Think the money is in the list? Think again.
The real money is in the follow-up. Without a great back end to support your list-building efforts, you’ll wind up with a huge list of names that do little but cost you money. And nowhere is that more true than with a big giveaway event.
Think about it. You’ll spend time and money—and lots of it—just organizing your event. Between the design work, recruiting guests, writing copy, and setting up the infrastructure, you’re going to spend dozens of hours.
The way to make up for that is with a solid back end that brings in sales each and every day.
Two Pages to Monetize
Want to know the most underutilized page on your site? It’s the confirmation page. You know, that page where new opt-ins land while they wait for your confirmation email to arrive? If yours says something like “Thanks, now go check your email” (or worse, it’s AWeber’s or Lead Page’s default page) then you’re missing a golden opportunity.
This is potentially the first exposure your new subscriber has to you, so it pays to make it a good one. This is the place where you should be offering a low-cost product that is a natural fit with your freebie. So in this case, your free offer is the giveaway event. Think about your products. Which one will help participants make the most of the event? That’s the one to offer on the confirmation or thank you page. And if you can offer a coupon, even better!
The download page is another often overlooked opportunity. Give your readers a relevant offer that ties in nicely with their download (or in this case, the gifts they’re receiving) and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the number of takers you get.
Email Still Works
Don’t forget the follow-up emails. Hopefully you’ve created a series of emails to go out after a subscriber joins your list. These are the perfect place to make offers of relevant products and services, either yours or those of your event guests. You don’t have to resort to hard sell tactics in every email though—and you probably shouldn’t.
Instead, send your subscribers valuable information they can use, so they learn to look forward to your emails. Save the selling for your P.S. or for the occasional (once per week or less) solo email.
Done right, these two techniques can ensure you not only earn back your investment in creating your giveaway event, but earn a tidy profit as well. Not only that, but these strategies work for every opt-in offer on your site, so be sure to take a look at your other funnels and patch up any leaks you might have.
Looking forward to reading your comments below with your techniques for monetizing on your list, Coach Deb
Want to know what keeps a lot of service providers from charging what they’re worth?
It’s that all-too-common belief that “I am not a sales person.” Combine that with a healthy dose of “It’s rude to discuss money,” and you can see why it’s just easier to keep your rates low.
It’s time to think of your services from a different angle. Not only will you see things in a clearer light but selling suddenly won’t feel so much like selling and will feel more like talking.
Here’s how traditional pricing discussions go:
You talk to a potential client, and you explain what you can offer, how your service works, what he or she can expect (how many calls/emails, phases of work, length of contract), etc. And then you say, “My rate is $XXX.00.”
Your client either says yes, no or (the kiss of death) maybe.
Let’s turn that around, and rather than focus on what he or she will get from YOU, look at what she will achieve when she hires you.
For a business coach, this is easy. Talk money. How much more profit will your client make when she hires you? If your coaching fee is $1,000 per month, but you can show her how to increase her sales by $3,000 per month, then your price is inconsequential. She’ll earn it back three times over, not only while you’re actively coaching her, but for the rest of her business life.
Who wouldn’t jump on that with both feet?
What you’re doing here is not talking about the cost of your coaching, but rather the cost of not hiring you. Because if she doesn’t work with you, she’s losing $3,000 per month.
What about other kinds of services though? The same applies, you just must find a way to show your clients the cost of their inaction.
If you’re a life coach, inaction (to your potential client) might mean years of feeling unhappy and unfulfilled. Imagine what it might be worth to your client to lift that depressing burden forever?
The same goes for health and fitness trainers. Can you add 10 years to the life of an unhealthy, overweight man? That’s priceless.
What about dating coaches? For someone who’s been unlucky in love, in and out of one troubled relationship after another, the promise of a man (or woman) who will love and cherish them is worth nearly any price.
You just have to paint the picture.
What will life/business/love look like without your services, and what can it look like with you? Once they see the value in what you have to offer, pricing becomes nearly irrelevant.
