You might have been there.
You follow a plan and do all the work you were supposed to.
You see other photographers you know posting their wins, getting bookings after accidentally posting their business funnel links on socials, or celebrating that they’ve woken up to 5 new shoots in their calendar and you wait excitedly for the same results to happen for you…
And you keep waiting… and waiting…
And then you realise… that despite doing everything you were supposed to do… your business funnel is a FLOP!
If you’re in this situation right now where you’ve launched a funnel and you haven’t got the results you thought…
… you might be asking yourself “Why isn’t this working for me? I’m doing ALL the right things??”
Or you might even be going deeper with thoughts like “NOTHING ever works for me!”
I want you to know, this happens to everyone at some point (including me after many years in business!)
It’s not always pink unicorns and rainbows in my business. In fact, every time I launch something new, there are often tweaks and lessons and parts that don’t work. It’s really helpful to remember that this is the reality of having your own business.
I launched a brand new business funnel and I genuinely believed it was going to be an absolute goldmine.
✔️I listened to what people were asking for, and it felt like I was giving them what they wanted.
✔️It was at a lower price point than my signature programme The PBA, so it was offering me a cheaper alternative
✔️It was PACKED with value (As Russell Brunson always says “Is it ok if I over-deliver?!”)
✔️I had lots of social proof to show the potential return on investment to make it a no brainer.
Everything about the launch and the business funnel was brand new and created from scratch – from content to strategy to the program I was selling at the end. I was getting up at 5am daily, working super hard. I put A LOT of effort, time (and money in Facebook ads) into this new funnel.
I did a soft launch to my email list to capture low hanging fruit first.
It brought in a few sales (less than I was expecting), but I wasn’t too worried at that point as I hadn’t “properly” launched it yet.
I then followed my own proven Sold Out Launch plan process (the same process I teach in the Photography Business Accelerator).
I created Anticipation and gave lots of free training to help build Trust, Authority and Reciprocity since I was launching a new product.
I spent money on Facebook ads and was getting a decent number of leads.
I was getting lots of feedback that the free training was super valuable.
I was so excited to do my final free training and officially open the cart to sell my program, expecting my Stripe notifications to be “pinging” constantly for days. I was already imagining myself telling the story in interviews about how “this was the ONE thing that took my business to the next level”…
Instead, I opened the cart and had only a handful of sales.
I couldn’t believe it.
I felt physically and mentally exhausted.
Dramatic and (and childlike) thoughts began creeping into my head like “when is it EVER going to be MY time!!!”
… And honestly, I felt a bit embarrassed, as I had told my partner to expect a huge cash influx, and I confided in a couple of my business besties that this was going to be the big one. So naturally I also had to report my lacklustre results to them when they were calling me to ask how it went.
I could have just thrown in the towel and given up.
But then I remembered my favourite saying…
Your biggest resource is your resourcefulness
… so despite me feeling like a failure I kept going.
Watch the video below to see what happened and what to do when you feel yourself saying
“My Funnel is a Flop!” and 5 Tips for When You Feel Like All Your Hard Work Is For Nothing.
Don’t have time to watch the video or just want the cliff notes? Ask and you shall receive! 🙂
Here are 5 lessons I learned from my experience.
1. If You’ve Made ONE Sale, Your Funnel Converts.
As I said, I launched a brand new UNTESTED business funnel with brand new trainings and lead magnets and made sales from it. The sales weren’t what I was expecting but it worked. Do you know how many people create funnels which don’t make ANY sales, let alone the first time they launch it? (it’s HUGE!!). I reframed my thinking from “This funnel is a flop.” to “My business funnel converts!” and “I just got paid to create and test out a new program!”
See the difference in energy just from that reframe?
Reframing is the BEST and easiest way to change your state and thinking about something, no matter how small it might be.
If you’ve found that you have gotten no sales at all, then it’s time to look at the activity you have done and actually monitor it. Ask yourself these questions:
- What activity has worked before for you? (do more of what has worked before for you!)
- If I were the customer, would I buy my products/services based on what I have seen here?
If you have made ONE sale from your funnel, it means your funnel converts!
