I really want to inspire you to take a new and maybe slightly different look at how marketing funnels can help your business. I want to talk to you about how a marketing funnel can really be a lot like The Next Food Network Star.  This is one of my favorite shows!

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I catch this show  every season because it is such a fabulous journey!  The contestants go from a total mess  at the beginning, to an absolute star with their own TV show at the end.

I know what you are thinking

If you're thinking, “Michelle, marketing funnels are techie, they're hard, they're overwhelming,” I want to inspire you. Try and take a look at marketing funnels with fresh eyes because they don't have to be techie and hard. They don't have to be formulated by the book. They can totally be real and authentic to who you are. The funnels you create for your business  can be really about who you are and how you show up best, and it can absolutely transform your business.

I always say that marketing funnels are the hustle-free way to a sold out business, but they do take a little bit of work up front. That's what this is all about:  helping you figure out what work you need to do upfront and is it okay when things are messy? Yeah, it is okay. It's okay to maybe not get it right the first time and to just keep pushing through.

Let's talk about how a marketing funnel is like the next Food Network Star. If you've never watched the show, basically it's a group of people who might be professionally trained chefs or cooks, or they might even be somebody who just loves to cook at home. We've had somebody who was a lunch lady, although he was a man and he was hilarious. =)

I get super excited every season because they find the most interesting people who have an absolute love and passion for food, and it shows up in lots of different ways.

It’s so much like our businesses.

Looking for Someone Like You

Personally, I do marketing strategy, marketing funnels, and Facebook ads. Whatever your specialty is I'm sure there's tons of people who do what you do. There are tons of people who do what I do, but there's only one of me and there's only one of you. It’s really important to figure out how to show up as the best version of you, and by doing so, it doesn’t attract  the people who you're not meant to work with, and attracts the people that you are meant to work with. This is so, so key to your marketing funnel, but it's also key to the Next Food Network Star.

Imagine you've gone through months and months of auditions and submitting videos and showing up for auditions for the Next Food Network Star. There's this whole process that people have to go through. They show up on the first day of the show and the first thing they have to do is get up on stage and introduce themselves. They have to talk about what their food point of view is. There's about a bazillion different points of view on food. What the judges are looking for is who are you? Do you have an interesting story? Why should I pay attention to you?

The same thing happens when your prospects are looking for a solution to what you offer online. Just as an example, I love Food Network Star but I am blessed with two children who don't like eating a variety of foods. My husband and I are constantly looking for ways to expand their food repertoire. I was looking for somebody online who could help me figure out how to get my super picky eaters to eat food. We have one kid that'll eat anything and two that will eat almost nothing.

I kept running across these great blogs and these great experts on how to cook healthy meals. But, I couldn't find somebody who started off as a mess like I was with kids who literally would just say, “I'm not eating that,” to really delicious food. It would have really helped me to know that somebody had been in my same spot and had gotten their kids over to this other spot where they were eating a lot more variety, a lot healthier, and were willing to try things. Unfortunately, there just wasn't anybody like that.

Finding your Place

There was this great divide right here. It was a good reminder for me, both from the Next Food Network Star, but also in my search for an expert. We don't start off as experts knowing everything. We usually start off with the same problem that the people we want to help are having, and we go through this journey. The problem is by the time you get to this expert place we've kind of forgotten this part, or at least we've kind of buried it.

I know, I did that for a really long time. I didn't want to really talk about this ugly, place where I was still trying to figure everything out with marketing funnels, and with my business message, and all that kind of stuff.

This is where the magic is.

If you aren't a fan of Next Food Network Star, or if you have a different reality show that you are into, think about this, when they first show up, what's the first introduction? How do you start to fall in love with the person that you really want to win? As those people got up on stage and started introducing themselves, there were some that I was like, “They're pretty interesting. I really want to watch them.” It really didn't have much to do with their food point of view. It really had more to do with how they showed up and how it spoke to me.

There's others that made me think, “Oh, she practiced or he practiced for weeks in front of the bathroom mirror to get it just right.” They're too buttoned up. I don't know if I want to see that. There's others that just showed up as a big old hot mess, and they're kind of the wild cards in there. They're kind of fun to watch.

The same thing happens to people online. As people who are looking for help from somebody like you, as they are out there searching around, they're coming across checklists and quizzes and free video series and all these kinds of things. What they want to see is what was the mess that you started out with, and why should I pay attention to you?  And what's your hook and introductory that should make me sit up and go, “Maybe I should pay attention to him or her.” Just think about it as you're up on stage. You have this opportunity to kick things off. It doesn't have to be perfect. It just has to happen, and then you have to be willing to go through the transformation.

Did You Start Out Like Me?

