Jen McFarland HeadShot

Jen McFarland Provides Marketing Funnel Insights

Jen McFarland talks about marketing funnels while breaking down the elements of an effective marketing campaign.

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Jen McFarland Intro

Today I had the pleasure to interview Jen McFarland (the Founder of Women Conquer Business) on the below marketing funnel topics:

  • Course topics that resonate with your target audience / Avatar
  • Creating supplementary content that aligns with your core currency messaging.
  • Creating unmissable calls to action
  • Landing page basics
  • Split-testing landing pages
  • Decreasing paid ad costs per click
  • Tying in email nurture to your landing page opt-ins
  • Using lead magnets and alternative lead magnets for engagement

Jen McFarland Bio

Jen McFarland is a passionate and compassionate champion of entrepreneurs, founders, and business owners. She has more than 25 years of experience in digital marketing, leadership, and strategic project planning across corporate, small business, and government environments.

During her time with the City of Portland, she streamlined dozens of internal processes, led a cross-functional team, and moved mountains with the IRS.

Now, as CEO of Women Conquer Business, she consults with businesses on configuring marketing software, systems, and processes to suit their unique growth needs.

A natural teacher and gifted speaker, Jen runs workshops and gives presentations on a wide variety of topics germane to improving business leaders’ soft skills, including time management, dealing with uncertainty, improving communication, managing remote teams, and digital marketing.

She also shares her business and leadership knowledge on the Women Conquer Business podcast.

Jen has a Master of Public Administration degree from Portland State University and is a member of the American Marketing Association and SEMpdx.

She is a speaker, teacher, leader, and visionary for the business community who loves dad jokes, building seamless systems, and helping people find more joy in their work.

She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and Boston terriers.

Episode Resources

Lately AIhttps://www.lately.ai/

The podcast episode on YouTubehttps://youtu.be/Ke35DzMuW6M

Jen’s Resources

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/jensmcfarland/

Facebook Pagehttps://www.facebook.com/womenconquerbiz

X (formerly Twitter) https://twitter.com/jensmcfarland

YouTube Channelhttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4gqaZ96ns7jJzMMYQP-r7Q

Websitehttps://www.womenconquerbiz.com/

Jen’s Courses – https://www.wcb.community/courses

Strategic Marketing Community Membershiphttps://www.wcb.community/membership

Questions I asked Jen

So the questions below are not exact with what we ended up with. These were the questions I had proposed. We ended up going freestyle with this conversation.

  • How can course creators create course topics that resonate with their target avatar/audience?
  • How can course creators create blogs and social content that aligns with their courses, and is supplementary to the core message they are conveying?
  • How can a Call to Action become unmissable, and how do you drive action through psychology-based CTAs?
  • How do landing pages help in your marketing funnel?
  • What is the A/B testing of landing pages?
    1. How does A/B testing help you?
  • How have you used landing page A/B testing with paid ads?
  • How can effective landing pages decrease paid ads with cost per click?
  • How do you tie email offers into a nurture sequence while crafting a compelling email?
  • How do you tie in your landing pages, email nurture, and lead magnets?
  • How do you create your lead magnets for your paid campaigns?

Check out more episodes of our SEO podcast.

[00:00] Matt Hepburn: Today I speak with Jen McFarland, the founder of Women Conquer Business, and we're going to talk about marketing funnels and all the intricacies that go into them and how they relate to your business. Jen is a course creator, she is a consultant, and she is a business coach with over 25 years worth of experience. Welcome to the Entrepreneurs Marketing Journey podcast, where we help experienced coaches, course creators and consultants who are motivated to increase their revenue by implementing marketing tips and strategies. Hey, it's Matt Hepburn. I'm a digital marketing professional with 14 years of experience working as a consultant, working agencies both large and small, and for the past eight years in the enterprise sector for some of the biggest brands out there. We provide the latest digital marketing tips for coaches, course creators and consultants so that they can grow their businesses bottom line, across marketing channels. Hey there, Jen. Welcome to the show.

[00:55] Jen McFarland: Thank you so much for having me.

[00:56] Matt Hepburn: Absolutely. It's such a pleasure to have you on the show and I'm really excited to hear about your experience, especially since you are dedicated towards business women and helping them out, which is really important. And I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about your experience and who you are and then we could transition into the questions, if that's okay with you.

[01:21] Jen McFarland: Absolutely, sure. My name is Jen McFarland. My business is called Women Conquer Business. A lot of people ask if I help men too. I'm like, absolutely, you just have to be cool with the business name. It really just means that we're all in this business jungle together. And the way that I help people, it's a little unique because I not only have 25 years of marketing experience, I also have a Master's degree in Leadership and Management and I was an executive at the city of Portland, Oregon. So I have a varied background and I look at things from not only a marketing perspective, but from a larger business perspective and from a project management perspective. And the way that that looks is I not only do a lot of community work, I help Prosper Portland's Inclusive Business Resource Network. I help a lot of entrepreneurs through there and through Accelerate Women, which is a fund that helps women own businesses scale. I also have my own online community and of course my own consulting clients that come to me wanting some really targeted marketing strategy. Sometimes they just want some coaching or some consulting around, maybe a launch or like a three month window. And we just have a lot of fun. We just love doing the work. We love helping people and making courses, making stuff like we were talking before we went live. I mean, I make all kinds of courses. I used to have a live podcast that went every week that was like marketing how to's it's the most fun, just making things and being a part of a community.

