Back when we first got started with this thing we really had no idea what we were doing. We looked at a few online businesses like Pat Flynn’s way back when and weren’t really sure how to apply that to a food blog.
In fact our initial business model wasn’t even online.
Instead we were trying to build a personal chef business and just using the blog to basically build trust and expert status so Lacey could get more client for her services.
This didn’t work well for us.
So we tried eBooks. Specifically eCookbooks. These did decent and started generating income but we really had no idea how to effectively build a business and though we had to create tons more traffic in order to sell enough eBooks to make a living off of.
This feeling is just frustrating. All that work and now we were like is this even worth it.
The amount of energy it takes to build our audience to this level and create a big time consuming project. bleh.
We even outsourced the design to my brother to make it look better and wound up paying him almost everything we made.
We felt like it wasn’t even possible. But, this just isn’t true.
Eventually we picked ourselves back up off the floor. Had another kid just to make sure it was challenging enough – this isn’t a requirement 😉 .
We got back to what we were good at creating great content and growing our audience.
Eventually a course came out from Jason Van Orden at Internet Business Mastery on how to create an automated income machine. This was super helpful.
While we were familiar with a lot about internet business, from email marketing to SEO we really didn’t know much about actual business principles.
What is a Sales Funnel?
So, Jason explained what a sales funnel was too us. While we kind of new this intuitively we had no idea really how to create this for our business and what that even might look like.
We didn’t know the pieces we were missing and were really stuck in a rut on how to create the offers he talked about.
- Lead Magnet (optin hook)
- No-Brainer Offer (tripwire, intro offer)
- Flagship Offer (core offer)
- High End Offer (usually coaching or premium service)
Boom! There were all the pieces we would ever need really to create a business. We already did #1 real well but mostly just recipes and we were one of the first to do #2 for food bloggers but our #3 was mediocre and we did none of the rest.
Especially when you consider that to be effective and scale you need to have the backend making most of your income and the front pays for advertising.
Ok so what to do now…
Survey Your Audience
So, now you know what you need to do build this stuff out right? Well if you’re like us we were just staring at this thinking huh?
Hmmm Cookbook and then…Bigger Cookbook? wait no that’s a bad idea.
Enter Jason again. Just survey your audience and see what they want.
So that’s what we did.
The results came back and everyone wanted an online cooking course. So we put our heads down for 2 months and filmed it all and got it up and crickets.
Man that sucks. What did we do wrong?
Well basically our survey wasn’t strong kind of leading and then we didn’t really deliver what they wanted and weren’t very passionate about the product and that was probably noticeable.
So back to the drawing board and survey results.
With a better interpretation of the survey we started smaller this time.
So now that we knew what our audience wanted we started with content first. Much easier to test out than a whole Core Offer. People wanted healthy cooking so we offered content, recipes, tips etc.. in an around this topic.
One of the issues we had was coming up with ideas for really epic content that weren’t just a recipe.
Some ideas we came up with:
- How to Posts (how to eat clean, how to eat healthy on a budget etc…)
- Lists Posts ( 10 ideas for eating healthy on the go, 10 healthy slow cooker recipes etc…)
- Case Study/Testimonial (Lacey’s struggle with weight)
- Walkthroughs/Step-by-Step (posts that walk through a weekly meal plan or organizing a pantry)
We started to see better feedback so we knew this was working. We doubled down on this and created an “epic” post called Eating Clean For Beginners and this went over real well. So, we also created a video for the YouTube Channel.
Both of these were well received and the clean eating content was doing great on Facebook also so we went ahead and created a Lead Magnet.
One of the tricks when putting these together is to make sure that each piece of the funnel is inline with each other. The conversion rates do better when the content is in sync with the Lead Magnet and the Lead Magnet matches up with the Intro Offer right on down to the High End Option.
Some great examples you can use:
- Guide (this is what we use for clean eating)
- eBook (we sometimes use eCookbooks)
- Resource Lists (we use kitchen tools)
- Webinars (we use these too)
Anyways. You get the idea.
Come up with something that takes the article you wrote further and moves the person closer towards purchasing by really delivering a ton of great value for free.
Once you have a good Lead Magnet the next step is to create a No-Brainer Offer (sometimes called tripwire or intro offer). Usually we already have an idea for what this will be when we are mapping out the funnel the read magnet will have confirmed this for us.
For the clean eating guide we knew we would make a 7 day clean eating course with videos.
We offer this course at a few different prices. The goal here is to get people used to buying from you and providing a ton of value. We drop the price on this product when people opt in usually to $9 or $10 bucks but we have tested a bunch of options.
Things to remember:
- Offer needs to be affordable in the context of your niche. In the Food and Health space we have found $10 bucks or less to be the best bet.
