How to Use Lead Magnets & Sales Funnels for Artists to Get More Buyers
Using effective lead magnets is how to get more high-quality subscribers
Who doesn’t wish they didn’t have work to find qualified prospects and convert them into customers? You can mess up your chances for success if you let such wishful and dangerous thinking keep you from essential tasks. Always remember,
Hope is neither a plan nor a strategy.
To enjoy the career you want, you must develop practical plans that include these crucial aspects to your business:
- Goods and services buyers want
- Efficient marketing to drive sales
- Viable support to maintain customers and build reputation
Goods and Services
Before you can think about marketing, you must have a product or service others want. You need demand. Don’t complicate your thinking. It doesn’t matter if you have competition or have something unique and new. What matters is if enough people buy to meet your goals. Only research and experience will tell.
Marketing and Sales
Once you have goods and services, you must develop a market for them. Marketing determines your ideal buyers and creates demand for your offerings among them. It propels prospects along the customer journey starting with gaining their attention. That leads to growing interest, which when deepened, intensifies a desire to make purchases and, for some, to become best-case brand ambassadors.
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All goods and services require support. It’s how you onboard new customers, and maintain existing customer needs and strengthen relationships. Support is critical to your brand reputation.
In a nutshell, the aspects above are required to run a profitable, sustainable business.
Sales Funnels and the Customer Journey
Modern business jargon uses “sales funnel” and “customer journey” phrases to describe how businesses attract potential buyers and move them from product unawareness to becoming buyers and even evangelists. With good reason, it’s popular to equate developing relationships with customers to the stages of intimacy in the dating and looking for life partners stages of life. There are clear similarities.
In every case, it’s all about KNOW, LIKE and TRUST. You grow from first awareness, perhaps eye contact, an introduction, or by noticing a social media post or ad, to forming an impression. Steps then evolve to making contact and getting to know and understand one another. If things go well, the connection progresses. In business, your goal is to make sales, create happy customers and encourage evangelists. The enthusiasm for Apple products epitomizes the full spectrum of the customer journey process.
Getting Leads Is Easy | Follow Up Makes or Breaks You
Want more leads? You can find hundreds of creative ideas and useful techniques by searching for “how to get leads” in your favorite browser. You will find the ideas, advice, and suggestions represent an overwhelming embarrassment of riches. That’s because nearly everything works. You only need to test and then settle on what approach works best and matches your needs. Social media, organic search results (SEO), cold emailing, cold calling, networking, advertising, direct mail, referrals, reviews, and directory listings are among the most widely used methods today.
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A great place to start is social media. It is affordable, fast, and relatively easy to use. You can hire professionals or study how to use Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn to gain awareness for your business. The process in nearly every case involves finding a way to get your prospective customers on your email list. Email marketing remains the most important and useful way to manage leads that convert to buyers.
Trust Your Instincts and Support Them with Research
Begin with your instincts and feel for your market. Do your research to back up your ideas. Test to refine the process. Improve by learning how others with similar businesses get people into their funnels. It’s an easy-to-follow and transparent means. Join a mailing list of your top competitors and marketers whose work and products you admire and use. You will experience firsthand the exact steps, strategies and, tactics they use in their version of the customer journey.
Getting an Opt-In Is the Critical First Step
Have you heard the term lead magnet? It’s yet more digital marketing industry jargon to define the thing you use to convince someone to opt-in to your email list. The days of expecting results from offering a chance to join your email list so one can get more email are long gone. Today, you need to provide something of value to encourage action and grow your list. No one needs nor wants more email. Some equate lead magnets to using an ethical bribe trading valuable content for contact information.
A lead magnet that works well will have both an appeal to the interest of your prospects and a direct relation to your goods and services. There are some useful parameters to consider. It must have value, but it must also be easy to consume. Digital products work best. You still see some marketers offering a free physical where the prospect pays the shipping. It’s a technique in decline. Even giving away a digital copy of a paperback is not effective because it’s not easy to use. No one wants to read a full-length book in PDF format. It’s too much.
10 Examples of Lead Magnets That Get Best Results
Giving away services that use your resources is a bad idea because it’s not scalable and expensive. Here are lead magnet suggestions that are known to work:
- Cheat Sheets
- Swipe Files
- Guides / Reports
- Toolkits / Resource Lists
- Email Mini-Courses
The above list represents a few of the many options available to marketers for creating lead magnets that get results. It is essential to make the most compelling and high-quality ethical bribe possible. You need a profitable return on your investment in driving traffic to your opt-in offer. More importantly, your lead magnet is how you make your first impression. As such, every aspect of it must be professional and polished. As the saying goes, you don’t get a second chance for a first impression.
Your lead magnet is the gateway to establishing a relationship with new customers. Besides quality in presentation, your content must align with what you want to sell to your subscribers. You are selling art. As such, you must make your offer relevant to your art. Moreover, it must be specific. Otherwise, you confuse and derail your prospect’s attention. If you are giving free downloads of printable high-res abstract art images when you want to sell your equine art, you create a disconnect.
Your Follow Up Sets the Stage and Seals the Deal
To come this far and not have systems in place to follow up with your prospects is a severe money-losing shame. Sadly, it happens all the time. Mostly, I believe it occurs because there is little training on what to do next. Everyone tells you to build a list and the advice stops there.
A list without follow up is useless.
Your follow up must be diligent and intentional. Make it as polished and professional as the lead magnet you used to get someone in your sales funnels. More digital marketing jargon revolves around these acronyms. TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU. They represent the top, middle and bottom of the sales funnel.