[02:49] Matt Hepburn: No, that's fantastic. And I can actually just tap right into that and we'll just go right into the questions. Part of our audience, as you know, is course creators, consultants and coaches. And a lot of times they struggle with trying to figure out who is their audience or their avatar and what type of course should they create. One of your courses is about creating courses that resonate with that avatar, right? So I'd love to have some information for them as to how they can tie in not only the audience they want to target and the topics they want to choose to create, but how do they make that resonate with that audience.

[03:38] Jen McFarland: It's a really interesting one because I'm developing that one right now. What I do is I deliver live classes that are about an hour. So I really am diving into the questions and asking people what they're looking for and then getting a lot of feedback. I think one of the mistakes that a lot of, especially like if you're a consultant and you go into, I'm going to start making courses, is you're not gathering enough. You don't maybe know enough about your target audience or your avatar or the problems that they have to really address that with a course. And what I mean by that is throughout an engagement, if you're a consultant or a coach, your clients are asking you questions all the time and you're just like answering them because to you it's easy.

[04:23] Matt Hepburn: You know that's, right?

[04:24] Jen McFarland: You've answered it like 100 times. And so one of the things that I tell people is just keep a notepad next to your computer so that when you get those questions, you're writing them down because those are the things that belong in the course. A lot of times as experts, we are like, this is what you have to know. And it's not interesting to our avatar because it might be like 17 steps ahead of where they are or maybe they just don't get it. So the way to understand that you're really speaking to them is asking for customer feedback, asking and paying attention to the questions that people really want to know about. And then you start making courses around that. The other part of that is if you want things that resonate, you also have to have that energy when you're delivering it. That's a big part of it. So for me, my membership is crazy because I love live questions. I love being in it. I have done so much training over the course of my life and experience, it seems like I was always training somebody along the way. I was in the Peace Corps and I was a teacher, so I'm used to being in front of people and having God only knows what question coming at me. And so I enjoy it. I feed on that. That is not what every single membership or every single course should look like. If you're not comfortable with that, you shouldn't do that. For me, it's a lot more difficult to make a course without the live experience. That's why everything is short. My clients are very busy. They don't have time for a 16 hours course that maybe just leads into some other funnel that's really in engagement. I need people to be able to take action like, why is this important? What are the three things I need to do? And then we get on with our lives. But that's not what it is for everybody. So part of it, when we think about the audience, it's not just the questions that are really important to them. It's like knowing and understanding how much time they have to consume the content. What are the essential things that you want them to do? What are the outcomes that you're really going for? And that's how you really strike that balance. You have the topics they care about and the delivery that not only makes you feel comfortable, but helps people grasp the concept and take the action that you want them to take.

[06:52] Matt Hepburn: So that is extremely helpful. And I've got a question I'm just going to add on to that that you made me think of. So some of these course graders, they may not have had a lot of this live experience, so they're trying to do their research and trying to say like, well, how do I make sure that things resonate? So I'm just trying to think of is there a way that you sometimes maybe do quizzes online or something and send paid traffic to it to get a better understanding as to what people's pain points are and their fears? Or is there research that you go out and just say, well, what are the top authors or experts actually say on this? And what do we see as the fears or the pain points across these and bringing it all together.

[07:39] Jen McFarland: Certainly you want to do some of that market research and you can do all of the things that you just mentioned, polling people. A lot of times when I poll people on LinkedIn, I don't get all the responses that I want if I do a poll. That's what I mean. I kind of do mine organically. But if you don't have a lot of people, you don't have an audience, you haven't, you don't have a big bank of client work or experience, then it might be something that you need to beta test. You're going to bring people in and you're going to do it's almost like a focus group where it's like, I'm going to do this for you. It's not going to be very expensive, but you're going to get a lot of value out of it. And in exchange, you're going to give me a lot of feedback about did I answer the questions that you have? Did I not? And one of the things that we do in our group is after every single course, we have a questionnaire, very basic, where it's not tons of questions and it's totally anonymous, so that we get an idea of have we hit the right points? Is it really hitting what it is that people want and asking what they would have rather had? And then we can incorporate that into a later course. So you always want to have those feedback loops. And you're right, you need to gather as much information as you can so that you can be more predictive about the outcome of whatever you're creating. Because these things take time and it's expensive to do it. So you might as well get the maximum value out of it, not only for your students or your clients, but also for yourself.

[09:18] Matt Hepburn: So when you're creating these courses, let's say you have created one, right? And you want to create supplementary content, whether it's blog posts or social posts, to help promote this, but to tie into the messaging of what the core currency messaging of that course is and those pain points and things that we just talked about. What is your process usually for doing that?

[09:43] Jen McFarland: Yeah, I have a very active blog I really like to write. And so one of the big things that we do is I write something that's in support of the article or of the content, the content is in support of the course and vice versa. For example, now we've got a bigger body of work. We have several courses about social media and last week I wrote a blog post that was all about social media for service based businesses and it was like, if you have a question about this, here's a course, and if you have a question about this, here's a course, then it's kind of a guidance. But at the same time you can read that article without taking any of the classes and still get a lot of value out of it. I think that that's the main thing is you can use your blog as a feeder for it. But now there are so many touch points now before people are ready to buy that you can't just make something that's just a leader without any value. You have to create something that people are willing to read and get something out of. That also is like, oh, by the way, if you want to go deeper on writing headlines for your social posts or writing calls to action or creating a social media plan, here's where you can go for those particular things. That was the example from last week that we did.

