What Is A Sales Funnel?
The word “funnel” points towards the process of channeling something with a huge source point into a filtered and better result. The same resonates with building the process of a sales funnel. It is a process designed to monitor and measure a customer journey with a step-by-step plan to convert leads into a loyal customer base. This includes everything from the start of a user’s first interaction with a brand till the purchase. A classic sales funnel example includes building a social media ad.
The Purpose Of Creating A Wedding Photography Funnel
The benefits of building a sales funnel for photographers are multifold – some of which we have listed below:
- To guide the potential customer to know more about your brand and services
- To track your customer’s progress and journey
- To turn traffic into relevant leads
- To turn potential leads into new customers
- To shape new customers into loyal customers
Suggested Read: How To Get A Continuous Flow Of Wedding Photography Leads
The 5 Stages Of Sales Funnels
In an ideal scenario, time and again, marketers have stated a marketing sales funnel system to include five stages. Think of it in the shape of an inverted pyramid. These stages represent the different steps in the customer purchasing journey. We have listed them below for a better understanding:
Awareness: For someone to purchase a product or service such as wedding photography, one needs to be aware of it. Therefore, building brand awareness is the first step or stage of a sales funnel. Some ways you can generate brand awareness are social media promotions, blogging, SEO, guest posting, infographics, and webinars. Awareness building is when a customer interacts or becomes aware of your brand for the first time – call it the first encounter. They get familiar with the brand message and the problem it is proposing to solve.
Interest: The next stage is to build the customer’s interest. Now that they are familiar with your brand name, it is time to get their attention and keep them hooked. Some ways you can do that are by planning email campaigns, creating lead magnets, and introducing retargeting campaigns and lucrative discounts and offers. The agenda of this stage of the photography sales funnel is to help the customers perceive the brand as trustworthy.
Evaluation: Also sometimes introduced as the “desire” stage, the evaluation stage is the third tier of a marketing sales funnel system. This is when a potential customer is already interested enough in your brand to be aware of the name and the look and feel as well. However, they are seeking something more. This is the brief window where they evaluate your products/services and core pages to decide whether or not to make a purchase. Updating landing pages, the pricing page, the testimonials, lead magnets such as guide and free ebook, etc., can be of substantial help.
Purchase: This is when the prospective lead becomes a customer by making a purchase. Since they take action to purchase, this stage is also known as the action stage. As a brand, the main focus at this stage is to fulfill the new client’s requirements and build a great customer service experience for them.
- Loyalty: This is the last leg of all the stages, but it’s just as important as the rest. This includes creating a strategy for you to retain these new customers to make repeated purchases. In simple terms, this is the stage where you work on gaining their loyalty. Referral discounts or coupons, follow-up emails, re-engagement emails, and great customer support are some ways to build loyalty.
Note: In the case of a wedding photography funnel where you are marketing a service that circles around mostly a one-time event, the method to build loyalty is directed towards not a repeat purchase but promoting the sales of add-ons such as anniversary photo shoot, family sessions, senior photo sessions, newborn photography sessions, and holiday sessions. It could also include converting them into client referrals.
The Revamp Of The Sales Funnel Strategy
Even though the above-mentioned stages are the fundamental pillars of the marketing sales funnel system, in recent times, it has been revamped a bit. Why? The reasons lie in the fleeting attention span of a user, the ever-changing market trends, multiple platforms, and the plethora of available options. These aspects have made a customer journey highly unpredictable and hardly linear.
However, all is not lost, just add a few extra steps or call it, if you may, a detour. The plan is to bring attention to customer actions. The first step is to create a list of metrics that provide you with a look into the different website, email, and social media data. This could include metrics like impressions, page visits, clicks, newsletter sign-ups, bounce rate, engagement rate, etc. Next, segregate each of these metrics into various stage categories (from the five stages).
Then, focus on monitoring these metrics and when there is an increase or decrease (this will help you get some understanding of which stage is the leaky business funnel). Lastly, get to fixing the metric or part of the funnel that is driving away your potential customers. Part of doing that is to analyze your website with the perspective of the affected metric to spot the problem. It could be anything from spammy content to broken CTA links and more.
Suggested Read: Automation Strategies For Wedding Photographers
How To Build A Sales Funnel Fast For Photographers
Now that we have some understanding of what is a wedding photography funnel, let’s pivot our talk towards how to build a sales funnel for photographers. Follow the steps below:
Step 1: Study Your Target Audience
The first step in the process of building an effective wedding photography funnel is to analyze your target audience. Analyze their wants, needs, and preferences. Having a clear understanding of your target audience will help you build a more relevant sales funnel. This will also ensure that you are channelizing your marketing efforts in the right direction. Remember, the goal is to attract the right audience, not everybody.
Step 2: Create A Lead Magnet
Once you have done your audience research, it helps to add more people to the top of your wedding photography funnel. Simply put, the second step is all about getting traction and creating an influx of traffic. Part of this you can fulfill via creating more engaging content on a frequent basis or running an ad. However, another way to go about this is to create a powerful lead magnet. It could be an ebook, a webinar, a guide, a cheat sheet, or an educational course. However, what’s important is to shape them into valuable pieces of content. In addition, it should propose a solution to simplify a problem that your potential customer would be facing.
Step 3: Landing Page For Your Magnet
We can’t stress enough that your lead magnet requires a landing page. A landing page works as a base for your lead magnet. Three things that often work as a backbone of a good enough landing page include a headline that resonates with your lead magnet title, a call to action box where the customers are supposed to add their emails, and a crisp copy that is to the point as well as alluring. However, the process of making a great landing page doesn’t end here. After you have a few different landing page formats in place, it is important to A/B test and check which one performs better.
Step 4: Diversify Your Audience’s Reach
If you are thinking that your wedding photography website is your sole source of getting leads through a sales funnel, then you are not utilizing your resources to their maximum potential. You can work on on-page SEO metrics to gain organic traffic, including paid ads, social media ads, or even social media posts, to derive traffic to your main landing page. Some things in particular that you can use to your benefit include Facebook and Instagram ads, influencer marketing, and affiliate marketing.
Step 5: Catch-Up With Emails
Emails can be a game-changer when it comes to generating brand awareness among the leads. Moreover, a regular flow of quality content on relevant topics in your client’s inbox can also help them have a perspective shift to take action. However, in order to make your emails really create an impact, it is crucial that you stay true north. This includes not spamming your leads or customers with way too many emails or sub-standard quality content.
Also, before creating your email copy, ask yourself if it is in alignment with providing solutions to your target audience’s core problems. As long as you stay true to your ideal client’s requirements, emails can be of substantial help. Derive an email marketing strategy. It will also help you stay connected with your existing customers (which can turn into more sales) to create a loyal base. Yet again, the strategy to get it right is to keep testing different copies. With the help of A/B testing, streamline the type and format of content and topic ideas that were well received within your community. After all, as Neil Patel says, “If you don’t take risks, you will never get to where you want.”
Monitor And Measure
Reflecting further on our last thought, we wish to circle your attention to understanding the necessity of constant monitoring and measuring. Building a photography sales funnel for your wedding photography business can take time, but once you get it right, it can help you fix leaky business funnels. However, to identify the root cause of the problem, it is essential to monitor every metric and data that comes your way. Regular monitoring can therefore help you with real-time issues that require attention. Similarly, giving time to measure the data that comes your way during all the stages of a wedding photography funnel will help you better assess the scenario.
Here at ShootDotEdit, we strive to help wedding photographers level up their businesses. Part of how we do that is by taking photo editing off your post-production workflow with our professional editing services. To learn more about how we can help, take a look at our pricing plans.