EP74: Funnels 101

Since we really don’t know each other that much.

I thought it might be good for me to tell you the story about the creation of “FUNNELS”.

It started a Long, Long, time ago.


This is the short history of funnels.

We’re going to be going back to another era.

It was the dawning of the 20th century.

In 1898 Elias St. Elmo Lewis, a man who was but only 26 years old, created the purchase funnel, also know as the AIDA funnel, which has now been duplicated all around the world.

It was created to help understand the mechanisms of personal sales in the life insurance industry.

The Funnel Lewis created was made up of 4 parts.

>>Awareness/Attention [What is it?]

>>Interest [I like it]

>>Desire [I want it]

>>Action [I’m getting it]

So you may be wondering, how can a funnel created such a long time ago still be useful today?

Well, the truth is, it isn't.

When this was first put into operation well over 120 years ago, the world was in a different place, economically, and the people back then behaved differently.

They had different worldviews.

The revised short definition of worldview: A worldview is the set of beliefs about fundamental aspects of Reality that ground and influence all one's perceiving, thinking, knowing, and doing.

And for some reason, people still think that the same 1898 version funnel can be useful today.

But it cannot.

It was designed to work at a particular time, with a particular people.

You see, that funnel had a wide top and it relied on the fact that attention was abundant in 1898.

At that time, people were starving for information.

Remember, the only means of communication was the telegram.

It was the original tweet. [sort of]

But today that isn't the case.

This is because we now live in a completely different world. If anyone from 1898 were to somehow be transported to 2022, I am fairly confident, there would be some serious culture shock.

124 year's definitely has seen a lot of changes.

In 1898, there never was a World War, let alone two of them.

Fast food…

You have to be FAST to catch the chicken if you're gonna eat it tonight. Kinda like in ROCKY II.

The underwear they had back then looked like pajamas. You did get to choose to have a flap in the back or not.

You probably would still have an outhouse unless you were super wealthy.

It wouldn't be until the 1930s before indoor running water and plumbing would be mainstream.

1898 Farr Telephone - Wall Mount

In two years (1900) there would be only 600,000 phones total. I did not say cell phones. These babies were closer to the ones you would have seen on The Andy Griffith Show – in Mayberry.

It'll take another 96 years to get to a point where people are getting cell phones.

It would be another 20 years before Model “T” cars would be available.

1898 Women's Dresses

Today though.

It appears that just about everybody owns a media channel and information has become overly abundant.

To accommodate this…

Today, in our modern, attention overload world we live in - instead of a wide top, you'll find that most funnels actually have a narrow top. This represents how easy (or not) it is to get attention.

We live in the 8-second attention span. Slightly less than a goldfish – as I have been told.

The only way we'll get people's attention today is by creating value.

By attracting them to us.

This is much harder today than it was 10, 20, 50, or 100 or more years ago.

So when we do get someone's attention, we need to do something with it.

We need to celebrate the attention.

Attention is the most precious thing that every business needs today to be successful.

Therefore, once we've earned someone's attention, we need to nurture it.

This can be done in a few ways.

The most preferred is through email after they opt into your list.

The next best way is by talking to the prospects through the pages of your funnel.

The next way would be via advertising.

What is the point of nurturing your prospects?

What is it good for?

This will do several positive things.

It will…

>>Let them know we care.

>>Let them get to know us personally.

>>Allow us to find out what their worldview is.

>>Allow us to guide them along a path they need help with.

As they come into your funnel you don't just want to get rid of them or screen them out. [not yet]

Even if they don't buy initially.

We already know that YES, some people will purchase products early. And some of those people will purchase immediately without any nudging along the way.

But that is not the majority.

It is a minority of potential customers.

It has been shown that the majority [approximately 85%] of your future customers, will purchase after 90 days. And some of them may take as long as a year or more, before ever deciding to purchase. This means that only 15% of your total customers purchase before the 90 day point.

