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According to PwC, by 2022, the coaching industry is worth a whopping $15 billion dollars.
This means that if there was ever a time to get serious about marketing your coaching business, it would be now. As a coach, your job is to transform your clients lives or business through your signature process. I imagine that you’ve probably figured that out, but as a business owner you also have to move your prospective clients through the sales funnel and convert them into paying customers and this is typically where it gets tricky.
You might be sitting there wondering:
- Can my marketing be easier?
- What tech do I need and can it be cheaper?
- Should I be live launching?
- What even is live launching?
- Do I have to build a personal brand to make money as a coach?
These are extremely valid questions and ones that you will have the answers to by the time you get to the end of this blog post. You will use the answers to these questions to build a basic sales funnel – the first step in marketing for coaches.
A sales funnel is simply a visual representation of the steps your ideal client will take from being aware of their problem to taking action and purchasing a solution (preferably your offer).
Along their journey, your goal as the marketer is to send targeted messages that speak to where they are, the questions they may need the answers to, or the thoughts they may be having. Let’s dive into the steps you’ll need to take in order to build your sales funnel.
DEVELOP A HIGH-QUALITY LEAD MAGNET.
A fundamental step in building a high converting sales funnel is ensuring that you have a plan to drive traffic to the entry point. If you don’t have enough qualified leads entering your funnel (i.e. joining your newsletter, watching your free training, etc.) then it will be virtually impossible to make sales on autopilot.
The entry point of your funnel is key. It should address an immediate problem that your ideal client is experiencing, position you as the expert, and provide an actionable solution. Most people refer to the entry point as your lead magnet and some examples of excellent lead magnets are:
- Free Training
- Coffee Chat
- Private Podcast Series
- Swipe File
- Private Video Series
- Mini Workshop
Your lead magnet is your client attraction device and should take your client from being aware that they have a problem to considering your service or offer as the solution. In order for that to happen, your lead magnet should:
- Be behind a gate, which means that your ideal client has to enter their name and email address in order to receive access.
- Include your positioning statement – a quick elevator statement that speaks to what you do, who you serve, and how you deliver transformation.
- Include proof that you are qualified to serve your ideal clients by leveraging qualitative and quantitative data.
- Qualifiers for your best fit client.
- Your process or framework for transformation.
- Include the details of your signature offer including the name of the offer, a brief description of the transformation, testimonials, price, and next steps.
PLEASE NOTE THAT JUST BUILDING A HIGH VALUE LEAD MAGNET DOES NOT MEAN THAT CLIENTS WILL AUTOMATICALLY COME. This is why it’s important to consider how you will increase traffic to the lead magnet so that more of your ideal clients will see it.
BUILD YOUR BASIC TECH STACK.
Boom, so you’ve developed your high-value lead magnet and you solidified a plan to drive traffic to the lead magnet, so what’s next?
HINT: It’s not building pretty graphics.
The next step is to build your basic tech stack so that you can put this process on autopilot and convert leads to customers in your sleep. Your tech stack is the combination of tools that you will use to promote your offers and run your business.
Every online business owner, coach, or consultant should start with a basic tech stack and that should be built with your customer’s journey in mind. Let’s lay that out:
YOUR CLIENT WILL VISIT A LANDING PAGE TO ENTER THEIR NAME AND EMAIL ADDRESS.
In order for this step to work, you’ll need to build a landing page in your email marketing platform that includes a form to capture the visitor's name and email address. This page should also include the title of your lead magnet and a brief description of its transformation. I recommend using a tool like ConvertKit because it will allow you to build this landing page as well as set up the automated emails that you will need in step two. I’d also recommend ConvertKit because the metrics tracking in this platform is much better than some of the other email marketing platforms out there. They also allow you to sell products and create a feed that houses all of your emails (think Medium).
THEY WILL RECEIVE EMAILS TO EDUCATE AND NURTURE THEM TO YOUR SIGNATURE OFFER.
