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How I’m rethinking sales funnels
I had a conversation with Nicolas Cole recently, trying to soak up as much as I could about how he grew Ship 30 for 30 and Premium Ghostwriting Academy to millions in revenue by leveraging audience and community.
During our conversation, we got on the topic of sales funnels. He explained his thoughts and process to me. As he spoke, I suddenly started doodling.
I looked down, and here’s what was there:
Kill it on social.
Free email course.
Survey to learn more.
Sales call with those who are super interested.
Seems simple enough, right?
This is a great model. It’s obviously working for Ship 30 — they have over 7,000 alumni of their course.
But I’d reframe his high ticket sales funnel (just a little bit). Here’s how I think about them:
The funnel starts with all of the free content you’re posting on social.
By consistently showing up in their feed with your most thoughtful and transformational content, you’re presenting yourself as the expert they need on their journey.
Short-form text (Twitter, LinkedIn) and video (TikTok, Reels, Shorts) are king when it comes to distribution right now.
Of course you should be posting awesome content on social media.
Of course the funnel ends with making a sale.
On the internet, we’re really good at talking about the beginning and end of the sales funnel — but the middle is what matters most.
If we were being cold, this would be the part where you capture as much data as possible, get the user in your CRM and track their engagement until they become a prime candidate for a targeted campaign.
But these are humans we’re talking about — not just numbers in a database.
This is the point when you allow them to build a deeper relationship with you by signing up to your email newsletter. As an extra incentive, you give them something transformational that they can interact with. A small product that takes them from point A to point B in the context of the topics you talk about.
Here’s where I deviate from Nicolas’ sales funnel the most.
Instead of a survey, I would bring the most loyal and interested audience members into a community.
The classic example I use is the 30 Day Keto Challenge community. Members can see the progress others are making, and have a place for continuous support and resources on their journey to become healthier with a keto diet.
The question becomes: How can we speed up their transformation by giving them a place to interact?
I’ve sold several 7 figure contracts through our agency over the years.
And honestly, I still don’t feel like I’m an expert in selling.
There’s no one-size fits all approach to selling on the internet. It depends on the product and whether the offer is low, medium, or high ticket. It’s also unique to whether or not your product is done-for-you, done-with-you, or do-it yourself.
The truth is that selling becomes much easier when you’ve already built a relationship and nurtured the customer. Chances are they’ll be aware of your product long before they ever buy it, as is the case with many Ship 30 customers who are enrolling in classes today.
Top of funnel = attracting like-minded people with awesome content
Middle of funnel = build a relationship by giving them an opportunity to transform — nurture in the form of freebies, communities, or ideally both
End of funnel = unique to product, but universal selling principles apply — the funnel exists to make the product as easy of a decision as possible
Which part of the funnel do you feel like you need help with the most? Let me know, and maybe I’ll dive deeper in a future newsletter.
🎧 New episode of the pod is live with Nicolas Cole
We talked about wealth, competition and status games. It was a brutally honest convo among two buds.
YouTube (subscribe for exclusive videos coming out this month)
❤️ Greg’s bookmarks:
5 things I found interesting this week:
The playbook around building a big business around Notion templates. I’m also very interested in this ecosystem, it’s still early. Link
Why Mr. Beast should build a Chuck E Cheese competitor. Gets you thinking… Link
YouTubers are becoming diversified businesses. When you see this photo, it all clicks. Link
Does Pokemon have another hit on their hands with Pokemon Sleep app (3M+ downloads in 2 weeks). This execution was flawless. Link
📷 Photo of the week: I bought an antique globe for $30
I had a lot of fun this summer in Quebec at my home in the mountains. Next week NYC and then back home to Miami.
I bought a globe to remind myself that even in the middle of the woods, we are all connected. Plus, to push myself to explore the world beyond the comforts of my home in the woods.
Ways to work together?
Turn your ideas into designs that people love. Design has mega impact and we use Dispatch for all our businesses. Free to set up a call.
I jump into a few random sales calls sometimes too.
Work with Boring Marketers. I’m astonished how they can drive revenue using SEO. Free call and you might learn a thing or two about using AI-assisted SEO to bring revenue for your business. The Boring twitter is a must follow.