A service funnel, commonly referred to as a sales funnel, is an essential tool for making money online. Any type of business can and should use funnels to help them not only market their products and services but to help them fill gaps with more products or services.
There are actually several different types of sales funnels, but all can lead to success in your Virtual Assistant (VA) business if you take the time to set them up. The good news is, once you set them up, with a few tweaks and improvements they’ll work for you for a long time.
Getting Clients the Easy Way
In every service business, such as being a VA, you will need a steady stream of clients in order to pay the bills. You need to work as efficiently as possible to gain new clients while still doing the work for your existing clients. You won’t have time to explain everything to prospective new clients individually. Therefore, you need funnels that can guide them and hopefully turn them into a client at the end of the process if they’re the right fit for you. If not, a good funnel will lead them right back out too.
Why a Funnel?
A funnel is a useful metaphor because it represents how most businesses get paying customers online. At the upper, wide part of the funnel, you have a wide audience. You try to attract their attention to get them into the funnel. Then you try to keep them moving along the funnel, learning more and more about you, until they either leave because they don’t need your VA services or you are not the right fit for them, or they become convinced you are the right person to work with.
Three types of funnels:
- Lead Generation (List building)
- Sales of Products
- Sales of Services
Each has certain things in common; only the end goals are different. Let’s look at each of them in turn, and how to set them up effectively.
- Lead Generation (List building)
Visit any website and you will usually see an offer for a free email newsletter. This is called lead generation or email marketing list building. Doing business online these days is all about relationship building and email marketing is one of the most effective ways to do this. A newsletter tells prospects more about the business and shows what you know. A free special report or eCourse is even more convincing lead magnet.
A reliable email marketing service like Aweber allows you to create an email list and sign up form. Then you can load the content. The service will send it out according to the schedule you’ve set. You create and upload the content once, but it is used over and over again automatically, giving prospective clients more and more information about who you are and what you do. This leads them to your sales and service funnels.
- The Sales Funnel
As the name suggests, sales funnels sell products. If you don’t have products to sell at this point, it’s a good idea to consider creating them. Although in my mind a service is still a product. But you can write an eBook or create a multimedia course with video that shows you have the skills set you are offering as a virtual assistant. Educate them about the best ways to work with a VA. Create a sales page as part of your funnel. List the benefits of the product, such as what they will learn and why that is helpful to them. Use images, testimonials, reviews and more to influence them to go all the way to the end of the funnel and make a purchase.
- The Service Funnel
The service funnel works in a similar manner to the sales funnel, only in this case you are not offering a product they will receive in the mail or an eBook they can download and start reading. Instead, you’re offering your services. But the details should be the same on your service funnel landing page as they would be on any sales funnel page.
First, list the features and benefits. What services are you offering? What’s your pricing based on-per hour or per project? Be as detailed as you can be in reference to what a person can expect if they hire you.
With each item you add to the page, answer the question for your potential clients:
“What’s in it for me if I do business with this person?”
That is what your prospective client will be asking themselves as they read down the page and is honestly the ONLY important thing at this point.
To keep urging them to the end of the funnel, add:
- Samples of your work
- A short list of current customers who would be happy to give you an endorsement
- and so on
If you’re struggling to attract clients, sales and service funnels could be just what you need to boost your business. In fact, I’m sure of it. If you’re not sure what a sales funnel is, be sure to look at my training so that you can learn more and even create your own sales funnel and start getting leads on auto-pilot.