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business

What is a marketing and sales funnel for coaches?

In short, a funnel is creating a memorable sales experience/journey for the customer.

Marketing funnel
This graphic is borrowed from my buddy, Walter, from cooler insights, and it accurately depicts what a marketing funnel is all about. You may read the article here.
In this article, I want to dive right into constructing a marketing funnel, specially for coaches, and I hope that this will add tremendous value to you as a coach.
Now that you have got your first few customers and testimonials, you wonder, what is the next step? (If you have not, please read here.)
Starting from the top of the funnel, you want to draw more viewers and visitors to your websites or social media platforms. And here’s the really important part: you want to draw the right group of visitors that have problems and pain, and are looking for the solutions that you have.
Before you even dive into creating your funnel, you need to be crystal clear on what is the exact type of customer that you have a solution for. The buyer’s persona. It is crucial to zoom in as much as you can. For example, I have different solutions for someone who is 25 and freshly out of college, vs someone who is 35 and has already had a decade of working or business experience under his or her belt.
The targeting is definitely different!
You may actually be targeting different groups of people, and currently serving them. It is ok.
For example, you may offer solutions for someone who is in his early twenties and solutions for someone in his forties. But if you are doing so, you will definitely need to craft different products/services for these 2 groups of people. Do NOT put them into one basket and try to shoehorn them in. This is because both of these two people will have different pains and different problems. 
The main idea is that you want to be as targeted and specific as possible. Be like the SNIPER.
Top of the funnel:
The main aim of the top of the funnel is to create awareness of you and your brand. 
To do this, you have to generate traffic.
And there are 101 ways to generate traffic, through websites, social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Wechat, YouTube… just to name a few), emails, podcasts and online forums. I would highly recommend that you start with 1 or 2, start building it and dominate the avenue. For me, I use Facebook, LinkedIn and website.
You really just need 1 of them to work, to bring you consistent traffic and revenue! 
As you may already know, my clear personal brand is: Happy Coach!
(I will do another article on personal branding soon…)
What is your personal brand? What do you want to be known as?
This determines your marketing funnel, as it determines what kind of customer experience you want to give to the customer. For me, I strive to give clarity to the customer, helping him or her discover joy and re-ignite passion. #behelpfulbehappy
One of the most important ingredient of the top of the funnel is having good content. 
You will need to create useful content that adds value to your target audience, in the form of text, photos, infographics, videos or audio (podcast).
This will also help you to showcase your authority on the subject matter, winning trust with prospects and helping them to create a clear connection to you and your brand.
Creating and posting good content is just the first step.
After doing so, you need to engage with your audience. Reply to their comments, private message them. The more positive touch points that you can create with your target audience, the more you will be able to draw them into your experience journey. This is especially important if you are just starting out, as you want to build an intimate and authentic brand experience for the prospect.
Middle of the funnel:
Once you have regular traffic, you may want to build a CRM (customer relationship management) system. There are many ready made solutions out there, but Getresponse is a good start. This is about nurturing your leads, and helping them to be constantly reminded of you. I engage my audiences through events, like webinars or accountability groups, which are part of the service that I provide for my customers. They are also very important parts of my customer experience journey.
You can also build your own community on social media. I have a couple, for different purposes. One is a home schooling group for parents, while the other is a telegram broadcast which I send valuable information to my audience. The main focus of these communities is to engage, which is why I always recommend that you focus your attention and resources on the one that is most likely to bear good fruit for you. Make sense?
Bottom of the funnel:
This is where you can grow your business. Previously, by collecting powerful, specific testimonials, we are already building this part of the funnel. Keep on doing this, it is really important!
It is also important to get good feedback on how to improve, from your customers. The moment that we think that we got it perfectly, is the moment we become complacent and start to move backwards.
Even a rejection, or a “no”, is an excellent learning opportunity! Ask this question, “What is it that I must do for you to say Yes?”
As a coach, this can be our blind spot sometimes. We think that we know everything, and cannot learn anything anymore. Don’t be like this!
This may be the time that you explore collaborations as well, with people who may synergise with you. I am currently working with universities, as well as certain corporations and parents groups. Who are 3 different groups that you may be able to collaborate with? 
If you need some clarity, feel free to text me
Ask Yuantai

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