How to Build the Best Sales Funnel for Coaches

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Get More Clients from Your Coaching Sales Funnel

Getting coaching clients in today’s online landscape can seem rather overwhelming, considering the plethora of options available.

Everyone seems to be selling their “guaranteed system” for getting clients, but the truth is, there are many ways to acquire clients online, and most of them work when done consistently and with intention.

In this article, I want to talk about the best sales funnel for coaches; what they are, which ones work really well for coaches, and how you can use them to attract, nurture, and convert potential clients into buyers and repeat customers.

What is a Sales Funnel for Coaches?

There always seems to be quite a lot of confusion about what sales funnels for coaches really are.

When I do a quick search online, most of what comes up discusses the stages of the customer journey, i.e., awareness, consideration, purchase, retention, and advocacy.

But the term sales funnel can also refer to a series of web pages set up to guide someone through various buying decisions, such as a webinar funnel or a self-liquidating offer funnel.

I would like to marry these two concepts for you so you can see how they work together and which sales funnels can be used at which stages to move people through the customer journey.

Infographic of stages of customer journey in a marketing funnel

Why Your Coaching Business Needs a Sales Funnel

Moving people through the stages of the customer journey is very important in this day and age because it takes longer for people to make a buying decision in 2024.

Here are all the benefits of a sales funnel.

Relate to Your Dream Clients

People need to know, like, and trust you to buy from you, which means they need more touchpoints to trust you enough to buy from you. It used to be understood that a person would need 7 touchpoints to buy from you, but that number is now closer to 24.

This means sales funnels are more important than ever because they not only allow you to create more touchpoints with your potential customers but also enable you to do so in a more automated way.

Support Your Marketing Strategy

This is where the second part of the sales funnel comes into play (the series of web pages in a specific order, such as a webinar funnel or opt-in funnel). These funnels allow us to bring more people into our world more quickly, build trust faster, make sales without directly speaking to people, and build loyalty at scale.

Generate More Sales

All of this results in more sales for you and more money in your pocket because you can work with a smaller team (due to automation) and spend less of your revenue overall.

Stand Out from Newbie Coaches

And the great thing is, most coaches are not using sales funnels to their fullest potential. They might have set up a lead magnet with a welcome sequence, but that’s normally where it ends. By spending a bit more time setting these up, you’ll be miles ahead of the competition.

Improve Business Growth

Last but not least, by setting up a series of sales funnels for your business, you’ll be setting yourself up for sustainable business growth.

By automating your marketing and sales processes, you’ll free yourself to spend time on other equally important CEO tasks, like planning, hiring, and networking.

Now that we know why you need a sales funnel, let’s talk about which ones to create and how.

Best Sales Funnel For Coaches

Content Funnel

This is where it all starts. If we’re looking at the stages of the customer journey, this is the Awareness stage. This is where your potential customer realizes they have a problem but may not realize there is a solution for this problem.

Awareness stage circled on the customer journey infographic

This is a great place for you to start putting out educational content, helping them realize they have a problem and that there is, in fact, a solution to their problem.

Your content can be in the form of a blog post, a social media post on one of the various platforms like Instagram or Facebook, or a video on YouTube.

Once they’ve read your content, you would want to include a CTA to learn more by joining your email list. This is where it’s super handy to offer them a free lead magnet that’s related to their problem in exchange for their email address.

A diagram of a content funnel for coaches

That leads us to our next funnel…

Opt-In Funnel

Once your potential clients have moved from unaware to problem-aware, you’re moving from the awareness stage to the consideration stage of the customer journey. This is when you want to offer them a lead magnet (something free like a PDF download, template, checklist, or ebook) that relates to their problem and hints at a possible solution.

This is where you would set up a lead magnet funnel (also referred to as an opt-in funnel or squeeze funnel). This is the easiest funnel to set up but a very important one because this is where you begin to build your email list. You can read more about why an email list is still so important right here.

Luckily, you can set up a lead magnet funnel really easily these days using your email marketing platform (ActiveCampaign is my favorite, but most of them have a landing page builder included now), your website, or your funnel-building software. To learn more about the tools I recommend for building landing pages and funnels, check out my article on the top 10 marketing tools for coaches.

For a lead magnet funnel, you’ll need a web page to send your reader to where they can input their email address, somewhere to store the email address so you can send them marketing emails, and I highly recommend an email sequence to introduce yourself and your programs or services.

