100K Method: Your funnel won’t make ANY money if you do this.

There are three unfortunate mistakes most people make when trying to build passive income funnels. Mistakes that don’t just reduce the success of a funnel — they can completely cripple it and stop it from ever generating any revenue at all!

Now, obviously you’ll want to avoid these mistakes, but not just because they can cost you potential income… 

Building a flawed funnel is also a massive waste of TIME.

And while we can always make more money, your time is a non-renewable resource. It’s the one thing you have a fixed amount of and can never get back once it’s spent. Avoiding wasting time needs to be one of our highest priorities with any business strategy decision!

If you haven’t started out yet, knowing what to look for and avoid will help you take a better route. Or, if you’ve already started, but gotten stuck, understanding these mistakes will enable you to diagnose why you aren’t getting the results you want and why your funnel isn’t generating tens of thousands of dollars of passive income every month.

Mistake #1: Untested Idea

The first big funnel mistake is building a funnel for an untested, unproven idea.

The long and short of it is this: it doesn’t matter how genius your funnel is, it’s not going to make you any money if it’s selling a product people don’t think they want, or if you aren’t able to effectively get them to understand that it’s something they want.

I totally made this mistake – a few times – in the early days of my business. I poured hundreds and hundreds of hours into building fancy, high-tech, strategic funnels for courses I’d created… but had never successfully sold. 

It was a massive waste of time.

To be able to avoid this mistake, you need to validate your course idea through marketing research + a test drive, selling your product by first completing a beta launch and successfully closing your first 10+ sales. 

This will accomplish a few things:

First of all, it’s going to give you proof that there really is demand for your course. I can’t tell you how many people have hired me to consult with them on their marketing strategy only to eventually discover, after I walked them through completing the validation process, that there simply wasn’t demand for their product. 

Their marketing was fine! 

But trying to sell a product people don’t even want is setting yourself up for failure. So it’s crucial to figure this out BEFORE you pour hundreds of hours into building a funnel for your product idea.

Here’s what Sheri Galvanized, one of our $100K Mastermind students, shared about her experience with this process:

“What I’ve enjoyed is that I’ve legitimately interviewed people who need exactly what I hope to offer and I’m excite about the role I can play in helping ‘my people’.”

Sheri Galvanized, Galvanized Intention LLC

Second, if your market research tells you there’s demand for your course idea, but your beta launch fails to generate sales, this gives you some important intel: people aren’t understanding your marketing message

In other words, what you’re saying to people about your product isn’t resonating with them. 

If you’re confident they want the outcome your product creates, but they’re not buying your product, then they either 1) don’t understand what your product does or else 2) don’t believe it does what you say it does. 

These are issues that are MUCH more easily worked out on a small scale, talking to individuals during a live beta launch, than after you’ve built a bunch of infrastructure and you’re a degree removed from the conversation.

One of the reasons for this is because conversion rates are much higher with Direct Connect Promotion (our grassroots beta launch marketing strategy) so it’s much easier to measure the effectiveness of different marketing messages. 

Okay, that got nerdy fast. Let me explain what I mean…

During a Validation launch, you have sales conversations with individuals. This strategy isn’t scalable for selling hundreds of thousands of dollars of your course per year, but it’s agile and very effective for testing marketing messages, discovering what resonates, and earning your first $1,000 – $100,000. It’s quite common to see 30-50% conversion rates with these direct sales conversations. In other words, if you talk to ten people about your product, you’re quite likely to generate 3-5 sales.

For example, that’s how $100K Mastermind student Alyssa Cotten generated $8,000 in less than a week:

“The week that I launched, I was able to generate $8,000 in five days. It was mind blowing!” 

Alyssa Cotten
Arctic Horizons Counseling

Because these conversion rates are so high, it’s easy to see if your marketing message is working or not. For example, if you talk to ten people and you only make one sale – or none at all – well, you can tell that you need to try different messaging.

On the other hand, if you jump straight into building an automated funnel, it’s going to take a LOT longer to figure that out. First of all, you have the 4-8 weeks spent setting up the funnel. Then, you have to wait for enough traffic to go through your funnel to see if it’s working or not. And that requires a LOT more leads…

See, we use evergreen funnels because they effectively enable us to SCALE passive income. Meaning that, once they’re set up effectively, they can consistently convert 5-10% of our leads into sales without us lifting a finger. It’s so effortless that it’s okay that it’s not the most efficient strategy – we can do it 24 hours a day, 365 days/year, earning hundreds of thousands of dollars.

BUT, that means that, for every 10 leads that run through your funnel, you can only expect to generate ONE sale – or maybe none at all. So running 10 leads through your funnel with little result doesn’t tell you much. In fact, you can’t be sure your funnel isn’t working until you’ve sent at least 100 leads through it and haven’t made any sales. Any fewer than that, and the data simply isn’t statistically significant enough to draw any meaningful conclusions. And, really, you can’t know for sure how well the messaging is working until you send 500 leads through it, so that you can see if you’re converting at 3% – meriting some changes – or a healthy 8%.

All this to say: PLEASE don’t build a funnel for a product you haven’t yet successfully sold. 

It’s just too much of a gamble with your time. There’s a moderately high chance people might not even want your product at all, and, even if they do, it’s MUCH easier, faster, and more profitable to test different marketing messages with beta launch tactics then after having built a funnel.

I know you might want to skip the small stuff and hurry to the big money of a $100K Funnel, but, both in the long and short run, you’re much more likely to earn a lot more if you start by validating your product idea through a live beta launch.

Mistake #2: Insufficient Traffic/Leads

Fortunately the outlook on this one isn’t quite as dismal. Even if you’re facing this challenge today, you can definitely make shifts to overcome it without having to scrap your entire funnel and go back to the drawing board.