[11:06] Matt Hepburn: So I'm going to go right into CTAs, because you're talking about that, and I think you may have just partially answered this question, but one of your courses is on psychology based CTAs, and I guess it's basically how do you tie in your calls to action with your content in a way where the person may be already thinking about the problem. That so if your blog content is actually talking about the problem and saying, here's where you can go to actually learn more about this, is that kind of what you were talking about with psychology based CTAs?

[11:41] Jen McFarland: It's a little bit, yeah. I mean, there are different types. One of my favorite people about calls to action is Kate Bradley Cherness. She owns lately. AI. It's a social media scheduler that is not using, like, chat GPT. They've been around for a lot longer. They actually create a writing model based on your writing, and it's protected by copyright and everything. And she talks a lot about calls to action on social and in other places, and she's always like, don't be lazy about your calls to action. And I totally agree with that. One of the worst things you can say, for example, is check it out. Like, what am I supposed to check out? What's in it for me?

[12:23] Matt Hepburn: Or learn more. Right? Yeah.

[12:24] Jen McFarland: Or learn more. You want to have something that's like, you want to be as descriptive as you can because you want people to understand what's in it for them if they click on that link.

[12:37] Matt Hepburn: Right.

[12:38] Jen McFarland: And then there are some much more advanced psychological I think that one of the things I talked about. There's certainly, like, anchoring bias, and there are certain psychological triggers, which is why when you go to, say, buy app software and they're like, best value, they're anchoring it so that this piece of software at this level, the gold level, is the best value, and that's the first thing that you see. And then you look at anything that's cheaper, and you might be like, Well, I'm not getting that, and trying to encourage you to buy something more expensive. Right. There's all different types of biases that we have as consumers that then you can take advantage of, that really help people, entice people to click. They entice people to go further with you in the process. One of the biggest things that's a call to action, if you have a blog or a course, is you want to have a name. You want to have a headline that you get past that first pass. You want people to be curious. And a lot of times we just name things and they don't make any sense to people because by the time you go and you create a bunch of content, whether it's a podcast or a blog or anything, you get to the end. You're like, oh, now I have to name it because you put all this effort in. But really, the headline and the call to action are like, two of the most important pieces because that's usually how 80% of people read the headline and move on. You definitely want to be exciting enough that they're going to continue with you.

[14:18] Matt Hepburn: Right. So my next question is going to be, how do landing pages and I want to tie that because we just talked about calls to action, right? So it seems like the evolution would be landing pages. So how do landing pages, how are they a part of your marketing funnel? A part of mine, personally marketing funnel or anybody's? Yeah.

[14:46] Jen McFarland: It'S interesting because a lot of times people are know, Russell Brunson kind of trained everybody to think that they need a sales funnel out of the gate or marketing funnel. I usually tell people, like, yes, you need that. And it doesn't have to be super fancy in the beginning until you have enough sales that you know what it should really look like. Landing pages are super helpful because it's a distraction free zone. I love them for that reason. People go there. They know exactly what they're supposed to do. Now, that should be the case on a website. Oftentimes it's not. People don't understand that like a confused mind. They don't buy. So the beauty of a landing page is it has one purpose, and you can go there and you're going to learn every single thing that you can about a particular product or a particular offer, and then you move on into the next phase of it. And it just depends on what you're building and what it is that you're trying to get people to do. But landing pages are really great because you can send people to that page. They don't get that squirrel, what am I looking at now? They can't bounce anywhere. And that's what the beauty is of it, is that you're putting them in a little pen and saying, hey, this is the most important thing that I want you to see right now. And it can be very successful if you have written it in a way that's compelling for your ideal audience. You have calls to action that people are like, oh, no, I definitely need this, or I definitely want to investigate it more or talk to somebody about it. That's how landing pages can really help you. And when you have a landing page and you're not getting the conversions that you want, meaning people aren't buying or they're not doing anything because it's a landing page and it's supposed to do one thing, you're getting some good evidence that maybe I'm missing the mark. Sometimes on a website, it's really hard because there are so many places where people can go. You don't always know what it is that's taking people away. I mean, you can use hot jar clarity, like all these things, and look at it and see how people are taking action on your website. But with a landing page, it's a lot easier to kind of go, oh, okay, yeah, they're not getting it. There's something here, and they're going away. One of the things that you can do, getting into the next question that I know you're going to ask me, one of the other things that are great about landing pages is you can do A B testing. That means that you can send some of your traffic to a page that's written one way, and you can send some of your traffic to a page that's written another way. And this is especially effective if you, say, run ads and you can drive traffic to two different places, and then after a certain type, certain period of time, you can be like, okay, well, people bought this one, they didn't buy this one. And then you can just shift to the one that's more successful and move all of your attention and traffic and social to the one that people are responding to. That's the great thing about landing pages. And technology is oftentimes some software will do the A B testing for you and just change the headline on the fly. Others, you just duplicate the page and make some tweaks and do it that way. And then you need some sort of test, like where you're sending different folks to different places. So it's pretty cool. It's a really good tactic because we don't always know. People don't understand that marketing is largely a test. We say this is what we're going to do, but then you have to actually try it out and see what's working and what's not. And then once we know, then we can make some more informed decisions. It's not like always. It would be great if every time we just hit it out of the park the first time, but that's not always how it works.

