A funnel is basically a series of web pages designed to bring your prospect through a process to pursuade them to make a purchase. Getting your clients to make a buying decision is crucial in business – offline and online.

Some people call it their “virtual salesperson” while others simply call it a landing page or a website or almost any kind of web page you might find online. Each has a specific purpose and place in the process. Some funnels are effective and others are not.

There are basically two options when it comes to creating your funnel. You can create the funnel yourself on your own website which is always the best choice in the long run. Or you can use one of many third party services that will give you a platform ready-made with every aspect of the funnel in place.

On our Roadmap2Success Infographic we make the Funnel (or Website) the central part of the picture. For us, a website is basic and we include social sites and video sites as part of that “virtual asset” that is your online store.

If you were doing eCommerce, it would be your Shopify store or Amazon page.

If you were doing Local Client Consulting (selling your digital services to local businesses), it would be your website where you offer your services.

In Affiliate Marketing, it is a shared funnel (unless you are the Product Creator/Owner). Generally, you are selling someone else’s digital products and so you may have the first part of the funnel (the optin page, thank you page and bridge page) while the Product Owner has the sales page, buy page, upsell and downsell pages etc.

In all three cases, you should be capturing email addresses and sending out emails on a regular basis using an autoresponder. For some people, these email sequences are part of the “platform” that they provide as a third-party provider. Otherwise you should definitely be creating these emails yourself. Not that it is difficult. None of it is now-a-days. But there is a learning curve and you have to decide whether you have more money or more time. If you have more money, get it done for you. If you have more time, learn to do it yourself.

In any case, Creating Your Funnel is your SECOND step….