The Best Sales Funnel For Online Teachers (with 3 case studies)

Ready to learn how the top online instructors make the big bucks?

Well, well… let me tell you my dear Grumosapien.

As I explained last week, doing marketing to sell courses is the most tedious and time-consuming part of teaching online.

Whether you hate it or love it, if you want to make a meaningful income selling online courses, you should expect to invest upwards of 70% of your time finding ways to attract more students to your courses.

So… you better love it!

However, even if you love marketing, you want to make sure you get the most bang for your buck.

In other words, you don’t want to waste time doing things that won’t move the needle. And because there are a zillion and a half ways to do marketing, spinning your wheels happens more often that not.

Well, don’t fret my dear Grumosapiens, I’ve spun my wheels for over a year now so you don’t have to.

So without further adieu, here is the best marketing strategy for online teachers:

1. YouTube → 2. Freebie → 3. Email List → 4. Paid Course

That’s it! now go home and do this until you get really good at it (which will take about 1,000 hours at least – not kidding).

The Youtube Sales Funnel

I can hear the objections already:

But Miguel, why I can’t I cut to the chase and go from 1.YouTube to 4. Paid Course?

Answer: if you skip steps, you’ll fail most of the time.

What do you think would happen If you approached a girl at a bar and the first thing after saying “Hi” was: “Can I stick my magic wand into your bun of love”?

Except for very rare exceptions, I can guarantee something “not good” would happen.

In marketing speak, if you try that approach, your sales funnel is broken.

For a sales funnel to be effective, it should follow the A.I.D.A model.

It looks like this:

1. Awareness → 2. Interest → 3. Desire → 4. Action

For an online teacher, it looks like this:

1. Awareness = YouTube → 2. Interest = Freebie → 3. Desire = Email List → 4. Action = Paid Course

For a single guy/girl, it would look like this:

1. Awareness = Nice appearance → 2. Interest = Free drink → 3. Desire = Fabulous conversation → 4. Action = Niaca Niaca

Marketing is all about building trust via a series of steps (sales funnel).

The goal is to increase conversions. No one can say going from 1. to 4. won’t generate sales, because if 1. and 2. are ridiculously good, you will get some sales for sure. Only fewer sales than if you implemented a stepped approach.

So this is a broken funnel:

1. Awareness  → 4. Action = < 1% conversion

And this is a proper funnel:

1. Awareness → 2. Interest → 3. Desire → 4. Action = >10% conversion

I hope you now understand why you need to build a proper sales funnel.

Let’s unpack those 4 steps so you can have a clear understanding of what it takes to make them work.

The Best Sales Funnel For Online Teachers (unpacked)

1. Youtube (Awareness)

YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google and blah, blah, blah. It’s true but what really rocks about YouTube is that (at least for now) – 1. It’s easier to rank higher than by blogging and 2. You don’t have to pay extra to reach all your subscribers (unlike Facebook)

As with any content marketing approach, with Youtube, you need to create a lot of great content for it to become a reliable lead generation source.

How much content? At least a video weekly, and if possible, daily.

2. Freebie (Interest)

For online teachers, the most typical freebie is a free short online course. The freebie accomplishes two things. 1. It helps you collect email addresses which are crucial for step 3, and 2. It serves as the perfect tool to upsell your students to 4. your paid course.

3. Email List (Desire)

Most free students won’t be ready to buy your paid course right away. You need to build trust and that takes time. How do you build trust over time? Yes. Via a series of emails that teach, engage, provide value, and ultimately warm your subscribers to join your paid course.

4. Paid Course (Action)

This is the part that pays the bills and feeds your children. Ideally, you’ve created a world-class online course that gets your students the results you promised in step 3. If you overdeliver, next time you create a new product it will be 10x easier to make the sale. The best customer is a repeat customer!

3 Case Studies of Online Teachers Using The YouTube Funnel

Now let me show you 3 real-world examples of top online teachers (making over 6-figures a year) using this very sales funnel.

1. John Sonmez

YouTube Channel Simple Programmer 97,000 subs
Freebie/Optin 5 Learning Mistakes Software Developers Make Free
Paid Course How to Market Yourself as a Software Developer $299

I met John briefly last year at San Diego’s Traffic and Conversion Summit. John is hard to miss in a crowd. 6′-3″, perfectly tanned and insanely ripped, John doesn’t match the typical profile of a software developer… but he is one.

For the last 2 years, he committed to posting 2 to 3 videos on YouTube every single day teaching nerdy programmers how to be fit, confident, and find a high paying developer job.

How does he do it? Persistence. He admits to not being the sharpest but knows that no one can beat his work ethic. Both at the gym and online as a marketer.

John’s motto which he proudly wears on his shirt says it all: “Trust The Process”.

When he started uploading videos on Youtube his plan was straightforward. To publish 1 a video daily for 2 years straight and trust that that process would yield positive results. If not, pivot and do something else.

After 2 years, he hasn’t stopped.

2. Jerry Banfield

YouTube Channel Jerry Banfield 172,000 subs
Freebie/Optin 250+ Free Courses Free
Paid Course 100+ Paid Courses $27/month

Jerry is another force to be reckoned with. Not everyone’s cup of tea (he got kicked out of Udemy after making over $650K in just 2 years) but he keeps raking in the big bucks thanks to his insane work ethic.

How hard? He posts videos on YouTube at least once or twice a day. But that’s just the beginning. He churns a new course almost every week and writes every day on his blog. Recently, he started blogging on a new cryptocurrency-powered blogging platform called Steemit where he is already making well over $500 a day!

I really can’t keep up with the guy, he produces content 5 times faster than I can consume it.

Jerry has published over 100 online courses, 17 e-books, 9 audio books, has a podcast, a mastermind, a Facebook page with over 2 million likes, does paid consultations for $450 an hour, has become an expert on Bitcoin, collects over $3K a month on Patreon, and even composes his own eclectic electronic music on SoundCloud.

To top it all, Jerry is married, has a 1-year-old infant, he goes to Alcoholics Anonymous for 2 hours every day.

So what’s your excuse now, uh?

3. Felicia Ricci

YouTube Channel Felicia Ricci 450,000 subs
Freebie/Optin Free Belting Crash Course Free
Paid Course Belt Your Face Off $97

5 years ago Felicia started uploading teaching lessons on YouTube. Fast forward to today, 120+ videos uploaded, 450+k subscribers, over 90,000 students in almost every country (including Antarctica), several appearances on TV, a book, and even a TED Talk.

How did she do it? Can you guess?

Success on YouTube boils down to QVCA = Quality + Value + Consistency + Authenticity (shout out to Alex Ikonn for the acronym)

Create great videos that provide value, portraying your unfiltered authentic personality, on a consistent basis and you’ll win, not right away, not in a month, typically in about 2 years.

Are you willing to put 2 years of QVCA on Youtube to see the same results as John, Jerry, and Felicia?

Think about it and let me know.

Peace, love, and QVCA cookies.


P.S: Grumo’s favorite inspirational video of the week award goes to this TED Talk by Tim Ferris.

P.2: Did you miss last week’s email? No problem you can read it HERE.

P.3: This message took about 6.5 hours to manufacture in Vancouver, Canada.

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