Create a Marketing Funnel to Grow Your Home Business

5 Steps to Build a Marketing Funnel

Sales Funnel Chart
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One of the biggest challenges in running a home business is getting leads and converting them to customers or clients. Many people who discover your business won’t buy initially, so how do you keep them aware of you so you can woo them into buying? The answer is the marketing funnel.

Defining a Marketing Funnel

A marketing funnel is a system of enticing your target market to your business and then leading them through a process that allows them to learn about you and, hopefully, to buy.

Through each stage of the funnel, the prospect engages a little bit more with you. At each stage, the number of prospects gets smaller, but their interest is growing.

There are several stage of the funnel, and depending on what diagram or article you read, you’ll find various names. But in general, the funnel moves a lead from their initial awareness of you to making a purchase.  The stages of the funnel are:

  1. Awareness: This is the widest part of the funnel where leads first discover you.
  2. Interest: Once you’ve made yourself known, your job is to capture the leads' interest and have them learn more about you and the value you provide.
  3. Desire/Consideration: You’ve piqued your prospects’ interests to the point they want what you’re offering, but they’re still working to determine if they really want to invest in the product or service, and if so, if they want to buy from you.
  4. Action/Purchase: If you’ve satisfied the prospect’s questions and concerns, he’ll move into the lowest, narrowest part of the funnel and become a customer or client.

    One of the nice things about a marketing funnel is that some aspects can be automated. However, it’s important to remember that the goal is to build trust, credibility and rapport so that prospects feel good about hiring or buying from you. This means through each stage  you’re providing more value and developing a stronger relationship with your leads.

    How to Set Up a Marketing Funnel

    The widest part at the top has the most prospects. It’s where everyone who first encounters your businesses enters. In essence, all your marketing strategies such as search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM), social media, and advertising direct potential customers and clients to the entrance of your funnel, usually a website or storefront. One you have their attention, you want offer a variety of resources that pique their interest further, deliver value, and builds trust and rapport. These resources are used by the consumer in their evaluation of your business. If you’re successful, the prospect moves through the funnel to the end and hires or buys from you.  So how is that done?

    1. Set up a place to send all potential leads to enter the awareness stage of your funnel. For many businesses, this a website, although it could be a storefront.

    2. Provide information and resources that keep your potential prospects interested. This can include:

    • Content: Articles, tips and other information
    • Case studies or white papers
    • Videos
    • Webinars

    3. Ask leads to engage with you further. Once you’ve piqued interest, you need to deliver more value and develop a relationship to move leads to the consideration stage.

    Social media is one way leads can continue to learn about you. Signing up for an email list, however, shows greater commitment by a lead, although it can be more difficult to get prospects to give you their information. Providing a great free offer to entice them to give you their email works well. Many website owners use a squeeze page or an email popup to get leads’ attention about your free offer.

    Once they’re following you on social media or are on your email list, you can continue to deliver valuable information and resources to help them to make the decision to buy. Trial offers and free consults are another way to ask leads to engage with you further so you can show off your expertise.

    4. Make your offer. Just like most people don’t get engaged on the first date, so too most consumers don’t buy on the first visit.

    But once you’ve built a relationship with your lead through content, social media and email, you can ask for the sale.

    5. Get People to Your Funnel

    Once you’re ready to receive visitors to your funnel, you need to get them there. This is where your marketing efforts come in. There are many ways to market your business, but a few ideas include:

    The marketing funnel is a great tool to help people learn about and feel confident in buying from or hiring you. Some marketing funnel illustrations, add "loyalty" and "advocacy" to the funnel below "action/purchase" because happy customers will stay with you and tell others about your business