What is a funnel? A Simple Guide for TPT Sellers

What is a funnel?

You probably hear the word “funnel” thrown around a lot in the online business space. It might even be one of those terms that you feel like you’re supposed to understand, but you actually have no idea what it means. 

So, what is a funnel anyway? To put it simply, a funnel is a path that we use to guide potential customers through that converts them from browsers (or scrollers!) to buyers. I’ll explain more about what a funnel is, how it can benefit your TPT store, and how to create a funnel that feels warm and inviting in today’s episode.

If you’re new to funnels, don’t worry! There are baby steps you can take to get started and it’s okay to keep things simple in the beginning. Start by identifying one product in your store and brainstorm a few ways that you could guide potential customers to it. Before you know it, you’ll go from asking “What is a funnel?” to “What funnel can I build next?”. 

02:30 The components, or stages, of a funnel

04:30 Big benefits of a funnel and how to start out simple

06:40 – Three quick tips for your funnel emails and a common mistake I see sellers make

08:35 – Using your funnel to guide people to the right resource without being pushy

Hey TPT sellers, ready to see growth in your business? You’re in the right place. Welcome to The Savvy Teacher Seller. I’m Kristen Doyle. And I’m here to give you no fluff tools and strategies that will really make an impact on your sales. Let’s get started y’all.

Hey, y’all, welcome to today’s episode of the savvy teacher seller. I’m your host, Kristen Doyle. And today I am answering one of your questions. What on Earth is a funnel? So I want you to imagine with me for just a minute that TPT is a busy fall farmers market.

You can think of a funnel as this winding path lined with signposts and colorful decorations that leads visitors or TPT shoppers, past all the vibrant storefronts and booths, leading them right to that coffee stand. With those warm pumpkin spice lattes ready for them, also known as the best things that you offer.

Today, we’re going to help unravel the mystery a little bit behind this sales funnel to help you understand what a funnel is, how it can help your TPT shop and how you can create a funnel that feels warm and inviting and not salesy at all. So let’s start by defining the funnel. Now in super simple terms, a funnel is just a path that we guide potential customers through that turns them from browsers, or maybe social media scrollers to loyal buyers of our products.

Now, this normally happens through your email list using an email provider like ConvertKit, or Flodesk, but you can apply some similar strategies to your TPT note to followers as well. So if you’re just on TPT, and you haven’t started an email list, this is something that you can try in your note to followers. It’s all about connecting the right people with the right resources.

And as always, we want to serve before we sell. So make sure that you are thinking about creating your funnel in a way that serves your ideal customers. Let’s talk about the components of a funnel. This is a formula you may have heard of before, it starts with awareness, then interest, then they make a decision to take action.

The awareness stage of your funnel is kind of like inviting people to the farmers market, you’re letting them know that it exists. Ways to spread the word include blog posts, free resources, email opt ins, and definitely social media posts or ads. So this is really not so different from the way that our neighborhoods might promote a farmers market, you’re going to have to increase awareness somehow and get people in to your world.

Once they have noticed that you exist, you need to build interest. This is where they begin to get curious, they might sign up for a freebie to get on your email list. Maybe they follow your TPT store. And from there, it’s your job to guide them toward making a decision. So back to our farmers market analogy. They’ve seen the sign they smell the coffee, wafting in the air and it’s time to help them find the coffee shop.

So this is where you can promote some of your resources, direct them to bundles that will help them, offer some sales or discounts. If you’re using this to promote your own store, just to give that gentle nudge for them to make a purchase. You’re guiding buyers to the resources that are going to be the best for them.

And then finally, you want them to take action. They’re in line, they’re ordering the latte. And this is where they purchase your resource or join your course or something else along those lines depending on your business’s priorities. Now let’s talk about benefits of a funnel. So for a buyer getting into a good funnel one that’s just right for them is almost like running into a friend at the farmers market who’s carrying that cup of coffee and says oh yeah, the coffee is right over here and it is delicious.

See, it doesn’t have to be super complicated. Your funnel can start out as basic as a pumpkin spice latte. Forgive me for that pun if you like pumpkin spice lattes, they’re alright. I drink maybe one here and then I’m over it. Your funnel though doesn’t have to be complicated. It is really all about refining and understanding what works best for your specific audience. Now, as you move into deeper, more advanced strategies, you can do some really great things with tagging and segmenting your email list, and then creating automated email sequences based on specific buyers interests.