[18:54] Matt Hepburn: No, sometimes we have definitely not.

[18:56] Jen McFarland: Yeah, it takes some time. We're running some ads right now for a couple of courses, and we started running the ads just to kind of warm them up. And I went on vacation and we've been looking at it and we're like, oh, okay, I need to add some videos. That's what's really going to help. This they're not getting me. And I think that would be helpful. We're going to probably do some A B tests where we create a couple of different iterations of how we describe things just to see what people respond to more.

[19:27] Matt Hepburn: Right. And I know social proof and things like that sometimes are really good things to add as well.

[19:33] Jen McFarland: For sure, yeah, we already had the social proof, but if it's going to be, for example, like an online membership, I'm like, you got to know who you're talking to all the time.

[19:44] Matt Hepburn: Right.

[19:44] Jen McFarland: So that's going to help. But we were just kind of like testing it out. So here's what we have now. How do people respond to this? And we're like, okay, that's not what we wanted. We're getting some results, but not at the highly optimized level.

[20:00] Matt Hepburn: Right.

[20:00] Jen McFarland: So then we go back and do it. It's the same thing with clients. You want to look, how are people responding? Okay, how can we make a couple of changes so we can kind of track it too. That's the thing. You want to be able to track what it is that makes the biggest impact. And you're right, sometimes it can be as simple as social proof, adding a couple of other pieces to it. Maybe you have quotes, but no pictures. People can't see the faces. There are so many things that can trigger a conversion or drive people away.

[20:33] Matt Hepburn: Right. Having them see you more as a human rather than this just course. Right, so sometimes like pictures of you and family or things I've seen that used as well.

[20:45] Jen McFarland: Yeah, for sure.

[20:46] Matt Hepburn: I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about topical relevance on landing pages and how that affects cost per click based upon the keywords that you're targeting. What normally strategies have you used to be able to get better cost per click on your landing pages and your ads?

[21:13] Jen McFarland: You have to look at the ads and see how they're performing. And it's a constant thing in my industry when we're talking about my own ads that we're running. Marketing is so competitive that we're trying to find soft spots that are really attractive to women and that are not as expensive cost per click.

[21:33] Matt Hepburn: Right.

[21:33] Jen McFarland: In other industries, the cost per click is relatively low. So you can run like a ton of keywords and kind of be like, okay, what are people responding to? In my own industry, it's a little more limited because I don't really want to pay like $60 a click.

[21:51] Matt Hepburn: For sure.

[21:52] Jen McFarland: It kind of changes, but I have clients where they're consultants in certain areas. You can kill it with just a couple of pay per click ads and really speaking to your audience. It goes back to that first question, which is the more you know your avatar, the more you know the pain points of your audience, the more you should be able to drill into effective keywords that are related to whatever it is on your landing page that will convert better. But again, it does take a little time to get into that. In my own business, we're drilling into it to find like when we first started running ads, for example, we were getting a lot of people who were men 24 to 30. And I was like, that's not really my target audience. And so then we did some things behind the scenes to just winnow down. So we're getting fewer clicks, but they're higher quality clicks.

[22:51] Matt Hepburn: That's right. So they're more relevant.

[22:52] Jen McFarland: More relevant. And then now we're looking at the copy and we're like, okay, well, how can we make some adjustments here? So you never know. You have to kind of spend some time on it and then that's how you decrease the paid cost per click. The other thing too is like the quality of the clicks. So it was like we were getting more clicks. Maybe they cost less, but they weren't effective because they weren't ultimately going to join the membership. They're not the target. And it turned out that when we set the ads before vacation, we missed a checkbox or two. And that's why you have to go back and look at it.

[23:31] Matt Hepburn: Yeah, this is not a set it and forget it type of thing. No, for the audience. What we're really talking about here when we're talking about landing pages is the examples we've talked about right now have been all on paid traffic. So typically what that means is there would be no link to another page except for to the call to action that we'd want them to do. But I'm going to give an example of what I've done in the past with some of my lawyer clients when I was consulting, and they did not want to have separate landing pages for paid, so they wanted to have the same page for organic and for paid. So it does make it a little confusing when you're looking your analytics as to the traffic that's coming there. But I'm going to give one example in case you wanted to do this with one client. We were adding 40 pages of copy to their site, and it was all on employment law, so each page was relevant, was all linked together, and we dropped 40 pages there. And basically the quality score of our ads went from a three or a four, which is really low. You get a one to ten range up to around seven to nine because the content was highly relevant and was all internally linked. And Google loved it. So it's another way that you can go if you want to say, I don't want to have separate landing pages for just use, I'm going to have highly relevant content. It just gets a little bit confusing.

[25:06] Jen McFarland: In analytics, but it can also be really great. Were they blog posts?

[25:12] Matt Hepburn: No, they were dedicated pages to employment.

[25:17] Jen McFarland: Law, like 40 of them. That's wonderful. Yeah, we're looking at running a few ads on because you can do this too. So if you have a blog post that's central to your expertise and it links out to everything, you can also run ads or organic even, and send people to a blog post. And it can perform really well and help drive traffic and get people into the funnel. It's all about what you link to and how it showcases your expertise and how relevant it is. That's a big part of it.

