Can I hand you a big, fat six-figure check on a silver platter?
I kid, a little bit. But the point is relevant. And perhaps, accurate. If you’re one of the few who takes my essays beyond the intellectual entertainment, and into implementation.
Because what I’m about to do for you is break down the online funnel blueprint that’s that’s working for coaches, consultants, and creative freelancers (that’s you, copywriters) to get clients, and get paid — turning on a steady stream of work.
Put very simply, this breaks down into three phases:
— PHASE 1: Attract
— PHASE 2: Convert
— PHASE 3: Maximize
But, I never keep things that simple in this daily essay, so we’re going to break that down across 7 total steps that end with you getting a virtually unlimited stream of projects or consulting hours from clients (that can be paid based on time, work deliverables, or results).
PHASE 1: Attract
The purpose of this first phase is to bring qualified prospects in the door, and get them to raise their hand and express interest in the results your services can offer. It starts when you reach out to these potential prospects, and you complete the Attract phase when you get them to register for a short call — 30 minutes or less — to determine if they are a fit for your services.
Step 1: Paid traffic
First and foremost, most people who I know who have a practically unlimited demand for their services have put their money where their mouth is, and figured out paid advertising. It could be Facebook. It could be AdWords. It could be a handful of other channels. But no matter what, you get the most control when you figure out how to pay for traffic and make the rest of your selling process profitable based on that expense.
Did you know Facebook has over 2 billion monthly active users? Google, even more. Their ads beyond their sites reach even more. And in there are plenty of business buyers, as well as consumers looking for consumer products. Almost no matter what, you can find your buyers in their audience. By figuring out how, you unlock an extreme amount of control over the lead flow coming into your service business.
Step 2: Landing page offering value-first content
When someone clicks your ad, they have to go somewhere. Typically, that’s a landing page.
What do you put on the landing page? Something that helps them solve the same problem your services do.
Promise content that’s focused on value first, selling second. Yes, it must accomplish both goals. But they have to feel like it’s worth their time to engage enough for you to transition to your pitch. And so you give them value first, such as telling them what they need to do to overcome their current challenge. Then, you transition to the “how to do it,” by telling them that the fastest, easiest way to get the result is to hire you.
Also, pack your pitch with case studies, if possible. I know this is hard up front, but once you have ‘em, use ‘em.
What about media? Webinars are popular. Special reports work, too. Also tools such as checklists, calculators, and so on. I also really like books, because they have a certain built-in credibility. No matter what you go with, test, test, test. The media is far less important than the message.
Step 3: Content call-to-action drives to “best-fit” call
When you pitch your services in this value-first content, don’t actually try to sell the services. Rather, point them to an application and a call-scheduler. The idea is that you want them to be able to schedule a call with you, where you can tell them whether or not they are a fit for your services.
Lay out the criteria of who you can help, and who you can’t. You can’t help everybody, so don’t try. Rather, make it clear that you’re only looking to work clients who are a best fit, who are most likely to derive massive value from your services.
Get them to schedule a call, then fill out an application.
PHASE 2: Convert
The purpose of this second phase is to get the qualified prospects who registered for the call with you to pay you for an initial consultative call, where diagnose the challenges they face, that you can help them solve, and come up with an action plan to move forward.
Step 4: “Best fit” call to DIS-qualify prospects and close qualifieds
Once you’re on the phone, figure out if they’re a fit, and lay out your value case. Once you’ve established the value they can derive from working with you, then show how your services are a small investment toward that return.
Most of this call will be to make sure they are not a bad prospect. You shouldn’t be delivering a ton of value here, or trying to justify your fees or sell yourself. You should be turning the tables and getting them to sell you on why you should work with them.
At the end of the call, you’re going to make an offer. If they’re a great fit for your services, you’re still not going to be 100% convinced that they should work with you. So you’re going to make an offer for a one-time, in-depth, extended consultation where you identify the opportunities you can help them with, and create an action plan based on that. That’s the next step they need to take to move forward with you.
Step 5: Paid diagnostic consultation with action plan
You should absolutely get paid for this next step.
Here you’re actually going to meet with them for up to a full day, and walk through your process for fully diagnosing their challenge facing them, and lay out a plan of action for how to solve it. Presumably using some of your services, but also make it something that if they’re a self-starter, they can accomplish on their own (so they feel like they’ve gotten full value out of the session).
After the diagnostic session, you’ll give them an explicit action plan of what to do next to get the result you promised.
Step 6: Action plan call-to-action into project or retainer services
At this point, one of three things will be possible. First, they may not like the diagnosis, at which point you need to consider whether refunding their fee is the best thing to do. Second, they may want to implement your action plan on their own, which makes it money well spent. Or third, they’re going to want you to help them implement.
Inside your action plan, you should have a clear and explicit offer of the next step to move forward with you on implementation. This could be retainer work or project work. It could be consulting/coaching, or service delivery. It could be fee-based, performance-based, or both. Lay that out, and don’t offer to do any additional work outside of your action plan (and the payment terms you’ve laid out).
PHASE 3: Maximize
The purpose of the third and final phase is to actually implement the action plan and complete a series of projects or establish retainer-based, ongoing service delivery that maximizes client results and your personal income.
Step 7: Ongoing service delivery
Done right, all of the above sets you up for substantial future work with this client, lasting months or years, for as long as you keep delivering results.
The diagnostic consultation up front likely uncovered a whole host of issues you can help them with, and you get to decide how to structure your services to make this happen.
As long as they’re happy with those services, they’ll keep paying you in perpetuity.
The big question is…
What value do you provide throughout this process? What does your diagnostic consultation look like?
Well, I wrote this essay because I delivered a similar explanation of this funnel in the video on How To Apply The Most Valuable Customer Strategy in Client Businesses. That’s part of The Most Valuable Customer Strategy training on BTMSinsiders.
That’s an entire system for identifying opportunities to boost sales and profits throughout the lifetime of a customer’s relationship with nearly any business.
It’s a very effective diagnostic tool that could lead to months or even years of consulting or service delivery, worth well into the 5- or 6-figures, with each client.
The first half or so of the training was published last Friday, the second half will be finished and published this week. It’s all included with your BTMSinsiders All-Access Pass.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,