So you want to try your hand at online business? You have heard the term sales funnel and figure you need one, but what is a sales funnel and why do you need one? It sounds hard to build and EXPENSIVE. I am here to tell you a sales funnel is necessary to your online business but it doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, I’ll help you get your sales funnel built and collecting leads with the following FREE tools.
What is a sales funnel?
One of the most well-known entrepreneurs in the online space is Russell Brunson, creator of ClickFunnels. You MUST read two of his books to help you understand what funnels are and aren’t. You can get a copy of Dotcom Secrets for free (but you need to pay shipping). The other book is Expert Secrets. These 2 books are essential for learning marketing an online business. Russell states, “A sales funnel is just the online process you take someone through to get them to ascend through the different levels of your Value Ladder.” A value ladder is the products or services you offer to move your dream clients from a cold prospect to your high-end services.
A sales funnel starts with a free giveaway like an ebook, email series, video, etc. Something that you are giving away for free in exchange for an email address. It usually addresses a problem that your audience has and positions YOU as the expert to solve their problem. You send them to a landing page or create a form to collect the email address and then deliver the freebie. They are on your list and now you want to warm them up and create a relationship with your audience. This is usually done through an automated email welcome series which is 3 – 7 emails.
This all is set up and automated so you can grow your email list and make sales on autopilot! Does this all sound too techie and EXPENSIVE?? It can be. There is software that can do this for $97/month or more, but it doesn’t have too. Follow along as I walk you through the process of building your sales funnel with my favorite FREE tools.
Lead Magnet / Opt-in / Opt-in Freebie
They can come in the form of an ebook, worksheet, checklist, video, or templates for example. My favorite FREE tool is Canva. Canva has built-in templates. For an ebook, I like their magazine templates.
BUT, for a more custom ebook or workbook, you need to see what Sarah, aka Biz Template Babe has created! She has beautiful Canva templates to help you custom design your opt-in. She has 20-30 designs of EACH page to choose from! So you can pick and choose what cover, inside pages, author page, and call to action pages you want and put them all together in your custom ebook.
They are more flexible than the Canva templates and she even provides videos to walk you through how to do it. You can visit HERE to get her beautiful templates. She’s amazing at answering questions and the Facebook group is amazing. Plus she has more than just ebooks. She has a variety of social media templates too. Check her out if you are not the most artistically inclined (like myself!)
So you also want to make things pretty so you need images. There are many places you can free images. If you can’t find images in your specific branded colors, each place I recommend has an option to buy images. Some of my favorite places include:
Landing Page & Thank You Page
Once you have made the opt-in, the next step in your sales funnel is to create a way to capture an email address. This is done through a landing page provided by your email provider My favorite email provider is MailerLite. It is pretty easy to customize and navigate the drag and drop landing pages. You can also make a sign-up form for your website sidebar or the bottom of your blog post. Another free and popular email provider is MailChimp.
You may want a pop-up form or a form across the top of your website to capture emails. FREE options to make these include HelloBar and MailMunch. I have used both and love that they are easy to set up. They integrate with your email provider so leads will be added to your email list.
I have since upgraded and love ConvertKit for my email provider, but still, use MailMunch. Once, sign up is complete, a Thank You page pops up. You can customize this page to deliver your lead magnet. Also, ask your subscriber to share your freebie on social media, or offer a free 15-minute consulting call if you sell services. You can use a free version of a scheduling software such as Acuity.
Email Welcome Series
After you have gotten the email address, you need to create an email welcome series. It should be at the minimum 3 emails and the average is between 5-7. This email series is just that, a welcome. Welcome to get to know you, your brand, and what you are offering. You may not have a product or service to sell yet, but that’s ok. When you meet someone for the first time, are you trying to pitch them something from the get-go? You want to build a relationship so that when it comes time to offer your product or service, they run to purchase because they know you.
If you don’t know what to say for OMG THREE emails, my friend Meera Kothand has a blog post How to Write a Staggeringly Good Welcome Email Series which will help you write your email welcome series. You can sign up for her freebie that is incredibly helpful as to what to say in what email. You may not consider yourself a writer, but Meera is amazing at breaking it all down. I have signed up for everything she has ever offered and bought her workbooks and they are so helpful. I can’t recommend Meera enough.
You have created a beautiful opt-in that people want and a way to collect their emails. But now you need to get your opt-in in front of your ideal audience. That is where social media comes into play. My favorite platform is Pinterest. The next step would be to create multiple pins (again using that free tool, Canva) that drive traffic to your sales page. If you need help with your Pinterest, you may want to take my quiz to find out what your level of Pinterest knowledge is and build from there. I do offer some free resources to help you with your Pinterest no matter what level you are at.
It will take some time. You have to pay with $ or time as with everything, but it doesn’t have to be hard, or complicated. I know your time is precious like mine is as a homeschooling mom, but I know you can do it! I did. Don’t let the overwhelm creep in. Create the parts one by one and then hook it up!
If you need help with the tech part, I just launched my Pinterest Funnels to Profit course where I will help you build the “parts”… the opt-in, the sales/ landing & thank you page and email series using Mailerlite, Mailchimp, or ConvertKit. You can get started with your very first funnel and I help you create pins that convert so you can attract organic traffic for FREE from Pinterest. Join us!