What is a Sales Funnel, Examples and How to Build One
What is a sales funnel, you ask? And why do you need one?
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, funnels are where the magic truly happens in business.
In today’s article, I’m walking you through a sleaze-free 5-step sales funnel that will have your audience falling in love with you.
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Plus, I’ll show you how to use your sales funnel to get your readers ready to say “yes” to your products and services.
What is a sales funnel?
Let’s talk all about sales funnels.
I’ve been earning passively from my sales funnel system for years now, thanks to the work I did one time.
I like to think of a sales funnel as a series of relationship-building steps where you’re wooing your audience members.
Automate your sales and serve more people, all while you’re out of the office?
I call this relationship-building process your Content Love Story.
In this article, we will go over the 5 types of content you should create for your Content Love Story.
Side Note: Funnels do NOT have to be icky, sleazy, or weird. And actually they SHOULD NOT BE.
Keep reading to learn how to create a feel-good funnel that’ll have your audience falling head-over-heels with you in no time.
Why are sales funnels so important?
Sales funnels tie in hugely with the TCB mission of putting your words to work.
By creating content that shows up, serves, and sells even when you aren’t around, your funnels allow you to grow your business and make more money…
Without having to work long hours or sacrifice your personal life.
And who doesn’t want that?
Aren’t sales funnels icky or sleazy?
I hear this all the time and the answer is no!
Plus, every business has some sort of a sales funnel in place, even if it isn’t a very good one.
In a nutshell, your sales funnel is the process of how you take someone from just entering your world to eventually, becoming a paying customer.
My Email Sequence Is A Sales Funnel, Right?
Well, yes but also no.
Keep in mind that sales funnels don’t have to look like the “traditional” email sales funnel you’ve probably heard of or maybe even been on the receiving end of.
In other words, a series of 5-7 emails sent out over a couple of weeks with a hard pitch at the end.
There’s nothing wrong with that kind of funnel, but just know that there are a lot of other ways to turn browsers into buyers.
What Is a Sales Funnel? Examples and How to Build One
Aka: The 5 Stages of Your Content Love Story
Specifically, let’s break down the five different types of content your business needs to have and how all five work together to woo your potential customers and turn them into lifelong fans.
As I said above, I think of a sales funnel as the process of wooing your audience — starting with the very first time you two meet all the way up until the day you say “I Do”.
Let’s dive into each of the five stages of your Content Love Story and sales funnel.
STAGE 1. YOUR FREE CONTENT
The content you share in this first stage will include things like your blog posts, podcast episodes, videos, social media, and your website copy.
Your main goal for this stage is alignment.
In other words, there needs to be a match between what your audience wants and what you can provide them with.
Your free content is basically the initial attraction.
In your free content, aim to provide tons of value first and then ask your audience members to take the next step with you.
Generally, this will be to join your email list or a private community like a FB group.
Pictured above, this is an example of a funnel. It is just one type of funnel that I teach my clients inside my Sales Funnel Solved program.
In your Content Love Story, you can think of this first stage as being a bit like your Tinder profile.
In order for you to match up with someone on Tinder, there has to be alignment between what’s in your profile and what the other person is looking for in a partner.
For example, if you’re a dog person but he hates dogs, it’s probably not gonna be a match.
Similarly, if you help B2B entrepreneurs and a B2C biz owner stumbles across your free content, they’re not as likely to stick around and move to the next stage with you.
STAGE 2. YOUR GATED CONTENT
After the free content stage, we move into your gated content.
Gated content includes any kind of free content that your audience has to sign up for in order to access it.
Think lead magnets, freebies, content upgrades.
Your goal for this stage is pretty simple: to impress your new peeps!
Think of this stage as the first date.
- Where are you going to take your new potential partner on a date?
- What will you two be doing on your date?
- How can you really wow your new fling on the first date?
You should put the same level of care and attention into your lead magnets.
There’s no such thing as giving away too much value in your freebies, by the way.
So make your freebies as jam-packed as you can, while still being laser-focused on a specific outcome or specific problem.
Pssst. Need help creating an epic freebie your audience will love? Check this out.
STAGE 3. YOUR COMMUNITY CONTENT
Next, we move into the third stage of your Content Love Story, your community content.
This content includes your newsletters, your welcome series, and any pieces of training you provide inside of a free, private community like a Facebook group.
At this point in your Content Love Story, things are heating up and you two are starting to get serious about each other.
In the business world, people have just joined your community and now you need to continue nurturing your relationship with them by delivering helpful content on a regular basis.
Your goal for this stage is to build the Know, Like, Trust factor with your community.
In other words: Add value constantly and build trust and connection.
Your audience should be excited to get your weekly newsletters, just like you’d get excited if the guy you were crushing on called you to ask how your day went.
STAGE 4. YOUR SALES CONTENT
This is it!
You’ve been building your relationship for a while, you’re madly in love, and now it’s time to pop the big question.
In the business world, this is when you ask your community to purchase one of your paid offerings.
The content in this stage includes things like your:
- sales emails
- sales pages
- launch emails
- sales page copy
- services page
- and your testimonials
Your goal for this stage is to make your proposal — the pitch! — absolutely irresistible.
To achieve this…
Your sales copy should be solid!
You need to give people a compelling reason to say yes now instead of waiting ’till never.
Your audience should be head-over-heels with you because of all the free content and value you’ve already shared with them
STAGE 5. YOUR PAID CONTENT
Congrats! You popped the big question, they said yes, and they’ve whipped out their credit card to buy.
You now have a new customer.
The fifth and final stage of your Content Love Story includes all of the content inside of your paid offerings.
Your goal in Stage 5 is to turn your one-time customers into lifelong customers and fans.
I like to divide this final phase of your love story into two parts:
The wedding is the very first piece of paid content your new customer consumes. This could be a course, an ebook, a digital product, etc.
After your customer has purchased something from you, the relationship doesn’t end there — just like the marriage doesn’t end after the wedding, right?
The wedding is really just the beginning of a (hopefully) lifelong romance for you two.
And marriage isn’t always perfect. You have to work at it.
You need to continuously work on building and improving your marriage.
In the same way, you should continue nurturing your first-time customer and improving your relationship with them over time.
… Because that’s how you turn a one-time customer into a lifelong fan!
How long is this love story gonna take?
Turning a new audience member into a paying customer can take an hour, a week, a year, or sometimes even longer.
Just like some people’s relationships move faster than others, different people will take longer to warm up to you and make a purchase.
With that said, all of your customers won’t have gone through all five of these stages before they buy, and they won’t always go through these stages in this exact order.
For example, someone might stumble across one of your Instagram posts, click the link in your bio, check out the sales page for something, and purchase.
And that’s awesome if they do!
But obviously, it doesn’t always happen that way, which is where your Content Love Story comes into play.
What Is a Sales Funnel, Examples and How to Build One – Conclusion
Do you have a sales funnel set up in your business?
How are you warming up potential customers and building a relationship with them before asking for the sale?
Which of the five stages in your Content Love Story is lacking?
Now that you have an understanding of the concept of sales funnels, its time to actually build one and learn the strategy of selling with one. And fo that, you need Sales Funnel Solved! The very BEST training on building high-converting funnels.
To learn how to build, scale, and earn from a sales funnel, enroll in Sales Funnel Solved today!