help build our loyal tribe of followers, supporters, and clients.
Quick Review of Permission Marketing
We have touched on the value of Permission Marketing when we discussing the basics of content marketing. The step-by-step process of a permission-based marketing funnel are:
First, let’s define what we mean by Marketing Automation. It is the use of sequenced tools (plugins) to facilitate the process of engaging and nurturing leads over a period of time until your clients are ready to make a purchase.
A closer look at the WordPress tools that help introverted freelancers automate many of the marketing processes we need to expand our customer base.
Defining the Six Key Elements Terms
List Management – The ability to segment your subscribers and send offers targeted to who they are and what they’ve done.
Web Analytics – Usually integrated into lead scoring (the next bullet), it’s helpful to know what a person is doing on your website in order to determine how likely they are to buy. For example, if someone downloads 3 reports and attended a webinar, they are more likely to buy than someone who only signed up for blog updates.CRM – Customer Relationship Management which, contrary to its name, typically has nothing to do with “customers” and everything to do with Auto-Follow-on communications that funnel to permission sales.
Some Inconvenient Truths
Effective content needs to be entertaining, instructive, useful, and lead with a great headline. Unfortunately, even content with all these qualities does not promote itself. Introverted freelancers, who decide to use market automation as part of a content marketing strategy commit to making an investment of time, talent and treasure. The return on that investment (ROI) will not always be measured in sales, the return may be reflected in audience growth and engagement, which is the first and most crucial step in Permission Marketing.
Increased customer engagement is both a blessing and a curse. Your tribe of followers can be a mixed bag of fans, advocates, and trolls. The big lesson for most of us who are building an audience is, we can not control the conversation — we can only control our reaction to it. Reading, understanding and learning from audience reaction is the best way to refine our message to target our ideal clients.
Feeding The Beast
Market automation tools depend on engaging content to draw your audience to, and through, our site’s automated marketing funnel sequences. Freelancers have to keep feeding the [content] beast — to do that you need to develop a good content model – the right content, for the right person, at the right time. If you are are not comfortable writing engaging content you have two choices, learn or hire. If you want to learn there is no better source than CopyBlogger’s Authority courses. Full Disclosure — I have been a fan-girl of CopyBlogger since 2008. If you decide to use writers, Authority has a list of certified content developers that are amazing. Just reading the CopyBlogger public blogs will help you improve your written communication skills.
Why Invest in Content Development
The Internet doesn’t care about you, your product, service or company. Search engines hate irrelevant, unhelpful content — so do site visitors. To attract your core audience and convert them into customers, strategic use of both Permission Marketing (based on targeted content) and Automation Marketing tools are the way for an introverted freelancer to take the ‘glad-hand-up-close-and-personal-sales’ aspect out of our business development plan.
Your Content Strategy Should Answer These Questions
1.Who are you?
2. What do you have for me?
3. How is this going to help me?
4. Why should I care?
5. What should I do next? ( Call to action )
Attracting People Who Have a Problem You Can Solve
When you’re developing content for your automated marketing funnels, you need to think about who you need to attract, what people need from you, what’s going to move them forward. Permission Marketing is ALL about your target customer. To draw them into your marketing funnel, your content must educate, entertain and prove a tangible value. For your automated marketing funnels to be effective your visitors have to anticipate the even greater value that is yet to come. A successful permission marketing campaign has to give the site visitor a sense of early progress and quick wins. A well-designed content marketing strategy helps build a sense of community around your site. Customers buy in their minds before they buy with their credit card.
All Good Plans Start With Hard Questions
- What are your constraints? What challenges do you face? ( income, profit margin, traffic )
- Things you can improve, things you can capitalize on
- What are your assets? What do you have access to that will help?
- What is the funnel going to do for your business? Long term – medium – immediate
- What are you going to implement that will get you to what you want
- Are you measuring the right thing? What you measure you can manage.
- What’s in it for me? What is the funnel going to do for your prospects?
What are the pain-points they are looking to solve? The things that keep them up at night?
- It doesn’t have to be a complete solution, just something the gets them to the next step
- What’s next?
Is all this content marketing planning and structure worth it? For an Introverted Freelancer who is uncomfortable with the tackiness of “Sales” — building and tuning a permission-based Automated Marketing funnel is the preferred way to build a tribe of supporters and clients.
Some consultants still think that Market Automation is too complicated and too intense for a freelancer or small consulting business. Which is great news! The WordPress eco-system provides freelancers with a wide choice of free or inexpensive plugins to build an Automated Marketing funnel that can be tuned to our specific business needs. Some freelance WordPress developers are choosing to make market automation funnels their field of specialty, and are profitably serving an eager small business community.
Where To Find Your Tribe
Your Site content needs to be tuned to attract:
- Social network followers
- Search engine visitors
- General content audience
- Specific email audience
- New and repeat customers and clients
The goal is the same for each on-line engagement. We want to gain awareness, engage their interest, and move them through a decision to take action.
There are many types of Automated Funnels
- Basic Lead Generation Funnel
- Webinar Lead Funnel
- Free Membership Funnel
- Launch Funnel
- Dynamic Evergreen Offer Sequence Funnel
As we design the funnel that works in our field of specialty, we need to deciding what we want the client to do at each decision point in the funnel. The goal of any automated funnel is to turn a visitor into a contact, a contact into a client, a client into a repeat customer and part of your loyal tribe of followers, supporters, and advocates.