Many of us crowd around the television during the Olympics, in awe as we think “Man, I wish I could be that good at, well, just about anything!”
Why not take the motivation and drive of elite athletes and apply that passion to your marketing strategy?
With enough focus and intensity, you can make your next sales funnel worthy of a gold medal.
The Olympics represent the pinnacle of spectacle and athletic performance, with millions around the world tuning in to see the best of the best compete for the glory and the gold.
The blood, sweat, and tears that go into the training regimen of the most Olympic athletes is difficult for the average person to wrap their head around.
From training for six hours a day, six days a week year-round to insanely strict diets that we could never stomach ourselves, the dedication and intensity of those competing in the Olympics are absolutely staggering.
Okay, so what the heck does this have to do with building a sales funnel?
More than you might think.
While comparing your sales funnel to pole-vaulting or the 200-meter dash may seem like apples and oranges, consider the struggles that marketers face:
- Some days it just feels like we’re going nowhere, essentially spinning our wheels trying to support an underperforming sales funnel.
- Throwing in the towel can be incredibly tempting when we’re not seeing an ROI for our hard work and research.
- Overcoming that final financial hurdle into profitability can be like staring up at a giant, seemingly impossible to overcome.
Likewise, athletes face similar challenges in the midst physical and mental roadblocks as they spend four years preparing for events that could last mere seconds.
But do they give up?
And neither should you.
It’s time to take your funnel out of the kiddie pool and get on Michael Phelps’ level.
Practice Makes Perfect
Olympic athletes aren’t simply born: they’re made as a result of their years of fierce training and focus.
Likewise, killer sales funnels don’t fall from the sky: they’re created as a result of intense research and a fool-proof sales strategy.
If your first funnel falls flat, does that mean you should give up altogether?
Of course not. Instead, learn from the mistakes of your first funnel and understand what not to do the next time around.
- Ignoring the elements of conversion focused design, ultimately resulting in a funnel that fails to convert.
- Relying on a cheap or inexperienced team as a means of cutting corners which therefore cuts sales.
- Focusing too much on the front-end instead of implementing a back-end that grows the profit.
Think of fine-tuning your funnel as simply part of the process, much like athletes have to train for hours on end to recreate their best performances.
The more time you spend building and launching new funnels, the more opportunities you have to grow as a successful funnel-hacker.
Split Test Strategies
In fact, it seems like records are constantly being broken the Olympics, year after year.
Athletes evolve. As researchers and trainers uncover new ways to train, athletes adapt accordingly to raise their own standards to match their competition.
On a similar note, you should constantly work to evolve your marketing and funnel-building to meet the expectations and best practices of your niche.
Funnel-builders should always be split testing to optimize the potential of their marketing strategy.
From the color scheme to copywriting, there are always tweaks that can be made to make your funnel smarter and stronger.
Sure, you can let your funnel sit in autopilot mode; however, that’s no way to grow your network for future funnels and stand toe-to-toe with your competition.
If you hope for your funnel to stay competitive, you can’t afford to test.
Play the Long-Game
It can take some athletes years of rigorous training before they make it to the Olympics: earning a medal requires extreme patience and perseverance.
You can’t always expect your funnels to kill it from the word “go.”
Remember: funnel-hacking represents a marathon and not a sprint.
Think about how long-distance runners kick it into high gear at the end of the race: they fact that were ever “behind” becomes irrelevant as long as they cross the finish line first.
For example, it’s okay to sacrifice some conversions on the front-end to create life-long customers on the back-end.
Many funnel-hackers get laser-focused on their launches that they ignore essential elements of their back-end such as retargeting and segmenting their lists.
In reality, ensuring that you build a base of customers and employ a strategy to turn them into life-long advocates of your business represents the difference between a killer and average funnel.
By focusing on the back-end of your funnel, you play the long-game to ensure more revenue for your business with less legwork.
There are No Shortcuts
Funnels represent a lot of hard work, and there are no shortcuts.
Similarly, Olympians train their entire lives to relish a few moments of glory; however, such glory can easily be stripped away from those caught cheating or attempting to undermine the integrity of the games.
On a similar note, funnel-builders attempting to rely on black-hat techniques can lose their funnels and organic search presence at little more than a moment’s notice.
Google is more than happy to punish any business looking to game their system, whether through duplicate content or black-hat link building.
Sure, it may take a while to get caught; however, punishment is usually always swift, sudden and severe.
When it comes to funnel-building, you’re on a relatively even playing field. In other words, there’s no need to “cheat.”
Therefore, use the best tools in your toolbox to outdo your competition rather than looking for the easy way out.
The risk simply isn’t worth it: plus, the energy spent digging for a shortcut could be spent optimizing your next funnel.
Knowing the in’s and out’s of your competition can take you much further than trying to undermine them.
Many Olympians live by the mantra of “never give up.”
You should treat your funnels the same way.
If you’re persistent, your funnel has nowhere to go but “up” over time.
Perhaps the biggest mistake a funnel-builder could make is dropping what they’re doing and simply giving up when the going gets tough.
Yes, it can be frustrating to see our traffic drop.
Yes, it sucks when we don’t see the conversion we want.
But that doesn’t mean you should let your funnel fail out of frustration.
Don’t expect your sales funnel to start turning a profit overnight.
Sure, we’re always hoping to become the next big success story; however, realistic expectations will keep you grounded and focused.
Keep going and keep testing. If something’s broken, figure out why and do what you can to fix it.
There’s No Single “Key” to Success
From optimal training and immaculate diet, there are many variables to an Olympian’s success one the day of an event.
There are so many pieces to what makes a successful sales funnel. For starters, let’s think about:
- The design of your sales funnels, professional in appearance and pleasing to the eye.
- The copywriting and marketing message of your funnel, designed to encourage visitors to click through rather than bounce.
- The management of your various traffic streams, from paid ads to organic search and beyond, and how you continue to bring new visitors into your funnel.
- The performance of your affiliates and referrals optimized to help you build new leads.
- The strength of your back-end, including your email autoresponders that will help bring back any users who may have fallen out of your funnel.
Here’s a not-so-secret secret:
The success of your funnel doesn’t lie within one single element.
It’s the elements combined that determine the potential of your funnel.
Unfortunately, one weakness can hinder your funnel’s potential.
Similarly, many Olympic athletes train their entire lives for an event just to slip in a split-second of weakness and essentially lose their shot at glory.
Fortunately, you always have the opportunity to bounce back.
Stay organized. Stay diligent. Stay hungry.
Your efforts will pay off.
What Separates a Golden Funnel from the Rest of the Pack?
While funnel-hacking isn’t exactly an Olympic sport (yet), there are some parallels between the struggles of star athletes and the challenges faced by modern marketers.
The marketing world moves fast and is difficult to maneuver in the wake of evolving technologies, new faces and the promise of “the next big thing.”
Much like Olympians, funnel-builders should consider patience, focus and consistency as key virtues to help ensure their success.
So, what do you think separates a star funnel from the rest of the pack?