Without having a profitable sales funnel in place, you may find yourself in a situation when you get to the end of the month, panic-stricken, and wondered where you were going to come up with the revenue needed to simply operate your business?
Never mind actually paying yourself.
And once again you were forced to go into your own pocket to pay for the subscriptions, tools and expenses you thought you needed to grow this business you expected would take off. A wild, roaring success.
But what’s the solution?
Where are all the clients and customers you expected would come to you? How can you attract new customers and intentionally guide them to working with you or purchasing your products?
Let’s dive into your secret weapon for reliable and consistent revenue – your profitable funnel.
Prefer to watch this blog post instead? Click on the video below!
What is a Sales Funnel?
Your sales funnel is a vehicle for transforming your website traffic into leads and then into customers for your business. It’s a very intentional way of using content to sell for you. And it’s up to you to choose what type of vehicle you want your potential customers to take that journey in – a broken-down Chevy with ripped seats and no air conditioning, a luxury Rolls Royce with the red carpet rolled out, or maybe a seafoam green mini cooper convertible. It’s completely up to you to customize your potential customer’s experience – but the outcome depends on you making that decision.
Your sales funnel is basically the journey a new lead (email subscriber) takes from being completely new to you and your business/brand to becoming a customer.
Another way to picture your sales funnel is as a continuum mapping your customer’s entire experience with your business.
By thinking of it this way, we can design every point along the experience to intentionally move prospects towards becoming happy and delighted customers.
This post is going to teach you how to build your sales funnel content so that your passive funnel becomes your most reliable, effective sales and marketing tool (basically a 24-7 salesperson who does the work for you and you don’t have to pay). Heck yes!
So Why Should a Busy Business Owner Bother with a Sales Funnel?
You’re busy, so the thought of adding another project to your plate likely terrifies you, makes you a bit nauseous, or a mix of both. I get it.
But let’s start with some of the things a strong sales funnel can do for you:
- Engages and builds trust with new subscribers
- Intentionally guides through a sales experience that invites them to purchase in an authentic and non-salesy way
- Saves you the time of having to sell your services or products one-on-one
- Runs in the background even when you’re busy doing other things
- Gets you paid for building your email list
And the great part? You likely already have a lot of the pieces you’ll need for your sales funnel that we can tweak and optimize.
And even if you don’t have them all, you can sign up for the FREE funnel mapping worksheets:
My Unique Approach to Sales Funnels
Creating an entire sales funnel can feel like a really overwhelming task with a lot of moving parts. One way to overcome this and make building your funnel manageable and organized is to think of your sales funnel as three separate layers. I also prefer to break it down this way because it makes it easier to optimize each piece of your funnel and build it gradually.
This is the same way we approach building sales funnels for clients in our agency and teach in Your Content, Your Empire.
So let’s get started!
Layer 1 of Your Profitable Funnel: Your Freebie System
Layer 1 involves getting your freebie, freebie opt-in and welcome emails complete.
Here are the individual projects to complete this layer:
- Choose a freebie that relates to the paid offer you’ve chosen for this funnel (note: you can eventually have a funnel for each one of your different offer types)
- Create your freebie
- Create your freebie opt-in page and thank you page
- Write your freebie welcome email
- Build, schedule and automate all web pages, emails and delivery of freebie
Layer 2 of Your Profitable Funnel: Your Offer System
Layer 2 of the Profitable Sales Funnel model revolves around your offer – it can be a service, an information product, a physical product, anything.
Some pointers for a strong offer:
- Think about the typical point of sale for your offer and align the call-to-action to guide them to that spot (i.e. maybe your customers typically purchase from your sales page, or from a free call or in-storen store)
- Brainstorm the best way to inject some urgency into the offer. You want to give your potential customer a reason to take action right now. Maybe it’s a coupon, a special bundle or bonus, an offer that’s only available for a limited time.
- Make sure that the offer is directly related to the freebie so that if your new subscriber wants to take the next step, your offer is that next logical step.