How do you paint the picture of the results of your services? Comment below
You’ve filled your funnel and you’re starting to see a steady stream of clients on your calendar. Congrats! That’s a great start to building a rock-solid business you love.
But the work doesn’t end with that first sale. In fact, it’s just beginning.
Your next job is to continue to make offers (and sales) to your loyal customers. Remember, it’s much easier to sell to a current customer than to earn a new one, so don’t ignore those who have already expressed trust in you.
For each of your products or services, there must be a “next logical step” for those who buy. If the point of entry into your customer’s list was an eBook, then perhaps the next step is a video guide. If she’s already purchased your video guide, a multi-week workshop might be next on the agenda. And if that multi-week workshop was a hit, private consultation is going to be her next need.
By thoughtfully including “next step” recommendations in your follow-up emails and even in your products themselves, you can easily move your clients further into your funnel with timely up-sells.
Automate Your Follow-Ups
Of course, it can be tricky to manage all your products and services, so savvy entrepreneurs are careful to create an autoresponder series to follow every product purchase. You’ll want to include emails that encourage your buyer to consume the products she’s already purchased, plus tips to help her progress even further.
As she buys your next offer, make sure you make use of the automation tools available in your email software to remove her from the “sales” list and add her to the “buyers” list for that next product. When you manage this well, your clients will progress easily from one offer to the next.
Segment Your Lists
One thing to be cautious of is trying to force buyers to make too big of a leap. The woman who bought your $47 eBook is not likely to sign on for a $1997 program—at least not yet.
By segmenting your mailing lists you can avoid making overly aggressive offers, and instead send your buyers exactly what they need, when they need it.
Up-selling your buyers is the key to higher income with less work. Don’t be afraid to make offers, and remember, a happy buyer is primed to make another purchase. She’s counting on you to show her what’s next, so don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re bothering or annoying her by making offers. Do it thoughtfully, and she’ll actually thank you for it.
Do you Up-sell like a PRO? Tell us your favorite go to tip in the comments below.
In any business, you’ll spend a certain amount of time on clients who will never pay you.
Website designers quote jobs that never come to fruition.
Car dealers spend hours chatting up customers who will never buy.
Book agents read countless manuscripts they will never be able to sell.
And coaches spend time giving out free advice to clients who cannot or will not hire them.
Truthfully, it can be frustrating, and it’s definitely a drain on your time and energy. But there are some things you can do to eliminate those who will never become clients without having to spend time with them first.
Post Your Prices
One of the most hotly debated topics among service providers is whether or not you should post your prices on your website. There are pros and cons on both sides of the fence, but the biggest advantage to posting your prices is that it immediately eliminates those who cannot afford you.
Of course, you don’t have to list prices for everything to achieve the same effect. If you offer private consulting packages or self-directed training packages, having a price tag of $1000 on your “entry level” course makes it pretty clear that your private consulting is going to be at the high end.
If you prefer to quote packages individually, a line that states, “Packages start at $XXX” is a simple way to state your prices while still giving you some flexibility.
Before you get on the phone with anyone, require that they do a little groundwork first. A client intake form should tell you everything you need to know about a potential client long before you pick up the phone. But what it tells you the most is how much work they’re willing to do. Freebie seekers aren’t likely to do the work required to answer even a simple questionnaire, so those who do fill out your form are better prospects.
Not only that, but you can include in your form a question about pricing, such as “What’s your budget for (whatever service you offer)?” Use a pre-defined list of answers that start with “$1,000 and up” rather than letting your potential client fill in her own amount, and those with smaller budgets won’t bother to complete it.
Change Your Language
Words have power, and if the words you use on your website and other marketing material are speaking to newbies or those just getting started in business, you’ll never attract the audience you’re seeking. Instead of using words like “step by step plan,” say, “advanced techniques.” Rather than talking about “easy systems,” mention high-end, complex software by name. Simple changes can help you to automatically attract the right audience.
