5 Ways To Optimize Your Middle-Of-The-Funnel Marketing Efforts For Your Small Business In 2023

In this blog post, you are going to learn why every creative business owner  SHOULD be taking the necessary steps to help ensure that their middle-of-the-funnel marketing has some great engaging content for new prospects who are now in the consideration & interest phase. And I’ll share five strategies that can help any small business owner be motivated to truly optimize their middle-of-the-funnel marketing efforts!

PSA: The reason why I am stressing that we take the time to hone in on some middle-of-the-funnel marketing strategies to directly impact your funnels is that I firmly believe the middle of the funnel is where the LONG game lies and why many small business owners (esp solo business owners) give up on the middle of the funnel strategy because the middle of the funnel strategies are the slow burn (which MANY people don’t enjoy). 

But before we dive into some strategies on middle-of-the-funnel marketing, let’s define what the middle-of-the-funnel in marketing means: 

What Is Middle-Of-The-Funnel?

The middle of the funnel is where you establish extended engagement and trust-based relationships with your already captured audience. Marketers (business owners) distribute content to align their products or features with the buyer’s needs, understand their readiness to buy, and push them closer to the purchase journey.”

According to an article by Clearvoice.com

“It’s worth noting that buyer behaviors have changed with the times, making mid-funnel content even more of a necessity. Fifty-three percent of salespeople said buyers require more business justification. Additionally, 50 percent of buyers are conducting more research prior to engaging with sales, and 39 percent are looking to their peers for vendor recommendations.”

So did you READ that? Mid-Funnel Content is a NECESSITY! And we, as creative business owners (yes, even solo biz owners) need to take this very seriously because if our leads are taking more time to “research” then we need to give them solution-orientated content in this middle of the funnel process. 

Clearvoice goes on to say:

“While top-of-the-funnel marketing is great for casting a wide net, this strategy doesn’t always deliver the type of qualified leads sales wants to work with. People coming into the top of the funnel may not be as relevant, unlike in the middle of the funnel, where you have more relevant leads who aren’t quite ready to make a purchase. But these prospects are certainly considering a purchase. Clues to that level of buying interest are reflective in their behaviors and actions — engaging with solution-oriented content like an in-depth product webinar.”

hold up…

👋🏼If you are wanting some free education on all things systems & workflows (ESP pertaining to funnel building) checkout my podcast below ⬇️

The Systems And Workflow Magic Podcast Banner

To help you, the small business owner,  appreciate the middle of the funnel (or I should say, enjoy the long game of the middle of the funnel) I am going to share five strategies to help motivate you to transform your middle of funnel marketing efforts!  

Middle-of-the-funnel marketing helps to build relationships with customers by providing useful content that helps to nurture leads and convert them into customers. Here are 5 tips that can help you transform your middle-of-the-funnel marketing strategies. 

Tip #1: Establish trust and credibility by providing useful and informative content. You can do this through content marketing, email campaigns, and demonstrations.

This is why I am constantly talking about the power of email marketing on a weekly basis! I know I am not an email marketing expert myself, but I do know a thing or two about establishing systems and workflows for yourself when it comes to creating content to build out your email list! Nurturing leads into customers is a key part of any successful business. It takes time, effort, and creativity to build relationships with leads and convince them to become customers. 

Tip #2: Make sure you are providing value to your leads in the Middle-Of-The-Funnel.           Offer discounts, free trials, or other incentives to encourage them to become customers (ahem…Lead Magnets for example) 

A great way to build out your email list is by providing an amazing lead magnet (freebie) which will not only build out your email list BUT it will provide a win for your new subscriber (aka they will learn something new and apply  it to their own business AND  they should be funneled into your email marketing) 

🤔Need help with getting started with Lead Magnets? I’ve got you! Check out the Lead Magnet Mini-Course below! It’s my favorite SYSTEM for creating Lead Magnets which LEAD to your offers! ⬇️


Tip #3: In The Middle Of The Funnel You Can Build relationships with your Leads. Show them that you care about their needs and interests. Listen to their feedback and respond in a timely manner.

📌This is where the top-of-the-funnel marketing can go hand in hand with your middle-of-funnel marketing-for example…if you are heavily involved with your Instagram community do you offer weekly IG lives or Q&A sessions? This is a great way to stay engaged and involved with the community you are slowly building over time!

Middle-of-funnel marketing also helps to create more personalized experiences. It can help to provide customers with content that is tailored to their needs and wants and can help to increase customer loyalty!

If you remember my podcast episode featuring Magan Ward, we speak specifically about TAGGING your specific clients within your email marketing platform. When you TAG your prospective clients you  can help enhance their client journey WITH you in mighty and tailored ways (think specific newsletters, specific email marketing campaigns based on  their interests, specific blog posts, etc.) 

🎧To listen to that specific podcast episode click here or the banner below ⬇️staying-organized-with-email-tagging-systems-with-magan-ward

Tip #4: Have a well-defined sales process within the middle of the funnel.