[25:52] Matt Hepburn: I was hoping you might be able to talk to just cost per click so they can have a better understanding of what we were just kind of talking about. What is cost per click and why with a quality score, what does it mean if you get a higher quality score versus your cost per click and overall the cost of okay, sorry, if you want me to hop in there, I'll do it.

[26:14] Jen McFarland: Yeah, you can hop in there on some of this. You know, and this is certainly the case. Know, Facebook and Instagram, they're always gauging how relevant things like are people really going to click on this? Is this really something that is related to what you said it was? Can I crawl this? Is it going anywhere else? They're making all kinds of evaluations based on all of their updates to the algorithm. So it could be the helpful content update, or it could be and that may or may not be affecting your ads. So it's looking at that and it's giving you different quality ratings based on I mean, it could be anything like images, headlines, everything. And it assesses a score. And then I believe that score affects how many people they send, what types of people they send, and that can affect how much you're paying just for somebody to even click on the ad. And it all ties together in a way that really what you want is the highest quality traffic that doesn't cost as much. And so what you're really shooting for is highly relevant, highly optimized, and highly useful in the eyes of Google or Facebook or Meta, whoever, because then you won't pay as much.

[27:34] Matt Hepburn: Yeah, and you hit it right on the dime. So that's it. So if you can increase your quality score by optimizing the content based upon what their requirements are, little tweaks, you're going to pay less for your traffic. So that is ultimately, if you have a limited budget to spend on a monthly basis, this behooves you to do this. And that's also what split testing will help you get a better conversion. Right, so it's about better conversion, less cost, the best optimized campaign for you. So you hit it right there on the head.

[28:12] Jen McFarland: Great. I want to make sure I was hitting it for the audience.

[28:15] Matt Hepburn: Oh no, absolutely.

[28:17] Jen McFarland: People to understand that's one of the things that I really work hard on is making all of these types of things accessible to people so that they understand. We talk about things like A, B testing, which is the same as split testing. We talk about cost per click. And then people are like, I don't know what that even means. And it's like, right, well, you want it to be low. And they're like, well, that's nice, but what does that mean?

[28:39] Matt Hepburn: Well, what to be low? Right, exactly. So we just want them to come away with understanding is to basically say you want to pay less for your advertising, you want people to convert more so you can get more people into your courses or to your offers.

[28:53] Jen McFarland: Absolutely.

[28:54] Matt Hepburn: But part of this whole thing of what we're getting them to opt into something right, means that you are doing another channel of marketing called email marketing, when you're actually having people sign up for something. So I was hoping you could talk a little bit about your email offers. And nurture sequences and how you're able to craft a compelling message, because that is an art all into itself of keeping people engaged in your emails, especially if you're sending out several emails on a weekly or a monthly basis.

[29:31] Jen McFarland: For my industry, I send out fewer emails. I have a lot of colleagues who send out emails every day. My people are too busy for that. I think I would lose a lot of folks if I did that. Even though I'm in marketing and it's very common what I have been really working on personally, because I love to write and I don't generate AI and just shove that out to people I want to have hands on. It is I send out high quality newsletters that keep people engaged and give people tips that people then stay on the list for a really long time. And that can be a very helpful thing if you're anchoring in your expertise and your knowledge and then filling the rest in with nurture sequence, welcome series, all types of things that keep people engaged. So when we talk about a welcome series, that can be the most powerful thing that you ever do. So somebody goes through your marketing funnel, they get added to your email list. So let's do an example from a blog post and you're like subscribe and get this free download. For example, when your subscriber is the most hot, meaning they're most likely to buy is right at that moment. So where a lot of people miss is they don't have a thing that says, hey, here's your download. I'm going to tell you a little bit about myself over the next week or two. And then at the end of the welcome series, you give them an offer that is juicy and enticing and you want them to take action on. You can do it quicker, you can have a couple of different offers in there, but the key is to really be like, I'm so glad you're here. Let me tell you about what you can expect while you are here. And then you kind of have them. And then if you back that up with what you've said you were going to do, then it can be really helpful. A nurture sequence is kind of how you're monitoring, are they opening it? What are they getting out of it, and then it's more complexity. But you have ways of keeping people engaged. For the longest time I've just used it with high quality writing because I don't always have the time or the staffing, and because the writing is so important to what I do. I want to review everything because it has to sound on brand. That's the main thing for me with any piece of writing, and I think it should be for anybody as well. That's one of the issues I have with AI and why I talked about Lately earlier is because lately is based on what you actually make, whereas Chat GPT is based on what other people have done. And it may or may not sound like you, and it may or may not bring in your audience. So you have to be careful with all of that. I think there are a lot of folks who don't run a welcome series, and then there are even more people who don't run nurture sequence. How are we doing? What is it that you want to have? You haven't opened anything for a while. How are we hitting the mark? And it's because I think a lot of people, they just assume that things are going great or they're afraid to know if it's not. And the real magic is in asking for feedback so that you can make change.

[32:58] Matt Hepburn: So we talked about earlier on also about questions about getting feedback. So this sounds like a great place in your nurture sequences to get some of that as well.

