What are sales funnels and why do you need them?
Call it what you like, a sales process, marketing funnel, sales pipeline, customer acquisition, or the one you’ll see all over the internet, sales funnels.
Sales funnels aren’t new. The term is popular thanks to tools like ClickFunnels, LeadPages, GetResponse, and an endless list of similar products, but you’re going to learn about the actual principles behind a sales funnel, and how to create yours using content that you already have.
Sales Funnels: Every business should have a process for making sales
So many business owners overthink this or are put off at the thought of creating a sales funnel because it seems too complicated, too technical, or too time-consuming, or for a lot of small business owners, a sales funnel sounds expensive.
It’s easy to over-complicate your sales funnel or to spend too long procrastinating but if you’re to get over your funnel phobia I’m going to give you a really basic overview of the components or products you can get to work on right now to get your sales funnel up and running.
Your funnel is a visual representation of how you attract people into your business and convert them into paying customers. We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel and this doesn’t have to be complicated. If you take action now you can make improvements later.
How to build sales funnels for beginners
If you already understand what a sales funnel is and know what you want to offer, as well as which steps you need to implement, then feel free to skim through to the bottom of this post and check out some of the resources I recommend to help you get started.
Step One: Entice Them In With A Freebie
The first thing to create when you're creating your sales funnels is a freebie. This could be anything from a free book to a consultation but we’re going to focus on lead magnets and how to create yours.
You’ll have seen lead magnets all over the internet in various formats:
- Resource Guides
- Swipe Files
- Cheat Sheets
The main objective of your lead magnet is to get people to opt in to give you their information in exchange for what you’re giving them. And for most of you, that information is going to be their name and email address.
Why should I use lead magnets to collect email addresses?
How many visitors does your website get right now? And of those visitors, how many actually contact you and become a customer? Using sales funnels with opt-ins allows you to capture email addresses so that you can nurture relationships with potential customers and build trust before sending offers to buy your products. An email list of people interested in your products and services is a powerful resource and one you should aim to grow.
I don’t have time to write a book so how can I create a lead magnet?
You don’t need to lock yourself away for months to write a fully-fledged novel to give away for nothing. Instead, use what you already have to create your lead magnet. It could be as simple as a checklist that lists every step of a process you’ve already written as a blog, or it could be a watered-down version of a product you already sell.
Your sales system should be designed to bring new prospects into your business and turn them into paying customers.
One thing to beware of is that because lead magnets have become so easy to create you’re able to find an abundance of free information on any topic you can think of. Keep that in mind before chucking an ebook together full of fluff. Make sure whatever you decide to go with is useful and relevant to your target audience.
With access to free information so accessible and because we’re so used to being marketed to, some people won’t give you their information and some will give you fake information to take your freebie without letting you contact them again.
Now that you know what you can offer for free it’s time to move on to the next step.
Step Two: The Tripwire Product
Result! You’ve enticed someone in and they’re indulging in the brilliant information you’ve shared. Now is the time to give them more, but this time you’re going to charge for it. You’ve warmed your prospect up and began the process of getting them to know, like, and trust you, and now you’re going to strike while the iron is hot and while your name is still fresh in their mind.
Leave it too long and they’ll have moved on and forgotten about you. Try to sell them your flagship $10k offer right away and you’ll scare them away.
The answer? Present them with your tripwire, low-cost product.
Your prospect knows who you are and you’ve demonstrated how you can help them. That freebie you gave them left them eager for more, but not that eager that they’re ready to hand over huge sums just yet.
Some prospects need warming up, some aren’t ready yet, and some are never going to spend a large amount of money with you no matter how good you are. It’s now that a low-cost offer is a no-brainer.
The prospect knows that they’re going to get more of the same or an in-depth version, and by keeping the price low you’re lowering the risk. Offer a money-back guarantee if they follow your advice and don’t get the desired outcome you’ve set out for them to achieve and now you have an offer they can’t refuse or at least one that they really won’t want to miss out on.
Your tripwire product could be a monthly membership site, ready-to-use templates, exclusive content, an ebook or guide, or a workbook to complement the freebie you’ve already given them. Whatever it is, you need to really knock their socks off and give them something valuable and useful. And this should go without saying, but make sure it’s relevant to your freebie and to your audience.