I give templates to my Photography Business Accelerator students and recommend they use them as they are – because they are tested: the copy, the placement of the image, the font, the pricing of the offer, the value of their full price. If you find you haven’t made ANY sales, often it is because you’ve made changes to the offer, the pricing or more usually, the reason is due to Lesson 2 below.
2. How Many People Have Actually Seen Your Offer?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Marketing is a maths equation. And in order for your marketing to be successful in the current climate, you need to be PROLIFIC.
When you don’t know how many people have seen your offer, (which means you don’t know your marketing statistics), then it will surely follow that you will make assumptions and create negative stories in your head about funnels and your ability to sell that aren’t actually true. You will end up having an emotional reaction, which then stops you from making intelligent and calm decisions.
In my case, when I checked my marketing statistics, I saw that I was selling at an average 5% of the people who saw my order form page.
I had made assumptions and was feeling emotional and creating stories about how no-one wanted to buy my product, when in fact, the REAL ISSUE was that NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE had seen my offer to meet my sales expectations.
This realisation that not only did my funnel convert but that it was actually converting at a pretty good rate gave me the energetic shift and the confidence I needed to put a little bit more money in the last few days of my launch into my Facebook ads (which were also converting at a great price of $1.94 per lead).
Sales, Marketing and Funnels are a numbers game.
When you have a Business Funnel that converts, it just means you need more leads. More leads = more sales.
It just depends on your own conversion rates and how much money (or time) you have to spend generating leads as to how much money you will make.
- Your Opt In Conversion Rate: The number of people who give you their email address in exchange for something you offer, after landing on your page. . A “good” conversion rate is >20%. Most of my students in the Photography Business Accelerator get opt in rates of more than 40% (one even had an 87% opt in rate on her Connect Funnel!)
- Your Sales Conversion Rate: The number of people who have seen the page where they can buy from you divided by the number of sales you have made. As I mentioned, my sales conversion rate was 5%. Rates differ depending on how you sell but a good indicator is 1%-5% of people who have seen your offer. (Metrics 1 & 2 are standard statistics given for every funnel in Clickfunnels so you can quickly glance and see the )
- Your Cost Per Lead: If you are using Facebook ads, Facebook works out the cost per lead for you with Pixels (we’ll save that for another blog!) If you are advertising elsewhere, you would do the same process. I tend to use Facebook as my go-to advertiser, and I’ve noticed ad costs have been increasing. My leads cost me anywhere between $1-$20 per lead. I consider a lead to be cheap if it is under $4-$5. Remember that the power of any type of advertising is not just in getting the lead, it’s in the FOLLOW UP (which is why this is a foundational piece of the puzzle in the PBA).
- Your Cost Per Sale: An expensive lead (ie more than $5-$10) doesn’t necessarily mean a bad advert. It’s all relative to the price point you are selling. The important metric to measure is how much you need to spend IN TOTAL to get ONE sale. So you divide your total advertising spend by your total sales that came from that advert during the same period.
- Your Average Sale: You need to know this on a weekly basis. I’ve found that most photographers overestimate this figure. This is NOT “most people buy my middle package which is $800”. Your average sale is your TOTAL revenue (found in your Profit and Loss statement) divided by your TOTAL number of paid shoots. So if this year you have made a total of $42,000 so far and you have done 53 shoots, your average sale (before costs) is $792.
Here’s an example to break it down for you.
If 500 people go to your opt in page and 20% actually opt in, you have 100 leads.
Let’s assume that all 100 of those see your offer because you’ve put it on your thank you page. (this is usually less as lots of people close down their page after opting in to something)
If your cost per lead is $3, you spend $300 on Facebook Ads.
If your sales conversion is 3%, you will sell 3 photoshoots, which makes your cost per sale $100 (ie $300 / 3)
If your average sale from your photoshoots is $792, you basically needs to spend $100 to make $792, giving you a profit of $692 per sale.
And remember, you still need to take into account your Costs of Goods and the cost of running your business (not to mention your time)! (If you don’t know how to work this out, grab my free 90 page magazine, The Art of Pricing here). You may need to ask yourself, is it time to raise your prices?
