if you read business blogs, books, and articles you will likely have read all about creating a sales funnel with your marketing efforts; where you move your leads down the funnel until they become paying customers.
maybe my mind is not linear enough for that visual, but i just don't see it as a funnel. i can't even explain it as a funnel. (all can see in my mind, actually, is a bunch of cows being hearded through one of those gates in the barn yard. moooo.)
i think of marketing as being more like spirals going around and around, building relationships and engagement, with one interaction leading into another. like a dance. "lead your partner round and round..."
i was recently doing a workshop with a client where we were talking about setting up an online marketing plan using social media, blogging, and a newsletter. her question was: "but what do i DO with each of those things. aren't i already engaging with people on facebook,why do i need a blog? aren't i already sharing content on my blog? why do i need a newsletter?"
the beauty of these tools is that they are not exclusive; they work together and build off one another like a group of dancers going around and around. i did up a sketch to show how i use these tools (no funnels involved). i do have lots of overlap, lots of linking, and notice that it is all about the customer, not about the biz.
for example: if i find that a question on facebook gets lots of engagement i can write a longer blog post to help people. if it is truly helpful, it will get shared by others using social media. that will then bring traffic to my website where people will see my call to action to sign up to the newsletter. when they get the newsletter they will see more links to other helpful blog posts as well as stuff we chatted about on social media all week long. that will get more traffic to my facebook page which will mean that more people will see my future blog posts which will then get shared too. and all three of those places have links directly back to my website where people can get more help by purchasing my products and services.
it's a dance. not a funnel. and if one of those circles were missing, the others wouldn't be nearly as effective. nor as fun!