How to Plan Your Marketing Funnel

Not long ago, businesses who wanted to become known relied on advertising, speaking, and networking and being mentioned in newspapers and magazines.

These days, clients look for services online through search engines and social media. Once prospective clients find you, they want to get to know you before they buy. They get to know you a little at a time, learn what you offer, the type of service you provide, and your personality and style.

How do prospective clients get to know you?

They start with a free book or report; then, they read your blog or e-zine. Then a few of those people want more of your expertise. And a few of those people buy a book or video. Then some sign up for a group or class. Later, some of these people sign up for your more expensive programs and services, like one-on-one coaching or consulting.

This way of marketing is called 'content marketing' and the structure is called a 'marketing funnel'. You start out attracting people to your 'list' through offering valuable learning through free books, reports, teleseminars, blogs, and/or speeches. Then you provide more valuable learning through increasingly complex and personal services.

As an example, see the picture below of my planned marketing funnel. The basic idea and diagram come from Andrea Lee’s book, Multiple Streams of Coaching Income (2005, MP Press).

You don’t have to be a coach for this to work for you. Just plug into the diagram the types of services you offer.

Notice that the most people are at the top and fewest people are at the bottom. That’s why this model is called a funnel.

Information products are the basis of your marketing funnel.

All the products and services I listed are my existing or planned information products.  The free workbook and complimentary session provide samples of my services. The books and courses provide the next level of service, but still inexpensive and not personal.

The groups and workshops allow for more detail and support, including interaction with me. These programs are more valuable and cost more. The one-on-one coaching programs are completely customized to the individual’s needs, and they cost the most.

How does this model help you think about marketing your business?

Let me know what you think, and what questions you have that you'd like to see answered on this blog. And please share with friends and colleagues who might find this post useful.

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