The learning curve blog

Helpful advice for online course creators, businesses, and entrepreneurs

Sales Funnel For The Beginning Online Marketer

by | Apr 16, 2019 | Marketing

It’s time to chat about sales funnels, and first, we should be clear on what a sales funnel is and why you need one. The sole purpose of a sales funnel is to drive customers to make a buying decision. When buying online, the basic scenario looks something like this:

  • Customer clicks an ad on Facebook (or other social media platform)
  • Ad leads to a landing page that piques the customer’s interest
  • Customer opts into an email list for a freebie or offer
  • Customer gets an email offer soliciting a decision to buy or not buy
  • Customer buys product

Now it’s not always that easy, but you get the point.

In short, a sales funnel is just a series of guided steps that drive a prospect to make a buying decision.

Generally speaking, a sales funnel includes the following steps:

  • Awareness of your products and services and how they meet the customer’s need
  • Interest in following you on social media, visiting your website, landing, and sales page, opting in, calling, emailing, etc.
  • Decision on whether to do business with you (If they decide yes, then they go to the next step.)
  • Action in buying – you make a course sale!

Without at least a simple sales funnel in place, it’s going to be hard to grow your online training business. We’ve talked about having a strategy and tactics before, and a sales funnel is absolutely part of that process.

A simple way a beginner can create a sales funnel is like this:

  • Set up social media pages
  • Create website/landing/sales page
  • Set up an email campaign service

This will help you get started with building awareness, provoking interest, persuading decisions, and closing sales.

None of this costs very much. If you don’t have these things already in place, you can get them for little to nothing, then improve the quality of your systems as your business grows.

Let’s go over a few things that you can do via social media that will help you drive traffic to your funnel. I’ve discussed many of these topics in previous blogs, but for the sake of tying it all together, we’ll touch on it here too.

  • Social media awareness:
    • Create content via video, live sessions, posts, articles, blogging, etc.
    • Share white papers, articles, or blurbs content of interest to your target audience.
    • Ask and answer questions, and comment on other posts to demonstrate your expertise.
    • Share news articles related to online training.
    • Stay on top of the latest trends in online training and bring them to the attention of your community.
    • Buy ads for as little as $10 a day per site (though mastering one site at a time is recommended). I’ll discuss this in another blog.
  • Interest: Now that you’ve got audience attention and they want to know more about your online training, you can lead them to your website or landing page. This is where they find out more about you.  Your main focus should be to capture that interest and get their email address. You can do this by:
    • Offering them something for free or discounted (a first purchase, for example).
    • Having a system like an email campaign in place to stay in communication with your audience via email — in case it takes a few messages before they make their decision
  • Decision-making occurs.
  • Action happens as soon as you’ve got them hooked (if you’ve successfully used social media and the sales funnel to make them aware of you and interested, and helped them to decide to do business with you).

It sounds like a lot, but once you’ve got the right systems in place it comes naturally. You should see an increase in traffic and sales for your business.

Later on, I’ll write about the importance of having the right copy plays in this, but for now, just commit to learning the systems and getting your feet wet. I’ll also discuss the tools that are needed for your sales funnel. This will help you get an idea of what’s out there, the costs associated with it, why you need certain services, etc. Just know that having a sales funnel in place is meant to simplify things for you. It will do so once you’ve gotten the hang of it. It’s worth it! The whole point of doing what you’re doing is to make money, and this is what will help you do so!

As always, you’ve got this!

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