Once they’ve decided to spend money with you you’re going to continue to nurture your relationship and move to the next part.
Step Three: Your High Ticket Offer
One of the most important parts of creating a successful sales funnel is getting the price right, and keeping it reasonable. If you’re offering a $39 marketing plan for startups and then sending them an offer for a $10k consultancy package, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Instead of the consultancy package, consider a group coaching package for $199. That’s more realistic and achievable.
Knowing who your offer is aimed at is key, otherwise, you’ll scare people off and ultimately, miss out on potential customers.
Build Your Sales Funnels Now; Repurpose Your Content
We’ve gone over the very basics of what makes a sales funnel, stripped down to its simple form: three products or components. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel to get started, you already have knowledge that you can give away. If you’ve written articles, recorded videos, or even if you’ve created a process in your own business that others could benefit from, then you already have the content. Now it’s your job to repurpose it.
The options are almost endless when it comes to what you can offer and ultimately, it’s down to you to work out what to offer your audience and how to package it up. You could create a basic checklist or a short ebook to give away or come up with a cheat sheet or a premade template.
My go-to for creating lead magnets is a tool called Beacon. Signing up for a free account will allow you to knock something up that looks pretty decent without having to use a graphic designer. The paid version gives you full access to all features and templates but there’s no need to part with any money just yet.
Beacon as a lead magnet design tool is pretty good, but it’s so much more than that. It’s a platform to create, host, and deliver your lead magnets. You can import your content directly from your blog too.
Your lead magnet doesn’t have to be pretty either. A simple text document written in Word or Google Docs is fine and it’s the content inside that really counts. The important part here is to take action and get started today.
If you do want to create a fancy checklist or a cover for your text document you can do that using Canva, and again you can use a free account.
Now that you know how to create your free offer it’s time to focus on the next two steps, creating your paid products.
You can use the same ideas you used to create your free lead magnet to help create your first products. You could plan to record dozens of videos or write thousands of words but for now, you need to get started with what you’ve got.
Start to sort through what content you do have and come up with a way to combine content or bundle some together to create video lessons, ebooks, reports, and tutorials.
You already have the knowledge and the content and by putting it out there you’re taking action instead of putting it off. As my friend, mentor, and sales funnels expert Mike Killen says, “Have courage, commit, and take action.”
How do I build a sales funnel for free without expensive software?
If you already have a website you can ask your developer or website management team to build the pages you’ll need. If you don’t have help with this and don’t want to pay for a tool like ClickFunnels or similar then I always recommend using WordPress (.org, not to be confused with WordPress.com).
Firstly, because you can always build onto your WordPress website at a later date if you do decide to bring in a professional and secondly because WordPress is so popular and widely used you can find plugins for almost anything you need to achieve.
Or, if you’re already familiar with WordPress and Elementor and you want to start with a blank canvas you can use the Hello theme and create your pages from scratch. You can upgrade to Elementor Pro to unlock more features and templates.
Start by creating a landing page/squeeze page for your freebie. Add an opt-in form to capture information from website visitors using Elementor’s popup builder or by using tools such as OptinMonster or ConvertPro. Or, if you decide to use Beacon as your lead magnet designer you can create an opt-in form with Beacon and embed that to your website.
Set your form to redirect to a thank you page after submission. Your thank you page should tell your prospect exactly what’s going to happen next. Will they get a link to the download there and then or will it be sent in an email? (use the latter to reduce spam signups).
You can also use this space to make a one-time offer there and then. This could be an invite to a webinar or live call, or it could be a low-cost product. For now, we’re keeping things simple.
If the whole process is still overwhelming or if you just don’t have the time or you’re not comfortable with the process, join me for my free webinar, How To Create Your First Product, where I will show you in detail how to use what you already have to create the low cost and high ticket products to use in your funnel.
And if you’re interested in some really great ideas on how to repurpose your content then take a look at Amy Woods’ Content 10X blog, have a listen to her podcast, Podcast 10X, or pick up a copy of her Content 10X book on Amazon. It’s a great read and Amy never ceases to amaze me with the sheer amount of creative ways to repurpose your content.