marketing funnels for writers and authors

F Is For Funnels

Massive shout-out to my friend and mentor, John Daniels from The Lean Marketer. You should check out his LinkedIn profile here where he talks about marketing as it pertains to everyone. This man has been in the marketing biz for the past two decades and really knows what he’s talking about. He regularly talks about funnels, as you’ll see when you visit his page. That’s why it’s front-of-mind for me, so I will also talk about funnels as it relates to writers wanting to sell more books.

Marketing Funnels?

Yep, funnels. You know, them things that are most likely hidden in your kitchen drawers. Take it out, and show it to the class. Look at the shape of it. It has a wide top and a narrow end at the bottom. 

Now imagine horizontal lines running across this funnel. The top section will be where the general public, the ones who know nothing about you, will enter. You can call this section awareness. From there, they fall into a new section where the general public will consider you. Put yourself in their shoes. Let’s say that you’ve just heard about a new author, but you’re not yet sure if you’d like their books. You see the cover around, you might even hear your friend saying that they’re quite good, but you’re still thinking about whether or not to spend your hard-earned coin on said author. You’re in this consideration bit of their funnel.

After that, some of the general public might give you a chance. Think of yourself in this example. You’ve listened to a trusted friend enthuse about this new author, so you figure, well, might as well give them a try. That’s why this section of the funnel is called “trial” in many illustrations you’ll find online. (Oh, do search for this. You can find many wonderful examples this way.)

If this new author wowed you with their story, you’re eager to read more of their work. You are now in the fan category. And yes, there’s a last bit. You can become their advocate, telling everyone you meet that they should read all of this new author’s books.  

Why A Funnel, Though?

Good question, and there’s a good answer for that as well. Did you notice how there are various stages in the example above where there are choices? At any moment, someone might choose not to go down to the next stage of the funnel. 

Marketing becomes a numbers game after a while. Consider the following, basic equation: If a 1000 people click on your ad, and a whopping 10% take action, then that means a 100 people will buy your book. 

A Fun(nel) Numbers Game 

“Whopping?!” I hear someone cry out in the back. Yes, 10% is an excellent conversion rate for ads. Consider these articles on the matter for more in-depth insights. Article 1 deals primarily with Facebook ads and concludes that the average conversion rate across all industries is 9.21%, with retail only coming in at 3.26%. And this article 2, also by Wordstream, weighs the conversion rate for Entertainment Google Search Ads in at 4.51%. So… yes, 10% is considered whopping. 

But then let’s look at my above example with more reasonable expectations. Get a 1000 people to click on your enticing Google Search ads (an art in itself already) with a conversion rate of 4.51%, and that means that 45 people can potentially buy a book from you. If you get 2000 people to click on your Google Search ads, then of course you’ll potentially have 90 sales with the same conversion rate. If your book is on Amazon for $2.99, with 45 sales, you could earn $94.18 at 70% royalty. Double that for the latter example. A numbers game! 

With all of that fun hypothetical thinking out of the way, I just want to conclude that you put big numbers in at the top, and then the funnel shape reminds you that the bit at the bottom is narrower, but that’s as it should be. Remember, nobody is everybody’s cup of tea. Only focus on the people who will love your books.

How you build your funnel is up to you, but remember to have a clear plan. Refer back to my article on how you can build your own digital marketing plan right here.

Leave a reply