You’ll still spend some time and energy on those who ultimately won’t hire you, but by making these simple edits to your website, marketing materials, and other business systems, you’ll begin to see more high-end clients and fewer of those you no longer wish to work with.
Post prices or don't post prices on your consulting service, what do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below
Does the topic of money make your mouth dry and your hands sweat? Do you dread that point in a conversation when someone says, “So what do you charge?”
You are not alone. Most of us have difficulty talking about money—especially when it comes to quoting prices for our own work. But if you are going to be successful in business, you must get over it.
The first rule for declaring your prices with confidence is simply to practice. Talk to yourself in the shower. Tell your dog what your rates are. Stand in front of your mirror and say, “I charge $XXX.00 per hour.”
The more you say your rates out loud (not in your head) the more natural it will be for you.
Even if you are on the phone or writing an email, smile when you say your rates. Your tone of voice changes when you smile (as does the “tone” of your typing), and that tone can convey confidence and authority, not to mention professionalism.
Avoid Being Wishy-washy
Listen to yourself as you speak to potential clients. Do you say things like, “Well, normally I charge…” or “Actually, my rates are…” or “Do you think that $XX.00 will work for you?”
These (and others like them) are all wishy-washy ways of talking that do not instill confidence in your client, and worse, they make you sound like you do not believe in yourself.
Rather than squeaking out a timid, “Um, I charge, like $1,000 per month,” straighten your back, smile, and say, “My rate for consulting is $1,000 per month. Where should I send your invoice?” And then…
When we are nervous or feeling intimidated, we tend to talk. We want to fill the silence with something, anything, just to avoid having to sit there uncomfortably and wonder what the other person is thinking.
But guess what? He or she is just as uncomfortable with the silence, and psychologically, the one who speaks first is at a disadvantage. So, when you are talking price, avoid the urge to fill the silence (especially because you are most likely to try to justify your pricing) and let your potential client take time to respond.
Will speaking with confidence always land you a new client? No. But being able to share your pricing in a clear voice will help potential clients know that you are confident in your skills, and consequently, that you are the right service provider for them.
Do you have a technique for building your confidence when talking about money with your clients? Let us know in the comments below
Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of setting up your sales funnel? You’re not alone. Many online business owners fail to properly plan out their funnel, and it shows.
They have an opt-in incentive that doesn’t appeal to their audience.
Their follow-up emails don’t flow naturally from the opt-in.
Messages are unbalanced—either too many sales pitches or not enough. Even worse, the offers don’t match the market.
Making these mistakes is common, so if you recognize yourself here, don’t feel bad. The good news? There’s an easy fix.
Step 1: Survey Your Market
All too often we think we know what our readers and potential buyers want, but in reality, we’re simply guessing. We make the mistake of believing that we are our market, but that usually is not the case.
The only way to know for sure what your market truly wants and needs is to ask them. Set up a simple survey (even a Google form will work) and ask your blog readers, social media followers, and email list to give their opinion.
Do this right, and you’ll know exactly what you should be offering your audience, plus, you’ll know that language to use on your opt-in page.
Step 2: Create Your Opt-in
Now that you know what your market needs, it’s time to create your opt-in incentive. Keep in mind that readers today seem to prefer simple, easy-to-digest offers rather than 200-page eBooks or 7-part video series. This makes your job a bit easier, too.
Some popular choices for opt-in incentives include:
Step 3: Map Out Your Autoresponder
Every good opt-in incentive should be followed up with a series of emails that build on the material. If you’ve offered a resource guide, for example, then your follow-up emails might include usage tips for each of the resources, or case studies that show how others have benefited from using the tools.
Step 4: Make an Offer
Arguably the most important part of your funnel, your offer must be the logical next step for readers to take. They’ve worked through your opt-in incentive, read and acted on your emails, and they’re hungry for more. Time to make your offer.
Just like the other pieces of your funnel, your offer needs to be the answer to your readers’ most burning questions. If you consider your opt-in and follow-up series to be the “lite” version, then your offer is the premium package. Bigger, beefier, and the perfect next step.
