Episode 392

Marketing Funnels for Course Creators with Tammy Lane

In this episode, Tammy Lane shares her expertise and experience in creating and scaling high-value online businesses through her knowledge in funnel building and Facebook advertising. She provides insights on how to create and market an online course, as well as her personal journey of overcoming challenges in setting up a sales funnel. She also offers a software tool and a sales funnel toolkit to help people build sales funnels and achieve their business growth goals.

Tammy Lane is a CPA and the founder of Funnel Cures. A website that offers a software tool for building sales funnels. She also has a background as a course creator. And has created a business training course for small business owners on how to manage their finances.

Image of Tammy Lane

She started her journey as an online course creator with a business training course for small business owners on how to manage their finances. However, she found that marketing was a whole different ball game and it took her close to a year to set up her first funnel. She then got interested in Facebook ads, when they first came out, and things took off with her business. She then created Funnelcures.com, a website that offers a software tool for building sales funnels.

Tammy mentions that she loves teaching and that’s how she got started down the road. She was a CPA, and she always knew she wanted to have her own business. But she wasn’t really sure what that looked like. She quit her job with no business plan, no course created, no nothing. And then she took about the first four months or so to create her first course. Which was a business training course for small business owners on how to manage their finances.

She mentions that the hard part was over when she finished creating her course. But she quickly realized that marketing is a whole different ballgame. And so it took her close to a year to get her first funnel set up with all the tech connections. Tammy didn’t even understand what a funnel was. She thought it was just the pages that you see. She didn’t understand that you needed other different types of software to connect it so you can send emails, get an opt-in, and make sales.

Tammy Lane is giving away a sales funnel toolkit. The audience can grab it at funnelcures.com/funnel-gift.

At LifterLMS.com, you can learn more about new developments and how to use LifterLMS to build online courses and membership sites. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. I’ve got a gift for you over at lifterlms.com/gift. Thank you for joining us!

Episode Transcript

Chris Badgett: You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking to create, launch and scale, a high-value online training program. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of lifter LMS, the most powerful learning management system for WordPress. Stay to the end, I’ve got something special for you. Enjoy the show.

Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMS cast. I’m joined by a special guest, her name is Tammy Lane. She’s from funnel cures.com. She comes from a background as a course creator, she has a software for helping people build funnels. She’s also a Facebook ads expert. Welcome to the show, Tammy.

Tammy Lane: Thanks so much, Chris.

Chris Badgett: Tell us before we get into funnel cures, which is at funnel cures.com. And I know you have a gift for the audience, do you want to mention that now? And we’ll mention that at the end. Before we get started.

Tammy Lane: I got a kit that I’ve sold more than 1200 of so far this year. And I’m going to gift it to your audience. So it’s a sales funnel toolkit. And they can grab that at funnel curious.com forward slash funnel gift.

Chris Badgett: Awesome. Well, thanks for that. Before going to the funnels, you had a background as a course creator. So that’s kind of like the building block for this whole show. What was your course creator’s story?

Tammy Lane: Yeah, I didn’t really know what I was getting into. So I’m a CPA. That’s my background. And I kind of always knew I wanted to have my own business. But I wasn’t really sure what that looked like. But I love teaching. And so that’s how I kind of got started down the road. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a course creator back then.

But I kind of, you know, started researching online. And I knew I wanted to teach people some of my skills that I had and so yeah, I could quit my job with no business plan, no course created, no nothing. And then I took about the first four months or so to create my my first course. Which was a so background in CPA it was like a business training course for small business owners on how to manage their finances.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. And just just as like an Instructional Designer for that, like how do you I understand doing CPA work for like a client, but how did you think about structuring that for a DIY business owner? Like.

Tammy Lane: Yeah, so really bringing down some of the concepts in simple language. So I talked about what type even though I’m not a lawyer, what type of business you’re gonna have, it’s a little different in the States than in Canada, but like an LLC, or you’re going to be a sole proprietor, and what types of reporting you need to do based on what type of business you have. And then, you know, there’s a difference between revenue and profitability.