- Relevant to your lead magnet and also the core offer. The more relevant the higher the conversion (Trust us we learned the hard way).
- Make sure it is a ton of value. The rule of thumb is ten times the value.
- Offer this immediately to people who opt in.
- Your goal here isn’t to make money it’s just to get people comfortable with you and the solutions you provide to their problems.
Some No-Brainer Offer ideas:
- Video course (or part of one)
- Coaching call
- Piece of a service (one month, week or even limited version)
- Pack of something (we have tried meal plan packs)
- eBook (we have gone with a food photography eBook and an eCookbook)
Really it can be anything as long as it’s great value solves the problem your audience has and moves them forward in your funnel.
So now you have a No-Brainer that everyone is buying. Depending on your niche authority status etc you could be seeing 1-10% conversion rates of people who opt in buying this.
Now the goal is to move them further into our core offer that fully solves the problem or solves more of the issue.
For us this is our Take Back Your Health Academy. It comes with that video course we mentioned before but a bunch more.
We have offered this as a one time purchase and a monthly membership.
Ideally you will have both recurring and flagship offers. But, to make this funnel a little easier to setup pick one and go with it. Membership is a little harder to get people to signup but the revenue is recurring and you don’t have to start over every month.
Some good Core Offer ideas:
- Membership site (Take Back Your Health Academy)
- Software product or service
- Video course
- Physical product(s)
- Service (we have a meal planning service)
A lot of options here. After this step there is one more piece to the puzzle.
High End Offer
Adding a high end offer adds a lot to the bottom line as well as it usually gives you an opportunity to work closely with your best customers. This can be worth a ton since you will get valuable intel and help people.
We offer One-on-One coaching but there are a bunch of ideas:
- One-On-One Coaching
- Group Coaching
- Done for you services
- Premium software
- Custom Training
Anything that takes the flagship offer to another level.
Kick It Up A Notch
Ok. So now you’re ready to kick it up a notch here are a few tips we used to grow our revenue.
First, we have something called the upsell. The concept is once you have someone purchase something they are ready to buy more from you. So when someone buys are No-Brainer Offer we also add in right after the ability to sign up for our flagship offer right away at a discount.
We use click funnels to do this but a lot of shopping cart software has this ability.
So, what were the results: on our no-brainer offer of $10 bucks we saw 28% conversion rate of the upsell. Instead of making 100 dollars for every ten sold we made 394.
That’s a increase of 294% just insane added revenue right there.
Plus you start helping the person right away and solving their problem.
Second, we added something called the bump.
This is an upsell as well but it is right in the shopping cart not after. You can check the box and get that added item. This is usually a little cheaper than the other upsell.
We added a Meal Plan Pack to our Intro offer and saw 20% conversion on this. We offered this at 29 bucks.
58% increase in revenue.
Again not much extra work we solve a common problem for our customers needing healthy meal plans.
We have found that webinars work really well for Lacey to guide people through a food/health topic like snacking and then sell her solution the Academy. This also tends to work well for high end offers.
We do these 1-2 times a month typically usually do them live with a replay for 24 hours and offer a discount.
We have tested a variety of topics usually that are inline with a lead magnet and the content that does well.
Usually we see 25-35% show up rate and a conversion rate of about 12% of the total registrants across the sequence. I get a little frustrated with some of the advice and numbers out there and want to make sure you compare your numbers to the right places.
If your B2C don’t compare to B2B the numbers don’t line up.
Make sure to look at people in your niche if you can find those numbers. Also keep in mind you never know that behind the scenes of a business. How many returns they have, failed payments etc…
So we usually use current info as a guide to know where we can expect improvements. But focus on improving our own numbers.
Remember this is a competition with yourself not others.Remember this is a competition with yourself not others. Click To Tweet
Most of our traffic comes organically either google search, pinterest or facebook these are the biggest drivers for us.
However, we have started using facebook ads to drive more readers, leads, sales etc…
The basic setup is something I learned from an ad strategist:
- Send to the content using a clicks campaign. Make sure to target a relevant audience. Exclude people on your list already.
- Retarget people who don’t opt in and aren’t on your list with your lead magnet.
- Target people that are lookalikes of customers and/or people that have shown interest in your content/products/services.
Pretty simple steps.
We have seen good results so far and are almost breaking even on just the initial offer.
So, anyone that buys one of our core offer later on will be making us money.
Ok. So Now What?
So you have all this info but you’re not sure what to do next. I suggest you just start from the beginning again.
Bookmark this page.
Work your way from top to bottom building out each piece.
If you need a funnel software we build out everything in Click Funnels.
FYI, we are an affiliate of some of the above links. However, all these suggestions are based on our experience and extensive research.