The concept of the “funnel” has been used in sales for years. And it is quite possible that you’ve heard the idea of the sales funnel before. In this episode of CBB, I outline what I call the blog profit funnel.
This is the sales funnel adapted to what I believe is the best version of it for a blog-based online business.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- The 3 key ways to grow any business
- How these 3 business growth strategies are built right into our funnel
- The key role of each of the 3 stages of the funnel
- Why a membership site is, in my opinion, an awesome business model. Especially for bloggers
- How these funnels fit into the blog
Today we are going to talk about what I call The Blog Profit Funnel. What we are basically going to be talking about here is the idea of a sales funnel. The reason I call it blog profit funnel is simply because the way that I put the system together is that it is very much integrated with the blog, which is something that not all marketers do. A lot of marketers run paid traffic and stuff; that stuff, we will be talking about as well. But being that we are talking about here is a blog centric business, I am basically just kind of adding a little naming tweak to the concept of the sales funnel because we are applying it to our blog.
So I want to be clear about that; it is called the blog profit funnel, at least in my world. I want to also say that what are we going to be doing in this episode is kind of giving a broad overview of that funnel. But we are not going to be getting in to all the details of it. And I am actually not going to spend a lot of time on every little nitty-gritty detail of it only because it is the stuff that I teach inside the Blog Monetization Lab. So with that being said, let us go ahead and start talking a little bit here about this funnel.
Now in the last episode, we talked about the Transformation. And we talked about how that is really super important to arriving at product/market fit. Now that product/market fit really is the underlying foundation that everything else depends upon. This entire blog profit funnel is predicated by a good product/market fit. If you got a crappy product/market fit, your funnel is not going to convert that well. It doesn’t matter how well developed the funnel is; it is probably not going to function very well if you are not, at the end of the day, offering a product to a hungry market. So that should go without saying.
So with all that, let us just assume that that part is taken care of right now, let us go to the funnel itself and what ways to grow a business the funnel is based on.
3 Ways To Grow Your Business
- To get more customers (‘duh) right? Get more people to buy stuff.
- More frequent purchases. So that is the idea of getting your existing customers to buy things more often from you.
- To have higher ticket sales. In other words, have the average transaction size be larger.
So those are the 3 basic ways to grow a business. More customers, more frequent purchases and higher ticket sales.
How These 3 Strategies Are Built Into The Funnel
Now a fully developed funnel is going to have all three of these things in play. And any developed business should be actively trying to do all 3 things. It is a newbie way to think about business to always be thinking “I need to find more customers, I need to get more leads, I need to get more customers”, that’s fine. But if you spend all your time only trying to convince brand new “cold leads” to buy your stuff, it is going to be a lot more work and not as effective as going to people who have already bought something from you and getting them to buy again or getting them to buy something that cost more. So you got to have all 3 ways to have a fully developed business.
With that in mind, what you want to do is you wanted to design a series of offers, a series of products that fulfill all 3 things. And you want to put them in a graduated series because typically; let’s say that you have an offer that costs thousand bucks, whatever that might be. Well, your chances of getting somebody who have just heard of you, who have just found you to come and spend a grand with you is pretty low.
So that should make it very clear that we want to have a graduated series of offers here. They are probably willing to buy something cheap from you at the beginning, try you out, get a feel, see if you are the right fit for them and then if that pans out, then they might go for something a little higher end in price. So again, backing up to the last episode where we talked about having your transformation, and the sub-transformations and then mapping your products and your offers to the problems and barriers that they are going to have to overcome in order to achieve that transformation, I hope from there you can then outline some product offers and put them into a logical sequence that builds upon their relationship with you.
So we are actually putting together a progression; a product line that delivers the transformation but also works on accomplishing these 3 things: You want to get more customers, you want to get them to buy more often and we want to get them to make higher ticket purchases. Now the way that we do this in the funnel is by having low-end, middle-end and basically high-end.
Key Role Of Each Of The 3 Stages Of The Funnel
Now let me explain how this works. This is actually simple stuff. Your low-end offers are typically going to be the things you present to people first. And it is because people who are brand new to you, they are not going to be generally willing to make a really high commitment to you without building up that “no, like and trust” factor. Now there are ways to short circuit that. For example, if you get them on to a webinar with you and they have just listened to you for an hour, well you probably have built up a good relationship with them in the course of that hour so you will probably be able to sell something higher end on a webinar. You will be able to kick them further along in the funnel than you otherwise would. But outside of a situation like that where you have got that really high level of engagement this is going to be a brand new person and they may have just read a blog. That type of person is generally not going to go and buy something all that expensive.
And so generally your front facing products are going to be your low-end front end offers. And the whole purpose of those front end offers is to accomplish the first method of growing your business which is to get more customers. If you present a front end offer to somebody who, if they are a qualified lead, and then the price is not an issue because this a cheap thing; then you are going to be able to get more customers because there is a much lower barriered entry to moving from free subscribers up to a customer of your business.
So that is the front end offer. Realize that with the front end offer, too, that really at the end of the day it is not about making a ton of money on front end offers. It really is more about moving that relationship status up to the next offer. My front end offers I tend to put them around the 7 dollar point. And I’m not making a bank on 7 bucks. I got to make a boatload of sales at the 7 dollar level to even pay my bills. And so that is not really the total focus. The whole point of the front end offer is to get people to experience being a customer of the Blog Marketing Academy. That’s it.
So moving on to the next level of the funnel, let’s take the membership site as an example of a “middle” or more commonly referred to as “core offer” – that’s certainly a great way to call it (core offer).
