3 Steps to Build an Evergreen Sales Funnel to Sell For Your Service-Based Business While You Sleep
So you’re ready to make the illusive money while you sleep, are you? Let’s make it happen then! The most effective way to do this is to build evergreen sales funnels throughout your business to sell your offers on autopilot while building trust with your audience and showcasing your expertise to the point where your community feels confident you can help them solve a problem they have.
There are three core “components” or phases to building out your evergreen sales funnel, and we’re going to break them down below. But first, what even is a sales funnel?
What is a sales funnel?
In the most traditional sense of the word, a sales funnel is the process that your future clients or customers go through where they start as an audience member and work their way “down the funnel” to buy from you.
Imagine a real funnel — yes, like one that helps you pour liquid into a bottle, let’s say. It’s wide at the top and tapers in. Your marketing should be structured just like that. Ultimately, you want to communicate to the very top (the wide part), speaking to as many people as possible.
Once those people decide to jump on into the funnel, you’ll start to refocus everyone in the funnel towards your offer through trust-building and specific language. Some may hop out, sure, but the goal is to build a solid connection with those headed straight down your funnel.
What does evergreen mean?
Okay, great, so your marketing is like a funnel, with focused language and intentional strategies building relationships and preparing people to buy from you. But what does an evergreen sales funnel mean?
It means it’s running on autopilot all the time. There’s no reference to a specific time or calendar day. It’s designed to sell and run people through the exact same experience, no matter when they enter the funnel. This evergreen component is how you can actually make money while you’re sleeping.
The dream, the vision, the goal. We’ve got you. Keep reading!
Why should I have an evergreen sales funnel?
Look. You don’t HAVE to have an evergreen sales funnel. But in my experience and over the past handful of years running Rebel Office, one of the least favourite thing entrepreneurs like doing is launching. If this isn’t you and you LOVE launching – great! You can still have evergreen funnels running in the background, selling your other “behind the scenes” offers.
At the end of the day, diversifying the way you create brand awareness and getting your offer in front of those new (or returning) people is straight-up SMART for business. Between the great content you create and the value and expertise that comes with working with you, you can create a sales funnel that is working together to grow your business, any and all time of day.
You sold? Okay, here are our Three Steps for Creating Your Evergreen Sales Funnel:
The 3 Steps to Build an Evergreen Sales Funnel
Step 1: Hook Them (aka. Build Your Lead Magnet)
To put it bluntly, the best way to start to connect and build relationships with future customers and clients is with a high-valued piece of content like a lead magnet.
Before actually “building” it, it’s important first to set an end goal so that you can keep that in mind as you’re writing the copy and pulling it together. At the end of the day, you want your lead magnet to be attractive, solve a particular problem (this is most important), and — in many cases — be a prerequisite for what you want to actually sell them so that they are primed and ready to buy.
If you’re struggling to think of the best lead magnet for your business, talk to your audience. Ask what they need, what they want and/or what they’re struggling with. Remember, this freebie needs to be attractive to THEM. You’re trying to hook them to want to know more about you and, ultimately, work with you. Show them that you understand their problems and that you can help them get a quick win towards a long-term solution.
After you’ve defined your lead magnet’s end goal, done the market research, and mapped out your lead magnet, you’re ready to build it! If you need help breaking down these steps, check out our 7-Step Guide to Creating a Lead Magnet That Works While You Sleep.
A few quick tips as you build your evergreen sales funnel:
- When building your Lead Magnet, make sure it visually represents your business (hello, branding!).
- You want it to be easy to use, keeping in mind that the end recipient is reading it to learn something.
- Streamline the process: Handy tools for creating templates are Canva, Google Suite and TryInteract or Thrive Quizzes (if you’re incorporating a quiz in there).
Step 2: Build Your Sales Assets
Now that you’ve created a great opt-in, a value-packed package of expertise, you need to build out all of the supporting assets that will help you deliver it to your ideal clients and customers.
A great place to start? Your landing page. The landing page for your evergreen sales funnel is the first point of real action for your audience, where they exchange their email address to receive a high-valued piece of content.