And so talking with business owners about how to make sure that what they were selling was going to be selling profitably. So kind of breaking it down and allowing them to understand what a financial statement meant. And why it was important, not just because the government says you need to provide when for your business. But actually because it can help you make decisions in your business.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. So what tell us about the story, how did it go from course creator to funnel cures.com?

Tammy Lane: So that, so I created my course, I thought the hard part was over when I finished creating my course and then I realized that marketing, it is a whole different ballgame. And so it took me close to a year to get my first funnel set up and the tech connections and I didn’t even understand like I thought a funnel was just the pages that you see. I didn’t understand that you needed other different types of software to connect it. So you can send emails so you can get an opt-in so you can make sales.

And so that journey was a bit of a process. When we did get it going, I ended up getting in on Facebook ads. When they very first came out, they actually gave me a free credit for doing Facebook ads because they were brand new, and things really took off with the combination of the funnel and the Facebook ads. And so yeah, I hit 3 million that year in sales, both with the course and I had a higher-end program that I developed in conjunction with that so it was a bit of a whirlwind journey, and then subsequent to that, I coached clients on getting their funnel set up so we could help them run ads. And it was just such a process like connecting multiple platforms together.

Even with me coaching them, it often would take them you know several months to get their funnel up and running. And so when when we decided to build the funnel cure software because the cool thing is We develop this quick build technology that allows us to build the funnel and do all the tech connections for our clients in a couple of days, so that was a game changer for my clients. So it really was about making their life easier when I was trying to coach them.

Chris Badgett: Wow, that’s amazing. And congratulations on that those sales. What was the you mentioned, there was a high high ticket thing that was there too. What was that? That was in your in your programs.

Tammy Lane: So I got into some marketing. So once I was successful with my front-end course, then I started teaching how they could do marketing in conjunction and profitable marketing. So that you could not just make revenue, but make profits.

Chris Badgett: Nice. And let’s go to some basics, like what is a funnel and like what kind of funnels do coaches and course creators need, but that you’ve seen in your all your experience.

Tammy Lane: Yeah. You know, Chris, but when I was first trying to learn how to do a funnel, like the understanding part of what it was, was challenging. Because you can’t see all the mechanics behind it when you’re going through someone’s funnel. So they’ve probably all been through a funnel, but it’s the pages, it allows you to collect email addresses, it allows you to email your list after so you can invite them to buy your course. It allows you to collect payments.

And then oftentimes, there’s other features like being able to text somebody to remind them to show up for either a training or a paid training or a webinar, things like that those can all become combined into a funnel. The goal of bringing in paying clients right, in a very direct method, it takes them from stranger to paying client in typically a very short period of time.

Chris Badgett: What lo so in that short period of time, like what’s at the top of the funnel, and then what happens in between that and the sale? I know it can vary, but what do you recommend kind of as a template or like a standard way of doing it?

Tammy Lane: Yeah, really depends on price point. So do you teach certain price points when you’re when you’re talking about courses?

Chris Badgett: Yeah, yeah, I mean, go for it. Yeah, I mean, people, people in this audience are gonna be all over the place from lower end to high end coaching stuff. So it can be everything.

Tammy Lane: Yeah, so the timeline really varies. Like if you’re selling something inexpensive, like under $100 for a course, oftentimes, it’s within a minute of meeting you that they’ll be buying that we have a lot of clients doing that. And then in that mid tier price range between 300 and 1000. Generally, we wouldn’t recommend some sort of video training or webinar where it can happen the same day. But usually they wouldn’t need to at least spend 20 minutes or 40 minutes with you for you to talk about. What you do and to understand what your course is. And then the higher ticket stuff we almost always recommend a sales call

Chris Badgett: that’s awesome. What do you recommend for filling the funnel?

Tammy Lane: Well I love Facebook ads I’m not really a selfie-posting kind of girl I just the thought of having to post content like that every day. I’m just like, no I’m out. And so that’s why ads were such a great fit for me and said I cuz we get to create one piece of content and get it in front of new people every day, instead of getting creating a ton of content and then getting in front of a few new people every day. And so that’s worked really well for me.

