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What’s a Funnel and How Do You Build One?

Marketing funnels can often feel like a buzzword for business owners. It’s something that entrepreneurs talk about – but may or may not fully understand. The truth is that creating marketing funnels for your business is a key part of scaling and building long-term success. However, they don’t have to be as complicated as many business owners make them out to be! Let’s talk about what a marketing funnel is, how you can build one for your service-based business, and ways you can patch the “holes” in your funnel for increased success.

What is a Funnel?

Let’s start with the basics: what is a marketing funnel?

A funnel is, at it’s core, a series of steps a prospective client needs to take in order to complete a conversion goal. As a service-based business, your conversion goal is to have a prospective client sign on to work with you. However, your funnel can have multiple “entry” points that bring a prospective client all the way from simply being aware that your business exists to signing a contract. Here’s a high-level representation of a marketing funnel:

Now, let’s look at a funnel that’s specific to a virtual, service-based business owner:

The awareness portion of the funnel is all about connecting with your prospective clients in a personal way online. This can be successfully accomplished through content marketing that’s tailored to your ideal niche. Blog posts, videos, podcast episodes, and social media posting are all fantastic examples.

Next, the interest and nurture portion of the funnel is where a prospective client checks out your content and expresses an interest. At this point in your funnel, your prospective clients aren’t likely to be ready to buy yet. They still need to know more about you first. A lead magnet, paired with a drip nurture sequence that lets subscribers learn more about you, can help to educate your new prospective client about who you are, what your value proposition is, and whether or not they’re a good fit for you.

After a prospective client moves past the interest and nurture phase in your funnel, they enter the “commitment” stage. This could mean they book an introductory call with you, or directly request more information about becoming a client.

Finally, the bottom of your funnel is where conversion happens – a prospective client signs on, or you close a sale.

Writing Out Your Funnel

Remember: this is a general version of a funnel. Your own business funnel may have different elements at each stage. It can be helpful to write out any funnels you have related to your business. Here’s what to think about:

Awareness – What am I doing to reach my target audience without requiring a commitment from them?

Interest & Nurture – How can prospective clients request more information from me? What opt-in’s do I have? How am I nurturing those leads?

Commitment – What does “commitment” look like? Is it an introductory call? An in-person meeting?

Sale – What does your sale or closing process look like?

Once you have each stage in your funnel written out, take things a step further by writing out each step within the different phases in your funnel. You may have multiple ways that people can express an interest in your work – different lead magnets, or multiple nurture sequences segmented by prospect type are good examples.

Patching The “Holes” In Your Funnel for Increased Sales & Revenue

Knowing what your funnel is, or working on building out the steps in your own funnel, is an excellent first step to mastering your marketing. But even more important is evaluating the funnel elements you already have in place, and determining where the “holes” are. Where are you losing prospective clients? Working with business owners, I find that their sales funnel is top-notch. They know exactly what to do when they get a prospective client – it’s getting more leads into the top of their funnel that’s a problem.

Focusing on ways to raise awareness, and nurture prospective clients before they express commitment, is the key to expanding your prospective client pool and ultimately increasing revenue. Need help creating content to engage with your clients at the top of your funnel? Schedule a call with us today! Our team would love to walk you through how to raise awareness.