But there’s nothing at all wrong with starting out super simple, where everyone who signs up for this freebie gets these emails, regardless of other interests, regardless of what grades they teach, if they’ve opted into a specific freebie then you guide them toward a specific related product. Either way, you’ll want to set this up on your email platform with some automated emails.

Of course, we can’t do that on TPT just yet, but you can at least schedule out your note to followers in advance, so you could write them all at one time and schedule them out. As you’re doing these, you want to make sure that those automated emails are guiding customers through those funnel stages, but that you’re keeping plenty of personal touches in there, you’re keeping your emails relatable, and you’re not being overly salesy in them.

One reason that you really want to make sure you’re trying to set these up in a way that is automated as much as possible is that those automated funnels can definitely help increase your passive income, because once you set it up, it just continues to run on its own over time as people opt into your email list. So definitely make sure you’re thinking about how you can automate these funnels instead of using them as your regular weekly emails.

Okay, let’s talk about some quick tips for your funnel emails. First off, you want to be very specific. Rather than throwing your entire store at new subscribers, you want to guide them to a specific resource or a specific product line that’s going to answer the need that they have. And one of the best ways you can do that is to use very specific email opt ins. So rather than a broad, generic email opt in that really could apply to just about anyone, you want to make sure your email opt ins are specific. And they’re directly related to products that you sell.

So that there’s an easy path from the freebie to the paid resources. That will help you create these specific funnels that guide your readers your subscribers right to those resources, and keep from confusing them. One mistake that sometimes sellers make is trying to throw your entire store at subscribers in a sales funnel. And all that does is lead to overwhelm and not being sure which resource to click on. So be more specific guide your readers to a specific product.

The second tip I have for you is to always be genuine, be yourself. Put your personality into your emails, and make sure that you truly are there to serve. Because that will shine through in the way that you’re writing your emails.

And tip number three is to know your audience. You need to understand their needs their challenges, and you need to cater to those. When you’re writing funnel emails, you need to be addressing the specific challenges and problems your audience has that are related to this product that you’re trying to sell. So that you can help them a recognize that they have this problem and be understand that your resource is going to be the solution.

Remember, your funnel is about guiding people to the right resource not about pushing. We want our TPT stores and our businesses in general to feel more like the inviting hometown Farmers Market not one of those pushy mall vendors that chases you down while you’re just trying to make it out the door. So, keep in mind, guide those readers right to the resources that they need rather than being pushy and just trying to get them to buy anything.

Now, if this is all new, don’t worry, baby steps, my friend. If you don’t have any funnels in place yet, then your action step for this week is to start simple. Identify one product in your store that you really truly believe in and brainstorm a couple of ways that you could guide potential customers to it. Maybe you write a blog post that funnels traffic to that TPT product listing.

Maybe you create an opt in freebie or repurpose something you’ve already created as an opt in freebie that would lead subscribers to a short email sequence promoting that particular product. That’s it, that’s your funnel. Jot it down, get the ball rolling, and you’ll be well on your way to your first funnel.

Thank you so much for listening to today’s episode. I hope you have found it helpful. If you did, take a second to run Make a review in your podcast app and to rate the show. It means so much and it really helps other TPT sellers like you to discover the show. Talk to you soon, friend.

I hope you enjoyed today’s episode. If you did, please share it with another teacher seller who would also find it helpful. For more resources on growing your TPT business, head to Kristindoyle.co/TPT. Talk to you soon.

Ready to see growth in your business? You’re in the right place.

I’m here to give you no-fluff tools and strategies that will really make an impact on your sales. We’re talking SEO, improving product listings, leveraging your website, and more. 

About Your Host

Your host, Kristen Doyle, has a decade of experience selling on TpT and has made all the mistakes so that you don’t have to! As a web designer and the go-to SEO expert in the TpT world, she loves helping TpT sellers stand out in the crowd & grow their businesses with passive income strategies.

Tune in to hear Kristen cover all aspects of running a TpT business – from leveraging SEO, to improving product listings, to effective TpT seller strategies for your store and website.