The mistake here is not building effective lead generation systems. 

See, your funnel can only generate revenue if leads flow through it. It can’t have any OUTPUT without INPUT. People can’t buy your product if they don’t first get introduced to it.

So, somehow, you need to tell people about your product and get them to enter your funnel. You can do this manually, by cold calling, posting endlessly on Instagram, or networking, but those methods will never lead to passive income. To do that, you need to build an evergreen lead generation system.

“I set up an evergreen sales funnel in just one month. I'm making sales every week. My business's monthly revenue has increased by over 60% from last year (50% increase in January and 90% increase in February), and I have a solid plan to improve it even further!”

Anna Weston
Orchid Bliss

An evergreen lead generation system is something you build that then continually introduces your brand to the right people and welcomes them into your $100K Funnel. 

Now, in full transparency, no evergreen lead generation system is going to work indefinitely. Content grows stale and gets drowned out over time by new content. Ad campaigns eventually become outdated, reach the end of their target audience, or get out-bid.

In short, passive income doesn’t last forever. We build systems that generate passive income, but, eventually, those systems run their course, breakdown, and need to be replaced with new systems.

But, that doesn’t mean we need to be constantly hustling, day in and day out, manually working for every sale we get.

This mistake can take a couple forms. One of them would be continuing to use active advertising tactics beyond the beta launch phase. This would be like upgrading your horse and buggy to an automobile, but then manually, DIY producing your own gasoline. To generate passive income and scale our businesses, we need to upgrade ALL our systems to scalable ones, not stop at just building an evergreen sales funnel.

The other form of this mistake is simply a lack of volume. The most common reason funnels fail to produce great results is simply that not enough leads are flowing through the funnel each month

Like I said a few minutes ago, automated funnels, at least strategic ones, can convert at rates of 5-10%. So, if you want to generate more than a small handful of sales every month, then you need a lead generation system that’s generating a few hundred leads each month. What DOESN’T work is hoping that your couple hundred monthly website visitors will take you to $100K years. 

General website visitors typically enter funnels at a rate of only about 1%. Meaning that if 300 people visit your website this month, only about 3 of them will opt in for your free pdf, webinar, or email newsletter. And 3 leads entering an automated funnel most likely won’t result in a single sale.

So, get strategic about this and make sure you don’t just build a funnel… you build a lead generate system that supports it.

Mistake #3: Unclear Value

Moving on now, let’s talk about the third big funnel mistake. 

Ugh, this one is SO common.

Imagine this: You create an amazing online course and you want to make it incredibly valuable, so you add on a bunch of amazing resources, package it up as a bundle deal with a few of your other, equally amazing courses, then you offer it for a great price. 

Surely almost anyone would want this! It’s such a good deal! 

So, in your funnel, you spell out all the amazing aspects of this product. It does so many things! It will give them so many results! They get so much great stuff!

But, despite all that, your funnel struggles with low, low, low conversion rates. Barely 1% of your leads are buying your product. 

What went wrong??

In short, your leads’ attention is divided. They’re not able to focus on any of the outcomes your product might help them to achieve because they can’t think about any of them long enough, since you mentioned so many of them. YOU weren’t able to talk about any of them long enough, since you mentioned so many of them.

The most effective selling strategy, by far, is to simply sell ONE tangible outcome. Yes, I know, your product might have a lot of benefits and might have the power to change your customers' lives in so many incredible ways. But people will be most persuaded that your product is really worth the money if you double down on ONE key outcome. 

For this to be effective, three things must be true. 

  1. The outcome must be something your target market wants.
  2. It must be a tangible result – one your customer will be able to measure and see that they’ve actually received. 
  3. Your product must be priced at an amount that that result is worth to them.  

I think most of those things are fairly self-explanatory. An outcome they want and priced according to their value of it. But the “tangible” aspect seems to be often misunderstood, so let’s get into that a little further.

Some products provide very clear, measurable, practical results. For example, I recently bought a watercolor painting course. The promise was obvious: it was going to teach me, a beginner, how to paint with watercolors. They showed examples of the specific projects I would complete. They showed pictures of other students’ projects, proving it was possible for beginners to get satisfactory results.

The outcome created by other products is much less tangible. Tougher to measure. Abstract. The most common offender has got to be “life coaching.” What’s the outcome? Something along the lines of “improving your quality of life.” Do people want that? Of course! But it’s abstract. How can we measure whether your life is “better”? Whether you’re happier?

That’s not to say it can’t be done. It can! Successful life coaches are those who manage to effectively define the results they’ll help their clients achieve. 

Nonetheless, this is a pervasive issue. And not just with life coaching. Many online course creators, consultants, and coaches struggle to close sales for this exact reason. And potential customers are very hesitant to part with their hard-earned money for theoretical results.

In $100K Mastermind, we tackle this issue early on, guiding students to clarify their course’s Primary Tangible Result, or PTR, before they even get to the beta launch phase, so that they can be as profitable as possible from their very first launch.

If you’re ready to build a $100K funnel of your own, then I want to personally invite you to apply for $100K Mastermind. I created this program to guide students to quickly scale their courses to $100,000/year and ensure that they never waste time on these mistakes! 

Are you ready to create turn your course into a consistent stream of income?

Learn more and apply at https://gillianperkins.com/100k-waitlist-apply/ 

Wondering if your course or idea is ready to scale to 6 figures?

>> Click here to read the next blog in our $100K series.

Gillian Perkins

Hi, I’m Gillian! I’m a marketing strategist who helps online entrepreneurs 10X their sales with FB ads + sales funnels. I love combining tech, analytics, and psychology to create powerful marketing systems. When I’m not helping my clients scale their businesses, I’m spending time with my husband and two little boys, exploring new places, or seeking out choice espresso.