Before you post your first opt-in code, take some time to map out your funnel according to these steps, and you’ll not only fill your funnel faster, but you’ll close more sales along the way.
What's your most successful op-in tool?
The first thing new online business owners learn is the power of the offer funnel.
You’ll find WordPress plugins to help you design your funnel and landing-page creators to assist in building it. And yet still your funnel doesn’t perform as it should.
So what’s missing? Cohesiveness.
I know, I know. You mail regularly. You’re making offers. You even make sales. If you weren’t, you certainly wouldn’t be in business this long. But if your funnel isn’t bringing in a steady cash flow that grows month after month, then something is clearly wrong, and I’m betting it’s because you lack consistency and cohesion.
Most of us do, so don’t beat yourself up, but do take a look at your funnel and offers with a critical eye, and ask yourself:
Does my opt-in offer satisfy a real need of my ideal client?
Too often we throw together a simple eBook or webinar without ever stopping to consider if our ideal client—the one we really want to work with—really needs or wants it. Unless your opt-in offer answers a driving question or solves a problem for your client, she’s going to pass.
Does my follow-up series continue to help resolve her issues?
This is where a lot of funnels go off the rails—in the follow up. In order to maintain cohesion and keep your readers’ interest, your follow-up emails should continue to address the issue that originally brought her to you. Unrelated products and random affiliate offers do little to build trust and can even lead to unsubscribes.
Does my big offer follow naturally from the opt-in?
If your opt-in incentive is designed to help homeschooling moms manage their time better, then your programs must include an element of time management as well. Anything less and your loyal readers will feel as if you don’t know them at all.
Just like a great sales page, all the pieces of your funnel need to flow naturally from one to the next, leading your readers toward bigger and better offers. It’s this cohesiveness that will help plug the leaks and keep your funnel filled with prospective clients who can’t wait to buy from you.
How is your sales funnel working? What's one tip you use to create cohesiveness in your funnel?
You know it’s critical to your success, but are you doing it with forethought and a solid strategy in place, or do you just “wing it?”
Admittedly, most of us are squarely in the winging it category, but there are some quick and easy changes you can make that will put even your most important networking tasks on autopilot.
Outsource the research: First step, hire a VA who can find and connect you with potential JV partners, affiliates, guest interviews, and all the other marketing options at your disposal.
With a list of requirements at hand, he or she can spend an hour or two on Google and bring back a list of hundreds of people you can then reach out to. What would a list of 100—or even 10—new JV partners do for your business growth?
Automate the initial connection: Create a script or email template to use when you first reach out to potential partners. Your VA can send this in an email or make a call on your behalf, but having the script in place will accomplish two things:
Automate your scheduling: Using a service such as TimeTrade or ScheduleOnce, you can easily set up your calendar with your preferred times for interviews, webinars and such. Give your JV partners links to book time with you, and the meetings will automatically appear on your calendar. No more endless back and forth to discuss potential meeting times, just a single click, and your partner can choose the time that works for both of you.
Here’s a hint though: be sure to use your calendar diligently, because if you don’t you run the risk of someone scheduling time with you when you already have another commitment.
Will it take a bit of work to get these systems in place? Sure. But once you do, you’ll find that attracting and working with JV partners, guest experts and others is much easier and more streamlined. Not only that, but with the time you save, you’ll be able to concentrate on creating new programs and services. Or maybe just hang out with the kids a bit. You deserve some time off.
What will you implement this month? Tell us in the comments below.
Would it come as a surprise to you if I said we’re all sales people? It’s true.
Every time you have a prospective client on a discovery call, you’re making a sales pitch. Every time you send an email or write a blog post with an offer, you’re making a sales pitch. Every time you write an opt-in page, you’re making a sales pitch.
And you’re probably pretty good at it, too, or you wouldn’t be where you are today, would you?
So why do we continue to think we’re so bad at sales?