Metrics I Haven’t Mentioned
Have you noticed I haven’t mentioned things like Reach or Likes or Comments? This is because it is very hard to measure the VALUE of those metrics – they are what marketers call “vanity” metrics. They have a place in your business, to know what type of content resonates and to increase your engagement, but if you want to make money from your social media posts, you need funnels and you need to know and measure these 5 basic metrics.
You can go deeper with metrics like Click Through Rates and Impressions but I want to keep this as simple as possible for you.
Comment below and tell me, are you measuring these 5 metrics regularly? How many people have seen your offer?
3. Stay The Course (Even When You Want To Give Up)
It’s very tempting to see lacklustre results and just give up on your launch or promotion. My advice to you is to stay the course. In my case, I was disappointed that my launch wasn’t bringing me the cash flow I expected. But, because I have been here before and I know it is important, I decided – despite all the ups and downs – to stick to my launch plan and COMPLETE each social media post and email and blog. I knew if I was going to salvage anything, I needed to continue to SHOW UP.
For me, staying the course paid off. More sales came through from my Facebook lives and from my email Nurture Funnel.
Consistency is KING when it comes to your marketing. When you are consistent, you create momentum. Even if they don’t buy today, you are setting the foundations for your potential clients to buy soon.
4. The Last Day Is The Most Important.
When you are doing a launch over a period of time, you can expect an inverted bell curve of sales.
This means sales in the beginning, ad hoc sales spaced over the middle and a large percentage (often the majority) of your sales will come through at the last minute.
Why is this?
Well … as human beings, we naturally have a tendency to leave things to the last minute, don’t we?
It’s part of our human psychology that we will put off making a decision until we have to make that decision.
This is why we send 2-4 emails on the day a promotion is ending to catch those last minute decision makers.
Most photographers have an aversion to doing this, which I always respond to with:
Try to reframe your thinking from “I am annoying people” to “I am making sure my people don’t forget to get the best deal so they don’t tell me later they didn’t know about it”. Remember, we aren’t on email 24 hour per day, so it’s likely your peeps might see only 1 or 2 of your emails.
I often have clients thanking me for reminding them of an offer that they would have missed without my reminders.
The best thing you can do to take the heavy energy out of sending 2-4 emails in one day is to AUTOMATE them (so you don’t even know they’ve gone).
For me, more than 50% of my sales came through on the last day of my launch and 25% of my sales in the last hour.
Imagine if I didn’t send those emails or post on social media on the last day?
If you are still hesitant, ask yourself:
How could 50% more of my total income impact my confidence and my family (just by scheduling a couple of automated emails)?
5. Be Like Elsa (Let It Go 🎶🎶🎶)
Sounds like a cliché?
You may feel like this is wishy washy, but it really does work.
I was tired, disappointed and feeling meh, and that energy was heavy. 2 days before my launch ended, I had scheduled all my automations, and social media posts, and I decided that I taken the imperfect action and I let go of my expectation that it was going to be my game changing launch.
Now, letting go can be quite hard sometimes. But when you know you put in the effort, you’ve tweaked what you can during the launch, you’ve followed your launch plan… what else is left?
My main priority was to feel like everything was going to be ok regardless of how many sales I did or didn’t do. So I decided to enjoy my weekend with my partner and fill my cup with the things that give me energy, like seeing friends, going for walks in the sunshine and chilling out with a book.
Because I have experienced the magic of seeing money come in when I stop focusing on it and give myself some self care, this time it was easier to just say to myself “I am enough”.
All in all, yep it wasn’t my bonanza 6 figure launch, but I ended up having a fabulous launch for a brand new product that took approximately 3 weeks of my time from start to finish. And now I can do it all again, this time with everything set up and lessons to learn from.
In summary, my advice for you is to Follow a Plan + Execute It + Tweak When Stuff Doesn’t Work + Know Your Metrics + Let Go Of The Outcome
And of course, after you have had a break and some time to decompress from a launch, try again, this time with your new learnings to do better.
I hope this gives you guys some little nuggets about what to do when you struggle with your funnels (or any sort of promotion in your photography business).
If you enjoy this, or want to want use funnels, automation and magic mindset techniques to grow your photography business to get bookings and sales on autopilot, I’m running a free training this week that goes deeper on this topic here.
And of course, please do comment with any ahas below! Has this been helpful?