The next part of Food Network Star is each week they get thrown into these cooking challenges and these camera challenges and you get to see the transformation that people go through and how they're able to talk about who they are. Have you ever had somebody say, “Hey, tell me about what you do,” and you're like, “Oh, um, uh.” It's hard to come up with the right words. We've all had that happen.

I remember one time I was at a networking event and I had practiced what I wanted to say. In the course of conversation somebody turned to me and said, “Hey Michelle, what do you do?” My clever response was, “Uh, uh, uh.” It was like nothing could come out. I just stammered, then finally got out “Well, um, I do marketing.” We've all had those moments.

What makes people fall in love with us is our willingness to go from that moment and not let it make us hide, but to keep that transformation going. On Food Network Star there are some people who never get really beyond that moment or beyond the nuts and bolts. They never let us into who they are, and those people don't win.

We won't win in online business either if we don't let people into who we are and to what that transformation looks like. What people love to see is did it work for you, did it work for your clients? What's that process? Did you start out feeling like me?

When I first started my online business, and even a few years in, I was full of questions like, “How do I talk about myself? Who am I? How am I different? Why would anybody want to work with me?” Those are all part of the whole process that I had to go through before I could create a marketing funnel that really worked for me.

It doesn't have to be hard, and it doesn't have to be long. I happened to make it hard and take a while for myself, but I can show you some shortcuts to get there a lot faster. That's part of why I am here. If you want a more grounded way to understand what this process looks like, watch Food Network Star. You'll see the mess that they start off as and how they get better week after week after week. They'll have setbacks and they'll say , “I can't believe I did that again,” but you will be able to watch as they overcome it.

You just fall in love with these people that have a dream so big that they're willing to be so uncomfortable. That's what we need to provide for our audiences, too, that we have a dream so big for the impact and the message that we want to get out there to the world that we're willing to be uncomfortable and to go through these learning moments in the public eye and not hide that everything's not buttoned up and everything's not perfect all the time.

Making a Start with Marketing Funnels

That's how I want to inspire you to rethink about marketing funnels because a lot of times when I talk about marketing funnels with people they're like, “Oh yeah. It's an opt in page with some sort of lead magnet like a checklist or a download or a quiz or ebook or whatever.” I take them through some videos or I take them through a series of emails, and then at the end I have some sales thing. That's sort of the bones or the framework of one kind of funnel.  

But there are tons of different kinds of funnels you could do, and what you put in them can be all up to you. It can be all in service of the transformation journey that you take people on. It can be all in service of your ultimate offer. The beautiful thing, and how the Next Food Network Star is so like a marketing funnel is that we fall in love with these people all along, and then when the winner is finally announced we're super invested in who that winner is.

We know where they started off. They obviously didn't just show up as a food authority who was able to cook in front of a camera. We saw them start off worried about what they were going to say, stressed out about how they were going to cook or present on camera. When they win we're cheering for them because we're totally on their team now. Then, later when they launch their new show we tune in and watch. It's a perfect example of a marketing funnel. We go from the beginning baby steps all the way through the journey, and then follow them to the next offer.

For you, I want you to think how can I start off this journey connecting with people and help them understand that I know what this messy feeling feels like. How can I take them through this journey? Am I doing a series of small webinars or Facebook Lives or YouTube videos? Am I doing emails? What feels really good for how I show up best to really help them understand what this journey looks like? Am I engaging with them in Facebook groups in a real and authentic way? What is the way that I want to do that? What's my next step that I'm asking them to do?

For Food Network Star, that next step is to tune in for the new show that's coming out in a couple weeks. But for you it might be to show up for my webinar where I'm going to talk to you about a program, a product, or a service that I have. To someone else it might be to book a one-on-one call with me to see if we're a good fit.  And for yet another someone else it might be to buy this low cost product and see how this works for you. It could be any number of things, and that's what I want to inspire you with, let's figure out what those bones are for your journey and then how you start to layer on your own unique recipe.

Find Your Funnel

I invite you to join me each week when we're going to dive deeper into what marketing funnels can do for your business, how they can really help you stand out, how they can really get people ready to buy from you.

To do that I want to invite you to find out what the right kind of marketing funnel is for you. I put together this fast and free quiz. You'll answer a few questions and you'll find out what the right marketing funnel is for you. Again, those are just the bones. Once you have the bones we need to layer your personality, and your secret recipe on top of how this marketing funnel is really going to support what a sold out business means to you.

Marketing funnels really can be your hustle-free way to a sold out business. When marketing funnels are done correctly they connect you with the best people, and takes those people on a transformational journey to how you can really be a big part of their life, their business.

You can tune in with me each week (9:00 AM Pacific, 12:00 PM Eastern) for the Marketing Funnel Show. I look forward to getting to know you. You can also join me in Funnel Chicks, our free Facebook group.  I'd love to have you show up and ask your questions and get good answers.  Let's go on this funnel journey together!