How To Make Your Own Funnels
This is our mentoring model:
1. Tell you what to do
2. Show you exactly how to do it
3. Link you with someone who can do it for you if you can’t.
The first article on this site was called “How To Build Your Own Website.” It angered a lot of web designers.
In our Incubator program, there are over 95 modules that walk you step-by-step through the processes we teach. But sometimes your time is better spent elsewhere, so we also give you a “Do It For Me” option.
This post will be more in-depth than I normally write for free, because I HATE when knowledge is held hostage by companies who prey on gym owners. Building funnels isn’t tricky, but it DOES take a lot of time. If you know what’s involved and THEN decide to hire someone else, great–that’s exactly what I do. I want to give you the power to choose, that’s all.
First, my usual disclaimer: most CrossFit gyms don’t need help with marketing; they need help with sales (not lead generation, but signing people up and keeping them.) So I dislike “funnels”–you can read my article, called “F Your Funnel”, on EliteFTS.com here:
But if you need a new way to talk to a niche audience, or you want to guide people to specific information, funnels can work.
Let’s start with the bottom of the funnel and work our way up.
The Goal: Conversion.
You want a client to sign up for your gym. We’ll call that a “conversion”, because it’s all that matters.
Facebook “likes”, comments and shares…these are cute, but only beneficial for your ego. In some cases, they’re like footprints to follow, but they’re not actually tools.
Facebook lets you define a “conversion” as a purchase (mostly used for product sales) or registration on a website. To Facebook, a “conversion” means a client has gone as far as possible through their platform, and they’re handing the lead on to you. But this isn’t really the end of the process. So we’ll stick with:
Conversion = paid registration.
That’s right: free visits to your gym ALSO don’t count.
So the goal of any funnel is a paying new client.
Working backward from there, what’s the step right BEFORE a person becomes a paying client?
For TwoBrain gyms, that’s a No-Sweat Intro. We want to talk first, to prescribe the best path for any individual member (and sometimes refer them elsewhere.)
The No-Sweat Intro (I’ll just call it NSI for the rest of this post) has a 94% conversion rate at my gym. We teach the exact phrasing and questions to ask in the Incubator, but some owners like to tweak the process (everyone wants to get 100%, and I don’t blame them.)
If the last stage of the funnel is Conversion, and the second-to-last stage is a No-Sweat Intro, what comes before the NSI?
Probably a few emails.
When people enter the top of your funnel, they’re cold leads. You need to warm them up. I wrote about “love letters” last week, but the basic goal here is to bridge your service to the client’s goal. If they’re trying to lose weight, they probably don’t KNOW that CrossFit is great for weight loss. If they have a bad back, they probably aren’t aware that you can help them.
Obviously, this education takes time. But if we skip this step, you’ll wind up with cold leads walking through your door out of curiosity instead of interest, and you’ll spend a lot of time on free consultations (or worse, free trials where you try to “sell” them.)
These emails can be automated. Here’s the first part of the funnel where we have to use some scary, mysterious software.
I use ActiveCampaign now (I’m a visual guy) but other TwoBrain mentors use Drip or InfusionSoft. I recommend you start with MailChimp, because you can buy $9 worth of MailChimp credits and build an automation instead of subscribing to a larger service.
MailChimp is also VERY easy to use.
Step 1 in MailChimp: create a new list. This list will be like a net. When people sign up for this list, it will trigger your automated emails.
(I’ll cover how to get them to sign up in the next section.)
Call this list something like “Weight-Loss Interest” or “General Fitness Interest”, depending on the audience you’re trying to reach.
Step 2 in MailChimp: build a new Automation (they’re under Campaigns now.)
I show a step-by-step video walkthrough in the Incubator, but it’s pretty simple. Your Trigger is when people join the list (“Weight-Loss Interest”,) you just created.
What do you say in the Automation emails?
Take people on a journey, starting from where they are and leading to your pre-conversion goal (booking a NSI.)
Using the weight loss example, you might follow this path:
First email – 5 simple tricks to lose weight
Second email – The real trick: how to change your habits
Third email – where most people fail, and how you can help
Fourth email – how to get started
Fifth email – reason to start now.
There are a lot of “best practices” when it comes to these emails, and I cover them extensively in the Incubator, but I don’t want to take us down that rabbit hole.
