Marketing Funnels for Different Businesses

February 7, 2024

Stock vector of a woman putting photos, videos, and hyperlinks into a funnel


If you're still learning about sales funnels and how they work, this post will showcase some example marketing stacks for differsent kinds of businesses.

For our purposes, you’ll notice that there is no specific software involved in having any of these funnels.

That’s because the specific tech you use doesn’t really matter. That’s also why many successful business owners hire out the tech pieces, because it’s the intentions within the marketing funnel that matter most.

A lot of these examples will make more sense if you’ve read through my zine on sales funnels! It’s free! Grab it here!

Types of businesses

Just to be super clear...

You can outsource any and all of this. If you’re ready to do that, and you already know the right people and exactly who you want to hire, go for it! But if you don’t, and you’re feeling like, “Um, no, but what else is there, and I am tired” then this is for you.

If some of this terminology is new for you, I highly recommend downloading my free zine that walks you through A Super Simple, Possibly Even Oversimplified Approach to Sales Funnels for Small Business Owners.

Sample Social Media Marketing Funnel for Coaching or Consulting Services

TOF: Videos on Instagram, Videos on Tik Tok, Youtube videos of podcast
MOF: Email newsletters and hosting a live “challenge” occasionally
BOF: Coaching package (life coaching, career coaching, self care coach, coach for activists)

Great for: People who enjoy creating social media content and all that it entails: staying on top of trends, scripting (or general brand copywriting in the caption area), recording (face cam + b-roll), editing, scheduling posts and interacting when they publish to increase viewership.

Perks & Potential of this stack: You’re taking advantage of free visibility on social media (where there is a chance of going viral). You also have organic search opportunities via Youtube if you have good keywords and thumbnails. You’re set up for targeted ads if you ever want to go the paid advertising route with lookalike audiences.

Drawbacks: You risk fatigue and burnout from making content that gets swallowed by the algorithms. Keeping up with your email newsletters if you’re not super into writing to a “list” can be tedious and take time to learn. There’s a risk of losing your social media accounts for a number of reasons, so always keep backups (and keep them organized!) Lean into hosting live challenges if you thrive on interaction with people. You’ll need to get good at sales and closing on coaching packages or else all of this won’t lead to sales.

Suggested low-commitment outsourcing suggestions:

  • A virtual assistant to help you with scheduling the social media content and email newsletters
  • A event assistant to help with tech and gathering helpful testimonials and user generated experiences during your challenges
  • Software that auto-posts promotions of your paid offer, if you struggle with remembering to do that regularly

Sample Marketing Funnel for Live Streamers and Membership-based Businesses

TOF: Livestreaming on social media (Youtube, Twitch, Instagram, TikTok), running paid ads to your accounts to grow followership, collaboration/spotlighting with fellow streamers.
MOF: Livestreams from TOF, a Discord community with industry updates, Substack behind-the-scenes blog monthly posts
BOF: Ongoing month-to-month paid membership via Youtube, Patreon, Instagram, etc.

Great for: Extraverts who enjoy the live, interactive nature of streaming and engaging with followers in real-time. This works well for people who love to crowd source ideas, and can stick to a regular, predictable schedule. You won’t run into problems with the content-creation process as much as other social media-centric marketing approaches because your top of funnel is technically your middle of of your funnel as well. Sort of.

Perks and Potential of this stack: This stack offers predictable, repeatable content schedule with plenty of opportunity to experiment within a set boundaries that you’ve put in place for yourself. If you’re excellent at community building and have a leadership skillset, your private community will make it easier to connect asynchronously between streams (and it’s also where you can do extra selling). The personal Substack blog is an opportunity to showcase the more vulnerable side of you when you’re not in entertainer or educator mode.

Drawbacks: There’s always a risk of overdoing it and burning yourself out if you choose a streaming schedule that doesn’t suit your lifestyle. Paid advertising can add up if you’re not well versed in ad copywriting and best practices. Leading a virtual community takes planning and effort, and may not come as easily to you as being in the spotlight during your livestreams. If this happens, it may seem like you need to stream MORE to make a better connection with your audience, but you might just be missing a step in the sales process (maybe even something that can be automated). Finding worthwhile collaboration partners and guest appearance opportunities can be tricky if the other streamer isn’t as business-oriented or mission-driven as you are.

Suggested low-commitment outsourcing suggestions:

  • A virtual assistant to help you with scheduling the community posts and personal blogs
  • One-time marketing consults to get an unbiased, outsiders look at your marketing system
  • Consistent implementation practices specifically to focus on the things you’re not great at doing and may be less fun (this technically is free but can feel like a big investment of energy)
  • Software that auto-posts promotions of your paid offer in your community and during your livestream (if available), if you struggle with remembering to do that regularly

Sample Marketing Funnel for Product Based Businesses

TOF: Local events and markets, guesting on podcasts relevant to the mission behind your business, social media posts and videos
MOF: Monthly meetups and workshops, engaging posts on social media, livestreaming on social media
BOF: Products available for sale on website

Great for: Creatives who enjoy working alone and can stay committed to consistent social media production and best practices, including scripting (or general brand copywriting), recording (face cam + b-roll), editing, scheduling posts, and interacting when they publish to increase viewership. This could work well for mission-centric businesses where speaking about your underlying cause is something that’s easy for you. That passion will come through your content and boost the value of your meetups and workshops by building community at the same time.

Perks: This stack includes plenty of creative time and lots of hats to wear. There’s a lot of potential in hosting workshops that focus on a fun, related activity that is relevant to your audience and product. Social media is a critical part of modern culture and you can experiment with a balance of fresh ideas while also following best practices and trends for your industry. Your meetups and workshops will be key in getting to know the people behind the usernames that engage with you. Once you’ve built up viewership on your livestreams, you can get to know what other products may complement your current line-up.

Drawbacks: There is a huge risk of losing your primary communication platform if your social media accounts are hacked or closed down. Having your accounts shut down could cripple your funnel if you don’t have other ways of connecting with your audience, especially since this stack relies on them for both TOF and MOF. Make sure you stay centered on your mission and message in your workshops instead of making about the sell (but also, don’t forget to sell! Fun, huh?). If your product isn’t obvious about it, you’ll need to explicitly describe your mission using words that resonate with your most ideal buyers and showcase how it fits into the lifestyle they want and are willing to invest in. You’ll need to maintain a consistent production schedule for your social media content and stay up-to-date with trends and best practices or you may accidentally slip into desperate starving artist mode and start blaming the algorithm for not doing your marketing for you.

Suggested low-commitment outsourcing suggestions:

  • A virtual assistant to help you with scheduling your social media posts. You focus on the creative and let them do the tedious clicking.
  • Templates and content prompt lists that you customize for your own business so you have plenty of ideas for showcasing your products in unique ways that will stand out on the feed
  • Software that auto-posts promotions of your paid offer, if you struggle with remembering to do that regularly
  • A low-cost newsletter service or website where you can also post your content but not have to worry about it disappearing because Zuckerberg had a meltdown last week. (It had to be said)

Does your funnel stack look like any of these? Did I miss a perk or drawback that you think should be listed?

Let me know in the comments, below!

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