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How to Build an Evergreen Sales Funnel in 2021

Want to know how to build an evergreen sales funnel? 

You’re in the right place. Today, you’ll learn how to create your own evergreen sales funnel that lets you enjoy your business, free up your time, and sell more. 

Want to learn more? Read on. 

What is an evergreen sales funnel?

An evergreen business is essentially a system. One that’s consistent, repeatable, scalable, and predictable. (Caveat: At least as much as is humanly possible.) 

What’s more, it’s a system that doesn’t depend on you or any one person.

And setting it up the right way is how you get a true Freedom Business. Where your business supports your lifestyle, work schedule, and fulfillment. Not the other way around.

Here below, you’ll learn exactly how to set up that system in your own business.

How does an evergreen funnel work? 

Let’s start with the fundamentals: 

What does “evergreen” mean?

Evergreen means that you automate your sales funnel so it continues to systematically and consistently do the work for you of connecting you to your ideal clients and selling to them. 

Your sales funnel consists of your email marketing funnel, traffic source (often paid advertising and/or SEO, aka. search engine traffic), webinar, and sales content (we’ll look at each of these below). 

The benefit of an evergreen funnel is clear. You don’t need to…

  • Constantly publish new social media posts or rely on social media to grow your business
  • Hustle to make your next sale or feel like you have to convince people to buy from you
  • Feel like you’re working 24/7 to keep your business afloat and chase clients 

You see, evergreen funnels are what many people call “passive” income. Of course, nothing is ever completely passive. Someone still has to manage your ads or grow your search engine traffic. 

But it is automated. And if you have systems in place, you won’t spend as much time working on your business.

Take my own business, for instance. 

Over the years, I’ve built two pretty successful evergreen funnels:

One for my entry-level Your First Paying Clients course, which sells at $497, and one for my flagship Employee to Entrepreneur course, which sells at $1,997.

Most days, I’m only spending about three to four hours on my business. I have systems in place and a team that supports me. That’s what an evergreen sales funnel can do for you, too. (Although it does take time to build.)

Curious to know what an evergreen funnel can look like? Here’s how one of my clients, Jasmine, has built hers. 

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How Jasmine turned her course into an automated evergreen funnel

Jasmine is in one of the most niche industries possible…

Teaching animators how to get a job in the movie industry (at academyofanimatedart.com).

Her flagship course is a $2,000 program, so it’s not cheap. And while she knew that people wanted to learn how to get a great job in animated art (because come on, how cool is it to work on films like The Incredibles?)…

She had no idea how to explain why her course was better than her competitors’…or their free Youtube videos.

That’s why, according to her, before she found me:

“We were all over the place, trying everything, and not seeing results.”

Using my methodology, she was able to figure out how to explain why her course was the BEST option (including the free options). As a result:

“We completely revamped our webinar and started running our new webinar live to test that it was working. Within just a few months, we started getting consistent sales around 5-7k a month. And then we turned our webinar to evergreen.”

And it only gets better from there…

“Once we turned it evergreen, our sales increased from 7k to 23k in one month, the second month we hit 38k, and in the third month, we reached 45k! It’s such a relief to have our webinar run automatically in the background every day so we can focus on giving our students the best service.”

And by the way, when I last checked in with her and asked if I could share her results with you, she also shared…

“It seems surreal that midway through the month, I can casually say we have 36k in sales without doing that much work. I’m still getting used to it, to be honest, but I have to say, does it feel good!!”

(FYI: By the end of the month, she’d crossed over $50K in sales. $52,500 to be exact. Not too bad for her first year. In a side business. In a very niche industry.)

How do you build an evergreen funnel? 

Now you know what an evergreen funnel is. But how do you build one? 

And when do you build one? 

Let’s start with when.

An evergreen funnel takes time to build and you need to know that your product will sell. That’s why it’s better to build your funnel once you’re more established, with proof of concept (aka. sales) and at least $5-10K in sales per month. 

And as to how, you need a few things:

An online course (your evergreen offer). 

A traffic source (paid advertising or SEO). 

A sales system (your marketing system, such as your email funnels and webinars).

Here below, we’ll look at each of these and how to build an evergreen funnel. 

How do you set up an evergreen course?

If you’re currently selling services, such as coaching, freelancing, or consulting services, you can take that service and create an evergreen course out of it.

Let me explain:

A self-study online course is a digital product that you create once and then sell without having to personally teach your students. Sure, you might need to tweak the course and update it when there are changes in your industry. And, you might choose to include some live support (such as group coaching calls) with it. But it’s more or less an asset that can be sold again and again without additional work. 

Your students go through your course on their own by studying videos, PDFs, audio and other material that you include in it.

If you’ve worked with coaching/consulting clients, you’ve probably noticed that most students have the same patterns. They’ll have the same types of questions at similar times throughout the process. 

That’s why you can use your coaching and turn that into a curriculum based on how you usually coach your clients. 

You can also go for a coaching and course hybrid where you offer live support along with a self-study course. (Your students get more of your time, which makes your course more valuable to them.)

Note: I recommend that you continue to offer coaching—either as a part of your course or as a separate offer—as you scale your evergreen funnel so that you keep in touch with your audience and stay on top of what’s happening in your industry. Plus, courses require more volume to be as profitable as your private coaching offers, so it makes sense to continue offering coaching as you branch out. 

In this quick video, I explain how to transition successfully from coaching to evergreen courses: 

One word on your course: 

When you first start selling it, don’t immediately set up your funnel. Instead, sell it more organically first (to your email list) before you set up an entire funnel. 

I navigated this by first setting up a smaller course that shows people how to get their first paying clients. When that was successful, I created a higher-level course, Employee to Entrepreneur, which teaches people how to build an online coaching business.

Also, I initially sold them through live launches. That way, I was able to build up a system before putting my time and energy into creating several traffic streams and scaling. 

How do you market an evergreen course?

When you have an offer, it’s time to set up your evergreen sales funnel. For this, you need a sales system to sell your offer and a traffic source, so that people find your offer. 

Traffic

First, you need traffic to your website. 

I drive traffic from several sources:

  • Advertising (Facebook and YouTube)
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Search engines (SEO)
  • Pinterest
  • Podcasts, guest posts, and so on

If you don’t have any traffic yet, you’ll likely want to start with one traffic source and build it from there. 

All of these traffic sources have pros and cons. For instance, advertising can give you faster results but they require you to pay for your traffic, so that your profitability suffers. On the other hand, search engine traffic takes time to build, but once it’s built up, you get traffic for free (you might still have a person managing it, but the traffic itself is free for you). Ultimately, your business profitability improves. 

In this short video, I talk a bit more about the different traffic sources I use and how I’ve built them:

Sales system

You also need a sales system. 

This consists of your email funnel and webinar:

Email list

Your traffic will lead people to join your email list. And you sell to that list, both by engaging them with regular emails and sales emails (you can automate both of them). 

Now, emails work really well for selling your offers on evergreen.

My emails are how I’ve sold out every coaching package and course for the past 5 years. In fact, it took me four emails to sell out my first group coaching program. And from there, I’ve developed a highly profitable evergreen sales funnel that sells out my programs and courses. 

But, I don’t subscribe to the gross email sales strategies that are so popular in the online space…

…Telling people that they *have* to buy now, or else

…Harping on a deadline like it’s the end of the world (as if that product won’t re-open for enrollment in a few months or a year)

…Long and boring emails “selling” their product that do everything BUT make me want to buy it

However, I DO believe in “direct” sales emails where…

…You believe in the value and transformational power of your product. And sell from a place of knowing that it can help the people who buy it.

…You don’t try to trick or pressure people into buying, but instead use bonuses or deadlines as fun incentives that feel good.

…You use fun, interesting, and useful emails that have your audience looking forward to being sold to (and to buying).

The way you get your emails to work is to create a welcome funnel (emails that are sent out when people sign up to your email list) and a webinar funnel (emails people get when they sign up for your webinar and after they’ve watched it). 

These funnels get people to take action (sign up for your webinar or buy your product) and that’s how you sell. 

In terms of email tools, I like Mailchimp if you don’t want to deal with as much tech. ActiveCampaign is also an excellent choice that requires a bit more setting up in the beginning. 

For collecting emails, Leadpages is a good option. And for setting up a sales sequence with sales pages, consider Samcart.  

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6-Figure Coaching Business so you can achieve more freedom!

Webinar

If you’re thinking, “aren’t webinars dead?”, think again. 

Sure, they do require you to go through a learning curve; I made 0 sales on my first 20 webinars. But when I’d figured them out, I started landing client after client and today, I have a 7-figure evergreen webinar funnel that keeps working even when I don’t. 

To sell with evergreen webinars, you do need the right approach, though. These are my top webinar tips:

1) Teaching tips is not nearly as valuable as teaching thoughts

You might want to give as much value as possible. That’s what I want, too. Early on, I thought this meant that I had to teach every step of the process. When people raved about my valuable webinars, I thought I was onto something. But no one ever bought from me — and they never took any action on what I shared.

Instead, the key is to share thoughts rather than tips. What I mean is that everyone who wants your webinar has thoughts that keep them back, like fears or objections. And those are thoughts you can address on your webinar so that they’re ready to take action and actually achieve what you’re teaching them. 

2) Longer doesn’t equal value 

I used to think that my webinars needed to be lengthy to be valuable, so I’d hold webinars that were over 2 hours long. Unfortunately, people are distracted and busy so they can only take in so much of what you teach them.

To most of them, longer is NOT better. Around 40 minutes is ideal for your core content (before you transition into presenting your offer). 

3) Be upfront about selling, without being salesy

A big mistake is to think of your webinar in blocks (intro, content, and sales block). But you want to do the opposite.

Think of your webinar as one, long conversation. Throughout the webinar, you share that you have something to offer and that everything you talk about is related to that offer. 

After all, you deliver great value on the webinar and even more value if they buy. This way, your audience doesn’t feel like you’re ambushing them with free content and suddenly, a paid offer. 

In this short video, I explain how a webinar works: 

Over to you!

There you have it. Now you know what an evergreen sales funnel looks like and how to build one.

What it comes down to is learning how to build your offer, traffic, and sales system. 

Next, I’d love to know:

Are you planning on setting up an evergreen funnel? Why? 

Let me know in the comments below!

evergreen sales funnel

Hope you enjoy this blog post.

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How to Build a 6-Figure Coaching Business - Luisa Zhou-2

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