I’ve been using the Forever Funnel strategy with many of my clients since 2016 and it’s one of my favourite systems to put into place for clients who happen to have a lot of content already created.
But this year I started thinking of ways that even those without a ton of content could use the strategy from the get-go to begin with this autopilot-goal in mind.
What I love about the Forever Funnel Strategy is that it helps you leverage each piece of content you create (versus publishing it and forgetting it) and helps you free up time to focus on creating higher-quality pieces of content or spending time on higher-impact marketing activities.
What is the Forever Funnel Strategy?
It’s a way to sequencing your content so that instead of sending a regular email to your entire list each week, you instead add your regular newsletter to the end of an automated sequence.
Everyone on your list is subscribed to this sequence, and they receive each email that’s in that sequence.
I call it your Forever Funnel Strategy because it runs automatically and is timeless (it doesn’t matter what date they receive it, it’s still relevant to them).
This is one of the best tools to take your subscriber on a content journey and cultivate the relationship. I also really like as a way of creating smaller journeys in your content – theming particular sections of the funnel that leads to and ends with an invitation to an offer or a point of sale.
For example – if you’re selling a high-end coaching package with a price tag to match, you’re likely not going to send your email list directly to a sales page and checkout cart. You’ll bring them to the most effective point of sale which in this case might be an application or a consult call.
An Overview of the Forever Funnel Strategy
Here’s a little breakdown of one version of the Forever Funnel Strategy…
(1) Core Area of Expertise
As you can see here – we have one overarching core area of expertise which all of our blog posts and content tie back to.
This is the umbrella under which all of your sub-content categories fall and it hopefully is super related to your paid offers, so that any readers you attract with this content are likely a great fit as a potential client or customer.
(2) Content Campaigns
Then underneath your core area of expertise, you’ll have around 9 content campaigns. And these are sequences of blog posts that take your readers through a very specific journey – around 5 weeks of value content and then 1 week of sales emails or offer invitations.
So for each content campaign, you’ll choose one offer that the content campaign leads to and one theme that all of the content relates back to.
(3) Value Emails + Offer Emails
Within each content campaign, you’ll have approximately 5 weeks of value content. These are blog posts, videos or freebies that you’ll deliver to your email list at least once a week to warm them up and get them to a place where they’re ready to hear about your offer and primed to take action on it.
The offer week could be invitations directly to a sales page, to a consult call if it’s a one-on-one service or to a webinar/challenge.
Once all of these content campaigns are filled out, if you follow the 9 content campaigns with 6 weeks of content formula, you’ll have covered 54 weeks so just over 1 year of content. And after that, you technically won’t have to create any new blog posts or emails (unless YOU want to and have time to).
You can play around with the numbers, but you’ll want about a year of content covered. And then after the year, your subscriber can start right back again with Content Campaign #1.
It’ll have been long enough and their life or business situation will likely have changed so what they take from the post will be different than the first time the received and read/watched/listened to it.
Potential Applications of the Forever Funnel Method
(1) To give you more time back in your schedule
To create more white space in your calendar by automating the scheduled part of your content and marketing so that you can spend more time doing real-time marketing (like networking, speaking, creating online events, etc.).
According to State of the Business Owner, businesses that spend 2 days a week on marketing, grow 60% faster. What is you could use those 2 days on higher impact activities? Or get more out of your 2 days?
(2) To create a full body of work representing the best of your ideas
To create a full body of work of evergreen content that represents the best of your ideas and signature process that proves your expert status to your community, peers and potential collaborators and (more importantly) to yourself.
(3) To allow you to focus on another business or take a break from your business without losing revenue
Maybe you’re wanting to start a new business, explore a new passion or truly embrace passive income instead of involving yourself with your business day in and day out.
If you’ve been at it awhile, have an audience built-up, you can use this to put your content on autopilot so it continues to attract and nurture leads – even while your attention is elsewhere.
(4) Reverse-engineer your way to a book or an e-course
This framework is also great for bigger content projects like a book or a course where you’re just starting out but know you want to put together something bigger with your content. You can use this system to map out a forever funnel that follows the outline of your book or e-course and instead of needing to write both at the same time, kill two birds with one stone by live writing your book as blog posts.
Then once you’re finished your forever funnel, add in stories, examples and any extras – and you’re nearly on your way to first draft of a manuscript.
Example – James Clear’s Atomic Habits book was largely based around the blog posts he’d been writing for years. It’s still a great read, and New York Times’ Bestseller!
My Favourite Things About this Method
(1) Saves time!
This method frees up your time and gets you out of the weekly content grind. If you already have a ton of content – you can pull in what you already have, fill some gaps and you’re ready to go.
If you don’t have a ton of time, you’ll at least have an end game for the content-hustle-grind that you can work towards and then reclaim that time back. It’s like a retirement date for the NEED to create content all the time. You may still create content, but you won’t have too – it’ll be all because you want to.
While also giving you a guilt-free pass if you get swamped and don’t have time to come up with new content, you know that your email newsletter will keep running until you have time to come up with new content
(2) Allows you to monetize your content
It’s a great way to stack your content so your mini sequences become intentional journeys that form to tell a story and nurture your reader towards something rather than all over the place as it can sometimes seem with people’s editorial calendars – a little of this, a little of that, a lot of confusion when trying to follow along.
Most people are also so overwhelmed from trying to keep up with their content calendars in the old way of doing content, that they maybe get around to planning a launch or promotion a quarter (if that) – this is designed to get your offers in front of a super primed, super engaged audience every 5 weeks.
This takes care of the nurture phase of your savvy email strategy, so that you’re balancing the promo to value ratio and not overselling to your subscribers (so many people don’t make time for their email newsletters until they have something to sell… big no no!)
(3) Develops your expertise
The Forever Funnel Strategy creates a body of work that doesn’t just prove your expertise to other people but develops it for yourself too.
Creating content around your core area of expertise is a part of developing that expertise, getting better at your craft and in creating your signature process. And while you’re revisiting your older posts, you’ll have a chance to bring older work up to your new standards.
I LOVE this quote from Ira Glass about this….
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions.” Ira Glass