Significantly less in the first, two, or three weeks of a promotion.

And along the way, if you can keep their attention. If you can have a conversation with them, then you will have an opportunity to learn from them too.

The more you know how your tribe and your potential customers think and the struggles they endure, the more you can do now and in the future to help them.

Therefore, if you want to be successful in business today, you just can't be using models from 1898. You just need to get with the times and understand that the dynamic of attention has changed.

As you should know, we're going through a miniseries on FUNNELS.

There are quite a few options.


I won't be going through all the options.

I will be helping you build one that can help you with your online business right now.

We have all heard the recommendations to get a list, right?

Once you understand the basics and the simplicity of funnels, you will be able to manufacture them as the need arises.

This way you won't need a template to go by. You will be your very own “funnel magician”.

Let's start with the basics.

We’re gonna keep it simple.

We know that a funnel cannot be a “door”, right? You know, where you walk through it and yet no change takes place.

Nothing – no conversion.

No sign-up.

No awareness upgrades.

No shift in worldview.

An example of a door would be an example of a link from a Facebook ad to a landing page. The link just transported a person from one place to another.

Some can argue that a Facebook ad that goes to a sales page is a funnel.

And this could be true for simple products that do not require a lot of money and explanation to close.

In that case, the Facebook ad content; its headline, subheadline, and ad copy would need to do ALL the grunt work to encourage the prospect to accept the CTA (call-to-action). You know Click on the link to “Learn More”.

Of course, the landing page or sales page would need to close the sale.

In that case, then YES it would be a funnel.

Sure it can be done.

It is being done, every day.

By people with probably more ad spend than you currently have.

My purpose is to help you succeed in your business using funnels that work well, are less expensive, and also help you segment your list.

With enough ad spend you can use a two-step funnel.

But for now, let's get you to a point where you can start seeing success.

When you are just starting you need to build a list as soon as possible, so you can communicate your ideas and nurture your audience.

That is the right audience.

With a list, you are not forced to use advertising as the only means of driving interest. [Not to say in the right hands, advertising is the most efficient way to do business. It’s worked for over 100 years.]

I don't mean there are no organic means of reaching people. There are.

But growing a social media following is not on your list. It is a borrowed list at best. At any moment you can be booted off the platform, and media posts never reach 100 percent of your audience. And, to reach more you have to pay for advertising.

And for your blog, you can hope people find you through SEO, but it takes time, and time is not on your side.

With an email list, you have the freedom to communicate with the list as much as you initially said you would do.

If you told your list you would send two emails a week, but later start emailing every day, don't be surprised if and when some unsubscribe.

Remember these are people, not email addresses. They get to choose to be on your list or not. They also get to decide if they want to hear about promotions.

I know some of you may be shaking your head and thinking this really limits who is going to be on your list.

This may be true.

And if it does, that should be ok with you.

Don't you really want to have a business that supports your ability to help others overcome their problems?

When those on your email list begin to know, like and trust you, you will find that the struggle to support your business will get easier and easier.

As you communicate with your audience, you will grow to know them as they grow to know you as well.

This will help you to know how you can further help them. You will be able to create new products, courses, and memberships.

But the hard part is getting started building an email list.

The obvious thing to do is to put a signup form on your website if you have one.

If you have a blog, you can also have a way to sign up there as well.

But the easiest free way to do this without using a tripwire, which most marketers love using, is to create a manifesto page on your website.

This would become a multi-page-presell.

This is where you begin a genuine conversation with the prospect.

Where you can welcome them into your world.

But in our world, we are going to end right here.

Next week we will talk about that Manifesto.

I’m stoked.

I hope you are too.

I'll see you then.

Bye for now.

James Brown

James "Living-in-the-Funnel" Brown

P.S. - In the event, you DO find that once an episode has been produced and posted, that YOU really would like more information, just let me know. Use the Podcast Questions link, click on the link here. Or you can just leave a voice message here.

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