- The Anatomy of a Perfect Marketing and Sales Funnel
- 5 Marketing Strategies That Can Fuel Your Business Growth, Including Building a Sales Funnel
- Effective Content Strategies for Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel
- Funnel Marketing Plan: The Steps of Nurturing, Selling, and Closing
- Create a Funnel Marketing Plan: 3 Proven Types of Sales Funnels That Can Boost Your Conversion
- Bonus: How to Track Leads as They Progress From Prospects to Customers
One of the problems I see entrepreneurs face these days is that they waste a lot of time and energy (and money) on the hustling side of business. As a result, they don’t have anything left to deliver the service and make more difference. I recently came across a post on Facebook from a well known spiritual life coach. She basically said that she hit six figures, but she was still broke.
It should not happen.
In this blog post I will give you an insight into making your life coaching, consulting, or business coaching venture more enjoyable – and most importantly – more profitable.
The answer is in working smarter instead of harder, and sales creating an innovative sales funnel marketing plan will help you do just that.
The Anatomy of a Perfect Marketing and Sales Funnel
Let’s play a game here: what if your sales funnel was a human? What would you like them to be? What qualities would they need to have?
I have created a simple infographic to demonstrate what I mean by anatomy, and below I will also explain what you have to do to create a perfect marketing funnel that converts. It’s all about the human touch, so no AI system and ChatGTP prompt will help you there! So let’s begin!
The strong legs mean that your funnel will have a compelling offer. If someone does question your value, it stands its ground. And if it withstands everything; it cannot be blown away by trends, recession, or market changes.
Research is essential for building a strong and profitable funnel. A solid ground means that your funnel will be based on research and a strategy that suits your business. Unfortunately, many businesses out there build a sales funnel marketing plan from templates, which is too generic for specialist industries. And – inevitably – they fail at generating results.
Far Reaching Arms
Your sales funnel has to reach the right people. They might not be in your sphere yet, so you will have to attract them. A sales funnel with far-reaching arms means that you will not be stuck with the same clients you have now, and you can attract bigger, better, and more grateful prospects.
An Engaging Smile
When someone says: “Content is King” I always answer: “And Engagement is Queen”. There is no point creating content that nobody relates to. That’s what amateurs do. Anyone can do that. Throw a lot of content out there, and see what sticks. It’s so 20th Century. Today, we have plenty of tools that will create engagement and qualify your leads, so why not use them in your sales funnel marketing plan?
This is where AI just doesn’t cut it. If you are on LinkedIn and Facebook, you might have come across loads of ads about AI course generators, AI content creators, and the like. However, the truth is that artificial intelligence is limited to existing facts and content. It doesn’t do creativity or emotional intelligence. So, it does not really understand where your clients are “coming from”. That’s the job of a skilled marketing strategist.
There is a saying that out of the 100 people who see your content, 90 will not care at all. One will hate you, and only 3 will be remotely interested. The rest might be sitting on the fence.
So, stop worrying about what people think; you will get rejections. You will get people who unfollow you. Some will unsubscribe. Some will ask for a refund. But that’s good! They are not your ideal client. And their rejection just eliminates waste, so be glad for it. A funnel will not take unsubscribes personally. It will handle the data, analyse the results, and you can adjust your sales funnel marketing plan accordingly.
5 Marketing Strategies That Can Fuel Your Business Growth, Including Building a Sales Funnel
I read quite a few blogs and social media content about funnels and digital marketing in general. Most of the time the problem is that they are focussed on “hustling” and not building a real business. So, I decided to give you five strategies that you can implement in your sales funnel marketing plan that will create lasting results.
As ActiveCampaign partners, we are all about communication and effective copywriting. ActiveCampaign actually allows you to segment your audience and create funnels, (yes the visuals) which makes it great for us. It also integrates with other channels. If you are trying to sell before you build a list, you are always going to come up short. That’s why email marketing (given that you have a great lead magnet) is essential to skyrocketing your sales.
In the past two years or so, we’ve been experimenting with quiz funnels. We have achieved as high as 45 percent conversions on some of our TypeForm lead generation quizzes, which is amazing. So, having a conversation with your audience and researching the market is an effective tool. It also allows you to enter the conversation that’s going on in your prospect’s head. Recently we have started trialling ScoreApp, too. Adding Quizzes to your funnel can skyrocket your lead generation and profits.
LinkedIn Influencer Score Improvements
Often we get calls from B2B professionals who want to generate leads to their business. And then we look at their poor LinkedIn profile and tell them to fix it first. You can get your free SSI score from LinkedIn without upgrading to premium, and get recommendations on how to improve your visibility. Once you’ve reached a certain number of followers and engagement, you can enable creator tools. I did that less than a year ago, and I now have almost 1,000 subscribers on my LinkedIn newsletter. And clicks through to my lead generation pages, of course.
OPA (Other People’s Audience)
What if I told you that you can legally tap into other people’s audience? At LMNts we have a generous referral program (email us for details) to help us stay in front of our ideal clients. We are a relatively small agency, and cannot invest the same amount of ad budget as larger national firms in the sales funnel industry. So, we tap into other people’s audiences. We regularly submit guest posts, have been published by Social Media Examiner, and Funnel Magazine, for example. This didn’t cost us money, just time and energy.
Alternatively, you can engage with people (without hustling) in other people’s groups, too. We regularly contribute to giveaways and answer questions. You can – if you feel comfortable with) go on other people’s podcasts, too. But building your own audience should always be the end goal.
