Funnels 101

Nurture Your Audience to Sales

Last updated: 04 May 2023


As an online business owner, no matter whether you identify yourself as a coach, course creator or something else, you would have probably heard the term “funnel” thrown around a lot, and may find it a confusing area.

In this article, I’m going to cover the absolute fundamentals of funnels – the what, who, why, when and how.

One thing I can tell you for sure is that if you would like to make sales while you sleep, one fine way to do that is by having a funnel.

With a well-designed sales funnel, you’ll not only attract more customers but you’ll greatly improve your chance of making lucrative passive income at the same time. 

What is a funnel?

A funnel, also known as a sales funnel or automated sales system, in a nutshell, is a way to take your audience on a journey from Point A (stone cold, not knowing you from Adam), to Point B (warmed up, knowing, liking and trusting you, and therefore ready to invest in you).

Sales funnels allow you to tailor marketing messages to potential customers depending on where they are in the buying process. 

For a visual description, imagine a kitchen utensil funnel.  With the wider mouth of the funnel holding a lot more people and the narrower end honed down to hot prospects who are more likely than not to buy your goods or hire your service. 

Your goal is to ease potential customers down the funnel to the point where they click on the buy button or sign up for your service. 

The benefit of the sales funnel is that it allows you to clearly define your messaging at certain times so that it has a greater impact. 

For example, at the wide end, you have a huge range of different people with different wants and needs. Some may be interested in your product, others less so. Your messaging here is likely to be generic and is designed to pique interest. 

Further down the funnel, you may identify certain pain points or needs that are important, most likely a problem that your potential customer wants to solve. 

Even further down, you will have highly specific messaging – you have this problem, I have a great solution and it works!  

What isn’t a funnel?

It doesn’t have to be spammy.

Sales funnels can definitely be spammy, especially if they’re not properly thought through. 

This usually happens when you don’t have a clear idea of your customer’s wants and needs. 

Yes, there are businesses out there whose idea of a sales funnel is to inundate their potential customers with spam night and day. 

These are rarely successful and can be damaging to your brand. What I’m talking about here is understanding who your customer is, what their pain point is and showing them how you can help. 

My motto is: Nurture, don’t Torture.

Why build a funnel?

There are several reasons why you should invest time and effort in building a sales funnel for your business. 

The first is, that if you get it right, it can help generate passive income. 

Once you’ve thought it through and covered all the angles and it’s in place, it can help pick up customers without you having to do anything. 

Secondly, marketing can take up a lot of your time and the return on investment isn’t always that great. 

With a sales funnel, you learn pretty quickly how to build trust and a strong connection with your potential customers. 

That saves you time in the long run and takes away some of the heavy-lifting. 

When should you build a Funnel?

It may be easier to say when you shouldn’t build a funnel in this instance.

If you are just starting out and don’t fully understand your audience, and their needs, desires or pain points, then you shouldn’t build a funnel.

Nor should you build a funnel if you haven’t sold the products or services that you plan to put into your funnel.

The assets in an effective funnel need to have already been tested organically.

This way, if your funnel doesn’t perform well, then you can rule out the chance that it is not performing due to the actual products and services.

It will also save you a lot of time and money.

There are lots of ways to validate an offer before building it, and I highly recommend doing this before creating any course or programme.

Want to find out if it’s time to build that sales funnel? Check out the below 👇

Where can you build a funnel?

There are lots of different options here but picking the right platform(s) is critical. 

1. Using Individual Platforms

You can use any website to build landing pages and other lead capture/sales elements and a lot will depend on your knowledge and skill set. 

For example, the combination I personally use is WordPress for my site, Elementor Page Builder, ActiveCampaign for email, and ThriveCart for my cart software.

I use Gold Star Pro for some client funnels so I also use this for my Calendar software, however, you can also use Calendly which has a free version.

These platforms all have built-in integrations so you wouldn’t need any fancy software to link them up, and this method compared to an all-in-one platform will save you over £2,000 in the first 2 years compared to Kajabi.

However, the thought of having so many platforms could overwhelm you, so let’s look at the all-in-one platform options.

2. All-in-one Platforms

If having lots of different platforms doesn’t sound like something you’d like to manage, the all-in-one platform I recommend is Gold Star Pro which is just $97 per month.

Gold Star Pro provides you with a wide range of marketing tools such as online courses, memberships, calendar booking, website building, cart software, Social Media scheduling and lots more. 

There are other platforms available such as Kajabi, ClickFunnels and Kartra, however, you can expect to pay double for these compared to Gold Star Pro which has a lot more features and provides amazing support.

I recommend that you find a solution that works for you, your budget, your time available, the level of convenience required and the type of business that you run. 

It’s best to take your time over this and look at all the options available. 

How can you build a funnel?

A good sales funnel depends on understanding your market, where you want to establish yourself, and the products and services you offer.

You have 3 main choices: done for you, do it yourself, or done with you.

Done for You (DFY)

If you have no interest in getting involved behind the scenes, and money isn’t an issue, you can hire a freelancer or agency to build your funnel for you.

This can cost anywhere between £5k and £100k and doesn’t always guarantee results. 

The benefit of this option is that you won’t have to do all the building yourself, but, do bear in mind, that you will still be in charge of a lot of the decision-making, and providing the content depending on if you opt-in to pay for copywriting as well.

You can sometimes find that an agency won’t be as invested in your business or funnel as you, so the messaging may not be as effective as if you were directly involved in the process yourself.

Also, if you pay an agency to build it for you, you will also need to pay them to make any changes down the line.

If you want your funnel to perform well, you will need to be optimising and testing your funnel regularly.

This can be a very expensive route to take.

Do it Yourself (DIY)

Another option is to do it yourself. 

This can take a lot of time and effort and involve plenty of trial and error. 

If you want to get up and running with your funnel sooner rather than later, it can be pretty hard work if you go down this route, unless you have a lot of time available.

You will need to figure out the following yourself:

  • What platforms to use
  • How to use the platforms
  • How to map out your funnel
  • How to write persuasive copy
  • What to include in each element of your funnel
  • How to optimise and improve it once it’s live

There are, however, some courses available that will allow you to build a funnel DIY, but with templates and processes created by someone else.

Done with You (DWY)

The final option is to do it with a little help.

Building a funnel in the “done with you” capacity means that you will have someone to hold your hand.

Depending on who you are working with, you will have access to processes, demos, templates and more – for every aspect!

In my programme “Fast-Paced to Passive”, I offer both DIY and DWY and you receive templates, demos and more on each.

The difference is, with Done With You, you will have access to a real person (me) to ask for new demos, get tech help, marketing advice and general support.

Are you ready to build a funnel?

If you’ve read this article and you’re thinking “hell yassss, this is for me!” then I have something that will kick-start your journey!

In my free video training “How to Make Money While You Sleep (without having to launch, spend all day in the DMs, sell to your friends, or gamble your hard-earned cash)” I cover:

✨ The biggest mistakes business owners make when building funnels

✨ My 5-Step Framework for generating passive income

✨ How to map out your automated system in a way that works for YOU and your business even if you don’t have a clue where to start [live demo]

Get instant access below 👇

My Top Takeaways for Sales Funnels

  • A sales funnel helps you to generate passive income from your products and services and is a powerful marketing tool
  • You don’t need to be a 6 or 7-figure business to have a sales funnel. It can and will work for smaller businesses
  • Sales funnels don’t have to be spammy and annoy your customers. Done well, they provide a clear path and useful help in getting a customer to make the right buying decision
  • You don’t need to be a tech wizard to set up a sales funnel that works, there are plenty of options available that make things easier than you think. 

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