Regardless of your background with video, if you are a coach or consultant you have probably heard of a marketing funnel. If you haven’t – you still use one.

Here is a great explanation of a marketing funnel:

The marketing funnel is used to describe the buyer process. The most basic way to describe it would be to say that not everybody who hears about you will consider doing business with you, and not everybody who considers doing business with you will actually do business with you. The funnel simply represents this idea visually. If reaching the bottom of the funnel represents a purchase, being at the top of the funnel represents somebody who has not purchased yet, and still needs to travel through the funnel. As you go further and further towards the bottom, the funnel narrows – fewer people remain in the game, as many opt not to continue on the buyer journey.

Between the time that a person hears about you and purchases from you, there are a few crucial decisions they must make if they are to continue the buying process. In order to represent these decisions visually, the marketing funnel can be separated into various layers – each layer representing a key stage of the buyer process.

marketing funnelMost textbooks and marketing professionals will refer to at least three stages – these being the “awareness” stage, the “consideration” stage, and the “decision” stage. Some sources may list additional stages, but these can be seen as subsets of these 3 major stages. The important thing to remember is not the names of each stage, but what happens at each stage and how this affects your marketing plans.

Using the Funnel to Grow Your Business

If you want to increase sales, you need to know where in the process an improvement is going to be most effective. Analyze your current lead list and customer list. Work backwards. Start by examining your customers. Do you have enough of those? If not – look to the previous step.

The previous step would be the consideration phase. Are you engaging with enough people who are interested in your product and service? If you have 100 people a day requesting a free consultation from you, but you still have no customers, something is going wrong in this stage. Buyers are hearing about you, and consider purchasing from you, but ultimately do not. How can you change this?

If this all sounds very simple – it’s because it is. But many people forget to ask these questions and neglect to think in these terms. They simply see the bottom line – not enough customers, but they don’t properly identify where in the funnel they are losing people. Perhaps they have nobody in the funnel – nobody is hearing about them. So they need to fix that problem.

I have found that people tend to jump to one of two extremes when trying to solve their sales problems. Either they throw everything into prospecting and advertising (awareness stage) and neglect following up with people, or they focus solely on reaching the people they have already engaged with but not sold (consideration stage). They tend to do these things haphazardly, instead of identifying what the real problem is.

In subsequent posts I will be going in to exactly how to best approach each phase – what marketing materials to produce, what your customers are thinking at each stage, which issues to address, and how to use video, social media, emails, sales calls, and website funnels to engage with people at each stage.