Diagram of an opt-in funnel for coaches

Funnily enough, my own lead magnet is actually a free welcome sequence template you can use to write this series of emails. So, you can have a look here and see an example of what a lead magnet funnel looks like, and get my free template to start writing your own welcome sequence.

Webinar Funnel OR 5-Day Challenge Funnel

Now that you have people on your email list and you’ve started sending them regular emails, you want to think about moving them from consideration to purchase.

There are many ways to do this and many funnels you can use, but two of the most popular ones are the webinar funnel and challenge funnel.

A webinar funnel consists of a sales video (it can be live or recorded) which is actually like a video format of your sales page but includes some sort of training at the beginning where you teach your audience something that solves a popular problem they have.

At the end of the training, you would offer your program as the solution to their problem and offer them the chance to work with you.

Diagram of a webinar funnel for coaches

The 5-Day Challenge funnel is similar in that you will also be using video format to solve a problem for your audience and sell at the end, but you would split the training into 5 days. The 5-Day Challenge is more work because it spans a longer period but can have higher conversion rates due to being able to accelerate know, like, and trust between you and the audience.

Self-Liquidating Funnel

The self-liquidating offer funnel is a fun one you can use as an alternative to the opt-in funnel, where its main function is also to build your email list. But unlike the opt-funnel, you can use it to offset your marketing budget by selling a low-ticket product instead of giving a free lead magnet, making it the best sales funnel strategy of all.

I’ve written an entire article about this type of funnel and broken down how to create one, what goes into it, and whether it’s the right option for you based on where you are in your business journey. You can read it here.

Now that I’ve outlined a few of the best sales funnel for coaches I’ll move onto which elements are going to make all your funnels high-converting funnels.

Elements of a Winning Sales Funnel

As you can see these funnels are all very different but they all require similar elements to be successful.

In this section, I’m going to outline the elements of the sales funnel so you know how to build a successful one for your business.

Know Your Audience Intimately

For any sales funnel to be successful we have to know who we are talking to and what outcome they truly desire. Without this knowledge, we cannot know what problems they need to solve and what language to use to get them interested.

Getting to know your audience can be done in many ways but here are a few tips to get started.

  1. Ask them: Send out surveys to your email list
  2. Listen to them: Read online conversations where your audience is hanging out and talking about similar problems that you solve
  3. Spend time with them: Getting direct feedback from your clients is one of the most valuable forms of market research you can do so get those first clients and pay attention to what they have to say

A Great Offer

This ties into knowing your audience because once you know who they are and what they want, it’s easier to know what to create for them.

One of the biggest mistakes I see coaches make when creating their programs and services is that they do so without asking their audience what they want and without pre-selling them.

Never create an offer in a vacuum. Ask your audience what they want and then sell it BEFORE you create it.

Otherwise, you might just end up creating something you can’t sell. And that sucks!

Email Follow-Up

I see a lot of coaches either not sending follow-up emails out at all or only sending one or two. 

But emails are the most important part of any funnel. People are super busy these days and you cannot just tell them about something once. You need to send them many reminders, ideally coupled with some urgency (usually in the form of a deadline). 

So definitely set up follow-up email sequences to go out after they sign up for your lead magnet after they sign up to watch your webinar, and after you offer them something to buy.

I know this feels like a lot of work but it will make a huge difference in how many sales you make.


Having a deadline is one of the most important elements of a high-converting sales funnel. People need some urgency to make a decision otherwise they end up just thinking they’ll come back to it at some point and then they forget.


Wow, that was a lot of information. I hope that helped you understand which funnels are the best sales funnel for coaches, the different types of funnels, how they help you turn your potential customers into clients and repeat buyers, and how they move your customers through the different stages of the customer journey.

If that’s wet your appetite for marketing knowledge, I’d love to point you in the direction of my epic blog post on The Ultimate Guide To Marketing Your Coaching Business In 2024 to find out about all the different types of marketing for online coaches and which one might fit your business and personality.

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Hi, I'm Cheryl!

I'm a copywriter and copywriting coach. I've written dozens of high-converting sales pages and contributed my expertise to several high-profile group programs.

I'm on a mission to make writing accessible for all with templates, courses, and reviews.

When I'm not writing up a storm, you can find me hanging with my 5-year-old sidekick and best friend, eating at a local restaurant, or learning more about marketing and copy... possibly all of the above at the same time!

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