Once the client has entered their name and email address, they will begin to receive automated emails from you that educate and nurture them to your signature offer. These emails are important to your sales funnel because they help to move your customer along the sales journey without you having to contribute any additional labor. This step will also happen in your email marketing system.
THEY WILL *HOPEFULLY* DECIDE TO PURCHASE YOUR SIGNATURE OFFER.
When they decide to purchase, you will send them to a checkout page. This checkout page can be the product page in ConvertKit or you can use a tool like ThriveCart (my personal favorite) to capture payment, set up payment plans, and layout all of the details of the offer.
It’s important to note, that after they’ve purchased you’ll want them tagged in your email marketing platform as “Purchased - NAME OF OFFER” and exclude them from future email marketing on that offer. This process can also be automated in ConvertKit. And ThriveCart can be integrated with ConvertKit as well to ensure this process happens.
LASTLY THEY WILL BE IMPORTED INTO YOUR LMS (LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM) OR ONBOARDING PROCESS.
One way that I conduct this last and final step is to use a tool called Zapier. This tool allows me to create workflows between tools that would normally never talk to one another. When the client purchases your service or offer, you will use Zapier to grant them access to your LMS. I personally recommend Kajabi. Kajabi is a platform for creators and entrepreneurs to create, market and sell digital content. This is where all of my courses and offers are housed and it has made this portion of my business so simple and seamless. This is perfect if you’re a coach or course provider who wants clients to be able to seamlessly get access to their purchased product.
If your onboarding process requires a contract, onboarding form, etc. I would recommend a tool like Dubsado. Dubsado is a client relationship management software used by service-based business owners to automate tasks and save time. With Dubsado you can automate the process of sending contracts, forms, emails, invoices, call schedulers and so much more. It makes for a seamless workflow for service providers who want to capture information and complete actions like scheduling an onboarding call before they get started with a client.
QUICK NOTE: If you are building out your coaching offers but don’t have the proper contracts in place to protect you, I highly recommend the Coaches Quickstart Bundle. This bundle will gives you all the must-have legal goods *without* the hefty lawyer fees or confusing legalese.
WRITE YOUR EMAILS TO EDUCATE AND NURTURE THEM.
Once the lead has entered their name and email address and accessed the lead magnet, this is where the fun begins. Now it’s time to prime them for the purchase of your signature offer using segmented and targeted emails that send automatically.
Segmentation - is when you send emails to subscribers based on actions that they’ve taken. (example: someone who’s visited your sales page vs. someone who hasn’t). Think of segmentation as the audience.
Targeting - is when you customize the messaging based on the various actions the visitor may have taken. (example: I know you’ve checked out the sales page, did you have any questions vs. If you’d like to learn more about the offer you can view the sales here). Think of targeting as the messaging.
Segmentation + Targeting = Magic Muscle behind high-converting sales funnels.
Using the TRUST Framework, you will write your emails to move your lead from problem aware to purchased customer. Let’s get into how it works:TRUST FRAMEWORK:
- TRIED AND TRUE FRAMEWORK - address your clients problems and showcase how your framework will help them overcome their issues and get to their desired results.
- RECEIPTS - Share testimonials from your clients. A good way to do this is to position the testimonial as a story.
- When CLIENT first came to me, they were struggling with XYZ.
- We used YOUR FRAMEWORK to address their struggles.
- As a result they achieved this SUCCESS.
- And they FEEL XYZ about their TRANSFORMATION.
- UNDERSTANDING - RELATING TO YOUR IDEAL CLIENT - Put yourself in your ideal clients shoes. What might they be struggling with? What fears are holding them back? What do they want to see changed in their life or business? Have you ever struggled with this? How did you overcome it?
- SALES PSYCHOLOGY & ASKING FOR THE SALE - Position your offer and ask for sale. Speak to the transformation of the offer, what included, who will they feel, what are the details, what can they expect, etc.
- TACTICS YOUR AUDIENCE CAN USE - Educate your audience and showcase your expertise. Provide them with fast action/quick win strategies to build trust.