Chris Badgett: Where does funnel cure sit in this in the space I mean, many people would have perhaps heard of Click Funnels and you know there’s a lot of people in here in this audience who use WordPress and just kind of build landing pages and semi funnel like but what is the sweet spot for funnel cares

Tammy Lane: So I was a Click Funnels user and besides there they don’t have the best support in terms of if you’re new it’s difficult because there’s not anybody to talk to I click funnels but other than that I love the software I we built our client funnels on On Click Funnels. The problem is you need multiple software’s if you’re using Click Funnels like you need an autoresponder software and then you need to be able to connect all those things together.

And so the real sweet spot for us is we’re all in when there’s no connect tech connections to do plus we set up everything for you. And a lot of the funnel builders are really focused on E-commerce. So you’ll see a lot of their templates and all those things are really designed for someone selling a product and we’re much more course creator coach based and you’ll see that in Some of the funnels that we build for clients and get set up for clients is they’re very focused on selling courses and services.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. And you mentioned like there’s a setup service included, like what is the course creator really need to have ready to? Like, what were what are they it was a perfect client for you, where are they at in terms of their course or their project, and then what can they expect to walk away with after working with funnel cures?

Tammy Lane: So I’m always a big fan of building your audience. As you’re getting your course ready because you want to launch to your to an audience when your course is done. Otherwise, it’s going to you know, the sales are going to be slow. So once you know what topic your course is going to be on, or your offer is going to be on, you have a pretty good idea of the audience that you want to deliver that to, my first suggestion is to get your lead funnel up and running. So you can start building the audience so that when your course is finished, you can go ahead and sell it to the audience that you’ve already built up.

Chris Badgett: Let’s go back to the ads a little bit what what is the what is a good ad like for a course creator? Like they get so into making the product like the course like how do you how do you get a good ad at the top? Like what are we promoting in the ad?

Tammy Lane: Well, depending again, on the price point. So, if you’re selling something under $100, like if your course is under $100. We would do an ad lots of times directly to the course. And that can work well you have to have a really good sales mechanism. And whether that’s a video or, or a sales page. So if you’re brand new, that that can be difficult. So lots of times, we recommend a lead generation ad. Where you send them to some sort of free gift, they’d opt in for the free gift. And now that you’ve captured their attention a bit more, they get to know you maybe in a video, that sale can come a lot easier, regardless of the price point. But so the lead gen ads can work very well top of funnel for a brand new audience, cold audience.

Chris Badgett: So it’s not about like going for the sale from the ad per se, like get them in the top of the funnel onto some resource that they don’t necessarily have to pay for.

Tammy Lane: Right? Yes. Or easy your ads to do.

Chris Badgett: Yeah, yeah. And you may you mentioned you had a Facebook ads resource. We’ll put a link to that in the chat. Can you or in the in the show notes below this podcast episode? Can you tell us what that is?

Tammy Lane: Yeah, I’ve got a Facebook ad template. So it’s going to help you write your copy. It’s going to explain what elements go into your ad copy that are going to get you attention in the newsfeed and then get people clicking through to come and see what you have to offer them a free gift or a paid-to-get offer.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Well, entrepreneurs always impressed me and tell us about like what it is about you in this journey from CPA to course creator, to Facebook ads expert, marketing expert to software entrepreneur with funnels, like, what motivates you like, what powers this journey?

Tammy Lane: Sometimes I wonder why. Honestly, it’s just watching my clients have, like they have this gift, they’re really good at something, and they’ve decided that it’s their calling or passion to share it with the world. And I know how hard that journey is like I’ve been on that journey. And so every product that we’ve ever made or offered has been designed to somehow make that journey simpler quicker, less painful.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. What are what are some of the in your your work around course creators and coaches? What are what’s what are people making that’s working out there these days? Like what type of niches are you seeing people operate in and love in life and building these great products, programs, and communities?