If you think content marketing is a waste of time and energy, you are doing something wrong. It does work, not only for search engine optimisation, but for raising your profile and putting you on the map as an expert. You might feel like you are not much of a writer, and that’s fine. You can do a podcast or videos. But do something, please.
When we sit down with our sales funnel clients and private sales funnel coaching clients, we always ask them what type of content they are comfortable creating. And we tailor the strategy to their preferences. The only option we do not accept is no content.
Now you have five ideas on where to go when you want to improve your lead generation. Next, we will dig deeper into content strategies for funnels.
Effective Content Strategies for Each Stage of the Marketing Funnel
You will have to create different types of content for the beginning, the middle, and the end of the relationship. You will say different things in real life when you are trying to win the girl over, when you are at least 50 percent confident that they are interested, and when they have indicated that they kind of like you. The same goes for a sales funnel marketing plan.
Top of the Funnel Content Plan
At the top of the funnel you will have to try to enter the conversation that’s going on in your prospect’s mind. It is increasingly difficult to do that because there’s a lot of content out there and people are distracted by ads and social media posts every second. In fact, I just checked my Facebook (personal) account just yesterday and every 3rd or 4th piece of content I saw was a sponsored one.
To engage with your audience at the top of your funnel you will need to create engaging posts and get them to be curious. If you try to copy other people, you will end up putting out the same content others do and you will not get engagement. Be your best and most interesting self, shine like an expert and be consistent.
Middle of the Funnel Content Plan
In the middle of the funnel, your audience is already familiar with you (hopefully your face, too), and they are open to hearing more about what you have to offer them. So, if they are already on your list and they feel grateful for what they got from you. So you have created a sort of reciprocity. That’s why you will have to continue to wow them.
Create a blog, send them newsletters, and get them to subscribe to your YouTube channel. Educate them in your emails, and refrain from hard selling tactics. They are not ready yet!
End of the Funnel Content
At the end of the funnel is where the action happens. You will need to qualify people to see if they are ready to buy. Ask the question, and make an offer they cannot refuse.
At the end of the funnel, you will have to be closing one way or another. If they are ready to buy, that’s great; they will go on a new buyer sequence. If they are not, you will know that you need more convincing and you can carry on providing more value. But – eventually – you will have to ask for the sale.
Sales copies are only to be used in this part of the funnel, or you will come across spammy and unauthentic.
Funnel Marketing Plan: The Steps of Nurturing, Selling, and Closing
Not all funnels are created equal. We always say that, and it’s true. The nurturing, selling, and closing stages have to be adjusted in length based on your marketplace, your offer, and the type of funnel you are building. If you are selling a high ticket service, such as coaching or consulting, you might want to have a longer nurturing sequence.
Generally speaking the more you expect your clients to pay for your service the more nurturing they will need.
At the selling stage, you will have to be very clear about the offer and tell them the benefits. As Mike Killen would put it: “Sell future not Features”.
At the closing stage, you will have to ask them for a NO. A no is a good thing; it reveals their excuses. You will have to deal with the excuses, discuss them, and address the objections. A quiz will work really well here.
Create a Funnel Marketing Plan: 3 Proven Types of Sales Funnels That Can Boost Your Conversion
Once you have the content, the three stages of the funnel, and your offer, it’s time to choose how you will be selling it. Here are three of the most powerful B2B funnels you can use to boost your conversions.
A quiz funnel is all about having a conversation with your prospects and qualifying them as they move down the pipeline. You can put a quiz at the beginning of the funnel (I recommend a shorter one, maybe one done on Google Forms or Typeform/VideoAsk), followed by a scorecard or two created on ScoreApp. We have covered quiz funnels on our blog a few times, so check the posts out if you would like to find out more about them.
If you would like to draw people in through your educational content and establish yourself as an expert, you might want to create a content funnel. You will start with a free gated content landing page, and follow up with more content that you send to your prospects to put yourself on the map as an expert. The longer your lead time (the time it takes for your leads to convert) is the more content you will need to send out there. Thankfully, you can use an already published YouTube video, a blog post, or even a personal message (this is possible with a couple of software out there).
The good thing about webinar funnels is that they convert really well. The bad news is that you will have to put in a lot of effort into building it; generating leads, following up, and making sure that the content you deliver is top notch, and you have an irresistible offer to present in the end. So, if you have the time and budget to build up to a webinar (you might need a couple of months preparation), by all means do that! If not, you might opt for another conversion funnel.
No matter which funnel you are going for, you cannot expect overnight success. You will need a solid foundation and strategy, and be prepared to make changes along the way.
Bonus: How to Track Leads as They Progress From Prospects to Customers
The truth is that you will never know how well your funnel is performing until you start tracking leads. You will have to know exactly how far down every lead is down your funnel. There are different ways of doing this.
ActiveCampaign will tell you how engaged each person is with your content; i.e. how many times they visited your site, how many emails they opened, and how many links they clicked on.
You can also create check-in quizzes that will tell you exactly how warm your leads are. This will stop you from shooting in the dark.
Google Analytics is a must when it comes to tracking your conversions, and it works really well with all CRM platforms.
It’s important to track conversions and find out who your ideal clients are. And – most importantly – which traffic sources and demographics are the most profitable for you.
Building a profitable sales funnel marketing plan is like building a jigsaw puzzle. You might have all the pieces, but you have to connect the right ones to get the image that’s on the box. And it takes time, strategy, and creative thinking. But once you’ve mastered it, you will be able to enjoy the picture for a long time.