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So with that, I want to move on to the last step and then we're going to get a little more in-depth on some other kind of issues surrounding selling on social media. So we've attracted customers in step 1, we've engaged with them in step 2, we've really built up that know, like, and trust factor. Now, we need to move them into our sales funnel. The first thing you need to think about is how do you sell? Again, a lot of people who say they have a conversion problem with social media actually have a conversion problem with everything. The problem is they get leads in social media and they have no idea what to do with them.

What a lot of people don’t realize is that social media is just one place to get leads. Your sales process doesn’t necessarily have to be any different. So if you've never taken the time to examine what your sales process is, there might be something that you're already doing and already works but you're just not aware of it. I find that's true for a lot of businesses. You don’t think you have a sales process. You actually do. You just don’t have it written down anywhere. So when you're faced with a new medium like this, your mind kind of goes blank and you think you don’t have a process, but you really do.

So maybe you usually call people on the phone and then you send a proposal and then you have an in-person meeting about the proposal and then at that meeting they make a buying decision. Or it can be of course totally different if you sell information products on the web. Maybe your selling process is that people sign up for your newsletter and then you make a special offer for a low-price program and you make that via email marketing, and then maybe you get their address, and then you send them a special promotional piece in the mail and that upsells them to another program.

Of course, this is very different depending on what your business is, but you need to step back and take a moment and figure out what is your sales process, what is your sales funnel, and how can you start pushing these social media leads into that funnel whatever it may be. So you want to have a constant aim of moving people from social media and your sales funnel both through general messages and through very specific suggestions. So let me tell you one way that I do this.

So my sales funnel exists totally through email marketing. That's how I do all my selling. I send out promotional messages and offers via email, and then I send people to a sales page usually where they can sign up for whatever it is that I'm selling. So for me I always want to move people from social media to giving me their email address because that's where my actual selling takes place. So one way that I do this is through sending out promotional messages about opt-ins that capture people's email addresses through Twitter.

So you'll see that usually about once a week I'll send out some sort of message on Twitter that leads people to my Twitter in 10 Minutes A Day video. Sometimes I'll send people to my Social Media Selling System video. These are both pieces of really valuable free content that gets people's email addresses. They have to submit their name and email in order to view the video. So I'm using Twitter because I get a lot of leads through Twitter. New people come to me every day through Twitter. I want to make sure those people aren’t just following me on Twitter but are giving me their email address to up that engagement level and to give me the opportunity quite frankly to sell them something.

So it's important that you do it regularly. You'll notice that I said I do it every single week. Some weeks I'm doing it a lot more. Some weeks I'm promoting a special program or launching something. It depends on what's going on in my business. But you need to make it a very regular practice. You can't send out one message on Facebook. You can't send out one tweet moving people into your funnel. It needs to always be happening so that all the new people coming in are seeing the message.

So freebies work really well in social media. That's a really great way to move people into your funnel and of course a freebie that involves getting somebody's email address or physical address or phone number or whatever works for you. So some examples of some selling techniques that work really well in social media are opting in for a report that puts them in an email marketing sequence. That's what happens in my Twitter in 10 Minutes a Day video. They sign up for the video and then I send them targeted emails about how to market on Twitter and I send them a specific offer for my backstage pass to Twitter program.

I know that they are a great prospect because they've told me that they're interested in learning more about Twitter by opting in to this video and because they haven’t unsubscribed from the emails, right? If they unsubscribe from email, it's fine. They're not interested in hearing from me more. But if they stay in my email list, obviously they're interested in hearing more from me and learning more from me about how to market on Twitter.

Another great way especially if you have local clients is to invite people to an in-person event that's held regularly or you can use this idea for a webinar or teleseminar. So maybe every month you have a special event, maybe you're a financial planner and you have a monthly event that teaches recent college graduates how to set up their financial plan. So using all your social media channels, you're constantly going to be driving people to attend to this even whether it's an in-person event or a virtual then you get them at the event. You have their contact information and maybe you make a pitch with a special offer at the end.

Or you can have people opt in for a piece of snail mail to get some kind of direct response snail mail sequence. You can send out message telling people to get a CD in the mail or to get a little magazine in the mail or even your book if you've written a book, whatever it is for you, they opt in for that and then you can put them in a sequence selling them specific related product or service. So that's I think the easiest way to make the transition from prospect to customer and social media is use a process that starts with a freebie, the freebies and sells them to a really closely related product or service and regularly promote that freebie on your social media channels.

It's really important that the freebie relates well to what it is that you're selling because that's how you're letting people self-select. Again, think of the example, my Twitter in 10 Minutes a Day video and my Backstage Pass to Twitter program. So that program is very specific for business owners. It's not for people who just want to learn Twitter for fun. It's also for small business owners. A lot of the Twitter advice you see if for big corporations. People do case studies about Dell or Domino's Pizza and I find that it's really not that useful for the average small business.

The average small business has trouble with Twitter because it takes up to much time. It's one of the most common complaints about Twitter, right? So if somebody is looking for a video about saving time on Twitter, how to use Twitter in 10 Minutes a Day, well, the odds are really good that they're using it for their business because if they're using it just for fun well then it wouldn’t really matter, right? They wouldn’t be worried about their time management.

