Do Hawaii business owners need a sales funnel?

Sales funnels make local businesses more money. Unfortunately, I rarely see Hawaii small businesses utilizing sales funnels to their fullest potential. Here's a basic explanation of what a sales funnel is and why it's important in our unique culture.

What is a sales funnel?

So if you're a Hawaii business owner and you haven't heard of a sales funnel before, don't worry. You're not the only one. I've been working with sales funnels for a long time in Hawaii and they aren't common knowledge especially among Hawaii's small businesses and even local entrepreneurs.

In one short and sweet sentence: In its simplest form, a sales funnel is the customer experience from the moment a new person knows about your business until the moment they buy.

A simple sales funnel

A typical sales funnel (aka marketing funnel) that you're probably familiar with:

  1. Awareness: You want to learn to dance so you Google: "local dance classes near me",
  2. Discover: You land on a dance studio's website that's local and near you,
  3. Interest: You browse the instructors, classes, dance levels, times, etc.,
  4. Decision: You check out other alternatives: gym classes, personal trainer, online dance classes, other local dance studios, and make a decision.

Everyone has done this on the internet before:

You land on a page based on what you're interested in, browse, read the about page, search for reviews, compare deals, etc. and make your decision.

So what makes one sales funnel better than the next?

In other words, why did one sales funnel work better than the next?

Remember, a sales funnel is the customer experience from beginning to sale. So if you as a Hawaii business owner understand your target audience and can craft a sales funnel that perfectly fits your target audience, your conversions (sales, phone calls, clients, leads, prospects, email opt-ins, and even dance class participants) will increase, too.

How do you create a good sales funnel?

Let's look at the top 3 things that make a good sales funnel (in my opinion):

1. Copywriting

The words that you use on every single page of your website. This is KEY. Copywriting is very different from any kind of writing. To become good you have to practice, train, take classes, etc. Let's take the dance studio example - a common headline on the homepage would be something like:

"Dance your heart away!"

It's nice, romantic, playful...but a common mistake because it doesn't market to any specific person.

However good copywriting is written for a specific person. For example, someone who:

Wants to lose weight: "Dance your calories away!"

Has a desk job and doesn't move all day: "Dance classes for after work!"

Wants to take dance seriously: "Get down like J.Lo!"

See how each one directly targets a specific need? Copywriting is how you connect with new clients and customers and tell them you understand them, their thoughts, their situation, and problem. And if you can tailor your copywriting to fit your target audience, then your sales funnel conversions will naturally go up.

2. Lead Magnet

If you haven't heard of a lead magnet before you're missing out. You see this all the time with local ecommerce shops: get 15% off your first order, free shipping for orders over $25, free gift when you order now, etc.

I almost never see this with client-based businesses in Hawaii. (I wish I did!)

Lead magnets are those freebies you see in popups asking for your email. Most people think they're irritating and I don't blame you. We see these popups all the time on the internet and we're usually frantically trying to find the X button to close it.

But, here's a secret:

If you're searching for that X, it's because of 2 reasons:

  1. The freebie is not good enough, or
  2. You aren't the target market.

Many local businesses who do have a lead magnet in place have something that no one wants. Does this sound familiar?

"Subscribe to our newsletter"

We've all seen this message before and rarely does any one sign up for it. In fact, if you run your own website, you might have set up the basic email collection system that came with your website's theme. It's easy and quick - I don't blame you for choosing to set up your lead magnet as this default setting.

But it's also junk because at the end of the day it doesn't convert.

So craft a lead magnet that people would LOVE to get their hands on because:

  1. People will know they'll get something of high value practically for free.
  2. You'll be recognized as an expert in this field and they want to learn more from you.
  3. You wilil build trust and people BUY from people they TRUST.

That brings me to the third most important part of the sales funnel:

3. Emails

Once you've got an email list filled with people who love what you do for them, your email game comes in handy because your emails become a source of referrals and repeat sales/clients. Your email list learns to trust you more and more as they recognize you as a leader in your industry and an expert in your craft.

People get to know who you are as a person, which is a huge part of your brand.

But it's not enough just to send emails.

This is where copywriting comes in (again). With connection-driven subject lines and authentic messaging that sounds like you, your emails will bring your clients and customers back into the funnel. Maybe it's for the same service. And next time for your holiday sale. Next year a new product you have.

The list goes on but I think you get my point.

With an email list of people who love what you do, you create an engaged community who support you in your future endeavors, sales, products, and services. In doing so, they ultimately increase your sales.

Why are sales funnels important for a Hawaii business?

Besides the obvious reason that sales funnels make you more money...

If you grew up in Hawaii, you know that word-of-mouth marketing here is BIG. Much bigger than compared to the mainland.

Have you heard of the 6-degrees of Kevin Bacon theory? It's probably 3 degrees here in Hawaii. Everybody knows everybody, and this happens all the time when we go out shopping, go out to dinner, and even take a walk around outside. We're constantly running into family, friends, coworkers, your kid's teachers, your old boss, even that friend you don't talk to anymore. Hawaii is a place where running into local celebrities is normal so it makes sense that business is done similarly.

Naturally, this spills into our buying habits here in the islands. Sure, we try out new companies/products/services, but if you know a friend's friend sells what you need, you can bet you'll be giving them a call because your friend verbally recommended them to you.

So a sales funnel's importance really does come into play in Hawaii.

The more real, authentic, and targeted you can be toward your market, the more success you'll find as a Hawaii business owner.

I write fun emails that increase your sales.

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