Once they opt-in, you’ll want to redirect them to the access or thank you page. This page often does a few things:
- It acknowledges that they completed the opt-in form correctly
- It gives them access to whatever they opted in for so they get instant access (or confirmation that their access is on its way to their inbox)
- It provides an opportunity to connect with them further, whether through a paid offer or encouraging them to join your Facebook group or say hi over on Instagram.
To get people to your opt-in page, you’ll want a few promotional graphics in your back pocket to promote your evergreen offer. Depending on where your ideal clients hang out, you may want Instagram feed graphics, Stories graphics, Twitter post graphics, Email ad banners, etc.
Those promotional graphics will come in handy when you start running paid social advertisements to your entry point (your landing page). Word of caution? Validate your funnel first with organic promotion to work out as many kinks as possible before putting money behind the reach.
Additionally, you may want to consider setting up some retargeting ads to the leads who opt-in to your free content so that they start to see links to your sales page in different places.
This leads me to… your sales page! You’ve warmed up that lead. Now it’s time to have a super high-value, question-answering page that sells your offer. You have a ton of different options here, with many apps, including tools like Deadline Funnel to create urgency and truly offer exclusive opportunities for your dream clients in your evergreen sales funnel.
When people get to your sales page, it’s important that the next step is optimized: the check-out page. Having testimonials, a reminder of your purchase guarantee and more are great ways to optimize that page and reassure your new clients/customers that they can be confident in their choice.
That also means it’s time to get prepared for those next steps too. Have your contract ready, along with all those onboarding steps you need (like intake questionnaires, scheduling links, next step emails and more). If you need help getting these elements set up, the Elevated Experience Work Party would be perfect for you.
I know, I know, it’s a lot. That is one BIG list, but remember that doing it right ONCE is better than doing it over and over and over again to band-aid fix things. Build out these assets, be prepared, and recycle as needed for all your future funnels!
Step 3: Pulling it together with a strategic email sequence
The last thing you want is to build a kick-ass Lead Magnet and have it just sit there! That’s where a strategic email sequence comes into play. Once you’ve hooked them and showcased just how knowledgeable, supportive and helpful you are, it’s time to show them other ways that you can support them (i.e. share your offer with them).
One of the best ways to do this while building a scalable business that generates leads on autopilot? Email.
Email marketing service providers (like ConvertKit, Flodesk, Mailerlite and others) all have the capability now for what they often call “Workflows” or “Automations”. You set a trigger (opting in for your freebie), and it kick starts a series of emails where you can nurture, showcase your expertise even more and ultimately give them an offer they can’t refuse.
Here are my recommendations for 7 emails to include in your sequence to set up your Lead Magnet for success. If you want a more in-depth look at building these out, check out our last post.
- Access email: Give them access to the opt-in
- Education email: Give bonus value related to the lead magnet.
- Teaser email: Give a personal story and some insight into your specific experience with a problem they may be facing.
- First sell: Challenge their readiness. You can literally ask: “On a scale of 1-10, how ready are you to [insert transformation here]?”.
- Second sell & social proof: Share some social proof, whether it’s a client’s past results or some positive feedback you’ve received before going into more detail about how your offer can transform their lives.
- Third sell & FAQ: This email is about addressing any objections they may have about your offer.
- Last call: Wrap it up with a recap!
Email can be a potent tool to build trust, nurture relationships, and sell your products and services when done right. Be intentional, stay grounded in the transformation and remember to show up with value and helpfulness first and foremost.
Letting Your Evergreen Sales Funnel Out In The Wild
When you’ve worked through the three steps above to build an evergreen sales funnel, one that is set up to sell for you on autopilot, it’s time to release it into the wild. Your marketing tactics to get this exceptional value out in the world is just as important as the information you’ve pulled together in your nice little evergreen package.
Think about how to get it out with the most impact, to the most people — to the most of the right people. Whether it’s through Facebook ads, leveraging the epic-ness of Pinterest, leaning on your community or collaborations, there is no shortage of ways to get it out there.
If you need support building, optimizing and streamlining your evergreen sales funnel, apply for one of our Work Parties — an intensive day with Rebel Office where we sit down, strategize, build and launch.