[33:07] Jen McFarland: Yeah. What are the biggest questions that you have about your topic, about your expertise? So that could be I help a lot of nonprofit consultants. They go in and they do fundraising for nonprofits. So what are your biggest burning questions about marketing your consultancy? That could be a question that I would ask, and then the responses I get might inform courses I make, future emails that I send out could be anything. But what that is, is it's like, oh, I haven't talked about that at all. Or you could be like, oh, I've talked about that a few different ways. And you may even respond to them and say, well, can you be a little bit more specific? Every email I send out, I'm like, tell me how you're doing. I'll actually answer you. And I always ask and I always answer because it lets people know that you're not just there to sell to them. You're not just there even if you are, that you're actually caring about them as a person. And people like that. People want to hear that you care. So I think that that's part of it is you're doing it to show good faith. And I've had people who've stayed on my list for years and years, and others have stayed on, and they've bought lots of times because they know they can trust me. So that's kind of how you build that community and that camaraderie among the people who are email subscribers and potential clients and current clients.

[34:46] Matt Hepburn: Yeah, you mentioned a word that we don't hear a lot, but community, because we usually hear community and kind of with course creators like the community inside of the course. But we're talking about a community here in an email nurture sequence, which is a little bit different. Right. So they haven't necessarily purchased yet, but they are revolving around you, and you're doing what I like to call relationship building with your email list. Right. They're getting to know you. You're getting to understand their pain points. And I love the fact that you brought up that it's one way for you to say, hey, well, I haven't really created an asset around this so much, or I created it in this way or that way. I'm getting a lot more engagement on this. Maybe I need to create something on this. And to that point, I'm going to ask you, how do you actually tie into creating lead magnets and how do you actually use them and how should course creators consider using them? With landing pages in email nurture and things like that, or social.

[35:52] Jen McFarland: Yeah, it's so interesting because when we I think most people subscribe just through like they go to the course site and they're like, oh, they go to the footer. Because I tell everybody you want to have just a basic opt in in the footer. And they go in there and they subscribe and then they're just like, kind of testing it out and seeing what's going on. That is not my ideal. I want to know, oh, I'm most interested in your free Google Business Profile course or something. I want them to do a certain thing. And I think that because I focus so much on writing, I tend to get people who just want more of that. And that's why we started running some paid ads, because I'm like, well, I want people who are interested in courses. And so it's a constant thing that you look at. Now, I will say one of the reasons we have so many, of course, your readers maybe want something that isn't your favorite thing. So whenever I write about social media, the open rate is off the hook. And so we've done a lot of classes around social media, even though in my marketing model that I work with, that I work with on clients, social media isn't like the centerpiece of how I help people with marketing. It's important. It's not the most important thing, especially with the organic traffic numbers. They've just gone through the floor. But everybody wants hot tips on that. So then I'm like, okay, well, that must be like a burning question people want to know about. So I've made a lot of courses around that, and then when I send that to my list around like, oh, we have this upcoming thing about social media. I mean, we get people because everybody's, they want that demystified for themselves and to work on it. So sometimes you get that feedback and you're like, oh gosh, this isn't what I really want to do. But then if you follow through on it, that's where the gold is. And that's the advantage of paying attention to your stats and your analytics. If you know that everybody's reading the blog posts about a certain topic or everybody's opening the emails about a certain topic. These are context clues around lead magnets that you can make. You can take a blog post. I have lead magnets that are based on old podcast episodes. People don't know they're a podcast episode, but they want to know how to set up effective goals for their business. It's like, well, you can listen to it for free, or here it isn't a nice concise ebook because they don't consume everything that you make, that's for sure. Look at the things that are hot, like in your email nurture sequence, things like that. If it's a topic that you really want to speak to, I mean, maybe the social media one isn't the best one because it's not necessarily the thing I love the most, but it is something that's important to my community. And if I teach people how to use it as part of, say, a marketing mix, which is more of what I do and not like, the only thing, because that's what a lot of people do is they put all their eggs in social media baskets. So I'm teaching people to not do that. Then I'm still getting the message out, and I'm still answering their questions, perhaps in a different way. And that's important as well. But yeah, I mean, I create lead magnets based on if I create a class and people really lean into it, then I'm like, okay, well, I can make a master class about this, or I can make a lead magnet about this. Lead magnets don't have to be like PDFs. You can make master classes and offer them through your website, pre recorded, webinar style, or however you want to do it. You can do all kinds of lead magnets of different types. It's just like, what is it that is easy for you to make, that doesn't stress you out, that's really interesting to your audience.

[39:54] Matt Hepburn: No, I do love that. And the reason why I love that is that many people are just talking about lead magnets that are PDFs that you can download. And the reason why I love what you just said is that we're talking about engagement before and them getting to know you. Right. So what better way to know you than to have video where they're learning from you? And I would probably think that the video probably gets more engagement and more use than a PDF that might get downloaded and just put saved on somebody's hard drive and not necessarily opened or read.

[40:33] Jen McFarland: I mean, how many do you have?

[40:35] Matt Hepburn: Yeah. For over years do you have that.

[40:37] Jen McFarland: You'Ve never gone back to again? I probably have hundreds that I've never but if I can get someone if I'm trying to sell so here's the other thing. If I'm trying to sell courses, I.

[40:46] Matt Hepburn: Have $100 courses that I've bought that I've never opened.

[40:51] Jen McFarland: Me too. But if I'm trying to sell courses, why would my lead magnet be something where you don't even know who I am?

[40:58] Matt Hepburn: It's wonderful. It's a great idea. It's a great idea.

