7 steps to running a profitable marketing funnel business

So you’ve decided to run a marketing funnel business, but of course, you want it to be profitable.

What are the cardinal rules for building a profitable marketing funnel business?

It’s nothing to do with new technology or using every new tool. It’s not about being on every social media platform in the world or “doing this new thing that some guys SWEARS made him a million in 3 hours”.

It’s about focus. Focusing on yourself, your customers and your market.

Read on if you want to see how to build a profitable marketing funnel business.

Decide on your goal and stick to it

Why do you want to run a marketing funnel business? Why are you reading this and what would being profitable mean to you?

This might sound both redundant and obvious. But we need to be clear on why you want to be profitable. The goal and desire of “being profitable” and therefor attaining money isn’t enough. You need to have a higher purpose than that.

Is it because you want a good life for you and your family? Do you want to run a profitable marketing funnel business because you want to expand or because you want to support your love of travel?

Maybe you want to run a profitable marketing funnel business, because you want to help coaches and consultants find more work.

What do you find rewarding other than the money? Because that’s the goal that you’re going to need to focus on and commit to.

Money and profit are useful. They’re tools though, designed to help you achieve success in what you’re aiming for.

“Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.”

Ayn Rand

Getting up, working late, being defeated, failing, success and all the other stuff that comes with running a business. A marketing funnel business or any other sort. Is only driven by you, not money.

So choose a goal and stick to it. Be disciplined and keep your goal in your mind. Write it down every morning and every night. Have that goal be the driving source behind your profit.

“But Mike, I don’t know what I want to do. I don’t want to change the world, I just want to have a good life with my family. I need profit to do that. That’s why I want to run a business.”

I hear this quite often, that people don’t have big plans, that they just want to earn a living. I understand that, but you’re not doing yourself any favours.

If you want to run a profitable marketing funnel business, you have to think beyond profits. You have to be clear on who you’re helping and what you’re providing to the world.

What are you going to DO with those profits? How are they going to improve the world? How will they be spent on your family?

If you need help defining your motivation and goals, head over to our motivation fuel post here. It’s a free blog post with loads of worksheets on building your life changing motivational goals.

Know exactly what results and benefits you’re offering

When we want to build a profitable marketing funnel business or agency. The key to success, after having a goal for yourself, is knowing exactly what you’re bringing to the market.

If you don’t know what you’re adding the market, you have no place being there. If you’re not doing something better or different than everyone else, you’re not going to find success.

You have to know exactly the results and benefits you’re offering customers. If you don’t know these, don’t expect anyone to do it for you.

Write down the results that someone can expect if they work with you. Focus on results, not features of actions.

Results are measurable differences that people want. People want more traffic, more blog readers. They want customers, leads, subscribers, followers, income and exposure.

Forget about how you’re going to deliver work and think about what the customer gets when they work with you.

What do they have which they didn’t have before? What do they feel after working with you? What is their average day like? Are you changing their status?

For example, which one of these sounds like a profitable marketing funnel business.

a. We build landing pages for websites and do email marketing.

b. We help businesses increase the number of leads and subscribers they have, before generating sales from that database.

I know which one I’d rather work with.

This exercise is very hard, but if you want to run a profitable marketing funnel business, you have to do it.

All to often I see businesses tell me their unique point is “we’re professional and easy to work with”.

That’s not unique, any business in the world can say that. You need to be able to tell your customers what you do differently and better than anyone else.

Choose a target market

Successful and profitable marketing funnel businesses chose a target market and STICK to it.

The trouble comes when you decide a market and then a totally different customer pops up and asks if you can help them.

Although your job IS to be as helpful as you can, you’re not going to gain traction if you keep swapping who you’re helping.

Think of it like momentum. If you decide on a customer type, you’ll want to focus all your efforts on building content and products and services for that customer.

The more you content you produce and the more results you achieve for that chosen market, the easier it is to get work. Eventually you don’t need to find customers because they’re finding you.

It’s hard work, I know. Building momentum takes time. But it scales quickly and before you know it you’re making a name for yourself. But that’s ONLY if you focus on the two key aspects of a profitable funnel business. The results you offer (do you really need to do graphic design as well as email marketing?) and the customer you’re deciding to help.