Tammy Lane: So I guess the one difference I really have seen in the last year or so is that the more specific you are about what you’re offering. The more specific the audience is, the better it’s going to do. So I know you’ve heard a million times niched down but in the last year, it’s about solving a real problem for a real person and having it be so specific that they can’t help. But want it so instead of 10 steps to Facebook ads that work. I would sell a course instead on Write your ad in in write your ad in an hour for coaches, something like that. So I just be a lot more specific in how I’m wording it and what I the result that I would offer in the course.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. If we go back into the price points a little bit you mentioned For a higher ticket program, you might need to the funnel might need to end up at a call, like, can you give some advice around what happens on that call or what that might look like. And remind us again, the price point where this is likely becoming a good fit for conversions.

Tammy Lane: So long term over $1,000 is probably where we want to be for a sales conversation. And I hesitated I never wanted to do sales calls. When I started, I was like, Yeah, I don’t want to do sales calls. And so I really look at it more like a consulting call, like I’m helping somebody see what they need. And if my solution is a fit, then I just make an invitation. So that might help some of your listeners with that. But over $1,000, long term, but if you’re new, honestly, the best thing you can do is have some conversations with potential clients. So you can see what questions do they have, oh, maybe I didn’t explain that very well. They’re concerned about if they can do it.

And so you can bring those pieces then into your marketing later on. But if you’re new, the more client potential clients you can talk to the better understanding you’re going to have. And so the sales call is what you asked to give up on the sales call. Really, it’s about first uncovering what they’re struggling with, or what the pain point is, and having you recognize that. And having the client who you’re on the phone with record or zoom with, recognize what that is, so you’re both on the same page. Then you’re you would ask them about what they want to accomplish. They want to get at a pain that they want to learn to play hockey, they want to learn Facebook ads, whatever that is and what they want to accomplish. So might people want to maybe learn Facebook ads or funnels?

What do they want to accomplish with their funnel, because I want to have an end goal, like, I want to pay for my daughter’s university education, with my sales of my course, whatever that is, and then simply creating a plan for them to get where they are from where they are to where they want to be. And if that plan coincides with your solution, inviting them to come in, get your help with your course, for the solution, really any sales call any good sales call comes down to just those three things.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. For the lower-cost courses, what is the conversion thing at the end of the funnel? Like, what do you recommend? And again, like proximate price point, range or whatever.

Tammy Lane: Yeah, so we do a really simple sales funnel. When people are just starting out, that is two pages, it includes an opt-in, and instead of having them go create a free gift, which we found is a bit time-consuming effort, people usually take several weeks. Instead, what we do is we have them, we create an opt-in page for them. When people opt-in, they go to a thank you page on the thank you page, you just we have them record a five-minute video, we have a script where you deliver a juicy piece of free content, and then you invite them if it’s a low ticket you to make a sale and so it’s just really a five-minute video.

So it’s a lot easier than copywriting a whole sales page and then inviting them into a sale. And that way they’re already on your list. So even if they don’t buy right on that page, you have the opportunity to to email them over the next week, month year to get invite them back into the sale.

Chris Badgett: It’s always obvious to me when somebody is really Xin with their market and you’re like you know that for beginning beginners, perhaps creating this elaborate lead magnet might be a little overwhelming. So you guide them into like, just make this one video. Here’s the outline. I love that idea. You mentioned copywriting. How does funnel cures help people with copywriting? Or? I mean, I guess I’ll start with that because it creating a landing page for marketing can be overwhelming to a non-marketer. Right?

Tammy Lane: I’m so excited that you asked me that because we have a brand new offer you. Anybody who signs up for the toolkit will end up seeing that that we have a brand new offer that we will not only build all the tech connections do the design work. We’re actually writing their copy for the opt in page and the thank you page. So literally the only thing they have to do to have their entire funnel working is record that five minute video. We just launched it a couple of days ago.