[41:01] Jen McFarland: You have to tie the pieces together I have some PDFs because again, I've said it a few times, I just love to write. So I have a lot of writing out there that I've made into checklists and things that are super useful. But you have to think about what it is you're really trying to sell. Like if you're selling coaching, people want to know how you coach. If you're selling courses, people want to know how you teach. So you have to think about having lead magnets and ways that you're attracting people that are aligned with what it is you ultimately want them to do. So I would just encourage you to think broadly about your lead magnets. And that said, I've had a couple of pins on Pinterest go semi viral and gotten just like hundreds of email subscribers for a PDF. I mean, that too.

[41:49] Matt Hepburn: But there's a third way that's a hybrid of what we just talked about, which is doing the video that you're talking about and then having the PDF as supplemental that they can download as well.

[42:00] Jen McFarland: Absolutely.

[42:01] Matt Hepburn: Yeah, right? That's like the best of both worlds, right? You get them both ways.

[42:06] Jen McFarland: Yeah. And you can even link to the video from inside the PDF. Guess what?

[42:11] Matt Hepburn: Right.

[42:12] Jen McFarland: So they can still remember who you are and what you do. These things are really important. So be creative. I know that there are a lot of people out there who teach lead magnets as one thing in one way, but if you look around, you'll see that a lot of people aren't doing PDFs anymore. The people who say do that, they're probably trying to sell you their lead magnet program for them, help you make a PDF. But anymore, people want something more useful. The old saying is that an email is worth like $5 to somebody give it to you if they think the value is $5. I actually think it's much higher than that now. The number of touch points before somebody buys has gone up astronomically in the seven years that I've been in business. And I think with that, we all get too many emails. So we kind of hold on to them a little tighter now because we don't want to get bombed with a bunch of emails all the time because we're already really busy. So really think about the value that you're adding for people and if it's aligned with what it is that you want them to do, especially if you have something high ticket.

[43:25] Matt Hepburn: So I'm going to just comment on ask you a question based on what you just said. So could you talk to the audience a little bit about touch points and what different channels that might mean so we can explain to them what touch points, what might mean from different channels to actually for conversion.

[43:42] Jen McFarland: Yeah, so touch points are like, how many times have I come into contact with a person and this could be in person, this could be on social media. This could be from their email. This could be from doing something like a podcast interview. And then maybe you follow somebody and you check them out and you look at what they're sharing and how you resonate with that. It can take years of people checking you out. Everybody has a cell phone. Like 95% of people are checking you out before they buy. They're looking for social proof. They're looking at reviews. They want to know how you talk, how you help people, what it is that you're all about. And so your job is to give people as many opportunities as you can that's right. To meet you, to get to know you. And it should all be aligned. And the way that the touch points work best is if you meet me and then you go to my website, it says the same thing. And then if you go to my blog post, it's very aligned and it says the same thing or the same tone. If I ask for help on social media, it's again aligned with all the things I've ever seen and the same tone. That's why we have to be so careful about who helps us with some of our marketing and touch points, because they all have to make sense because we don't know at what point somebody's going to make that decision to buy. This is all part of a lot of people talk about the customer journey. It's a long time to go from somebody being aware of you. Meaning, so say you're listening to this podcast, watching this podcast, and you're like, I didn't even know Jen McFarland existed. Well, yeah. So now you're becoming aware of me and you're making a judgment one way or the other about whether you want to continue to follow me or get to know me. And you kind of go through these different levels all the way down to the bottom of the funnel, the really skinny part, which is like you're going into the buying the conversion place. And then if you have a really great experience, you become an advocate in a lot of ways, and you're sending people to somebody, and that's the most valuable piece of the funnel. Actually, everybody focuses on the conversion, and that's important because that's where you get the money. But the ongoing word of mouth advocate business, I mean, they're like presold before they even meet you.

[46:10] Matt Hepburn: Yeah, no, there's not much mentioned about that. So normally with a buyer's journey, it's early awareness, right. It's consideration to buy, it's the purchase process, and then it is the follow up afterwards. Usually with somebody at that point might have a why did I buy this buyer's remorse. And they're going back to the site to see all the customer care stuff to go, oh, yes, this is why I bought. And here are the case studies. Right? But very rarely do I ever hear about anybody talking about customer advocacy based upon your experience, your good experience of what you had, and you're actually helping making other people convert. So they're basically putting people into the beginning of the funnel, pre selling them, pre selling them.

[47:00] Jen McFarland: And that's know, we've been talking about different things. One of the things that's super powerful that people are talking about a lot is UGC or user generated content. That to me, in a service based business, user generated content is that advocacy piece. It's somebody who goes out and know, hey, I worked with Matt Hepburn. He was so great. He did this, that. And the other thing for me, I think that you should follow him on social media or talk to him if you have this, like, think about how amazing that would be.

[47:34] Matt Hepburn: Yeah, that'd be fantastic.

[47:35] Jen McFarland: Over and over and over again. Right. And that's the gold standard we should all be shooting for. It doesn't end when they buy, and it doesn't even end when they follow up. It ends if you continue to offer value and do good work and they become an advocate for you. I've had a few clients who've done that for me, and it's amazing when the people come in and they're just sort of like, I'm here to sign up. Just tell me what it is you think I need. And you're like, wow, it's pretty cool.

