4 Steps For Content Creators to Build an Income Generating Machine.
“The social funnel”
Monetizing online is a process that comes down to 4 simple steps we like to call the social funnel.
If you analyze the top creators online who make independent income from their followers, and don’t just rely on brand deals, they all use this funnel masterfully.
The funnel has 4 simple steps, which we are going to break down today.
#1 Getting Discovered
# 2 Nurturing Your Audience
# 3 Connecting
# 4 Sale
#1 Getting Discovered
Let’s start with the first step in the funnel, Discovery. For most creators, this is already their bread and butter. Discovery is using social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok to get reach.
While you can use paid methods such as boosting posts, this is not recommended because if you can’t create organic content that gets reach, you won’t last as a creator, and your paid content won’t convert anyways. Plus, there's really no point as these social networks already go out there and show your content to people who do not follow you, and they give you the ability to get tons of eyeballs for free.
While you always have the potential to go ‘viral’ and get millions of followers from one video, the key here is consistency and patience. You have to be willing to give yourself a few months to really find your style, what works, and start getting your people to follow you.
The overall goal in the discovery phase is to convert people who view your content into followers, and to build an audience.
Building an audience is no joke, and you want to make sure you are doing it with content that aligns with your brand. Many creators make the mistake of trying to get views at all costs, so they leverage trends and unrelated content to do so. While this can get you followers, unless you become celebrity level like a Nelk boy or Paul twin, it won’t build you a loyal following who will pull out their credit cards.
You must provide your people with valuable and authentic content related to your niche. Don’t go out there and try to ‘find’ your niche either. Just be yourself, and create content that you’d want to consume around your passions.
So to recap, step one of the creator funnel is leveraging social media platforms to be discovered, and building your following across these platforms.
# 2 Nurturing Your Audience
The next step in the creator funnel is nurturing your audience. What does this mean? Remember when I talked about value in step number one? Well this is where you really focus on content that gives your followers value.
You want to build a stronger relationship with your audience and start to really identify your ‘die hard’ followers, who are the ones who love you the most. To do this, you need to engage with them on a more personal and authentic level.
Discovery methods such as IG reels, TikTok, and other pieces of short form content won’t cut it here. You need to be posting instagram stories and other long form content such as YouTube videos, podcasts, or blog posts.
Why? Because having someone's attention for 5+ minutes is a far bigger deal than 10-30 seconds. This will enhance the connection between you and your followers, and instead of just scrolling through your stuff, they’ll be immersed in your world and will really start to feel a connection to you, like you are their friend.
This is a major key because it is when the trust begins to form. Trust is the biggest key when it comes to driving sales.
When nurturing your audience, you should have a different mentality than when you are creating content to be discovered. Instead of focusing on attracting new followers, this content should really focus on building a stronger relationship with the people who have already chosen to follow you.
Too many creators are only focused on getting more and more followers, and they forget about the people who have already followed them. Write your people some blogs, share more insight on your stories, and give them a podcast to tune into.
Although the number of views will be less, the strength of the viewer will be higher and this will begin to filter out the people who will actually buy from you.
To conclude: Make sure you add value to the people who follow you by providing them more in-depth, authentic, and vulnerable content.
# 3 Connecting
The third step in the creator funnel is connecting with your audience. This is where most brands and creators really start to fall off.
The key to connecting with your audience is to subscribe them to spaces where it's just you and the people who love you the most. You can do this via email list, private communities, or live webinars.
Unlike connecting with your audience, this is the first time you are asking your followers to give you some type of information or commitment. This requires trust and will really start to separate the people who LOVE you, from those who are just there for some cool content.
Think about it. If someone is willing to subscribe to a list, or a join a community off of the social networks they are addicted to, in a place where everything revolves around you, what does that tell you as a creator?
These people freaking love you.
The reason these private exclusive spaces are so effective is because you have the full attention of your community and you can really connect with them on the deepest level and build that trust that is needed to make conversions and sales.
Connecting with your followers should come directly from the nurturing phase of the funnel. An example would be having a story sequence where you end the stories by asking people to subscribe to your email list for more exclusive content, or a blog post that ends with inviting people to your private community where they can get tons of similar content and ask you questions.
Most creators struggle with this because there is more work that goes into it, and creators are so used to the dopamine hits from gaining tons of followers on social that email lists and communities feel too small.
That’s a huge mind trip, and is causing creators to loose hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The truth is, having a 10,000 person list is FAR more valuable than having 100,000 social media followers. These people are much more likely to purchase your products and products you recommend, and the sales process to convert them is way more effective because you have their full attention.
When it comes to making money, Quality is greater than quantity.
To conclude: Funnel your audience from social media to places that you own, and have the full attention of your people. This will show you who your most passionate followers are, and give you the ability to connect with them on a deeper level.
# 4 Sale
Now the last part of the funnel, which is all our favorite parts, is actually pulling the trigger and making the sale. Making money.
Sales will trickle in at every step of the funnel, especially if you're really providing value. (None of this works if you don't provide value), but the majority of the sales will happen somewhere in step 3, because that is where you are really priming your audience for that sale.
The sale section is where you position your offers. Maybe it's a membership community on Grouped, an affiliate link, or whatever offer you have for your personal brand.
Sales are simple once everything else is in place. It's really just dropping a link after a CTA (call to action) so your followers can make the purchase. The call to action doesn't really matter, it's the work you put in throughout the social funnel that does.
Most creators have multiple steams of income, and all of these streams will benefit if you implement the social funnel, and really prioritize step’s 2 and 3. By building blogs, podcasts, email lists, and membership communities, you’ll be creating an evergreen, income generating machine for yourself.
This is the difference between a creator who makes 60k per year from brand deals, and a creator who makes high 6 figures to 7 figures from many assets combined.
Go ahead and steal this blueprint that the most successful creators use to make more money using social media.
The one thing I will add in conclusion, is be patient. Building these systems takes time. If you give yourself a few years to really let this build up, you will crush it, and you'll open up a world of business opportunities for yourself.
If your interested in adding a membership group to the bottom of your social funnel, apply to create a group today: https://form.typeform.com/to/dirrfVyj