At minimum, I recommend including one email of each in your funnel from lead magnet to offer, but you can include as many of each of the types of emails as possible. You may need to add more emails, or alter the copy of the emails as your learn more about your customer, their behaviors, and how long their sales cycle is.
Don’t set and forget this funnel. Set a reminder to review the data and make tweaks every 60-90 days.
DRIVE TRAFFIC TO YOUR LEAD MAGNET
Now that you’ve created your high-value lead magnet, it’s time to get more eyeballs on it so that you can flood the top of your sales funnel with prospective clients. Contrary to popular belief, you need a promotional strategy for your lead magnet just like you’d need one for your signature service. Here are some ways that you can consistently promote your lead magnet.INSTAGRAM & FACEBOOK ADS:
One strategy to drive traffic to your lead magnet is to run paid ads to audience lookalikes, website visitors, social media engagers, etc and retargeting them with your lead magnet.SEO (SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION):
You can also leverage a SEO keyword strategy to get your lead magnet in front of ideal clients who are searching for content like yours.SPEAKING / GUEST COACHING OR TRAINING:
Another strategy to increase traffic is by leveraging already established audiences to drive traffic back to your website or lead magnet. Basically you’d request to be a speaker or guest coach for a complementary service provider and then offer their audience the opportunity to access your lead magnet or purchase an offer at a discounted rate.CONTENT MARKETING
Lastly, and I’m sure this is one you’ve already heard of, you can leverage content on platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, Threads, etc. to promote your lead magnet with a CTA (call to action) for the viewer to enter their name and email address to access.
For each of these strategies, when the viewer sees the ad, they can enter their name and email address to receive access to the lead magnet, and then begin receiving follow up emails that nurture them to your signature offer.
I teach a number of strategies to increase your brand authority and visibility in my Profitable People Program.
By driving as much traffic as possible to your lead magnet as possible you increase the probability that you’ll convert more sales. Sales is a numbers game, and you want to have as many potential leads as possible because not every person who accesses your lead magnet will convert into a buying customer and that’s OK.
You can use these strategies in isolation, but I recommend combining 2-3 of these strategies for maximum impact.
Simple automations to convert sales consistently and optimize the funnel.
A key component in optimizing your funnel and making it as efficient and profitable as possible is to leverage automations that increase your customer’s lifetime value (how much money they spend with you), increase your retention rate (the probability that they will come back for a second purchase) or shorten your customer purchasing cycle (the amount of time it takes for them to make a purchase.
Automations greatly help with this, so let’s get into some automations that you can include to optimize your funnel:
- ABANDONED CART SEQUENCE - When someone adds your service or offer to their cart, but doesn’t complete purchasing you want to have an automation that sends them emails and reminds them to go back and complete their purchase.
- UPSELL AUTOMATION - When your lead enters their name and email address to access your lead magnet, you can immediately redirect them to a LTO (limited time offer) where they can purchase a product or service at a discounted rate for a limited time.
I go more in depth into the types of automations you can leverage and why they’re important in my blog post The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Automation for Online Business Coaches and Consultants. You’ll learn how marketing automations can save you time, increase your revenue, and grow your audience.
In conclusion, the goal of your sales funnel is to convert as many of your leads into customers as possible on autopilot. In order for that to happen you have to build systems to drive traffic and market your offers and services continuously. This process doesn’t have to be complicated and overwhelming. It can be simple and efficient and it can be continuously optimized.
Don’t let this blog post be just another piece of content that you consume. Begin working through the strategies laid out here to start seeing results and ask me any question in the comments.
A fundamental step in building a high converting sales funnel is ensuring that you have a plan to drive traffic to the entry point.
Building a high-value lead magnet is just the first step and does not guarantee that your ideal clients will see it, you have to have a plan in place to drive traffic.
There are a number of strategies you can deploy to drive traffic, I recommend leveraging a combination of 2-3.
Identify your customer journey from the time they access your lead magnet to them purchasing your offer and use that to build your tech stack. Don’t make it complicated.
Use the TRUST framework to write the emails that your leads will receive after they access your lead magnet.
Leverage automations to optimize the funnel – converting more leads consistently.