Sales Feels “Icky”
I hear this one a lot. You feel pushy or uncomfortable when talk turns to money. You don’t want to force anyone into a decision. You secretly think your rates are too high.
I’m going to be honest with you. This is one of those things that gets better only with practice. But the good news is, you don’t have to be on the phone with a prospective client to get that practice time in.
Instead, use the technique self-help gurus have been advocating for years: Look in the mirror and talk to yourself. Practice saying your rates out loud. Practice your segue from discovery to sales pitch. The more you do it, the more natural it will sound, and the less uncomfortable you will feel when on a real call.
Fix Your Mindset
What if you weren’t selling anything, but instead were simply chatting with a friend about the incredible new product that was going to change her life? You’re helping your friend to improve herself by sharing your experience with this new product.
That’s exactly how you should think about selling your product or service. You’re not trying to get your prospective client to spend money. Instead, you’re offering a solution to her problems. You’re genuinely helping her to overcome some obstacle in her life or business. You’re asking your prospective client to make an investment in themselves.
When you can turn your thinking around from “sales” to “helping” you’ll find it’s much easier to have the sales talk.
Don’t Be Afraid of the Follow Up
Most clients won’t say yes with the first call, and maybe not even with the second. Statistics show that it can take up to 6 exposures to you, your product or service to make the sale. Successful entrepreneurs know that many sales can be closed if you simply take the time to follow up. Send a quick email and invite your prospect to:
Don’t let that old “I’m not good at sales” thinking get in the way of making a real difference in people’s lives, and in growing your business and your profits. With these easy tips, you can quickly turn your sales blocks into a system for landing new clients consistently.
What's your mindset? Did I help you begin to change it to a more positive state? Tell me in the comments below
Whether you want to touch a nerve, reach a new audience, or boost your sales, storytelling is the most powerful tool in your arsenal. As humans, we love a good story, and when it resonates with us, it can drive us to take action when nothing else can.
Think about it. Which would you rather read, an interesting story, or a sales letter? Which are you more likely to remember a week from now, a compelling story, or a features and benefits comparison? And which are you more likely to buy, a story you can see yourself in, or a product that does x, y, and z?
If you think back on your most recent purchases, from the business associate you hired to the car you bought last summer, chances are you’ll find a story that resonated with you, and that drove your decision to purchase.
Stories About You
You’ve heard it time and time again: People buy from those they know, like, and trust. And part of getting to know you is hearing your stories. Your potential clients want to know how you came to be in business, what experiences you’ve had that drove your decisions, what lessons you learned along the way.
Your stories don’t have to be directly related to business to be powerful, either. That anecdote about the time you nearly got arrested for not having a valid driver’s license is the perfect lead in to a blog post about better record keeping. Or the story about how you accidentally seated two warring families together at your wedding reception? It’s just what you need to drive home a point about relationship building.
Stories About Your Clients
Otherwise known as social proof, stories about your clients are incredibly useful in your marketing and branding strategy. Testimonials, white papers, case studies and the like are all just stories, after all, and they showcase how you and your products have changed a life or a business for the better.
Stories About Your Products
Yes, even your products have stories to tell. Why did you decide to create that new e-course or fitness program? What will it help your clients achieve? Who is it not suited to? These stories and more can show your potential clients more about your products and services than any sales page ever will. When you openly share your thought processes as you were creating your program, buyers will instantly know if it’s a product that will work for them or not.
Clearly, stories have a lot of power when it comes to branding and marketing, but you have to use caution. Beware of the awkward insertion of a story just because you’ve heard it’s good for your marketing. If you find yourself midway through a blog post and you write something like, “but anyway, enough of that, let’s get on with business” and then making a total shift to a completely different subject, chances are the story isn’t working.
But if you can tie your story in naturally to what follows, that’s your golden ticket to better branding, more sales, and a more profitable business. We love stories. Don’t be afraid to tell yours.
Comment below with your story,we'd love to hear it
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