What is it and how can you create a sales funnel?
Alright, alright. I KNOW you know what a sales funnel is and you want to get to the good stuff…but before we do (or before you skip ahead…don’t you DARE scroll!!), I want to tell you why your definition of “sales funnels” is WRONG.
Most business peeps would define a “sales funnel” as a series of emails that mold your reader into a customer through well timed information and various degrees of pitches. Technically…they are right! (I’ll show you what this funnel looks like in a sec!)
But, more importantly, a sales funnel is a way to CONNECT with your reader, and PROVE to them that you are worth their time. Think about your sales funnel like a pair of jeans. Readers don’t just show up on your website and start buying your shit! They read your posts…grab a download…read a few emails…join a group…buy a small product…and when they TRUST and LOVE what you have to say THEN they buy!! This can sometimes be a month long process!
THAT’S when they become, not only fans…but customers! Fandomers? 0_o
So, your funnel gives your reader a chance to try you on for size. If they don’t like how you make their butt look…they move onto another pair from a different brand, and that’s ok!
My whole point is, don’t focus your funnels on selling. Focus your funnels on showing off your personality and teaching style.
The typical e-mail funnel looks like this…
Remember, this is SPECIFICALLY for email funnels, which I go over in detail during the “No Digity, No Doubt: 30 Days to an Organized List and Downloads” mini-course. Visual funnels are a tad different, and I’ll go over THOSE below as well! They are BOTH important to monetizing your business!
Step one: Reader reads a blog post.
Step two: Reader opts-in to a download.
Step three: Email #1 – Welcome email with download included.
Step four: Email #2 – Purely educational and problem solving. No mention of a product!
Step five: Email #3 – Introduce your story and your business
Step six: Email #4 – Surprise your reader with a solution or a related download!
Step seven: Email #5 – Educational email with a MENTION of your product
Step Eight: Email #6 – Ask your reader why they haven’t clicked to solve their problem. Include a pitch and a timer.
Step Nine: Email #7 – Ask them what they want to see more of
An email is GREAT for a slow introduction to your reader…and SUPER important in the long run, so you’ll need to tackle them eventually. BUT, there are a few cons to these bad boys. First, they involve a TON of psychology and (if you’re new to them) trial, error and time! Generally speaking, and when I’m starting from scratch, it takes me around two days to write a new sales funnel…and I LOVE to write!
So, if you HATE writing, I can see how sales funnels might feel like Sunday church when you’re five.
So, let’s get to the good stuff, shall we? I’m going to show you how I created my visual funnel in less than an hour…and it’s already made over $600 in 48 hours!!
The VISUAL sales funnel looks like this…
Alright…so what is a VISUAL funnel? A visual funnel is a time-sensitive series of pages your reader comes across IMMEDIATELY after opting into your sales page.
Generally, they take about 1 hour (less once you get the hang of it!!) to set up, and start converting immediately because of the immediacy attached to them! Sound too good to be true? Well…it KINDA is. There are a few small caveats to this method of selling.
Rule #1: Your product should be between the $1 – $50 range. (Memberships work GREAT for this!!!!)
Rule #2: Your product HAS to elaborate on the download your reader is downloading!! Don’t just add all of your readers into the same funnel, regardless of the download they’ve recieved. This method means you’ll be creating FEWER…but MORE FOCUSED downloads.
Rule #3: It’s not a hard, fast rule…but you SHOULD include a timer on the page.
Rule #4: Don’t include ANY links to anything else on this page (unless it’s share buttons). You don’t want your reader to get sidetracked and click another link to a blog post or product that is less suited to them. This includes having a menu!! Make sure you are NOT adding a menu to your opt-in pages, sales pages…or thank you pages!
Don’t be afraid of the small fries!
I know what you’re going to say because I’ve heard people say it over and over again. “I don’t want to sell small stuff…I want to focus on courses!” And look…I TOTALLY get that!! But these smaller products (they are actually called introductory products) are the gateway drug to the rest of your shop, my friend. One puff on this 12 page, time-saving, problem-solving PDF will have them hunting for more.
SO, if you haven’t already, you’re going to need to create an introductory product for YOUR readers as well! Ready for the rules?