Here we are, working backward from the bottom of the funnel to the top:
Conversion – NSI – Email Automation to warm up the leads.
NOW we need to get people to join your list, right?
We typically use a lead magnet (although MANY people join the TwoBrain list just because they don’t want to miss any content. Don’t miss out on the people who are really interested; put a pop-up invitation to join your list on your site. They still work.)
A lead magnet is a valuable summary or blog post or video series, like our “Free Help” videos. The key here is “valuable”: you’ve seen the “You won’t believe what happened next…” clickbait on social media, and smart people are getting wise to it. Make your lead magnet valuable: the Free Help videos on our site took me about 8 hours to shoot and edit, and they answer the most common questions I get.
Your lead magnet should be valuable enough to warrant a trade: their email address for your information.
To set up this exchange, you need a landing page.
Think of a landing page like a “side door” into your website. All the normal menu options (price, schedule, about us, etc.) don’t appear; only the registration form required to get the free valuable information.
For example, a good landing page might say, “Enter your information, and I’ll send you our Five Simple Tricks To Lose Weight right now – for free!”
Keep it simple. Show the headline, a picture, and then a registration form.
You can use Leadpages or Clickfunnels to build your landing pages; they’re easy. I use MailMunch on the Catalyst site. You could also just build a new page on WordPress, go back to your list in MailChimp, click “Forms” and get the embed code for a signup form for your new Weight Loss List. Paste the embed code into your new landing page, and you’re done. When people fill in the form, MailChimp adds them to the new Weight Loss List, which triggers the automation you’ve already built.
This sounds hard, but I walk you through the process step by step in the Incubator, with videos so you can follow along. It’s just a matter of following the steps.
Recap, from the bottom of the funnel up: Conversion – NSI – Emails – Landing Page with registration form.
NOW we need to get leads onto your Landing Page. This is where marketing really enters the picture.
We have a huge Facebook Marketing Course in our Growth Stage (or you can actually buy it separately for $599, but Incubator-> Growth Stage is the much smarter bet.) For this example, I recommend targeting a simple ad at the people who already like your page.
Facebook is a funnel of its own. If you’re classifying future clients as “warm leads” or “cold leads”, the warmest will be the folks who already like your page. The coldest will be those you just target because of their demographic info (like their age, gender, income, and distance from you.) People who like your page are already paying attention–at least a little bit. Now we want to get them off Mark Zuckerberg’s platform and onto yours.
So we’ll set up a simple image ad, and optimize for conversions.
Here’s where things can get tricky, but don’t worry: I’ll keep it simple. We won’t talk about pixels or cost per conversion or anything here; it’s all in the Facebook Marketing Course if you want that much depth.
Use the ad to push people to your Landing Page.
Use a simple picture (you can’t use “before and after” shots on Facebook) and start with a simple question as a headline: “Ready to feel better?”
You also can’t use “Fat Loss” or “Weight Loss” in your Facebook ad headline. Use something else, then say “Download our Five Free Tips!”
The ad should point to your landing page (copy and paste the URL into the ad line where prompted.) Spend $5 for 3 days on the ad; if people start clicking through and entering their info, increase the spend.
Remember: no one is going to see an ad for a $199 service and immediately sign up. You need to have a conversation with them. The automated emails are just a start.
To sum up, here’s your funnel from the ground up:
Conversion -> NSI -> Emails -> Landing Page -> Ad to Facebook followers
Yes, there’s some work here. This is why many people just say “screw this. I just want to coach” and pay someone else $1000 per month. I get it.
To make it easy, I give sample lead magnets to download, landing pages to copy, automated emails to use, and some Facebook tactics in the Incubator (of course, the FB Ads course in Growth Stage is massive.) But sometimes it’s still worthwhile to pay someone else to do it for you (I do. We have partners in this space.)
Now, here’s the (unpleasant) surprise: every funnel is really an hourglass.
From the fine point at the bottom of the funnel, a client’s experience should really expand outward. At the NSI, a client’s choices should be limited to one or two offerings. But as they stay longer, their choices should expand, because they’ll have the context to judge what they like (and, frankly, they like novelty.)
I’ll write about that more another day. But for now: pull back the curtain! There are no secrets to building a funnel. If this is the best use of your time today, get started!