Episode 002: Profitable Sales Funnels for Coaches 101. Learn the basics of sales funnels for coaches so you can start generating coaching leads online.
Welcome back everyone! It’s our first official full episode and I am so excited to help each of you grow your coaching businesses with online marketing. If you haven’t yet, check out the trailer that was released last week to learn more about the new show.
Today’s episode is entitled “Sales Funnels for Coaches 101”
Let’s dive right in!
Developing a profitable sales funnel for coaches is the foundation of running a successful and abundant business that keeps on giving…. come hell or high water.
Even if you haven’t purposely created a funnel, if you’ve been running a coaching business online, you probably already have one. Inside this podcast episode, we’ll learn:
✔ what a funnel really is,
✔ how to create a profitable one for your coaching business,
✔ and how to get your ideal coaching clients and raving fans inside.
So… what is a marketing and sales funnel for coaches?
A marketing and sales funnel for coaches is simply a representation of how you attract a lead, turn them into a prospect, and finally, a coaching client. It’s a process of gaining awareness, enticing them to sign up for your lists, and then nurturing the relationship so that they become lifelong coaching clients.
The reason we use a funnel to represent this is that it starts out wide at the top and gets smaller at the bottom, demonstrating visually the amount of content and information you’ll need to provide to get to the next level.
There are many ways you can set this up, but most of them follow the same concepts. The entire point of a sales funnel for coaches is to provide a process to
- acquire coaching leads,
- teach the leads about you and your coaching business, and
- eventually sell your offers.
That’s it! Now, let’s take a closer look at each section of a marketing funnel.
The best way for you to understand what a sales funnel for coaches looks like is to think of the image of a funnel, with the widest part at the top and the narrowest at the bottom.
The idea, again, is that you must do a lot more to attract coaching leads and to get awareness than you do to convert leads into clients.
The top and widest part of the funnel is called AWARENESS. This is where you will plan how to attract, inform, and educate people who are basically strangers about your coaching brand. You can use search engine optimization, blogging, social media, and other methods to attract people to this part of the funnel, and usually a free opt-in is the best way to get them in the actual funnel.
Once you’ve gotten some leads into your funnel through awareness campaigns, now you need to qualify them. This stage is normally called CONSIDERATION. However I tell our coaching clients to view this as QUALIFICATION. It’s just as it sounds. You want to qualify the leads. ****Can they afford your coaching services? Do they even need a coach? Are they a good personality fit? Qualification is done many ways. You could offer free strategy calls, invite them to live webinars, share your coaching methodology, or send them digital brochures about your signature services. Anything to help them choose between you and your competition.
SO. AWARENESS… CHECK.
The next stage of your funnel is CONVERSION.
Once you’ve got someone to answer your CTA, that is considered a CONVERSION. It may be that someone scheduled a call, downloaded your brochure…. all the stuff we just talked about, or, for our coaching clients — we track conversions as a PAYING CLIENT OR CUSTOMER.
After the conversion is when the real job to please, excite, and motivate your customers comes into play. This stage is called LOYALTY & ADVOCACY. So many coaches forget this part! Those who have converted into a paying client or customer should be segmented and given the VIP treatment. Once this happens, you can work on making them feel loyal to your brand, so they’ll keep buying but also so that they become brand advocates and help you make more sales.
That’s it! That’s a funnel in a nutshell.
Now remember. A funnel is essentially a way to show the process of attracting your audience, proving to them that you are offering a valuable solution for their problems, and then converting them to coaching clients. Additionally, the funnel should also help you delight your current clients.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s chat about how to map out your sales funnels.
Mapping out your funnel and developing a plan of action based on your funnel will make a massive difference in your success. But before you start, you’ll need to create and inventory a couple of things.
The first step is to develop customer avatars for all your potential coaching clients
You should have a client avatar for each type of coaching client you want to attract. For example, a relationship coach may have an avatar for newlyweds, empty nesters, and single professionals. That’s three different potential clients with three very different needs. It’s very very very hard to build a successful marketing funnel without understanding what your potential clients want and need. If you are not sure how to create a client avatar, check the show notes to get access to our free worksheet.
- Ideal Client Avatar Worksheet: Use this worksheet to outline your ideal client’s hopes and dreams so you know how to talk to them.
The second step is to get all your assets organized!
First, create a list of all your products and services
All your products and services should have their own individual landing pages. Create a spreadsheet will allow you to quickly grab the links for each of your products or services plus any landing pages you’ve built. Oh, and make sure add notes explaining who the product or service is meant for and the problems it solves.
Second, create a list of all your freebies and lead magnets
These also need their own landing pages. Again, note who each of these freebies are meant for, the problems they solve, and the goal you had for creating it. Or if you like simple funnels, like we do at Lovely Impact, choose one universal opt-in and reword it to fit each audience.
The 3rd step is to create a list of all your content marketing materials.
Funnels need content! Note what stage in the funnel the content is meant for and where it’s being used. This includes any emails, coaching blog posts, guest posts, email sequences, social media posts, or other types of content.
Lastly, the fourth step is to create and visualize your funnel.