Here’s what layer 2 looks like:
Here are the individual projects to complete this layer:
- Create your urgency-based offer
- Create your offer sales page, checkout page and thank you page
- Write your email sequence (4-6 emails that follow the welcome email)
- Build, schedule and automate all web pages, emails and offer delivery
After you’re finished building this layer, you’ll have a fully functioning funnel. All that’s missing is the traffic and promotion plan which will come together in layer 3.
Layer 3 of Your Profitable Funnel: Your Traffic System
Layer 3 of your Profitable Sales Funnel deals in promotion and traffic generating methods. What good is your sales funnel going to do for you if it doesn’t have a steady stream of traffic entering it?
As you can see from above, here are the individual projects to complete the final layer:
- Choose 2-3 methods of promoting your freebie (see the free Profitable Sales Masterclass for specific methods)
- Create a monthly goal and measurement dashboard for your funnel to identify optimization opportunities
How to Build a Sales Funnel Even If You’re Super Busy
Tip 1 – Start by Mapping It Out
I've seen people waste a lot of time creating their sales funnels because they have no plan that they're following, so they’re meandering all over the place, instead of one by one, knocking things off and knowing exactly what goes where. So download the free sales funnel mapping worksheets and spend 60 minutes mapping out your sales funnel before you start working on it. This will save you bucket loads of time on the back end when it comes time to actually create the pieces of content needed for your sales funnel.
Tip 2 – Repurpose Wherever Possible
The busy business owner’s best friend is repurposing. There's no reason that you need to create everything from scratch. So when you are mapping out your sales funnel, think about pieces that you already have, that can either be reused exactly as is or that you can make a few minor tweaks to, and then repurpose it into content that you need for the funnel.
Repurposing is the smart way of doing business!
Tip 3 – You Don’t Have to Build it All At Once
I break down my sales funnels into layers so that you can approach each layer one at a time. But you can break it down even more than that if you like.
In the freebie layer, you can start with just the freebie before you start with the opt-in page and the thank you page and the welcome email. Then you can add in the check-in email later on and then go back to that simple opt-in page you started and add more to it.
You can set it up step by step. You don't need to build the entire thing out at once.
One of the hesitations I get from people on this approach is they worry, I'm starting to get people onto my list through my freebie, but what if I don't have my follow up email sequence ready? One of the great things that you can do is as soon as you have that email sequence ready, you can take everyone who signed up for your freebie in the time that it took you to create the follow-up sequence and put them through it.
All you have to do is make some adjustments to the first email and then send it to them, even if it's four or five weeks later.
Tip 4 – Aim for B+ Work
This is for my fellow perfectionist and fellow type-A people. Aim for B+ work!
You don't necessarily know right now what is going to work best for your business and for your audience. Yes, you are in a much better position than somebody else to know those things, but even still, until you start testing and putting things out there, you're never going to know.
There is no such thing as perfection when it comes to anything marketing related: your sales funnel, your content, anything. This is why we want to aim for B+ work. Just get it out there and from that point, once it's out there, you can measure regularly and make small changes over time.
Tip 5 – Know that Time Spent Now Will Save Time Later On
The whole reason why we create a sales funnel and automated sales system for our business is so that we can have a 24-hour salesperson selling our offers and nurturing our audiences even while we are busy sleeping, are busy working with clients or are busy with our kids.
You want to invest this time now and know that it's going to pay off later. This is a smart business move and it is an essential business system that online businesses specifically need to have in place – knowing what that sales system is and automating it in places wherever possible.
Taking the Next Steps
Why spend time creating a sales funnel? Once it’s all said and done, this passive funnel can be your biggest source of income. And the process doesn’t have to feel overwhelming.
By breaking up the creation of your funnel into three simple layers, you’ll be able to get it done and dusted and out into the world in no time. And you’ll probably surprise yourself with how much content you already have created!
Don’t let time stop you from bringing in new clients and customers. Follow my three layering system and note the tips for creating a sales funnel, even if you’re a super busy business owner, and you’ll be generating income in no time.
If you’d like support in building your profitable sales funnel, download the FREE sales funnel mapping worksheets: