How to build a Marketing Funnel for Your Service Business

Jan 11, 2024 | B2B

Understanding and implementing a marketing funnel for your business is key to you getting more leads and closing more clients.

Think of your own behavior as a consumer. Do you buy important services like accountant, home renovation, wedding photographer or web designer, from a person or company that you just heard of like five minutes ago? No. No one does.

Your future clients need to travel through what we call a marketing funnel: a framework businesses use to turn leads into customers.

The Marketing Funnel 101

The three main stages of the marketing funnel represent a client’s journey from learning about your business, gathering information, to deciding to buy from you.

Developing a marketing funnel helps you understand your customers and build a communication and conversion strategy that speaks to them.

Here’s what you need to know about creating a funnel to grow your online business.

If someone discovers your business on LinkedIn or Instagram – or even hears about you from a friend – they won’t buy from you right away. You need to have a way for them to learn more, to become confident that you can solve their problem or meet their need, and then to take action.

Each stage of a marketing funnel has slightly different messaging and tactics that engage potential customers where they are on your customer journey.

Measure the Success of your Marketing Funnel

Think of marketing tactics as a buffet menu—you don’t eat every item off the buffet. Although you could, we don’t advise it. You don’t want to put more on your plate than you can handle. Instead, choose the goals, content, and tactics that best fit your business.

You’ll also need to measure what is working and what isn’t to prioritize where you spend your time and money. Let’s look at metrics for each stage of the funnel and how to use them.

Top of Funnel (TOF): Awareness Stage

At the top, we have the Awareness stage. This is where potential clients first hear about you. People in this group are cold leads. They have just become aware that they have a problem and have started looking for a solution.

What Prospective Clients Need

A clear understanding of their problem or need.
A hint that there’s a solution out there, and you might have it.

Concerns and Questions

“How do I solve this issue?”
“Who can help me with this problem?”
“Is this service necessary for my business?”

Best Marketing Techniques

SEO: Optimize your website to be found when they’re searching for solutions.
Blogging: Create educational content about your service so that when they land on your site there is content to consume
Social Media: Create engaging content that introduces your business to a wider audience.
Paid Advertising: Target specific demographics to increase brand visibility.

Content to Offer

Website Content: use a professional copywriter for your Service pages
Blog Posts: Share valuable information related to their pain points
Email newsletters: summarizing your latest blog posts and events
Infographics: Visually represent solutions to common problems
Downloadable Guides and Webinars: Show how your company best serves your ideal clients’ needs
Pro Tip: make social media posts for all of the above. Easy-peasy content

Metrics to Track

On your website: total visits, unique sessions, bounce rate, dwell time
Social reach: your Social Media Manager can report on engaged followers
New email subscribers
From your in-person network: qualified referrals

Middle of Funnel (MOF): Consideration Stage

In the Consideration stage, potential clients are exploring what you have to offer in more detail.

People enter this stage once they’ve already engaged with you. They have started following you on social media, subscribed to your email list, or have attended a podcast or webinar.

At this stage, you begin to earn their trust.

What Prospective Clients Need

Detailed information about potential solutions.
A comparison of available options.
Trust-building content that positions you as an authority.

Concerns and Questions

“Why should I choose this service over others?”
“What’s the process like?”
“Can I trust this business to deliver?”

Best Marketing Techniques

Email Marketing: Nurture leads with targeted content.
Remarketing Ads: Remind them about your business as they explore other options.
Case Studies: Showcase success stories and satisfied clients.

Content to Offer

Whitepapers: In-depth guides addressing specific pain points.
Case Studies: Illustrate how your service has benefited others.
Consultation Calls: Offer a free session to discuss their needs.

Ebooks, free tools, webinars ugh

Metrics to Track

Email list growth, open- and click-rates, landing page conversion rates, lead source, cost per lead, lead quality.

Bottom of Funnel (BOF): Decision Stage

Prospects at the bottom of the funnel have heard of your brand, have been to your  website multiple times, and may have even searched for you. They may be lingering, just waiting to be convinced to buy. It’s decision time. In the Decision stage, potential clients are ready to commit to your services. You’ve already built trust. Use this stage to convert prospects—give them specific reasons to choose your brand over your competitors

What Prospective Clients Need

A clear path to making a decision.
Reassurance that they’re making the right choice.
Incentives to seal the deal.

Concerns and Questions

“What’s the next step?”
“Are there any guarantees or assurances?”
“How much does it cost?”
“How can I get it and when?”
“What action will I take to buy?”

Best Marketing Techniques

Retargeting: Reinforce your value proposition.
Email Drip Campaigns: Address any lingering doubts and guide them toward a decision.
Limited-Time Offers: Create urgency to encourage immediate action.

Content to Offer

Free Trials: Let them experience a taste of your services.
Discounts: Provide exclusive offers for first-time clients.
Free Consultations: Discuss their specific needs and how you can meet them.
Testimonials
Detailed case studies

Metrics to Track

Number of new customers
Lead-to-sale conversion rate
Total revenue
Cost of customer acquisition

Marketing Funnel Tactics and Examples

A successful funnel has different methods or tactics for each stage. They work together to take your prospects on a journey from complete stranger to repeat customer.

You’ll want to chart a clear path for someone who is problem-aware and finds you online. Take them from top of your funnel, when they first hear of you, to the bottom where they buy.

TOF Marketing Tactics

Have your website optimized for search engines. Good on-page SEO means prospects find you when searching for your service. Write blog posts with topics about all your things. Snippets of the blog post become excellent social media posts which will drive people to your website.

MOF Marketing Tactics

Offer a low-cost workshop so that prospects have a low-risk opportunity to  work with you. Bonus: this is a great way to gather information on your clients and use it in a truly stunning proposal.  email subscription lists, Facebook groups, MeetUps

BOF Marketing Tactics

Create dedicated landing pages for each of your main services, and promote them individually on social media and in paid ads.
Publish detailed case studies and client success stories, with all the information needed to move a prospect off the fence.
Offer promo codes ortrial periods, if that works with your business model.

Navigating Success, One Funnel at a Time

Your marketing funnel should be flexible. Your business isn’t a copy-and-paste of another, and your funnel shouldn’t be either. You must tailor your marketing funnel to your unique business.

To customize the funnel concep, identify your unique selling roposition. What makes your service stand out? What make you a superior provider of that service? Highlight those things at every stage of your customized funnel.

Know your customers’ pain points and tailor content to address them. Once you understand your audience, you can
continually refine your strategies based on what works best.

So, there you have it—the marketing  funnel broken down in to a usable guide. You’re ready to build and market a digital space that leaves your clients craving more. 

Set up your own marketing funnel

Whatever service you provide, the principles are the same: attract, engage, and convert. Want help deciding which tactics are best for your business?