Make sure your team is following the same steps and using the same strategies when working with leads. SOPS/standard operating procedures is the name of the game in this tip and it’s vital you get those nailed down early on in your business! 

🎧I was just listening to a podcast earlier today (Consider The Wildflowers, episode 28 featuring Ashley Jankowski, and she was mentioning how if she could go back to her past business-self to hone in and nail down those business-related SOPS early on because it makes such a huge difference to how her business is run!)

➡️Bringing it back to this point, even in the MIDDLE of your Funnel, you need to establish some sort of process with how you are showing up in the long-term (i.e. with blog posts because those are middle of the funnel content which helps in the consideration phase, or with webinars, or with any form of content which aids the decision phase and consideration phase of the Middle of the Funnel)! (I know I keep on saying “Middle Of The Funnel” in like every other sentence…but I just want to stress to you, the reader, how important this phase is!) 

Now that I brought up the elephant in the room of SOPS, I wanted to insert a FREE resource for you which I have created for creative business owners who need help getting started in taking baby steps in setting up their first SOPS within their own business (I know it’s geared towards photographers, but it may also help you out as well just in case you’re not a photographer! Check it out below) ⬇️ I’ve got your back and this will help you make traction in hashing out how you want your client journey to ideally look like! ⬇️


⭐️Let me stress, when you have a well-defined sales process you will start developing brand recognition:  Middle-of-the-funnel marketing helps to create brand awareness and recognition. It can also help to build trust with customers and establish credibility.

Tip #5: Follow up regularly within the middle-of-the-funnel

Keep in touch with leads throughout the sales process to ensure that they are still interested and to address any questions or concerns they may have (Again, establishing a workflow for yourself early on in how you will ideally want to reach out to each of your customers is vital. Don’t have any clients right now? No problem! Reframe your mindset to use this downtime to truly hone in on your own systems and processes and create  your IDEAL and DREAM workflow-starting at the TOP of the follow-up process, how do you want it to look like?) 

By following these strategies, you can nurture leads into customers and grow your middle-of-the-funnel strategies which will impact your business in amazing ways

So in summary, you have been armed with five points on how to get started in staying consistent in your efforts to hone in on your middle-of-the-funnel strategies, yes even as a small business owner!

Now that you know what MIDDLE of the funnel marketing means, I’ve got some more MOFU (Middle of the Funnel) podcast episodes to share with you to consume today: 

1️⃣ Email Marketing Strategy Episodes

🎙 episode 42: https://dollydelongphotography.com/2022/09/12/episode-42-how-to-create-a-100-automated-email-marketing-strategy-with-elizabeth-mccravy/

🎙 episode 47: https://dollydelongphotography.com/2022/10/17/47-week-4-of-how-to-automate-streamline-the-backend-of-your-lead-magnets-and-offers-the-ultimate-crash-course-to-setting-up-your-first-nurture-sequence-featuring-amanda-stores/

2️⃣ Lead Magnet-Related Episodes

🎙episode 15: https://dollydelongphotography.com/2022/03/07/15-how-to-use-lead-magnets-to-grow-your-email-list-not-your-mamas-lead-magnet-featuring-magan-ward/

🎙episode 49: https://dollydelongphotography.com/2022/10/31/top-five-ways-to-grow-your-email-list/

3️⃣ Blogging Related Episodes

🎙episode 23: https://dollydelongphotography.com/2022/05/02/episode-23-blogging-workflows-systems-for-success-kristina-dowler/

And if you are reading this between January 2023 to Feb. 10th, 2023, you can get FREE Funnel Edition here ⬇️


Or to get a quick crash course on all things digital funnels, check out my fabulous resource “The Simple Funnel Mini-Course” here ⬇️


If you liked this blog post, please let me know by sharing it on Pinterest & by sharing it with another creative biz owner who needs help with funnel education!

Thank you so much for reading!

Meet Your Friendly Nashville Branding Photographer, Milestone Family Photographer & Systems + Workflow Educator

a dad mom and toddler son are all smiling at eachother at a lavender farm by Erin Fox photography in Nashville

Dolly DeLong is a Nashville-based branding photographer for small business owners, a milestone family photographer & and a creative business owner who educates other creative business owners on all things systems + workflows.  Dolly loves serving business owners with her bold, elevated, and radiant photography.  And, she also loves educating other creative business owners on how to set up systems and workflows that will ultimately help them save time in their business-she does this by producing weekly blog posts and weekly podcast episodes on The Systems & Workflow Magic Podcast. 

She has a heart for serving the larger business community. Dolly shares her knowledge of tools like Dubsado, Email Marketing, and Business Systems with new creative business owners & family photographers in an encouraging and supportive way because she believes that anyone can find joy in automation! Plus BONUS: Systems is where the MAGIC happens!

Dolly’s faith and love for her family motivate her to help other business owners find the joy and freedom she’s found in running a successful small business.

Whenever she has a spare moment, she enjoys watching TV (i.e. Survivor), loves eating way too many sweets, and listens to podcasts while running or walking. To work with Dolly DeLong Photography for a branding photography session, fill out her contact form here.

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