If you choose a customer who you can help and you dedicate all your resources to helping them, you’ll develop a habit of being valuable.

But when we start, different types of customers can appear and offer us a quick win of “money” and income. Or we can turn them down to continue looking for work from our chosen customer.

I have no doubt in the world that you can help a restaurant as much as an accountant. But unless you decide who you’re going to help most, you’re not going to build momentum.

I know the short term gain can be appealing, but think of it like this. Those other types of customers are always going to be there. They’re never going anywhere and you can always go back to them.

Invest in automation upfront

If you want to be profitable, and I mean a truly profitable marketing funnel business, then you need to spend as much time talking to customers as possible.

Ideally you should be having at least one call a week with prospects. Conversations with real people about what they’re doing.

All of this can get very overwhelming though. Emails, sales, marketing, social…

My advice is to invest in your automation as soon as possible. Spend a week or two writing all your emails and follow up content. You need to make sure that every new lead and subscriber is sent follow up and useful content.

Otherwise they’ll go cold and you’ll have to work even harder at keeping them engaged. The more you can keep your subscribers engaged, the less marketing you’ll need to do later on.

Spend as much time having conversations with your customers and get as much as you can automated. Not just your emails, it’s always better to have real email conversations, but your banking, payments, posting, social, SEO. Automate as much of it as you can.

Reach out to industry partners

The fastest route to becoming a profitable marketing funnel business, is to use your network. No man is an island. No business succeeds without the hard work and dedication of other businesses.

Who are the top 3 business, who market to your chosen customer? If you’re helping florists, who also helps florists? If you’re helping coaches, delivery businesses, online courses – whoever. Who serves them too?

Before I tell you about network and partnering, understand that this is usually where most people fall down. Referrals and networks, partnering and outreach are hard work.

You’re not going to get anywhere fast. At first looks, it’s going to seem like you’re talking to thin air. Or a brick wall. Whichever of those is less responsive.

You have to choose your partners and repeatedly reach out to them. Don’t keep asking for things FROM them, keep giving them stuff. Keep giving them value and talk about helping their customers.

GoDaddy, AICPA, WP Elevation and more. These are all businesses we’ve partnered with and we’re not stopping.

The more we can help their businesses, the more returns we see. The more value and help that we provide, the more likely that we’ll see success.

Profits and growth are about momentum. About committing to moving a project and not stopping until it has it’s own speed. At some point you can step away and let it run off by itself.

What we’re looking to do, is build momentum in our marketing activities. When we start new activities all the time, the input doesn’t equal the output or rewards. The time and energy we invest into an activity doesn’t yield results that we need.

However when things are moving, because we’ve committed to an action, we see more results with fewer inputs. Which is the path to growth and profit.

Don’t let customers slip away

I can’t stress this enough. If you’re serious about building your marketing funnel business into a profitable and scalable business, you need to keep on top of all customers.

Sent a proposal? Don’t let it get away. Working on a project? You need weekly or fortnightly calls. Keep on top of customers and don’t let leads go cold.

All that work to get them there and what’s stopping you from chasing them? Fear? Worried about hassling them? Keep at it and keep the conversation going.

Always keep 5% of your income for profit

Finally, whatever your income, be ruthless and pay yourself first. No matter what. 5% of every single penny needs to be kept and kept safe.

Open a separate account and make it harder to access. Automate 5% of any income to be deposited into that new account. At an absolute minimum you need to keep 5% of what you earn for your companies profits.

15% for tax, 30% for expenses, 50% for you. But 5% is to be saved and kept, never touched. Use it to grow your wealth. Not focus on your income.

If you want to know how to price your marketing funnels so they’re ALWAYS profitable, use our worksheet below.


Mike Killen

Mike is the world's #1 sales coach for marketing funnel builders. He helps funnel builders sell marketing funnels to their customers. He is the author of From Single To Scale; How single-person, small and micro-businesses can scale their business to profit. You can find him on Twitter @mike_killen.