So make sure that you're letting people self-select and say that they would be really interested in the product or service that you have to sell by relating that freebie as closely as you can to what they're actually going to buy.

So what you have to remember is that social media opens the door but you are the one that has to close the sale. Pick up the phone, send an email, make offers. Putting your website in front of people is not enough. You need to match them up to what they need from you. A lot of people try to "promote" by just putting up a lot of links to their website or their blog. That's probably not going to be enough. You can't just link to your website. You really need to make specific offers for the specific service and products that you sell.

Email list segmentation is a really good way to do this. So again, we'll go back to the example, the Twitter in 10 Minutes a Day video. I can mark in my email list that all those people are interested in Twitter specifically. So I can send them offers for programs that have to do with Twitter. I might not send them offers for programs that have to do with Facebook. I might have a special list for that.

So it's not enough just to put the link of your website at the bottom of your newsletter. It's not enough to just point people back to your blog posts on Twitter. You should be doing those things but you're probably not going to get the level of sales that you want from that alone. You need to not only point to your blog posts but match people up with the specific programs, products, and services that they've shown interest would be a good match for them.

Okay. So I want to give you kind of a mini case study example of one way that I've personally used social media that I've converted people into paying clients. I actually decided to pick my highest priced offering so that you can see that this does not just work for like $10 e-books. I want to tell you how I use this for my private coaching and consulting clients. So these are contracts that are several thousand-dollar contracts, right? It's not just a drop in a bucket. It's a buying decision that people definitely need to think about probably for a while. They're probably not just going to see one tweet from me and then decide to spend a few thousand dollars. Establishing that know, like, and trust is really important.

So the basic overview of how this happens in my business is that most people find me initially. The top three ways seem to be they find me through Twitter. That's one of my biggest traffic sources is Twitter. They might find me through my blog or I tend to do a pretty good amount of interviews and they might find me through one of those interviews. I just did one for Web Presence & SEO's blog and a lot of people have come to me through that channel. So that's step 1, right? That's attracting customers. These are some ways that I attract customers.

One of the biggest ways that I keep in touch is through my weekly newsletter, The OA. News, this is step 2. This is where I am engaging customers. So every single week I'm providing a little bit of conversation. I'm also providing really valuable content and of course that's in addition to the other social media activity that I have. So chatting with people on Twitter and on the Facebook fan page, sending out updates, et cetera, but I think the email list is really one of the most important because I'm putting my message; I'm putting myself in front of people where they already are. I'm making sure that I'm keeping in touch every single week.

So for this specific program as far as the actual selling technique, so remember I get people into my funnel. I get their information by having them sign up for my weekly newsletter, The OA.News, and then what I do is I send out an email to people who are subscribers for The OA.News announcing that I'm going to be opening. So in this case announcing that I'm opening private coaching and consulting slots usually every -- I don’t know -- maybe every six months or so have people in. so I'll have space for new people to begin.

So it's not a sales email at all. I'm just kind of announcing what's going on. "I'm taking new clients. So if you want to work with me, this is the time." The way that I do it which has actually worked really well so you might want to steal this and copy this is that I send out an email, and then I just tell people to respond if they're interested. So this goes back to again that idea of letting people self-select. You don’t want to just blanket it out to the whole world. You want to send targeted offers to people who have actively shown you that they're interested in receiving that offer.

So I ask people to write back to the email if they are interested in learning more about this. They don’t have to jump through any hoops. They just have to hit respond. They can just hit respond and send me a blank email. For those who do respond, My colleague or myself will send out a second email that contains a link to a page that has an overview of my coaching and consulting program, has the price and has the actual link they can click to sign up.

So this has worked really well for us. The last time we opened spots we sold out in less than 48 hours, which actually even surprised me. And what was really fascinating to me is that people purchased my coaching and consulting time that had never bought products from me before. So what's really fascinating about social media is that it kind of turns the traditional buy one thing and then buy another thing and then buy another thing where the price gradually increases.

That can work but what I really see for myself and my clients is that it doesn’t have to be that way with social media, and I think the reason is that you're giving people so many opportunities to get to know you and get to like you and most importantly get to trust you that you no longer have to do that slow step-by-step climb because kind of the old idea was, okay, first they buy something for $50 and then $100 and then $250 because you're gradually building that trust with each purchase, right? First, they trust you enough for 50 bucks. Then they trust you enough for 100 bucks.

But when you're communicating with people all the time on social media, they're really getting to know you and trust you without necessarily buying anything. This has kind of been an interesting side effect that I really didn’t expect. So what I see and what I've from my clients as well is that I'll have a high-end, hard-to-get buyers who might not have purchased anything from me before but I can tell you that they have been with me for a long time. So for the last round I had actually quite a few people that hadn’t purchased anything before, but a lot of them told me, "I've been following you for six months or I've been following you for nine months. I've been reading your blog and I've been using your newsletter."

So again, have patience. It can take a lot of communication. It can take a lot of touches. But the payoff is that you don’t necessarily need to do this low stair-step because you've spent such a long time providing free valuable content and communicating with people. You might be able to jump right up to that higher sales level as I was able to do with some people with my coaching and consulting.

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