Rule #1: It HAS to fully solve a problem.
Rule #2: It should take you NO MORE than an hour to put together.
Rule #3: The benefit to your customer should be to either to save your reader time or money. If it doesn’t do either of those things…go back to the drawing board!
Rule #4: It should be SUPER fast for your reader to digest.
Rule #5: JUST because this product is quick to create, does NOT mean it should be subpar! This product is going to be what convinces them that YOU are their go-to in this niche!
Great examples of an introductory product are:
e-mail swipe files
a collection of recipes
a 3 part video collection
a mini 4-5 part course (great if you’ve created an email challenge before!)
The tools you’ll need
Alright…so you have your introductory product, how do you connect it to your downloads and sales process? It’s actually super easy!! But, you’ll need a few tools! I’ve included the paid (and not so paid) tools below! I’m going to tell you know, the quickest and most polished way to get this done fast is going to be with the paid platforms…but if you’re on a budget, you can still get’er done!
Canva ($10 a month for business or Free)
ConvertKit ($29 a month for less than 1,000 subscribers) or Mailchimp (free up to 500 subscribers)
Squarespace ($12 a month) or ThriveThemes or OptimizePress
Deadline Funnel or MotionMail
Vimeo ($5 a month) or Youtube (FREE)
Gumroad, Paypal or Stripe
The steps you’ll take
I go over ALL of this in the video below, but if you’re not in a position to watch (sneaking in business during the 9-5 are we?) I’ve broken it down for you here!
Step 1: Create your download in Canva.com or create a video.
Step 2: Upload it to Vimeo if you are choosing to create a video series!
Step 3: Write your blog post and include a button your readers can click to grab the FREE download!
Step 4: In your newsletter platform, write your welcome email and include a link to your download in the first paragraph. (ConvertKit allows your readers to download the PDF directly from the email…but you can also use Dropbox to host the download!)
Step 5: Create your sales page! If you are using Leadpages, I recommend using the drag and drop template “Artisanal Opt-In Page”. If you are using Squarespace, you’ll want to use the “Features 3” template page (or one similar). You are are going to want a NEW sales page for EVERY opt-in!! Don’t be lazy and just connect the same page to every opt-in. This will be terrible for analytics…which will be super important down the road!
- The “Congratulations! Watch for your download!” paragraph.
- Ways to share the original opt-in page (these are optional and do NOT lead your reader away from the page. They simply give them the option to share the original opt-in page link on social media).
- A timer at the top AND the bottom (leadpages has one built in but you can use Motion Mail on Squarespace!)
- A clear idea of what problem you will be solving for your reader.
- An image of your intro product in use (on a computer screen or on a clipboard…you can get these on CreativeMarket, or use someone on Fiverr to get the job done for you!)
- An explanation of your product.
- Benefits and features.
- How will it save them time or money?
- 2 buttons to buy
- Testimonials if you have them. These are optional…but really help make the sale!
- Description of what is included and exactly what you’ll teach or DO.
Step 6: Connect your button to your sales platform! I highly recommend using Gumroad! They make selling and downloading your products for your customers SUPER easy! You can also use paypal or stripe and simply attach your sales link to your button as well, though.
Step 6: Publish your page and grab the URL!
Step 7: Connect your new “thank you” page to your opt-in page! If you use ConvertKit, under the settings for each opt-in form you can have your thank you page be a specific URL. This is where you’ll place the URL for your Leadpages or Squarespace page!
Step 8: Connect your analytics!! You are going to want to keep track of where your traffic is going and where your sales are coming FROM. When you see that a download is doing amazing but you aren’t getting the sales…you’ll know something isn’t connecting between your product and your download. BUT, if you have a download getting a LITTLE bit of interest, but a huge conversion rate…you know you’re on the right track, you just need to focus on finding more of that audience.
If you are using Leadpages, you’ll be able to see your analytics right on the dashboard. If you are using Squarespace, you’ll want to use Google Analytics to keep track of everything! Remember, CLEARLY name your sales pages so that you know which downloads they are attached to!
Step 9: Start checking on those analytics DAILY, and begin making plans to promote those downloads that are doing well on even more blog posts!