Your Ideal Customer’s Journey From Stranger to Raving Fan

OR: What’s a Funnel and How Do You Use It To Plan Your Marketing?

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Confused about marketing funnels?

I can’t imagine why. It’s not like there are 10 BILLION definitions and models out there…

Oh, wait. There are.

Some marketing funnels dissect a person’s journey with your company into 9+ layers of mindset, opinion and action. They might describe this journey as funneling through layers of:

Repeat Purchase

Phew! Or you might find a definition of a marketing funnel that keeps it simple, stating that your ideal customer’s journey is simply:


However you want to slice your funnel, it’s simply a device to get you thinking about how your ideal customer or client goes from finding out you exist to spending actual money on your programs, events and services to becoming such a raving fan they tell other potential clients and customers that you exist as well.

How Do You Use The Funnel To Create Your Marketing Campaigns?

If you’re a small business owner, creative entrepreneur or nonprofit, chances are you offer a variety of services and programs to your ideal clients and customers. You don’t sell one product, and you’re trying to reach more than one kind of person.

For every product, service or event you offer, you should brainstorm steps in your funnel.

For example, one of my popular services is a Digital Marketing Assessment (kinda like an online marketing report card, with helpful tips on how to improve). I know that the type of person who usually purchases our Digital Marketing Assessment is a solo entrepreneur or artist, willing to put in the time and energy to DIY their marketing and looking for the most bang for their buck to guide them to success. They want a light touch consult on what they’ve been working on, and they’re committed to using our recommendations to improve that work.

Now, what might their funnel look like? Let’s fill in the layers.

First: How do they find out about Amy Jacobus Marketing?

Awareness of our Digital Assessments typically comes from word-of-mouth referrals and in-person workshops and networking events. If I want more people to know about this service, and the buyers are typically people who have heard about us in person, I could attend more events (or mention it at more events) and provide the link to our assessments after in-person and online workshops.

This is the widest part of the funnel. The moment in your marketing planning when you brainstorm how to reach the biggest group of potential clients and customers you can with information about your work or a specific service.

Next: What do they buy?

Not everyone I talk to in person or online will be ready to enter their credit card information for our assessment. How do I ensure they take a small action or build a bit of trust in me and what we do? Can I lead those who don’t sign up to at least sign up for free content on my newsletter? Is there a piece of the digital assessment I can give away for free or let them preview if they provide their email address?

Great! They bought it!

Once someone invests in our Digital Marketing Assessment, they’ve officially become a client of AJM. How we treat them at this stage is paramount to whether or not they turn into an advocate for AJM and our work. What are the special perks and small acts of kindness and generosity that we can provide at this stage to ensure the client is thrilled with our work and feels like their investment is going to pay off bigtime?


NOW: They're a fan for life and they told their friends

Word of mouth growth and heartfelt referrals don’t just happen by magic. It’s amazing to me how many people think this. There are so many ways to encourage customers to become advocates. Some of it happens in the midst of working with them. But it can also continue beyond that point in the funnel:

What if I interview someone who completed the Digital Marketing Assessment process and feature them on my blog? Now I’m publicly sharing their testimony and success.

  • What if I set a calendar reminder once a year to ask recent clients to share this opportunity with someone in their life who desperately needs the same guidance?
  • Can I afford to offer them a referral fee or gift for sending business our way?
  • How can I feature these clients on my social media and encourage them to share on their own profiles so their connections see their great work?

As you can see, the funnel is a device that helps you ask yourself important questions about your ideal customer’s journey from stranger to raving fan. Use it to plan how you can support that journey with language, content, activity and technology.

Need some more help interpreting the funnel?

Sign up for a marketing assessment, and in less than a month, you’ll have a personalized, ultra-savvy guide for moving forward with impact and intention.


If you don’t know who your ideal client, customer or audience member is, chances are you’re wasting every minute you spend on social media, emails and more.

That’s why we created a worksheet to help you better understand and locate your ideal audience for every service or product or event you have. Totally free to use again and again!

    I strategize, consult and manage digital marketing and communications for small businesses and creative entrepreneurs. I’m based in Brooklyn, because I have a thing for exposed brick, cozy, local coffee shops and the can’t stop, won’t stop energy of New York.

    Because I work with small companies, I get the chance to really know my clients – what makes them tick and how and why they should stand out in a crowded marketplace. A lot of my clients have a smaller staff, a limited budget and are already stretched thin for time. This leads us to tailor marketing strategies and solutions to each company’s unique needs and actual capacity.

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