[48:12] Matt Hepburn: I'm officially updating the buyer's journey to add advocacy onto it. Yeah, that's awesome.

[48:18] Jen McFarland: It's something to think about, and I know a lot of people don't talk about that. I'm really big into relationship marketing. Most of the marketing I do is not paid in my own business. I've only added ads recently as a test. I just want to see how I can get into some new markets and scale into some new markets. But, you know, the people who are they're not warm leads. They're like red hot are the ones that come because one of your clients had a great experience. So I would definitely amazing. Yeah, I would definitely say you got to add advocacy to the bottom of that buyer's journey because that's an even smaller subset of people who've bought from you that are like they resonate, they trust you. You've checked all the boxes of no like and trust.

[49:06] Matt Hepburn: So even though I'm going to add that, I'm going to quote you on that because I think I've never heard that before in the buyer's journey. So I think you've added to it. So I think that is awesome. And the one thing I just want to tie on to the buyer's journey, and it really depends upon the intent of the search. Somebody who's looking for legal services, the demand usually is very quick of how fast they were looking for that. Right. If they call up the attorney on the list and they're not able to connect with them, they're down to the next person. So that type of intent is different versus buying journeys that take longer, like SaaS Software right. Might be a twelve to 14 month period of them figuring things out. So there's different parts of the journey there. And I don't actually remember where I was going with this, but the advocacy part just seems like it has to be added to. That just an amazing so just to.

[50:12] Jen McFarland: Kind of explain what you just said, because a lot of my customers don't know about this is people search for different reasons.

[50:20] Matt Hepburn: That's right.

[50:21] Jen McFarland: So what Matt was just talking about is if you need an attorney immediately, that's a different search than if you're like, I'm just curious about employment law. And then you might get into those 40 pages that you talked about earlier in the interview. If you go into SEO tools, they'll tell you the intent of the search. And so you key into things around like hire a divorce attorney, for example, because that's likely to be like a search that people are doing, because that's likely to be like a conversion. They're looking to hire an attorney, for example. I haven't checked that one to see if that's the intent.

[51:00] Matt Hepburn: No, you're right. You're right on one.

[51:02] Jen McFarland: That would be like a conversion intent. Then there's other ones that are like navigational. Like how do I make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Well, you're probably not going to buy a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You just want to learn how to make it. And you might go there and you might not ever go to that website again.

[51:16] Matt Hepburn: Right.

[51:16] Jen McFarland: Or if it's a really useful recipe, you might right.

[51:20] Matt Hepburn: And you might be going to a video in there for instruction. So typically there's different platforms. So Google, Facebook, those type of ads that they have are usually what we would call disruptive ads. Versus if somebody goes to YouTube, they're typically going to learn something. So the mindset of that user is in a different place versus if you're doing something and you're interrupted with via an ad on Google and Facebook. So if you're going and you're specifically looking to learn things and you're seeing ads or even organic videos on YouTube, you're going to be probably more open to those than you are with a disruptive ad. So they'll probably convert. So this has been amazing and very helpful. So my next question would be, how can people find you? Are there specific lead magnets or things that would be helpful that are connected to our conversation that they can actually visit, download, or engage with you in or courses or what can they do?

[52:27] Jen McFarland: Sure. So my website is womenconquerbiz.com. I have a web link that's womenconquerbiz.com links, and in there you can find I use that instead of link tree because I want people coming to my website. You can find all the places to connect with me. I'm most active on LinkedIn. And then in there you can find how to overhaul your Google business. Profile for lead generation. That's a free course that I offer because so many people forget about a Google business profile and it's like Google's giving you free space. Why not attract people and bring people in? That's usually when they're searching to buy something. So I think that that's entirely related to everything that we've talked about, and it goes into some of the things around how to describe your service based business a little bit better, how to set it up if you haven't done it. Although the thrust of the course is really around how to improve it and reminding people to do it, improve it every few months and make sure it's.

[53:27] Matt Hepburn: Accurate, especially since they just added social profiles to it recently. Right?

[53:32] Jen McFarland: Yeah, that's been great for me. I love it.

[53:36] Matt Hepburn: Yeah. Well, listen, I am sure that we will be talking again soon because this was an amazing episode. I would love to have you on again anytime that you are willing to come on. That'd be fantastic. And I hope to be talking to you soon.

[53:52] Jen McFarland: Awesome. Me too. Thank you so much for having me.

[53:54] Matt Hepburn: Oh, absolutely. It's been a pleasure. We hope you enjoyed this episode of the entrepreneurs we hope you enjoyed this episode of the entrepreneurs market. To get the most value from this episode, to get the most resources, make sure to check out EMJ. If you got value from this episode and if you got value from this episode from us and you would like, feel free to subscribe to the podcast, then feel free to subscribe to the podcast so you never miss an episode. This is the Entrepreneurs Marketing Journey podcast with Matt Hepburn, and we'll see you next.

Author

  • Matt Hepburn

    Matt is the founder of The Focus Visibility Podcast. Matt has over 14 years of experience in search engine optimization. Matt has worked with various enterprise businesses, including Mend.io formerly (White Source Software), John Hancock USA, SEMrush, Commvault, and iCIMS. Matt has also worked in large and small agency environments, including Martindale Hubble, WebROI, and Search Interactions. Additionally, Matt brings 14 years of consulting on organic traffic issues that affect businesses.

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