Chris Badgett: That’s amazing. Again, there you are like just removing the friction. That’s what entrepreneurs do is they remove friction and just create value. That’s awesome. Any it for somebody who’s writing their own copy if we’re writing a piece of content for the funnel? What are some just general copywriting tips? Do you have for people around whether we’re kind of pitching a lead magnet or pitching a sales call? Like, how do we learn to talk and like a copywriter? In our words,

Tammy Lane: I would say don’t talk like a copywriter. We did we have seen a huge shift in the marketplace in the last two years. Where prior, you definitely probably a good copywriter was helpful in a lot of situations. What we’re finding in the last two years is that our Non copyrighted stuff converts way better, meaning, we don’t want it to sound smooth. And we don’t want it to sound slick. So for anybody who’s not a copywriter. It’s a huge advantage for you, people now, just want to hear real people talking about how they can help them. It’s great news, there’s a couple of structure things that I’ll just talk about quick. So it the more you can sound like you’re just having a conversation with a friend, the better your copy is going to convert.

So lots of times, I recommend opening up your audio app on your phone and just like talking, pretend your sister’s there with you or whoever, and just talk. Because you’re gonna get the language sounds a bit different. And then a couple of structure things, you want to have a good page layout in your funnel pages. And it depends what page for what structure. But the the hardest part is to keep people reading your stuff long enough to want to buy it from you. And so headlines are important, and not having huge blocks of text on your page. I guess is one of the quick tips that I can give you like if you break up the text, people will read more of it and they’re more likely to buy from you automatically.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. You mentioned layout and design earlier. Like it’s kind of included in funnel cures, you don’t have to worry about that. Can you just speak to that more like for somebody who’s like, Well, I’m not a web designer? Like how does something like funnel cures help them? Just don’t worry about design, we got that handled.

Tammy Lane: Yeah, and one of the big problems, when I was coaching clients to build their own funnels, was that most, if you most tools don’t have very good templates included in them. And so it’s very difficult to get a good page layout if you’re not a designer. Because I didn’t really think about this before I got into actually designing. And we hired designers to do funnels for our clients anyways.

But there’s so much so many things that go into design, like how big are the spaces, the whitespace, the font combinations, how the image. Where the person in the image is looking to get you to read the copy like there’s just so many things that go into design. I don’t know, I certainly couldn’t do justice to your listeners when there to help them actually design but we just, we knew it was a huge problem. Because when I coach my clients, they’d end up with these funnels. And I’d look at it and I’d be like, like, like, it looks kind of homemade. Let me see if I can do some tweaks on it to help you with it. And that’s your first impression with clients like the very first thing they’ve never met you before.

That’s what they’re going to see. And if you look, if you have a homemade-looking funnel, clients aren’t going to trust you. Right? They’re going to have that Oh, like, maybe she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. And so the design, that’s why we have done in packaged up the design work inside of our funnels. But for anybody who already has a funnel, I just invite you to take a look at your funnel and get get that first impression. Does it make you seem like a leader in your niche? Who knows what you’re talking about?

Chris Badgett: Imagine templates like what are the different types of templates? What do you mean by that?

Tammy Lane: So when you go to buy when you go buy something like click funnels. For example, they would include an opt-in page template or they’d include a sales page template. And the problem is they just have one or two looks that are usually e-commerce for an opt-in page and one or two looks for a sales page. And they’re just the layout isn’t usually appropriate for a course creator or and they typically in a sales page don’t have enough fields on it. Like you’ll get a sales page that’s this long, and we probably need one like this long. And so it’s hard to work from those kinds of templates.

Chris Badgett: That makes sense. How many funnels does somebody need?

Tammy Lane: We always get started with one. With one funnel. You can get podcast interviews, you can share it on your social media profiles. You can be participating in Facebook groups, and then down the road. Most people end up with more than one funnel down the road.

Chris Badgett: That’s cool. what are what are some other types of funnels? Like, I know there’s like, I mean, there’s like the funnel to get to a sale. There’s like book funnels. But what are some different types, like if somebody’s has like a portfolio of funnels over time, what might be feeding their business?