Once you’ve created, collected, and organized all the information we mentioned above, it’s time to visualize the funnel. It’s always easier to map your funnel with a visual aid. Thankfully, you can use free software like Canva.com. Can we just pause and have a round of applause for lady boss Melanie Perkins and her creation of Canva?
When visualizing your funnel, remember it’s about your customers. For each client avatar, map out their journey from awareness to loyalty. For example, a career coach may use LinkedIn for AWARENESS and a career checklist as their freebie to attract leads. Once downloaded, the lead may get 8 emails encouraging them to schedule a free call or learn more about their signature career boot camp AKA QUALIFICATION. Next, they may get a weekly educational email sharing tips, tricks, videos, etc. AKA LOYALTY. Once they convert to clients they may get access to a private client only mastermind group and quarterly gifts… AKA ADVOCACY. Whatever your niche, map out every step for your potential client making sure you visualize how they go from audience to customer.
Once you have this information collected and visualized, you’ll be able to fix or build your funnels and create any missing components needed within your funnel to meet your goals.
So, most importantly… how do you get potential customers into your funnels?
If blog content is at the top of your funnel then listen up! One of our favorite ways at Lovely Impact is In-Content PDF Downloads. This is a great way to add an entry point to your funnel almost anyplace that you publish content, whether it’s a blog post, a syndicated article, a guest post, or a private email. An in-content download requires an email address to download another piece of content that gives more information. This can be a simple eBook, checklist, worksheet, or other downloadable type of content that solves a problem and tickles their curiosity.
But this is super important guys! It needs to be closely related to the content though! For example, if you are a health coach don’t add a checklist about healing your gut to a blog post about kettlebell exercises. Instead, add that checklist to blog posts that directly relate to gut health.
If social media or advertising is your jam, I love the infamous Lead Magnets – You’re likely familiar with this if you spend a lot of time on Instagram. For example you might see a business coach included a link in their Instagram bio to join a free 5-day biz challenge. The goal is to convert your social media followers to your email list.
Or if you want to attract buyers only at the top of your funnel, Entry-Level Low-Cost Products are very effective. This is also called a trip wire. At Lovely Impact we have a $47 website content workbook for coaches. This is a great low cost download that fits well into our website products. Some marketers don’t consider paid products to be useful as list builders, but they really are. A low-cost product can make a big difference to some types of clients. Some clients actually trust low-cost products more than freebies.
Lastly let’s chat about the different types of website pages needed for your coaching marketing funnel.
First, coaching sales pages.
A sales page is used to sell a visitor on your coaching products or services. Usually, the sales page assumes that the visitor is a stranger and works toward educating and persuading the visitor to hire you. Every product or service you create needs a sales page. This type of page usually includes long-form copy and tons of information.
Second, Landing Pages
These types of pages can promote a product, a freebie, a service, or just give guidance to the visitor about the website they’re visiting and help send them in the right direction. Oh, and here’s pro tip? You could also create a new landing page for every single place you guest post or publish content so that the visitors from that place feel welcomed and heard.
Third, Squeeze Pages.
This is sort of like a sales page, but it’s concise and assumes that the person going to the page already understands why they’re going to it. It’s short and to the point and only contains information about the offer.
Fourth, the Opt-in Page.
Every single page that we’ve mentioned here is an opt-in page. Whether it’s a sales page, webinar signs up, or whatever, it’s considered an opt-in page if it has a way to “opt-in” for information, services, products, or solutions.
As you create more entry points into your funnel, placement will make a big difference too. You’ll want entry points on your sidebar, in headers of posts, at the end of posts, within posts, and more.
If you ensure that each entry point is offered at the right place within the buying journey based on the goals you’ve set, you’ll be successful.
Coaching the Coach: Final Thoughts on Sales Funnels for Coaches
Thank you for listening this far! This part of the podcast is called “Coaching the Coach” Where I share pro tips to help you take the next steps in confidence.
To wrap, here are 4 pro tips to help coaches get the most out of their marketing funnels
1 – Creating freebies for different customer avatars can quickly get out of control. Instead, try creating a resource library. That way you have one freebie, access to the library, and inside your audience can access all your freebies in one place.
2 – The more authentic and niched your voice and tone become, the less qualification you’ll have to do. Basically, when writing a blog post or creating a sales landing page, talk to your client and your clients only. That will attract the people you want to work with AND turn off those who are not meant for you.
3 – Go all in on planning and execution at the bottom if the funnel. Coaches win long term when they take the time to delight their current customers and clients. This is where referrals come from.
4 – Take your time and focus. You can’t build a funnel and multi-task. At Lovely Impact, we take an entire week off every quarter to do business planning, set goals, and tweak funnels.
And lastly, # 5 – Get help if you need it. I am a huge advocate of hiring a coach or consultant to help you in your business if you get stuck. We recently hired a Pinterest consultant to give us a step by step strategy to improve our Pinterest conversions. If you need help, I offer free 1-hour marketing strategy calls for coaches. You can check the show notes to schedule a call or email me at email@example.com.
About The Author
Hey! I’m Tee, a brand and marketing coach and the Co-Founder & CMO at Lovely Impact, a website template shop for coaches. I help coaches grow their coaching businesses digitally. Here on our blog, my content focuses on web design, marketing, business, and social media strategy.