Now I am going to put it in to my particular model here as the Membership Site. Now I am making a bit of an assumption here because I am a huge fan of the membership site and I believe that from many blog owners, and that is primarily my customer base (blog owners). I think the membership site; the recurring billing model is the best model to go. Because most of us are in the content business and that lends itself beautifully to a premium level of delivery via a membership site.
But here is what a membership site also does; is that it accomplishes the second way to grow your business, which is more frequent purchases. I mean, think about it… When somebody is recurring, when somebody is being renewed every month, well essentially they are buying something from you every single month. Every time that there is membership renews, it is a new transaction. And so that is your way of accomplishing the second way of growing your business.
Now if you don’t have a membership site there and you just have a more expensive product that is perfectly fine, too. I just happen to be a big fan of the membership model. And not only that, when you have the membership model in place, it is really easy to extract front end offers from that membership. So it is kind of a way of killing two birds with one stone.
Moving from the membership site, we move in to the higher end. And to have a fully developed business, you are going to have to want to have higher end products or services for those who want it. So if you have a membership site and you are charging just a few bucks a month or maybe 30 bucks a month or what have you, you are going to want to have options available for those who are willing to pay for the next level. You need higher end products or services. And this could go to like a Gold level of membership or something but it could also be in the form of coaching or something much higher end. And if you don’t have those things in place right now, don’t sweat it but you should jot down some ideas on what that can be.
The 80/20 Rule
Now if you have any doubts of the way this works; these three things, the low-end, the middle, so to speak and then the higher end, I want you to check out a book. This is by a guy named Perry Marshall and it is called 80/20 Sales and Marketing. It’s a really excellent book and it talks about the 80/20 Rule.
The 80/20 Rule is often being brought up in the area of productivity in the idea that you are going to get most of your results, 80% of your results from 20% of your efforts. But that 80/20 rule applies to a lot of other things. And the big point of Perry’s book is how 80/20 applies to sales. And he says that no matter what you are doing, you are going to have a group of people and you are going to have 80% probably that won’t buy but 20% will. And then within those 20% of people who will buy, you are going to have 20% of them who will upgrade in the next level. And then of those 20% of people who upgrade to the next level, you will have 20% of them who are going to be open to a high end. And so he makes the point of how 80/20, that curve; apply to how you design your business. And for that reason, if you don’t have a middle end or a membership site or a higher end membership or even higher end offers, you are actually leaving a lot of money on the table because if you are serving a group of people, numbers speak for themselves. There are people there who would be willing to buy higher end stuff from you. Whether you think they are there or not; they are.
So with that in mind, again, that is 80/20 Sales and Marketing, very valuable book; you can check it out on Amazon. But this is the basic foundation of how the funnel works. You’re having the low-end to get new customers in, we have the membership site in order to get more frequent purchases and we have the higher end products or services in order to get those higher ticket sales. All 3 ways of growing a business are taken care of; and you as long as you got the good product/market fit you have a good business going on. We can run traffic to those things via our blog, via paid traffic and we will grow this into a full time nice profit stream for you. It will happen. This is a good model.
The Basic Components Of The Blog Profit Funnel
So with all these in mind I am going to very quickly go through the basic components here of the blog profit funnel. I’ve already basically outlined all 3 Stages…
Now, it starts off typically with a lead magnet. The lead magnet is what gets them on to your list. Everything starts when they get on to your email list. And that can be via a typical lead magnet, stuff that we have talked about on Coffee Break before; I also have an Action Plan inside the Blog Monetization Lab to help you with that. And once they are on your list, once they have opted in, that is when you present them the front end offer; right after they opt-in. And the lead magnet and the front end offer need to go together like peas and carrots. They need to be a perfect match so that people who opt-in for that lead magnet are going to be a great prospect for the front end offer. And that is how you get more customers in the door.
From there you go into the next level which is going to be the membership or your core offer and then from there into the high end; all stuff that we have already talked about.
Now these funnels, this blog profit funnel is how money gets made. This is how you are going to facilitate exchange of value with your audience. This is how you are going to deliver or sell to them the products and services that are going to help enable the transformation. The delivery aspect of it is a different matter because obviously, the game really starts once they bought something from you. That is when you really need to go in there and make sure that they get everything that they wanted from it. But these funnels; this is the framework. This is how money is going to get made and how you are going to get customers.
Forget about banner advertising! It is a stupid thing to do! I mean, we talked about that back in Episode 109 but this blog profit funnel is the structure. It is highly effective. And not only that… Ideally once you have a funnel set up; and it doesn’t even have to go all the way to the high end level in order to be a functional funnel, this is how new leads are going to come in. So, ideally, every new lead, every person who subscribes to your list is going to go through a funnel in order to get there. And that means that every person who gets on to your list has the opportunity to become a potential customer of yours from day one. Now you are leading with value by way of your blog and things like that. But the whole job here is to get them to go through one of your funnels. And yes, you will ideally, you are going to have more than one of these things.
So that is, in a nutshell, the Blog Profit Funnel. Now, as I said at the beginning, this is the bird’s eye view. There are mechanics that go into it. There is how you integrate your email list system into it so that it moves the whole thing along on automatic. There is how you connect these pages to each other. Now I am not going to sit here and say that it is rocket science because it is not. But it is something that we are not going to go over in a lot of detail here on this podcast. So for that reason, again I want to remind you to go check out the one time purchase of this Action Plan on creating blog profit funnels, where I do walk you through in detail on how to set it up. Now of course, that is the Action Plan by itself. If you would like to get that action plan and every other one, then get into the Blog Monetization Lab. That is where the core transformation that I deliver is being delivered inside the Blog Monetization Lab.
So that is Blog Profit Funnel, very, very core strategy that we are working on. A lot of the episodes coming up here on Coffee Break are going to be about various aspects of that. And with that being said, I will see you next time on Coffee Break.
See you then! 😉