Tammy Lane: So the secret is, most of those funnels are all based on the same funnel format. People just call them different things. And so that simple two-page funnel that I was talking about, it can be an opt-in funnel, it can be a webinar funnel. It can be a sales page funnel, like you, it’s just a matter of tweaking. But I’ll give you an example of some of the ones that I have. So I have a lead magnet funnel that I share. When I’m like doing podcast interviews, you will see it on my Instagram or Facebook. So that people can get that introduction.

I have a live webinar funnel, I’m doing a training actually, tomorrow, I have a live webinar running. And so I invite people to show up at a particular time with me to do a training and I’ll invite them into coming to buy something from me. I have an evergreen webinar funnel. Where somebody can sign up and watch the webinar today or tomorrow whenever they want. So it’s pre-recorded. And then I have a sales page funnel, and the sales page funnel will take them directly to buy something, typically under $100. In that kind of funnel.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Where do you position the live webinar? Versus the call versus the sales pages? Are these kind of on the sales or the price continuum? Or like so where are you on what I’m trying to ascertain is when should we use a webinar

Tammy Lane: Webinar. I do love webinars because they allow you to reach a lot of people. But they are more time-consuming just totally upfront. Like creating a webinar is actually probably a several weeks project to create the content for the webinar. But the webinar works well because you can get in front of multiple people that when then you get a train and invite them into a purchase. And that price point typically would be somewhere between 300 and $1,000.

Chris Badgett: What advice you have Tammy for somebody who’s earlier like they’re they’re kind of like an earlier version of you? And you know they’re they’re thinking about making a course or getting into this online business thing from whatever it is they’ve done to maybe their for their original career or their job or whatever. And they’re looking over here at this online course industry and online marketing and funnels and all this what what gave you courage and what what would you say to encourage other people who feel called to go help others at scale through the internet like this.

Tammy Lane: I so just totally upfront, it took me a lot of years to make the leap. I think I knew I wanted to have a business in elementary school, definitely high school. And then I did four years of university to get my accounting degree. I did another three years of Arctic clean to get my CPA. And then I worked for 14 years as a CPA before I actually ended up taking the leap. And how to get the courage.

Chris Badgett: You said it was inside of you like as a child, you felt called you felt something inside? I think authors feel this way. I mean, I think everybody kind of has something. But yeah, what what allowed you to really move forward and pursue pursue it. As a CPA, you were like, Alright, I’m gonna do this.

Tammy Lane: I got a lot of strange looks and questions from my colleagues when I said, you’re going to do what you’re going to create a course. And I was like, Yep, I’m gonna create a course. So for me, some circumstances came together. At work, I ended up in a situation that I didn’t want to be in anymore. Which was that was the first time that it happened. And I had savings enough that I felt like I had a cushion.

So me quitting without a business plan without a course created. If I’m, I think it takes you having enough resources behind you. That you feel like you can take the leap. So maybe a little bit of money is helpful to have saved up a couple of months as a cushion to maybe have started on your course or have an idea for what your courses and it’s about baby steps. Once you take the first few baby steps. It gives you courage for the rest I think

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Well, Tammy, thanks for being a shining light as a course creator. But also as somebody who’s coming to help other course creators with their funnels. Emmys a funnel cures.com And what was the where can they go to get that resource you mentioned?

Tammy Lane: So funnel cures.com forward slash funnel gift is going to be that funnel toolkit. And we talked about Facebook ads that will be at funnel cures.com Facebook gift.

Chris Badgett: Awesome. Well, Tammy, thank you so much for coming on the show. And I appreciate you sharing your journey. And dropping so many knowledge bombs today around funnels and marketing and course creation. We really appreciate it. Thanks for having me, Chris. And that’s a wrap for this episode of LMS cast. Did you enjoy that episode? Tell your friends and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the next episode. And I’ve got a gift for you over at lifter lms.com. For slash gift go to https://lifterlms.com/gift/. keep learning keep taking action, and I’ll see you in the next episode.

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