**What the Hell is a Funnel, Anyway?**
A client recently asked me this question, and I could help but giggle out loud as a result!! So, I thought, gosh if she is wondering, no doubt there are a few others wondering too! I shared the following with her and it’s my hope this helps you, too!
For an online business owner, a sales funnel is probably THE most important marketing tool you may have in your sales toolkit. And yet far too many small business owners – both new and old – honestly have no clear understanding of what a funnel is or how it can work to help grow your small business.
As you may imagine, failing to fully understand this critical part of your business means fewer sales, lower profits, and ultimately, an unstable business. So, let’s begin to see how this can help you…
**A Simple Sales Funnel**
At its most basic, a sales funnel consists of **free content**, which typically requires nothing of your readers. Many sales funnels begin with blog posts, YouTube videos, Facebook content, and other information readers can access at no cost.
This is the “top” of your funnel.
Next, you’ll have **an attractive offer**, which requires a very small “payment” of sorts – typically an email address. (Yes, indeed this is a payment.)
You’ve seen this type of offer on websites all over the internet, and probably even signed up for some. This is the free ebook or guide, video series, checklist, workbook, or other valuable content that is available in exchange for “opting in” to an email list.
Once on your mailing list, you’ll then present your readers with a series of low-cost offers. Perhaps you have a low-priced ebook or a trial membership.
Customers who purchase your low-priced product move further down the funnel, and are presented with more, higher priced products. As they continue to buy, they move closer and closer to your top-end offers, which make up the bottom of your funnel.
**How Your Funnel Works**
If you imagine your funnel as looking like, well, a funnel, it’s easy to see that your free content—at the top—is consumed by the largest number of readers. Below that, your extreme low-cost item (available only for the cost of an email address) attracts a smaller subset of the true freebie seekers.
Next, your low-priced products bring in yet a smaller group.
Finally, as you near the tip of the funnel, only the loyalest of fans and customers will purchase your highest priced offers.
Your job, as the small business owner, is to ensure that your funnel leads buyers naturally from the top, free offers all the way to the bottom. The more buyers you can keep in your funnel, the more money you will make.
Most new, and even established, small business owners can easily envision the top of the funnel, but if you truly want your business to grow, you must master the entire process, and that starts with understanding what a funnel really is and how it works.
**[Check out Part 2: Why Your Funnels Leak—And What to Do About It](https://terzakisandassociates.com/blog/your-sales-funnel-part-2)**