Those entering the wide end at the top (TOFU) of the funnel have shown some interest in your lead magnet, but no interest—yet—in spending money with you. That is why the top is larger to accommodate everyone with interest. As your customers show interest and product awareness they move to the middle (MOFU) of the funnel. It is here through segmentation and nurturing you continue to build trust, authority, and desire for your products and services. A customer at the bottom (BOFU) part of the funnel is ready to buy. They might have questions; they might have items in the cart, they might be completing a sales transaction. Your interactions with them at this stage are vital.
How Marketing Automation Gets the Job Done
You never treat a repeat customer or prospect who walks in your shop or studio the same as you would a stranger who is a brand-new visitor. Your conversation will be much different for each situation. Marketing automation allows you to do the same with your email marketing. You create what is known as campaigns. They contain if/then logic-driven sequences of emails. Each sequence responds to where individual customers are in the funnel.
In some cases, you may treat customers who are interested in specific types of art differently. For example, a sculpture buyer has different needs and interests than a prospect who likes your 2D art. Or, print buyers versus originals. And, those are some of the countless ways you can use digital tags to identify customers and get them in the sequence best suited to their current interests. For example, tags are applied when a purchase is made. Tags can trigger an action to add or remove a contact from a sales sequence. The same or other tags can then move buyers to a thank you sequence. And timers can be used to send existing buyers to new engagement sequences to rekindle interest and expose new selling opportunities.
While this all may sound confusing and complicated, rest assured it’s not. Marketing automation software services make setting up campaigns easy to use. The best have great support, lively user communities, helpful tutorials. and expert third-party admins to make it easy for inexperienced users to hit the ground running.
Indoctrination – used to inform and educate prospects who are new to you. Your open rates are never better than in the first stage of the relationship. Use this knowledge to help those new to you and your business understand who you are and what you do. Show them some of your best past content and give them a short bio on who you are and what your business does.
Onboarding – once a prospect makes a purchase you remove the prospect tag and apply a customer tag. For new customers, you add a second new customer tag that sends them to an onboarding sequence of emails. You may want to give them hanging or display information. You may want to tell them the best way to care for their new art. If you have provided Certificates of Authenticity or provenance, or there are other documents regarding the work, use the onboarding to explain those things.
If you have staff you want to introduce them along with any additional services such as hanging, framing, color coordination and so on, then this sequence is perfect. Remind them of your hours. Give them a schedule of events, invite them to special showings. Primarily, you want your new customers to feel welcomed, valued and appreciated. Nurturing your new customers is essential.
Engagement – you have someone who has requested your lead magnet. Now is the time to engage readers with a mix of education, demonstration, information, and entertainment. Your sequence of emails progresses their understanding and piques their interest in your offerings and progresses them to MOFU. It includes Calls to Actions (CTAs) that encourage the buyer to move to BOFU. As with new customers, it is necessary to nurture your leads.
R & R (Referrals & Reviews) – set this campaign to run quarterly or semi-annual. It will help you get referrals or 5-star product reviews if they are appropriate to your business. It’s an easy way to generate additional business and get feedback from existing customers.
Win Back. – set to run every 90 – 120 days, your Win Back campaign seeks to reignite interest from previous customers who have not shown recent interest.
Abandon Cart – sometimes buyers get cold feet. Sometimes they get distracted or have problems with a credit card. Sometimes they act on impulse and need a little nudge to get them to complete the transaction in the cart. You can start with no discount just an offer to help achieve the sale. And, then move to one or more discounts or added services or bonuses for those who don’t respond to your first offer. When this happens, it is found money you are otherwise missing if you are not following up on abandoned cart sales options.
Segmentation – if your product mix is diverse most likely your customers don’t all share the same interest or level of interest in everything equally. Your segmentation campaign helps you get the right interest tags on your subscribers. That way you are sending them only the information that is most relevant to their shown interest.
These examples are among the most used campaigns but are far from the only ones you can create and send to your customers. As with all your marketing efforts, you should not feel it necessary nor should you try to get all these plates spinning at once. Choose one or two and get them incorporated and working to your satisfaction. Then move on the add more campaigns to the mix. It’s a process, not a race. You’re in it for the long haul and most likely were doing little or none of these things before. As such, give yourself a break and the time to grow into making these things happen in orderly fashion.
Can You See the Need, But Your Head Is Spinning?
You’re not alone. These concepts are often new to artists. Even those with some knowledge of marketing and using the tools and techniques discussed here are sometimes perplexed when it comes to implementing them.
My goal is to bring artists up to date with marketing to give them the best chance to compete. I believe what you’ve learned in this post is a helpful overview of how the most successful artists in the coming years will get their work to market.
There is nothing to keep you from launching into doing these things. The tools and techniques are available and affordable. It’s a matter of committing to your future. Galleries and third-party distributors are becoming increasingly less reliable as reliable partners to help you sell your art. And, even the best of them give you little or no control of how they display, market and sell your art. Working with them is in some ways using hope as a plan. And, that is not a good thing… ever!
Do You Want My Help?
I’m working to help artists who share my vision and need help doing the things described in this post. There is a limited number of artists I can work with at any one point. Strategizing, designing and creating highly effective lead magnets, plus copywriting emails for selected marketing automation campaigns as described above are included. Advice on marketing automation software and video marketing services are also intended as part of the package.
My goal is to help you build useful marketing automation, and a follow-up system that you can fine tune and keep running for years to come. I want you to become self-sufficient, profitable and satisfied with your career.
If you know you need to get organized and executing around a clear system designed to bring in leads and follow up with them effectively, then we should talk.
Get the details at artmarketingnews.com/automation